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Sefton secures £2.3 million for major highway improvement project in Maghull

Sefton Council is delighted to have secured £2.3 million for a major highway improvement project in Maghull.

The proposed scheme will allow for reduced congestion and improved safety at the A59 Northway junction with Dover Road and Liverpool Road South.

Funding for the project, which is anticipated to begin in 2019, has been allocated by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and reinforces Sefton’s ongoing commitment to supporting infrastructure and growth across the borough.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “We are delighted to have secured City Region Combined Authority funding for this scheme.

“Sefton is wholly committed to to improving transport infrastructure in the Maghull area and this project will be another step forward, following on from the new Maghull North Station and the M58 Junction 1 improvements due to start later this year.

“We hope that the works, once approved, will start in Summer 2019 and last around six months, with as little disruption as possible to traffic.”

Further details about the project will be announced in due course.

200,000 cigarettes seized in Southport shop raid

Counterfeit cigarettes worth more than £40,000 have been seized following a raid by Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team and Merseyside Police.

Officers acted on information from the public which identified a residential premise in Southport Town Centre being used to store illicit tobacco for a nearby retail unit.

More than 200,000 illegal cigarettes were seized after both premises were visited by Trading Standards officers and specially trained tobacco sniffer dogs.

The seizure included counterfeit and non-duty paid products which cannot be legally sold in the UK.

 Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “This incredible discovery would not have been possible without the hard work of our Trading Standards team and partners in Merseyside Police.

 “We hope this seizure serves as a stark warning to others that we will always take action against anybody who chooses to trade in illegal tobacco.

 “Sales of illicit tobacco is completely unfair on those traders who sell UK tobacco products legitimately.

 “The availability of cheap illegal cigarettes like this needs to stop and we are determined to protect legitimate traders, consumers and the general public.

 “We actively encourage anyone who may be aware of or suspects that counterfeit cigarettes are being sold in the borough to let us know confidentially.”

 Community Policing Sergeant, Andy Dentith said: “A concerted effort between Merseyside Police and our partners at Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team has led to this fantastic result and a large quantity of illegal and potentially dangerous cigarettes will now thankfully not reach the public.

” Any breaches of licenses or criminal offences that we find will be dealt with robustly. Our message is simple: we will visit, search and prosecute any businesses which put the health and safety of the community at risk.

 “The recovery of more than 200,000 cigarettes will have significantly disrupted the activities of those involved and we ask anyone with any information about suspected illegal activity in the area to contact us.

 “We will continue to work closely with our partners to target dangerous and substandard business premises using all our available law-enforcement powers.”

Anyone who does suspect the sale of counterfeit products or any form of fraud should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Sefton care home puts spotlight on making memories

A Netherton care home has been chosen as the Sefton representative in a Merseyside-wide summer initiative to highlight the importance of memories and reminiscence among older people living with dementia.

James Dixon Court on Harrops Croft has been selected as the borough’s recipient of a Sense of Summer memory basket, produced by the multi-award-winning House of Memories dementia awareness programme, created by National Museums Liverpool.

Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Cllr Paul Cummins, put forward James Dixon Court which is operated by the borough’s leading adult social care provider, New Directions.

House of Memories is a museum-led dementia awareness programme which offers training, resources and activities to enable carers to support people living with the condition.

The new Sense of Summer memory baskets are designed to stimulate discussion about the past, and the contents are inspired by the great outdoors, bringing together items related to gardening, home-grown produce and summer picnics.

The basket includes objects that can form topics for reminiscence, and suggestions for outdoor and garden-themed activities that can help to improve the health and wellbeing of older people living with dementia.

The basket also contains multi-sensory objects that will work well for people with different levels of sensory communication, including items that stimulate smell, hearing, touch and sight.

Commenting on the Sense of Summer initiative, New Directions Head of Operations Paul Bamber said: “We are delighted and grateful to have been chosen as the Sefton recipient of this very valuable new resource, and would like to thank both House of Memories for their support and Cllr Cummins for putting us forward.”

James Dixon Court Service Manager, Martina Barr, added: “There’s nothing our residents like more than to get together and chat about the past, so this memory basket is very much appreciated and will certainly get a lot of use.”

Just one care home in Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley, Halton and St Helens has received a summer memory basket, a development inspired by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s pledge earlier this year to build a dementia-friendly Liverpool City Region.

The baskets are sponsored by Financial Planning Corporation (FPC), based in Ainsdale, who has supported a number of other House of Memories projects..

FPC Partner Moira O’Shaughnessy commented: “We are delighted to have been able to contribute to the Sense of Summer memory baskets. Attending the presentation at James Dixon Court provided us with a unique opportunity to see the benefits that the residents experience from them in action.”

Sefton announces huge plans for English Language support

Sefton Council has revealed plans to help migrant schoolchildren get a better start at early years education.

In May the local authority announced that it was successful in securing a £244,000 grant to help Sefton schools increase their already impressive levels of educational support to migrant children who come to live in the area.

Work has already begun on a two year English Language Support project which will be rolled out to primary schools across the borough.

As part of the project, migrant schoolchildren who are learning English as an additional language will now have access to weekly support sessions, while their families will receive access to linguistic lending libraries.

Teachers and support staff in primary schools across Sefton are also undergoing additional training to help them further improve their skills to support new migrant children who move to the borough.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “The legacy of this amazing project will leave schools across Sefton with specially trained staff, a sustainable English Language network and a bank of key resources for staff to build upon in years to come.

“Not only will this project help support migrant children in learning English, but it will also foster an inclusive ethos which our schools pride themselves in, welcoming everyone as equal, valued members of the community.

“Sefton has a proven track record of being an incredibly welcoming borough for all and this project will further our efforts in making sure children from all backgrounds have the best start in life, learning equally with their friends and peers.

For more information about Sefton schools and learning opportunities, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/schools-learning.

Time Capsule buried for 50 years to mark the opening of Maghull Station

School children helping to preserve time for future generations of commuters have buried a time capsule in the foundations of the new £13 million state-of-the-art Maghull North Station, which will be re-opened in 2068.

 The container, which was created by pupils at St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School, is packed with school memorabilia, and also LFC/EFC match programmes, an unused mobile phone, popular books and a film created by all the pupils at the school with help from staff at Sefton Council.  

 It was presented to the station’s staff, Merseyrail’s HR director Jane English and Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, at a special ceremony held on June 11.

 Pupils from the school all got the honour of planting the historical milestone which will remain buried in the station’s grounds for the next fifty years.   

 A plaque will also be placed in the ground above the time capsule which will read:

 St Thomas CE Primary School Time Capsule, Sealed at Maghull North station on 11th July 2018.  To be opened 11th July 2068.

 The time capsule is one of several community projects that have been created to mark the arrival of the new station which was officially opened to the public last month.

 Other projects included a community artwork piece, to brighten up the new station’s site, which was designed by local groups and schools in the town.  

 Additionally, a set of story boards reflecting the fascinating the history of Moss Side Hospital, which was located on the land on which the station now resides, and how it became a leading institution at the forefront of research into mental health and PTSD during and after the First World War have been unveiled on both platforms.

 Speaking about the time capsule, head teacher, Mr Ward, said: “The new station is such exciting news for Maghull and our pupils were thrilled to help mark this occasion by creating a piece of local history which will give future generations a snapshot of what life was like in 2018.  

“They are really excited to have their work, poems and stories captured in time and be part of this lasting legacy.”

 Jane English, HR Director, at Merseyrail, said: “We are incredibly passionate about getting local schools involved in all our projects because we want to give back to all the communities in which we operate as they are an integral part of everything we do.

“The new station is hugely important for Maghull because it will improve travel options and drive ongoing development in the town, which is why we wanted to involve the children as they will be enjoying it for many years to come.”

“We are delighted that they got on board to support us and the time capsule is a fitting celebration to mark the end of such a major milestone for the town.”

 Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said: “This new station is a great asset for the local community and we’re delighted to see the schoolchildren getting involved with this project.

“It will be fascinating to look back in 50 years at what has been left behind in the capsule and hopefully many of our other future aspirations for the local rail network will have been realised at that stage too.”

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “The time capsule project has provided an invaluable link between education and the new railway station.

“It will be a real eye opener when the capsule is opened in 50 years’ time to see how the station, the school and the local area has progressed.

“Special thanks goes to Sefton Council’s Communications Team who helped put together the film about the school which will form an interesting piece of history in the future.”

 The new Maghull North station is located just off School Lane next to the former Ashworth Hospital site, between the existing Maghull and Town Green stations on the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail’s Northern Line. 

 The station forms a key piece of infrastructure in the Sefton Local Plan, supporting local public transport demand from a nearby new housing development that will include 370 homes, with more homes planned for the area in the near future. 

 It also forms part of the wider £340m investment of rail improvements across the Liverpool City Region over the next three years and sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to transform train travel across the North.

 The £13m scheme is being funded through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF), Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Association, which previously owned the land on which the station will be built. Network Rail is building the station, which will be operated by Merseyrail. 

Watch this video which Sefton Council produced with St Thomas School about the time capsule project.

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