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Southport Against Racism to host music, film and food night for Refugee Week

This Thursday, 23rd June at Southport Bijou Cinema, Southport Against Racism are hosting a night of music, film and food as part of Refugee Week.

Screen at Bijou Cinema SouthportThe Refugee night starts with cultural food tasting with local youth from Christ the King and Greenbank reciting poetry through performance. They will then host the highly talented Daria who will be playing violin for us from the world acclaimed Amore Twins; Daria is a refugee having fled the Ukraine. Guests (from a wide demographic) will then be seated in the lovely cinema to relax and watch Limbo. There is also an extra special guest performer (also a refugee) after the film, but this is being kept as a surprise.

There are no more tickets available, but attendees have the following itinerary:

6:30pm Start: Introduction from Kenny Thompson with poetry readings, cultural food tasting and music from Daria of Amore twins.

7:30pm: Screening of the film ‘Limbo’ with Q&A.

9:15pm: Special Guest performance.

10pm finish.

Sefton libraries named Library of Sanctuary

Library of Sanctuary Award - Welcoming people seeking sanctuarySefton Council’s libraries have joined a handful of library services in the UK to be awarded ‘Library of Sanctuary’ status.

Libraries of Sanctuary

Presented by the City of Sanctuary UK, the award recognises and celebrates libraries across the country that go above and beyond in welcoming refugees, people seeking asylum, or anyone in need of a safe place.

City of Sanctuary UK is a nationally co-ordinated network of organisations and services, including councils, universities, theatres and libraries, which welcomes and supports refugees and asylum seekers. They aim to raise awareness of the issues facing people within the asylum system and create a culture of welcome in the community.

Human Libraries

Sefton’s libraries have been recognised by the network for their work in supporting those seeking sanctuary and for their Human Libraries programme.

The programme, at Bootle and Crosby libraries, hosts regular, free workshops, events and community meets. Since its creation, it has led a number of collaborative projects with the community to establish a welcoming space.

In March, Human Libraries won a 2021 Impact Award from Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards for their work during the Covid restrictions.

During lockdown, the programme still continued with online and blended activities, providing residents with social events that they could attend safely.

The announcement has been made in line with Refugee Week, which runs from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th June and celebrates the contributions and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “We are committed to supporting the entire community so I’m extremely pleased that we have achieved Library of Sanctuary status. The award highlights the vital work that our libraries have put in to ensure that refugees and people seeking asylum feel welcome in Sefton.

“Our Human Libraries project in particular showcases the diverse range of skills and inclusivity the members of the Borough have to offer.”

Siân Summer Rees, the Chief Officer of the City of Sanctuary Network said: “We are delighted that Sefton libraries are now a Library of Sanctuary. This team has gone above and beyond to welcome people seeking sanctuary and platform their voices, bring the community together and raise awareness of the reasons people are forced to move.

“This award formally recognises this phenomenal work – work which has never before been so important.”

People can find out more about Sefton Council’s Library Service and the Human Libraries initiative at

Sefton Council continues its march towards net zero carbon by 2030

Sefton Council confirms it is on track to be net zero carbon by 2030 after it submitted its Climate Emergency Annual Report to cabinet, confirming a 13% reduction in total emissions from the baseline, rising to 28% once projects started this year are complete.

The fall was partly driven by staff continuing to work in an agile way. Staff emissions generated at home are included in our calculations but staff related emissions are significantly lower as fewer staff commute in to offices.

Additionally, the street lighting LED replacement project has already saved a whopping 812 thousand kwh electricity…. Which is enough to power 262 homes for a year!

Hands holding small replica of EarthSome projects started this year will soon start to result in carbon savings including a 59tCO2 saving from the retrofit of Southport and Bootle town halls and the green electricity contract due to start in April 2023, which alongside the project above will result in a 55% carbon saving from the baseline.

The 2030 target, which was set out in Sefton Council’s Climate Emergency declaration in 2019, is ambitious but critical to preventing further damage to the climate. All Council decision making reports now have to consider climate implications and training has been developed for all staff to ensure that all areas of the Council are on board with this ambitious but necessary work.


Cllr Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member for Regulatory and Corporate Services said:

“I am delighted to see that we continue to make progress towards our 2030 net zero target. It is testament to the hard work of everyone at the Council to have seen so many projects in the pipeline that contributes to the reduction in our carbon footprint and it’s great to see we are still on track to reach that critical date of net zero carbon by 2030.

“We have continued to take positive from the pandemic in terms of the way we work and ensuring our impact on our climate is as small as we can make it.

“A 28% reduction in emissions when this year’s projects have been completed is so encouraging and I hope we can keep up the momentum as we move into 2023 and start to be powered by green electricity.”


You can find further information on Sefton’s Climate Emergency progress at Sefton Council’s website

Under two weeks left for Sefton businesses to apply for Covid Additional Relief Fund

Sefton Council is urging eligible local businesses to apply for assistance from the COVID Additional Relief Fund. The application window for the COVID Additional Relief Fund closes in under two weeks, on Thursday 30th June.

Bank notesBusinesses that were not eligible for relief from their Business Rates bills in 2021/22 may be able to claim assistance from this new fund.

To be eligible, businesses must have a business rates charge for the whole of the 2021/22 financial year and need to have been in continuous occupation of the premises from the 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022. In addition, they have to be able to provide evidence they have lost at least 30% of turnover as a result of the pandemic.

Full information about the scheme and how to apply is available at

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: 

“This is a great opportunity for local enterprises to receive assistance if they have not been previously eligible over the past year.

“I would encourage any businesses planning on making applications to get them in as quickly as possible and to make sure they supply all the information that’s required for them to receive payment.”

Sefton Council has already paid out over £100 million of pandemic grant funding to the Borough’s businesses.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said:

“The Council has already been able to make payments to thousands of Sefton businesses to help counter the effects of the pandemic and I am glad we are able to do so again through the COVID Additional Relief Fund.”

New funding round launched for Sefton Crowd campaign

Sefton Council has launched a new funding round as part of its digital crowdfunding initiative Sefton Crowd, to support community-led ideas that will help the borough to become more vibrant, resilient, and connected. 
Working in partnership with Spacehive, the UK’s leading civic crowdfunding platform, Sefton Crowd is an initiative that gives residents with an idea to improve their community the opportunity to gain funding via Spacehive’s crowdfunding platform. 
Sefton Council has allocated a total of £50,000 to the programme, with up to £5,000 available to help boost projects towards their funding target. The deadline to put forward your idea is 14th September 2022. 
Sefton Council and Spacehive will hold a virtual workshop to discuss your project ideas on 14th July, 2.00 – 3.00pm. To register, visit Sefton Crowd Project Creator Workshop 
Over £111,000 has already been raised for 21 local projects, by more than 860 backers. 
Linda Gaskell, Rimrose Valley Friends, said: Rimrose Valley Country Park was all overgrown with no wildflowers. The local community were incredible. The donations flooded in and we have seen the rewards and people visiting.  During Covid, it has been immense for people to visit the Wildflower Meadow, escape and relax.  The mental health benefits have been incredible.   
Councillor Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “We’re excited to launch this Sefton Crowd funding round with Spacehive and I can’t wait to see the range of ideas that our communities put forward. Local people are best placed to understand the challenges and opportunities in their local area and this model puts them and their ideas in the driving seat.
I’m also calling on companies and organisations that care about Sefton to join us in offering support to project ideas, whether funding or in-kind, so we can support the success of locally-led campaigns. The more people that get involved in Sefton Crowd, the more inspiring local places we can create together.”

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