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Reminders for visiting Sefton’s beaches

Sefton Council is providing a few reminders for people planning on visiting Sefton’s glorious coastline.

Stretching for 22 miles the Sefton coast, which is also a protected haven for nature, attracts visitors from across the Borough, the City Region and the whole of England’s North West.

Travel Smart

Those thinking about visiting one of Sefton’s coastal gateways are being encouraged to travel safely, thinking about ways to walk or cycle where they can.

Southport, Ainsdale and Crosby beach are all RNLI lifeguarded beaches with natural beauty and fantastic facilities.

And they are in easy walking distance from Merseyrail stations such as Southport, Birkdale, Hillside, Ainsdale, Hall Road, Blundellsands & Crosby and Waterloo.

You can plan your Merseyrail  journeys and find timetables and service updates here.

Those who do drive should plan ahead to avoid traffic delays and are reminded to park responsibly and considerately, away from residential areas.

Ainsdale and Southport Beach Parking

Aindsdale Beach Car Park

On-beach car parking will be available at Ainsdale-On-Sea and the car park will be open until 7pm.

The men’s, women’s, and disabled toilet facilities have now re-opened at Ainsdale for the summer season.

Accessible toilets are also available at Crosby Coastal Park.

Southport beach car park is currently remain closed due to poor sand condition.


Beach car parking charges for 2023 are:

  • £10 per day for cars at Ainsdale beach
  • £16 per day for horseboxes or minibuses
  • 50% off the above rates after 4pm subject to car parking management arrangements
  • £35 season ticket for Sefton residents and those who drive an electric or hybrid vehicle
  • £70 season ticket for non-Sefton residents

The car parks operate a cashless payment system as a preference.

You can buy your money-saving season ticket here.

Car parking for the beach at Formby is managed by the National Trust, who have lots of helpful tips for anyone planning a visit there, at

Environmental sensitivity

Visitors are also reminded of the environmental sensitivities and how they can play their role in protecting the landscape by taking litter home.

Natterjack Toads, one of Sefton’s rarest native species, are emerging from hibernation, please keep dogs out of pools and flooded areas along our coastline

A Natterjack Toad. Picture by Phil Smith.
A Natterjack Toad. Picture by Phil Smith

Fires, BBQs, balloon releases, and fireworks have a detrimental impact on Sefton’s wildlife and are not allowed anywhere at the coast. Failure to comply risks a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution.

The range of dune habitats and rare species found along Sefton’s coast are unique and protected as a site of special scientific interest. Please do your bit to keep our natural coast clean and safe for all to enjoy.

You can find out more about Sefton’s coast and its important role in protecting and nurturing UK wildlife here. 

Sefton business networking group for financial and professional sectors relaunched this month

Net Zero event at Formby Hall, hosted in partnership by InvestSefton and Liverpool John Moores University.
Net Zero event at Formby Hall, hosted in partnership by InvestSefton and Liverpool John Moores University.

‘Professional Sefton’, the business networking group previously known as the Financial & Professional Forum, is being relaunched at Southport & Birkdale Sports Club, at 8am on Thursday 27th April.

Free event

Organised by the Council’s InvestSefton team, ‘Professional Sefton’ brings together the financial and professional sectors, which are well represented in the Borough. The free event, which includes breakfast, is open to Sefton’s financial and professional businesses including accountants, solicitors, estate agents and surveyors.

Mark Borzomato, Chief Executive of River Capital (formerly the Merseyside Special Investment Fund), has been invited to make a presentation at this meeting. River Capital Limited is a Liverpool-based fund management business. Mark will be explaining its strategy for supporting business across the City Region and providing an overview on the range of products and services currently available to businesses.

Initiatives, support and funding

April’s ‘Professional Sefton’ will also be an opportunity for InvestSefton, Sefton Council’s Business Support and Inward Investment Service, to highlight any initiatives, support and funding that might be of interest to local businesses and their clients.

Anyone wanting to book free places at ‘Professional Sefton’ should call Dom or Sharon on 0151 934 3452 or email

Before COVID, InvestSefton hosted the Financial & Professional Forum network events twice a year. Gatherings were well-attended and regularly attracted attendees from over 50 local businesses.

‘Health is Wealth’

Representatives of more than 30 local businesses attended InvestSefton’s recent ‘Health is Wealth’ workshop, organised by InvestSefton Sefton and PACT Mantality.

InvestSefton, partnered with PACT Mantality, a Sefton based businesses, to deliver the event. ‘Health is Wealth’ was an informative and insightful workshop focused on improving mental health.

Held at the recently renovated Maghull Cricket Club, the workshop was led by Pact Mantality’s Paul Garrigan and Carly Skelly. Its aim was to provide local business leaders with ways of benefiting their personal and professional lives as well as their companies and their workforces.


Paul is passionate about creating mental wellness for others after struggles in his own personal and professional life. He has worked with leading experts covering mental health, trauma and human development. He has also learned from doctors and other specialists to develop courses for his business to deliver.

As well as working in the NHS as a paediatric nurse, Carly is a professional boxer who has competed at the highest level. She is the current WBC bronze champion. She has immersed herself fully in the health and well-being industry, studying mental wellness and trauma-related holistic therapies.

Paul and Carly are currently receiving support from InvestSefton to help them grow their business as well as looking to help other businesses and to promote how good mental health can benefit both employees and employers.


After the event, Paul said: “As PACT Mantality, we believe very strongly that good mental health in the workplace and good management go hand-in-hand, a view which is shared by the InvestSefton team. ”

Carly said: “High levels of mental health wellbeing in the workplace tend to result in organisations being more productive and more profitable as well as being better able to retain staff. 

“It was great to speak to so many Sefton businesses, to pass on our views and advice and hear their response.”


Stephen Watson, Sefton Council’s Executive Director of Place Economic Growth and Housing said: “I am pleased we have been able to work with PACT Mantality, a business that is itself being helped by InvestSefton, to organise this beneficial event for other local businesses.

“It is important that we all think about our mental health in the workplace and the recent ‘Health is Wealth’ workshop made that very clear and provided some good insights on how we can look after ourselves and our employees.

“Now I’m looking forward to another busy event with the relaunch of ‘Professional Sefton’, later this month.”

Business support service

InvestSefton is Sefton Council’s enterprise, business support and inward investment service. It offers free information and advice and access to a wide range of services and is there to help any business, of any size, in any sector.

You can find out more  about Invest Sefton here.

As well as regular events such as ‘Professional Sefton’, InvestSefton also organises demand-led events. The topics for these are based on feedback from businesses and have previously covered Digital Marketing, Carbon Reduction, Branding and Access to Finance as well as a Meet the Buyer event for the construction sector.

A Marketing Workshop is planned for Thursday 18th May. 

Local businesses can book places and suggest topics for future events by calling InvestSefton on 0151 934 3452 or email

Test of Government’s new, national Emergency Alerts system at 3pm on Sunday 23rd April

Government ad explaining Emergency Alert on Sunday 23rd April 2023At 3pm on Sunday 23rd April there will be a test of the Government’s new, national Emergency Alerts system set up to warn people across the UK if there’s a danger to life nearby.

What happens when you get an emergency alert?

In an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe. Your mobile phone or tablet may:

  • make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent;
  • vibrate;
  • read out the alert.

The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds.

If you receive an alert, it will include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.

Any alerts sent to you will be based on your location at the time and not where you live or work.

You do not need to turn on location services to receive alerts and the Government does not need to know your phone number or location to send you an alert.

Reasons you might get an alert

You may get alerts about:

  • severe flooding;
  • fires;
  • extreme weather

Emergency alerts will only be sent by:

  • the emergency services
  • Government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies.

This video shows more.


What you need to do if you get an alert.

If you get an alert, stop what you’re doing and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you’re driving or riding when you get an alert

  • Don’t read or otherwise respond to an emergency alert.
  • Find somewhere safe and legal to stop before reading the message. If there is nowhere safe or legal to stop close by, and nobody else is in the vehicle to read the alert, tune into live radio and wait for bulletins until you can find somewhere safe and legal to stop.
Remember, it is illegal to use a hand-held device while driving or riding.

If you cannot receive emergency alerts

If you do not have a compatible device, you’ll still be informed about an emergency. The emergency services have other ways to warn you when there is a threat to life.

Emergency alerts will not replace local news, radio, television or social media.

If you’re deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted

If you have a vision or hearing impairment, audio and vibration attention signals will let you know you have an emergency alert.

Switching off the Emergency Alerts system if you are experiencing Domestic Abuse

To avoid being put at risk, people experiencing domestic abuse, who for their safety have a secret or secondary mobile phone, are being advised to run off Emergency Alerts.

This is because the alert will play a sound even if the phone is on silent. The alert will play a loud siren and vibrate, and the phone will not be useable until the alert is acknowledged.

Refuge has made this video explaining how to turn off the emergency alerts on both Android and iPhone.

Alert languages

Emergency alerts will be sent in English. In Wales, they may also be sent in Welsh.


HMS Mersey sails into Sefton for historic Freedom ceremony

  • Naval officers will parade through the streets of Bootle
  • Historic Freedom of the Borough award will be presented to the ship’s command
  • Public are invited to see inside HMS Mersey

Sefton’s proud historic links with the Royal Navy are set to be reaffirmed later this month as HMS Mersey is bestowed the Freedom of the Borough.
HMS Mersey is a River-class offshore patrol vessel and the fifth Royal Navy vessel to carry the name. She will visit Sefton and Liverpool in mid-April, during which time the ship and her crew will be given the honorary Freedom of the Borough of Sefton. 
This will take place at a special ceremony on Thursday 13th April.

Civic Ceremony
Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell, the commanding officer of HMS Mersey, will be joined by crew from the ship, representatives of the Royal Navy and civic leaders to mark the special occasion, officially commemorating the Borough’s naval links which also date back over 80 years.
HMS Mersey’s affiliation with Sefton was granted partly in honour of Captain Frederic John Walker, a World War Two officer who led command of escort ships from Bootle’s Gladstone Dock, during the Battle of the Atlantic.
Captain Walker also played a huge role in the D-Day landings of 1944, helping set up an impenetrable wall of escort ships to stop German U-Boats from attacking allied boats going to and from Normandy. This two-week blockade contributed massively to the Allied invasion’ success.

Captain Walker
A portrait of Captain Walker, along with a series of wartime naval memorabilia, adorns the walls of Bootle Town Hall, which is where HMS Mersey will receive freedom status.
Mayor of Sefton Clare Carragher said:  “Our Borough, and Bootle in particular, is synonymous with the heroism and dedication of our Royal Navy.
“It is poignant that just a few hundred yards from our council chamber still stands the former house of Captain Walker and battle worn ensigns from dozens of naval ships hang proudly within Bootle Town Hall.

“I am humbled by the sacrifice of those who have gone before us and those who serve today across our armed forces. To be the Mayor who bestows the Freedom of the Borough upon HMS Mersey is an honour.”
HMS Mersey’s Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell said:  “I am delighted that HMS Mersey is returning to spend time ‘at home.’
“During that period, we’ll be receiving the Freedom of the Borough of Sefton and on Sunday 16th  April, we’ll be parading through Bootle. 
“From all of the Ship’s company of HMS Mersey, we look forward to seeing everyone soon.”
The Honorary Freedom of the Borough will grant HMS Mersey, as a Service Unit, the right, privilege, honour and distinction of marching through the streets of the Borough on all ceremonial occasions with ‘colours flying, bands playing, drums beating and bayonets fixed.’
HMS Mersey will be exercising their Freedom of Entry during their parade, which everyone is encouraged to attend.
The Freedom Parade will leave Bootle Town Hall on the Sunday morning and march via Trinity Road,  Stanley Road, Merton Road and Oriel Road before returning to the Town Hall.
A special open day will also be held on board HMS Mersey at the Pier Head, Liverpool throughout Saturday 15th April, during which the public will be invited to tour the ship.

Springbrook praised for ‘passionate’ staff and ‘child focused’ care

Ofsted has this week published a detailed and positive assessment on the care at Springbrook Short Breaks Home for Disabled Children.

Owned and managed by Sefton Council, the Home provides short breaks for disabled children and offers high quality care and enriching activities as well as much valued respite time and support for families and carers.

The Ofsted report gave Springbrook Short Breaks Home a rating of ‘Good.’ The Report cites the overall experiences and progress of children and how well they are helped and protected. It also notes the effectiveness of leaders and managers in making continuous improvements and providing a high quality service to our families.

The Report is similar to that of 12 months ago which saw a huge improvement from an ‘inadequate’ to a ‘good’ rating in just one year thanks to the dedication of staff to get the best for our children and families.

Another year on, this Report goes a step further praising the improved leadership and management in the home and confirming that the new team are raising standards even higher. They rate them ‘good’ as opposed to the ‘requires improvement’ rating last year.

Parents spoken to as part of the inspection, told the Ofsted Inspector that they were happy with the care their children received, saying, ‘staff understand the anxieties that we feel as parents and go above and beyond to include us.’ Children also benefit from the ‘passionate and enthusiastic’ attitude of the staff when they go on visits to parks and the zoo says the Report. It noted that staff and children ‘make the most of their stays in the home.’

Risthardh Hare, Sefton Council’s Interim Director of Children’s Services said:

“I am delighted to read the outcome of this Ofsted inspection and so proud of my colleagues who have worked so hard over the past few years to improve across all areas including management, leadership and quality of care.

“I am so proud that Sefton can provide such a highly regarded service to our children, young people and families and it is gratifying to see Ofsted recognise the passion of our staff when they work with our children.

“It is fantastic to see the recognition of the improvements we have made in terms of managing the home more effectively in order to create this enriching environment for children and young people.

“The whole of Children’s Services in Sefton is on an improvement journey and success like this give us a solid foundation to build from. This is only a small part of the services we offer but I am positive about improving our services across the board for children, young people and families in Sefton and keen to build on this momentum in the coming months.”

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