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Have your say on potential housing developments in Southport

A consultation has now begun to gauge residents views over two proposed housing developments in Southport and Ainsdale.

Sefton Council are asking for residents in the Rufford Road area of Crossens and the Meadow Lane area of Ainsdale to give their views on potential builds.

Two sites, at Bartons Close, Southport and Meadow Lane, Ainsdale have been identified as areas for potential future development.

The proposed development at Bartons Close would consist of approximately 30 homes while Meadow Lane would consist of approximately 49 homes.
Both sites have already been identified as part of Sefton Council’s Local Plan as areas for potential future housing developments.

Now residents in those areas are being asked to give their views via public consultation ahead of any planning proposals being submitted for consideration.

Residents have until March 30 to give their views in writing or via email on either proposal, as well as the opportunity to attend drop-in sessions in their local area to discuss any concerns with both Sefton Council and project agents GL Hearn.

Drop-in sessions will take place at:

  • Meadow Lane: Monday March 25 from 5pm-8pm at Woodvale Community Centre, Meadow Lane, Ainsdale.
  • Barton Close: Tuesday March 26 from 5pm-8pm at St John CofE Primary School, Rufford Road, Crossens.

Letters have already been sent out to residents who are directly affected by the proposals but all views are welcomed.

To submit your views on the proposals please email project agains GL Hearn via sefton.info@glhearn.com or write to GL Hearn (Capita), The Observatory, 8th Floor, The Observatory Chapel Walks, Manchester, M2 1HL.

Both consultations run until Saturday March 30.

View the design document for Bartons Close here.

View the design document for Meadow Lane here.

 

Former midwife urges people to have their say about NHS changes

Healthcare in Sefton will only work if people get to have their say – urges former midwife, Anne Major.

Anne, from Southport, who also used to be a neonatal nurse, is encouraging others to speak out as part of the national ‘What Would You Do?’ campaign, led by independent health and social care champion Healthwatch Sefton.

The campaign aims to encourage people in Sefton to share their views about how extra money from the Government should be spent on local NHS services.

The Government is investing £20 billion a year in the NHS as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. Local organisations are now being asked to explore how services should change locally to make the NHS work better for people.

Anne, who is also Healthwatch Sefton locality representative for Central Southport, said: “When I have been at listening events at Southport and Formby hospital with Healthwatch Sefton we get fantastic comments and feedback about health services through talking with and listening to people.

“Patients are the experts. Each and every one of them has a story to share – whether that’s good or bad. I would encourage others to take part in the campaign and make sure their voice is heard.”

Anne has had plenty of first-hand experience with health and care services in the borough, having worked as a midwife and neonatal nurse for more than 30 years. She has personal experience of the NHS due to her husband having had a quadruple heart by-pass and is passionate about ensuring that the care of her family and community is the best the NHS can provide.

Maureen Kelly, Chair of Healthwatch Sefton, added: “The NHS only works when the voices of the people who use it are heard. This is a once-in-a-generation chance for local people to help decide where this extra money from Government should be spent in our NHS services in Sefton.

“We want to hear from as many people as possible about what works, what doesn’t and how they think local health services should be improved. No matter how big or small the issue, we want to hear about it. Sharing your experience with us is quick and easy – and could make a big difference.”

People can share their views via this online survey.

Sefton’s Budget Meeting and Council Tax set for 2019/20

Council Tax for services provided by Sefton Council will increase by 2.99% to fund the unprecedented demand on Children’s Social Care, protecting our vulnerable older people, and being able to continue to provide the everyday services residents rely on.

At Full Council this evening (February 28), councillors agreed the third year of the budget plan and approved the 2.99% rise for 2019/20 for the local authority’s services.

For an easy explanation of how your council tax is spent, click here.

It means that for the provision of council services, it will cost the majority of householders an extra 78p or less per week (figures based on a Band C property).

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to increase our Council Tax but we’ve been left with no alternative because we just don’t get enough funding from the Government to continue to run the services that our communities rely on. This is the only way to ensure we manage to provide the vital services everyone expects from us. From caring for children, the elderly and other vulnerable people to emptying the bins, cleaning the streets and maintaining the roads, as well as still providing leisure, cultural and community activities and supporting the skills and business sectors that are essential to the growth of our economy.

“To put it into context, between 2010 and 2020, Sefton will have lost the equivalent of £746 from each household as the Government continues to reduce the money it gives to councils. That is a huge loss and we keep warning about the huge risk to local services. This loss also comes at a time when we have seen massive increases in pressures for services. Not only due to the unprecedented loss of funding and the ongoing social care crisis, but a surge in demand for children’s services, support for special educational needs and disabilities and the uncertainty over schools funding.”

Due to the increased pressure for social care services, Sefton has still had to identify some new savings to ensure a balanced budget this year. At full Council, a number of options were agreed that would have the least impact on Sefton’s communities.

Cllr Maher continued: “We will continue to invest our resources where it will deliver the most impact – in creating jobs, protecting our most vulnerable children, adults and families and in improving the local environment. Despite the challenges we face we will work hard with our partners to remain a confident and connected borough. We believe that with the right funding, we can continue to lead our areas and improve residents’ lives.”

The overall Council Tax bill – which includes police and fire services charges and the new tax for a Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor – will go up by 5.11% to £1,662.32 for the coming financial year (for a Band C property). This excludes the amounts charged by Parish Councils for homes in their areas.

In the following video, Cllr Maher provides insight into the pressures facing Sefton Council as it continues to deliver quality services to residents despite increasing pressure on its resources.

Sefton launches SEND evaluation to seek out parent’s views

Sefton Council  have commissioned researchers at Edge Hill University to undertake an evaluation of Special Education Needs and Disability services in the borough.

The evaluation, funded by Sefton’s Clinical Commissioning Groups, will involve a sample of parents and carers with children and young people who have SEND and will help shape and improve the services Sefton can offer.

Key partners including schools, and health and care services will also be asked to give their views in the evaluation.

The results will then be used to inform policy, strategy, prioritisation and development of activities and services related to the needs of young people aged under 25 years with a special educational need or disability.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools & Safeguarding, said: “We have asked Edge Hill University to help us better understand Special Education Needs and Disability provision throughout Sefton.

“This is a very important project to undertake and we need parents and carers who are involved to give their views, both good and bad, so that we can positively shape how we deliver and develop services in the future.

“The ultimate goal of this evaluation is to help our children and young adults with SEND needs, as well as their families and support networks.”

Participation in the evaluation is completely voluntary and those who contribute will be given complete anonymity.

The evaluation is expected to be completed before April and a final report will be shared widely and posted on the local offer.

To find out more email public.health@sefton.gov.uk.

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

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