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Sefton Council set to improve Botanic Gardens lakeside ahead of major transformation consultation

Sefton Council has outlined ideas for up to £30,000 in improvements for the lake and lakeside area at Southport’s popular Botanic Gardens. These include new water aeration fountains, the installation of new fencing and secure lifeline stations, as well as plans for annual community clean-up events.

The plans were discussed at a meeting on Thursday 19th August with local community groups.

As part of a wider vision for transforming the park, the initial improvements were outlined to members of the Botanic Gardens Community Association and Make a Change for Ben fundraising group who have been in discussion with the Council’s Green Sefton team on the proposals.

At the meeting the group agreed to prioritise the aerating fountains as the first phase. Funding for the phased lakeside improvements is set to come from community fundraising schemes, local ward budgets and the Green Sefton Service.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said:

“As outlined earlier this year, Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service is looking at ways to develop and improve the Botanic Gardens.

“Our Green Sefton team has been working alongside a number of dedicated community groups who care deeply about the future of the park and are keen to see improvements that benefit everyone who loves spending time there.

“We’re at the stage where we have been able to agree some initial improvements focused on the lakeside area that will complement the work already undertaken, at the beginning of the year, to improve the aviary.

“But our longer-term vision is to reinvigorate the park with a whole host of potential ideas that would offer better facilities for our communities as well as providing a positive boost to the local visitor economy, including the creation of new jobs.”

The Green Sefton Service will launch a consultation to seek ideas from the community for the longer-term vision for the Botanic Gardens. This consultation will take place once the current consultations are completed for Hesketh Park and the Ainsdale beach gateway. Details of those consultations can be found at: https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/

In time, it is expected funding will be sought from streams through organisations that support the heritage sector. Around £5 million is likely to be required to deliver the Council’s ambitious plans to transform the park.

The project would support the restoration of many of the park’s Victorian buildings and help the Council to develop new attractions that would bring more visitors to the park and generate income that would be earmarked for the park’s maintenance and management.

Cllr Moncur added:

“The major proposals are at the very early stages of development and our next steps will include launching a public consultation over the coming winter/ spring to bring together the views of residents, regular park users, visitors and the dedicated volunteer groups, like the Botanic Gardens Community Association, who support many projects at the park to keep the space clean, green and beautiful for all.”

People can find more on the Borough’s parks, play areas and open spaces managed by the Green Sefton team, with support from volunteers and partners, by visiting www.sefton.gov.uk/parks

Anyone interested in helping to shape the developing project, or would like to volunteer in the Botanic Gardens, can contact the Botanic Gardens Community Association at https://botanicgardensca.org.uk/

Call for those with a love of the outdoors to take part in Green Sefton customer satisfaction survey

Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service loves the Borough’s parks, greenspaces, playgrounds, sports pitches and beaches just as much as its residents, which is why they want the community’s views on their management of these vital outdoor spaces.

The customer satisfaction survey is now open for contributions until 31st October 2021 and can be easily completed online at www.yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk  

Green Sefton Rangers will also be out and about over the next fortnight at popular parks and coastal locations, to help gather feedback and encourage people to submit their thoughts online.  

Customer satisfaction survey for Sefton's Green Sefton Service has been launched and people can take part of visiting the your sefton your say website

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“Sefton has 22-miles of stunning coastline, more than 30 parks and around 180 open spaces. All these places have been more popular than ever over the pandemic for residents and visitors as people have enjoyed spending time outdoors.

“We have an incredibly passionate workforce who look after these sites, many of whom are experts on conservation and environmental issues. They work side-by-side a network of enthusiastic volunteers and community groups who together ensure our outdoor spaces are great places for people, animals and plants to thrive.

“It’s really important that we take time to stop and reflect on what has been an incredibly busy and demanding 18 months, and so conducting the survey at this time will allow us to make informed decisions on our management and development of the service area over the next few years.”

Feedback will be gathered from people who use Sefton’s parks, open spaces and coastal gateways to see how they rate the services provided by Green Sefton and to set a baseline for future customer satisfaction surveys.

The survey also looks to provide an understanding of the expectations of visitors which needs to be balanced with the Council’s commitment to managing recreation pressure on the Sefton Coast. The Council must also fulfil its legal duties under the Habitats Regulations to protect these internationally important nature sites.

Cllr Moncur added:

“We have faced backlogs and delays to many of our normal maintenance schedules this summer, as we’ve continued to feel the effects of the pandemic. We know that some of our outdoor spaces are not looking up to their usual standards, which people may well reflect on when answering our survey.

“But the management and maintence of our greenspaces also needs to take into account the need to reduce the impact of climate change moving forward, and how we can boost our biodiversity so that rare species and habitats are not lost.

“We are interested in opening this dialogue with our residents as part of this survey, so that together raising the standards of our outdoor spaces doesn’t just mean regular mowing and pruning, but more sympathetic and sustainable approaches that benefit both people and planet.”

Once the consultation period has concluded, the results will be used to inform and shape management and development decisions for the Green Sefton Service, for example where resources could or should be directed, to maintain and improve satisfaction levels.

Still time to have your voice heard in Ainsdale-on-Sea consultation

Sefton Council is urging its residents and beach visitors to take the opportunity this summer to put forward their views for how the Ainsdale-on-Sea coastal gateway could be improved for all.

Images of Ainsdale asking for people to take part in a public consultation
Images of Ainsdale asking for people to take part in a public consultation

Already more than 300 people have taken part in the public consultation, but further voices are welcomed to ensure that as many people as possible can help to shape future proposals for investment in the area.

During 2020, an extensive consultation with residents, business owners, visitors and young people took place as part of the now successful Southport Town Deal bid. It was recognised by a large number of respondents that the beachfront area at Ainsdale-on-Sea is in need of investment to improve its facilities for residents and visitors alike.

The current consultation runs until 30th September 2021 and asks for views on the wider development of the coastal gateway including the Sands Lake and Hotel area, Toad Hall and Ainsdale Discovery Centre.

It is also an opportunity for residents and regular beach users to offer ideas for how Ainsdale-on-Sea could be improved for all, from better traffic management to projects that would ensure Ainsdale’s rare habitats and species are able to thrive.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“We recognise the need to create high quality visitor infrastructure at a number of access points along the Sefton coast, to drive growth within the visitor economy and provide a high-quality visitor experience. This will also reduce visitor pressure on our coastal communities as well as areas of high conservation value – protecting our special wildlife and landscape.

“Ainsdale-on-Sea has been recognised as one of these key access points and we are keen to hear what our residents would like to see prioritised as we draw up our development plans for the area to complement the investment already underway.”

Ainsdale beach food and drink concession trial, B-Eat On The Street, manager Alex with Cllr Ian Moncur and Green Sefton staff earlier this summer
Ainsdale beach food and drink concession trial, B-Eat On The Street, manager Alex with Cllr Ian Moncur and Green Sefton staff earlier this summer

Many visitors to Ainsdale this summer will have already seen some of the initiatives being funded by the Council to improve the experience for beach goers, showcasing the possibilities being explored that could form part of the longer-term rejuvenation of the area.

A posh fish and chip pop-up has proven incredibly popular and will continue to serve up food and drinks at the beach until the autumn. Meanwhile, award-winning street artist Paul Curtis is part way through transforming the exterior of Toad Hall with a vibrant mural – the largest commission he’s ever undertaken.

Cllr Moncur added:

“People can take part in the consultation through our ‘Your Sefton Your Say’ online survey and we’ll also have staff on the ground throughout the remainder of the busy summer season capturing the thoughts of the community and visitors.

“Following the consultation, the plan is to start looking at the next stages for development, based on areas of priority. This phased development will realise the potential of Ainsdale-on-Sea and reflect the aspirations, opportunities and constraints associated with this important location.”

People are urged to complete the online survey on the Your Sefton Your Say portal and have until the end of September to take part: https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/

Peckish beach visitors to benefit from further food and drink outlet trials this summer

Image of a previous pop-up undertaken by B-Eat On The Street in Liverpool.
Image of a previous pop-up undertaken by B-Eat On The Street in Liverpool.

From this weekend (Saturday 17th July) visitors to Ainsdale beach will be able to taste-test fish and chips as well as coffee and cakes, as a pop-up food and drink trial begins.

North West based company, B-Eat On The Street, will be offering tasty treats out of two shipping containers located on the corner of Shore Road near the entrance to Ainsdale beach.

The new pop-up is part of a Sefton Council trial to provide more visitor facilities at busy coastal locations. It will run throughout the summer and until late autumn.

In other good news, The Bus Yard will be returning to Crosby Coastal Park later this summer to undertake a second trial following a successful run earlier in the year. This second helping will be served from Monday 9th August until Friday 3rd September.

View of the beach from the Bus Yard at Crosby
View of the beach from the Bus Yard at Crosby

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “These temporary pop-up food and drink offers at Crosby and Ainsdale, are in response to regular feedback from visitors and residents, who feel there are not enough hospitality facilities along our coastline.

“Our Green Sefton officers have organised these trials to explore ways to answer those calls and to offer the best possible experience for all beach users.

“They’ve worked really closely with the local businesses taking part, as well as understanding community concerns about any adverse effects, and from the positive feedback we received from the trial, it seems they’ve got it right.

“Now we’re hoping that the Ainsdale trial will receive a similar response and are urging people to submit their thoughts to the Green Sefton team.”

Feedback can be submitted by email to greensefton@sefton.gov.uk

Alexandra Richardson, B-Eat On The Street, said: “We’re very excited to have been given the opportunity to create a pop-up food offering for Ainsdale beach and we have commissioned two new container conversions. One selling fish and chips and the other is a dessert offering with coffee, crepes and fresh waffles.”

Sefton Council adopted a Coast Plan in 2017 and it recently set out its Coast Visioning Position Statement to bring together much of the hard-work already undertaken over the past four years.

It includes a summary of the Crosby Coastal Park public consultation outcomes and a positive outlook for on-going investment at Ainsdale-on-Sea where a public consultation is now underway. People have until the end of September to take part by going online to www.yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk 

The Statement also outlines the overall approach to managing the Sefton coast that balances the competing demands of People, Place (nature) and the Economy.

Cllr Moncur added: “If we get this balance right, Sefton’s beautiful coast can become an even greater asset to the Borough while maintaining its unique character.

“By supporting initiatives such as this, we can help create jobs and offer a boost to the local economy as well as enhancing our visitor attractions; really complementing our longer-term vision to get the right offer for everyone while protecting our special landscape.”

Have your say on future improvement and investment at the Ainsdale coast

Sefton Council is urging people to take part in their latest public consultation which sets out its vision for improving and investing in facilities at Ainsdale-on-Sea.

During 2020, an extensive consultation with residents, business owners, visitors and young people took place as part of the now successful Southport Town Deal bid. It was recognised by a large number of respondents that the beachfront at Ainsdale-on-Sea is in need of investment to improve its facilities for residents and visitors alike.

Images of Ainsdale asking for people to take part in a public consultation
Images of Ainsdale asking for people to take part in a public consultation

The consultation will run until 30th September 2021 and asks for views on the wider development of the coastal gateway including the Sands Lake and Hotel area, Toad Hall and Ainsdale Discovery Centre.

It is also an opportunity for residents and regular beach users to offer ideas for how Ainsdale-on-Sea could be improved for all, from better traffic management to projects that would ensure Ainsdale’s rare habitats and species are able to thrive.

The Council has already approved plans for over £350,000 of improvement works to take place in the area. This includes the implementation of a new ‘off beach’ car park to reduce the impact on local communities who have been affected by irresponsible parking in the past. Designs for this are due to be submitted for planning approval next month, with the new car park expected to be open for Easter 2022.

The agreed works also include plans for new toilet facilities, an exciting art installation at Toad Hall, as well as the set-up of a temporary food and drink concession trial which will begin next month. In addition, funding is supporting Seasonal Ranger posts, temporary toilets and rubbish management all in a bid to ease concerns in the area as it prepares for a busy summer season.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We recognise the need to create high quality visitor infrastructure at a number of access points along the Sefton coast, to drive growth within the visitor economy and provide a high-quality visitor experience. This will also reduce visitor pressure on our coastal communities as well as areas of high conservation value – protecting our special wildlife and landscape.

“Ainsdale-on-Sea has been recognised as one of these key access points and we are keen to hear what our residents would like to see prioritised as we draw up our development plans for the area to compliment the investment already underway.

“People will be able to take part in the consultation through our ‘Your Sefton Your Say’ online survey and we’ll also have staff on the ground throughout the busy summer season capturing the thoughts of the community and visitors.

“Following the consultation, the plan is to start looking at the next stages for development, based on areas of priority. This phased development will realise the potential of Ainsdale-on-Sea and reflect the aspirations, opportunities and constraints associated with this important location.”

People are urged to complete the online survey on the Your Sefton Your Say portal and have until the end of September to take part: https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/

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