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‘Great’ Southport visited by Great Yarmouth group for tourism tips

A delegation from Great Yarmouth visited Sefton to see at first hand the excellent work taking place in the borough’s tourism sector.

More than 35 people including staff and councillors from Great Yarmouth Borough Council and delegates from the private sector undertook a study visit to Southport.

The main focus was to learn how Sefton works with the private sector, how Southport BID operates, Sefton’s success on putting on major events, destination marketing and how we secure external funding for large investment projects.

During the visit the group had a guided tour of King’s Gardens, Southport Pier and The Atkinson and heard presentations from Sefton’s Tourism team and Southport BID. Cllr Dave Robinson, the Mayor of Sefton, also met the group.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “We were delighted to welcome the delegation from Great Yarmouth to our wonderful borough and the amazing resort of Southport.

“Both Great Yarmouth and Southport have a number of similarities and uses the successful visit to share our expert knowledge, best practice and learning in the Tourism sector.

“We are very proud of our working relationship with many different external partners and we shared this way of working with the delegation during their visit. We really hope the time spent in Southport will be beneficial to all partners involved.”

Karen Youngs, from Greater Yarmouth Tourism & Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA), said: “The trip was organised by the Greater Yarmouth BID with a total of 38 delegates from both the public and private sector of the borough of Great Yarmouth who stayed at the Ramada Plaza.

“All the group paid for the visit out of their own pockets in order to gain an insight on how the resort of Southport manages their BID with the forthcoming 2nd term BID vote in 2019 and the general tourism offer.

“It was agreed that this visit was amongst one of the most informative and interesting study trips with excellent presentations from Sefton Council and the Southport BID.”

Experience Southport’s Winter Wonderland like never before!

It’s time to get your skates on and experience Southport as a winter wonderland this festive season.

The resort’s Town Hall Gardens will be transformed into an open air ice rink surrounded by a host of Christmas chalets as part of a joint festive campaign by Sefton Council and Southport BID. 

Running from December 7 to January 5, the open air wonderland will compliment a series of Christmas themed events and displays put on by local businesses and organisations across the town.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour cabinet member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “We are incredibly excited for the open air ice rink and winter wonderland. 

“Thousands of families visit Southport and Sefton throughout the festive period to experience our fantastic food, drink and shopping offers and we know the wonderland will prove to be a massive hit, bringing more people than ever to the town.

“We’re delighted to be working closely once again with the Southport BID to put on this fabulous event and we continue to do all we can to support and boost tourism in the town.

“Get your skates on and prepare for a host of festive fun!”

Rob Uffendell, Southport BID Chairman added: “Last year’s ice rink was a great success and we are pleased that with Sefton Council’s support we are bringing it back.

“It is going to be an even bigger and better experience and the BID has invested in an exciting Christmas Tree and lights this year that will create a spectacular experience.

“We want to make sure Southport is a great destination for Christmas this year with locals and visitors coming in to skate, eat and shop!”

The winter wonderland launches shortly after Southport’s huge Christmas Switch On, which takes place on Sunday November 18 from 1pm.

For more information about Southport’s festive calendar visit www.visitsouthport.com

Response to anti-gum dropping campaign is simply Gumbelievable!

Businesses, residents and visitors to the borough were given something to chew over at the weekend as Sefton launched its ‘Gumbelievable’ campaign.

Launched on Chapel Street, Southport on Saturday, September 28, the local authority teamed up with the Chewing Gum Action Group to hand out special packs to gum lovers, in a bid to combat the amount of gum which is dropped on the street.

The launch saw hundreds of packs being handed out to residents and tourists along the busy shopping street, as well as A3 chewing gum boards being erected for people to stick their used gum to.

Huge banners warning people not to risk hefty fines have also been placed outside Sefton run leisure centres and beer mats have been handed out to businesses to further reiterate the gumbelievable message.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “It was great to see that we have the support of so many businesses and residents in our campaign.

“Dropping gum, like any form of litter, is a disgusting and unsightly thing to do and you can be fined so we are making sure there is no reason to do it!

“The packs we handed out contain dozens of disposable wrappers which gum lovers can carry around with them, or failing that, we placed ‘gum boards’ along Chapel Street for people to stick their used gum to.

“We are doing all we can to raise awareness of this issue and we continue to spread the message far and wide, nobody can have an excuse to drop gum.”

Further Gumbelievable events will be announced in the coming weeks.

Counterfeit One Direction perfume case ends in successful prosecution

A recent court case involving counterfeit goods seized in Sefton was only ever going to end in one direction, thanks to the dedicated work of the local authority’s Trading Standards team.

Sefton has welcomed the successful prosecution of a Formby man after he plead guilty to the manufacture and possession of counterfeit goods potentially worth around £1million.

In 2016, Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team seized vast quantities of materials and packaging capable of producing approximately 2000 Jo Malone candles and 80,000 bottles for One Direction perfume, from an industrial premises in Formby.

It was thought the goods were destined for car boot sales up and down the country in the lead up to Christmas.

Christopher Costello, aged 48, was arrested in connection with the offences and pleaded guilty to four offences at Sefton Magistrates Court on September 17.

He was sentenced to 9 weeks custody, to be suspended for 12 months, and has been made to carry out 100 hours unpaid work.

He will also have to pay £715 in costs and victim surcharge.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “I am delighted at the outcome of this case and would like to thank our hard working Trading Standards team who have worked tirelessly from start to finish on this investigation.

“Importantly, this not just about inferior quality merchandise but also about public safety and making sure that the products you purchase are safe.

“We continue to warn the public to be wary of any potential counterfeit goods as there have been serious safety concerns with candles and perfume in the past.”

Anyone who suspects the manufacture or sale of counterfeit goods should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

Sefton appoints Agilisys to drive digital transformation

Sefton Council has awarded a five year contract to Agilisys to support their digital transformation

Agilisys, the leading cloud and digital transformation specialist for the public sector, has been selected by Sefton Council to deliver a new managed IT services model, which includes the introduction of an innovative, cloud-based platform that will enable the Council’s employees to work even more efficiently, effectively and collaboratively.

The contract award, which follows a competitive procurement process, will see Agilisys take on the existing ICT service from Arvato, who has provided the service to the Council for the last 10 years. Agilisys will work with the Council to build on the existing solid foundations and take Sefton forward on the next stage of its exciting digital transformation journey.

This new partnership with Agilisys will support the Council’s values and ambitions to get the most from new technology by providing digital tools, which support more flexible and collaborative working.

In addition to the enhanced organisational improvements the technology is seeking to enable, Sefton Council is set to gain additional benefits through the partnership.

This includes support and capacity from Agilisys to help the Council modernise working practices, to better meet the needs of citizens and deliver great customer experiences.

Councillor Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources at Sefton Council said:

“Digital innovation has become very important to our workforce and our residents and we have to keep up with the pace of change if we are to remain relevant to those we’re here to serve.

“We realise that in today’s world, people want to work where they get access to information, such as data. The cloud is absolutely the key to unlocking the staggering volumes of data across the council to better understand and meet the needs of our citizens.

“Building on the great work we’ve done in recent years with Arvato, Agilisys’ cloud enabled digital transformation expertise makes them the right partner to help us harness the benefits of new technologies and take us on the next stage of our transformation journey.”

Andrew Mindenhall, chief executive at Agilisys, added: “We are delighted to be working with Sefton Council to help transform the way services are delivered across the region. For nearly 20 years, Agilisys has been helping public sector organisations to adopt new technologies and we are looking forward to developing a long term partnership with the Council.

“By working closely with the team at Sefton, we will draw on our cloud migration and digital transformation expertise to create a secure, reliable, and flexible modern infrastructure that enables new ways of working to benefit both the council and its citizens.”

The 10 year partnership between Arvato and Sefton Council has been successful in delivering a wide range of service improvements for the citizens of Sefton and comes to its agreed end in September 2018. Agilisys will take over from Arvato in the provision of ICT services from 1 October 2018 for an initial period of five years. Colleagues from Arvato will TUPE across to Agilisys in line with this timeframe.

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