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Sefton Council’s reassurance about decision to remove trees on Crown Close, Formby

Green Sefton logoResponding to recent comments about the removal of trees on Crown Close in Formby, Sefton Council has reassured residents that the work was only carried out as a last resort and in the interests of public safety.

A Council spokesperson said:

“Sefton is a clean, green and beautiful place to live and the Council is dedicated to maintaining its green spaces which includes looking after 90,000 trees in the Borough’s parks and lining its roads and highway.

“We can assure residents that while the decision to remove a tree is never taken lightly, the safety of residents and users of the highway is paramount. Where a tree is posing a threat to the highway or properties, we need to take action.

“The trees on Crown Close were recently inspected following a large tree failing in the November storms. Over the past few years we have had a number of emergency call outs to this area over concerns about the trees’ ability to withstand heavy winds. After careful consideration from our expert tree and woodland officers, the decision was made to remove the larger trees leaving the smaller trees space to mature and thrive.

The Council have received requests to replace the trees in the future and these comments will be taken into consideration.

If residents would like to know more about the continued work of Green Sefton, they can email greensefton@sefton.gov.uk.”

Sefton Council set to explore ways to develop and improve Southport’s historic Botanic Gardens

Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service are looking at ways to develop and improve Southport’s popular Botanic Gardens which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The park was designed in 1876 and is included on Historic England’s ‘Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.’ Repair works have recently taken place at the aviary and plans are being drawn up for how other parts of the much-loved local park could be revamped in the future.

The Green Sefton Service are seeking out funding streams through organisations that support the heritage sector. If successful, the funding could support the restoration of many of the park’s Victorian buildings and help the Council to develop new attractions that would bring more visitors to the park, stimulating the local economy and creating new jobs

While the proposals are at the very early stages of development, the pandemic has highlighted the need for people to be able to access green spaces and the health benefits associated with spending more time in places like Southport’s Botanic Gardens.

A public consultation is expected to be launched later this year to bring together the views of residents, regular park users, visitors and the dedicated volunteer groups who support many projects at the park to keep the space clean, green and beautiful for all.  

Cllr Moncur at Southport Botanic Gardens Aviary
Cllr Moncur at Southport Botanic Gardens Aviary

This week Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing checked in on the completed aviary repairs and met with the Botanic Gardens Community Association to thank them for their fundraising efforts that have supported the recent works.

Cllr Ian Moncur said: “I was thrilled to see the improvement and difference that the repair works have made to the aviary, ensuring that our birds and animals are kept safe and well, and that visitors will now have a much better experience when they can plan a visit here once again.

“We know how important this park is to the people of Southport and the visitors that come here, and the past 12 months have highlighted just how much people enjoy spending time outdoors. What’s more is that spending time in nature is proven to help people’s health and wellbeing, while also reminding people how important it is to protect and respect these precious environments.

“We are so lucky to have many parks and green spaces not only in Southport but across the whole Borough, and we are committed to ensuring that they provide the best facilities for residents and visitors alike.

“I am delighted to see our Green Sefton officers working with community groups to look at ways of finding investment for the park that will benefit everyone who enjoys spending time here. A vibrant Botanic Gardens will be a valuable asset to the local community as well as providing a positive impact to the local economy including potential job opportunities.”

People can find more on the Borough’s parks, play areas and open spaces managed by the Green Sefton team, with support from volunteers and partners, by visiting the Sefton Council website.  

Anyone interested in helping to shape the developing project, or would like to volunteer in the Botanic Gardens, can contact the Botanic Gardens Community Association.

Work on new Bootle Golf Course driving range underway

Photograpsh showing machinery working on the driving range site
Preparatory work on the driving range site.

Work to build a new driving range at Sefton Council’s Bootle Golf Course got underway this week.

After a detailed tendering service, Sefton Council has appointed Davies Building & Maintenance as the main contractor to build the new, £240,000, 10-bay driving range facility. Work on site started this week with separate contractors supporting the installation of new fencing and outfield improvements to the site.

Designed to enhance the Council’s popular Bootle Golf Course, the new driving range will include practice facilities and a dedicated coaching bay. Floodlighting will mean golfers can take advantage of evenings to practise their swing and technique during the winter months when it’s too dark to play on course.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “As well as enhancing the already-popular Bootle Golf Course, this new driving range will help to make golf more accessible and attract new players, and enable existing golfers to improve their game.

“When we consulted them, local residents and golfers highlighted the importance of new practice facilities and investment in course infrastructure.

“No matter what the weather or time of year, these new facilities mean existing golfers can practice their game and people who have not played before can give the sport a try.”

The new driving range is due to open later in 2021.

Sefton Council’s Bootle and Southport golf courses are currently closed in line with National Restrictions but could re-open in the week beginning Monday 29th March in line with the Government’s roadmap to easing restrictions.

When they do re-open green fees will, once again, be held at last year’s prices, which means at Bootle, adult prices start from just £13 with Twilight Tickets from only £8.50. Over 60s can play for £9 Monday to Friday and a round for young people aged up to 16 is just £8.

People can find out more about these value offers and about Sefton Council’s Bootle and Southport Links courses at www.sefton.gov.uk/golf.

Statement: People urged not to travel to the coast under lockdown restrictions

Following reports over the weekend of visitors travelling substantial distances to the Sefton coast, the Council is urging people to continue to follow national lockdown restrictions. 

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “Sefton’s coastline is stunning and thankfully it’s not going anywhere. It will still be here ready to welcome people back when it is safe to do so – but now is still not that time. 

“The weather is picking up as spring arrives, but that’s no excuse for people to disregard the national restrictions that continue to be in place in order to stop the spread of Covid-19 and to save lives.

“It was incredibly disappointing to see people travelling from far and wide to the coast over the weekend. We are urging both residents and those considering a visit to our Borough to stay at home and follow the guidelines.

“We understand that people are looking ahead to the easing of lockdown measures, but we’re not quite there just yet, and if people don’t continue to follow the restrictions it could mean that infection rates rise again in our communities.

“Our beach car parks remain closed and stringent parking restrictions are in place as we address parking concerns locally, with our enforcement officers working in conjunction with colleagues from Merseyside Police.

“At this time, we need people to continue to think about their safety and the safety of others, as well as the wellbeing of our communities and the staff from not just the Council but all agencies working hard to keep everyone safe.

“The Council continues to work closely with the partners of the Sefton Coastal Landscape Partnership (including Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, British Transport Police, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and others) to keep Sefton’s beautiful coastline safe for visitors and residents alike.”

 

Green light for improvement works to enhance Ainsdale Beach facilities

Following approval at January’s full Council meeting, plans are now progressing for improved access and facilities at Sefton’s Ainsdale Beach.

In 2020, the Council saw huge numbers of visitors flocking to the coast. This highlighted the need for further investment to maintain the best possible experience for all beach users, while factoring in important conservation and environmental needs.  

As part of the investment, designs are now being drawn up for an off-beach car park that will help to reduce the impact on local communities who have been affected by irresponsible parking in the past. A new, cashless payment system will also be introduced at the beginning of April when beach car parks reopen.

The Council’s Green Sefton team is set to recruit more than 30 Seasonal Rangers for the 2021 summer months, an increase in the number of posts usually recruited for the busy visitor period. Some of the new rangers will help to manage car parking and access at Ainsdale as well as ensuring that visitors keep the coastline clean and tidy.

Options for new toilet facilities are being explored alongside a trial for new off-beach food and drink vendors, all with a view to enhancing visitors’ experiences at Ainsdale.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I am pleased to see plans progressing for the much-needed investment at Ainsdale beach and I am very much looking forward to welcoming more Seasonal Rangers to the Green Sefton team. Not only will the additional rangers help to support our management of the existing car parks, they will also play a vital role in ensuring that our coastline remains clean and beautiful.”

This week, Cllr Moncur approved a freeze on the car parking season ticket for all Sefton residents, which was introduced last year, meaning they can continue to enjoy the beach and save money after just three visits.

The specially reduced ticket costing just £30, also remains available to anyone driving an electric or hybrid car, as part of measures to encourage the use of more environmentally-friendly transport.

Meanwhile, the standard day visitor rate for the car park will increase by £2, to £10 per day to cover the costs of the latest improvements and generate income for the long-term care of Sefton’s unique 22-mile coastline.

Cllr Moncur added: “Further improvement of facilities will provide a better environment for people to enjoy this beautiful space, while protecting our special wildlife and landscape, and tackling car parking concerns.

“I am particularly pleased that the Council can continue to offer a favourable car parking rate for Sefton residents, and electric and hybrid car drivers.

“We often say we want visitors to our beaches to leave nothing but their footprints, but we can now help them think about their carbon footprint too as well as encouraging them to enjoy these special sites.”

Residents and visitors alike will continue to be encouraged to travel by other means to the beach too, as part of the Council’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and tackling the Climate Change Emergency. People can access the coast via local walking and cycling routes, as well as wheelchair and pram friendly access through Ainsdale station and village. 

Beach car parking charges for 2021:

  • £10 per day for cars
  • £16 per day for horseboxes or minibuses
  • 50% off the above rates after 4pm subject to car parking management arrangements
  • £30 season ticket for Sefton residents and those who drive an electric or hybrid vehicle

An online form to purchase season tickets will be made available on the Sefton Council website in the coming weeks. 

Current national lockdown restrictions still apply to the use of outdoor spaces across Sefton, with people being advised not to travel to the coastline for exercise if it is not local to them.

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