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Sefton Council urges residents to stay safe this October/ November

This Halloween and Bonfire Night authorities across the Liverpool City Region are urging residents not to gather or arrange events.

With the Liverpool City Region under Tier 3 restrictions, the risk of transmitting coronavirus is significantly higher than in other areas so mixing with other households should be avoided.

Major outdoor events scheduled to take place this over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period have been cancelled to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and all requests to hold events such as firework displays, no matter how large or small, will be refused for public safety reasons.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:

“We understand that this is a difficult period as this time of year families would usually be taking part in Halloween and Bonfire Night activities however, this year traditional ‘trick or treating’, parties and firework events are not permitted as this could increase the risk of spreading infection.

“Protecting our residents especially those who are vulnerable is our main priority and I know our communities will work together to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.”

Local authorities will continue to work with the Merseyside Police to help protect residents by ensuring that the restrictions are followed.

Chief Inspector Peter Clark, who is heading this year’s operation for Merseyside Police said:

“As you know there are a number of rules and restrictions in place in relation to Covid-19 – that means that the planned displays and events we normally attend, will not be happening this year. We know that this is another sacrifice we are having to make, however now is a time to pull together, follow the guidance and help to stop the spread.

“We are keen to get the balance right between protecting people from the spread of the coronavirus and ensuring that they can still enjoy this period. We will maintain a common sense approach during the Halloween and Bonfire night period – and are working to encourage people to respect the restrictions and explain why they are so important. Where people are flouting restrictions, we will however take action.

He continued: “Our message regarding anti-social behaviour during this period remains simple – it will not be tolerated and anyone caught committing this type of offence will be dealt with firmly and robustly. No one should have to suffer being the victim of anti-social behaviour and I would like to reassure everyone that there will be extra high-visibility patrols during this time.”

Local authorities are encouraging members of the public to find alternatives to trick or treating and gathering at bonfire or firework displays this year.

As in previous years, council officers will be working with both the Police and Fire services to reduce anti-social behaviour and protect the vulnerable, as well as removing fly-tipped waste and illegal bonfires.

Joe Cunliffe, Station Manager at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We know things won’t be the same this year and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service still wants people to enjoy this period, but now is the time to pull together, follow the guidance and help stop the spread – it’s more important than ever that we all work together to protect our communities and the most vulnerable among them.

“Deliberately started fires in the run up to bonfire night put a huge drain on already overstretched Fire Service resources. You can help to reduce the number of incidents this bonfire period by never giving combustible materials to anyone, especially young people, and making sure your wheelie bin is out of sight – only put it out on collection day and bring it back in in as soon as possible.”

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is encouraging members of the public not to have bonfires on public land this year in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Station Manager Cunliffe added: “Community bonfires must not take place on public land, as this will encourage people to gather in breach of current restrictions. Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will respond to reports of fires and will extinguish them throughout the bonfire period. We would urge people to report any combustible material that could be used for deliberate fires via our website www.merseyfire.gov.uk, by calling 0800 731 5958 or via our social media pages.

“If you decide to have fireworks at home, only buy them from reputable retailers registered with MFRS. Please observe the restrictions and always follow the firework code.”

For further information on how to stay safe this Halloween and Bonfire Night follow the Police and Fire service social media channels who will be sharing tips and information over the next few weeks. In an emergency always call 999 and ask for the service you require.

The Environment Agency is advising people to:

  • Think twice about having a bonfire this year.
  • Only burn small amounts of dry paper, leaves, clean wood and cardboard if you do decide to have a bonfire. Make sure materials are stored securely before being burned and always check the bonfire for wildlife before setting it alight.
  • Avoid burning waste such as treated wood, tyres, plastic, rubber and oil as these can seriously harm health and pollute the environment. It is illegal to burn most types of waste.
  • Make sure you know where the materials for your bonfire have come from. If you suspect illegal activity report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
  • Read Environment Agency advice at https://www.gov.uk/garden-bonfires-rules to make sure you’re disposing of waste on your bonfire safely and legally.

Sefton Council joins forces with partners to tackle Hate Crime

National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from 10th – 17th October 2020. The aim of the week is to raise awareness of what hate crime is and how it affects people, encourage people to report hate crime, and let people know what is happening in the local area to tackle hate crime.

Raising awareness and encouraging the reporting of hate crimes and incidents is a priority for the Council and partners throughout the year, but we can also take the opportunity to join with national groups across the country to highlight issues during campaign weeks.

What is Hate Crime?

A hate crime is defined as ‘Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.’

A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.

Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police

Cllr Ian Maher Leader of Sefton Council said:

“Sefton Council take all incidents of Hate Crime very seriously and we are working hard with our partner agencies to tackle this problem.

 “I would encourage people to tell and partner agencies such as the Police, support charities such as Stop Hate UK and housing providers who can help take action and support victims and witnesses.

“You don’t have to be the victim to be able to report a hate crime or hate incident, anyone can make a report a crime. Please help us make Sefton a safer place for everyone.”

Click here for more information about hate crime from the Sefton Council website.

Click here for more information from Merseyside Police, including an online reporting.

Click here for more information about National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Click here for more information about the Stop Hate UK national hate crime helpline.

Merseyside Police re-visit Skin Kerr Aesthetics

Officers from Sefton Council’s Environmental Health team and Merseyside Police, revisited Skin Kerr Aesthetics, Hair and Beauty, in Bootle today after the poster saying the businesses would not be following COVID-19 requirements was put back on display.

The poster had been removed on Tuesday 8th September, and after a meeting with the owner yesterday Sefton Council understood this was a permanent move. During the meeting, Environmental Health officers were also satisfied that all the measures currently required for the safe operation of the premises were in place.

However, after reports that the poster was back on display this morning (Thursday 10th September), they returned. The posters in question have been seized and discussions will now take place with Sefton’s Director of Public Health to instigate closure proceedings on the premises.

Cllr Paulette Lappin Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: “It is so disappointing that at a time when we are all focused on trying to limit the spread of coronavirus in the face of rising figures across the region, the owner of this business is taking this irresponsible action that could put their customers, their colleagues and the wider community at risk.

“We are all working hard to prevent more stringent restrictions that would have a negative effect on all local businesses and Seton’s local economy but selfish actions like this could contribute to jeopardising those efforts.”

Environmental Health officers were first made aware on Monday that Skin Kerr Aesthetics, Hair and Beauty was displaying the poster. It states that masks are not being worn at the salon despite rules requiring staff to wear surgical face masks and visors to limit the spread of the disease. The poster also denies the existence of COVID-19, which has been the cause of death for over 1,000 people in Merseyside hospitals, and bans mention of the pandemic.

Sefton Council and Merseyside Police have visited the salon more than once and it was understood the problem had been resolved.

Sefton Council is reminding local businesses and their customers of the importance of following the Government’s COVID-19 guidance, which includes the distancing, cleaning and face-covering measures required to help keep clients and staff safe.

For customers, this means following any of the measures in place for their protection and making sure they provide any Test and Trace information requested on arrival.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said recently: “As well as protecting individual businesses and their customers, these measures are there to support the whole economy by helping to reduce the possibility of a wider COVID-19 outbreak and the potential need to introduce local restrictions, which would have a negative effect on everyone.”

The Government’s guidance for working safely, including at close contact businesses including barbers, beauticians, hairdressers and tattooists.

Joint plea to public to continue to be sensible and respectful at Sefton’s beauty spots

A number of organisations across Sefton are joining forces to remind people to continue to be sensible and respectful if they choose to spend time outdoors during the warm weather.

The agencies who make up the Sefton Coastal Landscape Partnership include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, British Transport Police, HM Coastguard, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and other key partners.

Today (04 August) the partnership launches a campaign covering many of the issues faced on the Sefton coast.

Since restrictions were lifted allowing people to spend more time outside, we have seen a rise in the number of people using local beaches, parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve and many of Sefton’s beautiful beaches.

The advice remains that everyone should maintain social distancing at all times.

People also should check in advance of visiting places like National Parks and beaches to make sure they are prepared for visitors.

We are also asking people to remain respectful and protect our public spaces.

During the recent nice weather, the partnership has received reports of excessive littering and fires and BBQs being lit as well as people parking illegally and inconsiderately by blocking driveways and residential roads.

Mark Shaw from Sefton Council’s Green Sefton service said:

“Our beaches are tempting but they are not able to cope with high level of visitors at the moment.

“For those few who do visit our coastline at this time, they are advised that stringent parking restrictions are in place, all rubbish must be taken home and BBQs are strictly prohibited along the entirety of the Sefton coastline.

“At this time, we need people to think about their safety and the safety of others, as well as the wellbeing of our communities and Council staff.”

Sefton Chief Inspector Mike O’Malley from Merseyside Police said:

“We continue to work closely alongside our partners to deal with all issues on Sefton’s beautiful coastlines, and this August – with many choosing to holiday in this country due to travel restrictions – will be no different. We want all visitors to enjoy a safe, relaxing and enjoyable time, and show consideration for those who live in these areas.

“During spells of good weather this year we have had reports of excessive littering and fires and BBQs being lit as well as people parking illegally and inconsiderately by blocking driveways and residential roads.

“Anyone acting antisocially should expect to be dealt with by police in a robust manner, and we will also support other agencies in their work.

“I want to reassure those affected by anti-social behaviour, underage drinking and other issues affecting the communities of Sefton that we will again make a co-ordinated effort to prevent such incidents from occurring.

“Throughout August, officers will be on foot, in vehicles and on quad bikes across the Sefton coastline including Formby, Ainsdale and Crosby beaches, as well as parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve.”

PC David Baier from British Transport Police said:

“Everyone wants to enjoy this gorgeous weather and may head to the coast but it’s really important that people continue to social distance and wear compulsory face coverings when using public transport.

“These may be strange times, but the same rules apply regarding anti-social behaviour – we won’t tolerate any abuse of passengers or rail staff and we’ll continue to take a robust approach to anyone who breaks the rules.”

ENDS

Beaches in Sefton during COVID19

As our beaches, coastal towns and villages continue to see a high number of visitors despite our pleas for people not to drive to Sefton’s beaches, we’ve  seen a few messages asking why we don’t close the beaches.

We manage 22 miles of coast. Aside from a couple of hundred yards at Altcar Rifle range, it’s completely open access with  hundreds of individual access points, little footpaths and other ways to walk on.

There is no way we can ever ‘close’ the beaches.

What we are doing is stopping access to the car parks, and are working with our partners at Merseyside Police to restrict access to roads.

Ultimately we need people to please listen to our advice and warnings to stay away from our beaches during this time.

 

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