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Funding approved for Heritage Lottery Project in Southport

Further funding has been approved by Sefton Council to allow a second round application for Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) for a major project in Southport town centre.

Development funding of £70K was awarded by the HLF last year to enable Sefton Council, in partnership with Southport BID, to progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £1.6m. With contributions from Sefton Council and property owners it could be worth up to £2.36m in total.

At Cabinet on February 7, £200K of match funding was approved to enable Sefton Council and Southport BID to submit a second round application in June, 2019.

The Southport Townscape Heritage Project aims to enhance the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the seafront so that the two become more integrated.

The project aims to increase the levels of economic activity within a target area and reduce the number of vacant and underused properties.

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.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control, said: “We initially beat off fierce competition from 23 other bids to be one of only 5 areas within the UK to be awarded the grant.

“This match funding will allow us to apply for a full National Lottery grant worth about £1.6m which we will submit in June with a final decision made in the autumn.

“If approved we really believe the money will enhance the links between Lord Street and the Promenade reducing the vacant and poorly maintained properties and greatly increasing economic activity in these areas.”

The project aims to carry out essential conservation work , involving structural and external repair of historic buildings, the reinstatement of authentic architectural features and works to bring vacant floor space in historic buildings back into use.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, added: “Working with partners like Southport Civic Society and other education and training providers, we hope the project will bring community, volunteering and educational benefits to local residents.

“Lord Street and the Promenade conservation areas provide a rich and nationally significant collection of historic buildings and landscaping. We firmly believe preserving this heritage for residents, businesses and visitors alike will contribute greatly to the town’s economy while providing a strong sense of identity, local pride and community value.”

Part of the initial development funding has allowed for the recruitment of a dedicated Project Officer, Paul Crowther, who joined Sefton in November 2018 from the successful Townscape Heritage Project in Winckley Square, Preston. Paul has been busy working on developing the second round application and liaising with Southport BID.

Rob Uffendell, Chair of Southport Business Improvement District, said: “This is a great step forward for our town. The success of our joint application for first round funding demonstrated the effectiveness of the private and public sectors working together for the greater good of our town. We’re confident that continuing this collaboration will now help ensure a successful second round application resulting in £1.6m grant funding to improve a core area of our town centre and is an example of how such collaborations are important in encouraging future investment in Southport.”

For more information please visit our webpage www.sefton.gov.uk/townscape alternatively get in touch on 0151 934 3155 or e-mail Paul.Crowther.sefton.gov.uk

Learn more about where you live through a Community Chat

Local residents are being encouraged to learn more about their communities through the new Community Chat events.

Residents can now engage even further with Sefton Council and its many different partners through the Community Chat events that replace the Constituency Forums.

Led by Sefton Council, the Community Chats are a more relaxed way for residents to talk to community groups, agencies, councillors and Council departments about any issues they have.

They will be held in each of the respective Parliamentary Constituencies within Sefton; Bootle, Central Sefton and Southport.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Corporate Services, said: “The Community Chat events are designed as an opportunity for local residents to really learn more about their communities.

“The format will be a market-place style at which there will be a number of tables for community groups, partners, ward Councillors and internal Sefton departments to attend.

“People can move around from table to table depending on their particular needs and learn more about things that affect their community.

“We really hope that this format will benefit our valued local communities so that they can attend in a more relaxed way at which they feel that the Council and its partners are more accessible and friendly.

“Dates for the Constituency Chats have been announced and I really hope people take the time to attend them.”

The planned dates for the Community Chats across Sefton are:

• Southport – Wednesday, February 13 at 6pm in The Atkinson Studio Room
• Bootle – Wednesday, February 27 at 6pm at Bootle Town Hall
• Sefton Central – Thursday, March 7 at 6pm at Formby PDC

Each forum is expected to finish around 8pm.

Sefton’s Public Engagement Panel has reached it’s 10-year milestone.


Sefton Council is delighted to be celebrating Sefton’s Public Engagement and  Consultation Panel’s 10th Anniversary.

 The Council and several partners developed the panel to ensure they collectively listen to residents and give them the opportunity to have a say in the services that are delivered.

 One of the ways this is done is by going out into our communities to carry out engagement and consultation activities. It is the panel’s responsibility to ensure these consultations are delivered effectively.

 The panel includes representatives from Sefton Council, South Sefton and Southport Clinical Commissioning Group, Sefton CVS, Sefton Young Advisors, Sefton Equalities Partnership, Merseyside Police, Mersey Fire and Rescue Service and Mersey Travel.

To find out more about how you can get involved follow this link; http://ow.ly/gEU130noiwn

 Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services and Chair of the Public Engagement and Consultation Panel, said:

 “We are all extremely happy that after 10 years this panel is still going strong and long may it continue. Working together and sharing the panel’s expertise has enabled us to successfully advise on 168 consultation and engagement activities, meaning we have listened to the views of thousands of residents from across the borough.

 “I am also very proud that this panel has been held up as an example of extremely good practice in relation to how we engage with the public and with our partners.

 “We are committed to delivering quality services which work in the best interest of residents, workers or visitors to Sefton. To do this, we recognise that we must engage with the public when making decisions and we encourage as many people as possible to give us their views.”

Sefton Council Proposes Changes to Council Tax on Long Term Empty Homes

Sefton Council is running a consultation on a proposed change in Council Tax charges for empty homes across the borough.

New legislation will give Sefton Council additional powers to increase the Council Tax premium charged to properties that have been empty and largely unfurnished for more than two years from 50% to 100% with effect from April 1, 2019.

There are about 645 homes in Sefton that have been empty for two years or more (excluding those that are exempt from Council Tax, for example where the owner has gone to live elsewhere to receive care, or provide care to someone else).

The proposed increase in the empty homes premium is intended to encourage owners of long term empty domestic properties to bring them back into use and to increase the amount of Council Tax income raised from those that continue to leave their properties empty.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Regulation and Compliance, said: “We are currently seeking views on the on the proposed changes to the premium charged in Sefton from April 1, 2019, as well as other potential changes to the premium that could be made in the future. Please take the time to give us your views and get in touch.

“As well as charging the empty homes premium, there are other Council initiatives to help bring empty homes back into use like the property accreditation scheme that also helps empty owners find tenants for their property.”

The consultation is open until December 3, 2018. For more information and to share your views please visit https://www.sefton.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-empty-homes-consultation.aspx

Highways team to hold Over 60s Road Safety session

Sefton Council’s Highways Safety team are to hold a special senior’s road safety event in Ainsdale.

Drivers and other senior road users over the age of 60 years are invited to attend the event at Ainsdale Methodist Church, 688 Liverpool Road, Ainsdale on Tuesday November 13 at 10am.

Sefton’s Highways Team are hoping to use this event to promote safer use of the highway for both pedestrians and road users.

This is the latest in a series of Senior Road User events which have been taking place across Sefton over the last three years.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “Over the last few years there have been an increasing number of casualties involving the over 60s age group in collisions across Merseyside.

“That’s why our Highways Safety team at Sefton Council want to use these types of events to proactively promote safer use of the roads for both pedestrians and motorists.

“The aim is to highlight road safety issues that may affect road users over the age of 60 such as diminishing eyesight, medications and how their driving is affected.”

Guest speakers at the event will include representatives from Merseyside Police, Mersey Fire & Rescue Service, Specsavers and local health clinicians.

Lunch, as well as tea and coffee will be provided free of charge for those attending, however places are limited and booking a place is essential.

To book your place contact the Highway Safety Team on 0151 934 4259.

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