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New Sefton scheme to improve private landlord standards

Standards of management and property conditions in the private rented sector in parts of Sefton are set to improve with the introduction of new Selective Licensing and Additional (HMO) licensing schemes.

Earlier this year Sefton Council consulted with residents, private landlords, businesses and other stakeholders for proposed new licensing schemes, which would affect private rented homes in designated areas.

The successful consultation looked at proposals to introduce Selective Licensing across Bootle and Additional (HMO) Licensing across parts of Seaforth/Waterloo/Brighton-le-Sands and central Southport.

Results showed that more than 85% of respondents were in favour of the selective licensing designation and 84% in favour of the two additional licensing areas.

Both the Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing schemes were approved today (September 7) at Cabinet and should start in March, 2018.

Many local authorities already operate similar licensing schemes which aim to a improve standards of management and property conditions in the private rented sector, which should benefit tenants and improve the communities affected.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said:

“Over the past number of years we have seen a significant increase in the size of the private rented sector – especially in the areas considered for the licensing schemes.

“Across the borough we recognise the crucial role the private rented sector plays in creating a strong and sustainable housing market and in meeting the housing needs of many households now and for the future.

“Through the engagement process we consulted with landlords and our communities and the majority of respondents felt the schemes would have a positive impact in Sefton.

“We will now work on developing both schemes with the view of making these areas safe and attractive places to live in with the full co-operation of landlords and their tenants.”

Full details of the results of the consultation are available on sefton.gov.uk. If you would like to keep updated on our housing licensing schemes please send your details to landlord.licensing@sefton.gov.uk.

Mayor throws open doors to Bootle Town Hall

The Mayor of Sefton’s office are throwing open the doors of Bootle Town Hall next month for National Heritage Open Day.

Hour long tours of Bootle Town Hall will be available throughout Saturday September 9, forming one of over 5,000 events across England to reflect the rich and diverse cultural heritage of our communities.

Four tours will take place from 10:30am, 11:30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm, showing off the Assembly Hall, Ballroom, Committee Room, Council Chamber and Mayor’s Parlours

Places on the tours can be booked via the Mayor of Sefton’s Office on 0151 934 2062, or by email mayorsoffice@sefton.gov.uk.

Commissioner reopens fund to help communities prevent crime

Organisations which help to reduce crime and protect communities in Merseyside are being invited to apply for a share of a fund aimed at helping building stronger, safer communities.

This is the third year that Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has opened the Crime Prevention Fund which is used to help charities, community groups and social enterprises stop problems before they occur, by reducing the opportunities for crime and by deterring people away from becoming involved in anti-social and criminal behaviour.

A total of £135,000 is available from the fund and the Commissioner is inviting groups to submit bids of between £5,000 and £25,000 for innovative community safety projects or schemes that will be run between now and April 2018.

This year, the Commissioner is specifically urging organisations that are working to tackle the causes of serious and organised crime to apply for funding.

Jane said: “Serious and organised crime is, for many people, their greatest concern. It blights our communities, bringing misery and suffering and causing lasting harm.

“Merseyside Police allocates extensive resources to tackling this issue, but they cannot succeed alone. Local people understand their communities better than anyone and know what will work best to improve their area. We are fortunate to have a wealth of voluntary and community groups which are working hard to prevent people, especially young people from getting involved with this type of crime and I want to hear from them.

“Through the Crime Prevention Fund, I want to see what more can be done to tackle this issue and with these grants I hope I can give organisations which are trying to address the root causes of this issue a valuable cash boost which will help to make a difference to communities across Merseyside.”

Last year, 12 grassroots organisations were chosen to share £132,000 from the Crime Prevention Fund from a total of 116 bids submitted. Many of the projects focused on preventing young people from getting involved with crime.

Lord Street to undergo resurfacing works

Sefton Council has sent out letters to residents and businesses on Lord Street, Southport to let them know about an upcoming carriageway resurfacing project.

Through a series of technical surveys and engineering analysis undertaken across the borough, Lord Street has been identified as a priority for resurfacing works.

Lord Street will undergo an important series of resurfacing works, to improve the carriageway, commencing on Monday, September 18 and taking approximately six weeks to complete.

In a bid to minimise disruption, the works will be managed in four stages:

Stage 1: Duke Street to Eastbank Street
Stage 2: Eastbank Street to Nevill Street
Stage 3: Nevill Street to Manchester Road
Stage 4: Eastbank Street junction and Nevill Street Junction

Each phase will be carried out between 8am-5pm with the exception of Phase 4, which will be carried out after 7pm.

Pedestrian access to shops and amenities will be permitted at all times, while access for deliveries is restricted between 7.30am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm daily.

There will be ongoing liaisons with properties affected as the works progress.

Diversions will be in place via Duke Street, Victoria Way, Esplanade, Promenade and Seabank Road.

Cllr John Fairclough, Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “We are eager to improve the road surface on Lord Street, especially in the run up to Christmas time which sees a lot of people visiting Southport.

“The timing of the works has been designed to minimise the impact on businesses, residents and visitors

“Sefton is a borough on the move and regenerating the carriageway on Lord Street is a key priority for us.

“The scheme will be carried out by Dowhigh Ltd and we expect any disruption throughout the improvement works to be kept to a minimum.

“Additional information will be posted out to residents and businesses at least two weeks in advance of the works to update people further.”

For further information on road closures across the borough visit www.sefton.gov.uk.

Southport conservation areas in the spotlight

Two of Southport’s conservation areas are in the spotlight as their official conservation appraisals are updated and reviewed. Sefton Council has produced draft updates to the existing appraisals of both the Lord Street Conservation Area and the Promenade Conservation Area, which are now set to undergo a period of public consultation.

Conservation area appraisals aim to protect the inherent qualities of a conservation area by providing a thorough understanding of their character.

These appraisals examine Southport’s special characteristics and aim to determine local distinctness as well as offer proposals for preservation and enhancement. Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Planning and Building Control, said: “The appraisals highlight what is special about the area, its positives, negatives, as well as identifying opportunities for change and review of its boundaries.

“This information will also be helpful to those considering investment in the area and can be used to guide the form and content of new development.

Please take the time to get involved in the consultation and share your comments regarding these important conservation areas in our borough.”

The public consultation will allow the local community and all those with a stakeholder interest the opportunity to comment on and contribute to the final appraisal documents. Each appraisal would be a material consideration in the determination of relevant planning applications.

The documents will also support the development of policies to help maintain and enhance the character of the conservation areas.

The draft documents are out to public consultation until September 20, 2017 and can be viewed at www.sefton.gov.uk/conservationareas or alternatively hard copies can be viewed at The Atkinson Library on Lord Street, Southport or the Planning Office at Magdalen House, Trinity Road, Bootle. Any comments people may wish to make on the contents of the appraisals would be most welcome and relevant additions may be incorporated in the final document before publication.

All written comments by post, website or email will need to be received no later than September 20, 2017.

If you wish to discuss any specific aspects of the documents, Council officers will be available by appointment to discuss Lord Street Conservation Area on Tuesday, August 15 and to discuss Promenade Conservation Area on Thursday, August 17 both at Southport Town Hall, Lord Street, between 5pm-7pm.

To avoid disappointment, please ensure an allocated appointment can be made through Conservation@sefton.gov.uk or on 0345 140 0845 (option 4).

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