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Sefton backs Keep Britain Tidy’s million-mile mission to clean up the country

Sefton Council and its army of volunteers, are once again, backing Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean campaign.

Keep Britain Tidy million mile mission for the Great British Spring Clean
Keep Britain Tidy million mile mission for the Great British Spring Clean

Running from Friday 28th May to Sunday 13th June, this year’s Great British Spring Clean calls on the public to help the charity achieve a million miles of litter-picking. 

Throughout the pandemic it has become evident how we have all relied on the local greenspaces and countryside, parks and beaches as somewhere to escape to, to exercise and to play.

Now, Sefton Council has pledged its support for Keep Britain Tidy’s annual campaign and is asking residents and visitors across the Borough to do their bit.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Litter continues to be an issue along our coast, in our parks and green spaces. Each year Green Sefton officers spend around 5,700 hours clearing litter and emptying bins across the Borough’s parks and spaces that they manage totalling 2,340 tonnes.

“That’s the equivalent weight of around 3,600 of Antony Gormley’s cast iron Crosby Beach statues. And it is also the Council’s time and resources that could otherwise be used to enhance our surroundings, facilities and services across the Borough.

“It’s really encouraging to see national initiatives like the Great British Spring Clean highlighting just how important it is for local authorities and community groups to undertake this work, but it’s also a timely reminder that each and every person using Sefton’s outdoor spaces should be disposing of all of their litter correctly.

“This means using bins where they are provided but also being prepared to take litter home after a day out if bins are full.”

This year’s campaign comes as the charity has reported a massive increase in the number of people who have started litter-picking during the various lockdowns. It has seen the number of ‘litter heroes’ grow by a third in less than 12 months.

Sefton already has many incredibly active and dedicated volunteer groups who support their local beauty spots by keeping them clean and tidy. Over the fortnight of Great British Spring Clean activity, Green Sefton officers will be supporting additional volunteer-focused activities across its parks and beaches.

Cllr Moncur added: “The whole Green Sefton team would like to extend a huge thank you to our dedicated volunteer groups who spend their own time helping to clear up their local outdoor spaces, setting a real example for how our communities have a role to play in keeping our Borough looking great – so that we can all enjoy our time spent outdoors.

“It’s timely that it’s also Volunteers’ Week, where across Sefton we’re celebrating the spirt of our communities who’ve done so much, especially over the past year, giving up their time to help others. A massive thank you to every single volunteer who supports Green Sefton!”

The Great British Spring Clean, now in its sixth year, brings together individuals, community organisations, businesses and councils to make a difference to the environment on our doorstep. In 2019, more than half a million people collected just under a million bags of litter, weighing around 4,308 tonnes.

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “The Great British Spring Clean would not be possible without the support of local authorities, including Sefton Council.

“We have all spent a lot more time in our local area in the past year and have come to realise just how important our local park or green space is for our mental and physical health.

“We need to care for these spaces and the Great British Spring Clean is an opportunity for everyone to take a small action that, collectively, can make a big difference.

“Whether you commit to do five minutes or five hours, every single pledge will help us reach our million-mile target and clear many tonnes of litter pollution from our environment.”

People can pledge to get involved by visiting www.keepbritaintidy.org/gbspringclean

Anyone who would like to volunteer for a litter picking activity, might have an interest in joining a ‘Friends of…’ park group or would like to spend more time at the coast as a Beach Ambassador should get in touch.

To find out more, people can contact the Green Sefton team directly by email at greensefton@sefton.gov.uk

Sefton’s tenants & landlords urged to contact housing service now Government’s evictions ban has ended

After the Government’s ban on Evictions ended on Monday 31st May, Sefton Council is urging any local tenants or landlords expecting problems to get in touch.

The Government brought in the ban in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It was extended from its original September deadline but ended on the last day of May.

Advice

Leaflet outlining how Sefton Council's Housing service can help tenants
Tenants Leaflet

Sefton Council’s Homeless Prevention Service can provide advice to the Borough’s tenants and landlords.

They can help tenants find support to help them maintain their tenancy or with moving on to more affordable and suitable accommodation. And they can assist landlords that are facing issues such as rent arrears and late or inconsistent rent payments.

Landlords who have concerns about vulnerable tenants can also contact the team for support in resolving the situation.

The Homeless Prevention Service can be contacted at homeless.prevention@sefton.gov.uk  or by calling 07966 698 065 or 07870 379586.

Impact

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on many people’s circumstances and incomes is likely to be making the costs of housing a problem for some people in Sefton.

“We want any tenants who think they might be facing problems after the Government ends its eviction ban at the end of May to contact us as soon as possible so that we can work with them to find practical solutions.

“And we want to hear from landlords expecting difficulties, so that we can help them reach practical solutions without the lost rent and other costs that can result from evictions and disputes.”

Leaflet outlining how Sefton Council's Housing service can help landlords
Leaflet for Landlords

Evictions or arrears

Sefton Council wants to hear from tenants who have received an eviction notice or have rent arrears, who are managing outstanding and current debts or who are trying to reduce their expenses or get the most from their income.

People having problems applying for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) and with concerns about their own or family members’ mental health, drug or alcohol issues affecting your tenancy should also contact the service.

Landlords who contact the team may be concerned about affordability issues due to a change in circumstances, anti-social behaviour, their tenant’s mental health, addiction or other vulnerabilities that are affecting the tenancy.

Conversation

Cllr Hardy added: “It is not always easy to talk about these issues, but Sefton Council’s Homeless Prevention Service can help start that conversation easier and then to find constructive ways to overcome the problems.

“I would urge any tenants or landlords who are worried to contact the Team now at homeless.prevention@sefton.gov.uk  or on 07966 698 065 or 07870 379586.”

People can also find out more information at www.sefton.gov.uk/housing or   www.gov.uk/if-youre-homeless-at-risk-of-homelessness

Bid to ‘futureproof’ local NHS services seeks involvement from local people

Shaping Care Together logoShaping Care Together is a programme run by local NHS leaders across West Lancashire, Formby and Southport that seeks to ‘futureproof’ NHS services by exploring new ways of working, as well as utilising money, staff and buildings to maximum effect.

It will prepare our local NHS to meet the challenges of the future – both those we know about and those that cannot be foreseen – delivering high-quality services that are affordable, efficient and, above all, safe.

It will also look at ways in which the NHS can deliver more services in the local community.

Engagement

An initial round of engagement earlier this year saw hundreds of responses from local people and groups, raising issues as diverse as the quality of hospital buildings and car parking, right the way through to how different parts of the NHS can be more joined-up and how we can best help patients to manage long-term conditions.

Chief executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, Trish Armstrong-Child, explained: “The NHS is always evolving as we make use of the latest technologies and clinical developments. So, from time to time, we need to take a detailed look at the services we provide and the resources we have and look for the best ways of delivering them in the future.

“This means putting safety at the heart of everything we do, as well as maintaining the highest possible standards. The Trust has been really successful at doing just that in recent years, but as COVID has shown us, we need to look ahead at the challenges we know about – as well as those we don’t – and prepare now.”

Challenging

She added: “We have seen over the past year just how brilliant the NHS is at responding to emergencies, so we need to ensure we are able to do that in coming years as well. Of course, we also have to work within the financial package we are given and deal with a challenging situation in terms of the national shortages of qualified staff, which are issues for the entire NHS.

Shaping Care Together does what it says on the tin. We want to hear what people really value about the NHS. There is so much support for what we do, but we are always looking to make things even better, so we want people to fill in our questionnaire and tell us about the improvements they want us to make.”

Get involved in Shaping Care Together by completing the questionnaire. 

Sefton’s GPs encouraging residents to contact NHS 111 for urgent medical advice over Bank Holiday weekend.

NHS treatment information posterSefton’s GPs are encouraging residents to contact NHS 111 first if they need urgent medical advice and support over this May Bank Holiday weekend.

People who need urgent health care across Sefton are being asked to contact NHS 111, which is staffed by trained professionals and clinicians, who will direct people to the most appropriate health service.

Fast and simple

Use NHS 111 either online by visiting www.111.nhs.uk or by calling 111 if you do not have access to the internet. It is fast and simple and the easiest way to be sign posted to the right service that you or a loved one needs. This could be a local pharmacy, GP or a walk-in centre. In an emergency, you should call 999.

Dr Rob Caudwell, GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “NHS 111 is there any time to advise you how to safely manage your condition at home, or direct you to the right health service for your needs, which may include a local walk-in centre, GP, pharmacy or hospital.

“If you are assessed as needing to attend a hospital, you will get a timed appointment at a hospital emergency department. Remember, in a life-threatening medical emergency such as loss of consciousness, stroke or serious injury, you should always call 999 straight away.”

Right service

Dr Craig Blakey, GP and urgent care lead for NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “The NHS is coming under immense pressure as restrictions are eased and residents need to access health care.

“We are still here for you and 111 is vital in ensuring that you are guided to the right service you need whilst helping to ease pressure on our vital health services.“

You can use NHS 111 either by visiting the website 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111.

Trusted advice

You can also find trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions on NHS.uk and the NHS app which provides secure access to a range of NHS services.

For anyone experiencing life-threatening illnesses or injuries like stroke, heart attack or loss of consciousness, continue to dial 999 right away.

For detailed information on health services including pharmacy times over the weekend please click here.

You can also check @NHSSSCCG or @NHSSFCCG on Twitter, or ring NHS 111.

People in Sefton encouraged to have their second COVID-19 vaccine

Get your second vaccine poster
Get your second vaccine poster

The NHS in Sefton is reminding all residents to get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine booked in as soon as possible, to get maximum protection and help curb the spread of the virus across the borough.

Following updated national guidance, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are also encouraging people aged over 50 to take up the offer of bringing forward their second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when they are contacted, to ensure they have the strongest possible protection from the virus at an earlier opportunity.

Brought forward

Sefton residents who are over 50, and those who are clinically vulnerable, are now able to have their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks after their first dose. Anyone who is due their second vaccine and is in one of the top nine priority groups, will be contacted by the NHS to let them know when and how to rebook.

If they had their vaccine at a GP led vaccination site, their GP will be in touch with them to book them in for their second dose earlier than planned.

For those who booked via the national booking service they will be contacted by the NHS to rearrange for an earlier date. Once contacted, they will then need to cancel their existing second dose appointment online or by calling 119. When they have cancelled their existing appointment, they will be able to book a new date at around 8 weeks after their first vaccine dose, or as soon as possible after that.

Increased defence

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby (CCG), said: “While the first dose of the vaccine does give good protection from the virus, the second dose gives you an increased and longer-lasting defence, so we encourage those eligible to get their second dose as early as possible by bringing their appointments forward when contacted to do so.”

“The vaccines have been proven to be highly effective against COVID-19, including against the new variant first identified in India, so getting both your doses as soon as you are able will help us to keep our communities in Sefton protected.”

Never too late

Dr Craig Blakey, GP and urgent care lead for NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “More than 170,000 people in Sefton have received their first dose of protection so far, and over 111,000 have already been fully vaccinated.

“Vaccines are safe, effective and it’s never too late to get your jab so if you’re eligible – do not delay booking in for your appointment.

“Getting vaccinated is the most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against COVID-19.”

NHS staff are continuing to vaccinate Sefton residents according to national guidance on priority groups and anyone aged 30 and over can now book their jab through the national booking system.

There are several vaccination centres across Merseyside that anyone eligible can make appointments at, including nine pharmacies in Sefton based in Ainsdale, Bootle, Formby, Litherland, Seaforth, Southport and Waterloo.

First or second

When invited, people in Sefton will be able to book their first or second doses by calling 119 or visiting the national booking service website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19.

Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.

People 39 and under without underlying health conditions, as well as pregnant women, will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with recently updated JCVI guidance.

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