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How to help rough sleepers in Sefton this winter

Sefton Council is highlighting details of where anyone who finds themselves sleeping rough or knows someone who is, can find help and support.

Earlier this month The Big Issue reported that the number of households facing eviction tripled in the three months after Covid protections to keep renters in their homes ended.

And there are fears that the impact of rising living costs and other issues such as the Government’s £20 per week cut in Universal Credit could see evictions rise in the coming months.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “This Council has a long-standing commitment to helping people suffering from homelessness and supporting those rough sleepers who may find themselves in a vulnerable position, without a safe and warm place to call home.

“I am very proud of the work our teams do to help combat rough sleeping.

“Nobody wants to find themselves bedding down for the night on a cold pavement or stairwell and we are fully aware that with each new day, people may find themselves in need of support through absolutely no fault of their own.

“That is why we continue to urge the public to report an incident of rough sleeping in Sefton, by calling the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team via Light for Life on 01704 501256 or 07918 746042 outside normal office hours and weekends.’’

People can provide details of the location and any description of anyone they suspect is sleeping rough by emailing shc@lightforlifesefton.org.uk or housing.options@sefton.gov.uk.

Veterans in Sefton (ViS) has also been commissioned to provide support to people who are currently serving or who have served in the Armed Forces. This covers regulars and reservists, their families and their dependents, who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

ViS is based at The Brunswick Youth and Community Centre in Bootle. For any further help and information from ViS people can call 0151 933 0800 or 07591 825204 out-of-hours assistance.

Find out more about gritting in Sefton this winter

Sefton Council’s gritting teams have already rolled into action as the 2021/22 gritting and road treatment programme gets underway.

The local authority dispatched a fleet of winter vehicles from its award winning ‘Gritting Headquarters’ in Netherton to grit nearly 470km of road and heavily pedestrianised pavements across the borough during periods of very low temperatures 

The first dispatch of the 2021/22 winter season was recorded on the evening on Sunday, 21st November.

During periods of low temperatures when ice can form on road surfaces, Sefton Council and its contractors undertake a large scale carriageway treatment programme, supplemented by footway gritting in key town centres at any time day or night and continue treatments as long as necessary.

This is the second year Sefton Council are working from its ‘Winter Hub,’ after it was deemed the previous depot was no longer fit for purpose.

Located in Netherton, the ‘Hub’ has the capacity to store 3500 tonnes of salt, over 250% more storage space than was available in the previous depot.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “Without a doubt having this in-house facility is a major boost to the quality of our winter gritting service.

“The ‘Winter Hub’ is a much needed addition to our Council assets and will help us to ensure, as we do every year, that residents in Sefton will be driving on safe roads this winter.

“While our gritting programme is extensive, we do encourage residents to take extra care when out and about as untreated side roads and pathways may be icy.”

During colder months Sefton also encourages residents to check in on elderly or isolated neighbours to make sure they are ok and are fully prepared for any potential adverse weather conditions.

Find out which roads and pavements are treated here

Registration next step on Council’s return to social housing market

Sandway hard hatIn its next step to becoming a social housing provider again, Sefton Council is set to register with the Regulator of Social Housing.

Provider, owner & landlord

Registration will mean the Council will, once again, be able to act as a housing provider, stock owner and landlord. This is in line with plans to acquire the first Council homes at Buckley Hill Lane developed by the Council-owned housing development company, Sandway Homes.

In January, Sefton Council took the decision to re-enter the social housing market for the first time in nearly 15 years. Its first new, rented housing will be nine apartments on the Sefton Grange development at Buckley Hill Lane in Netherton, acquired from Sandway Homes, as part of their wider 63-home open market development.

Registering with the Regulator of Social Housing will also enable the Council to apply as an Investment Partner to Homes England to seek grant funding opportunities for the delivery of affordable housing.

Important further step

Cllr Trish Hardy
Cllr Trish Hardy

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities said: “By registering with the Regulator of Social Housing we will be taking an important further step in the process to start providing affordable and high-quality housing directly for some of the Borough’s most vulnerable residents.

“Being able to progress developments such as Buckley Hill is just one advantages of the Council’s decision, in 2018, to establish Sandway Homes.

“It will mean that Sefton Council can help ensure residents have greater opportunities to get the homes they need and deserve.”

Sandway Homes is building 30 new homes at Hey Farm Gardens in Crossens and 47 at Sandy Brook in Ainsdale. Sefton Grange, near Netherton is another site being developed by Sandway, where work will commence in the new year.

Prospective buyers can now see the range of properties under construction, which are already being bought off-plan, at www.sandwayhomes.co.uk. 

Sefton spreads Christmas cheer with communitrees

Sefton Council is once again helping to spread Christmas cheer across the Borough with a series of new, living and cut Christmas trees for its communities.

Following extensive hard work over the last six months, the local authority’s Communities & Neighbourhoods officers have been working hard to ensure as many areas of the Borough have access to their own festive firs.

Sustainably sourced

Nine trees, all sustainably sourced, will be lit up and decorated in host of festive themed ways as the Borough comes together to celebrate its first ‘normal’ Christmas since the start of the pandemic.

New living fir trees have been installed in Melling and Birkdale, complimenting the already embedded trees in Crosby Village, Litherland, Hightown, Hillside, Seaforth and Thornton.

Illuminated

Four other community owned trees, in Crosby Village, Crossens, Marian Square and Southport (Bispham Road), will be illuminated thanks to funding from Sefton Council

Sustainable, cut tree will also be installed outside Bootle Strand Shopping Centre and at the Bootle Canalside site.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Every year around the start of summertime our hard working Neighbourhoods teams begin to put plans in place to ensure Sefton is a Borough of Christmas joy.

“What follows is six months of hard work, continued engagement and planning with the aim of ensuring that our communities Christmas trees are not only something to be proud of, but also contribute to  protecting our planet, supporting sustainable forestry, as well as remaining cost effective.

“An incredible amount of work goes into this project and we always ensure we keep sight of our shared goal of making Christmas special for everyone in Sefton.

“Site visits, ground and aerial surveys, changes to highway layout and then the creation of a pit or housing for the tree all needs to be completed before a tree can be installed and this takes months of work. I am proud of the efforts our teams put into this each and every year and we continue to look at new ways of sustainable Christmas tree provision.

“In cases where a cut tree is installed, we have a duty to ensure that it is sourced sustainably, will continue to contribute positively to the environment while in situ and, most importantly, new saplings are planted in is place for future generations.

“We take great pride in delivering as grand a Christmas as possible for our communities while being constantly faced by a number of different challenges. It is a testament to our team’s hard work and ongoing dedication that every year we continue to deliver festive trees in time for the holidays and numerous switch-on events.”

Widely praised

The living tree project, which began in 2017, was part of a widely praised sustainability plan to ensure communities had access to a Christmas tree which would develop and grow within its adopted surroundings.

Work is now underway to reassess the living tree project and explore a number of sustainable options now available to the local authority which will guarantee sustainable and eco-friendly tree provisions for the 2022 holiday period.

‘The Blitz in Bootle: 80 Years On’ exhibition launching Friday 26th November

photograph of destruction caused to buildings in Bootle during the May Blitz of 1941On Friday, (26th November) Sefton Library Service are unveiling a new exhibition titled ‘The Blitz in Bootle: 80 Years On’ at the town’s Strand Shopping Centre.

Seven-night Blitz

Bombing during the Second World War reached its peak in the seven-night Blitz of Thursday 1st to Wednesday 7th  May 1941, also known as the ‘May Blitz’. It was during this week that the town of Bootle became one of the most bombed places in Britain.

People are invited to attend the exhibition launch event, taking place this Friday, 26th November, from 2 pm to 3:30pm at The Esplanade, Strand Shopping Centre, Bootle.

Destruction

‘The Blitz in Bootle: 80 Years On’ features the archive collections of Stewart Bale, who was employed by The Bootle Corporation to photograph and record the destruction, as well as notes from Bootle Air Raid Precaution Officer Major Salt’s diaries.

Additionally, renowned photographer Jon Turton has been working with the children from Bedford Primary school and members of Bootle Library’s Local History Group to create exhibits that feature both historical and contemporary photographs of the former bomb sites. The launch event is open to everyone and people are invited to come along and explore the exhibition.

Planning and preparation

In his diaries, Major Salt recorded the planning and preparation undertaken by Bootle corporation prior to the Second World War. His diary also contains notes recording the destruction caused by the Blitz as it happened.

Stewart Bale was employed by The Bootle Corporation to record the destruction wrought on the town, so that war reparation claims could be made to re-build once the war was over.

Unyielding

Cllr Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Hundreds lost their lives in Bootle during the unyielding May Blitz of 1941 and this exhibition is a tribute to the people of the town and what they endured.

“I encourage everyone to visit the exhibition and explore Bootle’s wartime history.”

The ‘Blitz in Bootle: 80 Years On’ exhibition will be open at The Strand Shopping Centre on between 10:00am and 3pm on Monday 29th November, and Wednesday 1st, Thursdays 2nd and 9th, Friday 10th December. The exhibition is free, no pre-booking is required and people are welcome to drop-in during opening times.

Resilience

Cllr Hardy added:  “This exhibition is a reflection of the resilience and spirit that Bootle people showed back then and which they have again exhibited over the past 18 months during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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