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Nominations now open for the best building designs & architecture in Sefton

Outstanding architecture and design across Sefton will be celebrated at a glittering awards ceremony later this year.

Property owners, agents, architects and developers to nominate their favourite scheme from the last decade for Sefton Council’s 2023 Sefton Design Awards.

The awards have been created by the Council to celebrate outstanding architecture, urban planning, and building projects across the Borough over the past 10 years.

Scheduled for October, the awards ceremony,  at a venue in Southport.

Nominations are being welcomed in 11 categories. They are:


•            Best heritage scheme

•            Best small housing scheme (under 10 houses)

•            Best individual new house

•            Best large housing scheme (10 houses or over)

•            Best conversion scheme (any use)

•            Best commercial scheme

•            Best home extension

•            Best affordable housing scheme

•            Best public building

•            Best public art or public realm scheme

•            Best sustainable/climate change resistant scheme


Derek McKenzie, Sefton Council’s Chief Planning Officer, said: “The awards are an excellent opportunity for architects, designers, and builders to showcase their work and gain recognition for their achievements.

“As a local authority that champions good design, we have created the Design Awards to provide a platform for celebrating the exceptional work of architects,  designers and visionaries who have contributed to the Borough’s immensely varied built environment.

“This inaugural event will recognise the high standards of design in Sefton and inspire others to reach those same high standards.” said.

Finalists will be short-listed in August  and winners will be announced at a ceremony in October, . The event will be attended by key figures from the design and construction industry.

The closing date for nominations is Wednesday 31st May.

Anyone wanting to find out more or nominate a scheme should visit 


Today is LAST CHANCE to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate

Just a few hours left for people to apply for the new, free Voter Authority Certificate by 5pm today (Tuesday 25th April).

National legislation means that from Thursday 4th May, anyone who wanting to vote in person at a polling station is legally required to bring with them valid Photo ID.

Those who do not have one of the documents specified, which include passports, driving licences and other Blue Badges and national concessionary travel passes, need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, which they can use when they cast their vote.

However, in Sefton, just 400 people have applied for a Voter Authority Certificate so far, which is just 0.2% of the Borough’s potential voters. Nationally just over 60,300 people had applied for a Certificate up to a few days ago.

Applications for a free Voter Authority Certificate must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 25th April, which is just a week away.

Dwayne Johnson, Sefton Council’s Chief Executive and Returning Officer for the 2023 elections said: “There are alternatives for those who don’t have or don’t want to use Photo ID but still want to vote.”

“More than 43,000 people will be casting their vote by post this year, while nearly 200 voters have nominated a friend or family member to vote on their behalf – known as a proxy voter.

“But the changes made by the Government to the UK electoral system through The Elections Act means that anyone who wants to vote at a polling station on Thursday 4th May is going to have to show Photo ID whether that is with an existing document or one of the new, free Voter Authority Certificates.

“Applying is easy and all you need is a recent digital unfiltered photo of yourself and your National Insurance number. Just go to and follow the link from there to apply.”


It is thought that as many as many as one million eligible UK voters do not currently have accepted forms of photo ID.

Mr Johnson added: “Polling station staff will have no choice but to ask voters to return with valid ID if they initially show up without.

“This could pose a considerable inconvenience to those wanting to have their democratic say and we are doing our best to make sure this kind of situation is avoidable.”

“The deadline to apply for a VAC is 5pm on Tuesday April 25th which is just one week away so I would urge people to check at to see if they have one of the required ID documents.


“And if they don’t, my advice is to get their Voter Authority Certificate application in as soon as possible.”

To find out more about the forthcoming local elections people should visit

The deadline for registering to vote was 11:59pm on Monday 17th April and the cut off for registering for a postal vote is 5pm today (Tuesday 18th April). The deadline to apply for a proxy vote for the May 2023 elections is 5pm on Tuesday 25th April.

Have your say on Sefton’s brand new Physical Activity Strategy

Residents across Sefton are being asked to share their physical activity lifestyle habits as part of a new consultation.

As part of a project to create its Physical Activity Strategy, Sefton Council’s is asking people to reveal, anonymously, the physical activity they take part in.

The Council is keen to know the current levels of physical activity in Sefton’s. It also wants to identify any barriers that may be preventing people from taking part in activities that help their physical and mental wellbeing.

Results from the consultation, which runs until Friday 30th June, will be used to develop a special new Physical Activity Strategy designed to better understand physical activity habits and increase participation for those who need it most.

Questions in the consultation are varied and ask people about their lifestyles, how major life changes have affected their levels physical activity and more.

Simon Burnett, Sefton Council’s Assistant Director for People, said:  “We know that good physical activity is vitally important for our health and wellbeing, and we want to ensure that our residents have access to the best possible services and programs to support them.

“This consultation is an important step in ensuring that we are meeting the physical health needs of our residents, as well as finding out what may be discouraging people from using the services and facilities that we do offer.”

“We are committed to providing a wide range of services that best support our communities, ultimately creating a positive environment that promotes healthy and active lifestyles. 

“By gathering information through this consultation, the council can better understand the needs and behaviours of our communities.

“The data will then help us to tailor our physical activity services to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.”

Residents across Sefton are being encouraged to take part in the consultation, which is open until Friday 30th June.

To complete the survey please visit

Sefton Council announces Philip Porter as new Chief Executive

Sefton Council has tonight (20th April 2023) announced Philip Porter as its new Chief Executive.


Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Maher, as Chair of the Employment Procedure Committee provided Sefton’s Councillors with a briefing and recommendation that the Council approve the appointment of Philip Porter as Chief Executive.

Philip is currently Corporate Director of Adult Social Care and Health for Brent Council. He has worked for Brent Council since 2011 and has carried out several senior management roles.  Philip will be relocating to take the helm at Sefton once the current Chief Executive, Dwayne Johnson, retires over the summer, after more than 4 decades in local government.

Many excellent applications

Leader of Sefton Council and Chair of the Employment Procedure Committee, Cllr Ian Maher, said: “We received many excellent applications, and the Employment Procedure Committee (EPC) were very impressed with the calibre of the shortlisted candidates.  This certainly wasn’t an easy decision.

“Philip impressed the panel with his many and varied skills, and I look forward to working with him once he has taken up his new post.”


Speaking about the appointment of Mr. Porter, Dwayne Johnson said: “I am delighted to be handing over the reins to Philip.

“I have no doubt he will do a fantastic job at Sefton and joins at an exciting time, given the scale of the regeneration programmes starting shortly, and I’m sure he will build on the progress we have been making over the last few years.”

Philip Porter brings with him extensive experience of local government, having worked for 9 years in Kent, 2 years as a consultant across England and Scotland, and 12 years in Brent. 

Philip has led a range of services in Brent including Adult Social Care, Housing (including housing management, housing supply, housing needs and private housing services), Public Health, Leisure and Culture building strong relationships with partners in the private, public and voluntary and community sectors across all of these areas.

Outside of work Philip spends most of his free time with his young family, but he is also a keen cyclist, cross country runner (with his dog) and swimmer, and is really looking forward to open water swimming at the Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre and along the Sefton coast when he can. 


Speaking about his appointment, Philip Porter said: “I am very excited, and feel enormously privileged, to have been offered this opportunity.  I have a connection to the local area; my sister and her family moved to Crosby in 2013, and so I have been visiting the borough for the last 10 years and enjoying what Sefton has to offer.  I am looking forward to seeing much more in the coming years.  

“I have been really impressed by the Council’s commitment to improve core services now, particularly Children’s Services, as well as its ambition for the future, from Bootle to Southport.  I am excited to meet and work closely with new colleagues, Councillors, partners, and residents because I am passionate about the difference we can make, working together, in Sefton.”






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The Atkinson to light up in Union Flag colours to celebrate King’s Coronation

Communities across Sefton will be flying the flag and raising a tea cup or glass for the King’s Coronation next month, with more than 40 community-led street parties around the Borough.

Union flags will also fly from Southport, Waterloo and Bootle Town Halls while The Atkinson, Southport will be illuminated in the iconic red, white and blue colours of the UK.

Forty-eight of Sefton’s residential streets will be closed off as neighbourhoods come together in a show of community spirit to mark the Coronation of King Charles III.

From Southport to Seaforth and Blowick to Bootle, streets will be decorated in patriotic colours over the Bank Holiday weekend, which takes place from Saturday 6th to Monday 8th May.

Many other informal gatherings are also being planned in cul-de-sacs, driveways and gardens.

Sefton Council’s Highways team have been working hard to process and approve the 48 street closures. This involves a detailed traffic assessment to ensure any disruptions to the network are kept to a minimum.

Andrea Watts, Sefton Council’s Executive Director for People, said: “The Bank Holiday provides a fantastic opportunity for our wonderful and caring communities to come together and celebrate a once in-a-lifetime occasion.

“I know that many of our street parties will also be about coming together to celebrate Sefton’s wonderful community spirit and the kindhearted nature of our neighbours, as well as marking the King’s Coronation.

“I hope everyone enjoys themselves celebrate while staying safe and respecting the beautiful Borough that we call home.”

Peter Moore, Sefton Council’s Head of Highways and Public Protection, said: “I am very proud of our hard-working Highways Team who have processed and detailed all of these applications so that street parties can take place safely while at the same time minimising the impact any closures may have on traffic.

“Organisers have been given lots of advice and toolkits on how to host a successful street party and we cannot wait to see lots of pictures of people enjoying themselves.

“All I would ask is anyone attending a street party makes sure they look after the area where they live and clean up any litter that may get left behind.”

The deadline to apply for a Coronation street party has now passed.

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