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Sefton’s chip shops batter the competition ahead of National Fish & Chips Day

Fish and Chip shops across Sefton repeatedly batter the competition according to the local authority’s public protection team.

To mark National Fish & Chips Day on Friday, June 7, Sefton Council is celebrating the bream of the crop by highlighting the dozens of five star takeaways which regularly delight hungry residents throughout Sefton.

More than fifty takeaways and restaurants specialising in the British delicacy have been handed a much coveted five star food hygiene rating by the local authority’s Public Protection food safety specialists. 

 

Restaurant assessment takes account a number of factors, including:

  • The structure and cleanliness of the premises
  • Hygiene practices and protocols
  • Confidence in management and systems in place

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “When the chips are down, you can really rely on our dedicated and devoted Public Protection team to tell you were the very best takeaways are.

“In fact more than 70% of all food businesses in Sefton are in the top hygiene category and achieving this rating demonstrates how seriously businesses consider food safety which, in turn, protects their customers.

“Businesses are inspected regularly to ensure that food is being manufactured, prepared and handled in a hygienic and safe manner.

“We have more than fifty 5 star fish & chip shops across Sefton who all serve up a delicious portion of Britain’s favourite comfort food.

“So I encourage you all on this National Fish & Chips Day 2019 to declare Friday night as chippy tea night and enjoy what our wonderful restaurants have to offer.”

For more details about how food hygiene ratings are determined, or to find out the rating of your local takeaway, visit www.food.gov.uk.

Local businesses vote ‘yes’ to renew Southport BID for five years

Southport BID has announced that the investment it brings to Southport and the work that it does in the town will continue for another 5 years. This news comes as a result of local businesses voting ‘yes’ for the continuation of Southport BID (Business Improvement District) for 2019-2024.

Businesses have been voting over the last month, having responded to the results already achieved by the BID and its plans for the future. These include the promotion of Southport, attracting external investment, developing and supporting initiatives to enhance the town, creating events, and championing the issues important to the town’s businesses.

58% of businesses voted in favour of renewing the BID. All businesses in Southport within the BID area and with a rateable value of over £7,000 were entitled to vote in a process managed by the Electoral Reform Service. The ‘yes’ vote means that the levy paid by businesses will see over £2 million invested directly into the town over the next 5 years.

Hugh Evans, CEO of Southport BID, says, “We are delighted that businesses have recognised the difference that having a BID is making in Southport and want our contribution to continue. This will ensure an important economic boost for Southport, which we want to thank the business community for making possible. In developing our plans we consulted with local businesses and will continue to do so as we begin to put these into place and look forward to working them and leading partners in the region in the coming months to do our very best for Southport.”

Robert Uffendell, chair of Southport BID, says, “Southport BID is voice for the business community with a focus upon improving the town for the benefit of those living and working in Southport or visiting the town. The yes vote is wonderful news and we thank all those who are helping and supporting us to move forward with our vision for a stronger, more successful Southport.”

For further information on Southport BID and its plans visit www.SouthportBID.com or contact the Southport BID office on 01704 538 382.

Thousands enjoy delights of 2019 Southport Food & Drink Festival

Thousands of food and drink lovers descended on Southport last weekend to sample the very best that the North West has to offer.

Occasional rain showers did not deter the crowds at Victoria Park between Friday May 31 and Saturday June 2 with hundreds of stalls offering a range of tasty delights and delectable treats to buy.

New additions to the festival this year included Oktoberfest tent, live DJs, added children’s entertainment and a reptile park.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “The Southport Food & Drink Festival is a fantastic annual event which benefits the whole town and the wider borough.

“Over the years the festival has evolved into an incredibly huge and diverse event and is now one of, if not the, biggest food festivals in the North West.

“Hundreds of our amazing local traders in Southport are joined each year by some of the finest food and drink producers from across the region in the fantastic setting of Victoria Park. It is a testament to the festival’s incredible popularity that so many people turned out despite the occasional rain shower! With so many people attending the event, the whole of the resort receives a real boost with added footfall right across the town.

“The Food & Drink festival kick starts what is an exciting programme of events for Southport over the coming months with the Air Show and the British Musical Fireworks Championships in September. We look forward to welcoming thousands more visitors for each of these events.”

Sefton welcomes over 8.7 million visitors a year contributing over £518 million to the local economy.

For more information about upcoming events in Southport please visit www.visitsouthport.com.

Sefton leads the way in protecting Heritage At Risk sites

Sefton Council is leading the way in protecting the borough’s most culturally and historically important sites for generations to come.

Working closely with English Heritage and other partners, the local authority has created a proactive and contemporary approach to taking care of Sefton’s Heritage At Risk sites.

This approach led to the creation of a dedicated Sefton Heritage At Risk Officer and, although originally planned as only a temporary position, approval has now been received to make it a permanent fixture of the local authority.

Stuart Barnes, Sefton Council’s Head of Economic Growth and Housing, oversaw the creation of the role and outlined the authority’s ambitions to better manage the borough’s incredible heritage sites.

Stuart said: “We really stepped outside the ‘planning box’ in our bid to protect our Heritage At Risk sites.

“Firstly we had to address what could be done to keep our assets from the ‘At Risk’ register. What were the root causes and could potential problems be headed off before sites became at risk?

“We know heritage assets are important to our communities, providing a historical context to neighbourhoods and townscapes.

“But due to increasing pressures on resources it was necessary to look at different ways of tackling risk, which is why we created the Heritage At Risk officer’s position.

“The wide scope of the role allows us to focus on innovative partnership work, improved community understanding and exploring possible future savings and funding streams.

“Our work has been so beneficial that Southport, one of our key heritage sites, was chosen as a pilot project for Historic England’s national ‘Heritage Action Zone’ scheme.

“This led to a number of fantastic initiatives including the Southport Development Framework, the Lord Street Verandah Project and community led Heritage Trails.”

“A number of key buildings and spaces within Sefton – listed buildings and other buildings in conservation areas – have been targeted for intervention, investment and re-use.

“This is a complex, large scale and long term project, particularly so with the resources at our disposal, but nevertheless is a key priority for Sefton Council”.

Daniel Longman, Sefton’s dedicated Heritage At Risk Officer, added: “My role is to make sure our heritage sites are at the forefront of any work we do while continuing to encourage community resilience.

“I put a lot of focus into working closely with our communities and partners, using our combined knowledge to identify future projects, potential ‘At Risk’ sites and finding new funding streams.

“We want our communities and visitors to be better informed of the history and character and value of the borough and this has a positive knock-on effect on tourism, the economy and housing.”

Sefton Council is now working alongside partners and community groups in the delivery of the Southport Townscape Heritage Project, with the explicit aim of enhancing the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the seafront.

It will focus on historic properties between Lord Street and the Promenade and aims to complement the previous HLF restoration of King’s Gardens and the recent £2m award from the Coastal Communities funds for the pier.

Free adult education courses offer “second chance to everyone”, says Metro Mayor

Low-income learners across the Liverpool City Region will be able to access free level two courses thanks to support from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for a scheme that fulfils Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s election pledge to “give a second chance to everyone”.

The city region’s devolution agreement means that the Combined Authority is now responsible for £51.3m funding for adult education courses for residents of the Liverpool City Region.

And Devolution has enabled the Liverpool City Region to raise the threshold on a scheme to fully fund more people on low wages to improve their skills.

That means that free level two courses will now be available to people earning up to the Real Living Wage – £17,550 per year – rather than the previous threshold of £16,009.

Speaking about the change, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “In my election manifesto I pledged to deliver a second chance for everyone and, as we take over responsibility for adult education funding, I’m proud that we are now able to fund free training for people earning less than the real living wage.

“This means that adults who may have missed out on educational opportunities the first time round will have the opportunity to improve their skills and advance their careers.  Having new powers over adult education has enabled us to make a decision that will directly benefit more people in the city region. This is only an initial step in ensuring our skills system if fairer and more equitable.  This is what devolution is all about.”

Councillor Ian Maher, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment, Skills and Apprenticeships, said: “This decision has enabled us to ensure that more low-waged residents of the city region can access the training they need to progress in the work place.  That is good news for them and good news for local businesses and exactly the kind of thing that devolution enables us to do.”

TUC North West Regional Secretary Lynn Collins welcomed the move and said: “This change will widen participation in learning and presents a great opportunity to support residents who are in low wage and low skilled jobs to gain new skills and progress.”

Liverpool City Region will also become the first combined authority to run a series of “Test and Learn” pilots offering training in the vital areas of English and Maths, Digital Skills and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), supported with £1.95 million from the Adult Education Budget.

The bulk of the £51.3 million Adult Education Budget will support adult education delivered by the city region’s further education colleges, local authorities and other learning providers.

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