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Sefton recognises ‘Amazing community response’ to Coronavirus

In a week where over 1000 people signed up to volunteer to help Sefton’s response to Covid-19, that community spirit led to a special letter of thanks from Sefton Council and Sefton CVS to all staff and volunteers in the borough’s VCF (voluntary, community and faith) sector.

Written by Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, Cllr Trish Hardy, the letter, outlines the role of the Image of Councillor Trisha HardyCommunity Response Cell, bringing together partners including Sefton Council, Merseyside Police and Sefton’s Council Voluntary Services, along with Sefton’s two clinical commissioning groups and other partners in responding to the changing needs of the borough and our residents in the coming weeks and months of the crisis.

The letter shared useful information on the national helpline set up for those shielding, and the Council’s support for those registered as shielding, such as making regular phone calls to those shielding to find out what needs they have in relation to medicines, food supplies and more.

Last but not least, Cllr Hardy expressed gratitude for all those who had volunteered their support at an extremely difficult time, whether through established volunteering channels or helping their communities in lots of different ways. From supporting foodbanks, to helping to tackle social isolation at a very difficult time.

 

Tanya Wilcock, Head of Communities at Sefton Council said:

“The picture changes daily for our residents and communities as Coronavirus and its impacts are felt. It is great to pause for a brief moment to recognise the way our communities have come together to help one another, while also bringing our partners in the VCF sector up to date with Sefton’s response. This letter will do this, while helping to maintain morale at such an unprecedented time for us all.”

 

Angela White OBE, Chief Executive at Sefton CVS said:

“Sefton has a unique community spirit, and Sefton CVS has been overwhelmed with the number of Sefton residents that have come forward to volunteer, as well as our local voluntary, community and faith sector organisations who are continuing providing valuable support to our communities. Following this letter from Cllr Hardy, I look forward to continuing our partnership work in supporting our most vulnerable residents at this very difficult time.”

 

Fiona Taylor, Chief Officer for NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport and Formby CCGs, said:

“Our GP practices and other local health services are working tirelessly together with all our partners involved in our Sefton response to Coronavirus, to ensure that our most vulnerable residents have the care, medicines and food supplies they need during this pandemic. Despite this being a worrying and challenging time for many, I have been heartened by the speed with which organisations and individuals have come forward and together are providing essential support and care for those residents who need it most. I would like to pay tribute to everyone involved in this effort.”

To find out more about Sefton’s volunteering response, what you can do to help and to read Cllr Hardy’s letter in full, visit the dedicated webpage on the Sefton Council website

Sefton’s Budget and Council Tax set for 2020/21

Council Tax for services provided by Sefton Council will increase to fund the unprecedented demand on Children’s Social Care and to be able to continue to provide the everyday services residents rely on.Picture to explain where your council tax is spent

At Full Council yesterday evening (February 27), Councillors approved the rise for 2020/21 for the local authority’s services.

It means that for the provision of council services, it will cost the majority of householders an extra £1.07 or less
per week (figures based on a B and C property).

Read More

Love of film shines through as community cinema receives BAFTA

A cinema that has shaped the love of the movies for local film goers for decades, was recently recognised by BAFTA for its role using the silver screen to bring communities together.Plaza Community Cinema in Waterloo recently won a BAFTA

Janet and Martin Fol, who operate the Plaza Community Cinema, collected the second ever For the Love of Film award for their work at the community owned venue – the award recognises those who go above and beyond for the love of cinema.

At a time when a family trip to the flicks is becoming increasingly expensive, the Plaza gives cinema goers the chance to see the latest blockbusters, classic films and special screenings in a way that’s kind on your pocket. Where else can an adult and child enjoy the latest big movie for under £9?

With the focus very much on community, the team at Plaza, many of whom are volunteers, offer special screenings for autism, dementia and disabled audiences.

The beloved local venue offers an excellent training resource young people age 13-19, with local schools and volunteer groups benefiting from a series of educational programmes.

Its grand opening halted by the outbreak of World War 2 in 1939, the Plaza was nearly lost to developers in the 1990s, it was rescued following a petition organised by the local community and is now a thriving must-do for local film lovers and visitors alike.

When you next visit the Plaza, you will be greeted by the warm, friendly staff, many of whom are volunteers, but you will also be walking into a living piece of local history recognised by BAFTA no less.

To check out latest screenings and prices, visit the Plaza website

 

Strengthening families and protecting children in Sefton

Sefton Council is rolling out pioneering new methods to support families of vulnerable children following a successful bid for Government funding.

Sefton is one of 15 local authorities to be awarded a share of £84m of new Department for Education innovation funding, which will help to reduce the number of children entering care by improving family stability.

Adopting the Family Valued model used so successfully by Leeds Council, Sefton and its partners  will work with families to encourage long term changes to keep children safe.

The new project will see families receive person centred care and support at every step as strong relationships are fostered between workers and families.

These close relationships will mean that issues such as addiction, domestic violence and mental health can be tackled as they arise, creating a more stable environment for children.

 Cllr. John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said:

“The funding from the DfE will be a catalyst for our family centred approach to supporting children at risk – adopting the Family Valued model represents an opportunity to make a lasting difference to those children by supporting their family units.”

Find out more about Strengthening Families and its projects across the UK at the Government website

Sefton Council proposes Council Tax changes for empty and uninhabitable homes

Sefton Council is proposing changes to Council Tax discount on empty and uninhabitable properties, with home owners in the borough currently receiving the most generous discounts in the Liverpool City Region.

The Council recently launched an online consultation to garner the views of local residents on the proposed changes, which could see properties vacant for less than one month have their discount reduced from 100% to 50%, while those houses that are uninhabitable will be liable for the full Council Tax amount.

Cllr. Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said:

“In Sefton we have nearly 180 homes that are unfit to occupy, and a further 435 homes that are empty – all of these properties receive Council Tax discounts that are generous when compared with our Liverpool City Region neighbours.

“By reducing the relief that owners of these properties receive, we will incentivise them to ensure they are occupied or in the case of those not fit for purpose, take the necessary steps to improve them and make them suitable for human habitation.

“At a time when we are creating new homes to support families now and as demand increases, encouraging landlords to improve the quality and availability of existing priorities is a big priority for the council.”

This quick five minute survey is open until November 1. Take part by clicking the Your Sefton Your Say website

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