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Council’s ambitions for Sefton recognised in independent review

Sefton Council has shown it demonstrates real ambition for Sefton and has a strong track record of partnership working and place leadership, according to the Local Government Association’s (LGA) peer review team.

The six-strong team of expert local government officers and councillors were invited in by the Council and spent four days in Sefton during September talking to over 140 staff, councillors of all parties, and public and private partners.

They considered five core themes: understanding local context and priority setting; leadership of place; financial planning and viability; organisational leadership and governance; and capacity to deliver.

Their independent findings, which are being presented to Cabinet on Thursday November 29th, praised the Council for listening to and serving its communities well through a challenging period of austerity.

They also highlighted the Council’s knowledge of Sefton, combined with strong political and managerial leadership and successfully managing a 51% reduction in grant funding through effective budget planning.

Throughout the review, the peer team commented on how impressed they were by the energy, commitment and appetite for change held by the workforce which they felt put the Council in a strong position to continue its transformation journey and effectively play its role in achieving the Sefton 2030 vision.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Maher, said: “The Peer Review provided us with a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase Sefton and all the things we have done that we are proud of, despite difficult financial challenges. We are very much a listening Council, with clear ambitions for our communities and I’m glad that this has been recognised by the team.

“I know I’ve said it before but I must reiterate how amazed I am by how passionate and adaptable our workforce is despite constant change and how they continue to strive to provide the best services they can to our communities despite these challenges. I’m delighted that the Peer Review team have highlighted it in their report findings.

“Their independent check on how we are doings in terms of planning for and delivering for the future has provided us with confidence that we’re definitely on the right track. Their suggestions going forward will support us our continuous journey of improvement and will help us deliver the best services to local people.”

A Peer Review is not compulsory and provides an informed and independent assessment of a Council’s direction of travel and makes recommendations for its future improvement and learning.

The Peer Review team has suggested some areas for the Council to consider in the full feedback report, which includes prioritising the refresh of the core purpose, accelerating work on a local economic growth strategy and clearer parameters around commercialisation.

On Thursday, Cabinet will be asked to comment on the feedback received and authorise officers to develop an associated action plan to be considered by January 2019 Cabinet.

For a full copy of the report visit http://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=9379&x=1&

Sefton celebrates #SmallBusinessSaturday to honour borough’s brilliant businesses

Sefton Council is once again supporting Small Business Saturday to honour the many impressive independent traders who set up shop in the borough.

Small Business Saturday, which takes place on December 1, is a grassroots campaign to celebrate and recognise the hard work and dedication of restaurateurs, family businesses, small scale manufacturers, online entrepreneurs and corner shops throughout the UK.

The annual celebration comes hot on the heels of Sefton announcing more than half a million pounds in Business Rates support for local businesses.

As at October 31, 2018 the Council has been able to use additional European and government funding to assist 1,140 businesses in the borough to financial assistance.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Small Business Saturday and it gives us great pleasure to be able to help so many businesses keep their bills to a minimum through our business rates support.

“On Small Business Saturday, and throughout the year, we encourage as many people as possible to go out and support all types of small businesses in our thriving borough.

“At a time when our high streets are facing unprecedented challenges, we continue actively support businesses of all shapes and sizes throughout the borough and will continue to do so enforcing our position that Sefton is well and truly open for business.”

For more information about Small Business Saturday visit www.smallbusinesssaturday.co.uk.

Important information to help rough sleepers in cold winter months

Sefton Council has a range of services for rough sleepers throughout the borough which are available all year round.

Services, run by Light For Life, are at hand as we to try and reduce the number of people sleeping rough in Sefton, especially during the colder winter months.

This is especially important during the cold winter months between December 2018 and February 2019.

Light For Life’s winter shelter, which will open as weather conditions dictate, will be offered at Southport Eco Centre and will be open from 10pm to 7am with light refreshments and a warm, dry, safe environment for people to access.

As part of this service, outreach teams will proactively seek out rough sleepers and encourage them to access the night shelter.

If you are concerned about someone’s wellbeing, please direct them to the Shelter or to the sit up services available all year round.

The help of the public is always appreciated and to report an incident of rough sleeping in Sefton please call the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team via Light for Life on 01704 501256 or 07918 746042 outside normal office hours and weekends.

Alternatively, email housing.options@sefton.gov.uk and provide details of the location and any description of the person. We will acknowledge your email and give you a response to your report.

Sefton Council also commission Sefton Supported Housing Group to provide a Homeless Sit Up service.

These services are available nightly and you can book in between 8pm to 9pm. and it promises a safe, warm and caring environment where service users will be given a mat and sleeping bag.

There are also shower facilities and hot food & drinks until 8am the next morning.

Services are provided at BOSCO House, Merton Road, Bootle (0151 944 1818) or New Start, Leyland Road, Southport, (01704 547 741).

Veterans in Sefton have also been commissioned to provide support to people who are currently serving or who have served in the Armed Forces, both regular and reservists, their families and dependents, who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

ViS are based at The Brunswick Youth and Community Centre in Bootle.

For any further information call 0151 257 6371 or attend the ‘NAAFI Break’, Wednesdays 10.30am – 12.pm.

Registrars services remain open to the public during Christmas 2018

Sefton’s registrars will continue to operate during the 2018 Christmas shutdown period.

Registrars will be available, via appointment only, to register a death in the borough at Southport Town Hall on:

December 24 (2.15pm – 2pm)
December 27 (9.15am-4pm)
December 28 (9.15am-4pm)
December 31 (9.15am – 3pm)

A limited number of marriage notice appointments will also be available during this period.

For more information or to book an appointment call 0151 934 2011.

Cinderella must go to the Hall! Tickets now on sale for Bootle panto

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Waterloo and Crosby Theatre company’s pantomime production at Bootle Town Hall

The theatre group will perform the classic Cinderella, as written by Roy Hartley and directed by Julie Cook, at the Town Hall on Oriel Road between Friday December 7 and Sunday December 16.

Adult tickets are priced at £10 while concessionary tickets  (children, OAPs and students) are on sale for £8.

Group rates and family tickets (two adults and two children) are also available for £30.

Bootle Town Hall is fully wheelchair accessible and parking outside the Town Hall is available but limited.

For those travelling via public transport Bootle Oriel Road train station is a short one minute walk from Bootle Town Hall.

Performance times are as follows:

Friday December 7 (7.30pm)
Saturday December 8 (2pm)
Sunday December 9 (2pm)

Friday December 14 (7.30pm)
Saturday December 15 (2pm)
Sunday December 16 (2pm)

To book tickets visit www.theatreaco.org.uk or call 07490134581.

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