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Huge improvements announced for Kings Gardens

King’s Gardens in Southport is set to undergo a series of improvement works designed to restore and regenerate a number of the park’s key features.

The large scale maintenance programme, made possible via Sefton Council’s own King’s Garden’s contingency fund, will see the popular site undergo a series of restorative works, costing nearly £90,000.

Transformation

King’s Gardens underwent a major £5.5 million transformation in 2012 and was formally reopened in 2016, having welcomed millions of visitors to its stunning Victorian inspired landscape in the years that followed.

Now Sefton Council’s Tourism & Green Sefton teams are working together to begin a six month series of works to restore the Gardens after nearly five years of continuous use and enjoyment.

Works will include:

  • Repainting and repairs to the Venetian Bridge, shelters & benches
  • Improvements to the landscape areas including trees and shrub beds
  • Repairs and repainting to bins and benches
  • Lighting column repairs
  • Play Area maintenance
  • Tea Rooms and Arts & Craft building repairs

Gem

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing said: “King’s Gardens is a beautiful gem in the crown of our Sefton Coastline and is visited all year round by hundreds of thousands of families and tourists.

“There are few finer places to be on a sunny day than Kings Gardens and playing host to so many people over the years has an unavoidable impact with wear and tear on the overall appearance of the park and this winter presents an opportune time to carry out a large scale maintenance programme.

“After 18 months that have seen our parks and green spaces play a vital role for people through lockdowns as a place to relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely.

“King’s Gardens continues to be a hugely popular visitor attraction and its continued influx of tourists is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team that make the green space a great place that everyone can enjoy.

“I can’t wait to see King’s Gardens in all its glory for the 2022 summer season.

Victorian roots

“While still maintaining its beautiful Victorian roots, the Kings Garden’s of the 21st century was revamped, becoming the largest single investment in parks by the Heritage Lottery Fund in the North West.

“The gardens were restored to their former glory, with Victorian shelters and the Venetian Bridge transformed and extensive landscaping along with a large children’s play area created but the time has come for a wide scale ‘top-up’ refurbishment.”

Find out more about Seton Council’s parks and greenspaces. 

 

 

Scarisbrick Avenue Regeneration project revealed by Sefton Council

Sefton Council is set to engage with business owners and residents around Scarisbrick Avenue ahead of proposed regeneration works on the busy Southport thoroughfare.

A package of works worth nearly £1million are proposed including new, high quality paving, enhanced street lighting, improved pedestrian crossings, environmental additions and rejuvenated signage and CCTV equipment.

Businesses, residents and stakeholders are being informed about the works, which are intended to be completed in time for the 2022 summer season.

It is hoped the scheme will greatly improve the popular walkway, which connects the heart of Southport Town Centre with the Promenade and seafront, ultimately complementing the ongoing work of both the Southport Town Deal and the Southport Townscape Heritage Project.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control said: “Scarisbrick Avenue has seen an increase in footfall since 2020 with the addition of the impressive Red Rum mural, painted by famous local artist Paul Curtis, as part of the local authority’s Sefton’s Borough of Culture celebrations.

“The fantastic work of the Townscape Heritage Project team, along with the brilliant long term vision and successes we’re already seeing from the Southport Town Deal are creating a positive future for the town and these works on Scarisbrick Avenue are a much welcomed addition to those projects.”

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, added: “Scarisbrick Avenue is one of three main routes connecting Lord Street with the Promenade and its popularity over time has lead to some significant wear and tear.

“It has been a long standing ambition to secure funding to make improvements and we are delighted that we are now in a position to do so.

“The Southport Town Deal recognises the importance of high quality public spaces and the connections between the town centre and the seafront areas as major contributors to the future success of the town.

“These improvements to Scarisbrick Avenue were identified as one of the projects the Council was committed to delivering that would complement the proposals in the successful Town Deal bid and the Townscape Heritage Project.

“We are asking stakeholders and residents in the area what they think of an extensive package of environmental and heritage improvements, involving the replacement of worn out paving, better pedestrian crossing facilities and a new eco friendly lighting scheme to support the evening economy.”

A total of £920,000 has been allocated for the project via the Government’s Highways Challenge Fund grant and Sefton’s Growth Programme and is subject to approval of Sefton Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee.

Cllrs told to expect ‘surprising’ results of Southport Cycle Lane consultation

The results of the recent Southport Active Travel Cycle Lane consultation will be presented to the November 9th Overview and Scrutiny committee (O&S), fulfilling the promises Sefton Council has continually made to ward councillors.

This decision preceded a formal request which has been made by five ward councillors to call an Extraordinary General Meeting of the council to discuss the same report.

At a meeting of full council in July, Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, guaranteed that an Overview and Scrutiny committee made up of cross-party councillors will be able to take a detailed look into the results of the much publicised consultation.

Ahead of the meeting Cllr Fairclough warned committee members may be very surprised at the picture painted by the feedback of residents and campaigners.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services said: “As promised we will make the full results of this consultation public and subject it to cross-party scrutiny to ensure complete fairness and transparency.

“Those who take a look at the reports findings will see some unusual outcomes including multiple, and in one case 19, submissions from a single IP address and people responding to every single question with ‘strongly disagree’.

“I can understand there are people who do not agree with our proposals and there has been some high-profile opposition expressed.

“However, I have never known people to be so adamantly against plans to introduce crossing points that would improve road safety for pedestrians.

“My concern is that the genuine views of the people of Southport might have been hijacked in a coordinated response by people who don’t want to see these walking and cycling schemes go ahead and I look forward to hearing the views of the Overview & Scrutiny Panel.”

Common concerns expressed included the loss of street on-street parking for some residents and its possible impact on local businesses, the effect on journey times for Birkdale residents and the people driving to rugby tournaments and school events having to park further away.

Cllr Fairclough added: “As the report says, the Council put a lot of effort into encouraging people to take part in the consultation but it seems to have been mainly people who fit a certain profile who have responded in large numbers so we need to look at how we can try to get broader responses in the future.

“And, given the multiple submissions identified, we are going to need to build in ways of detecting this into future consultations, to ensure the outcomes are truly representative of a community’s views.”

A full report of the consultation’s feedback and comments will be publicly published on November 1st before being presented to an Overview & Scrutiny Committee on November 9th for a comprehensive analysis and consideration.

In order to ensure maximum transparency, Sefton Council’s Overview & Scrutiny committees are responsible for scrutinising a whole range of local authority functions and responsibilities and the impact those works may have on the local community.

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Sefton teams up with partners to provide FREE swimming lessons for disadvantaged children

Sefton Council is helping to provide free swimming lessons for children in care, thanks to generous funding from one of the local authority’s contractors.

CRL Concrete Repairs Ltd and its suppliers, who are working with Sefton Council on the refurbishment of Dunes Splash World, have teamed up to kindly donate funding to the Sefton Active Aquatics team.

This has allowed the service to provide a brand new ‘Access To Swimming’ programme designed to help disadvantaged children and children in care to swim.

Through the funding, Sefton’s Aquatics Team have been able to put together a completely free ten week course of swimming lessons.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “We recognise that throughout the country there are a lot of children who do not have the opportunity or means to take part in any formal swimming lessons.

“That is why we are delighted that, thanks to the generous and kind hearted donation of CRL Concrete Repairs Ltd and partners, we are able to provide a dedicated Access to Swimming scheme to help children in care have the opportunity to learn how to swim, enjoy being in a pool and making many happy memories.

“The opportunity to provide these lessons for disadvantaged children in care who have not had the opportunity to attend anything like this before is invaluable and I would like to say a massive thank you to CRL and their suppliers for their philanthropy.”

Daren King, CRL’S Northern Regional Director, added: “CRL have a longstanding history of working collaboratively with our clients and supply chain to support the communities in which we work. We are very proud to be working alongside Sefton Council to set up the Access to Swimming Programme which will give many disadvantaged children and children in care the opportunity to learn an important life skill and have fun in the process.

We are very thankful to Mapei, AMB Technical Ltd, VI Distribution, Industrial Coating Services, QED Scaffolding and Prema Energy Ltd who have generously supported our programme and made it possible.

We hope all the children enjoy their swimming lessons at this excellent facility.”

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Sefton revamps cycling & green travel infrastructure in Southport

Work has now begun to repair and refurbish cycling and green transport provisions in Southport Town Centre.

Hundreds of thousands of cycle journeys have been made on the town centre cycle scheme, which was introduced in the town as part of Central Government’s mandated Emergency Active Travel Scheme.

Now Sefton Council’s Active Travel team have commissioned contractors to begin works to refurbish road markings, signage and replace vandalised traffic bollards along both Hoghton Street and Queen’s Road.

These works will ultimately improve the facilities available to cyclists and other road users

Refurbishment works include:

  • Amended and retouched road markings
  • Changes to cycle lane width where space permits
  • Enhanced junction marking
  • Installation of permanent separation wands
  • Implementation of additional signage

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “We are all too aware that Sefton, like many other councils, were told by the Government to quickly implement strict active travel schemes.

“Owing to the timescales set to us by Central Government, there was relatively little time to develop the Hoghton Street project fully and this was further compounded by a national shortage of materials available to our contractors.

“Now following a detailed series of independent reviews, we have identified and implemented a series of modifications which we feel are necessary to ensure this scheme is as effective as possible.

“Once these modifications have been implemented, we remain fully committed to reviewing the scheme after six months

“Neither the Department for Transport nor the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority have provided definite criteria on which to judge the successes of such a scheme.

“As such our teams will use detailed and publicly available cycle usage data, along with further survey work, to inform future decisions over whether this scheme becomes permanent, modified further or is ultimately removed.”

For more information about Active Travel schemes and provision across Sefton, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/parking-roads-travel/transport-policy/your-streets-your-say/

 

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