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Enjoy a night of entertainment at the Mayor of Sefton’s Charity Gala Ball 2020

Join the Mayor of Sefton, Cllr June Burns, for an evening of live entertainment at the 2020 Mayor of Sefton’s Charity Gala Ball.

Taking place at the beautiful Southport Theatre and Convention Centre on Saturday March 28, all money raised from the evening will go to the Mayor’s Charity Fund.

Starting at 6pm you will enjoy a drinks reception followed by a 3-course meal. Entertainment is brought to you by the fabulous Julie A Scott, and the fantastic rock and roll band Searchin’.

Tickets, which cost £40, are on sale now but be quick! They are sold on a first come first served basis.

This year the Mayor is offering an amazing sponsorship package for just £1500. This includes, recognition as sponsor throughout the evening, full page promotional advert in the ball brochure and priority seated table of 10 with £300 bar tab.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr June Burns, said: “The evening promises to be an exciting occasion and I am very much looking forward to welcoming guests on the night.

“All the money raised from the event goes towards the Mayor’s Charity Fund, which will help so many wonderful charitable and voluntary organisations right across the borough.”

For more information or to book your tickets call 0151 934 2062 or email

Plans to boost Sefton’s golfing offer approved by Sefton Council

Sefton is to enhance its golf offer with the addition of two new driving ranges.

New driving range facilities will be constructed at Sefton’s two municipal sites at Bootle Golf Course and Southport Golf Links, broadening the accessibility and affordability of the game in the region.

Work will start on a new driving range at Bootle Golf Course in the spring of this year, with the facility expected to be completed during summer 2020. This follows a consultation in Autumn 2019 with local residents and golf players who highlighted the importance of new practice facilities and investment in course infrastructure.

Phase 2 of the project will see a new facility at Southport Golf Links. This has been approved in principle, subject to a consultation in the coming months.

The ranges will both include a dedicated coaching bay, with the floodlit facilities enabling participants to play into the evening on a ‘pay as you play’ basis.

Sefton Council’s Cabinet formally approved plans to invest £536,360 in the new facilities.

The driving ranges are forecast to generate a surplus of over £1m over a 10-year period.

Round and membership prices at both courses have been held at last year’s fees for 2020, with a wider selection of food and drinks available at the on-site golf shops. All existing facilities will remain open to members and non-members during any works.

Plans are also in development to upgrade the buildings at both golf courses to offer improved changing facilities, shop, hospitality and food and drink offerings.

Sefton Council is hoping to attract more young golfers to the two courses and will be offering free-play to under 16s for a period later in 2020.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Driving ranges are a great facility for people to learn, practise and play golf. The new driving ranges will enhance Sefton’s municipal courses, which provide affordable, good quality facilities for people to enjoy the sport. The project supports Sefton Council’s 2030 Vision and will encourage new people young and old to participate in golf. The surplus the driving ranges are forecast to generate will enable the Council to invest further in front-line services.”

Love of film shines through as community cinema receives BAFTA

A cinema that has shaped the love of the movies for local film goers for decades, was recently recognised by BAFTA for its role using the silver screen to bring communities together.Plaza Community Cinema in Waterloo recently won a BAFTA

Janet and Martin Fol, who operate the Plaza Community Cinema, collected the second ever For the Love of Film award for their work at the community owned venue – the award recognises those who go above and beyond for the love of cinema.

At a time when a family trip to the flicks is becoming increasingly expensive, the Plaza gives cinema goers the chance to see the latest blockbusters, classic films and special screenings in a way that’s kind on your pocket. Where else can an adult and child enjoy the latest big movie for under £9?

With the focus very much on community, the team at Plaza, many of whom are volunteers, offer special screenings for autism, dementia and disabled audiences.

The beloved local venue offers an excellent training resource young people age 13-19, with local schools and volunteer groups benefiting from a series of educational programmes.

Its grand opening halted by the outbreak of World War 2 in 1939, the Plaza was nearly lost to developers in the 1990s, it was rescued following a petition organised by the local community and is now a thriving must-do for local film lovers and visitors alike.

When you next visit the Plaza, you will be greeted by the warm, friendly staff, many of whom are volunteers, but you will also be walking into a living piece of local history recognised by BAFTA no less.

To check out latest screenings and prices, visit the Plaza website


Council must address £9.14m funding gap to set one year budget

Sefton Council must address a further £9.14m funding gap to set a balanced budget for 2020/21.

For the past 6 years, the local authority has worked towards setting 2 three-year budget plans to ensure that the Council’s financial statutory obligations are met.

However, the Government’s latest settlement is for one year only, which makes it extremely difficult to forecast the funding the Council is likely to receive in 2021/22 and 2022/23.

A report outlining a budget plan for 2020/21 has just been released that will go to Cabinet on February 13 with a final decision made along with setting any Council Tax increases at the Budget Meeting on February 27.

The report outlines a shortfall of £9.14m for 2020/21 and at least a further £22.83m for the following two years.

These further savings come after Sefton Council has been required to meet an overall budget shortfall of £233m since 2010.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader at Sefton Council, said: “Since 2010 we have had to make savings of more than £233m – that equates to a staggering £722 per household in the borough.

“The process of trying to set a balanced budget seems to be relentless and we now have to make further tough choices for the next financial year and our budget plan will have to reflect this.

“While we have an excellent track record of effectively managing our finances and delivering financial sustainability, this is becoming increasingly difficult and what the Government is proposing is simply not a viable solution.

“There are still huge pressures on both adult and children’s social care along with our schools but our calls for help in these areas seem to go ignored. These pressures are only going to get worse and the government continues to expect the Council to increase Council Tax to ensure our most vulnerable are protected.

“However, we will strive to ensure that essential services that safeguard the most vulnerable residents across the whole borough are protected and prioritised in addition to ensuring that financial sustainability is maintained.

“This is no easy feat and when I look around the borough, I’m still amazed and impressed with the quantity and quality of services that we still continue to offer.

“The budget plan report will hopefully enable us to set a balanced budget for 2020/21 and allow us to plan for the next two years to give the Council sufficient time to identify specific proposals to deliver financial sustainability until 2023.

“We will continue to work with our elected members and partners during this uncertain period and carry on doing the best for our valued communities.”

Find your Brave during Children’s Mental Health Week

Leaders at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Southport and Formby CCG and Sefton Council are backing Children’s Mental Health Week (February 3-9). They are encouraging children to talk to their parents or carers about their mental health and to seek support from local services.

 Dr Wendy Hewitt, children and safeguarding lead for both CCGs in Sefton, said: “Poor mental health isn’t something that only affects adults – children can suffer as well.

“According to Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity, around three children in every primary school class have a mental health problem, and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement. So, it’s important to raise awareness of this and encourage children to speak up.

“The week shines a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. This year’s theme is Find your Brave. We’re encouraging parents, teachers, friends and family to start a conversation around mental health with the children in their lives.

“By engaging in these kinds of conversations, we hope children will feel more comfortable sharing how they’re feeling, and that awareness around children’s mental health will increase.”

 For more information on how to speak to your child about their feelings, visit the NHS website.

There are a number of services available to children and young people in the area who need support.

 Children aged 11 to 18, living in Sefton have access to an online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform. ‘Kooth’ ( provides free and anonymous mental health and wellbeing support to young people and can be accessed via a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

 Councillor John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said “Services such as Kooth mean children and young people have access to mental health support when they need it.  Being able to access good advice, guidance and support via mobile phone, tablet or computer is a great way to help make sure that children and young people can develop positive mental wellbeing and find their brave.”

 Children and young people, and their families and carers, with concerns about emotional and mental wellbeing can also speak with their GP or other health professional (like school nurse, social worker, health visitor or teacher) for help and advice.

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