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Successful first weekend for new Coastal Visitor Action Plan but message remains stay safe and think twice before leaving home

Green Sefton bosses say they are pleased with how the first weekend with their new Coastal Visitor Action Plan starting to be put in place, went.

However, Sefton Council is still discouraging people from travelling to its coast and beaches and with hot weather expected is echoing the recent message from Liverpool City Region Leaders urging all residents to stay safe and think twice before leaving home.

After seeing large numbers of people travelling to locations along its 22-mile coastline, during recent fine weather it has drawn up the new Coastal Action Plan. A range of measure including the installation of portable loos, skips for people to leave their litter and the re-opened parking on Ainsdale Beach helped achieve the Council’s aim of keeping Sefton’s coastline safe for residents, visitors and its own employees.

Access & parking, facilities, public safety and clear communication are among the key elements of the plan, which covers the Borough’s main coastal locations of   Ainsdale, Crosby and Waterloo, Formby and Southport.

As well as re-opening Ainsdale Beach car park, way of dealing with access and parking include Southport’s Esplanade Car Park, exploring more options for park and ride, using variable message signs and continuing with enforcement for illegal and inconsiderate parking.

Additional facilities for any influx of visitors contained in the Plan include providing extra capacity for waste and more frequent emptying of litter bins and issuing visitors with free rubbish sacks at peak times. There are also options for providing more public toilets, including the portable loos, in a way that is safe for users and the staff required to keep facilities clean and sterilised.

All of these measures will be introduced in line with Government guidance to ensure public and staff safety is paramount. Specific innovations such as a new cashless payment system for on-beach car parking and expanded staff welfare facilities to ensure social distancing will also be required.

Another planned measure is the continuation and extension of Beachsafe, which in previous years has seen the Council, the National Trust, the RNLI, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Merseyside Police and British Transport Police are all working in partnership to keep Sefton’s coastline safe for visitors and residents over the summer months.

And, communicating all of this work to visitors, to local residents and businesses and the employees of the Council and its partners through the Council’s various channels, including its My Sefton website @seftonouncil Twitter Feed  Sefton Council’s Facebook page  and on Instagram.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “With people having travelled from as far afield as Manchester, Stoke, Birmingham and North Wales as well as from across the City Region it became clear that we needed to develop this plan.

“In it, we have proposed a wider range of measures to meet the requirements of residents, visitors and employees and our beautiful coastal environment while at the same time keeping them safe in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Government’s national guidelines.

“The restrictions around Coronavirus have amplified the issues our Borough often experiences at coastal locations on busy summer weekends and Bank Holidays, particularly since the Government announced aspects of the lockdown were being eased and travel-distances and times for exercise and leisure extended.

“I am pleased to see that by drawing up the Visitor Plan and starting to implement it this weekend, during which we saw up to 300 cars parked on Ainsdale beach reducing pressure on local roads, has enabled the Council to deliver benefits for residents and visitors alike.

“However, with a heatwave on the horizon, we are asking people not to travel to our coast and our beaches and I would like to echo the Liverpool City Region Leaders’ call for residents from across Merseyside and beyond to stay safe and think twice before leaving home.”

Download a  copy of Sefton Council’s Coastal Visitor Action Plan.

Over the past weeks, Sefton Council has used a variety of messages to try to discourage people from travelling to its coastline and to encourage those who do visit, to behave considerately and responsibly. This includes taking their rubbish home with them, refraining from lighting barbecues or fires and not taking glass bottles and other items onto the beach as they can cause fires and dangerous litter if left behind.

The Council has also been reminding people that a Public Spaces Protection Order is in place preventing the outdoor consumption of alcohol in areas of Formby & Ainsdale Beaches, Southport Promenade and town centre, Crosby & Waterloo including by the Marine Lake as well as Bootle and Formby town centres. The Order can be enforced by Police officers and authorised Council officers and fines for breaching it start at £50.

 

Parents and carers of children with Education Health Care Plans urged to send them into school

Child with puppy on a sofa
Child with puppy on a sofa

Sefton Council is encouraging the parents and carers of children who have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) to send them into school.

Alongside children of key workers, pupils with an EHCP are among those who can attend school as vulnerable children. This applies to children of all ages and not just those in Years 1, 6, 10 and 12 who will be returning to the Borough’s schools from Monday (22 June).

Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding Cllr John Joseph Kelly said: “Many parents and carers of children with EHCPs have told us that the structure and normality of attending school supports their children’s learning and development.

“We would, therefore, encourage parents and carers to send their children back into Sefton’s schools, where staff will be happy to discuss any support that might be required to enable them to attend.”

Schools across Sefton Borough have been open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for vulnerable children and the children of key workers, with the appropriate measures in place to ensure their safety. Further risk assessment and adjustments have been carried out in preparation for the return of Years 1, 6, 10 and 12 pupils on Monday.

Cllr Kelly also encouraged groups working with children with an EHCP to support their return to school.

He added: “I know groups such as Sefton Parent Carers Forum and Sendiass, Sefton CVS and Carers Service and the Council for Disabled Children have been doing a great job working to support these young people and their families.

“Now we would like them to support us by enabling and advising parents and carers to support the return to school from which these children can benefit so much.”

“Stay safe and be considerate to others this weekend” urge LCR Council Leaders

With a busy weekend of football, Father’s Day and beautiful weather coming up, many people in Merseyside will be getting that first taste of ‘normality’, since Coronavirus restrictions were introduced in March this year.

Although lockdown restrictions have begun to ease, a key challenge for the UK and indeed Merseyside is to navigate these changes – safely.

Many local businesses, health organisations, public health workers and more have been working to introduce local measures to keep the public safe as we ease out of full lockdown.

So, as we make this move, members of the public will notice changes to everyday parts of life including face coverings required when using public transport or attending a hospital setting, along with queues outside the supermarket becoming the norm. 

But the reality is, these measures are stronger when they are embraced by our communities and the people they seek to protect.

Residents across the city region are asked to consider others, especially our most vulnerable, when making plans for the weekend – especially a busy one like this.

That’s why we are urging all residents to stay safe and think twice before leaving home this weekend.

If you do need to travel then please visit Merseytravel’s Re Think Travel campaign for the latest information and important advice.

While we’re able to enjoy a bit more freedom as we move further out of lockdown, I am asking you to consider that, unfortunately, not everybody has the luxury of this choice, especially if they’re vulnerable or caring for someone who is.

  • So, the sun may be shining, but if you don’t need pop out – consider waiting a little until it’s a bit quieter.
  • While you’re planning how to watch the football, support your team from home and only with the people you live with, or those in your support bubble.
  • And this Father’s Day, show your Dad how much you care by calling him to catch up, or meeting from a safe distance.

Together, we can help keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and see Merseyside’s infection rate come down as fast as possible.

Consider others, together, for Merseyside

Father’s Day video celebrations to be held on Sefton Council’s social media

Sefton residents are being invited to join celebrations of Father’s Day on Sunday 21 June.

Two local clergy, Simon Renison and Nathan Thorpe will each be taking to Twitter and Facebook to celebrate Father’s Day and also to remember those dads who have passed away as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At 4pm from Southport Crematorium  and at 5pm from Thornton Garden of Rest , they will introduce themselves and explain the role of the videos before giving their reading of a poem or a psalm.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services said:“The Government’s Coronavirus guidelines have meant that families have been unable to come together to commemorate loved ones who have died while others will be unable to celebrate Father’s Day together this weekend.

“These virtual events have been devised as a way of sharing a message of hope, care and respect through which families across our Borough can come together on Sunday.”

People can find the messages on Sefton Council’s Facebook page.

Cllr John Fairclough added: “I hope these simple messages will provide comfort and consolation to Sefton residents who have lost loved ones before or during the pandemic.”

‘Register on the NHS Test and Trace website’, is the message for Sefton residents contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.

If you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service it means you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Contact will usually be by text, email or phone call so if you see something that is unexpected or official-looking, it’s important you respond to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

No legitimate person contacting you about Test and Trace will ever ask for payment or your bank details.

And if they do contact you, Test and Trace staff don’t care where you’ve been, who you’ve been with and what you’ve been doing. They just want to protect you and other people and prevent the ongoing spread of this deadly virus.

So to stop the spread of coronavirus in Sefton, it is really important you follow the NHS guidance.

If you are contacted, you should visit https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk and register. You will be asked to provide some information, confidentially, about your health and will be given advice to keep yourself and others safe.

The contact tracer is there to help you and will want to make sure you have the right information and support you need to isolate. They will also ask you about the people you have been in contact with and places you have been to help them identify anyone else who may be at risk from contracting Coronavirus.

People aged under-18 will be contacted by phone and a parent or guardian will be asked to give permission for the call to continue.

Once you have registered, you need to begin 14 days of self-isolation from the date of your last contact with the person who has tested positive. This is really important because even if you don’t feel unwell, you could become infectious to others at any point up to 14 days.

Your household won’t have to self-isolate with you if you do not have symptoms, but they will need to take extra care and follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing. They will also need to avoid contact with you at home.

If you do develop coronavirus symptoms – a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste – you must book a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or call 119 if you have no internet access. Other members of your household must self-isolate immediately at home for 14 days.

If your test is positive, you must continue to stay at home for at least 7 days and someone from NHS Test and Trace will get in touch to ask about your recent contacts who will, themselves, need to self-isolate.

If your test is negative, you must still complete your 14-day self-isolation period because the virus may not be detectable yet. This is crucial for avoiding unknowingly spreading the virus.

And remember, a genuine contact tracer on a legitimate test and Trace call will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number (for example, those starting 09 or 087);
  • ask you to make any form of payment;
  • ask for any details about your bank account;
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts;
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone;
  • ask you to purchase a product – including a test;
  • ask you to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet;
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS.

If you receive a call from somebody claiming to be from the NHS, and they ask you to do any of these things, hang up and report the call online to Action Fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040 (Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm) or by contacting the police.

 

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