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Statement: Orrell Mount 3G pitch works postponed

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, has today (Friday, November 12th) announced that work to create brand new 3G pitches on Orrell Mount in Bootle will be temporarily paused in order to continue open dialogue with local community groups.

Throughout the planning application process for the hugely beneficial scheme residents, members of the community and a number of sports organisations were consulted on the plans, which received wide reaching support.

Proposals were approved and work was due to be undertaken on site this week. These works however have now been put on hold following a recent public demonstration.

Cllr Maher said: “While we have continued to engage with the community around Orrell Mount, recent demonstrations on site have indicated there is still more dialogue to be had.

“Our initial consultations led Sefton to revamp, tweak and add in certain elements to the scheme in order to best benefit surrounding residents and address concerns raised, which is why we were confident that a schedule of works could begin in earnest.

“It was never our intention to close the park off while these works took place and this drastic decision was only taken at the eleventh hour in order to keep both the public and contractors safe after it became clear demonstrations could lead to a health and safety issue.

“After a significant amount of discussion between Cabinet, ward members and officers, we have unanimously agreed to temporarily halt all works and reopen the park as a sign of good faith, while we seek to continue further constructive dialogue and consultation with residents.

“We all want to find a solution which allows this hugely beneficial scheme to become a reality and we will now await the findings of this additional consultation before any further potential progression is made.”

Orrell Mount Playing Fields will now fully reopen, however a small number of playground improvement and maintenance works will still be taking place within the grounds.

 

Orrell Mount fields temporarily closed as fantastic 3G pitch works get underway

Earlier this year Sefton Council announced that it had been successful in a bid for £780,000 funding from the Football Foundation to create brand new and much needed all weather 3G pitches at Orrell Mount.

Alongside around £350,000 direct investment from the Council, this welcome additional funding allows the Council to undertake work to replace the existing grass pitch and to install new changing facilities on the site – ultimately benefitting local people all year round.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “We are aware of misinformation which has been shared online about the scheme and we have reiterated that key facilities will remain and even be improved, including dog walking facilities and a fully refurbished children’s playground.”

Local Sefton former professional footballer Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation will be running the new facility, to maximise its potential and nurture a new generation of future sporting stars

They will provide a managed programme which supports partner club growth and offers a range of recreational football activities to people of all ages, backgrounds, genders and abilities to deliver the FA strategic outcomes.

Full backing has been given to the scheme by the Liverpool County FA, local grassroots football teams such as Northfield Juniors and many members of the community.

Tony Smith, Football Development Manager at the Liverpool County FA, added: “There is a huge shortfall of match play on 3G pitches and having this facility in the heart of the community will not only develop better grassroots players but also develop better social outcomes to combat obesity, improve health and wellbeing, while also tackling anti-social behaviour.”

Rachel Stevenson, Welfare Officer for Bootle’s Northfield Junior’s Football Club, said the team can’t wait to play on the pitch.

She said: “Historically in the winter months we have found real difficulties and challenges to get our kids access to proper training facilities.

“This will be our first opportunity to keep players within the local community and allow them to train closer to their homes.

“We are a registered charity so this scheme will also allow us to keep our costs down and allow us to pass this back on to our members so our football remains completely inclusive to everyone in the local community.”

A Sefton Council spokesperson reiterated these comments, adding: “Any surplus made from operating the facility will be put back in to the community.

“Throughout this process to provide significantly improved health and wellbeing provisions for football players of all abilities and ages, Sefton Council has endeavoured to work closely with members of the local community and has acted on some of the concerns expressed.”

Despite these promises, a pocket of public opposition to the plans has remained and owing to the ongoing actions of these demonstrators, Sefton Council have reluctantly taken the decision to temporarily close Orrell Mount park to the public.

A council spokesperson confirmed: “This decision has not been taken lightly, however we need to ensure the ongoing safety of both demonstrators and our contractors.

“This closure will remain in place until works to install a 3G pitch, lighting and community safety provisions have been completed.”

Public Remembrance Services return to Sefton in 2021

Sefton will once again fall silent to remember those who died in conflict, with a number of Remembrance Day services taking place across the borough next month.

The 2021 Remembrance Day events, held on Sunday November 14, will mark a return to full public services following restrictions that were placed gatherings in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mayor of Sefton, Councillors and other Sefton Council representatives will join veterans, Armed Forces personnel, community leaders and members of the community in paying their respects

Residents are fully encouraged to attend any of the eleven services which will be held around the borough from 10:30am onwards, however all attendees are asked to observe social distancing where possible and be respectful of others during the service.

Anyone displaying signs and symptoms of COVID-19 are kindly asked to take a lateral flow test to ensure they are negative before attending.

The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Clare Carragher, will attend a morning service at the War Memorial in King’s Garden, Bootle from 10.30am before joining members of the community in Formby for a special afternoon service at Holy Trinity Church, Rosemary Lane from 2.45pm.

Other services are to be held in Aintree, Ainsdale, Crosby, Hightown, Ince Blundell, Litherland, Maghull, Southport and Waterloo.

As with previous years members of the public are asked to arrive at a service in plenty of time. This is due to the high volume of residents expected to turn out to pay their respects.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Clare Carragher, said: “This year carries an extra special significance as it is is the first time we are all able to join together publicly once more to pay our respects.

“Remembrance Day Services are a time when we reflect and give thanks to all those brave souls past and present who have given their lives for our freedoms, while honouring serving members of the Armed Forces in recognition of their continued selflessness.

“We are grateful of the widespread support our virtual services received in 2020 and we look forward to a return to normal Remembrance Day events but I would like to remind everyone that we need to ensure we all keep ourselves and each other safe.

“Please be respectful of the views of others, take care to socially distance where possible and if you are displaying symptoms of potential COVID-19, please take a lateral flow test to ensure you are negative.”

Services

Aintree: Sefton Parish Church, Sefton Village, L29 (10.30am)
Ainsdale: Village Green War Memorial (10:30am)
Bootle: King’s Garden’s War Memorial, Stanley Road (10.25am)
Crosby: Alexandra Park War Memorial Garden, Coronation Road (10:45am)
Formby: Holy Trinity Church, Rosemary Lane (2.50pm)
Hightown: St Stephen’s Road War Memorial (10:35am)
Ince Blundell: Lady Green Lane War Memorial (12:05pm)
Litherland: Sefton Road War Memorial (10:30am)
Maghull: St Andrew’s Church, Damfield Lane (9.50am)
Southport: Lord Street War Memorial (10:25am)
Waterloo: Five Lamps War Memorial, Gt George’s Road (10:30am)

 

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.

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