Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health is urging people across the Borough to book their COVID-19 booster jab, if they are eligible for it in the next month.
Booster jabs are available to people who have had their first and second COVID-19 vaccinations from six months after the date of their second jab.
Anyone who has had their first and second vaccinations and is within a month of being eligible for their booster jab can now book their appointment at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccination or by calling 119.
Anyone who had their second vaccination six months ago or longer, can also use the www.NHS.uk or call 119 to find a walk-in coronavirus vaccination site where they can get a booster jab.
Margaret Jones said: “While first and second vaccinations are still providing people with good levels of protection from the virus, a booster dose can give people longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
“Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, which may be different from their previous jabs, but they remain safe and effective.”
Mrs Jones also urged anyone who has yet to get their first or second jab, to do so as soon as possible. She said: “The NHS reporting that is seeing 14 times as many Covid patients as this time last year and warning that the number of young people being admitted to hospital for COVID is on the rise.
“Vaccination is still the best protection against coronavirus whatever your age and I would urge anyone eligible to get their first or second jab to get them as soon as possible. Just visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccination or call 119 today.
Our Swab Squads are out across Sefton over the coming week, providing free lateral flow testing, collection of home testing kits and vaccination information and advice.
Monday 8th November – Asda Aintree – 08:30am until 16:30pm
Tuesday 9th November – Blundellsands Station – 08:30am until 16:30pm
Wednesday 10th November – Asda Aintree – 08:30am until 16:30pm
Thursday 11th November – Waterloo Town Hall – 08:30am until 16:30pm
Friday 12th November – St Leonards – 08:30am until 16:30pm
Saturday 13th November – Blundellsands Station – 08:30am until 16:30pm
Sunday 14th November – Blundellsands Station – 08:30am until 16:30pm
Whether you need your first, second or booster jab, there are lots of places to get your vaccination across Sefton. Anyone in Sefton aged 18 and over, can find a walk-in vaccination site or book a vaccination appointment at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccination or by calling 119 free. And those over 16 are also eligible and can book their first vaccine online or go to a walk-in session.
Council to join forces with fellow landowners across Sefton to tackle the climate emergency
Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service is spearheading a partnership approach with other landowners Borough-wide to ensure that action is taken on climate change.
Representatives from the Environment Agency, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Mersey Forest, Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service and Natural England, amongst others, have pledged to work with the Council to identify joint projects and initiatives that produce Natural Capital benefits.
From street tree planting to urban greening and natural flood management schemes to habitat creation, the organisations have commissioned Liverpool John Moore’s University to map out opportunities for collaborative initiatives that will complement the wider Liverpool City Region’s Ecological Network Plan.
The benefits from such initiatives and adaptations include air and water quality improvements alongside a reduction in pollution.
Other potential benefits from this joined-up approach could be an increase in carbon storage capability and biodiversity across Sefton, as well as opportunities to explore natural flood mitigation and sustainable drainage solutions to combat further extreme weather events.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:
“We have longstanding relationships with our fellow landowners across the Borough, as part of the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership, and particularly in our approach to protecting the coast and managing flood risk for our communities. Reaffirming our commitment today to working together to tackle and adapt to wider climate concerns means that we can make a difference for tomorrow.”
Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest, said:
“Trees and green spaces provide a range of benefits for both the environment and our communities. By working together to deliver more nature-based projects in Sefton we are playing our part to tackle the climate crisis and provide adaptation measures to support the area as our climate changes.”
Extreme weather events like January 2021’s Storm Christoph, which impacted Sefton residents, and predictions around rising temperatures and sea-levels are all shaping the Council’s approach to tackling climate change.
Just last week the Green Sefton Service announced its intentions to adapt its land management approach moving forward, to better support the natural environment, in collaboration with community groups and businesses.
The planting of 3,230 saplings and trees in parks, woodlands and along highways during the 2020/21 tree planting season was undertaken with the support of the Mersey Forest and has contributed to the Council being on track to be net carbon zero by 2030.
Cllr Moncur added:
“Refocusing our efforts as a collective to promote nature improvements, rather than undertaking projects in silo, can only provide positive outcomes for both people and place here in Sefton.”
Sefton Council secures prosecution over counterfeit vodka found in Southport
Sefton Council’s Legal Team has gained a successful prosecution after a Southport business was found to be storing vodka that was deemed unfit for human consumption.
At Sefton Magistrates Court on Wednesday, District Judge Boswell found defendant, Mr Wojtek Lazarz guilty of two charges, and the company, Smakus Foods Limited, guilty of one.
Mr Lazarz was fined £1,450 and Smakus Foods Limited, £1,050, while Sefton Council received £1,000 towards its costs.
After suspected sales of counterfeit vodka were reported in Southport in 2019, Sefton Council’s Environmental Health team began an investigation.
They liaised with the makers of Glen’s Vodka, which was how the alcohol was being sold, who told the team how to identify the counterfeit bottles, which were found on sale in several Southport locations.
Mr Lazarz’s unhelpful approach when questioned about the counterfeit alcohol, stored for sale at his business, led to the Council’s decision to taking legal action.
Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “Selling fake alcohol that could have a serious effect on people’s health is an extremely serious matter and the Foods Standards Agency has made it a national priority of their work.
“I am, therefore, delighted that the Council’s Environmental Health and Legal Services teams have successfully carried out this investigation and prosecution as part of their work to protect local people and prevent this dangerous activity.”
Anyone who suspects dangerous or counterfeit alcohol is on sale can contact the Council’s Environmental Health team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Council’s Contact Centre on 0845 140 0345.
Cllr Paulette Lappin added: “Events like this in Sefton are not common but I would ask anyone who notices anything suspicious to contact us so that we can investigate and take action.”
Green Sefton pledge to manage more outdoor spaces for nature to thrive and call on local businesses to offer their support
The Council’s Green Sefton Service is pledging to manage more of its outdoor spaces in a way that will boost biodiversity and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
A new vision for managing Sefton’s outdoor spaces, from open coast and countryside to formal parks, sports pitches, allotments and cemeteries, will be underpinned by a commitment that recognises the way that people use and interact with these places, and how this can ultimately benefit the environment.
Green Sefton plans to develop its calendar of landscape maintenance to account for when certain operations should and shouldn’t take place. For instance, to better navigate bird nesting season and to avoid mowing grass at certain times of year to allow insects to feed. Many of these principles can also apply to residents’ own gardens at home.
The service has been working towards this approach in recent years, utilising new landscape management techniques such as creating wildflower meadows in parks. The incredibly successful wildflower planting that has taken place since 2019 at Rimrose Valley, demonstrates how working alongside its communities, the Council can manage spaces in a more innovative and environmentally friendly way.
As part of this new approach, a pilot will take place next spring at Victoria Park in Crosby, to redevelop an area of grass into a wildflower meadow which is ‘managed for nature’. The project will be supported by the park’s Friends group, a local business and schoolchildren will be invited to help seed the site.
It is hoped that, following this pilot, the concept will be rapidly rolled out across several existing sites in the Borough before targeting new opportunities alongside community groups and businesses.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:
“With the climate emergency at the forefront of everyone’s minds, we must ensure that Sefton plays its role in tackling these challenges and coming up with ways to really make a difference.
“Traditionally our land management techniques have been driven by historic methods, cost-effectiveness and the perception that neatly trimmed and mown sites are the most visually appealing. But what we have seen over recent years is a real calling from our communities to manage sites for nature, to ensure that we are using sustainable methods and to create havens for not only people to enjoy but wildlife too.
“This desire aligns perfectly with the Council’s own 2030 vision which is underpinned by our efforts to tackle the climate emergency. Managing more sites for nature, be that through tree planting, designating no mow areas or sowing new wildflower meadows, will increase the amount of carbon we can capture, improving things like air quality. It will also offer a boost to many pollinators, helping to maintain the variety of species that we need to ensure our planet remains intact for future generations.”
As well as seeking support from its residents, Green Sefton officers are keen to hear from any local businesses who might want to support not just the managed for nature sites, but any other outdoor spaces, that are so vital to the people of Sefton.
Since 2014, businesses have contributed approximately 1,500 hours involving 250 volunteers through litter-picking activities and maintenance at some of the most popular Green Sefton sites. Now it is hoped that businesses who are looking to ensure that they play a part in managing the climate crisis, can do so by sponsoring projects and activities through Green Sefton.
Cllr Moncur added:
“Business have made a big difference already, working in partnership with our Green Sefton Service, but as we face ever increasing concerns about the impact of climate change, we want them to join forces with us to act on this emergency.
“What’s more, is that businesses could also help to support and give back to the people of Sefton. It could be helping a child to access a grassroots sport, a community group to grow their own produce or a young person to gain work experience in land management or horticulture.
“The support from Sefton-based businesses could make a real difference to our special places and our amazing residents.”
More information about the Green Sefton Business Supporter Scheme, and the variety of ways businesses can get involved, can be found on the Council’s website: www.sefton.gov.uk/greensefton