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Trees in Formby

Vital tree works will take place this week (commencing January 29) along Chapel Lane, Formby.

Chapel Lane will be temporarily closed to vehicles while the works take place each day. The road will reopen to traffic during the evenings.

The works will also allow for the planting of seven new trees before the end of March 2018, with replacement trees expected to be a mix of species including non-fruiting horse chestnut.

A study of the Chapel Lane trees by Sefton’s Parks and Greenspaces team has found that five existing trees are in need of pruning works, while five large and one small horse chestnut trees were found to have severely declined in recent years.

The 6 dying trees must be removed before they pose a significant health and safety risk.

Three large and one small tree are planned to be removed this week and the remaining two will be monitored and removed over a phased process.

Local residents and businesses nearby have been fully informed throughout this process.

Link Road Success

The A5758 Broom’s Cross Road (Thornton to Switch Island Link Road) has been praised through a top industry award.   

At the start of the Broom’s Cross Road contract, Sefton Council registered the scheme with CEEQUAL (Civil Engineering Environmental QUALity scheme).

CEEQUAL is the international evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering. It promotes and celebrates the achievement of high environmental and social performance in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping, and public realm projects.

The whole A5758 scheme was assessed, from original concept, through design, construction and completion. Following a detailed assessment against the CEEQUAL award criteria, the scheme was awarded the ‘excellent’ standard.

A certificate to celebrate ‘excellence’ was recently presented to Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader at Sefton Council, at a Full Council meeting at Bootle Town Hall.

The 2.8 mile link road opened in the summer of 2015 and was constructed by main contractors Balfour Beatty. Broom’s Cross is the site of a medieval wayside cross near Thornton.

The road provides a faster, more direct link between the A565 in Thornton and the motorway network at Switch Island. It has also helped reduce ‘through traffic’ in the community of Netherton.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader at Sefton Council, said: “It was a great honour to receive the award from CEEQUAL for a scheme that has made the whole of Sefton more accessible.

“It demonstrates the Council’s ability to deliver high quality infrastructure schemes across the borough.”

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “The road took a number of years to develop and construct and the fact it has been recognised through a top industry award goes to show how the time was well spent in planning and building a wonderful link road.

“Thousands of vehicles use the road every single day because of the improved links to the national motorway system at Switch Island.

“Construction of the road particularly resulted in environmental improvements to the area, including the creation of four new wildlife ponds and the planting of 39,000 new trees and shrubs.”

The total cost for the road was £20.4m – with £14.5m from the Department for Transport and £5.9m from Sefton Council.

Chris Broadbent, CEEQUAL Managing Director, said: “It is a great pleasure to be able to present a CEEQUAL Award to this project to recognise the significant environmental and sustainability achievements of the Thornton to Switch Island Link Road team.”

Paul Weaver, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s North & Midlands regional business West Delivery Unit, added: “We are delighted that the A5758 Broom’s Cross Road (Thornton to Switch Island Link Road) has achieved the ‘Excellent’ status from CEEQUAL.

“It recognises our on-going commitment to the environment throughout the construction of this new ‘link’ road. At Balfour Beatty we strive to leave a positive footprint on the local environment including the integration of environmental and sustainability initiatives throughout the project lifecycle from conception to construction.”

For more information about the scheme and the Sefton case study visit: www.ceequal.com/case-studies/a5758-brooms-cross-road-thornton-to-switch-island-link/

Ditch Those Stabilizers returns for 2018 Half term fun

Back by popular demand during the February 2018 half term, Sefton Council is delighted to offer a number of ‘Ditch Those Stabilisers’ cycling events.

Children aged four and above can learn to ride a bike unaided at sessions in Litherland and Southport.

The events have a very high success rate and staff from the Council’s highway safety team will offer a range of practical advice to young riders and their parents.

Sessions are free but pre-booking is essential. Join in the fun at Litherland Sports Park, Boundary Lane on Tuesday, February 13 between 9am-12pm or Shoreside Primary School, Westminster Drive on Thursday, February 16 from 9am to 12pm.

Parents of youngsters that have taken part in previous sessions have said: “Thank you to you and your team for this morning’s cycling session.

“It was brilliantly run and the positive attitude and enthusiasm of you and your team was evident from the start. Great tips, great advice, and great results.

“We have absolutely loved the session learning skills to carry this on and enjoy cycling together as a family!”

Pre booking is essential due to popularity. To register, call Sefton Council, on 0345 140 0845.’

New changes for Private Rented Landlords & Tenants

From March 1, 2018 landlords who privately rent out their properties will be required to obtain a new licence from Sefton Council if their properties are located within selected areas in the borough.

Sefton Council approved the implementation of two new housing licensing schemes in September, 2017 in separate areas of the borough. Both schemes will run until the end of February 2023.

Click here to find out more and apply

Sefton designated an area of Bootle as being subject to Selective licensing, (all privately rented properties) and has designated parts of Seaforth, Waterloo, Brighton-le-Sands and Southport as being subject to Additional licensing.

Additional licensing requires all houses defined as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) to apply for a housing licence.  Mandatory licensing for larger HMO properties is currently a national requirement.

A full list of all streets affected along with further details of the schemes, licensing conditions and fees are available on sefton.gov.uk.

Landlords will be required to meet a range of licence conditions, and show that they have appropriate management arrangements in place.

It is an offence, which can result in fines of any amount, if the landlord or person in control of the property:

•           fails to apply for a licence for a licensable property, or
•           allows a property to be occupied by more people than is permitted under the licence
•           breaches any of the licence conditions

If you are a landlord, a person managing a property within the areas of the designation you are advised to check whether your property will require a licence and ensure that you apply for one per property.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “We have areas where many properties currently fail to meet the required homes standard, which can have a terrible impact on the health and welfare of their tenants and their wider communities.

“The schemes we have introduced aim to reduce that by making sure private landlords meet satisfactory standards of tenancy and property management.

“But it is also about tenants behaving in a way that does not blight or impact on their community and shows respect for their neighbours.

“If you are a landlord renting a property in any of the designated areas, you must check whether your property will need a licence from March 1, 2018.”

Landlords can apply for a reduced fee for either applying within the first 3 months of the scheme, being accredited or when a Sefton accredited managing agent is appointed by the landlord to be the licence holder. Further details of the reduced fees are available on the Council’s website.

Further details of Sefton’s property (and managing agent) accreditation schemes are available on www.sefton.gov.uk/housing. Early application for property accreditation is encouraged.

Maghull residents warned of card skimming scam

Merseyside Police is warning the public in Maghull to be extra cautious when using ATM machines following claims that one in the area has been tampered with.

It has been reported that criminals are using skimming devices in the cash machines to steal people’s credit and debit cards.

The offenders have reportedly glued small devices into the card entry point which allows the card to be put into the machine and the transaction to appear to have been processed but when the user tries to get the card back, it gets caught by the device.

The criminals come back later on, remove the device and steal the card which is then used to make withdrawals at other machines.

Inspector Susan Stribling said: “We’re doing everything we can to spread this message and ensure that the public are protected against these crimes.

“We’d like to thank those who have already contacted us to report suspicious activity and similar crimes and advise anyone who thinks they may have also been a victim, to please get in touch.

“If you use a machine and it appears to have retained your card, you may have been a victim, so please urgently notify us and the branch.

“If you have any specific details or you’re simply worried then call us on 101 quoting crime ref: 0518208538. We’d much rather come out and investigate something that doesn’t seem right than not be told and see someone suffer the consequences. “

Anyone with information is encouraged to speak to officers in the area, call 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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