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Ex Marine helps launch Sefton In Mind campaign

Sefton Council is working alongside ex-marine Andy Grant to support veterans in the run up to World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday September 10.

With 27,000 veterans under the age of 65 living in Sefton, the Council is dedicated to promoting the support and guidance available to them within the borough.

Bootle-born Andy suffered life changing injuries following an explosion during his first tour of Afghanistan, which resulted in him having to have his leg amputated.

He found that after leaving the Marines his mental health declined as he attempted to adjust back to normal life.

He says:

“For me it was a case of little things going wrong that quickly spiralled. I am not sure if it was depression as such but I knew my mental health was not good and it was probably the lowest I had ever felt.

“That feeling of not having a purpose any more hit me hard.”

He realised he needed support and sought help.

Turning his life around he is now a personal trainer, and Andy’s strength and positive outlook on life has made him the perfect ambassador for raising awareness of the mental health support available to Sefton’s veterans.

One source of support in the borough is Veterans in Sefton, a one stop shop offering advice and assistance on a range of issues including health, housing and employment.

It holds NAAFI breaks every Wednesday morning at Brunswick Youth and Community Centre where former and serving Armed Forces Personnel and their families get together for a brew and friendly banter in a relaxed atmosphere.

Having lost a friend who suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to suicide, Andy knows all too well about the mental health struggles faced by those who have served in the armed forces.

Andy urges veterans:

“Speak to people or get involved with organisations sooner rather than later. You will be surprised how many people actually care and want to help.

“For me, my mental health is boosted by the little things like eating healthy food, working out, walks with the dog, fresh air and above all speaking to people when there is a problem.”

Sefton Council is promoting 30 stories a day for the 30 days that fall between World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and World Mental Health Day (October 10).

To see the rest of the stories follow #SeftoninMind on twitter.

Council to tackle problem parking outside schools

Sefton Council are tackling inconsiderate and dangerous parking outside a number of schools during drop-off and pick-up times.

Following the start of the school year, the council has acted upon concerns by residents, teachers and parents who are worried about inconsiderate and often dangerous parking on restricted areas near 26 schools across Sefton.

As a result, the five minute observation period, which is usually afforded to cars parked on single or double yellow lines at schools, has been removed.

Civil enforcement officers will now immediately issue a penalty charge notice to any vehicle found parked in an area where restrictions are in place in the vicinity of one of the schools identified.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said:

“This means that when an officer is patrolling in the vicinity and they see a vehicle parked on a yellow line between 08.15 and 09.15 or between 14.45 and 15.45, they will immediately serve a penalty charge notice.

“We hope that this will make the roads around schools a far safer and more pleasant environment for pupils, parents, teachers, and residents alike.

“While this initiative is targeted at 26 schools in Sefton where drivers repeatedly flout the regulations, if other hotspots are identified, they will be considered for inclusion in the scheme.”

The full list of schools are as follows:

Birkdale Primary, Birkdale
Churchtown Primary
English Martyrs Catholic Primary, Litherland
Forefield Infant and Juniors, Crosby
Great Crosby Catholic Primary
Holy Rosary Catholic Primary, Aintree
Kew Woods, Kew
Kings meadow Primary, Ainsdale
Lydiate Primary, Lydiate
Northway Primary, Maghull
Norwood Primary, Southport
Our Lady of Lourdes, Southport
St Gregorys Catholic Primary, Lydiate
St Johns CE Primary, Waterloo
Ursuline Catholic Primary, Crosby
Waterloo Primary, Waterloo
St Edmunds and St Thomas Catholic Primary, Waterloo
St Nicholas CE Primary, Crosby
St Marys Prep, Crosby
St Monicas Catholic Primary, Bootle
Christ Church CE Primary, Bootle
Lander Road Primary, Litherland
St Elizabeths Catholic primary, Litherland
St Patricks Catholic Primary, Southport
St Theresas Catholic Infants, Southport
Farnborough Road Infant and Junior, Southport

 

New Sefton scheme to improve private landlord standards

Standards of management and property conditions in the private rented sector in parts of Sefton are set to improve with the introduction of new Selective Licensing and Additional (HMO) licensing schemes.

Earlier this year Sefton Council consulted with residents, private landlords, businesses and other stakeholders for proposed new licensing schemes, which would affect private rented homes in designated areas.

The successful consultation looked at proposals to introduce Selective Licensing across Bootle and Additional (HMO) Licensing across parts of Seaforth/Waterloo/Brighton-le-Sands and central Southport.

Results showed that more than 85% of respondents were in favour of the selective licensing designation and 84% in favour of the two additional licensing areas.

Both the Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing schemes were approved today (September 7) at Cabinet and should start in March, 2018.

Many local authorities already operate similar licensing schemes which aim to a improve standards of management and property conditions in the private rented sector, which should benefit tenants and improve the communities affected.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said:

“Over the past number of years we have seen a significant increase in the size of the private rented sector – especially in the areas considered for the licensing schemes.

“Across the borough we recognise the crucial role the private rented sector plays in creating a strong and sustainable housing market and in meeting the housing needs of many households now and for the future.

“Through the engagement process we consulted with landlords and our communities and the majority of respondents felt the schemes would have a positive impact in Sefton.

“We will now work on developing both schemes with the view of making these areas safe and attractive places to live in with the full co-operation of landlords and their tenants.”

Full details of the results of the consultation are available on sefton.gov.uk. If you would like to keep updated on our housing licensing schemes please send your details to landlord.licensing@sefton.gov.uk.

Heritage Lottery boost for Sefton War Memorial Project

Sefton’s library service are delighted after successfully securing £10,000 of Heritage Lottery funding to help pioneer an innovative World War One project.

Once underway, the scheme is believed to be the largest projects undertaken by the local authority, partners and local schools since the World Record Human Poppy in 2014.

Sefton Library Service are looking to highlight Sefton’s Civic War Memorials and the stories behind the men who perished in World War One listed upon them.

Cllr. Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:

“It is fantastic to see Sefton’s library service leading the way in a pioneering new project with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“I know the team are raring to go on a project that will take a great deal of research and imagination.

“From mapping out the memorials, collating information such as the date they were erected, working with local school children to develop the stories of the heroes to working with the creative talents to deliver an interactive product, there is much for them to do.

“A poignant part of the project I am excited to see, is the planned writing of letters from local school children to residents living in the homes last occupied by our war heroes.

“The current house owner will be asked if they would like to have their house included on a digital map highlighting the ‘ Homes of Heroes’ and Civic War Memorials”

Lesley Davies from Sefton Library Service also commented:

“The additional funding from the HLF means that there is a lot more we can do.

“A web designer will create a digital map of the Sefton Area, highlighting the war memorials and the homes of the local heroes.

“Images and details of soldiers service will be added for each individual soldier, as a pop-up if you hover over the house.
“The digital map will sit on the ‘Sefton Looking Back’ digital portal and will become a resource for school project for many years to come.

“Our aim is to complete the research and have the webpage built to be unveiled in time for the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War One in 2018.”

Fire crews issue advice following suspected Crosby arson

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) and Merseyside Police are joining forces to tackle the issue of garden fires after a series of suspected arson incidents in the Rimrose Valley area of Crosby during the past week. The incidents have included trees, bushes and rubbish being set alight in gardens and on open land.

Officers from the fire service will be carrying out proactive mobile patrols, supported by local police officers, and residents are being asked to check and clear any rubbish from gardens to ensure that their houses are at a minimal risk of being targeted.

Station Manager Paul Kay, Arson Reduction Co-ordinator for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is committed to tackling incidents of suspected arson and is working closely with officers from Merseyside Police to tackle anti-social fire setting in Crosby.

“There have been a number of suspected arson incidents in the area recently and tonight will see firefighters and police officers work together to reassure residents, raise awareness of the dangers of arson and highlight the impact fires have on our communities.

“Arson is a serious criminal offence which puts people’s lives at risk, causes damage to homes, businesses and community facilities and impacts on wildlife and the environment.

“It can range from mindless criminal damage to deliberately-targeted attacks but, either way, the potentially deadly consequences remain the same.

“If fire engines are called out to deliberate fires this may delay our response to other emergencies, which could endanger lives elsewhere. We want to make people aware that deliberately setting fires in a public place is arson and, if caught, those responsible may face legal action.

“To help protect their properties from arson, residents are encouraged to put their wheelie bins away until the day they are being collected and avoid placing bins, rubbish, or other combustible items against the walls of their home. Sheds and garages should be securely locked and any flammable liquids safely stored away.

Merseyside Police Local Community Sergeant Kate Young said: “I want to reassure people in the local community that we standing alongside the fire service in taking any suspected arson incident extremely seriously, as the consequences of such reckless and behaviour can be catastrophic.

“If you are aware of any suspicious behaviour near to your home, call 999 and the emergency services can respond accordingly. Anyone with home CCTV or passing motorists with dash-cam footage of in recent incidents are also encouraged to speak to us. We will act on all information provided and are determined to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.

“We will be parking a mobile police station in the Rimrose Valley area tonight and would encourage anyone to speak with us to report incidents or concerns. If you know who is responsible for these incidents do the right thing and call police or speak to us anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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