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Council has now made almost 80 per cent of energy rebate payments to eligible Sefton households

Sefton Council has now issued £150 Council Tax Energy Rebate payments to 78% of the Borough’s eligible households.

Over £12.5 million

Over £12.5 million has now been paid to 83,500 Council Tax Band A to D households in Sefton. Two batches of payments were made, in late April and mid-May, to those who pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit.

This week a further batch of payments have been made to more than 17,700 households that responded to letters from Sefton Council asking for them register their bank details securely. These payments are expected to appear in people’s bank accounts on Monday 6th June.

Thanks

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory Compliance and Corporate Services said today: “I am pleased that we have now made payment to almost 80% of eligible households in Sefton and would like to thank all those who signed up to pay by Direct Debit as we encouraged or who have responded to our letters and registered so we have been able to organise their payment.”

Security codes on the first batch of letters asking people to register have now expired but Seton Council will be sending reminder letters with a new valid code that enables people to register safely. Any registrations that have been rejected will also be revisited.

Secure

Cllr Lappin added: “I would also like to thank our team who have devised the way to make these payments to over 80,000 households securely, to avoid large sums of public money falling into the wrong hands due to fraud.

“And, I would like to say again to those people who still need to register for payment, the only way we will be contacting you is by the new letters, each of which will contain a unique 14-character security key so that you can register safely.

“We will never contact you by phone or call at your door about this scheme.”

Quickest

Cllr Lappin also said that people who do not have internet access or someone to help them register online can the Council’s Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845. However, she said that the online route was the quickest, and helped make sure Contact Centre staff can focus their time make that service for those who really need assistance.

Having made the overwhelming majority of payments, the Council will also now be finalising our approach to making discretionary payments. These could be for households in higher Council Tax bands, outside those specified by the Government, which are most in need.

You can find out more about the Council Tax energy Rebate scheme in Sefton here.

Sefton’s Girl Guides to light beacon for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

It has been confirmed today, 1st June 2022, that Guides from Sefton will be lighting a beacon to mark HRH The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Thursday evening.

The event will be taking place on the Crosby seafront above the seawall off The Serpentine. This will form part of a nationwide celebration.

It is important to note that this is not a public event.

Approximately 200 Guides and their families will be arriving by coach at the Burbo Bank coastal car park from 8pm.

After activities and games on the beach, Guides will gather around a gas-powered beacon from 9.20pm and will listen to a bagpiper playing “Diu Regnare”, a unique tune written for the Jubilee before singing in tribute to Her Majesty.

The beacon will be lit at 9.50pm and extinguished ten minutes later at 10pm, when the Guides will tidy and leave the site.

Residents are welcome to witness this historic event alongside the Guides should they wish to join in.

Emergency services are fully briefed and aware of the event and Sefton Council has given its approval.

Get Outdoors in Sefton this Half Term

Whether you live in Sefton or are planning a visit, there is an abundance of beautiful outdoors spots that offer something for everyone.

Historic Parks and Greenspaces

Those planning to get out and about over the Half Term break may want to consider a visit to one of Sefton’s parks where playgrounds and sports facilities offer a space for people of all ages to spend time outdoors.

Sefton has over 30 parks across the borough, as well as 61 play areas and 183 open spaces. This ranges from the stunning Botanic Gardens in the north to the historic Derby Park in the south.

Botanic Gardens, located in Churchtown, are renowned for its community-maintained floral displays, aviary and fernery.  For more information, head to https://www.sefton.gov.uk/around-sefton/parks-and-greenspaces/botanic-gardens-in-churchtown/

South of the borough is Derby Park, an important cultural asset that was built in 1895! The park has been recognised by its designation as part of the Derby Park Conservation Area and its listing on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Facilities at the park include a play area, bowls green, zip wire and a multi-use games area. To learn more, head to: https://www.sefton.gov.uk/around-sefton/parks-and-greenspaces/derby-park-bootle/

Natural Coast

Sefton’s environmentally protected coastline stretches for 22 miles from Crosby in the South to Crossens in the North and is a nature haven that offers something for everyone.

In the north there is one of the largest areas of wild dune land left in Britain, the Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve. A series of trails leads visitors around the dunes which form the backdrop to magnificent Ainsdale Beach.

For directions and further information, head to: https://www.sefton.gov.uk/around-sefton/coast-countryside/ainsdale-and-birkdale-sandhills-local-nature-reserve/

Further south there’s Crosby Coastal Park, home to Antony Gormley’s famous Iron Men statues. The site is ideal for many informal activities such as birdwatching, flying kites, walking and picnics. Facing west, the beach makes an excellent spot to watch the sunset and there are fantastic views of the Iron Men, the docks and North Wales.

The pop-up food and drink venue, The Bus Yard, has returned to Crosby Coastal Park once more this summer. The Bus Yard is an outdoor space with a fully licensed mobile bar on the lower deck with a roof top terrace and kitchen container serving delicious street food. Check them out on Instagram – @the_bus_yard

Wildlife

It is also home to an incredible array of flora and fauna – from the famous Red Squirrels, to the rare Natterjack Toads and Sand Lizards. The range of dune habitats and rare species found along Sefton’s coast are unique and protected as a site of special scientific interest.

People can play their part in keeping the coast’s precious wildlife safe by taking all their litter home and by not lighting fires or BBQs anywhere at the coast.

To learn more about Sefton’s wildlife and their different activities through the year, people can read our Nature Calendar by heading to: https://www.sefton.gov.uk/around-sefton/coast-countryside/seftons-nature-calendar/

Travel Smart

Visitors looking to head to the coast are being encouraged to explore travel options such as walking or cycling to avoid traffic jams and delays. And drivers are being urged to be considerate to local residents when parking and to avoid fines by using official parking spaces only.

Car parking is available at both Ainsdale and Southport beaches through the summer months.

Ainsdale, which has 2,000 spaces and Southport, which has 400, are among just a handful of on beach car parks across the UK. Unsurprisingly they are closed at some high tides and there may be limited in capacity at other times.

All day beach parking costs £8 at Southport and £10 at Ainsdale. Prices are halved after 4pm subject to available space and the cost for horseboxes or minibuses at both sites is £16 per day.

This funding provides essential support to contribute to the costs to provide our services and preserve the natural beauty of our coastline for generations to come.

Family Valued partnership for Sefton Council’s Children’s Social Care team launched

Sefton staff at the launch of the Family Valued partnershipSefton Council’s Children’s Services have welcomed colleagues from Leeds City Council to launch the two-year, Family Valued partnership.

Secured through a successful, £3 million Council bid to the Department for Education, the partnership will see the two authorities working together to improve outcomes for local children and families.

Importance of family

Family Valued is an approach that focuses on the strengths and importance of family and is centred on productive working relationships between practitioners and families. Its impact in Leeds has included a reduction in the rate and number of cared for children, as well as fewer child protection plans. As a result of children spending less time ‘in the social work system,’ it has also meant a saving of £755 per family compared to ‘business as usual’ social work.

Almost 200 of Sefton Children’s Social Care team were able to attend the recent two-day, introductory sessions, which included an introduction from Sefton’s new Director of Education and Children’s Services, Martin Birch.

Conditions for success

Sefton st5aff at one of the Family Valued launch events

In a presentation, Steve Walker, Leeds City Council’s Director of Strengthening Families, Protecting Children said that the Family Valued approach is not “rocket science”. He said it is about getting the basics right and “creating the conditions for success” which means the right culture and ethos, leadership and partnership and workforce and practice.

Each of the sessions included group and the opportunity to put forward ideas for a name for Sefton’s own version of Leeds Family Valued. The suggestion will be shared with Sefton’s Making a Difference group, a group of care experienced young people, and Sefton’s Young Ambassadors group.

The next step will be for Children’s Services teams to take part in restorative practice training sessions that focus on strengthening relationships between people and the social connections with members of the local community.

Positive feedback

After the launch events, Martin Birch said: “I am delighted we have got this new Family Valued partnership with Leeds underway as it will build upon the improvement work already started as we respond to the recent Ofsted recommendations by learning and delivering better results for children, young people and their families in Sefton.

“Feedback to the introductory sessions was very positive and included comments such as ‘it was just what we needed to focus and motivate us all on our way up’ and ‘I came out excited for the months/years ahead,’.

“Our staff are ready to take on the challenges we face and determined to achieve success for all of our children, young people and families.”

Impressed

Steve Walker, Leeds City Council’s Director of Strengthening Families, Protecting Children said: “We are delighted to be working with colleagues in Sefton to implement Family Valued.

“I have been impressed by the commitment that I have seen from elected members, partners and staff across Children’s Services to work together relationally to ensure that children and young people in Sefton have the opportunities they need and deserve to reach their potential.”

Unprecedented

Cllr Mhairi Doyle MBE, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, said: “Adopting the Family Valued approach, combined with the significant extra resources we have allocated to Children’s Services in Sefton, will play a significant role in helping us to deal with the unprecedented demand we have seen since the pandemic.

“While we do, of course acknowledge our Ofsted rating and the need to improve it, our focus must be on ensuring Sefton’s children and young people benefit from the best services possible.

“We are committed to making sure they are safe, protected and inspired to reach their full potential and this week’s events are an important step on that path.”

Anyone interested in joining Sefton’s Children’s Social Care services can find the latest vacancies here along with details of our ‘Golden Hello’ payments and additional financial rewards.

 

Local Ukraine charities receive Crosby Lions backing

Two Sefton charities, who provide support for Ukrainian families arriving in the area, have been boostedInternational Ukraine Flag https://www.maxpixel.net/International-Ukraine-Flag-2684771 by generous donations from the Crosby and District Lions. Sefton 4 Good’s Sefton Ukraine Welcome Appeal and Crosby Methodist Circuit’s Ukraine Welcome Centre have both received £245 from the club.

Vital support

Earlier this year, Sefton 4 Good, in partnership with Sefton Council and local VCF sector organisations set up their Ukraine appeal.

Their fundraising efforts have helped to support families from Ukraine with clothing, equipment, travel cards and other needs. They provide support within the community by creating social and cultural networks for those moving to the borough.

Angela White OBE, Chief Executive of Sefton CVS, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Crosby & District Lions for this donation to our appeal which supports Ukrainian guests settling in Sefton.

“This fund is enabling us to supply them with items including SIM cards, digital equipment, books, new clothing and toys, taking into account their individual needs as they arrive.”

Community assistance

Meanwhile, the Blundellsands-based Ukraine Welcome Centre provides practical support to families moving from Ukraine.

The centre, based in the Methodist Church, provides a communal kitchen, leisure areas and IT access for families. They also take donations of clothing, household goods and toiletries to support those affected by the war.

Generosity

Ukraine Welcome Centre Co-ordinator, Alan Lewis, said: “Members of the Lions have visited the centre on several occasions and have been really supportive. This donation will assist greatly in improving our children’s facilities. Thank you so much Lions for your generosity.”

Commenting on the donations Sue Tyson, President of Crosby & District Lions, said: “We are so pleased to be able to help these local groups in their important work.

“Lions Clubs International has already donated funding of over £100,000 to Lions serving in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Austria and the Slovak Republic to help support Ukrainian refugees who have crossed their borders, as well as those people within the Ukraine.”

Other donations to the two appeals are always welcome. You can donate to the Sefton Ukraine Welcome Appeal by visiting sefton4good.org.uk and the Ukraine Welcome Centre by contacting crosbyuacentre@gmail.com.

To find out more about Sefton Council’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, which helps to provide support for those in the borough offering housing to people fleeing Ukraine, visit Homes for Ukraine.

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