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Private Landlords in Sefton reminded of new licence rules

Private Landlords across Sefton are being reminded that the deadline to apply for a licence to rent out their property is fast approaching.

The deadline for applications is set for September 1 and landlords who have yet to apply are being urged to do so as soon as possible.

Since March 1, Sefton Council requires landlords of private rented properties in some parts of the borough to apply for a housing licence.

So far the Council has received hundreds of applications and are now issuing licences but many landlords have yet to apply.

If you are a private landlord in Sefton and haven’t already, you need to check whether you will need a licence to rent out your property and if so, apply for one.

If your property is in the Bootle (L20, L21) area you may need a Selective Licence.

If your property is in Seaforth (L21), Waterloo (L22), Brighton-le-Sands (L23) or Southport (PR8, PR9) AND it is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) you may need an Additional (HMO) licence.

HMOs do include buildings that have been converted into self-contained flats where the standard of conversion does not meet that required by the Building Regulations 1991, and less than two-thirds of the flats are owner occupied.

A full list of all streets affected along with further details of the schemes, licensing conditions and fees are available on sefton.gov.uk.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “I would strongly advise all landlords to check whether their properties need a licence and, if so, to apply for one as soon as possible.

“By introducing the new licensing scheme we can help identify improvements in property management which benefits landlords and tenants alike.”

Landlord Mark Hodge from Bootle owns three rented properties and was one of the first to apply for a licence.

He said: “Moving towards a properly regulated rental market through the licensing scheme is a step in the right direction.

“Signing up and registering was made very easy and I hope more landlords do the same which can only benefit us all and our tenants.”

A rigorous enforcement regime will commence from September 1, and landlords found to be operating unlicensed properties will face prosecution or Civil Penalty Notices which carry fines up to £30,000.

The Government is also extending the scope of Mandatory HMO Licensing from October 1, 2018. All landlords of HMOs throughout the borough that meet the following criteria are required to have applied for a licence by that date, so should make an application now:
• 5 or more occupants (who comprise two or more separate family units)
• Shared amenities such as bathroom, kitchen, or toilet facilities or where all the units of accommodation are not fully self-contained (i.e. although a kitchen, bathroom or WC are provided for the tenant’s use elsewhere in the building, they are not actually situated within their unit of accommodation)

Landlords will be required to meet a range of licence conditions, and show that they have appropriate management arrangements in place.

You can check if you need a housing licence, which type of licence you need and apply for a housing licence https://housinglicensing.sefton.gov.uk/

If you want further details or wish to be kept informed about housing licensing please email landlord.licensing@sefton.gov.uk.

Sefton joins Women’s Aid to call for an end to World Cup related Domestic Violence

Sefton Council is backing the ‘Football United against Domestic Violence’ campaign by Women’s Aid to raise awareness of a rise in domestic abuse during the World Cup.

Studies have found that incidents of domestic abuse rose by 38% when the England team lose when compared with the days that England did not play during a World Cup.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “While we’re cheering on the Three Lions this month, we should not forget that there exists a small minority who use the tournament as an excuse to commit horrid acts of abuse.

“In previous World Cups, cases of domestic violence rose by an average of 25 per cent after an England match, win, lose or draw. While the vast majority of fans are good natured and enjoy what is an incredible spectacle, there is a small minority who will become more violent and put others at risk during this time.

“At Sefton we fully support Women’s Aid and their ‘Football United against Domestic Violence’ campaign, as we call upon the football community to sign a pledge to make a positive difference to raise awareness and reduce the amount of domestic abuse now and in the future.”

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said: “Categorically, football does not cause domestic abuse, the behaviour and actions of abusers who exert power and control over their victims cause domestic abuse.

“However, domestic abuse does not happen in a cultural vacuum. The sexist attitudes, chants and behaviour at football matches encourage an environment in which women are belittled and demeaned.

“Together, we can send out the powerful message that domestic abuse is always unacceptable and that there is no place for violence in football whether on or off the pitch.”

For more information about the Football United against Domestic Violence campaign visit www.womensaid.org.uk

Metro Mayors’ Skills Summit Calls for Further Devolution

England’s directly-elected regional mayors will meet in Liverpool today, at the invitation of Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor.

The meeting builds on the success of two previous meetings in London and Birmingham.
At the summit, all eight mayors – four Conservative and four Labour – will call on the government for greater devolution of powers and funding over skills.

All eight have signed up to a joint statement calling for further reforms to the skills system, including more control over Apprenticeship Levy funds to boost skills in their areas.

Present at the meeting will be Tim Bowles, West of England; Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester; Sadiq Khan, London; Ben Houchen, Tees Valley; Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region; Andy Street, West Midlands.

James Palmer, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, and Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region, are unable to attend but signed the joint statement.

All of the mayors present will attend the International Festival of Business, currently taking place in Liverpool, and supported by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

The morning will see a panel discussion featuring a number of the mayors, while Sadiq Khan will address the Festival in the afternoon, followed by an “in conversation” session with Steve Rotheram.

A focus for discussions will be the Government’s flagship Apprenticeship Levy, which is intended to fund new apprenticeships through a levy of 0.5% of their paybill for employers with salary costs of more than £3 million per year.

Funding can then be drawn down by employers to pay for apprenticeships.
Since the levy was introduced new apprenticeship starts have dropped by 24%, and businesses are finding it difficult to provide the apprenticeships our regions need.

The metro mayors agreed the following joint statement: “As the UK approaches Brexit it is of vital importance for our future growth and prosperity that businesses have access to a workforce with the range of skills necessary to be competitive in the modern global economy.

“As Mayors representing every corner of England we know we would be letting our residents down if we failed to provide them with the opportunities to gain the skills and experience they need to fulfil their potential.

“Between the eight of us we account for nearly 42 per cent of all British growth (GVA). We know our local economies and the needs of the labour market in our areas and we are committed to developing innovative ideas to create a step change in skills and training provision.

“We recognise the Government’s efforts to reform the skills system and applaud its ambition to see three million apprenticeships by 2020. However, the reality is that the number of apprenticeship starts has dropped sharply, with the number of starts falling by 24% since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy last year.

“With that in mind, we call on the Government to give us the flexibility we need to address these issues, specifically by granting city regions control of the Apprenticeship Levy funding which levy payers do not spend, and by further devolving control of 16-19 skills policy.

“We also call on the Government to provide additional funding for us to ensure that there are enough quality providers in our city regions, and to drive the quality of apprenticeships.

“If Government allow us these flexibilities and worked with our city regions, we would ensure that it is used to deliver the gold-standard apprenticeships and skills training that our residents, employers, and the country as a whole, so desperately need.

“We call on the Skills Minister to meet with us to discuss how we can work together to drive apprenticeships and technical education in our regions.”

Dates announced for brand new Constituency Forums

Local residents now have a new way to engage even further with Sefton Council and its partners.

Constituency Forums are being introduced as a more relaxed way for residents to talk to agencies, councillors and Council departments about any issues they have.

The forums will be held twice a year in each of the respective Parliamentary Constituencies within Sefton; Bootle, Central Sefton and Southport.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “After consulting about the old and aged style of Area Committees, we decided to take a look at how we engage with our communities and came up with the idea of the Constituency Forums.

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

“This will give our valued residents the opportunity to arrive, get a drink and talk to agencies, councillors and departments about any issues they have, moving from table to table depending on the resident’s particular needs.

“We hope that this new format will remove the formality of the old Area Committee process and attract residents to a more relaxed public meeting at which they feel that the Council and its partners are more accessible and friendly.

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

The planned dates for the Constituency Forum across Sefton are:

• Bootle – Thursday, June 21 at 6.30pm in Bootle Town Hall’s Ball Room
• Central Sefton – Thursday, June 28 at 6pm to 7.30pm in Crosby Lakeside
• Southport – Thursday, July 5 at 6pm to 7.30pm in The Atkinson’s Studio Room

 

South Sefton Recycling Centre temporarily closes for maintenance

Sefton residents are being made aware that the South Sefton Recycling Centre, Irlam Road, Bootle will be temporarily closed from Monday June 18 – Friday June 22.

This is to allow essential maintenance work to take place.

During the closure residents can still recycle their household waste by using any of the fourteen other recycling centres across Merseyside. 

The closest to the Irlam Road are Cheadle Avenue, Old Swan or Sefton Lane, Maghull.

South Sefton recycling centre will reopen on Saturday June 23.

Residents are also reminded not to leave any waste or dump rubbish outside any recycling centre. This is flytipping and if caught, offenders can face considerable fines. 

Carl Beer, Chief Executive of Merseyside Waste & Recycling Authority, said: “Working with our contractor Veolia the bulk of the maintenance work will introduce new traffic management measures including height restriction barriers and lane guards, which will be used to divert vehicles suspected of carrying non-household waste into areas where they can be safely and efficiently inspected.

“South Sefton has an issue with commercial operators and traders using vans to bring non-household waste onto site for disposal. The current layout means any vehicles stopped can create queues and tailbacks, which isn’t the most efficient use of the site. The new measures should put an end to this.

“We’re also taking the opportunity for some essential refurbishment work around the Centre including: repair and replacing containers, repairing lighting complete clean of the Centre, replacement of kerbstones, repair and replacement of signage and improvements to road marking and ‘safe’ routes around the site.

“The Emmaus Reuse Shop on the site will also be closed and resident will be directed to the Old Swan Reuse Shop.”

 

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