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Constructive intervention by Council helps Bootle business to re-open

Sefton Council’s Environmental Health officers have been working with the owner of a Bootle business, closed for not implementing the required precautions to protect staff and customers against COVID-19, to enable it to re-open again safely.

Last week the Council issued a Closure Notice to the owner of Skin Kerr in Bootle after visits to the premises by the Council’s Environmental Health team raised concerns that current restrictions and public health guidance were not being adhered to, meaning customers and staff were being put at risk from infection by COVID-19.

Productive

After meetings described as ‘productive’, Council officers were assured that the owner is willing to comply with the regulations and put the required measures in place. This means that the imminent threat of infection has been removed.

Under a new Direction Order, the business can re-open and trade provided the conditions agreed remain in place. Ongoing inspections will be carried out and any breach of the Direction Order’s requirements would result in the business being ordered to close again.

Constructive

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “I am pleased that our Environmental Health team has been able to work constructively with the owner of this Bootle business to put the measures in place that enable it to re-open.

“As we have made clear, Sefton Council will not hesitate to take action against businesses refusing to put in place measures to keep staff and customers safe, but equally we will do all we can to work with them to resolve the issues and enable them start trading again.

“The vast majority of our local businesses have been doing their utmost to meet their legal duty of ensuring they are COVID-secure and since the start of the pandemic in March we have been providing advice and support.

“We appreciate the efforts and sacrifices they have made and would encourage them to get in touch if they are struggling to meet the requirements.”

Supportive

Earlier this week, Sefton Council leader Cllr Ian Maher joined the Metro Mayor, the Mayor and city region leaders in announcing an emergency fund of up to £40million in a bid to rescue Liverpool City Region’s vital hospitality and leisure sector from economic collapse. The unprecedented emergency fund is vital to protect the sector as a stop-gap until financial support from central Government is secured.

The fund has been set up a direct response to new government restrictions, which came into force on Saturday 3 October, forbidding people from mixing with other households in indoor venues – including pubs, bars and restaurants.

Find out more about the Emergency Aid package.

Council will not hesitate to take action against businesses failing to protect customers & staff from COVID-19

Cabinet member delivers warning after Closure Notice issued to Bootle business.

After making several visits and issuing a warning letter Sefton Council last week issued a Closure Notice to the owner of Skin Kerr in Bootle.

Visits to the premises by the Council’s Environmental Health team raised concerns that current restrictions and public health guidance were not being adhered to, meaning customers and staff were being put at risk from infection by COVID-19.

Because the adequate controls and measures required to make the premises COVID-secure were not put in place, despite being set out in a recent warning letter, the Council has moved to close the premises temporarily.

Cllr Paulette Lappin Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: “It is the responsibility of businesses across Sefton to ensure they have the required measures in place to protect their staff and their customers from COVID_19 infection and we know that most of them are doing their utmost to comply.

“And, the Council is working closely with the Health and Safety Executive to provide support and advice to our local businesses.

“However, when businesses refuse to comply and insist on putting people at risk from the pandemic, we will not hesitate to take action against them as we have with Skin Kerr in Bootle.”

Further to its work with businesses, begun at the start of the pandemic in March, Sefton Council has been working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) since mid-September, to help Sefton’s businesses make sure they are COVID-secure. Phone calls and follow-up visits are being carried out with businesses in the hospitality, beauty & hairdressing and the warehousing sectors. During these checks, businesses are being provided with advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors.

Find out more about the Council’s work with the HSE.

When the joint initiative was launched, Cllr Lappin said: “Becoming COVID-secure is a legal duty and needs to be the priority and we know the vast majority of our local businesses are trying hard to get this right by putting the necessary measures in place.

“We appreciate the efforts business owners and managers are making and have undertaken this work with the HSE to provide any further advice and support they may need.”

Sefton Council also recently reminded businesses of the need to create a QR code for their premises which people can use to check in on the national COVID-19 app, by visiting www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster and following the instructions.

Businesses required by law to display QR code posters include pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés, hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades and close contact services such as hairdressers, barbershops and tailors. Council facilities such as community centres, libraries and village halls are also covered as are places of worship, community organisations with a physical location and events taking place at a specific location.

Find out more about creating a business test and Trace QR code.

 

Emergency Aid Package agreed for Liverpool City Region’s hospitality and leisure industry

Sefton Council leader Cllr Ian Maher has joined the Metro Mayor, the Mayor and  city region leaders in announcing an emergency fund of up to £40million in a bid to rescue Liverpool City Region’s vital hospitality and leisure sector from economic collapse.

Cllr Maher was one of the six council leaders who, along with the Metro Mayor and the Mayor, said that the unprecedented emergency fund is vital to protect the sector as a stop-gap until financial support from central Government is secured.

The sector supports over 50,000 jobs in 4,000 business and contributes £5 billion a year to the local economy. Over 200 businesses in the sector have already been lost in the face of COVID -19 and without Government assistance over the past few months, many more would have followed.

The emergency stop-gap fund has been set up a direct response to new government restrictions, which came into force on Saturday 3 October forbidding people from mixing with other households in indoor venues – including pubs, bars and restaurants.  The restrictions are expected to deal a further hammer blow to many businesses, which are already at breaking point.

In a joint statement, speaking directly to businesses in the sector, the leaders said:

“The new Covid-19 restrictions will make the already perilous situation for our economy even tougher than it already is.

“As Leaders of the Liverpool City Region, we all understand why further restrictions may be needed to halt the spread of Covid-19 in the communities we represent. But we also know that at the same time they will deal a hammer blow to our economy and in particular to our vital hospitality and leisure sector, on which over 50,000 jobs depend across our region.

“We want to send a message to those businesses that we understand the pain you are going through, your fight to survive and that we stand with you.

“We have made it clear to the Government that with new restrictions must come a comprehensive package of financial support for our economy and that this is particularly urgent for businesses in your sector, many of which have already reached breaking point.

“We pledge to you that we are doing everything we can to convince the Government to help.

“But we know that this is not enough and that words will not help you pay your staff, your rent or your suppliers.

“And, as elected leaders, we are collectively committed to Build Back Better from Covid-19. But we know that once a business is gone it is gone and that if we do not act now to protect our economy from these new restrictions, we risk having nothing to build back from.

“So, our teams have worked at full-tilt, in partnership across the Combined Authority and our six Local Authorities, to identify and re-purpose funds for an up to £40million in to a package of emergency interim financial support, aiming to support as many businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector as we possibly can.

“We have taken this extremely difficult decision with the aim of providing last resort, stop-gap funding to keep viable businesses going in the short-term and protect as many jobs as possible while we continue to lobby the Government to invest in our economic survival and our future recovery.

“The fund is expected to launch this week (commencing 5th October).  We hope to process applications within a week to meet the urgent needs of successful applicants.

“The process will be coordinated through local authorities, just as previous government grants were earlier this year.”

Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of Liverpool City Region LEP said: “We have been making the case consistently through this pandemic that our visitor and hospitality sector, which is so critical to our economy, is suffering disproportionately from lockdown measures to protect public health and need additional support.

“The most recent local lockdown announcements have added to the urgency of this case and I pay tribute to the work of our Combined Authority and Local Authority Leaders and their executives in establishing this Hospitality Fund so quickly in the face of these announcements.

“This Fund will undoubtedly help save hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs in this sector over the coming months.”

Response to new coronavirus restrictions

Responding to further restrictions announced for the region today, Council Leaders, the City Region Metro Mayor and MPs of the Liverpool City Region said:

“As the elected leaders and MPs of the Liverpool City Region, our first priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of the 1.6 million people that we represent.

“It’s absolutely right that we do everything we can to stop the spread of Coronavirus and keep as many people safe as possible. Over the past few days, we have engaged in talks with minsters over their proposals for greater restrictions.

“The measures announced today are a step in the right direction but we need to understand whether they are enough to really address the escalating cases in our city region.

“Therefore, we are requesting that the government provide us with the scientific evidence so we can understand if these measures will be sufficient to prevent the spread of the virus.

“In addition, we are also aware that without appropriate financial support from the government, restrictions will damage businesses and industries – in many cases irretrievably – when in normal times they are perfectly viable.

“Our region is an international destination, and our visitor economy is worth almost £5bn to the city region economy every year and employs over 50,000 people. Over recent years, our hospitality and retail industries have been vibrant and growing. But we have already seen some businesses go under in the face of COVID and, without Government assistance over the past few months, many more would have followed.

“These new restrictions mean that we will also need an immediate substantial additional package of economic support from the Government urgently and, so far, it is not clear that this is being provided.

“We will now seek further urgent talks with the Government on these measures, any further measures, and what their response is to our request for a financial support package.”

Sefton Council lights up civic buildings to support awareness of event production industries

Crosby Library lit up redSefton Council lit up Bootle Town Hall and Crosby Library in red last night, Wednesday 30 September, in support of the Global Industry Awareness Day for the Production Services and Live Events sector.

Buildings across the City Region were illuminated red as part of the event to highlight to the public and the government what the industry does and its huge economic and cultural value. It was part of a global campaign to draw attention and gain government recognition that the industry still urgently needs support. The campaign is supported by Sefton, who are the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture for 2020.

As part of the event, organised by #WeMakeEvents,  60 beams of white light were pointed into the sky across the UK, each beam representing 10,000 jobs at risk.

Cllr Trish Hardy Sefton Council’s main Borough of Culture sponsor said: “These ‘back-stage’ production-related industries are hugely important to our cultural life and to our economy but are largely unseen. We are proud to be the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture for 2020, despite the impact of current circumstances on our programme, and Sefton Council is pleased to be able to join this event and support them.”

Jane Dawe, Community Partnership Manager at SAFE Regeneration Ltd said: “Live music events are not just about the economic impact and how they contribute to the visitor economy. They can be optimised in order to achieve economic, social and cultural goals, by increasing social capital, encouraging public engagement and help create a sense of identity and belonging. They contribute to a thriving cultural environment, enhancing musical creativity, cultural vibrancy and developing and nurturing talent.

“They are the beating heart of a community and support for those directly and indirectly affected is essential.”

Find out more about the event.

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