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Sefton launches major bid for Future High Street funding

Sefton Council is bidding for a slice of the ÂŁ675m Future High Street Fund with bids planned for both Southport and Crosby.

The Future High Street Fund was announced in last November’s budget and aims to support and fund local areas’ plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future.

In this first round, Sefton will include bids for both Crosby village and Southport town centre and builds upon the Council’s ambitions for its town centres encapsulated within its agreed regeneration frameworks and 2030 Vision.

The Future High Street Fund aims to help Councils, their communities and the private sector work in partnership to develop and sustain town centres to enhance their vitality and viability.  The fund also includes the opportunity to bid for part of a £55m Heritage High Street Fund.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Skills and Regeneration, said: “Building on Sefton’s ambitions for its town centres, we are aiming to submit two bids to the Future High Street Fund for both Southport town centre and Crosby Village to help sustain them for the future. The bids will also support Sefton’s and the City Region’s ambitions for future growth.

“For Southport this will build upon Sefton’s success in securing around ÂŁ10m of Heritage Lottery and Coastal Communities Funding for King’s Gardens, Southport Pier and the recently announced Townscape Heritage Scheme.

“For Crosby this will build on the significant private sector funding by St Modwen into the village centre. If successful, Sefton Council will continue to work in an inclusive way with private sector and community sector partners.”

Formal stage 1 bids for both projects will be made in the coming months with further details issued in due course.

Sefton awarded ÂŁ500k to help bolster prevention of youth crime

Sefton Council has been awarded half a million pounds for its early intervention programme and ongoing work to prevent youth crime in the borough.

The ÂŁ500,000 from the government’s Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund with help the local authority to continue in-depth work with parents, carers and professionals around the dangers of children being exposed to gang culture.

The Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund enables keyworkers, community groups, teachers and other professionals working with children and young people at risk, to intervene early on and help stop them from becoming drawn into gang crime, serious violence and the youth justice system.

Sefton Council will now use the ÂŁ500,000 funding to continue with a range of initiatives, which will see teams work closely with young children who may be directly impacted by crime from an early age.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve been given this grant. This much-needed vital funding will allow us to continue to help families in need to resolve problems that affect them and their community.

“We recognise that investing in people at an early stage, before problems become too serious, will help our families across the borough so they can make positive changes to their lives that will keep them safe and healthy and away from youth or gang crime. This funding will help us support initiatives that focus on early intervention and scaling up whole family working before problems escalate into something much more serious that could have consequences later in life.”

“However, the funding is only short-term and doesn’t substitute for a much needed sustainable approach to local government funding to tackle issues like this in our community.”

The grant is the latest recognition for Sefton Council’s Localities team after their partnership work around gang awareness was praised as an example of best practice by the government’s Victim’s Commissioner, Baroness Newlove.

For more information about Sefton Council’s Localities team and their work around early intervention and prevention, where they offer support at Family Wellbeing Centres, Libraries, Leisure Centres or community bases, please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/localities

Consultation begins on tackling Grand National ticket touting

Sefton Council have launched a public consultation to tackle the issue of ticket touting at the Aintree Grand National after a sharp rise in the practice.

The Local Authority are proposing to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which would make it an offence within a designated area to sell, offer for sale or advertise tickets for the three day event.

Failing to comply with the order would result in ticket touts being required to leave the area for up to 24 hours, as well as being handed  a £75 fixed penalty notice.

A consultation will now run until March 10 with residents being asked for their views on the proposed PSPO.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “Ticket touting at the Grand National is an ongoing issue and we want to curb this unpleasant practice.

“Touts can be intimidating and their behaviour may cause distress to members of the public and racegoers during what should be a completely enjoyable experience.

“We know through evidence provided to us that there has been a significant increase in the number of touts operating during the event over the last four years.”

John Baker, Managing Director of Aintree Racecourse, said: “We would very much welcome the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order for ticket touting by Sefton Council which would make it an offence to sell, offer for sale or advertise tickets for the Randox Health Grand National outside the racecourse.

“At Aintree we pride ourselves on providing first class customer service and that starts at the perimeter of our racecourse.

“We are grateful for the support of Sefton Council on trying to eradicate these unpleasant, and often criminal, activities of touts and look forward to continuing to work closely with the Council.”

Ward Councillors, Aintree Parish Council, The Jockey Club and local businesses will also be asked to give their views on the consultation.

For more information or to give your views, please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/aintreepspo.

To request a hard copy of the consultation please call 0345 140 0845

Hundreds attend Southport BID investment meeting

Over 100 local businesses, regional property agents, investors, and other stakeholders with an interest in taking Southport forward were brought together last week by Southport BID.

Southport has been hit hard, not helped by recent announcements of further store closures, and the town will take time to recover. However, the event was designed to focus on the positives, the investment that’s already happened, and the millions of pounds that could potentially come to the town from funding applications already in the pipeline and from private sector investors.

Speakers at the event included the Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, and members of his investment team; Sarah Kemp, Executive Director, Sefton Council; Caroline Baker from property specialists Cushman Wakefield; Dr Steve Millington from The BID Foundation; and Agsteribbe from Bliss Investments.

Rob Uffendell, Chair of the BID, says:

“It’s clear that Southport, our town, is experiencing the same sort of issues that are facing many other towns and cities across the country. So, we’re not alone in having to face up to some really significant challenges.

“Our speakers consistently highlighted the big advantages that helps set us apart from our competitors. Our reputation as a significant coastal destination is increasing year on year (as demonstrated by the annual rise in visitor numbers). We have some unique assets in our town.

“We’ve already seen a lot of investment in our town. And we have dedicated partners from both the private and public sector who are determined to get things done.

“There is evidence from around the UK that those areas with BIDs in place are more successful in attracting external funding because it demonstrates a strong partnership between the private and public sectors and a willingness to work together”.

Delegates raised the issue of parking and the need for more flexibility in setting tariffs. Improving east – west transport links and doing more to increase residential living in the town centre were also highlighted.

Rob Uffendell continued: “Southport was described as a speciality town with plenty of opportunities for development.

“Attracting investment is hard work as was made clear by our speakers. All of them were clear on one thing: there are huge opportunities for this town but to get it right we need to demonstrate confidence and pride in what we have.

“That said, many of the solutions raised at the event have been talked about for years. If we’re going to take this town forward and make things happen, it’s time for action and not words”.

Baroness Newlove to visit Sefton school for anti-gang initiative

A scheme which sees schoolchildren across Sefton receive vital advice and tips on staying safe from gangs and crime is being honoured by the government’s Victim’s Commissioner.

Baroness Helen Newlove will visit St Oswald’s Primary in Netherton later this month to observe the successful partnership between Sefton Council and the Get Away ‘N’ Get Safe (GANGS) initiative.

GANGS course leader James Riley, a former probation officer, works closely with Sefton Council’s Localities teams to deliver an intensive educational, preventative and diversionary programme to schools across the borough to warn young people on the dangers of gang lifestyle.

The work by GANGS and Sefton Council has now been recognised on a national level, with Baroness Newlove observing a session at St Oswald’s on January 25 as an example of best practice.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Through our Sefton Safer Communities Partnership we identified that there was a need for a project that could be implemented at an early stage to deter children from making bad life decisions.

“The impact that James’ sessions have had is incredible and we are always receiving feedback from schools and parents commending the work that GANGS have done

“We look forward to showing Baroness Newlove the incredible work we have done in our communities.”

James Riley, founder of GANGS, added: “The partnership between GetAwayNGetSafe and Sefton has developed incredibly well over the last few years.

“We want to use GANGS to inspire young children at an early age to make positive decisions about their lifestyles in the future.

“Through our early intervention work and by changing attitudes and behaviour, we will continue to make Sefton a safe and secure borough for all.”

Emma Murtagh, Head Teacher of St Oswald’s, said: “James has worked with a number of our pupils over the years and the partnership has been invaluable.

“The workshops are informative and provide an insight into the dangers of being in a gang, as well as how the law works.

“I hope that this work will continue to keep our younger generations from harm.”

For more information about the GANGS initiative please visit www.getaway-n-getsafe.co.uk/

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