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Sefton Council reaffirms its commitment to disabled residents as it celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities

This month Sefton Council is recognising that it is 25 years since the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) and celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday, 3rd December.

The Disability Discrimination Act was introduced in 1995 following years of protests and campaigning by disabled people.

At the time it was a ground-breaking piece of legislation that made a big change to the lives of many disabled people across the UK.

The Act made it illegal to discriminate against disabled people in relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, and education and transport.

It has since been replaced by the Equality Act 2010, which seeks to further strengthen the laws aimed at tackling discrimination and inequality.

Despite this legislation, people with disabilities still face discrimination and disadvantage in their daily lives, and Sefton Council is committed to working with them, the local community and partners to try and address this.

Image shows a woman smartly dressed in a wheelchair smiling at the camera.
Thursday December 3, is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). The annual celebration promotes the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society. Picture courtesy of Marcus Aurelius on Pexels.com

Thursday December 3, is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).

The celebration promotes the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities  in all aspects of society.

Sefton Council is committed to supporting all disabled people in the Borough and seeks advice from people with disabilities to make sure its services and systems are accessible and suitable for their needs.

Working in close partnership with both disabled people and local groups that support people with disabilities, Sefton Council has:

  • Developed its Accessible Communications Policy and reviewed how it shares information with people with different communication needs.
  • Upgraded its website to include the ‘Recite Me’ software, which enables people to change to how information is presented to meet their needs including font size, colour of background, information read aloud and presented in different languages.
  • Worked with people with disabilities across the Borough to create a short film that shows their experiences of the barriers that they face in their day-to-day lives.
  • Developed a training package for Sefton Council staff on how they can make information more accessible to everyone. This has been supported by staff from across the Council volunteering to become Accessible Information Advocates.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “As we mark 25 years since the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act and celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities, it is important to reaffirm our commitment to people with disabilities across Sefton.

“Sefton Council is proud to be a Disability Confident Employer and we have an equalities representative from the voluntary sector who ensures that people with disabilities have their voices heard and can take part in consultation and engagement activity in a way that meets their needs.

“We are constantly seeking feedback from people with all types of disabilities on how we can support them and improve our services to combat any inequalities or discrimination they may face in their daily lives.

“For example, as a result of feedback from children and young people with Special Educational Needs, and their parents and carers, we have worked with Sefton Parent Carers Forum to develop a ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ guide.

“If you want to find out more about what we offer and how we can help, or if you want to be a part of shaping our services, you can contact us at yourseftonyoursay@sefton.gov.uk

“You can also visit our website to read more about our services and find links to other local services and support groups.”

People can find out more about the Equality Act at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance

More about International Day of Persons with Disabilities is available at https://www.un.org/en/observances/day-of-persons-with-disabilitieshttps://idpwd.org/

 

Tier 2 COVID restrictions now apply for Sefton and Liverpool City Region

The national lockdown has ended and Sefton and the rest of the Liverpool City Region are now in Tier 2 ‘High Alert’ of the Government’s alert system.

What does Tier 2 mean?

Residents and businesses within Tier 2 must stick to the following restrictions:-

  • No household mixing in any indoor setting.
  • Rule of six applies outdoors – any social gatherings of more than six people are against the law.
  • Pubs and restaurants must close by 11pm – last orders will be called at 10pm.
  • Alcohol can only be served as part of a substantial meal.
  • Spectators are allowed at sports events and live performances (capacity will be limited and social distancing must be stuck to).
  • Personal care, including hairdressers and barbers, is allowed.

The Government is reviewing the Tiers every two weeks, meaning if our figures start to increase, we could be placed in a higher category with tighter restrictions so it’s really important that everyone keeps up their efforts.

Liverpool City Region went into the national lockdown on 5 November in Tier 3 ‘Very High Alert’. This means the actions taken and sacrifices made by residents and businesses over the last month have had a positive impact on our infection rates, resulting in the area now being placed in the lower Tier 2 category.

Why are these restrictions necessary?

 We know that COVID-19 is easily transmitted from person to person and while our infection rates have been reducing, they are still too high.

Action needs to be taken to stop the spread of the virus within our communities and limiting interactions with other people as much as possible will help to contain the virus.

The restrictions are in place to protect not only yourself, but those around you.

The sooner we can contain the virus within our communities, the sooner we can get back to some sort of normality.

Remember if you, or anyone in your household, starts to experience symptoms, it is important that you isolate and book a test. The main COVID-19 symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

You can book a test online https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

The full list of Tier 2 restrictions is available on the Government’s website.

Tier 2 guidance and the five-day Christmas arrangements for People who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable from COVID-19.

Sefton Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher said:

“Everyone across the Liverpool City Region is playing their part to get our infection rates down and that effort is clearly having an impact as we have come out of lockdown in a better position and in the Tier 2 alert level.

By following the rules, we have seen a significant decrease in our infection rates across the Liverpool City Region and the mass testing programme in Liverpool is helping us to better understand the virus and, importantly, identify people who don’t have symptoms but have tested positive so that they can self-isolate and prevent the further spread of the virus.

Whilst our figures are reducing, they are still too high but we have demonstrated that by following the rules, we can improve our infection rates here across the Liverpool City Region. This is a great achievement and one that we will continue to build on over the coming weeks and months.

Stop. Think. Do the right thing by continuing to follow the rules so that we can start to do and enjoy the things we once did and get back to some sort of normality sooner.”

Joint statement from Metro Mayor, City Mayor and Leaders of the six Liverpool City Region Local Authorities on being in Tier 2 restrictions

Find out more about he Government’s arrangements for Christmas.

Targeted COVID testing in Sefton for people not showing symptoms

After the Government’s announcement that it was extending COVID-19 testing for people not showing coronavirus symptoms to 67 Council areas including Sefton, plans are coming together for testing across the Borough.

With 10,000 tests expected to be made available to Sefton each week, they will need to be targeted where they will have the most effect. The focus is likely to be on hospices and hostels where there are vulnerable residents, as well as those frontline Council workers likely to be exposed to the virus.

Coronavirus testing for people not showing the symptoms of a raised temperature, persistent new cough or loss of taste of smell, were launched in Liverpool with the support of 2,000 army personnel. Residents and people working or attending schools and colleges in the city, including some Sefton residents, are being encouraged to get tested every five days. In the first two weeks, over 150,000 tests were carried out.

Sefton’s Director of Public Health, Margaret Jones said: “With significantly fewer tests available to us, we need to devise a plan for using them where they will deliver the greatest benefit using the resources we have available, which hopefully will include military support. This is why we are focusing on places where vulnerable people are living and the staff working with them.

“Targeting the majority of tests available to us on locations where there are people for whom the COVID-19 could prove most dangerous and even fatal, will help to prevent the spread of infections and save lives.”

People receiving a negative result through the testing scheme are being reminded they still need to follow any restrictions in place to stop the spread of the virus.

Margaret Jones continued: “These new tests are a useful development and in Liverpool, are identifying a significant number of people who have coronavirus but not its symptoms and who could otherwise pass it on to loved ones, friends and colleagues unknowingly.

“However, a negative result is certainly not a passport to bypassing the restrictions and rules we’re all following because really it means you’re not infectious on the day you take the test. That can change quite quickly, which is why people in Liverpool have been encouraged to stick to the restrictions and to get re-tested regularly.”

Anyone who receives a positive test result through the scheme must isolate for 10 days.

People who are eligible can apply for a one-off, £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.

Mrs Jones added that anyone who does start showing the coronavirus symptoms of a raised temperature, persistent new cough or loss of taste of smell, should get a test immediately by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Sefton has walk-through Test Centres at Bootle Town Hall, Crosby Library Car Park, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall.

Open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, walkthrough centres provide easy access to Covid-19 tests for people with coronavirus symptoms who do not have access to a car and for those who have coronavirus symptoms and should not travel by public transport.

Additionally, Mobile Testing Units are at locations across Sefton nearly every day.

Details of testing in Sefton.

COVID-19 tests for Sefton residents who DON’T have coronavirus symptoms

Sefton residents who don’t have COVID-19 symptoms can now use Liverpool test sites to get a coronavirus test.

Test are currently available at:

  • Aintree Baptist Church, Longmoor Lane L9 0EH
  • Exhibition Centre Liverpool King’s Dock, Port of Liverpool, L3 4FP
  • Liverpool FC Anfield Stadium, Anfield Road, Liverpool, L4 0TH

Sites are open from 7am to 7pm and you don’t need an appointment.

Find out how to get a test. 

People can expect to get their results between 30 minutes and 2 hours after getting tested. They will receive their results by text or email soon after leaving the test centre.

Anyone whose result to the symptom-free test come back positive must self-isolate straight away and book a PCR test via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

People who don’t have symptoms should not go to any test sites apart from the ones shown above as they put themselves at risk of catching the COVID-19 virus.

People who do have the coronavirus symptoms of:

  • a high temperature,
  • a new continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

should isolate and book a test online https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

Joint statement from Metro Mayor, City Mayor and Leaders of the six Liverpool City Region Local Authorities on being in Tier 2 restrictions

“Today’s announcement that the Liverpool City Region will exit the national lockdown into Tier 2 is welcome news and a testament to the sacrifice and reliance of everyone who lives here. We’d like to thank each and every person that helped us to achieve this outcome.

“When we entered Tier 3 restrictions seven weeks ago, we were in a very dangerous situation. We had the highest transmission rates in the country and faced the very real risk that our NHS would be overwhelmed.

“We are really pleased that today we see a more encouraging picture, with cases down by over two-thirds since their peak and COVID related hospital admissions also decreasing significantly, relieving some of the pressure on ICU.

“The balance of evidence shows that although we faced a difficult decision over Tier 3, locally we took the right decisions, at the right time.

“We recognised that action was required, but also fought hard for the financial support for our businesses and workers most affected. We always have and always will try to do the best thing for our people and our businesses.

“However, while today’s announcement is undoubtedly welcome, no one should be in any doubt that many difficult months ahead lie ahead.

“We know that these new Tier 2 restrictions will still be tough for many of our businesses and, until a full vaccination programme has been rolled out, the threat from COVID remains a very real and present danger.

“So, we urge everyone to continue to do what they have been doing so well over the past few weeks: following the guidance, protect each other and protect our health services. The worst thing we could do now is to slow the progress we have made or risk a third wave through complacency.

“So please wear your face covering; keep your distance; wash your hands; keep getting tested; and use these hard-won freedoms wisely.”

Find out more about what being in Level 2 restrictions means.

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