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WATCH: Sefton honours communities during national Day of Reflection

Tuesday, March 23 marks one year since Sefton went into lockdown.

In line with national events to mark this day, Sefton have put together a special film to honour, remember and thank all of our residents for a difficult and challenging year under COVID-19.

Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson and Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher have also issued the below letter to all Sefton communities.

Southport and Bootle Town Halls will be illuminated yellow this evening (March 23) from 7pm-9pm as a sign of reflection and remembrance to all those who have lost their lives through COVID-19.

*****

To our residents,

This past year has been a year like no other.

March 23rd 2021 marks a year since the first national lockdown began as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were asked to stay at home and reduce our contacts. For some, that has meant that they have not seen loved ones for over a year, some have not met new family members, or marked special occasions; others did not get a chance to say goodbye.

Our communities have been hit hard by this pandemic and we want to recognise the difficulties people continue to face as we slowly begin to emerge, a year later.

The impact of this pandemic will be felt for some time to come and it is important that we reflect on the challenges we have faced, and we consider how we will emerge stronger and face those difficulties ahead.

We could not let today pass without recognising the sacrifice and hardship faced by our community and to pause and take stock of the year that has gone by.

But there are some positives we can take from this past year.

It has been heart-warming and truly inspiring to see how our communities have come together to support each other during this time.

We have seen huge numbers of volunteers, supporting those who needed it, neighbours checking in on neighbours, and welfare visits through the window.

We’ve seen fundraising and charities pulling us all through and inspiring stories of people going the extra mile and showing what Sefton can do.

The spirit of our community continues to impress us, while we share an overwhelming sadness for those we have lost and pride in our community for how we are pushing through.

We know that many sacrifices have been made to drive the COVID infection rate down, and sadly, we have lost loved ones along the way.

They will be sadly missed and will not be forgotten.

We will look at options for a permanent memorial and long term commemorations when the time is right, but for now, we would urge everyone to pause, reflect and continue to work together as one community.

We must continue to stick to the rules as lockdown eases so that we can truly put this past year behind us.

We urge everyone to continue to reduce their contacts as much as possible and take precautionary measures as lockdown lifts.

Soon, we hope, we can hug our families again

Sefton Council will continue to support our MySefton community as we emerge from this pandemic and we would, once again, like to thank you for all that we have done over the past year.

We will emerge stronger.

Dwayne Johnson & Cllr Ian Maher.

Transforming Bootle: ‘Area Action Plan’ sets out vision for town’s long-term future

Transforming Bootle: ‘Area Action Plan’ sets out vision for town’s long-term future

 

Sefton Council is inviting the community to help shape ambitious plans that will ensure Bootle is a great place to work, live, shop and socialise.

 

To achieve this, the Council is planning to produce an ‘Area Action Plan’ which will set out a clear vision for the town. It will identify the locations in the town where investment is needed. It will also help to secure the homes that people need and want, good quality open spaces and facilities, as well as job opportunities.

 

The Area Action Plan will be rooted in the people, businesses and organisations of the town. It will be a plan for the future of Bootle created by its residents and other stakeholders. The aim of the plan is to stimulate further investment in the town, creating more opportunities for local people and businesses. Once adopted, it will form part of the Development Plan for Sefton alongside the Local Plan.

 

Everybody will have an opportunity to get involved in shaping the Area Action Plan and over the coming months Sefton Council will set out how they intend to engage with local people and when.

 

To help kick-start the wider regeneration of the town, Sefton Council has purchased the Strand Shopping Centre and recently secured some of the neighbouring sites. Last year the Council shared ambitious plans to bring the Strand back to life and in December 2020 work started on site to clear the land adjacent to the Strand and the Leeds Liverpool Canal. This work will open up a disused area around the Strand for new and imaginative interim uses, the first step in repurposing the Strand and opening it up its canal frontage. Further information will be shared on these new and exciting uses in the coming weeks. The future of the Strand will be integral to these conversations with local communities.

 

Councillor Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said:

We want to use the redevelopment and improvement of the Strand to help transform the town into a better, healthier place for residents and visitors.

 

“We are proudly and passionately committed to Bootle and are looking forward to engaging with local people and stakeholders in a conversation about the future of their town.

 

“We want to ensure that everybody has the chance to get involved in this exciting opportunity and we will be sharing more details soon.”

 

Further information about the Area Action Plan and details of how you can get involved will be shared in the coming months. To register your early interest to be part of this exciting opportunity please email BootleAAP@sefton.gov.uk

 

ENDS

Transforming Bootle: ‘Area Action Plan’ sets out vision for town’s long-term future

 

An artist’s impression of how the Bootle Strand area could look

Sefton Council is inviting the community to help shape ambitious plans that will ensure Bootle is a great place to work, live, shop and socialise.

To achieve this, the Council is planning to produce an ‘Area Action Plan’ which will set out a clear vision for the town. It will identify the locations in the town where investment is needed. It will also help to secure the homes that people need and want, good quality open spaces and facilities, as well as job opportunities.

The Area Action Plan will be rooted in the people, businesses and organisations of the town. It will be a plan for the future of Bootle created by its residents and other stakeholders. The aim of the plan is to stimulate further investment in the town, creating more opportunities for local people and businesses. Once adopted, it will form part of the Development Plan for Sefton alongside the Local Plan.

Everybody will have an opportunity to get involved in shaping the Area Action Plan and over the coming months Sefton Council will set out how they intend to engage with local people and when.

To help kick-start the wider regeneration of the town, Sefton Council has purchased the Strand Shopping Centre and recently secured some of the neighbouring sites. Last year the Council shared ambitious plans to bring the Strand back to life and in December 2020 work started on site to clear the land adjacent to the Strand and the Leeds Liverpool Canal. This work will open up a disused area around the Strand for new and imaginative interim uses, the first step in repurposing the Strand and opening it up its canal frontage. Further information will be shared on these new and exciting uses in the coming weeks. The future of the Strand will be integral to these conversations with local communities.

Councillor Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said:

We want to use the redevelopment and improvement of the Strand to help transform the town into a better, healthier place for residents and visitors.

“We are proudly and passionately committed to Bootle and are looking forward to engaging with local people and stakeholders in a conversation about the future of their town.

“We want to ensure that everybody has the chance to get involved in this exciting opportunity and we will be sharing more details soon.”

Further information about the Area Action Plan and details of how you can get involved will be shared in the coming months. To register your early interest to be part of this exciting opportunity please email BootleAAP@sefton.gov.uk

Residents encouraged to consider Postal Voting this coming election

Thousands of residents across Sefton are set to receive letters in the coming days encouraging them to register for postal voting ahead of local elections in May.

With plans still in place for a nationwide election process to be held this summer, Sefton Council’s Elections Teams are currently encouraging all residents over the age of 76 to take up the option of submitting a postal vote.

To download an application form click here.

16,000 residents aged 76 or over who have previously never used the postal voting system, will receive letters in the mail to explain how the safe and secure process works.

On May 6, 2021, a local election will be held in Sefton with 22 seats on the local authority being contested. By-elections will also take place for Blundellsands and Derby wards.

Residents will be voting for the seats which were set to be contested in the 2020 local elections process but were postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dwayne Johnson, Chief Executive of Sefton Council, said: “Absent voting is a key element of every election and it is not uncommon for thousands of postal and proxy votes to be submitted.

“However this years elections, should they proceed as planned, demonstrates an even greater need for residents to be able to cast their votes safely, securely and remotely.

“We are well aware by now of those vulnerable members of our community who must continue to take extra precautions over the the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is why we are encouraging residents to sign up for postal and proxy voting.

“It is important to ensure clear and transparent processes are put in place to maintain the integrity of the election and our teams are doing all they can to make certain every voice is heard.

“Your vote matters.”

Residents who wish to vote in the May 6 elections will be able to via the usual means of in-person voting, postal voting or voting by proxy.

For residents who wish to vote in person at a polling station a social distancing and COVID secure system will be in place to ensure both staff and voters are kept safe.

This may mean the process of submitting your vote may take slightly longer than usual.

The deadline for receipt of all postal vote applications is April 20, 2021 with those registered to vote remotely expected to receive their voting packs around April 24.

The 2021 elections run alongside voting processes for the Merseyside Police Area, Police & Crime Commissioner and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Mayor.

/Ends

Make sure you have your say in the 2021 Local Elections

Residents across Sefton are being urged to make sure they are registered to vote in time for the local elections this coming May.

On Thursday, May 6 residents throughout the borough will cast their vote and utilise their democratic right to decide who represents them at a local level.

Local government elections select 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.

On May 6, 2021, a local election will be held in Sefton with 22 seats on the local authority being contested. By-elections will also take place for Blundellsands and Derby wards.

Residents will be voting for the seats which were set to be contested in the 2020 local elections process but were postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 elections run alongside voting processes for the Merseyside Police Area, Police & Crime Commissioner and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Mayor.

In order to vote in this important election, residents must be on the electoral register.

The deadline to register to vote in the local elections is April 19 and Sefton Council is asking residents who have not registered at their current address to make sure they are registered in time.

Anyone can apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. It takes just five minutes and Sefton has had more than 15,000 new registrations in the last 2 years.

Dwayne Johnson, Chief Executive of Sefton Council, said: “Time is running out to make sure you can take part in the local elections. 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.

“It takes just five minutes online and means that you can take part in this important election.”

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.

Joint statement from Council Leaders across the Liverpool City Region

Dear residents,

This week we welcome the first tranche of relaxed restrictions, as set out in the Government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown in England.

From today, we’ll see changes including; schools and colleges opening for all students, changes to outdoor exercise and recreation rules and the return of further childcare activities. The stay at home rule will remain in place until 29 March at the earliest.

The four-step roadmap sets out further plans, expected in the coming weeks and months, intent on bringing the nation back to a sense of normality later this year.

But, while start dates for each step are marked out by this plan, it is key to remember that these are just projections. The timings of each stage of the journey rely on the government being sure it is safe to move from one step to the next.

If the evidence shows that the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 is increasing as restrictions ease, then we will not move to the next step – nor should we.

Locally, we’ve been in a position like this before. Last year, our region experienced surging COVID-19 cases under a national spotlight. We brought our case numbers back under control thanks to the commitment of our key workers and, in no small part, to the resolve of our residents to do the right things.

It is vital that all communities across the Liverpool City Region band together again and continue to embrace the public health measures and guidance that have gotten us this far.

We must continue to:
– stay home while we are being asked to
– wash our hands regularly
– cover our faces when out and about
– keep our distance from those we do not live with
– get tested – wherever necessary

Let’s not lose sight of the ultimate goal here. Yes, the possibility of a return to the way things used to be is exciting for many of us, but we will not get there by 21 June if we move too quickly.

So, while this week’s changes feel like the start of the end of this crisis, please remember that keeping ourselves and those around us safe is the main priority. If we can do that, the rest will follow.

For now, please stay home and stay safe.

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