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Customer service delays likely due to high volume of calls

We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls to our Contact Centre and requests to our Council Tax Teams in part due to the cost of living crisis, the £150 Council Tax Energy Rebate, local elections, allocation of school places and the administration of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme  .  Both teams are currently prioritising supporting the most vulnerable, the processing of the £150 energy rebate to 114 000 households  and those in need of help and support from our Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme. 

As at 27th April the teams have processed the £150 Energy Rebate to 45,256 households (Council Tax Bands A – D). These payments have been made to  households that have paid Council Tax by Direct Debit where the instalment was paid between 1st – 18th April.  For those whose direct debit is paid from 19th to the 28th April their rebate will be paid by mid-May.  For households in Bands A to D that do not pay by direct debit we will be writing to them by 6th May to collect information from them that will enable us to process their rebate over the coming months. 

We appreciate that the current response times will be frustrating people trying to contact the Council so we have taken steps to recruit and train additional staff and our staff are working extra hours to help meet the demand. We would encourage people to use online processes wherever possible. 

Sefton to consult with bereaved families over ashes scattering plans

Families who lost loved ones during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic are being consulted by by Sefton Council on their plans for the scattering of ashes.

During 2020 and 2021 the scattering of ashes was prevented nationally as a result of the pandemic’s impact on day-to-day life, which means some families are only now getting the chance to properly pay their respects to those they have lost.

Although families were put on an appointment list to scatter their loved ones ashes at gardens of rest within Sefton, the Council is finding that many families have since opted to hold alternative services in other locations of personal importance.

As a result, the Council is asking those families still wishing to make an appointment at one of the Local Authority’s gardens of rest to get in contact to set a date.

David Clay, Sefton Council’s Burials and Cremations Manager, said: “It is impossible to describe the upset and pain that families who lost loved ones during those early days of the pandemic went through.

“Unavoidable safety restrictions meant families were unable to pay tribute to those who passed away in a conventional way and we understand that the effects of what happened are still being felt.

“The scattering of ashes at our gardens of rest have resumed and we are in the process of contacting families.

“However, many have told us that as a result of lifted restrictions they have opted for alternative ceremonies or scatterings at locations of significance to those who passed.

“We fully empathise with this decision but want to make sure that families who still want to scatter ashes are able to do so.

“We would encourage those families who still want to hold a scattering within our gardens to contact us directly to reconfirm their request.

“This will enable us to speed up the process for families who still want appointments in the garden of remembrance so they have the opportunity to pay their respects at the earliest opportunity.”

To contact Sefton Council’s Cemeteries and Crematorium team please call Thornton Garden of Rest on 0151 924 5143 or Southport Crematorium on 01704 533443

Register to vote in time for the 2022 Local Elections

The deadline to ensure you are registered to vote in the upcoming local elections is just a few days away.

On Thursday May 5th, 2022 thousands of residents across Sefton will cast their vote on who they want to see represent them and their neighbours on the Local Authority’s borough council.

This year there will be voting in 21 of 22 wards in Sefton. Voting will not take place in St Oswald ward as the candidate ran uncontested.

Local government elections elect councillors, who are responsible for making decisions on running services in your local area. These include housing, education, transport, planning, parks, leisure, fire and public safety, social care and waste management.

In order to vote in this important election, residents must be on the electoral register. If you are not registered to vote then you can apply on line at

The deadline to register to vote in the local elections is Thursday April 14th and Sefton Council is asking residents who have not registered at their current address to make sure they are registered in time.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said said: “This is the last week where you can take quick and easy steps to ensure your name is on the electoral register at your home address.

“We do not want residents to miss out. These elections are an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here across Sefton.

“If you have recently turned 18 or moved home, it is particularly important that you act to ensure that you are registered to vote.”

If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you will still be registered to vote.

If in doubt, check your details by giving us a call on 0345 140 0845

To register to vote visit


Aintree Festival 2022: Travel Advice & Road Closures

Sefton is once again preparing to welcome thousands of visitors to the borough as part of the three day Aintree Grand National Festival this coming weekend.

The local authority is one of the many agencies that will help thousands of festival goers get to and from Aintree Racecourse as smoothly as possible throughout the weekend of April 7-9.

Working alongside Merseyside Police, Merseytravel and several other partners, the Council’s traffic management team helps coaches, cars, limousines and even horse boxes get to the right place at the right time.

They also help residents who aren’t attending the festival, and businesses who are potentially affected by it, to go about their daily business with as little disruption as possible.

A number of diversions and traffic management measures will be in place throughout the festival’s three days (Thursday, April 7 – Saturday, April 9) including temporary closures.

Residents who are not attending the festival are advised to avoid the A59 Ormskirk Road from Switch Island through to the Black Bull junction.

Ormskirk Road, as well as Park Lane between Bridle Road and Ormskirk Road, will be subject to rolling closures from 10am on all three festival days. Heavy traffic is expected on the A59 from 10am – 2pm.

During the closure, traffic will be diverted via Switch Island, Dunnings Bridge Road, Netherton Way and Southport Road.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “We are delighted to see the return of a public Aintree Festival after being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The weekend brings thousands of racegoers, tourists and visitors to our beautiful borough and once again all eyes will be on Sefton as the home of incredible international events.

“We are working closely with partners to help keep the borough moving during the festival and to keep disruption to a minimum.

“People wishing to attend the race meeting itself are encouraged to use the Merseyrail network and alight at Aintree station.

“After racing finishes on both Friday and Saturday buses will be operating from Park Lane into Liverpool City Centre and we would ask visitors who are in the region for a number of days to try and explore our wonderful borough even further.”

Marine Lake Events Centre plans to take major step forward this Summer

Exciting plans for a state-of-the-art Marine Lake Events Centre in Southport are set to take another big step forward this summer, as the project team prepares for public consultation.

It was announced earlier this year that Sefton Council has appointed an experienced team, including leading architecture firm AFL Architects, to work on plans that will provide Southport with a first class events space and a new visitor attraction that will animate the Marine Lake. 

The project has been named following feedback from local school children during the Town Deal consultation in 2020. The plans will provide a theatre space, conference and exhibition centre able to accommodate a range of events, and café/restaurant on the site of the existing Southport Theatre and Conference Centre.  A water and light show is proposed to be installed on the Marine Lake.

The project will bring thousands of visitors to the town each year and provide a boost to the local economy.

The Marine Lake Events Centre and Marine Lake water and light show forms part of the Southport Town Deal which secured £37.5 million funding in 2021. The project has also secured further support from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. 

Work on the Marine Lake Events Centre follows the success of Southport Market, which opened its doors last year and has helped to kickstart regeneration of the Market Quarter. The council has also recently consulted on plans to improve access to the eastern side of Southport and public realm improvements for the town centre.

The Marine Lake Events Centre team will start conversations with stakeholders over the next few weeks with public consultation planned to take place in May. A planning application is expected to be submitted in early summer 2022.

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “We are really excited that the project is starting to take shape. During the consultation on the Town Deal in 2020, the need for investment in the current theatre was something lots of people wanted to see and the “big idea” to animate the Marine Lake was widely welcomed. 

“There are a number of aspects of the project that need careful consideration, so we have appointed an expert team to start having conversations and to help design and deliver this important project for Southport.

“We plan to undertake a wider public consultation on the plans in May, providing an opportunity for everyone to see and comment on the plans before a planning application is submitted.”


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