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Friends Of… groups help make borough sparkle during Year Of Friendship

Friends Of groups have united in a shared love of making sure Sefton stays clean, green and beautiful.

Throughout the Year Of Friendship, Sefton Council and its partners are celebrating groups, individuals and organisations who make a difference and help foster friendship throughout the borough.

For February, Sefton Council has been celebrating the continued hard work of the many ‘Friends Of…’ groups who turn out week in, week out in parks, greenspaces and the 22 miles of Sefton’s coastline to remove litter and make the environment a better place.

The 22 miles spanning between Southport and Seaforth are some of the most iconic, idyllic and important stretches of greenspace and coastline in the UK and are home to a menagerie of fauna and flora.

But it takes a lot of work to make our coastline the sandy success that it is!

The Green Sefton coast and countryside division are supported by hundreds of volunteers, who come under the umbrella group, the ‘Friends of Sefton Coast.’

Between them they give up just a small portion of their time throughout the year to keep our coastline beautiful.

Last year alone an incredible 2,300 people volunteered 5,200 hours of their time over 76 clean-up events that saw thousands of bags of rubbish cleared from our coastline and this continues well into our Year Of Friendship campaign.

Inland too volunteer groups remain hard at work helping perfect our parks and greenspaces such as the Friends of Derby Park, while volunteer gardeners like the Lord Street Volunteers give up their time to help  make sure floral planters are constantly blooming.

There’s always plenty to get your teeth into on both our coastline and in our parks and greenspaces and Green Sefton are always looking for more people to get involved.

To register your interest in forming or joining a Sefton ‘Friends Of…’ group click here.

To find out more about the Year Of Friendship visit www.sefton.gov.uk/friendship.

Next of kin appeal: David Moreland

Police are appealing for help in locating the next of kin of a 69 year-old man who died in Bootle.

David Moreland passed away at his home address on Fernhill Road in Bootle on Monday 25th February.

There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

It is believed Mr Moreland may have relatives living locally and also family in New Zealand.

Anyone with information is asked to email sefton.coroners.office@Merseyside.pnn.police.uk

Sefton launches major bid for Future High Street funding

Sefton Council is bidding for a slice of the £675m Future High Street Fund with bids planned for both Southport and Crosby.

The Future High Street Fund was announced in last November’s budget and aims to support and fund local areas’ plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future.

In this first round, Sefton will include bids for both Crosby village and Southport town centre and builds upon the Council’s ambitions for its town centres encapsulated within its agreed regeneration frameworks and 2030 Vision.

The Future High Street Fund aims to help Councils, their communities and the private sector work in partnership to develop and sustain town centres to enhance their vitality and viability.  The fund also includes the opportunity to bid for part of a £55m Heritage High Street Fund.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Skills and Regeneration, said: “Building on Sefton’s ambitions for its town centres, we are aiming to submit two bids to the Future High Street Fund for both Southport town centre and Crosby Village to help sustain them for the future. The bids will also support Sefton’s and the City Region’s ambitions for future growth.

“For Southport this will build upon Sefton’s success in securing around £10m of Heritage Lottery and Coastal Communities Funding for King’s Gardens, Southport Pier and the recently announced Townscape Heritage Scheme.

“For Crosby this will build on the significant private sector funding by St Modwen into the village centre. If successful, Sefton Council will continue to work in an inclusive way with private sector and community sector partners.”

Formal stage 1 bids for both projects will be made in the coming months with further details issued in due course.

Sefton awarded £500k to help bolster prevention of youth crime

Sefton Council has been awarded half a million pounds for its early intervention programme and ongoing work to prevent youth crime in the borough.

The £500,000 from the government’s Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund with help the local authority to continue in-depth work with parents, carers and professionals around the dangers of children being exposed to gang culture.

The Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund enables keyworkers, community groups, teachers and other professionals working with children and young people at risk, to intervene early on and help stop them from becoming drawn into gang crime, serious violence and the youth justice system.

Sefton Council will now use the £500,000 funding to continue with a range of initiatives, which will see teams work closely with young children who may be directly impacted by crime from an early age.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve been given this grant. This much-needed vital funding will allow us to continue to help families in need to resolve problems that affect them and their community.

“We recognise that investing in people at an early stage, before problems become too serious, will help our families across the borough so they can make positive changes to their lives that will keep them safe and healthy and away from youth or gang crime. This funding will help us support initiatives that focus on early intervention and scaling up whole family working before problems escalate into something much more serious that could have consequences later in life.”

“However, the funding is only short-term and doesn’t substitute for a much needed sustainable approach to local government funding to tackle issues like this in our community.”

The grant is the latest recognition for Sefton Council’s Localities team after their partnership work around gang awareness was praised as an example of best practice by the government’s Victim’s Commissioner, Baroness Newlove.

For more information about Sefton Council’s Localities team and their work around early intervention and prevention, where they offer support at Family Wellbeing Centres, Libraries, Leisure Centres or community bases, please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/localities

Merseyside Police General Enquiry Office opening hours

Merseyside Police is currently looking at the general enquiry office (GEO) service the force provides to its local communities and how to provide the best service possible based on community needs, customer and resource demands and the changing use of technology.

An extensive review of the current GEO service found that the number of people visiting GEOs across Merseyside has reduced drastically. On average, just 1.2 customers per hour attend GEOs in the force.

Some have higher visitor numbers than others and some have very low footfall.

Sefton’s opening hours are currently unaffected by the changes.

Southport police station will be open between 8am and 10pm Monday to Saturday and 8am-5pm on Sundays.

Marsh Lane police station will be open Monday-Saturday between 8am and 10pm and closed on a Sunday.

The review found that because of staff shortages, frontline officers have often had to provide cover at the enquiry counters, preventing them from responding to emergency incidents.

As a result of the review a decision has been made to change some GEO opening times to prevent the force from having to backfill the general enquiry service with police officers who should be out on the streets, responding to emergency incidents and protecting our communities.

The force is currently looking to employ additional temporary staff to provide the GEO service
The force is currently looking to employ additional temporary staff to change the GEO opening hours (current opening hours can be found in Editors Notes below).

The public will also have access to the Community Police Stations, which provide an additional service in our local communities.

Merseyside police will communicate other updated hours when we have recruited the additional staff required to provide a further amended service across the force.

Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, said: “It’s really important to us to get the right offer for our communities and that needs to balance their needs with the demand we see for services, so we can put our resources in the right places. Year on year we have seen attendance at our general enquiry offices falling and often, because of staff shortages, frontline officers have had to provide cover at the enquiry offices, when they should have been out on the streets.

“Quite often there is a misconception when a general enquiry office is closed and people think the station is no longer operational. This is not the case.”

“In the last decade there have been many changes in technology resulting in significant changes to the way people are contacting the police.

“Now with the advent of social media, and the internet, more and more people are using social media as a contact mechanism. At the beginning of 2018 we introduced a dedicated social media desk, allowing the public the ability to contact us online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to report non-emergency incidents online, or to ask for advice. In the last 14 months the desk has dealt with an average of 2500 contacts per month and demand has increased by 170 per cent.

“We do appreciate though that not everyone will want to talk to us on social media, so we are looking at the different ways that our communities contact us in their totality to ensure that we come up with a sustainable solution to enable the public to contact us when they need us. We will listen to feedback from our communities before we make future decisions.

“Any decisions we make will not be made lightly, but it must be remembered that since 2010 the force has lost £103m and more than 1,100 officers and staff due to funding cuts. We have already made a lot of hard decisions, but the impact of these cuts is continuing and the decisions we are having to make are getting harder. But I can assure the public of St Helens and Merseyside that our duty to protect the public remains our primary aim and we will continue to deliver the best possible service we physically can with the budget and the resources we have.”

Alternative ways to contact Merseyside Police include the force website, or @MerPolCC. Alternatively, you can call 101 for non-emergency calls, or 999 in an emergency.

 

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