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Sefton helps Legions to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One

Sefton Council have helped to fund a number of events across the borough to mark the Centenary commemorations of World War One.

Throughout the coming months Sefton branches of the Royal British Legion will be holding special events to mark one hundred years since the end of the Great War, including poetry readings, themed lunches and quiz nights.

The following events are taking place across the borough:

Southport: WW1 Themed Lunch (Thursday September 6, 1pm)
Formby: WW1 Themed Quiz Night (Wednesday October 24, 7.30pm)
Netherton & Sefton: Armed Forces Night (Friday October 26, 8pm)
Crosby: Poetry & Reading Night (Friday November 2, 6.30pm)

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “This year marks the centenary of the end of World War One and we are proud to be able to support the various local legions in supporting our communities.

“These events go hand in hand with our Beyond The War Memorials campaign as we look to honour our WW1 heroes and heroines from across the geographical area which now makes up Sefton.

“We’re also looking for budding poets and writers to get their thinking caps on and compile emotive, thought provoking and fitting poetry for our BTWM project.”

More information about the Legion events will be released in due course.

For further details and to obtain an entry from for the BTWM Poetry competition, email information.service@sefton.gov.uk or call 0151 257 6401.

Mayor takes on Liverpool Cathedral abseil for charity

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, will be taking part in a daring abseil in support of a local charity this weekend.

Cllr Robinson will be joining 16 others in the Sefton 4 Good team, including colleagues from WEA North West, Sefton Council, Sefton CVS and members of the community, in the challenge at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on Saturday August 18.

The volunteers will face a 150-foot, free-fall drop over the main entrance to the iconic building, all to raise money for good causes in Sefton.

Sefton 4 Good is a fundraising initiative from Sefton CVS which provides small grants to local voluntary, community and faith groups across the borough.

“There are so many good causes making a real difference to people’s lives in Sefton,” said Cllr Robinson. “That’s why I want to take part in the abseil, because grants from Sefton 4 Good can really help those groups.”

This year Sefton 4 Good has awarded almost £15,000 in grants to 25 groups, including the Plaza Cinema in Waterloo.

Mike Howlett, Senior Citizenship and Volunteering Officer for Sefton CVS, commented: “Sefton 4 Good is all about encouraging borough residents to support local causes that make a real difference in their immediate community.

“I am so grateful that the Mayor and his fellow volunteers have stepped up to the challenge to help us at this exciting event.”

Anyone who would like to support the Sefton 4 Good team in their fundraising efforts can sponsor them at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/s4gabseil2018

Northern Mayors demand fare freeze on Northern and TransPennine

The Mayors of Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester, Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham, have today (Monday 13 August) written to the Secretary of State for Transport to demand a freeze on rail fares, ensuring that northern passengers are not hit by proposed fare rises on Northern and TransPennine services in 2019.

The Mayors’ call comes after a summer of chaos on rail routes across Greater Manchester and the North, with the travelling public facing frequent delays and cancellations after a botched timetable change in May.

Traditionally future rail fare increases are set using the July rate of RPI, which is published in August and come in effect the subsequent January. This year the July rate of RPI is expected to be announced on, or around, August 13th.

In their letter to Chris Grayling, Mayors Rotheram and Burnham and say:

“Over the past few months travelling by train in the North has become a lottery, where passengers turn up at stations with no idea if there will be a train or whether they will arrive at their destination on time.

“This crisis has caused real damage to the North – the current estimate is that at least £38m has been lost from the economy – and has led to many commuters turning their backs on using the train and seeking other means of getting around.”

The Mayors argue that a 2019 fares freeze is proportionate given the disruption on both networks over the past few months and the delays in planned service upgrades. They also believe a freeze could help attract back passengers to the railways who have been put off by recent disruption.

Speaking about the letter, Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram, said:

“After a summer of misery – and with cancellations and disruption still continuing – introducing higher fares next year would be a huge slap in the face to the travelling public here in the North.

“With service improvements postponed until May 2019 and no guarantees from the rail operators that they can sort out the current mess anytime soon, it would be wrong to ask people to pay more, for less.

“Whilst we push for the issues to be sorted out – and they must be sorted out – we must also look towards rebuilding confidence in passengers to return to the railway. Freezing fares could help do this. It would also be a strong signal from the Secretary of State that he is on the side of passengers and I urge him to agree to our demand.” 

On Sunday 12 August rail operator Northern cancelled 80 services, including trains on the Liverpool to Manchester Airport line used by families and others travelling to and from summer holidays. It was the third successive week of similar Sunday cancellations.

Additional analysis demonstrates that passengers into Liverpool will be expected to pay on average £110 more per year for an annual season ticket, £91 for those travelling from Southport and across key routes into Manchester city centre stations passengers can expect a £45 increase.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:

“The rail industry has caused real misery for thousands of passengers across the North. Not only have people lost time at work or with their families, they have had to shell out for taxis, extra childcare and even hotel bills because of the continuing disruption.

“To ask these long-suffering passengers now to pay even more for a poor, unreliable service is to add insult to injury. A freeze in the current fares is the very least that passengers deserve.”

Andy added:

“The Secretary of State has a chance to show people in the North that he is listening to their concerns and is ready to do the right thing. I hope that he takes it and works with us to support passengers who have already had to put up with far too much.”

The demand is the latest in a series of interventions by the Mayors which has seen them call for compensation for passengers affected by disruption and back TFNs call last week for the Government to appoint a trouble-shooter to get to grips with the ongoing crisis.

Platform Upgrade Work: Merseyrail getting ready for 2020

Transport leaders have announced a programme of platform upgrades designed to prepare the Merseyrail network for the arrival of the new, state of the art trains in 2020 that will transform how people travel.

The phased programme of upgrades will take place between 20 October 2018 and 16 June 2019. These vital works, delivered by Network Rail, will involve upgrading existing platforms and realigning track to ensure that they are compatible with the new trains and their ground breaking, sliding step technology that will provide unassisted access for all.

This means that wheelchair users can board the train without a ramp and passengers with prams and cycles can get on and off the train with ease. This technology represents a pioneering approach for the UK.

There will be 11 phases of works during this period. Only short sections of line will be closed at any one time, with all stations on that section closed. Closures will vary in duration, but most will be between nine and 30 days at a time.

High quality, rail replacement buses will get passengers to where they need to go as quickly as possible and some of these will be express services.

Merseytravel, Merseyrail and Network Rail have worked collaboratively on this project and significant planning work has been carried out to minimise the time needed to complete these important works and reduce disruption to passengers.

More detailed information will be made available in advance of each phase and travellers will be encouraged to plan ahead and consider their travel options including commercial buses and the Mersey Ferries.

Businesses and organisations are advised to think about what they may need to put in place to support staff and customers.

Key advice:
• You can still get to where you need to go
• Check before you travel. Closures are taking place at different locations at different times on the network so it’s important to keep checking what’s happening and when. Some timetables may change.
• Plan ahead – use journey planners and National Rail enquiries
• Leave more time for your journey. Timetables may change and your journey may be longer.
• Consider avoiding travelling at peak times where possible.
• Consider your options –including commercial buses and the Mersey Ferries.

For more information and further details about how your rail journeys will be affected visit www.merseyrail.org/itshappening

Businesses booming thanks to InvestSefton funding

Two Sefton businesses that have benefited from European funding and local growth hub support along with assistance from InvestSefton and Sefton@Work were recently visited.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, along with support staff from InvestSefton dropped in to Morgan Hope Industries Ltd and Immersive Interactive Ltd to see how both businesses are booming.

Morgan Hope Industries Ltd, based at the Blowick Industrial Park, Southport manufactures, supplies and installs lighting and electronic energy control systems, which reduce energy consumption.

InvestSefton has assisted the business by helping them tender for public sector contracts, and linking them to support and commercial opportunities through the Liverpool City Region.

Also on the agenda was a trip to Immersive Interactive Ltd who are based on Princes Street in the town centre.

The company offers futuristic learning spaces which can be used in both mainstream and special needs education establishments and simulation training for the emergency services.

The local business was supported by InvestSefton through grant application work.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Getting out and visiting local businesses is a great way to see how the support offered to them has enabled them to grow and move forward.

“Both businesses have been supported by InvestSefton and Sefton@Work and it is great to see local companies doing so well and expanding in their respective fields.

“Success stories like these really show how Sefton is open for business and supports our local companies.”

Peter Salt, from Immersive Interactive Ltd, said: “Our initial inquiry was in relation to the purchase of new premises in Southport and our advisor, Colin Hickey, guided us successfully through the Merseyside Growth Fund application.

“Since that initial experience Colin and Invest Sefton have become an integral part of Immersive Interactive’s success and progress, with both sound advice and networking opportunities. I would recommend any SME to take advantage of this fantastic resource.‘’

Stephen Fisher of Morgan Hope Industries Ltd, added: “We design and manufacture our range of lighting products in house as a bespoke solution, with savings of up to 80% achieved.

“Saving energy and reducing costs is important for businesses, and we have developed valuable new commercial opportunities in the Liverpool City Region, through working with InvestSefton.”

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