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Council doubly disappointed at mess left on Sefton’s beaches as weekend visitors descend

Litter being collected from Ainsdale beach

Sefton Councillors have described themselves as doubly disappointed by the many people who ignored advice to avoid local beaches this weekend and by the level of parking issues and rubbish that was then left behind by people.

Large numbers travelled to Sefton’s beaches from as far afield as Manchester, Wigan and Birmingham over the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday there was an average of 7,000 people on the beaches each day at any one time.

Leader of Sefton Council, Ian Maher said, “Sefton’s coast line is stunning, and we understand why people want to visit, especially when the weather is nice.  However, it’s really worrying that people are ignoring Government advice and appear to be completely ignoring social distancing guidance.

“As well as risking their own safety, and the safety of our local residents, the state in which some of those visitors have left certain parts of our coastline is simply an insult to our local communities.

“In addition, there were a number of people who as well as ignoring the requests from Council and the Police to stay away, put the Southport Lifeboat team at additional risk by getting themselves in the situation where they needed to be rescued from the incoming tide.

“Visitors need to remain respectful and protect our public spaces. Don’t leave your litter behind or use camp fires or barbecues.

“We also understand that many people living in our coastal areas have experienced an increase in parked cars.

“Sefton Council is doing everything it can to address the issue and our enforcement officers were issuing parking tickets all weekend to cars parked irresponsibly and dangerously. Unfortunately, the high volume of vehicles and people on all the restricted roads around the seafront meant our officers could not cover all areas safely.

“Some people have suggested we close the beaches but with 22 miles of coastline, with hundreds of individual access points, this is simply not possible.

“We have restricted access to the car parks and worked with Merseyside Police to restrict access to local roads, but the real answer is people taking responsibility for their behaviour and showing some consideration for others.”

 

Council agrees additional £2.5 million Coronavirus funding for Borough’s care homes

At its meeting on Thursday, Sefton Council’s Cabinet approved arrange of measure to provide £2.5 million of additional funding for the Borough’s Care Homes.

The decision will mean an extra £1.8 million being paid to Care Home Providers from the Government’s Infection Prevention Control fund and £720,000 in placement payments dating back to the start of April. This is in addition to the £650,000 that has already been provided to help homes meet the added costs caused by the Coronavirus pandemic

Additionally, Sefton Council remains committed to paying Care Homes an additional £50 per placement per week until the Government provides specific details of how the remainder of the Infection Control Fund should be used. This equates to an ongoing weekly commitment of £170,000.

A report setting out the support that has been provided to Sefton’s Care Homes is being submitted to the Government this week. Councillors at the meeting heard that the Council had provided both financial and practical support, such as the supply of PPE to the Borough’s Care Homes and that the ongoing support is part of a continued joint commitment of support with the Sefton Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

Practical support has also entailed supplying Care Homes with smart homes to enable a daily call with all of them, at which managers and owners can highlight problems they are facing, to take place.

Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care told the meeting he was proud that while at times it had been close, the Council had been able to help prevent any of the Borough’s Care Homes running out of PPE.

Cllr Cummins said he also felt for people who had lost loved ones in Care Homes and staff who had done so much to care for people.

He said: “I spoke to the Manager of a care Home in my ward who said her staff had been incredible and that she had also said she was grateful for Sefton Council’s support, which was nice to hear.”

The report agreed at the ’ Cabinet meeting also explained that Care Home providers are being reminded to notify Sefton Council if they believe they are facing severe financial that could mean failure. It also proposed that urgent work takes place to investigate the possibility of making emergency payments to providers experiencing severe financial hardship.

Sefton Council’s Adult Social Care team has written to the Borough’s Care Homes to provide an initial overview of the proposals agreed by Cabinet and to provide more details together with anticipated payment dates.

You can find details of Thursday’s Cabinet meeting here.

Sefton’s iconic buildings light up in honour of key workers and NHS heroes

‘Clapping Hands’ at Bootle Town Hall

Sefton gave an extra big hand last night for NHS staff and key workers, thanks to London based British textile artist Ian Berry whose ‘Clapping Hands’ were projected onto Southport and Bootle Town Hall.

 A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “We are honoured to be the first area in the Merseyside region to be showing this powerful animation of two clapping hands on the day the nation claps for those working to keep us safe through the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Ian Berry lives & works from his London studio and was moved by the clapping, at 8pm on Thursdays every week in the UK. His son couldn’t wait for Thursdays to come, often asking ‘is it Thursday yet?’.

‘Clapping Hands’ at Southport Town Hall

After explaining to his son that we are clapping for those who keep us safe, they took a picture of two clapping hands and the idea was born.

The projection, which has shone on iconic buildings across the world, acts as a visual reminder that the nation supports those on the frontline and encourages people to think of who they clap for each Thursday at 8pm.

“Fostering may be an option for people whose lives are changing due to Coronavirus” Sefton Council Chief Executive

Sefton Council Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson says at this time when people are facing changes in their lives, he hopes some may consider the option of becoming foster parents.

Speaking as Fostering Fortnight draws to a close Johnson, whose own mother was fostered, said:

“We are all facing unprecedented and enforced changes to our work and personal lives and some people may have seen their experiences change as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown.

“It is a period where some people are choosing to or having to evaluate their lives and think about changes for the future.

“I hope that anyone who has thought about becoming a foster carer might use this opportunity to follow it up and see whether providing this vital support for young people is for them.

“I know it’s a varied and challenging role which is also very rewarding and satisfying. From personal experience, I have seen the huge positive effect it has had on my mother’s life.”

As well as a child’s day-to-day care, being a foster carer involves providing support and guidance about education, health and social well-being matters that will affect the rest of that young person’s life. Training and support is provided for the role, which also means attending some meetings and managing confidential and sensitive information.

For a child or young person, being moved from their home for different complex reasons, can be distressing and difficult to understand. They can experience loss and anxiety when separated from their birth family and need love, patience, support and understanding to cope.

Johnson adds:

The Coronavirus lockdown period has been difficult for those of us who have our partners, children, mums and dads, brothers and sister around us but for those young people who for whatever reason haven’t had any family they can connect with, it will have been a particularly trying time.

“We really need new people to support those children and families.”

To find out more about becoming a foster parent, you can visit our dedicated website https://seftonfostering.co.uk/ 

Or speak to one of the team on our freephone number 0800 923 2777

Take a look at this moving video from Dwayne’s mother as she shares her personal experience of being fostered herself.

 

Statement on Sefton Schools re-opening

We are suggesting this from 15th June to allow for time for appropriate risk assessment, including staff availability and to ensure tests set out by the Government and Trade Unions are met.

 

Responding to questions about schools in the Borough re-opening, a Council Spokesperson said:

“Since 23rd March many schools in Sefton have remained open to children of key workers and vulnerable children. Teachers and support staff have ensured children have been supported during this challenging period. The commitment and hard work of teachers and support staff is a credit to Sefton.

“Since the Prime Minister’s announcement that schools will potentially also open for children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from 1st June, the Department for Education has provided advice for school leaders to support them with the next steps on the reopening of their schools which may start from 1st June, however as a council we are suggesting this from 15th June to allow for time for appropriate risk assessment, including staff availability and to ensure tests set out by the Government and Trade Unions are met.

“Secondary schools, sixth forms, and further education colleges will begin some face to face support with Year 10 and Year 12 pupils, however they will not be returning to full time education at the present time.

“The priority of the Council and school leaders is the safety of the children and the staff.

“Currently school leaders, including Governing Bodies are working through the government guidance that has been published to consider how best to reopen their schools safely.

“We therefore do not expect childcare providers or schools to adhere to government guidance in terms of timescales, or the suggested year groups, if they judge this not to be in the best interest of children.

“Of course, every school is unique, has different circumstances, and will be responding to them and the needs of their community in a variety of ways.  Sefton Council will continue to review the situation over the coming weeks.

“Our schools will continue to support children and their parents/carers and will provide a variety of work and activities for children while they remain at home.

“Schools will keep parents fully informed of their approaches to the reopening of their school.

“We understand that some parents and guardians will be reluctant to send their children back at the start of next month and, in line with the Government guidance, will not be issuing fines for non-attendance during this initial period.”

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