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£10m Top-Up Grants announced for Liverpool City Region businesses

A new £10m round of top-up grants will be made available for all 1,500 businesses supported by the first two rounds of the Liverpool City Region’s emergency COVID-related support grants.

Depending on the size of the business, the top-up grants will be worth between £2,250 and £10,500. The funding is the latest in of a series announced by the Leaders, the Metro Mayor and Acting Mayor of the region’s six local councils to support the local economy.

In response to the government putting the Liverpool City Region into Tier 3 back in October, the Combined Authority and local councils launched a £40m fund to support businesses operating in the leisure and hospitality sectors, which form a large part of the local economy.

This included a £9.5m fund, the first of its kind in the country, to support small and micro businesses working in leisure, hospitality and retail. This included funding for the self-employed, sole traders, home-based workers and their supply chains, many of whom have been excluded from government support since the pandemic started.

In a joint statement, the Leaders and Acting Mayor of the six City Region Local Authorities and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, said:

“Local businesses have taken a battering over the past year, but we’ve been doing everything we can to help support and sustain them throughout the pandemic.

“We’ve already given out tens of millions of pounds to help keep 1,500 local businesses afloat and, with the current lockdown, we know things are still tough for many. Today we’re making another £10m available to help safeguard people’s jobs and livelihoods through the next few months.

“We will also be announcing details of a further fund next week to help some of those who have not yet qualified for support.

“While the vaccine rollout continues apace, a return to something resembling normality is in sight. We just need to stick together and make it through the coming weeks and months.”

The additional payments will be made to businesses that received Hospitality and Leisure Grants (First Round: October 2020), and Expanded Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grants (Second Round: November 2020).

Businesses in Sefton that meet these criteria will be contacted directly by Sefton Council and will have to complete a simple form confirming their previous application details are still correct.

More information about the Council’s COVID support for businesses can be found here

Enjoy an ‘Evening With’ to celebrate Sefton’s Borough of Culture year

The Reader invites you to spend an evening delving into the works of some special guest authors as we celebrate Sefton’s year as the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture.

Joanne Harris
Thursday 18 February, 6pm
Joanne Harris’ short stories are firm favourites with Shared Reading groups. Shehas published novels, short stories, screenplays, libretti, game scripts, two cookerybooks and a musical, and she sings with The Storytime Band. Her many works include Chocolat which was made into an Oscar-nominated film. She will be joining us live to read and talk about the latest in a series of short novels which re-imagine folk stories.

Kei Miller
Thursday 11 March, 6pm
Kei Miller is a Jamaican poet, novelist, short story writer and essayist, with four collections of poems published. His wonderful readings bring out the musical quality of his poems. He will be joining us live to read and talk about poems from his last two books, which looks at how places exist as much in the imagination as in their landscapes, and in nearby bushes which continues his evocations of contemporary Jamaica.

Max Porter
Thursday 25 March, 6pm
Max Porter’s two books are genuinely difficult to categorise. Are they novels? Are they poems? Does it matter? The vibrancy and energy of his writing speaks for itself. He will be joining us to read and talk about Lanny, a book set in a modern English village. It’s part mystery, part myth, part environmental polemic. Max loves being asked questions so come along prepared to really go for it!

Hosted on Zoom, join us for an hour-long Shared Reading followed by live readingfrom the author and questions from the audience.

Tickets £2 per person

Book online www.thereader.org.uk

Share your vision for Crosby’s Coronation Park by taking part in public consultation

Sefton Council’s Green Sefton team has launched a public consultation to gather ideas and thoughts on ways to improve the facilities at Crosby’s Coronation Park.

Residents across the Borough, as well as visitors, are being asked if and how they currently access and use the park, and what their priorities would be for enhancing what’s on offer.

Development ideas might include ways to improve play and sports facilities, and opportunities for improvements to the park pavilion and general landscaping. New ideas are also welcomed to help enhance the existing facilities.  

Green Sefton is working in partnership with the Friends of Coronation Park on the consultation and is being supported by Capacity – a Social Enterprise that helps organisations to rethink and reimagine public services.

At this stage, no specific funding has been identified for investment within the Crosby park. It is anticipated that feedback from the consultation will enable Green Sefton to develop new and existing ideas for the future of the park and use this to bid for external funding.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “With over 30 parks across the Borough we have a wide range of facilities for all ages and abilities to enable them to enjoy spending time outdoors. Our Green Sefton team is always looking at ways to work with the community to enhance and improve our offer, and so I welcome this opportunity for people to share their vision for Crosby’s Coronation Park.

“It’s a completely anonymous consultation, so all views and ideas are welcomed to ensure the Green Sefton team incorporates the community’s ideas into any potential improvement plans.

“The consultation can be easily completed online and isn’t very lengthy, so please do get involved.”

The consultation is now open and will run until Friday 12th March. People can take part online and are encouraged to share the consultation with others that might like to share their thoughts and ideas.

Cllr Hardy thanks Sefton’s voluntary, community and faith organisations for their ‘amazing’ support for vulnerable residents

Our Housing & Communities Cabinet Member Cllr Trish Hardy has written to Sefton’s voluntary, community and faith organisations to thank them for their ‘amazing’ support for our vulnerable residents.

Here’s her letter.

To – all voluntary, community and faith organisations

Dear all

I would like to thank you all for your continued support to our local residents and for your ongoing support to Sefton Council throughout this pandemic. Your response to supporting our vulnerable residents has been amazing with many of you doing befriending calls, shopping, food support, dog walking and general wellbeing contact. Without you and the contribution of your volunteers many of our residents would have struggled in this last year.

As you know our priority now as a country and as a borough is to get this pandemic under control and the only way to do that is to follow the guidance and the rules around social distancing, washing hands and covering our faces. Your help to cascade these messages within your communities is needed now more than ever.  We also need to ensure that we are not doing anything that may undermine the key messages, such as organising community events or anything that brings together large groups of people for litter picking or environmental clean-ups etc. In normal circumstances I would be the first person to encourage this type of activity but now is not the time to be doing such activities, however well intended.  It is fine for households to undertake litter picks but only with the people they live with and I would ask you through your social media channels to perhaps encourage families to get involved in keeping their own streets and local parks clean and to do safely and only with those people that they live with.

We need the support of our community and voluntary organisations to model the behaviours that we would like our wider residents to follow and I am asking for your help to ensure that the clear public health messages and guidance is followed. That is the only way we can get back to normal. All Covid advice and information can be found here: COVID-19 in Sefton

There is light in sight though with the roll out of the vaccination programme and I just want to thank many of you for your support around the delivery of this. I know Sefton CVS are recruiting volunteers to support the roll out so please go the link and sign up and encourage your members and your residents through your social media pages to get involved. For more information on the volunteering roles and to sign up to become a Vaccination Volunteer please visit; volunteeringsefton.org.uk/vaccination-volunteer/

Finally I hope to be able to go out and visit many of you in the coming months when we are able to get back to face to face gatherings and community events and activities.

Many thanks

Trish Hardy's signature

Cllr Trish Hardy

Heavy rainfall expected again across Sefton with Met Office yellow warning in place

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for rainfall expected late on Wednesday and into Thursday of this week.

The warning covers Sefton and means that disruption to transport and flooding is likely.

Last week’s severe weather resulted in flood alerts in the Maghull and Formby areas of Sefton, and residents were supported at a temporary rest centre when river levels were dangerously high. As a result of the prolonged rainfall, much of the ground is still saturated in the area.

Sefton Council is monitoring forecasts to put necessary measures in place to protect residents and properties from any potential risk.

The Council has distributed its sandbag supplies to residents across the Borough already affected by last week’s weather warnings, and is urging residents who might be concerned about flood risk to ensure they have a stock of sandbags which can be bought from builders merchants or DIY shops.

Other flood preparations that residents might want to consider whilst the weather warning is in place:

  • Find out your own risk of flooding before a flood happens. Floods can happen anywhere, and it is important to remember you don’t need to live by water to be at risk of flooding. Visit the government’s flood warning information service online or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.
  • If you are in an at-risk area sign up for flood warning messages from the Environment Agency’s Floodline online or by calling: 0345 988 1188
  • Make a personal Flood Plan for what you will do if there is a flood. It could be used if you’re required to leave the house quickly for other risks.
  • Think what you would take if you needed to evacuate and consider where everything could be kept.

Anyone concerned about flooding can find further advice on flood risk and what to do to protect their property on the Flood Hub website or Sefton Council website.

Residents can report flooding on a public highway or any blocked road gullies on the Sefton Council website using an online reporting form.

Should anyone end up with flood water in their property, they should report this to flooding@sefton.gov.uk with any photos to accompany the report.  

Reporting incidents will ensure that the Council can understand the extent and location of properties affected by incidents of flooding and allow officers to work with other flood risk management authorities to help reduce the risks and consequences of future flooding.

Roads may become impassable across the Borough later this week due to heavy rainfall, and people are urged to only go out if it’s essential. Accidents happen in fast flowing water so avoid walking or driving near floodwater and residents are reminded that there could be hidden dangers like sharp objects or raised manhole covers beneath the water. 

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