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Statement: Crosby Beach mass meditation event

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “We received reports of an event having taken place at Crosby Beach where up to 500 people had taken part including swimming in the sea, and a ‘mass meditation’ on the beach.

“We can understand that with its beauty and peacefulness, Crosby Beach would be seen as a great venue for a mass meditation. However, while we appreciate both the physical and mental health benefits such an event can bring for attendees, we do have some concerns about this event, and any future ones which may be planned.

Water safety:

Crosby Beach is not a designated bathing water and so the water quality is not monitored by the Environment Agency, which may mean that the water could contain microbes, such as e-coli, which can be harmful to human health.

“Crosby can be a dangerous beach because of the tidal range of the River Mersey (in excess of 10m, the second highest in the UK). This means that tidal cut off, stranding on sandbanks and patches of soft muds and sand are very real hazards and could easily result in danger to life and the need for rescue by emergency services.

“It is because of this that we have specific advice for event organisers at Crosby Beach. This advice, and the beach signage, is very clear – Stay within 50m of the seawall.

“Anyone wishing to hold an event must apply for permission, including a risk assessment so that we are able to help and guide event organisers to operate in a safe way, in a safe place, and protect wildlife on this protected coastline. The council event booking form for the coast can be found at:
https://forms.sefton.gov.uk/smalleventsform

COVID19 pandemic:

“The current Government guidance does not allow us to permit organised events in public places with more than 30 participants, and any event must be COVID secure, taking suitable precautions about social distancing and hygiene practice etc.

“We’re working with the event organisers to address our concerns and ensure anyone attending future events such as this is kept safe, which may mean moving the event to one of the 3 recognised bathing areas along the Sefton Coast.”

Statement: Southport Local Testing Site

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “We understand the concerns of local businesses regarding the provision of a local test centre at the One Stop Shop in Southport.

“Local testing centres are part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to improve accessibility of coronavirus testing for communities.

“The provision of sites is approved by the Department of Health and Social Care and their private sector providers are the decision-makers on the suitability of final location and set-up (including entrances and exits) following a site visit. The site will then be run by a private sector operator.

“The site will be prepared on Tuesday (4th August) and open on Wednesday (5th August) with more appointments available each day. Testing is available for everyone, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.

“It is important that the site is easily accessible without a car. Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the testing centre). Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely.

“We would assure neighbouring businesses that attendance at the test site is by appointment only and therefore there should be no queuing within Cambridge Arcade. Queue management is part of the site operators’ responsibility and whilst the appointment system should ensure there is no queue, we will monitor this.”

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Southport Market transformation given £1 million boost

The transformation of Southport Market into a social space to enjoy food, drink and markets is one step closer to reality with the Governments Acceleration Grant announcement

The resort has been awarded a £1million grant from central Government’s Town Deal Fund, which is designed to go towards capital development projects.

This funding will complement the work which is well underway on a comprehensive bid by the Southport Town Deal board for a larger grant of £25 million from the fund.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, says:
“This is a very welcome grant and helps us in our long term vision for Southport.

“We have been working extremely hard on plans for Southport Market as part of our Southport masterplan for some time, recognising how important such a social space would be to the local economic and tourism sector.

“It will bring a market culture experience to the town that some cities across the UK have successfully introduced already and which European towns and cities have become celebrated for. It also continues to show Sefton Councils commitment to Southport providing further opportunities to support independent businesses”

Rob Fletcher, Chair of the Southport Town Deal board, welcomed the news, saying:
“We have been working incredibly hard to try and make our ambitions a reality and we are in a fantastic position ahead of us submitting full plans for a £25million bid later this year.

“Our plans can now move forward at pace with Southport Market being the key focus, with £900,000 of the grant allocated to this project.

“The remaining £100,000 will be used to transform the Lord Street tree lights working in partnership with Southport Business Improvement District (BID) to ensure our beautiful boulevard is bathed in the very best light.”

Mark Lawler, Managing Director of Baltic Creative and member of the Southport Town Deal Board, echoed these sentiments.

Mark said: “We recognise how important this kind of investment can be for giving a kick start for further growth throughout the resort, as well as having the potential to spark further enhancement of the area surrounding the market.

“As a seaside town that is renowned for its great food and drink offer we think that this will be the perfect complement to Southport’s already impressive social offer, which is already recognised for championing independent businesses.”

The Southport Market project business case will now go to Cabinet and Council for approval in September, with a view to ensuring completion of the project by the end of the financial year, in accordance with the conditions of the grant.

For further information and to have your say on the Southport Town Deal, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/southport2020

Ainsdale Beach Car Park now open again after nearby utilities works

Ainsdale Beach car park has now re-opened.

Earlier this Green Sefton took the decision to close the car park due to essential sewerage works being carried out by United Utilities at a nearby leisure site.

Owing to the large number of vehicles and the machinery on site, the decision was taken to temporarily close Ainsdale Beach car park to ensure public safety.

Sefton Council is asking people who do come to the beach to act responsibly, to be considerate to local residents and to follow the measures in place to protect them and their loved ones from COVID-19.

Sefton Council recently developed a Coastal Visitor Action Plan which sets out some of the measure in pace. As well as the re-opening of Ainsdale Beach Car Park, these have included the introduction of portable loos and skips where people can leave their rubbish.

This short video shows some of the measure in place as part of the Coastal Visitor Action Plan.

When the plan was launched, Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “We have proposed a wider range of measures to meet the requirements of residents, visitors and employees and our beautiful coastal environment while at the same time keeping them safe in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Government’s national guidelines.

The Council has been asking people not to light barbecues or fires or to take glass bottles and other items onto the beach as they can cause fires and dangerous litter if left behind.

People are also being reminded that a Public Spaces Protection Order is in place preventing the outdoor consumption of alcohol in areas of Formby & Ainsdale Beaches, Southport Promenade and town centre, Crosby & Waterloo including by the Marine Lake as well as Bootle and Formby town centres. The Order can be enforced by Police officers and authorised Council officers and fines for breaching it start at £50.

Download a copy of Sefton Council’s Coastal Visitor Action Plan.

Mobile testing units at Litherland and Southport from today

Mobile coronavirus testing sites will be at Litherland  Sports Park on Thursday 30 and Friday 31 July today and at Southport Eco Centre from Thursday 30 July to Monday 3 August.

Tests at drive-through mobile sites tell people if if they currently have the Covid-19 virus.

Tests are available for anyone but they need to have made an appointment first at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

Essential workers can book through www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers.

Key NHS employees can attend regional testing sites at Liverpool John Lennon Airport as well as Haydock and Manchester Airport without the need for an appointment.

Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG are supporting the mobile sites, which have now provided around 7,000 tests.

Health bosses have been reminding young people that they can still catch coronavirus and pass on the serious illness to friends & loved ones without knowing it.

That why it is important that anyone contacted through the Government’s NHS Test and Trace service, shares information about their recent interactions.

Find out more about the NHS Test and Trace service.

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