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Southport Beach Car Park Closure

Southport beach car park remains closed following recent high tides. The car park is currently unsuitable for parking due to a layer of wet silty mud that could cause vehicles to get stuck or lose control.

We are reviewing the car park on a daily basis, and as soon as conditions become safe, we will reopen the beach car park. The latest update on beach car parking can be found at: https://www.sefton.gov.uk/beachcarparking

Ainsdale beach car park remains open and will be throughout the weekend, including the bank holiday Monday 19th September.

200 hundred trees to be planted thanks to Air Show patrons

More than 200 trees will be planted across Sefton thanks to the generosity of visitors to the recent Southport Air Show.

Two hundred and sixteen saplings will be planted throughout the borough after a campaign by Sefton Council’s Tourism team, which encouraged visitors to the hugely popular air show to help offset any carbon emissions the event may create.

Earlier this year Sefton Council confirmed it is on track to be net zero carbon by 2030, noting a 13% reduction in total emissions from the baseline, rising to 28% once projects started this year are complete.

The 2030 target, which was set out in Sefton Council’s Climate Emergency declaration in 2019, is ambitious but critical to preventing further damage to the climate. All Council decision making reports now have to consider climate implications and training has been developed for all staff to ensure that all areas of the Council are on board with this ambitious but necessary work.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “Reducing our carbon footprint and helping our borough combat the climate emergency is a common goal across the authority.

“While events like the Southport Air Show are vital for our tourism sector, we appreciate more needs to be done to offset any potential carbon emissions. That is why we encouraged as many people as possible to donate £1 to ensure a sapling is planted in their honour. 

“Future generations will greatly benefit from the power of these fantastic trees – even a young woodland can lock up over 400 tonnes of carbon per hectare, helping to reduce pollution and combat with climate change.  

“Reducing our carbon footprint is at the forefront of all our event planning and going forward we will be offering this voluntary planting scheme at future events, including the upcoming Southport Musical Fireworks Championship between September 23rd and September 25th.”

Sefton Council’s Tourism team also helped place a huge smile on the faces of hundreds of foster care families, with 220 free tickets being donated to Sefton foster carers and children for them to enjoy the two day event.

A Sefton Fostering spokesperson added: “We were so happy to receive over 200 free tickets from Sefton’s Tourism Team for the Southport Air Show this year. 

“We know that our families who attended had an incredible two days at the show and it was a fantastic example of the Local Authority working together as one for the benefit of our communities.

“We will continue to work with our wonderful Tourism team on future events to see what benefits we may be able to provide for our foster families.”

The 2022 Southport Air Show weekend was also a huge success for the young Southport 281 Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets , who raised £627 from the sale of event programmes that will now go towards funding future activities and events.

To find out more about stunning events in Sefton, including the British Musical Fireworks Championship, please visit www.visitsouthport.com 

Explore the Sefton parks that have received the international Green Flag Award

King’s Gardens in Southport has retained its Green Flag and has been announced as one of 2208 UK winners.

The international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

A number of Green Flag Community Awards have also been awarded to: Botanic Gardens Community Association (Fernery and bedding), Friends of Rotten Row, South Park Community Garden, Queensway Allotments and North Park Community Garden.

After two years that have seen our parks and green spaces play a vital role for people through lockdowns as a place to relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely, the recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Green Sefton team and fantastic network of volunteers that make Sefton’s greenspaces a great space that everyone can enjoy.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “We are delighted to receive so many Green Flag Awards, across the borough once again.

“Having quality green spaces is very important to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining all of them to such a high standard.

“As well as having a great network of volunteers, we have also put a lot into bringing together our dedicated Green Sefton team which work to ensure a joined up approach to the management, development and oversight of our beautiful coastline, parks and green spaces for years to come.”

Keep Britain Tidy’s Accreditation Manager Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making King’s Gardens worthy of a Green Flag Award.

“This award is testament to all the hard work of staff and volunteers, who do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

A full list of Green Flag Award-winning parks and green spaces is available here

Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership share joint message to those visiting the coast this summer

A number of organisations across Sefton are joining forces once again this summer to ensure local communities, and visitors from across the North West, can enjoy Sefton’s natural coast responsibly.

The joint action aims to encourage people to take personal responsibility at the coast. Asking them to plan how they are going to get to the beach, to take all litter home with them and to show respect and kindness to staff, the environment and fellow visitors.

It also sets out the boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable at the coast to keep everyone safe. Such as that fires and BBQs are not allowed anywhere; that there are water safety risks at the coast so people should follow the advice of lifeguards; and that anti-social behaviour simply won’t be tolerated.

The agencies who make up the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership will be sharing important messages covering many of the issues faced on the Sefton coast throughout the school summer holidays.

Members of the partnership include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and other key partners like Merseyrail.

Already this year there has been a huge influx of visitors to local beaches during hot weather and out of school term times. And we anticipate that many more will be looking to enjoy spending time at Sefton’s natural coast through August and September.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “First and foremost, the Sefton Coast is an internationally protected nature reserve, and we need your help to keep it that way. So, when people are planning their day trips this summer, we need them to be well prepared and to play their own vital role in ensuring that the coast remains a great place for everyone to enjoy.

“Please listen to what we are collectively saying with our partners, be that important water safety information, fire risk concerns, travel advice or environmental issues around litter and wildlife.”

Mark Shaw, Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service Manager, said: “We want people to have fun and enjoy their time on our beaches this summer, but we ask in return that they behave responsibly and with consideration to each other, local residents, our staff and our beautiful environment.”

Tracie Trubshaw, Chief Inspector at Merseyside Police said: “As the summer holidays start, we know that many people will want to visit our fantastic beaches and beauty spots in Sefton, and we know the overwhelming majority will do so responsibly.

“The new Public Space Protection Order will help visitors and residents enjoy our coastline safely, throughout the summer and beyond, by making clear what behaviour is and isn’t acceptable.

“Our officers will be working with our partners at Sefton Council to make sure that people can have a good time at our beaches and beauty spots, free of anti-social and criminal behaviour.

“Rest assured acting in an anti-social manner should expect to be dealt with robustly and we will support our partners in their work. If you have any concerns, please speak to our officers out on patrol, or call 101 so that we can take action and keep our communities safe.”

Protect our Natural Coast

Kate Martin, Lead Ranger at National Trust Formby, said: “We’re working with local partners to prepare for a busy summer and look forward to welcoming everyone who loves to visit Formby’s nature haven.

“People visiting can help us create a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone and protect all the wonderful wildlife that lives here by taking litter home or using the car park bins and not lighting BBQs or fires anywhere on site.

“On sunny days our car parks can fill up quickly and close for the rest of the day – this is to keep everyone wandering across the site safe and prevent queueing. On these busy days we recommend travelling by train or planning a visit for a quieter day. We’re open seven days a week all year round.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their support as by working together we can keep Formby’s nature haven special for people and wildlife”.

Water Safety

Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Lead in the North West, said: “Our advice is to visit a lifeguarded beach where possible and to swim between the red and yellow flags. RNLI lifeguards offer advice on how to stay safe and help anyone who gets into trouble. Whether you’re at a lifeguarded beach or not, look out for safety signage and seek advice on safe places to swim, always keep your children under supervision and avoid swimming alone where possible.

“Coastal areas provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open space, but they can be an unpredictable environment, particularly during early summer when air temperatures start warming up, but water temperatures remain very cold, increasing the risk of cold-water shock.

“Remember, if you find yourself in difficulty in the water, Float to Live: Lean back, use your arms and legs to keep you afloat, control your breathing, then call for help. In an emergency, people can call 999 for the Coastguard.”

Michael Buratti, Senior Coastal Operations Officer for HM Coastguard, said: “Even as we experience hotter weather in summer, the sea can still be chilly and can bring on cold water shock. Please take care before taking a plunge.

“It’s always best to check the wind, weather and tides before entering the sea and observe local safety advice, such as:

  • Avoid soft patches of mud on the beach
  • Ensure dogs are on leads
  • Go to a lifeguarded beach where possible
  • Carry a fully-charged mobile phone, so you’re able to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard if anyone is in trouble.”

Other ways to travel to the beach – not just by car

Suzanne Grant, Commercial Director at Merseyrail, said: “Merseyrail’s Southport line is within walking distance of Sefton’s beaches, which can be accessed from stations such as Southport, Birkdale, Hillside, Ainsdale, Freshfield, Formby and Blundellsands & Crosby.

“Throughout the summer there is a regular service on the Southport line and six-car trains are running as much as possible, to make it even easier to reach the coast by train. Passengers can plan their journey and find their cheapest ticket online at merseyrail.org.”

People can follow the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership agencies Twitter accounts for more advice, news and videos throughout the summer: @SeftonCouncil @MerseyFire @MerseyPolice @RNLI @MCA_media @BTPMersey @NaturalEngland @NTFormby @Merseyrail

The continued work of the partnership will also be communicated through the Council’s My Sefton website, and social media channels listed below:

Sefton Council’s Facebook page

Instagram @Sefton_Council

Twitter @SeftonCouncil

Coastal and Visitor Area PSPO ‘signed and sealed’ for three years

Following the approval of Full Council on Thursday 14 July 2022, a Coastal and Visitor Area Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is officially in place at locations across Sefton.

The order is to help ensure the Borough’s coastline and town centres can be enjoyed by everyone. Activities covered by the new PSPO include littering and pollution, fires and BBQs, dog fouling, balloons or lantern releases, and anti-social behaviour. Failure to comply can result in a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice.

The order will be in place for three years, until summer 2025.

Feedback from local communities, visitors and partner agencies, gained through a public consultation, was used to shape the Order, which provides enforcement powers to protect the public from anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Lappin, Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said:
“Firstly, we fully appreciate why so many people are so keen to visit our beautiful Borough and we want everyone to enjoy their time here.

“The vast majority of visitors and residents do just that and treat our wonderful coastline with respect and our residents with consideration, and the introduction of this Order, will have very little or no impact on them.

“However, it will help to make clear what is and what isn’t acceptable and will give our teams, along with those of our partners, greater powers to deal with that very small minority who behave inappropriately and cause distress and disturbance to local residents and businesses, or damage to our precious natural coast and infrastructure.”

Tracie Trubshaw, Chief Inspector at Merseyside Police said:
“During the summer months we know that many people will want to visit our fantastic beaches and beauty spots in Sefton and we know the overwhelming majority will do so responsibly.

“Introducing the Public Space Protection Order will help visitors and residents enjoy our coastline safely, throughout the summer and beyond, by making clear what behaviour is and isn’t acceptable.

“Our officers will be working with our partners at Sefton Council to make sure that people can have a good time at our beaches and beauty spots, free of anti-social and criminal behaviour.

“Rest assured acting in an anti-social manner should expect to be dealt with robustly and we will support our partners in their work. If you have any concerns, please speak to our officers out on patrol, or call 101 so that we can take action and keep our communities safe.”

Sefton Council is encouraging all those who visit Sefton, as well as people who live, work in the Borough to familiarise themselves with the Order. They can do this by heading to www.sefton.gov.uk/coastalpspo where they will find the full list of restrictions and the locations that fall within the order.

Coastal areas means the beach and the land next to the beach which is open to the public, including land owned by other partners such as the National Trust, Natural England, RSPB and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. This includes:

  • sand dunes and grassed areas
  • woodlands and marshes
  • ponds and lakes
  • promenades
  • car parks
  • play areas
  • buildings like toilets and shelters

Town centres included in the order are:

  • Southport (area includes Kings Gardens, Lord Street, Eastbank Street and Promenade)
  • Formby (area includes Formby Village Centre, Andrew’s Lane, Formby Bridge, Kings Road, Duke Street Park)
  • Crosby & Waterloo (area includes Crosby Town centre, Moorside Park, Coronation and Alexandra Parks, Victoria Park, St. Johns Road, South Road, Waterloo/Seafront gardens)
  • Bootle (area within the boundary of parts of Merton Road, Litherland Road, Washington Road and Marsh Lane)

Some of the restrictions include:

  • Pollution: Leaving litter, dog fouling, urinating/defecating in public, or noise pollution
  • Vehicle related antisocial behaviour; either within defined car parks or taking motor vehicles outside of defined parking areas.
  • Drinking alcohol in a public space after being told not to by an Authorised Officer to prevent anti-social behaviour (this is not a total ban)
  • Lighting any fire or BBQ
  • Taking a dog into a dog exclusion zone, or allowing its behaviour to cause alarm, distress or annoyance to another person
  • Setting off fireworks, balloon or lantern releases

Signage will be installed across the Borough to make sure people are aware of their responsibilities while they enjoy their time in Sefton.

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