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Over 70s urged to contact NHS if they haven’t had vaccination appointment

All over 70s who have not received a vaccination appointment are urged to get in touch with the NHS.

The last invites to those aged 70 and over or on the Shielded Patients List who are yet to be vaccinated have now either been delivered or are due to arrive this week (w/c 8th Feb), meaning vaccines have been offered to everyone eligible whose contact details the NHS has.

So if you are aged 70 and over and haven’t had your first dose yet, please come forward now and make an appointment here, or by phoning 119 if you can’t use the internet.

GPs and their teams will also be prioritising going out to housebound patients this week too.

The large numbers of very sick patients hospitals are seeing and the emergence of a new variant of the virus also shows that we cannot let our guard down now, and even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow all the same guidance as everyone else to help protect others.

The public have an important part to play to help them do all of this, so we are asking:

  • please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as possible and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance when you are out;
  • please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine unless you are 70 or over or on the Shielded Patient List, we will contact you when it is the right time;
  • and when we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments, and try to arrive exactly when you’re asked to, so that we can avoid queues in this cold weather.

Green Sefton backs LOVEmyBEACH call to tackle coastal pollution

The LOVEmyBEACH campaign is calling on all regular beach users to help identify and report signs of coastal pollution, in order to prevent it damaging the North West coastline.

The group has produced a guide to help people to understand what to look out for and where to report any concerns. The guide can be downloaded here.

Sefton Council’s Green Sefton team is urging all Sefton residents, particularly those who regularly visit Sefton’s 22-mile coastline, to be aware of instances of pollution.

Mark Shaw, Green Sefton’s Service Manager, said: “Across the coast, our small Green Sefton team is supported by dedicated volunteers who work alongside our officers to keep our beaches clean, tidy and pollution free.

“However, it’s a collective responsibility for everyone across Sefton to protect, respect and enjoy our coastline. Please act responsibly and take litter home when visiting, and by reporting any possible pollution to us, we can target our resources to ensure that our beaches are safe for all visitors, and vitally for the flora and fauna that call it their home.”

Coastal pollution has the potential to harm beaches, seas and wildlife. Various sources of pollution can impact bathing water quality and the reputation of beaches, whilst being unpleasant to look at and potentially dangerous for beach users.

Help tackle coastal pollutionThe most common signs of pollution that might be noticed are:

  • Signs of sewage (e.g. sewage solids, pipes discharging dirty water, sewage fungus growing or grey clouds around a pipe).
  • A significantly large rainbow coloured film or thick sludge, indicating oil.
  • Abnormally high levels of litter or dumped waste. Or large quantities of one particular material e.g. a deluge of microplastics.
  • The presence of a new substance or material on the beach, e.g. palm oil.

Regular beach visitors are likely to be the first people to spot these smaller incidents, maybe just by noticing a change to the usual appearance of an area or unusual occurrences.

People are then urged to report anything of concern to the relevant authority – which may be the Environment Agency, Local Authority or United Utilities – so that action can be taken to prevent any further damage.

The LOVEmyBEACH campaign was created in 2013 by Keep Britain Tidy and engages with individuals and partners across the North West region to work together to keep local beaches and bathing waters clean.

Additional support announced for Liverpool City Region taxi drivers

A further £2m fund, established by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to enable its six local authorities to contribute to the costs of taxi licences, has been announced, taking the total support package to £3.5 million.

Established in October last year, the first round of the fund enabled the six local authorities to provide £100 each towards the cost of the taxi licence for taxi drivers resident in the Liverpool City Region.
The Leaders and Acting Mayor of the City Region’s six local authorities and the Metro Mayor have now agreed to increase that fund to a maximum of £3.5 million.

Drivers who have already received the £100 grant are eligible for an additional grant of £200, and a £200 grant will also be available to drivers who have not yet applied for support.

City Region leaders have also continued to campaign for the Government to increase the amount of specific financial support they are providing for taxi drivers and other self-employed people and freelancers impacted by the pandemic – many of whom are still not eligible for any of the national support schemes.

The funding will be allocated proportionately to each local authority, according to the number of licensed taxi drivers in their area. For details on how to access the funding, taxi drivers should consult their local licensing authority’s website.

Drivers licensed by Sefton Council will receive a letter detailing how they can access the grant. Further details are available on the Sefton Council website.

The fund will enable all of the city region’s local authorities to top up schemes which benefit local taxi drivers in addition to what is available to them through national support schemes, such as SEISS (the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme).

In a joint statement, the Leaders and Acting Mayor of the six City Region Local Authorities, and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, said: “We recognise the hardship experienced by our area’s taxi drivers, who have seen their trade seriously affected by the Coronavirus restrictions.

“We acknowledged when we launched this fund that it was a gesture of support. We know that this additional funding is still largely symbolic but have made it available in recognition of the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

“As the City Region’s political leadership, we are continuing to press the Government for financial support packages that work for everyone whose livelihood has been affected by Covid-19 restrictions.”

Steve Rotheram
Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

Cllr Rob Polhill
Leader of Halton Council

Cllr Graham Morgan
Leader of Knowsley Council

Cllr Wendy Simon
Acting Mayor of Liverpool

Cllr Ian Maher
Leader of Sefton Council

Cllr David Baines
Leader of St Helens Council

Cllr Janette Williamson
Leader of Wirral Council

Expansion of COVID variant testing in part of Southport’s Cambridge & Dukes wards progressing

Photo showing dedicated Mobile Testing Unit at former Kew park-and-ride site
The dedicated Mobile Testing Unit at former Kew park-and-ride site

Preparations to expand ‘surge’ testing for the South African variant of the COVID-19 virus in Southport have continued over the weekend.

On Saturday, Sefton Council announced that the testing for the variant would also cover parts of the Cambridge and Dukes wards. Since then the Council has been making arrangements for further, dedicated Mobile Testing Units and the distribution of home testing kits across the affected area.

The Council is urging everyone aged 16 and over in the target areas to take the one-time test and if they test positive, to self-isolate to stop the spread of the virus.

Hastily

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health said: “After being advised a second, historic and unrelated case the South African variant had been found, we have been hastily pulling together plans to introduce testing arrangements for people living and working in the affected areas of the Cambridge and Dukes wards.

“Delivery of home testing kits is starting in the next few days, initially in town centre areas, and a site for a Mobile Testing Unit for people who don’t have coronavirus symptoms, is being finalised.”

Over the weekend, efforts continued in the Norwood ward, where thousands of people have now taken a home test or visited the Mobile Testing Unit at the former Kew park-and-ride site.

Testing guidance

To help you take a swab, the NHS has made step-by step guidance videos:

Sefton Council has been reminding people in the target areas for the South African variant that they need to continue protecting themselves and others by sticking to the national lockdown regulations and staying home.

Essential purposes

Mrs Jones said: “People should only be going out for essential purposes such as shopping for essential supplies, going to work if we can’t do so from home, providing care and their daily exercise.

“Those in the variant testing areas wanting to get tested at a Mobile Testing Unit may be able to call in during their daily walk.”

“When they are out, people should keep to 2-metres’ distancing, wear a mask or face covering while out and wash their hands frequently.”

At the moment, there is no evidence to suggest that the South African variant is any more severe than others. However, questions have been raised about how effective the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is against it.

Vaccines

Responding to these comments, Mrs Jones said: “The vaccines being rolled out in the UK have been shown to work well against dominant variants so I would urge anyone who lives or works in the Borough who is offered a COVID-19 vaccination to take up the opportunity and go along for their jab and benefit from the protection it will provide.”

 

Public consultation launched on Sefton Council’s Gambling Licensing Policy

As part of Sefton Council’s licensing duties, it is seeking the views of residents across the Borough on how it implements gambling laws at businesses such as betting shops.

A public consultation will run from Monday 8th February to Monday 5th April. The Council’s Licensing Unit will be seeking the views of local businesses with gambling licenses, as well as key partners including police and Public Health colleagues and members of the community.

Under the Gambling Act 2005, the Council is the Licensing Authority for processing certain gambling applications. This means that a Statement of Licensing Policy must be in place, and reviewed every three years, to show specifically how the Council understands the law.

As the policy is up for review, people interested in submitting their views are encouraged to take part in the consultation. All comments will be collated, and as a result, changes will be suggested to the draft policy.

Cllr John Kelly, Chair of Sefton Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee, said: “Sefton, like all local authorities, has a duty to periodically review its licensing policies. This is an opportunity for not just the owners of gambling businesses to submit their views, but for anyone across Sefton to find out more about how we process gambling licenses and how they feel our policy could be amended.

“Please take the time to read about the proposed policy and tell us what you think about it.”

People can take part on the Your Sefton Your Say website.

Alternatively, those wishing to offer their views who do not have access to the online consultation, can contact the Licensing Unit via email licensing@sefton.gov.uk or by calling 0345 140 0845.

The Council will try to meet any other requirements that anyone may have that will allow them to engage in the consultation process.

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