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Just a week to go for Sefton nominations to City Region Culture & Creativity awards

There is now just one week left for Sefton’s artists arts organisations and other community groups to get their nominations in for the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards.

Friday 13th November is the closing date for nominations to the Awards, which will celebrate Liverpool City Region’s thriving culture and creativity, even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to be announced in February 2021, the 2020 Awards will recognise arts and cultural events, and innovation and creative activity, which has taken place within the Liverpool City Region between 1st April 2019 and 12th November 2020.

Nominations can be completed online. 

When the Awards were announced, Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council and Culture, Tourism and The Visitor Economy Portfolio holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: “Our Borough has a wealth of individuals and organisations involved in the arts and is a hotbed of creativity. We want to see that reflected in the entry for these prestigious City Region Culture and Creativity Awards.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on every aspect of our lives including the arts and our own Borough of Culture 2020 celebrations have been affected but I have seen huge levels of creativity despite the restrictions and these Awards with the special categories will celebrate that innovation.”

Cllr Trish Hardy Sefton Council’s main Borough of Culture sponsor said: “When the COVID-19 restrictions hit, individuals and organisations behind the planned Borough of Culture 2020 reacted swiftly. They adapted their projects and made them digital so that people could enjoy them and take part in the activities online, through home-based activities or even by post.

“The 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards and particularly the Borough of Culture ‘Star of the Year’ category, are an ideal way to recognise this adaptability and determination to deliver projects that have helped lift local people’s spirits and provided fun things for people of all ages to do.”

Finalists will be announced on Monday 5th January 2021 and the Liverpool City Region community will be able to vote for their chosen winner for the People’s Choice Award. The Awards ceremony, which will be a digital event with presenters still to be announced, will take place on Friday 19th February 2021.

Nominations can include:

  • Performing Arts (including: Theatre, Dance, Music, Poetry, Opera)
  • Visual Arts (including design and public art)
  • Digital and VR
  • Photography
  • Film and broadcast media
  • Literature (including comedy and comics)
  • Museums, Galleries and Heritage
  • Sculpture
  • Craft
  • Technology

Send your nominations here.

 

National Lockdown latest and FAQs

From today, Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government’s new national lockdown restrictions apply.

This means:

  • People must stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  • You should not gather with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  • Certain businesses and venues must close.

The Government has introduced these new measures to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, while ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.

They apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December.

Read our national lockdown FAQs.

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.

It has never been easier to get a COVID-19 test across Sefton and the Region

With the roll-out of 17 new semi-permanent Local Testing Sites in the last six weeks across Cheshire and Merseyside, the ability to book and get a local test for Covid-19 in has never been better.

Sefton now has four of these walk-through sites, at Bootle Town Hall, Crosby Library Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall.

Open from 8am to 8pm, walk through 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.

People can book appointments, if they have symptoms, at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

There is also a fleet of nine Mobile Testing Units which are deployed across Cheshire and Merseyside to help in priority areas and where there are specific outbreaks. Sefton has had Mobile Units at various locations on most days since the start of July.

As the Liverpool City Region moved into Tier 3 restrictions; the prevalence of the virus meant that more people are experiencing symptoms need to be tested.  More capacity across the national laboratories has also come on-line meaning it is much easier to book an appointment for a test than ever before.

Testing Director for Cheshire and Merseyside, Terry Whalley said: “We now have more facilities and more lab capacity to enable anyone with symptoms to seek a test.

“We have worked extremely hard with partners, including local councils, laboratories and NHS Trusts to ensure that we have the infrastructure and capacity we need in Cheshire and Merseyside as we see a second surge of Covid-19.

“It is vital that people, who have symptoms, get a test and then ensure they strictly adhere to the self-isolation advice if they prove to be positive. Testing helps identify those who are carrying the disease and helps to stop the spread of the virus to others.

“Our ability to offer more routes to access testing will help us protect lives and protect livelihoods by ensuring we are able to do more testing every day.”

Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste, should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119 to find out if they currently have coronavirus.

Huge response confirms need for Sefton Council’s free school meals scheme

On the second day of the scheme, Sefton Council is already dealing with thousands of applications for its October half term free school meals vouchers.

Sefton Council announced it would be running the scheme following Government’s decision not to provide free school meals during the current holiday. It has teamed up with ASDA to provide vouchers that families who qualify for free school meals can use to buy food.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “The response to our scheme has been huge and shows exactly why Sefton Council needed to step in swiftly and set up this scheme in partnership with ASDA.

“We have had thousands of applications already and are now working hard to process them as quickly as possible.”

Cllr Hardy has thanked Sefton’s local businesses and voluntary organisations who are providing packed lunches, food hampers and meals to local families.

“They are proving that together we are a Stronger community,” she said.

Details of the half term school meals scheme can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/half-term-meals.

Families who qualify for free school meals but don’t have Internet access can get printed vouchers from the Borough’s Family Wellbeing Centres. And those families who do not currently receive free school meals can visit www.sefton.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals to find out if they are eligible and how to apply.

Cllr Hardy added: “Free school meals have been shown to improve health and help tackle health inequalities, as well as removing the poverty trap faced by parents trying to move into employment. That is why, with so many families being affected by coronavirus and the Government’s Tier 3 COVID restrictions, it was vital for the Council to set up this local scheme.

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