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Joint statement from Metro Mayor, City Mayor and Leaders of the six Liverpool City Region Local Authorities on being in Tier 2 restrictions

“Today’s announcement that the Liverpool City Region will exit the national lockdown into Tier 2 is welcome news and a testament to the sacrifice and reliance of everyone who lives here. We’d like to thank each and every person that helped us to achieve this outcome.

“When we entered Tier 3 restrictions seven weeks ago, we were in a very dangerous situation. We had the highest transmission rates in the country and faced the very real risk that our NHS would be overwhelmed.

“We are really pleased that today we see a more encouraging picture, with cases down by over two-thirds since their peak and COVID related hospital admissions also decreasing significantly, relieving some of the pressure on ICU.

“The balance of evidence shows that although we faced a difficult decision over Tier 3, locally we took the right decisions, at the right time.

“We recognised that action was required, but also fought hard for the financial support for our businesses and workers most affected. We always have and always will try to do the best thing for our people and our businesses.

“However, while today’s announcement is undoubtedly welcome, no one should be in any doubt that many difficult months ahead lie ahead.

“We know that these new Tier 2 restrictions will still be tough for many of our businesses and, until a full vaccination programme has been rolled out, the threat from COVID remains a very real and present danger.

“So, we urge everyone to continue to do what they have been doing so well over the past few weeks: following the guidance, protect each other and protect our health services. The worst thing we could do now is to slow the progress we have made or risk a third wave through complacency.

“So please wear your face covering; keep your distance; wash your hands; keep getting tested; and use these hard-won freedoms wisely.”

Find out more about what being in Level 2 restrictions means.

Council leader welcomes new £9.5 million fund for ‘forgotten businesses.

Sefton Council Leader, Cllr Ian Maher has welcomed the new, £9.5 million Liverpool City Region fund to support ‘excluded and forgotten’ in retail and hospitality sectors.

Cllr Maher said: “We know businesses in Sefton’s hospitality sector have been hard hit by the Government’s COVID restrictions and this fund is an important potential new source of funding for some of those which have so far been overlooked by national schemes or previously haven’t been eligible.

“We will be announcing details of the new fund and how to apply very soon.”

Believed to be the first of its kind in the country, the fund will be open to small and micro businesses in the, hospitality and leisure sectors, including some of those excluded from national support schemes like the self-employed, sole traders or home-based.

Local supply chain businesses in the sector are now also eligible for the first time and there will also be support for businesses in non-essential retail.

The funding is the latest round of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s £40 million COVID emergency fund which was first announced when the City Region was placed in increased Covid-19 restrictions in October.

The announcement comes as political leaders from across the North and London step up pressure on the Government to address the needs of the 3 million people still excluded from national Covid-19 support packages.

Cllr Maher added: “In his Spending review, we need to see the Chancellor Rishi Sunak need to  echo the City Region’s action by broadening the eligibility of businesses that qualify for national support schemes from which so many have been excluded.”

Announcing the funding Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, on behalf of the LCR Council Leaders and Mayors, said: “We are doing everything we can to protect as many local jobs and businesses as possible, who are under threat from the impact of Coronavirus.

“This latest round of local funding will be open to the sorts of small and micro businesses that have so far had to get by without any help from national government. Thousands of people depend on these businesses for their livelihoods and they are at the very heart of our communities.

“However, we remain deeply frustrated that, although we can now provide support for more businesses in the, hospitality and leisure sectors locally, we still do not have all the funds we need to support everyone excluded from national support schemes.

“It defies belief that almost 3 million hard-working people – childminders, booksellers, accountants, entertainers and many, many more – have been left without support since this pandemic started. These small business owners, freelancers and the self-employed showed the entrepreneurial spirit the Government so often calls for yet, when they need support most, the Government has not been there for them.

“So today we are calling on the Chancellor to right the injustice done to the 3 million excluded from support, when he delivers his spending review tomorrow.”

Detailed information on eligibility and the applications process will be released later this week by Sefton Council a and the six other City Region councils.

Council is supporting expansion of family-run Southport dairy

Sefton Council is supporting Bates Farms and Dairy Ltd to expand its business operations in Southport’s Birkdale area.

Subject to the Company obtaining planning permission, the Council will sell 0.75 acres of its freehold land at Broome Road to the Company. This will enable Bates’ to meet its need to create a larger yard for storage and existing delivery vehicles.

Cllr Marion Atkinson Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills said: “By making this land available to Bates Dairy, the Council would be supporting the growth of a family firm that has been in Southport for over 80 years and which provides a milk delivery service to thousands of local people, while providing 104 jobs within the local community.

“The ability to expand on the site will help secure local employer Bates’ future in the town and will mean the Company can invest and grow.

“Plus, the extra space will mean fewer on-site vehicle movements, which will benefit local residents.”

Part of a 22-acre, Council owned site at former Isle of Wight Farm, the land is identified in the Local Plan as a possible area for housing. Bates’ proposals for a small part of that area include the erection of a single-storey unit. Requirements for the development would include the Dairy erecting acoustic fencing were needed and plans to deal with any resulting increase in surface water run-off.

Local residents would have an opportunity to have their say on the proposed expansion through the Council’s planning application process.

You can find the Sefton Council report here.

Les Transformations de Southport

Plans have been revealed that are set to support Southport’s return to the grandeur of Victorian England, when it was the country’s second most popular tourist destination.

The project, dubbed “Les Transformations de Southport”, looks at interconnectivity across the whole town centre, from improved pedestrian and cycling routes in the town centre and waterfront, to the creation of new public spaces for hosting events.

What the proposed events space for Southport Town Deal will loo like outside Southport Town Hall

A key proposal of the Southport Town Deal submission included a bid for funding to facilitate the early phases of this project, which could deliver around 30,000sqm of new, accessible, well-connected high-quality public spaces, providing priority for walking and cycling in support of clean growth. The first phase would include a new civic events space on Lord Street, and public realm enhancements in areas adjacent to the key strategic projects identified within the Town Deal bid.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, explained: “While living in exile in Southport in 1838, Prince Louis Napoleon, later Emperor Napoleon III, was so inspired by the grandeur of Lord Street that he ordered Baron Haussmann to model the reconstruction of Paris on it. Les Transformations de Paris made the French capital the “Southport of the South”. Les Transformations de Southport will ensure we again fulfil the potential of our public realm spaces, on Lord Street and beyond.

“When we carried out our extensive consultation on the Southport Town Deal bid, the connection between Lord Street and the Promenade, the need for maintenance of existing infrastructure to create safe spaces accessible for all emerged strongly as priorities.”

The illumination of Lord Street, lighting within the landscape of the iconic town centre

Boulevard, will be a key feature of this exciting project, which aims to address connectivity and congestion issues between the seafront area, the town centre and the railway station, including elements of improved signage and wayfinding around the town.

The recently launched Southport Townscape Project (a partnership between the Council, Southport BID and the Heritage Lottery) recognises the links between Lord Street and the Promenade as an area of priority investment.

The hope is that this project will deliver significant improvements on key routes, providing an improved visitor experience on arrival and in the town centre, resulting in increased focus and footfall for the town centre.

Cllr Atkinson continued: “The town centre is dominated by north-south movements, particularly by vehicles, resulting in relatively poor (east-west) connectivity between the seafront area and the town centre and there are many competing demands for highway space which can be difficult to accommodate. The post Covid-19 decline in public transport use may also create additional pressure on the highway network to accommodate private vehicles.

“If we can address these issues, provide infrastructure which allows for more walking and cycling in the town centre, along with the associated health and well-being outcomes, it will provide an entirely different proposition for visitors, strengthening Southport’s vibrancy, attractiveness and accessibility, and enhancing visitor numbers.”

Continued support for Sefton businesses

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sefton Council has shared nearly £50 million in grants to 4,000 Sefton businesses and support will continue.

Local businesses have been kept up-to-date with the latest support available and are being reminded of ways that they can seek grants under both the local and national restrictions faced recently.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant helps businesses that have had to close due to the government’s national lockdown from 5th November until 2nd December, or if a business has had to remain closed on a national basis since 23rd March.

Businesses that were required to close under Tier 3 restrictions (including pubs not serving main meals, betting shops, casinos, adult gaming centres and soft play areas) from 14th October to 4th November will be entitled to a separate payment for that 3-week period.

Full details of eligibility and an application form can be found on the Council’s website at https://www.sefton.gov.uk/business/business-rates/covid-19-business-support-for-202021

At the moment ONLY businesses that have been instructed to CLOSE can access this grant.

Other funding will become available and further details will be issued on this as soon as possible – to be kept up-to-date on these announcements businesses should sign up to InvestSefton’s mailing list by emailing Investsefton@sefton.gov.uk

 

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