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Sefton Council leader, Cllr Ian Maher responds to latest Merseyside COVID restrictions

Responding to yesterday’s announcement by the Secretary of State about new COVID-19 restrictions affecting Sefton and Merseyside Sefton Council Leader, Cllr Ian Maher said:

“While I know resident and businesses across Sefton will be disappointed and worried about the Government’s introduction of these latest additional measures, I am afraid they are a necessary part of halting the ongoing rise of confirmed cases across the region.

“The new measures mean that from one midnight after midnight (Saturday 3rd October), households are banned from mixing in any indoor settings and these restrictions will be enforceable by law and subject to fines.

“This is in addition to the current restriction on people mixing with other households in private homes and gardens and pub gardens although we need clarity as the Minister stated yesterday people could see each other in Parks, yet the official statement issued later said they couldn’t, so which is it?

“The new regulations also mean people should only travel for essential reasons including going to work, school or college and that visits to care homes should still only take place in exceptional circumstances. Additionally, people should not attend sporting events as spectators.

“The 10pm curfew for pubs bars restaurants and cinemas remains in place.

“This news will be a blow to people across Sefton who have made enormous sacrifices and efforts through the pandemic but I would, once again, urge them to follow these new restrictions to protect Sefton’s communities, its vulnerable, its businesses and its economy.

“I would also plead with people not to make the fact that these new measures don’t come into effect until a minute past midnight on Saturday, an excuse to go out and party tonight as they would be putting themselves and their vulnerable relatives at increased risk.

“And, I would urge all members of Sefton’s hospitality industry to make sure they have the measures, including track and trace QR code posters, social distancing and thorough cleaning regimes, in place now.

“Sefton’s residents, communities and businesses have shown already how far they are prepared to go to follow the regulations and protect the most vulnerable people in our Borough.

“I want to thank them again for that effort and for the commitment I am confident they will show in following these new measures.”

Sefton Council’s Chief Executive, Dwayne Johnson, shares message for Black History Month.

I’d like to start off our Black History Month celebrations by saying how much I am looking forward to hearing about the outstanding history, achievements and contributions of black people in our communities in Sefton, Merseyside and the whole world.Sefton Council Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson

Throughout the month we will be highlighting some of the great work that is going on in our Borough to promote equality, inclusion and empowerment within the BAME community. These stories will be posted on our website and across our social media channels so please keep an eye out.

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Response to new coronavirus restrictions

Responding to further restrictions announced for the region today, Council Leaders, the City Region Metro Mayor and MPs of the Liverpool City Region said:

“As the elected leaders and MPs of the Liverpool City Region, our first priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of the 1.6 million people that we represent.

“It’s absolutely right that we do everything we can to stop the spread of Coronavirus and keep as many people safe as possible. Over the past few days, we have engaged in talks with minsters over their proposals for greater restrictions.

“The measures announced today are a step in the right direction but we need to understand whether they are enough to really address the escalating cases in our city region.

“Therefore, we are requesting that the government provide us with the scientific evidence so we can understand if these measures will be sufficient to prevent the spread of the virus.

“In addition, we are also aware that without appropriate financial support from the government, restrictions will damage businesses and industries – in many cases irretrievably – when in normal times they are perfectly viable.

“Our region is an international destination, and our visitor economy is worth almost £5bn to the city region economy every year and employs over 50,000 people. Over recent years, our hospitality and retail industries have been vibrant and growing. But we have already seen some businesses go under in the face of COVID and, without Government assistance over the past few months, many more would have followed.

“These new restrictions mean that we will also need an immediate substantial additional package of economic support from the Government urgently and, so far, it is not clear that this is being provided.

“We will now seek further urgent talks with the Government on these measures, any further measures, and what their response is to our request for a financial support package.”

Sefton Safeguarding Children Board has launched new “ICON” campaign

Sefton Safeguarding Children Board has launched a new campaign which aims to help parents and carers to cope with a crying baby.  The call for resources comes from a number of infant deaths and serious case reviews where a baby has died or been seriously injured as a result of abusive head trauma.

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Sefton approves major economic boost for flagship towns

Sefton Council have acted to further secure and improve the economic future of two flagship towns in the borough.

At a meeting of the local authority’s cabinet today (Thursday, October 1) plans were firmly set in place to help establish future economic success for both Southport and Bootle.

Sefton Council’s Cabinet this morning approved £650,000 of Combined Authority funding for its plans to redevelop the Strand shopping centre and Bootle town centre, while it was agreed that the council will be the accountable body for the Southport Town Deal ahead of its £25 million bid for government funding later this month.

Chaired by Rob Fletcher of Fletcher’s Solicitors, Southport’s Town Deal Board has been meeting monthly since January 2020 with the purpose to develop and agree a Town Investment Plan, which includes extensive conversations and consultation with Southport’s residents, business owners, visitors and young people. Despite the pandemic the process saw more than 2,000 consultation responses and more than 5,000 total engagements.

In addition, recently over 700 children from schools across Southport gave their vital feedback and what they see as challenges and opportunities for the future of the town.

While in Bootle the approval of the £650,000 will be used to clear and make good the land adjacent to the Strand and the adjacent Leeds Liverpool Canal.

This work is the first stage of plans to re-animate the town centre by bringing interim uses to the currently unused areas in and around the Strand, which the Council sees as a cornerstone of Bootle town centre’s regeneration.

A partnering arrangement with the Canals and Rivers Trust would also integrate the site with the canal to enable it to be brought fully back into use and provide a possible ‘waterway link’ to Bramley Moore Dock in advance of the proposed new Everton FC stadium.

Both schemes will play a major role in economic recovery of Sefton from the impacts of COVID-19.

Welcoming the news of funding to support the council’s regeneration of Bootle, Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “We have already started engaging with local people and businesses in Bootle as well as other stakeholders to shape the details of proposed interim uses.

“This engagement includes the Bootle Festival of Ideas which was launched at the beginning of September.

“This funding is the first stage in making possible the exciting ‘Meanwhile Uses’ we have planned for The Strand and Bootle town centre.

“The interim plans will transform the space in the short term while we continue to develop our ambitious, long-term plans for Bootle, which include attracting new private sector investment to create a town centre that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.”

Speaking following the agreement on the Southport Town Deal, Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills and Town Deal Board member said: “Agreeing and securing a Town Deal in the coming months offers a real opportunity to boost Southport’s economy following months of COVID-19 induced economic uncertainty.

“It brings with it the benefits of increased jobs, different training opportunities, a strengthened visitor proposition that builds on the pride and passion that our residents have for Southport. Our Town Deal proposal will include exciting projects and opportunities that are not visible in any other town, or any other bid.”

Southport Town Deal Board Chair Rob Fletcher added: “The partnership approach of the Town Deal Board has been wonderful to see.

“I would like to extend a huge thank you to all those people who have taken the time to respond to the online questionnaire or leave a comment on social media. I would in particular like to thank all the teachers and pupils from right across the town, who have taken real care and time to come up with some wonderful and thoughtful suggestions for the future of their home.

“I will be writing back to each school in the coming weeks to share my thanks and feedback on behalf of the board, as this is a conversation that we would like to continue beyond our October submission date.”

For more information about the Southport Town Deal please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/southport2020.

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