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First package of measures unveiled to help Liverpool City Region deal with Coronavirus

An initial package of measures from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority aimed at easing the Coronavirus burden on local people has been unveiled.

Chairing the first meeting of the Liverpool City Region Coronavirus Action Group, the Mayor announced a number of new initiatives:

•The ‘LCR Cares’ COVID 19 Community Support Fund – a new crowdfunding campaign to support community and voluntary organisations on the frontline of helping our communities cope with the spread of Coronavirus.

•Free bus travel to and from school for the children of key workers using existing Merseytravel funded supported bus services.

•Lifting the 9.30am restriction on concessionary travel for essential journeys, such as accessing designated shopping hours reserved for the elderly.

•A fund of £65,000 of business support for community and social businesses to help them cope with the impact of COVID-19.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: “Tackling a challenge of this scale requires everybody to come together and do all that we can to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, and mitigate the economic, social and health impacts it will have.

“This obviously requires support from government – and we’ve seen the start of that this week, though we await further announcements – but there are things we can do locally as well. I want to do all that I can to help support local people, businesses and community organisations through this uncertainty.”

The LCR Cares COVID 19 Community Support Fund website page is now open for donations from the public. Just go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/ and search for LCRCares or www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/lcrcares

Early next week, a simple and speedy processes for organisations to access those funds will be in place.

Residents asked to be on their guard for Covid-19 scammers

Sefton Council’s Trading Standards have received a number of reports of scams and profiteering on the coronavirus outbreak and are asking people to stay Safe and Savvy during this difficult time.

The reports range from inflated prices for hand sanitisers to emails claiming to be from organisations affiliated with the centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), designed to obtain personal and banking details.

Earlier in the the month Action Fraud reported receiving 21 reports of fraud where Coronavirus was mentioned, with victim losses totaling over £800k, since February 2020.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “This type of behavior is both shocking and disgraceful and has an impact on vulnerable members of our communities.

“Of the 21 reports, ten were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers.

“One victim reported losing over £15k when they purchased face masks that were never delivered.

“Reporting numbers are expected to rise as the virus continues to spread across the world and we are encouraging residents to engage with Citizens Advice.

“They have launched advice on coronavirus scams and a scam checker, to check if something might be a scam

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s chief executive Leon Livermore said: “It is abhorrent that unscrupulous individuals are using this difficult time as an opportunity to immiserate others further.

“Consumers should now be extra vigilant, and aware of these new scams that take many forms.

“The general rule of scams applies – if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

“CTSI is monitoring these developments and will update the public as we receive further intelligence.

“In the meantime, the public should follow the official government advice, and take all necessary precautions.”

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/check-if-something-might-be-a-scam/

Sefton Leisure Centres to temporarily close to help fight COVID19

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 Sefton Council have taken the decision to temporarily close our Leisure Centres.

This includes Dunes Leisure Centre, Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, Bootle Leisure Centre, Litherland Sports Park, Netherton Activity Centre and Meadows Leisure Centre.

The last day of operation will be Friday, March 20th.

All activities including swimming lessons are also suspended until further notice. This also extends to community based Active Sefton sessions and the Easter Be Active Programme.

We are fully aware of the incredible value our Leisure Centres and wider activities hold for the health and wellbeing of our communities.

However due to recent government guidance, these temporary arrangements are crucial to help in the next phase of the government’s plan to tackle the outbreak.

It is still very important to remain as active as possible during this time. We will do our absolute best to provide helpful hints, tips and guidance for residents via our social media channels and recommend that residents remain active at a social distance utilising the outdoors where possible.

All direct debit payments will automatically be suspended until the Leisure Centres reopen and as such there is no need to contact us to arrange this.

We apologise for any inconvenience and we thank you for your understanding at this time.

Advice on Refuse & Recycling services during self isolation

*Please Note: There is currently a short delay in collecting household waste. Please leave your bins out for collection as usual. Operatives will be working during the weekend to assist in collecting residential waste.*

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “We have business continuity plans in place to ensure essential services, such as refuse and recycling, continue for our communities.

“We are also utilising members of our street cleansing teams to assist with other refuse collection services.

“We would also like to ask any residents who are self-isolating as a result of COVID-19 to ensure they dispose of any used tissues or hygiene products in a double bag and present it for collection within their grey bins as normal.

“There is no need to arrange for a clinical waste collection for this type of waste.”

Steve Rotheram exploring measures to help local people deal with Coronavirus

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region has today announced that work is underway to potentially introduce measures to help local people cope with the spread of the Coronavirus.

People are being encouraged to follow Public Health England’s guidance to help mitigate the spread of the virus, while the Combined Authority’s position will be to coordinate the local business resilience response.

Among the measures under consideration are:

• Funding support for local businesses
• Working with bus operators to use the spare capacity in the bus fleet to help deliver food to those who are self-isolating, part of ‘at risk’ groups or those who would usually rely on foodbanks
• A potential measure to allow concessionary travel on local buses before 9.30am to allow senior citizens to access special reserved shopping hours for the elderly – while encouraging people to only undertake essential travel
• Exploring whether temporary reductions in Mersey Tunnel tolls would be effective in supporting people to make essential journeys

Any actions taken will be based on what is going to most effectively support local people and ensure that they comply with appropriate public health advice.

The Mayor has also announced that he will be convening a call on Wednesday with local businesses, trade unions and social enterprises to better understand what help they need to protect themselves and their staff and what the government needs to do to better respond to local need.

Later this week, the Mayor will be establishing an action group drawing together representatives from the Merseyside Resilience Forum, local councils, emergency services, Public Health England and a host of other key organisations.

The group will meet regularly and draw on a wide range of expertise to shape a coordinated, region-wide response to the economic impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“In these difficult times, it is important that we all work together to safeguard ourselves and others. I am determined that we will do as much as we can to help our region manage the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

“I am working closely with organisations from across our region to understand the needs of our communities and the challenges we face to help put together our response.

“These measures are just some of the things that we are exploring. As the nature of the spread locally becomes clearer, we will be announcing further measures to help people and businesses in every part of our region.

“In the meantime, I will be lobbying government to provide the appropriate support our public services and local businesses require to help manage things.

“Our region is famed for its community spirit, its kindness and generosity, and its collective solidarity. As we coordinate our response to COVID-19, those values will be needed.”

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