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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.”

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.

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.”

/Ends

Speak to your doctor for a life changing Active Lifestyle referral

Sefton’s Active Lifestyles Team are encouraging people across the borough who may benefit from a series of health and wellbeing programmes to access their services.

The Active Lifestyles Programme, delivered by Active Sefton, run a series of services designed to help residents prevent falls, lose weight, improve their nutrition and physical activity levels and manage health conditions by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Residents across Sefton who think they would see an improvement in their overall health and wellbeing by joining the Active Lifestyles Programme are being asked to access the services either through registering themselves or arranging a referral through their GP Surgery.

There are four main services, all led by qualified professionals in safe and secure environments.

The Exercise Referral Programme – aimed at people aged 16 and above and designed for people who may be overweight or obese or have health conditions that would improve by taking part in a healthy lifestyle. It includes a 12-week subsidised, supported programme of physical activity, ranging from gym-based sessions, swimming, exercise classes, walking and cycling groups, through to community-based activities, as well as a full health screening before, during and after, including blood pressure, weight and waist circumference checks.

Weigh Forward Weight Management Programme – Our brand-new Weigh Forward programme has been specially designed to reduce the confusion surrounding nutrition and is available to anybody who would like to improve their weight. Suitable for anybody over the age of 16 years who may be overweight or obese, the free 6-week programme is available through friendly group or 1-1 sessions and can be accessed both virtually and face to face.

MOVE IT – This free healthy lifestyle programme is for children who are above ideal weight and their families. MOVE IT is a fun way to learn about leading a healthy lifestyle and eating the right foods to help maintain a healthy weight. Available for children aged 5-16 and their families/guardians, we can work together to learn about healthy weight maintenance in a fun and exciting way over a 6-week period.

Active Ageing – This falls prevention programme is available for residents aged 60 and over who are at risk of a fall or who have suffered a fall in the last 12 months. The free programme offers strength and balance exercises to help reduce the likelihood of a fall, as well as helping minimise any impact of injury in the event of a fall.
The overall aim is to provide the tools to help encourage continued daily activities and maintain independence. The service also looks to improve confidence, builds friendships, improves mental wellbeing, encourages good nutrition, alongside making residents aware of lots of services available in the community to further support.

NHS Health Checks – If you’re aged between 40 and 74, you may be eligible for a FREE NHS Health Check that can help you live a longer and healthier life by picking up early on signs of conditions that can then be prevented such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease, with discussion and signposting on to services that can help improve health and wellbeing.

For more information or to find out if you may be eligible to access services without a GP referral, please contact Active Lifestyles on Active.lifestyles@sefton.gov.uk or call 0151 934 2352.

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