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Budding young poets urged to join the Grand Poetry Competition!

Young budding poets across the Liverpool City Region with time to spare due to the unfortunate Coronavirus outbreak are being asked to get creative and tell us what they are missing through the art of poetry.

Aintree Racecourse has teamed up with Sefton’s Borough of Culture year to launch the Grand Poetry Competition with some fantastic prizes on offer for the winners.

As the Randox Health Grand National meeting has been cancelled, along with most other sporting events, Sefton as a borough will miss the world-famous racecourse being in the global spotlight.

Aintree Racecourse had already commissioned local poet Amina Atiq to write “A Love Letter to My City” linking the event to the city region for Liverpool’s Day. To watch this please CLICK HERE

Gaining inspiration from this, children at home or still in school are being asked to write their own poems and enter the Grand Poetry Competition.

The poems’ subject should be something or someone they love, miss, find amazing or even just help out with. Children should handwrite and decorate a poem (max 200 words) then email Aintree Racecourse a photo or scan of their work to They are also encouraged to post or email what they have written to the subject of the poem as well.

Aintree Racecourse has created a page on their website for the project and will display some of the work in an online gallery –

Entries will be in the 4-8 years-old, 9-12 years-old and 13 years and above categories and winners will win family tickets to Aintree Raceourse’s Family Day in October and Liverpool’s Day or Grand National Day in 2021.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr June Burns, said: “Due to the unfortunate outbreak of Covid-19, most of our Borough of Culture events have rightly been suspended and many school children are now based at home.

“While we want everyone to remain safe at home or at school, we also want school children of all ages to use the time creatively and write a short poem about what they miss or love during this difficult period.

“While the borough will miss the Randox Health Grand National taking place, writing a poem can act as a way for young people to get creative, become positive and express how they feel during our Borough of Culture year. We appreciate this is a very difficult time, but we are all in this together as one big community.”

Rose Paterson, Aintree Racecourse Chairman, said: “We were deeply saddened to cancel the Randox Health Grand National Festival for 2020 because of the battle against coronavirus. We are proud to be part of the community ourselves and know first-hand of its unique spirit and strength – it helps to make the Grand National one of the world’s great sporting events.

“Therefore, we’re committed to do our bit to support people in the community and one of the ways is to work with Sefton Borough Council to launch the Grand Poetry Competition in their Borough of Culture Year, to provide some light relief for the children at a difficult time.”

Judges for the competition include Aintree Chairman Rose Paterson, poet Amina Atiq and Cllr June Burns, Mayor of Sefton.

Poet Amina Atiq added: “I am delighted to be judging The Grand Poetry Competition 2020. In these difficult times, encouraging our children to be creative, to think and challenge is needed more than ever.”

Poems need to be submitted to

Follow @Sefton2020 and @AintreeRaces on both Twitter and Facebook.

Sefton residents urged to follow social distancing in borough’s green spaces

Residents across Sefton are being reminded to follow the Government guidelines when it comes to tackling the spread of the coronavirus.

The Government is urging people to stay at home, taking the strain off the NHS and helping to save lives.

The most recent guidance from Government is:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Although Sefton’s parks, coast and other outdoor spaces are still accessible to people, some visitors are failing to follow social distancing guidelines, often congregating in large groups and in close proximity to each other.

Sefton Council is urging people to adhere to the Government guidelines to help tackle the spread of the coronavirus.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “People can still visit our beautiful open spaces to take their daily exercise if absolutely necessary, but it is imperative that everyone adheres to social distancing, does not congregate in groups and maintains at least two metres distance from others. At this time people should only really be visiting parks, greenspaces and coastal areas local to their home and avoid unnecessary travel. The most important action we can all take at this time is to follow the Government’s advice in order to protect the NHS and save lives.”

As a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, Green Sefton has made a number of changes to the services they deliver in managing the borough’s outdoor spaces:

  • All play areas and outdoor gyms have been closed
  • All coastal car parks have been closed
  • All public toilets have been closed
  • Lifeguarding has been suspended at all beach sites

Green Sefton is also urging visitors to take rubbish and dog fouling home with them, as refuse collection and other maintenance will not be possible across all sites at this time.

Please continue to respect our staff by following social distancing advice.

Green Sefton and Sefton Council will be keeping visitors updated via web and social media channels.

If you see anything that requires attention in any of our green spaces, email Green Sefton may not be able to commit as many resources to regular inspections during the COVID-19 outbreak, so visitors can play their part in helping us to maintain our green spaces.


Sefton Council suspends parking charges during COVID-19 outbreak

Sefton Council has temporarily suspended enforcement of parking charges in Council car parks and on-street pay and display areas, while making certain car parks available for use by key workers.

During this time Sefton Council will not be enforcing charges at Sefton MBC car parks or at On Street Pay & Display parking locations. In line with national guidance this also ensures temporarily free parking for NHS workers and social workers across the borough. Sefton have also designated a number of car parks for the use of social workers and they will be able to park without risk of enforcement.

The authority however is not responsible nor has any control over the operation of privately owned car parks.

Civil Enforcement Officers working for the authority will however continue to carry out enforcement of dangerous and obstructive parking to ensure that our highways remain safe and emergency services and NHS workers are able to quickly and safely move through the borough.

The Local Authority are following other councils across the country and adhering to Local Government Association Guidance, which recommends the enforcement activity focuses on incidents of obstructive or dangerous parking.

This includes yellow lines at junctions, loading restrictions and obstruction of dropped kerbs.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “Civil Enforcement Officers will be following all guidance on social distancing and will be using vehicles rather than foot patrols to travel around the borough.

“These officers are providing a vital and much needed service to ensure our borough’s incredible emergency services and NHS staff are able to freely move throughout Sefton without obstruction.

“We know the vast majority of our residents will appreciate that this is an important service and that our operatives are simply doing their job.

“However we will not tolerate any abuse, either verbal, written or physical, towards officers who are simply carrying out their day to day duties. Moreover, we would not expect significant numbers using these car parks as the vast majority of our residents should be staying at home, in alignment with the national guidance”

More information about community services with have been affected by the COVID-19 situation can be found via



Bootle lights up blue to honour NHS heroes

Sefton Council has lit up one of its civic buildings in the colours of the NHS to send a message of support to the countless health staff who are working tirelessly to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bootle Town Hall was bathed in blue lights this evening (Thursday, March 26) joining hundreds of other civic buildings across the UK following the viral ‘Clap For Our Carers’ campaign.

The Oriel Road facade of the building proudly displayed the colours of the NHS to reiterate the overwhelming level of support, thanks and thoughts for our hard working frontline health staff

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “Our appreciation for the thousands of people in our borough working for the NHS, as well as those across the UK is endless.

“Now more than ever we are indebted to their tireless service and support they are giving to our residents during these unprecedented times.

“Lighting up Bootle Town Hall is only a small token of our massive appreciation for the NHS and we are continuing to do all we can to support our communities and make them as resilient as possible to keep pressure off the NHS.”

For more information about community services, volunteering opportunities and support for vulnerable residents, please visit


Where to find Domestic Abuse support in Sefton

Sefton Council are reminding residents across the borough of Domestic Abuse support services available during COVID-19.

Many residents will be following the national advice around household isolation and social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While this advice is in place to keep as many people as safe and well as possible, a small number of vulnerable people in our communities will be more concerned than others about the prospect of staying at home for a number of reasons.

This includes those who have been the victims of domestic abuse such as violence or coercive and controlling behaviour.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “While all public services are adapting to new ways of working during this pandemic, our message to anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse could not be more clear.

“You are not alone and you don’t have to suffer in silence – we are always here to offer help and support to anyone who needs it.

“Sefton are working with multiple partners including Merseyside Police and providers of domestic abuse support across Merseyside and we will continue to work together to maintain essential services and contacts for anyone affected by domestic abuse during the weeks and months to come.”

More information about those services and who to contact is available via

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