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Southport Crematorium partly closed to the public this weekend

Southport Crematorium’s grounds will be partly closed to the public this weekend (Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th August) while essential tree maintenance works are carried out.

Health and safety works have been identified on a small number of trees in the surrounding woodland area of Southport Crematorium and intervention is required to prevent any future risks to both visitors and staff.

While no funerals take place at the Crematorium on weekends the Garden of Remembrance will be closed temporarily to visitors between 8am and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. It will reopen to the public both days from 4pm to 7pm.

Normal hours will resume on Monday 9th August.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “All efforts have been made to ensure these works can be carried out as quickly and as sensitively as possible within Southport Crematorium’s grounds.

“In order to keep visitors and staff safe while our Green Sefton team attend to the trees in question, we must temporarily close off the crematorium grounds for the duration of the works.

“These temporary closures will also ensure that visits to our Gardens of Rest wont be disturbed or disrupted by unexpected noise, which can add additional stress and upset during what can be a sensitive and solemn occasion.

“We completely respect that these dates may have special meaning to family and friends of loved ones and they will wish to visit the gardens which is why we will work hard to ensure we can reopen from 4pm until 7pm both days.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”


Sefton Council is putting people at the heart of plans for Bootle

Town planners in Sefton will be out and about next week to gather your views on the ongoing regeneration of Bootle.

Bootle, as one of the hardest hit towns during the pandemic, is the focus of major regeneration and transformation work and has been chosen as one of the areas to test the Government’s new ‘National Model Design Code’.

To help test the code, the team are seeking views on what people like about Bootle, what they want to see improved and how they like to see new places designed. This work is part of a series of opportunities to engage on the future of Bootle over the next 6 months.

A drop-in event will be held in Bootle Strand on Friday 6th August between 11am-4pm in 47 Medway (the former Thomas Cook Travel agent) to enable local people to drop in and give their views. Comments can also be made online at

The Council are also hosting an online workshop for local residents and groups next week for the design pilot work. If you are interested in attending, please email for details


Cllr Daren Veidman, Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control said:

“Bootle has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and is getting some much needed focus and spotlight as part of the regeneration plans for the area.

“We want to ensure that the views of our communities are reflected in our plans and that the transformation and regeneration of Bootle works for everyone in our community.

“I would urge people to go and visit our town planners in the Strand and have their say on what makes Bootle tick and what will make Bootle work for future generations.”


Further details can be found at


No BBQs reminder for Sefton beaches after toilets burnt down at Crosby beach

Fire damaged toilets at Crosby beach car park
Fire damaged toilets at Crosby beach car park

Sefton Council’s Green Sefton officers, alongside Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, are reminding beach goers that BBQs and fires are not allowed anywhere at the Sefton coast.

Last week two portaloos were burnt down at Crosby beach. It’s thought that a hot BBQ was disposed of in a wheelie bin causing the damage.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“It’s incredibly disappointing to see the damage that occurred to our facilities at Crosby. Not only does this now reduce the number of toilets available for the public to use on busy days, the Council will also have to meet the costs of repairing the damage caused.

“Fires and BBQs are not permitted anywhere along the coast, be that at Crosby, Formby, Ainsdale or Southport. Not only do they pose a risk of harm to people, but fires can also devastate the rare and protected habitats we are so lucky to have here in Sefton.”

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager, Paul Kay, said:

“We would like to remind people that during periods of hot and dry weather not dissimilar to what we have experienced recently across the region, the risk of fires in public areas increase.

“Please ensure that if you are visiting the Sefton coastline, do so safely. Disposable BBQs and campfires at any of our beaches are NOT allowed anywhere on the Sefton coast, the dunes, or the woods. Please take your rubbish home with you, don’t drop cigarettes or leave bottles on the ground as these can quickly become the source of a fire. Though some fires are accidental, unfortunately, most are anti-social behaviour fires that are deliberately started, which is arson.

“If you see fire, report it immediately by calling 999, asking for the Fire Service and giving as much detail as possible including the nearest main road – this will help crews mobilise and fight fires as quick as possible, without delay.”

A number of organisations across Sefton have joined forces once again this summer to ensure local communities, and visitors from across the North West, can enjoy Sefton’s coastlines safely.

Find out more in this news article

The agencies who make up the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and other key partners like Merseyrail. They are sharing important messages covering many of the issues faced on the Sefton coast throughout the school summer holidays.

People can follow the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership agencies Twitter accounts for more advice, news and videos throughout the summer: @SeftonCouncil @MerseyFire @MerseyPolice @RNLI @MCA_media @BTPMersey @NaturalEngland @NTFormby @Merseyrail

The continued work of the partnership will also be communicated through the Council’s My Sefton website, Sefton Council’s Facebook page  and on Instagram Sefton_Council.

Sefton Council & health organisations reminding new parents infant feeding support is available

BreastfeedingThis World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August), health organisations in Sefton are working with Sefton Council to reassure new parents that there is still infant feeding support available during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and that group sessions and one to one support are now back up and running.

They are also raising awareness of the health and wellbeing outcomes of breastfeeding around the world supporting mothers to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is scientifically proven to improve outcomes to both mother and baby. Studies show that breastfeeding can:

  • help babies fight infections and illnesses
  • help strengthen the bond between mother and baby
  • lower the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, and breast cancer

Chrissie Cooke, chief nurse for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial, so whilst we recommend for optimum growth and development that babies are given nothing but breast milk for the first six months (26 weeks) of their life, we know that this is not always possible.

“Whether you are breastfeeding or using first infant formula there is local advice to support you in your choice.

“However, if you have any problems or concerns with breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, your midwife, health visitor or breastfeeding specialist can help.”

Led by volunteers, the Sefton Breastfeeding Support Service provides practical and emotional support to expectant and new mothers – call 0151 291 8010 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

There are two group drop-in sessions that new parents or pregnant women can attend, and these are held in Southport and Netherton:

  • Friday 1-3pm, Netherton Feelgood Factory
  • Thursday 9.30am – 11.30am, The Hart Space, Southport

New mums can also arrange one to one sessions by calling the service and their Facebook page ‘Breastfeeding Support Sefton’ has lots of useful information and support for new Mums.

One mum in Sefton went to the group for the first time recently and said: “We went to the feelgood factory today for our first time at the support group and so glad we went and got to speak to some people there and go through some questions prior to us having the baby.

“Also, I feel glad that I can go there if I need support or have any questions once the baby is here.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “In March this year, Sefton was awarded full Baby Friendly Initiative Accreditation by the Baby Friendly Initiative.

“This means families can feel confident that care and support with infant feeding choices and relationship building is available locally. This includes a Specialist Infant Feeding Service, which provides families with complex feeding challenges can with expert support from infant feeding specialists and lactation consultants.”

You can contact your Health Visiting Team here: and families with more complex feeding issues can be referred to the Specialist Infant Feeding Service if needed.

The National Breastfeeding Helpline can be reached on 0300 100 0212 from 9:30am to 9:30pm every day. The Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend chatbot is also available any time day or night for fast, friendly, trusted NHS advice.”

If you have any questions, concerns, or need some advice (whether you are breastfeeding or using first infant formula), call the NCT helpline (0300 330 0700).

This year, the concept of building back better after the COVID-19 pandemic is being seen as an opportunity to create a ‘warm chain’ of support for breastfeeding. This ‘warm chain’ includes health systems, workplaces, and communities at all levels of society and will help build an environment that enables and support for breastfeeding.

Cllr Moncur added: “Covering pregnancy, labour & delivery, early contact, the postnatal period and then the first 24 months of the child’s life, the warm chain covers places the mother and baby at the core through a 1,000-day timeline.

“Academics, health workers, family members, GPs, midwives, nurses, nutritionists, obstetricians and gynaecologists and paediatricians and politicians at local and national levels are all key links in that chain.

“Through that joined-up approach we can support the health and welfare benefits that breastfeeding provides for babies, mothers, families and communities right around the world, as well as the nutrition, poverty-reduction and food security advantages it brings.”

Find out more about the ‘Warm Chain of Support for Breastfeeding’ campaign and how to support it. 

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is a global network that aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding around the world. Along the way, it works with the World Health Organization and UNICEF to ensure its aid reaches the right people in the right communities.

For NHS Coronavirus advice for parents, visit:

For NHS information about the benefits of breastfeeding, visit:

For NHS advice and guidance about bottle-feeding, visit:

Sefton Council commissions artist Paul Curtis for Toad Hall transformation

Paul Curtis next to his Red Rum mural in Southport, commissioned as part of Sefton’s Borough of Culture celebrations for 2020.
Paul Curtis next to his Red Rum mural in Southport

Award-winning street artist Paul Curtis starts work on his largest ever mural this week, to brighten up Ainsdale’s Toad Hall.

Sefton Council has commissioned Paul, who last year created a huge image of Red Rum in Southport, to carry out the work as part of its plans to invest in and develop the Ainsdale-on-Sea coastal area.

Paul, who burst onto the street art scene around three years ago, is due to start on the 780m2 mural, the equivalent size of about four tennis courts, this week.

The ‘coastally appropriate’ design is being kept under wraps for now and is expected to be completed in three to four weeks, weather permitting.   

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“This is the third art installation that we have commissioned from Paul here in Sefton.

“We cannot wait to have this exciting coast-inspired piece added to the list of local street art where people can enjoy his incredible talent. The design will be revealed as each drop of paint finds its place on the Toad Hall canvas and will celebrate our unique and environmentally-important coast.

“This latest addition to Sefton’s public art collection will provide a brilliant welcome to each and every person who visits Ainsdale beach. It really is kickstarting our commitment to improving the look and feel of the destination so that our communities and visitors can enjoy this protected landscape for generations to come.”

Artist Paul Curtis said:

“I am excited to be involved in this large-scale project – my largest piece to date and I think the biggest mural in Britain outside of London! I’m itching to get started. This will be my first in Ainsdale and I hope the building’s unique face-lift will have a positive impact.

“The mural itself is a secret at the moment, but it will have an obvious link to the area and people will start to work it out as it progresses. 

“It will definitely be a challenge. The scale is one thing, but the building is also full of angles, contours, corners and recesses. This is not a straight forward flat canvas, but I am looking forward to rising to these challenges. Let’s hope the weather is on my side!”

The art installation is being funded through the Council’s already agreed £350,000 of investments to improve facilities around the entrance to Ainsdale beach. People are also reminded that they have until the end of September to submit their views on the wider, long-term development of the Ainsdale-on-Sea area and can take part online at  

The idea for an art installation on the Toad Hall building has been developed by the Green Sefton team. They have consulted with members of the community and community groups as well as ward Councillors on the design for the mural. Everyone has positively contributed to the creative process and are excited to see Paul’s work come to fruition.

Toad Hall re-boarded and ready for the artwork installation.
Toad Hall re-boarded and ready for the artwork installation.

The Council’s Estates department, who manage the building, has carried out the necessary safety checks ahead of the work and re-boarded the doors and windows ready for the fresh paintwork.  

The Hall itself was originally constructed in the 1920s and was set to be the start of a promenade but it never fully materialised. Many local people may remember the building as a popular nightclub, but since it closed the building has remained empty.

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