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Consultation begins on tackling Grand National ticket touting

Sefton Council have launched a public consultation to tackle the issue of ticket touting at the Aintree Grand National after a sharp rise in the practice.

The Local Authority are proposing to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which would make it an offence within a designated area to sell, offer for sale or advertise tickets for the three day event.

Failing to comply with the order would result in ticket touts being required to leave the area for up to 24 hours, as well as being handed  a £75 fixed penalty notice.

A consultation will now run until March 10 with residents being asked for their views on the proposed PSPO.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “Ticket touting at the Grand National is an ongoing issue and we want to curb this unpleasant practice.

“Touts can be intimidating and their behaviour may cause distress to members of the public and racegoers during what should be a completely enjoyable experience.

“We know through evidence provided to us that there has been a significant increase in the number of touts operating during the event over the last four years.”

John Baker, Managing Director of Aintree Racecourse, said: “We would very much welcome the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order for ticket touting by Sefton Council which would make it an offence to sell, offer for sale or advertise tickets for the Randox Health Grand National outside the racecourse.

“At Aintree we pride ourselves on providing first class customer service and that starts at the perimeter of our racecourse.

“We are grateful for the support of Sefton Council on trying to eradicate these unpleasant, and often criminal, activities of touts and look forward to continuing to work closely with the Council.”

Ward Councillors, Aintree Parish Council, The Jockey Club and local businesses will also be asked to give their views on the consultation.

For more information or to give your views, please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/aintreepspo.

To request a hard copy of the consultation please call 0345 140 0845

Essential Maintenance works on Liverpool Road, Formby

Essential underground electrical works are taking place along Liverpool Road, Formby.

Temporary signals have been installed on the road near to the Royal Public House in order to safely manage traffic during these works, which are expected to last until March 7th .

In order to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum, Scottish Power contractors will work collaboratively with Cadent Gas to ensure that the improvements are completed on schedule.

Temporary signals will also be in place in the area from March 9 to March 17 while HTM-North West undertake a waste water surface connection.

These essential works are to facilitate and support a new housing development adjacent to Liverpool Road.

While every effort has been made to ensure congestion and delays are kept to a minimum, we would advise motorists to plan their journeys accordingly.

Ainsdale Beach Exercise: All You Need To Know

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are holding a training exercise on Ainsdale Beach today to test their contractor response to an oil spillage incident.

Sefton Council is urging members of the public not to worry if they spot this exercise in action on the coast this morning (February 19) as it is not real.

In preparation, the Council has been working with the MCA to provide a suitable location for the exercise and to ensure that any disruption to the community is kept to a minimum.

There may be limited access to some parts of the beach, carpark and Ainsdale Discovery Centre which may need to be cordoned off to pedestrians and dog walkers, but this will only be a temporary measure for today and there is no cause for alarm.

Green Sefton’s operational staff will be on site to advise any local beach users about the exercise and to ensure the safety of public access around the test site.

There will be no actual pollutant used either at sea or on the foreshore and no lasting impact to the beach once the exercise is complete.

Councillor Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We’re urging people not to panic. The exercise is not real – but it provides a unique opportunity for us to help other agencies like the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to test their plans and will provide a wealth of insight and mutual benefit to Sefton and other Merseyside coastal Local Authorities in terms of ongoing shoreline pollution response and recovery planning.”

Ryan Carter, Resources and Claims Lead for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Counter Pollution and Salvage Branch, said:  “Every year the MCA undertakes exercises with our partners across the country from ports, harbours, councils and other agencies to test our oil spill response.

“Today’s exercise is a ‘cold callout’ whereby we test our Oil Spill Response Tier 3 contractors, without giving them notice.

“We are very fortunate to be working with Sefton Council and their Green Sefton team in this area and shoreline around Ainsdale Beach. During the exercise there will be no actual pollution present.”

Southport shortlisted for prestigious national tourism award

Southport has been shortlisted as the UK’s most ‘Coach Friendly Destination’ in the British Coach Tourism Awards 2019 (BCTA) – just two years after winning the same award.

The BCTA recognises excellence across destinations, visitor attractions, coach operators and tourism suppliers. The award for ‘Coach Friendly Destination’ recognises the way a town, city or region has enhanced the welcome it gives to coaches, coach groups and coach drivers.

This year Southport faces stiff competition from Bournemouth & Poole, Burnham-On-Sea, Newmarket and Wells.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “In 2017 we saw off competition from across the country to win this prestigious award and since then we haven’t been resting on our laurels.
“In 2018 we launched ‘Southport Pick ‘n’ Mix’, a new product for groups that offers a selection of inspirational ideas for a 4-night group-friendly itinerary based in the town. The product was very well received by tour operators and group travel organisers.
“Over the last few years Southport has become well known for the Coach Welcome Hosts that meet and greet coaches in the town centre, and for our secure coach parking at the Eco Centre on the Promenade. Being shortlisted for this prestigious award is testament to the work that the Visit Southport team is doing to attract more visitors to the town.”

The winners of the BCTA 2019 will be announced on March 20.

Talented student photographers host ‘Beyond Bootle’ exhibit

First year Hugh Baird students studying Digital Imaging and Photography will be exhibiting their recent works at a special pop-up exhibit in Bootle Strand Shopping Centre.

Ahead of the show, each student was allocated a grid on a map of Bootle and were tasked with capturing the very best emotive images from that area.

The objectives of the project were to look beyond the more traditional views of Bootle and creatively respond to the space they have been assigned.

Their finalised works will be on show at the shopping centre from February 26 to March 2, at which point it will then begin touring across a number of libraries throughout Sefton.

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