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Statement on Sefton Schools re-opening

We are suggesting this from 15th June to allow for time for appropriate risk assessment, including staff availability and to ensure tests set out by the Government and Trade Unions are met.

 

Responding to questions about schools in the Borough re-opening, a Council Spokesperson said:

“Since 23rd March many schools in Sefton have remained open to children of key workers and vulnerable children. Teachers and support staff have ensured children have been supported during this challenging period. The commitment and hard work of teachers and support staff is a credit to Sefton.

“Since the Prime Minister’s announcement that schools will potentially also open for children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from 1st June, the Department for Education has provided advice for school leaders to support them with the next steps on the reopening of their schools which may start from 1st June, however as a council we are suggesting this from 15th June to allow for time for appropriate risk assessment, including staff availability and to ensure tests set out by the Government and Trade Unions are met.

“Secondary schools, sixth forms, and further education colleges will begin some face to face support with Year 10 and Year 12 pupils, however they will not be returning to full time education at the present time.

“The priority of the Council and school leaders is the safety of the children and the staff.

“Currently school leaders, including Governing Bodies are working through the government guidance that has been published to consider how best to reopen their schools safely.

“We therefore do not expect childcare providers or schools to adhere to government guidance in terms of timescales, or the suggested year groups, if they judge this not to be in the best interest of children.

“Of course, every school is unique, has different circumstances, and will be responding to them and the needs of their community in a variety of ways.  Sefton Council will continue to review the situation over the coming weeks.

“Our schools will continue to support children and their parents/carers and will provide a variety of work and activities for children while they remain at home.

“Schools will keep parents fully informed of their approaches to the reopening of their school.

“We understand that some parents and guardians will be reluctant to send their children back at the start of next month and, in line with the Government guidance, will not be issuing fines for non-attendance during this initial period.”

Mobile Coronavirus Testing Centre in Maghull

A Mobile Testing Centre for Coronavirus is operating at Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Centre from Monday 18th to Wednesday 20th May.

Tests are available for symptomatic key workers such as local authority, health, care police, fire and prison staff as well as over-65s workers who are self-isolating because they are showing corona symptoms or because a household members is showing Coronavirus symptoms.

Anyone attending must have pre-booked an appointment by visiting www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test and have an appointment before going to the site. The tests are not open to the wider public.

Testing is vital to the ongoing work to overcome COVID-19 and enable key workers who test negative to return to their life-saving work.

Sefton Council urges residents to be ‘Kind to Your Mind’ during Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and focusing on our mental health and wellbeing has never been more important. In these challenging and difficult times, people in Sefton should take time to consider their mental health, reach out if they need help and know that it is ok to not feel ok.

The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. Not only can acts of kindness improve our own Mental Health but reaching out to others and offering support has benefits for everyone in Sefton.

Helping others creates a sense of belonging and reduces isolation and being kind to ourselves can help boost our self-esteem and improve our mood.

This help can be as simple as picking up the phone and checking in with someone we love or a quick text message to let someone know that you are there.

Many people are experiencing low energy, stress, anxiety and low mood; this is normal and reaching out to others and talking about our Mental Health is positive and healthy.

Residents in Sefton should know there is a wealth of support available if you are struggling with your mental health.

You can visit our health and wellbeing page on our website for advice and support from topics ranging from mental and physical health, to domestic abuse and financial concerns that may be putting pressure on your mental health.

We also have a dedicated page for resources and support for Children and Young People and those who care for them as we know children are finding this time away from friends, school and routine particularly challenging.

The Kind to Your Mind website is designed for people living and working in Cheshire and Merseyside, has lots of advice and useful resources to help you through these challenging times.

This includes ALMA, where you can access a range of free online therapy programmes which include short modules on dealing with stress, getting better sleep, improving resilience and coping with your emotions during the pandemic.

There’s also free approved health and wellbeing apps and some great podcasts to listen to with guest including Andy Cole and Dr Chatterjee, providing tips and advice to help you get through this difficult period.

For people who require urgent mental health support, the Kind to Your Mind website also contains a number of crisis helplines, which have been recently launched and offer 24/7 support for those living in Cheshire and Merseyside.

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

‘People in Sefton have shown their kindness throughout the COVID-19 situation, helping others, offering support, reaching out to family and friends and even strangers. These acts of kindness give everyone a boost and the importance of that cannot be overstated. I hope we  will see this during Mental Health Awareness Week too.’

He added, ‘Most people are finding this time difficult and talking about how we feel makes those feelings normal so we can say it is ok to not be ok. It is more important than ever that we look after our mental health and wellbeing and we know where we can go for support. The ‘Kind to Your Mind’ website has lots of great advice and resources, from clinical professionals to get you through these challenging times.’

 

If you are in crisis and need urgent support, call the MerseyCare crisis line on 0151 296 7200

Fees held at last year’s prices as Sefton’s municipal golf courses re-open

Sefton’s Municipal Golf Courses have held fees at 2019/20 levels.

The announcement comes as Bootle Golf Course and Southport Golf Links prepare to re-open on Wednesday 20 May at 9am, after Coronavirus restrictions were partially lifted. There will be some changes to the operations though, as we slowly relax the lockdown measures:

Tee slots, which must be booked in advance over the phone, will be available every 10minutes for pairs or single golfers from 9am to 7pm only.

A full list of regulations can be found here.

Golfers will only be able to play by booking a tee time through the respective golf club shops, which will open on Monday 18 May to take bookings. Phone 0151 928 1371 to book a tee time at Bootle Golf Course or 01704 535286 for Southport Golf Links.

Facilities will be closed (including toilets) and the shop will only be able to take payments (by card) for green fees. Food and drink and golf equipment is not currently available for sale or hire in accordance with Government guidelines.

Under 16s who sign up as members will also be able to enjoy free golf for the first four weeks of the re-opening.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We are delighted that the facilities at Bootle and Southport have been able to re-open, although on a limited basis, and that we can offer an affordable way to enjoy the game. Golf is a healthy activity and we want to encourage young people to get involved and keep active, but everyone should bear in mind that social distancing measures are still in place. We are opening the courses on a limited basis at the moment, and will amend the approach in line with national guidance, and with the health and safety of players and our staff in mind.

Last week, Sefton Council announced it had re-opened outdoor tennis and basketball courts. Children’s playgrounds, outdoor gyms, bowling greens, dog areas and pavilions and buildings in parks will remain closed for the time being.

To minimise the chances of infection, the Green Sefton team has asked visitors to the parks and the coast to take their litter home with them. The Council is also asking people to continue being its eyes and ears and to report any large gatherings to the police by dialling 101 or to greensefton@sefton.gov.uk

 

 

 

Council car parks & street parking operations resume in Sefton

Many Sefton Council car parks have remained open even during lockdown. With the exception of park and ride and multi storey car parks, all other council-run car parks are now fully open and charges will apply to these car parks and on-street parking.

Motorists are reminded that they can pay for parking by phone at most locations. They are also being  urged to sanitise thoroughly is they do use a pay & display machine.

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

Civil Enforcement Officers will be following all guidance on social distancing. 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.

 

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