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Merseyrail ticket fares still some of the lowest in the country following 2020 fare increase

Merseyrail ticket fares are still some of the lowest in the country, despite an average increase of 2.86 per cent for 2020.

The rail operator will protect its popular Family Ticket by freezing its price at £11 for the fourth consecutive year – ensuring families can enjoy affordable days out across the Liverpool City Region.

Return tickets for journeys within the Merseyrail network will rise by an average of 2.8 per cent. Railpass will also rise by 2.8 per cent for 2020.

Suzanne Grant, Commercial Director at Merseyrail, said: “We are proud to offer the most affordable and punctual rail service in the country, continually improving our ticket offer with new products coming in the next 12 months such as the Merseyrail Only Railpass.

“While there is a rise in ticket prices, 98 per cent of fares are reinvested back into the railway, which allows us to improve the network and continue to provide our passengers with a reliable, high quality service.”

In the spring 2019 National Rail Passenger Survey, Merseyrail was voted as one of the most reliable networks offering some of the best value for money tickets in the country.

The operator has also been hailed as the most punctual rail operator in the country for the year-to-date of 2019.

Sefton formally receives Borough of Culture title at City Region Creativity Awards

The winners of the 2019 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards have been named at a glittering ceremony as Sefton received the Borough of Culture title.

The awards, which took place at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in this year’s Borough of Culture, Wirral, were created by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to celebrate outstanding contributions and commitment to art, culture and creativity across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

Hosted by award-winning actor, screenwriter and BAFTA Cymru winner Celyn Jones, there were 12 categories including the People’s Choice Award, which was voted for by the public, and the Inspiration Award for Lifetime Achievement.


The People’s Choice award which saw 2,500 votes cast from across the Liverpool City Region was awarded to Paul Duhaney the Artistic Director of the Africa Oyé Festival while the Lifetime Achievement awards, recognising an individual’s lifelong creative contribution to the Liverpool City Region, were bestowed on Author Frank Cottrell-Boyce and to Ruth Gould of DaDa Fest.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram, said:

“I’ve long said that the Liverpool City Region is the UK’s cultural capital. We were the first Combined Authority in country with control over culture and we’ve put those powers to good use, setting aside 1% of our funding each year to support culture and introducing an annual ‘Borough of Culture’. The Culture and Creativity awards are a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the best of the exciting cultural events we’ve had over the past year. It’s been a phenomenal year and I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months has in store.”

The Culture and Creativity Awards are part of the Metro Mayor’s Culture Programme for the Liverpool City Region which includes investment in key cultural projects such as £10.55m for the construction of the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot and £5m support for the Liverpool 2018 celebrations, which brought the Giants back to the city region for the final time.

This investment is in addition to the activity around the yearly Borough of Culture title and the 1% for Culture initiative, where the equivalent of 1% of the £30 million annual devolution funding is used to stimulate cultural and creative opportunities.

A panel of judges including Phil Redmond the Chair of the Culture Partnership, chose the finalists.

Phil Redmond said:

“Tonight is the beginning of another cultural initiative to both remind and encourage everyone to think about how creative and innovative Liverpool City Region is. Full of great people with great ideas, doing things differently and trying to make a real difference. Each year we will celebrate the best of the best and through that reinforce one simple message. Everything has to start with a great idea. A flash of creativity that changes things. Makes people think differently. And that applies in all walks of life because culture is the sum of what we all do together.”

As part of the ceremony, Wirral passed the Borough of Culture title to Sefton who will be focusing on stories for their 2020 Borough of Culture year exploring the theme of ‘Myths and Realities.’

Mayor of Wirral, Tony Smith, added:

“We have had a fantastic Borough of Culture Year in Wirral with so many amazing events and experiences. We are delighted to host the first Culture and Creativity Awards here and I’m sure Sefton will continue the great work achieved into next year.”

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr June Burns, said:

“We’re really looking forward to building on the great work we have seen in Wirral this year and will be holding this awards event in Sefton next year. Our city region is filled with culture and creativity and this event is a fantastic way to recognise all that hard work.”

This year’s awards were sponsored by Paddock Johnson Partnership, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, The Handmade Gin Company and USP Creative. Next year the awards will take place in the 2020 Borough of Culture – Sefton.


Here’s a full list of all the winners…


People’s Choice Award (Outstanding Contribution to Culture)

Africa Oyé


Inspiration Award for Lifetime Achievement

Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Ruth Gould


Artist/Arts Organisation of the Year

Heart of Glass


Student Inspiration Award

Nadia Atique Mohamed


Impact Award (Health and Wellbeing)

Comics Youth CIC


Impact Award (Environmental Sustainability)

Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse


Impact Award (Improving Education and Learning)

Caroline Williams (The Spider Project)


Impact Award (Improving community Cohesion)



Impact Award (International Reach)

Africa Oyé


Impact Award (Future World of Work)

Andy Dockerty – Adlib


Impact Award (Sustainable Business in Arts)

Make CIC


Borough of Culture ‘Star of the Year’

Paul Askew – Ambassador

Your help needed to keep antibiotics working

Sefton residents are being asked to play their part in this year’s Public Health England’s (PHE) ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign this winter and all year round by ensuring they use antibiotics correctly and understand when they are not required.

Healthcare professionals at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are teaming up with Sefton Council to support the campaign, which launched on 5 November 2019.

Antibiotics are medicines that treat bacterial infections by killing or preventing the spread of that infection. They are only prescribed when: 

  • The condition is unlikely to clear up without them
  • The infection could spread to others
  • Antibiotics could significantly speed up recovery
  • The illness is serious.

Antibiotics are not prescribed for viral infections such as colds or flu because they are not effective in fighting these types of illnesses. Viral infections can be treated with a combination of self-care and over the counter medicines. 

Susanne Lynch, a pharmacist and head of the medicines management team at the CCGs in Sefton, said: “We’ve done a lot of work already to explain to people that antibiotics are not always the answer but this campaign will hopefully add to this, helping GPs and pharmacists spread the word more and remind people about the risks of taking antibiotics when it’s not necessary.

“We need to preserve antibiotics for when we really need them and we are calling on the public to join us in tackling antibiotic resistance by listening to your GP, pharmacist or nurse’s advice and only take antibiotics when necessary. Taking antibiotics just in case may seem like a harmless act, but it can have negative consequences for you and your family’s health in the future.”  

Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health, Sefton Council added: “It is really important that you use antibiotics properly to keep yourself well this winter. Always make sure that your antibiotics have been prescribed to you, that you are taking the recommended dose and that they are in-date.” 

If you have any questions about any of your antibiotic prescriptions, you should visit your local pharmacist. They will be able to answer any questions you have and give you advice. 

If you believe that you have a bacterial infection, it is recommended to call NHS 111 or visit your local pharmacist for advice.  

Lighting Sefton RED this World AIDS Day

Bootle Town Hall is set to be bathed in red light this weekend (30 November- 1 December) to mark World AIDS Day.

The Town Hall will join landmarks from across the City Region in lighting up red to raise awareness of HIV and AIDs as part of a campaign by Sahir House, a Merseyside-based charity that provides care, support and practical assistance to people living with HIV, their partners, carers and dependants. The charity is also dedicated to improving public education about the effects of HIV.

Matthew Ashton, Sefton’s Director of Public Health, said: “We want to send out a positive message that as a community we can challenge and remove the stigma that still surrounds HIV and acknowledge the progress around treatment and prevention.

“World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.”

Sefton Sexual Health offers free HIV testing as well as advice and support to anyone who is concerned or affected by HIV. Find out more online at

Liverpool City Region Enterprise Hub partner with InvestSefton to support local business start ups

Entrepreneurs in Sefton are to benefit from the growth of the City Region’s Enterprise Hub.

Enterprise Hub, which works in partnership with the borough’s enterprise, business support and inward investment service Invest Sefton, recently announced their continued support to people starting or growing a business.

Enterprise Hub coordinates and simplifies the business start-up and growth support available across the Liverpool City Region by bringing together partners to deliver business support, advice and training.

Since launching in December 2015, Enterprise Hub support has helped to create over 1,060 new businesses so far.

Thousands of budding and early-stage entrepreneurs have benefited from the programme over the last four years, with nearly 6,000 individuals registering for support.

InvestSefton works closely with Enterprise Hub and have referred over 150 people thinking of starting a business. Kris Swift, InvestSefton’s Business Development Manager, said: “We have a great working relationship with the Enterprise Hub and have jointly organised a range of events aimed at stimulating interest in starting a business and we look forward to developing this further under the new phase.”




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