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Sefton households being urged to respond to Energy Rebate reminder letters and register for ÂŁ150 payment

Sefton Council is reminding households to which it has sent follow-up letters about Council Tax Energy Rebate that they need to register their bank details before Thursday  30th June 2022 to speed up payment of their ÂŁ150.

Almost 18,000 of the households that received the initial letter registered their bank details online and are now receiving their ÂŁ150 payments.

Follow-ups have been sent to those who didn’t respond urging them to use the unique 14-character security code on their letter to provide their bank details online before Thursday 30th June 2022. The code can only be used once, and the household will need their Council Tax account reference to hand when they register.

People receiving the letters and wanting more information can find details of the Council Tax Energy Rebate Scheme, including Frequently Asked Questions and an easy-read guide, at www.sefton.gov.uk/energyrebate.

There is also a video explaining how the letters and the registration process.

People who do not have internet access or relatives and friends who can help them through the process, can call the Council’s Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845

Those who can use the easy online route, are being urged to do so. That way the Contact Centre team will be able to concentrate their efforts on people who can’t.

The Council is also reminding residents that these letters are the only way it will contact them about the Energy Rebate Scheme. It will never telephone or cold call at people’s doors asking for bank details.

Sefton Council has already paid more than £12.5 million to 83,500 Council Tax Band A to D households across the Borough. At next week’s Council Cabinet meeting, members are being asked to approve a plan to allocate over £70,000 of discretionary funding under the Energy Rebate scheme.

High-tech pollution sensors to help reduce emissions and improve air quality on Sefton’s roads

This Clean Air Day, Thursday 16th June, Sefton Council is gathering pollution data with brand new sensors to monitor and improve air quality at some of the Borough’s biggest junctions.

Located at seven key junctions around Sefton, the sensors will give the Council’s Highways Management team access to real-time updates on air quality on key roads for the first time.

Among the locations where the devices will be located is Dunnings Bridge Road in the south of the Borough. which is known to be a hotspot for air pollution. Fitted to traffic lights, they will monitor harmful gases and particulate matter.

The data collected will be sent live to Highways Management as they control traffic signals and electronic signage on major corridors. This will enable them to manage traffic flows and even implement diversions, to help avoid serious congestion and reduce harmful emissions, particularly in built up areas most affected by air pollution.

The seven sensors have been funded by the Liverpool City Region ,and Sefton Council has installed a further three outside schools in the north of the Borough to monitor the levels of air pollution near certain schools.

 

Cllr Ian MoncurCllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said:

“I am delighted to see the installation of these sensors in Sefton.

“Poor air quality can have a really damaging effect on our environment and on the health of our community. This new technology will allow us to monitor air quality along congested routes in real time and enable us to develop strategies aimed at reducing air pollution.

“Clean Air Day is a chance for us all to celebrate work like this aimed at monitoring and addressing air quality in challenging areas of our borough and considering how we can all have an impact on improving air quality in Sefton.”

 

The data from these sensors will be used to inform future strategies.

Alongside this work, we have been progressing our Outline Business Case for a Clean Air Plan

For more information on the Clean Air Plan, go to Your Sefton, Your Say

Sefton Council’s Cabinet asked to approve further, discretionary payments as part of the Government’s Council Tax Energy Rebate scheme

Sefton Council’s Cabinet is being asked to approve further, discretionary funding to help households meet their energy bills as part of the Government’s Energy Rebate Scheme.

At the start of June, Sefton Council confirmed that more than ÂŁ12.5 million had been paid to 83,500 Council Tax Band A to D households. It also said that 17,700 households had responded to letters from Sefton Council asking for them register their bank details securely and that reminder letters were going to those still yet to sign up.

Over ÂŁ700,000

Over ÂŁ700,000 of discretionary funding is now available to the Council to allocate to Sefton households that are in need, as well as those that do not fall into the Council Tax bands A to D category.

To speed up the process, the Council is planning to focus discretionary payments on specific groups such as those on who already receive means-tested Council Tax Reduction. This would remove the need for an application procedure as the Council is already aware of their financial circumstances.

Under the proposed scheme, people living in Council Tax bands A to D would receive an extra payment of ÂŁ20. Council Tax-payers in band E-H properties who are in receipt of means-tested Council Tax Reduction at that property would receive ÂŁ170. This is the same as the ÂŁ150 paid to those in band A-D, plus ÂŁ20.

Residents granted a full Council Tax exemption, due to being severely mentally impaired, would also receive ÂŁ170.

No applications needed

Payments to these three groups, for which no applications would be needed, would total around £465,000 leaving a balance of around £243,000, of discretionary funding to be allocated. Sefton Council’s Cabinet is being asked to consider using these funds to make additional payments to households with children that are in receipt of Council Tax Reduction.

Amounts would be ÂŁ20 for households with one or two children and ÂŁ30 for those with three or more children.

A further group for consideration is those that have been excluded from the core Energy rebate scheme, due to them not being liable for Council Tax or and where the responsibility for Council Tax falls with someone else such as a housing provider, charity or non-resident owner. Where these people can provide evidence of occupation and direct payment of energy costs, they could receive between ÂŁ50 and ÂŁ150 depending on their individual circumstances.

Where possible, discretionary payments would be paid directly into recipients’ bank accounts.

Successfully paid

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory Compliance and Corporate Services said  “Now that Sefton Council has successfully paid the majority of Council Tax Energy Rebate payments to the vast majority of eligible households in the Borough, I am keen that we now extend these discretionary awards to more households facing the extreme difficulties that have been created by today’s economic climate.”

Sefton Council will start to process Discretionary payments once the Band A to D payments have been completed. More details of the scheme will be publicised at that point, which is likely to be around late July, and the Council will start contacting those who are eligible at the same time.

The Council is asking people not to call the Contact Centre about the Discretionary Payment scheme as no further information is available at this time.

You can find the agenda and papers for the Cabinet Meeting here.

New Academy part of Sefton Council’s commitment to highest quality services for the Borough’s children and young people

Sefton Council plans to put the next part of its commitment to improving services for the Borough’s children and young people in place in September by launching a new Social Work Academy.

Setting up its own, unique Social Work Academy, will enable the Council to “grow its own” and provide its Children’s Social Care teams with an innovative development approach.

FlourishA group of people stand outside the front entrance of Magdalen House

Through the Academy, the Council will be able to provide the right support for Newly Qualified Social Workers and give them the right environment to grow into high quality practitioners. They will have protected caseloads and a high level of managerial support to allow their practice to flourish.

As they go through their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE), they will be managed by experienced team managers who will develop their practice through reflective supervision and modelling of practice. Practice Educators will ensure the Newly Qualified Social Workers meet the required standards.

Within the Academy’s first 12 months, the Council aims to recruit and develop up to 30 of these the Newly Qualified Social Workers who will go on to join the permanent workforce.

Support

As they go through their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment, the teams will undergo weekly Practice Reflective Meetings and Focused Quality Assurance. They will also receive clinical support around emotional resilience that will help prevent the recognised social work phenomenon of burn-out, sickness and early retirement by enabling them to manage the stress and pressure of the profession.

The Academy will be managed by an experienced service leader who has both experience and passion for improving social work practice. By offering clinical support, the Academy will improve outcomes for children and families as well as helping reduce “social work burnout” which is a major cause of practitioners leaving the field.

Martin Birch, Sefton Council’s Director of Education and Children’s Services, who joined the Authority in March, said: “Providing the right support, protection and consistency that delivers better experiences and outcomes for Sefton’s children, young people and their families starts with our own workforce.

“By establishing this Academy, we are showing our determination in making sure that Social Workers at all levels in our Children’s Social Care teams are being equipped to do their jobs to the highest standards from the moment they join us.

“And as well as supporting the development and confidence of our existing colleagues, the Academy will also help us to attract the very best Social Workers out there to join us, to provide the high-quality services our children and families deserve.”

Bid

Sefton Council has already committed £1.2 million for setting up the new Social Work Academy. Next week’s meeting of Sefton Council Cabinet is being asked to approve a bid to the Department for Education for some additional funding to help support this venture.

Cllr Mhairi Doyle MBE, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, said: “Alongside the growth of the Family Valued partnership with Leeds, creating an Academy where our social work teams can learn the very best practice is a key part of our development.

“Both of them will help us to deal with the unprecedented demand we are currently seeing and tackle the issues raised by our recent Ofsted rating, and will also ensure that each and every child and young person in Sefton is given the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

“Any funding received through a bid to the Department for Education would be put back directly into our Children’s Social Care services.”

Details of next week’s Sefton Council Cabinet meeting, which takes place at 10am on Thursday 23rd June at Southport Town Hall, can be found here.   

Edge Hill University to host psychological experiment on climate change open to Sefton residents

Edge Hill University is undertaking a unique psychological experiment as part of their research on local community and climate change. Taking place in Southport on Friday 24th June, the University says that residents will be given the chance to take part in cutting-edge science and potentially even change history.

Hands holding small replica of EarthAt the event, the University will premier its new film on climate change and want to measure its effects. Attendees will then fill in a questionnaire, before and after the film, and then will be asked to do a short computerised task. Free refreshments will also be provided.

People can find more information and book here. You must be at least 18 years old to book.

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