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Southport skatepark improvements ramping up

Work to install four refurbished ramps at Southport’s skatepark is nearing completion.

Southport skate park ramp refurbishments in progress
Southport skate park ramp refurbishments in progress

Specialist skate ramp builders are working between the site and their workshop to refurbish the structures which needed extensive works to replace the specially shaped boards and plates.

The installation of the ramps is expected to be completed within the next three to four weeks.

Mark Shaw, Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service Manager, said: “We’ve had lots of local interest in our improvements at the park. Many parents and skaters have been keen to know when the facility will reopen as they’re eager to make the most of the lighter evenings and to practice their tricks.

“They can be reassured that its now only a matter of weeks before they can roll back into the park and slide, grind and flip their way around once again.

“The skatepark ramps are expertly made structures by industry professionals to ensure the highest quality standards that comply with health and safety rules. As a result, it has taken longer than originally anticipated to complete the refurbishments to this much-loved community asset.”

The skatepark opened in 2003 and has undergone inevitable wear and tear repair works every few years as part of Green Sefton’s regular maintenance of the facility.

New safety signage installed at Crosby Beach

Coinciding with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Water Safety Week, we’ve installed new safety signage at Crosby beach to remind people of the potential hazards.

It’s especially important as we go into the long Bank Holiday weekend to follow the advice of the RNLI and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service at the coast.

Look out for the new signs and ensure you know what to do if you or someone you see gets into difficulty in the mud or water at the beach.

Water safety signage at Crosby beach
Water safety signage at Crosby beach

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Marine Rescue Unit is working alongside the RNLI to remind people across the North West heading to the coast this Bank Holiday to take beach safety seriously.

To always check the weather and tides before planning a visit as there has been an increase in call outs of people getting stuck in the mud and cut off by tides.

More on how the RNLI is keeping Sefton’s beach goers safe can be found on their website https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety and people are reminded not to enter the water to help a person or an animal in distress but to call 999 for help.

Close up of new water safety signage at Crosby beach
Close up of new water safety signage at Crosby beach

Beach goers advised to ‘plan ahead’ and consider alternative days out as Sefton prepares for Bank Holiday weekend

With the May Bank Holiday weekend approaching, Sefton Council and its partners are encouraging people to consider alternative destinations to its famous beaches.

Mark Shaw, Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service Manager, said: “We understand that that with the recent re-opening of gyms and personal care services, people might be feeling beach ready and want to visit our coastline.

“However, we are urging people to plan ahead so that they can make the most of their Bank Holiday weekend safely, and this includes considering alternative destinations to avoid the pressure and risks of overcrowded areas for everyone.”

Those planning to get out and about over the Bank Holiday Weekend 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. Or similarly, a visit to a local high street or town centre for a spot of shopping or a bite to eat will help to support businesses who’ve just reopened in line with Covid-19 measures.

Like last year, Sefton Council has put a Visitor Action Plan in place specifically for its coastline. The Plan outlines measures to manage increased demand at the coast to meet the needs of residents, visitors and its staff while at the same time protecting the Borough’s unique but fragile natural environment.

It has been developed in line with Covid-19 guidelines and reinforces the Council’s commitment to working alongside other partners, such as land owners and emergency services, that also serve the Sefton coast.

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.

Once at the beach, people can help to keep each other and Council staff safe, by following Covid-19 guidance. This means sticking to groups of six or two households and practising social distancing. They can also play their part in protecting the beaches and keeping the coast’s precious wildlife safe by taking all their litter home and by not lighting fires or BBQs anywhere at the coast. 

Mark Shaw added: “We developed the Visitor Action Plan about this same time last year after seeing a huge influx of visitors at weekends, Bank Holidays and on weekdays too.

“As a result, we have introduced additional facilities at our four coastal gateways such as beach car parking options, temporary toilets, large litter bins and more staff and volunteers to cater for them.

“But we hope that now other outdoor attractions are open where people can catch up with friends and loved ones for safe days out, we will not be so busy.”

Anyone still planning a visit to the Sefton coast should visit www.sefton.gov.uk/beaches to find out about travel options and facilities at its beaches and to read the full Visitor Action Plan for 2021.

Sefton Community Policing Chief Inspector Mike O’Malley said: “Officers will continue to be out on patrol along the Sefton coastline this weekend to offer guidance to the public and ensure people are adhering to Covid guidelines.

“Now there are a wider number of outdoor settings and attractions open, we hope people who are able to will consider enjoying these – in turn taking some of the pressure off our local beauty spots. Police will be working with partners to ensure seating rules are being followed at venues with outdoor seating areas. 

“Anyone acting antisocially at our beaches should expect to be dealt with by police in a robust manner. Please also plan any visits carefully and give attention when parking – those found to be parking illegally or without consideration for residents will be dealt with by our patrols in partnership with the Local Authority.

“It’s also vital that we protect the local environment as much as we can. This includes not starting fires and taking any litter home with you. 

“Officers will be on foot, in vehicles and on quad bikes across the Sefton coastline including Formby, Ainsdale and Crosby beaches, as well as parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve.”

Joe Cunliffe, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Station Manager, said: “We appreciate that the public want to have fun and enjoy the Sefton coastline over the Bank Holiday, particularly in light of the continued easing of lockdown restrictions – but our priority must be the safety of visitors, staff and the local community.

“By planning ahead and following clear guidance, we can avoid creating fire risks and increasing demand on our emergency services during this global pandemic. Parking responsibly and giving our fire engines room to get through can help crews reach an incident without delay or complication, minimising loss of life and risk of further damage to the environment and wildlife habitats.

“We would like to remind people that during periods of hot and dry weather, the risk of fires in public areas increase. Though some fires are accidental, unfortunately, most are anti-social behaviour fires that are deliberately started, which is arson.

“Please remember that if you are visiting the Sefton coastline disposable BBQs and campfires are not allowed anywhere on the beaches, the dunes, or the woods. Please take your rubbish home with you, don’t drop cigarettes or leave bottles on the ground – these could become the cause of a fire.  

“If you see fire, report it immediately by calling 999, ask for the Fire Service and give as much detail as possible including the nearest main road – this will help crews mobilise and fight fires as quickly as possible.”

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Marine Rescue Unit is working alongside the RNLI to remind people across the North West heading to the coast this Bank Holiday to take beach safety seriously. To always check the weather and tides before planning a visit as there has been an increase in call outs of people getting stuck in the mud and cut off by tides.

More on how the RNLI is keeping Sefton’s beach goers safe can be found on their website https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety and people are reminded not to enter the water to help a person or an animal in distress but to call 999 for help.

Vicky Blane, General Manager National Trust Formby, said: “Formby is a popular nature haven for people and wildlife. It’s often extremely busy on sunny days and during holiday periods. Long traffic queues can be frustrating for visitors and put pressure on the residential roads of this small town. We recommend parking at Lifeboat Road for the beach as there’s more space.

“If car parks are full, we’re urging visitors to consider alternative destinations and plan their visit to Formby for another day, so we can continue to open safely. We’re open 7 days a week, all year round.

“We’re also encouraging visitors to come prepared and bring a bag to collect up their rubbish and take home or drop off in the large car park bins. Together we can create a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone and protect Formby’s precious wildlife”.

The Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership members include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, British Transport Police, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and others who want to ensure the safety of visitors and residents.

Sefton residents urged to take part in the City Nature Challenge 2021

With spring in full bloom there is so much to see across Sefton’s parks and coastline and all just in time for the City Nature Challenge.

This global event, now in its fifth year, sees cities from across the world taking park – and for Sefton we’re included as part of the Liverpool City Region’s participation.

Whether you’re in a garden or visiting a park or a nature reserve, everyone is encouraged to spend some time safely outdoors recording any wildlife or plants you see as part of the challenge weekend – Friday 30th April to Monday 3rd May. Findings will then be shared the following week.

All you need is a smart phone and your enthusiasm for the natural world. Take a picture of what you see and load it onto the iNaturalist app.

For more information you can visit the iNaturalist website.

Or to find out about further local participation in the challenge, visit the Lancashire Wildlife Trust website.

Something we can all do while keeping safe and socially distanced, wherever you are.

Respect, protect and enjoy the outdoors across Sefton.

Our Green Sefton team works alongside many organisations to undertake important conservation work on its coastal and countryside locations. Find out more on the main Sefton Council website.  

As temperatures go up, remember to socialise outdoors safely

As we enjoy the easing of lockdown restrictions and better weather, Sefton Council alongside Merseyside Police are reminding residents and visitors to enjoy the outdoors safely this weekend.

Under the latest Covid regulations, people are allowed to eat and drink outdoors while seated, but outdoor gatherings are still limited to six people or two households. The mixing of households indoors is still not permitted. 

Those looking to head to the coast are asked to explore travel options such as walking or cycling to avoid traffic jams and delays. If they do decide to take the car, they are reminded to park safely to respect local residents, pedestrians, cyclists and road users.

Don’t forget the basics – rule of 6, hands, spaces and face

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Many of our residents might be planning garden gatherings or trips to the coast as the good weather persists, so I would just remind everyone to ensure they take extra precautions and stick to the rule of six or two household limit on meeting outdoors.

“You are less likely to catch Covid in the open air but it’s not impossible and we should try to follow the basics of hands, face and space when meeting with others and not sharing things like picnic or BBQ equipment. Our priority is to ensure the rate of transmission in our communities continues to fall and we can all play our part in that by following the guidance.” 

More Covid-19 safety advice and guidance here: www.sefton.gov.uk/covid-19-in-sefton/covid-19-local-lockdown-restrictions/

Support businesses safely

Sefton Council’s Environmental Health Team has been reminding the Borough’s businesses and their customers to follow the guidelines.

Peter Moore, Sefton Council’s Head of Highways & Public Protection said: “With another busy weekend expected for our popular hospitality sector, we are reminding business owners and managers of their obligation to following Covid-19 regulations. We’re really pleased to see our high streets open once again with the vast majority following the guidance in place to protect us all from the virus. It’s also important to remind customers and visitors to Sefton businesses to be considerate and to follow the requirements that are there to keep both them and the people serving them safe.”

People eating and drinking outside in Southport
People eating and drinking outside in Southport

Among the latest requirements for people visiting bars and restaurants that are open because they have outdoor facilities, is the need for them to be seated while drinking and eating. The volume of any music or TVs should be kept to background levels so people don’t have to raise their voices to chat.

Also, the national regulations now mean everyone visiting a bar or restaurant needs to ‘check in’ by scanning the QR code at the entrance, for Test and Trace purposes. Previously, it was just one person from each group.

Details of how businesses can create a QR code for their premises are at www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster

Help and support for businesses available from Sefton Council’s Environmental Health team who can be contact at ETSContact@sefton.gov.uk or by calling 0345 140 0345.

Also, the Government has produced 14 guides to help businesses keep their employees and customers safe. They cover a wide range of different types of work and workplace, which can be found at http://gov.uk/workingsafely.

Plan ahead when visiting the coast

Mark Shaw, Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service Manager, said: “We’re working with our partners across our stunning 22-mile coastline to ensure that our beaches don’t get overcrowded and that facilities like toilets, bins and extra car parking are available to ensure we can all enjoy spending time at these locations.

Mark Shaw Green Sefton Service Manager at Ainsdale Beach
Mark Shaw Green Sefton Service Manager at Ainsdale Beach

“Our advice is that people should plan ahead before coming to any of Sefton’s coastal gateways – respect other beach users and follow the guidance of our rangers or other partners keeping you safe.

“If these areas get busy then people might want to consider a trip to a park or other outdoor attraction instead, now that more places are open for us to enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones outdoors.

“And whatever you bring to the coast with you, please take home – leave nothing but your footprints and help us to look after our protected coastal landscape and wildlife.”

Anyone still planning a visit to the Sefton coast should visit www.sefton.gov.uk/beaches to find out about travel options and facilities at its beaches and to read the Visitor Action Plan for 2021.

Police to patrol and reassure across Merseyside

Chief Inspector Peter Clark said: “We expect outdoor areas to be getting busier, especially as the temperature goes up, but would like to ask people to continue respecting the latest Covid guidelines by not gathering in large groups.

“Officers will continue to be out on patrol across Merseyside this weekend to offer guidance to the public and ensure people are adhering to the guidelines both inside and outside.

“While eating and drinking outdoors is a safer way to socialise, it also helps to support local businesses and reduce the risk of parks and outdoor spaces overcrowding. Now there are a wider number of outdoor settings and attractions open, we hope people who are able to will consider enjoying these, taking the pressure off our local beauty spots.

“Police will be working with partners to ensure seating rules are being followed at venues with outdoor seating areas.

“We want everyone to enjoy the latest stage of relaxed guidelines, however I want to reiterate the importance of following the guidance that remains in place to ensure that we can continue with the progress that has already been made.

“Lastly, I’d like to thank the vast majority of residents and businesses for supporting the latest stage of the Covid roadmap and helping Merseyside to move forward safely.”

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