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Remaining October dates and locations for Sefton’s Mobile Test Units

Once again, Sefton has been hosting Mobile coronavirus testing units across the Borough through October.

This month  has seen Mobile Units visiting Aintree Race Course for the first time.

Walk-through test centres, opposite Bootle Town Hall and at Southport Town Hall, are also open from 8am to 8pm.

Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms of a high temperature, persistent cough or loss of taste or smell– should get a test.

To get a test, people need to have make an appointment first at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

Remaining October dates and Mobile Test Unit locations 

Sunday 18th  Southport & Aintree Racecourse

Monday 19th   Litherland Sports Park

Tuesday 20th  Litherland Sports Park & Aintree Racecourse

Wednesday 21st  Litherland Sports Park & Aintree Racecourse

Thursday 22nd  Aintree Racecourse

Friday 23rd  Aintree Racecourse

Saturday 24th   No Mobile Test Unit in Sefton today*

Sunday 25th  Southport

Monday 26th  Southport

Tuesday 27th  Litherland

Wednesday 28th Litherland

Thursday 29th Southport Park & Ride

Friday 30th Southport Park & Ride

Saturday 31st Aintree Racecourse

* Walk-through test centres, opposite Bootle Town Hall and at Southport Town Hall, will be open from 8am to 8pm on Saturday 24th.

The days and sites may change if Mobile Units are required in other Merseyside locations.

Mobile Testing Units , which are supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG, have visited locations across the Borough on most days throughout July, August and September.

Find out the latest advice from Margaret Jones, Sefton’s Director of Public Health.

Hospitality and Leisure Sector business can now apply for City Region Emergency Fund

Hospitality and leisure businesses in Sefton and across the Liverpool City Region can now apply for support from £40million emergency set up to to help protect them fom the huge economic impacts Covid-19 restrictions.

The Fund will be used to help keep businesses in the sector afloat for up to four months, until a wider and more substantial financial support package can be secured from central Government. The aim is that the first funding will reach applicants within 10 days of applications being approved, with subsequent payments phased over the period of the grant.

The  ‘grant application window’ will be open until  5.00pm on Friday 30 October 2020.

Eligible businesses can find out more, including Terms & Conditions, on the Sefton Council website now.

Detailed eligibility criteria will be available to applicants and will include:

  • Small and micro hospitality and leisure businesses
  • Based in the Liverpool City Region – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral
  • One full-time equivalent employee or more
  • Going concern
  • Business to consumer
  • Trading from a commercial premises

First announced on Friday 2nd October by the Metro Mayor and the Mayor and Leaders of the city region’s six local authorities, the fund had been created and readied for launch earlier last week. However, it was paused following the Chancellor’s announcement last Friday on the national furlough scheme and business support package and the announcement of Liverpool City Region being placed in to the Tier 3 ‘very high risk’ Covid-19 category.

Over the last few days, Combined Authority and Local Authority officers have been working closely with the hospitality sector to understand how the Fund could best be redesigned to support them. The Fund aims to enable viable businesses to continue trading and retain as many jobs as possible, to support temporarily-closed businesses top up employees’ wages and remain solvent and to help lay the ground for economic recovery across the hospitality and leisure sector in the future.

In a joint statement, the Metro Mayor, City Mayor and Leaders of the city region’s six local authorities said: “The past six months have been an exceptionally difficult period for local businesses but despite the challenges they have faced, many have done an incredible job, showcasing the creativity, determination and resilience our region is known for.

“We know business owners and staff are absolutely at breaking point and we will do anything we can to prevent businesses and jobs going to the wall.

“The furlough scheme announced by the Chancellor last week falls far short of what our region needs and deserves. If 80% was the right level of support back in March, then it should be in November. Lots of the people affected by these new restrictions will be in low paid, insecure work and it is deeply unfair to expect them to survive on two-thirds of the minimum wage.

“We will continue to fight for a more comprehensive funding package, but in the meantime, where the national government has stepped away, we, as local leaders, will step up.

“We know that once a business is gone, they are gone, and we must do everything we can to prevent that.

“Our hope is that this fund can provide some interim support and will mean local businesses and their staff survive in the coming weeks and months, until the government does the right thing.

“Our own teams have worked round the clock, in partnership with the sector, to get this fund ready for applications.

“We are committed to ensuring that we turn applications round at pace and get money to those businesses who so desperately need it.

“If, and when, we are successful in securing more national support, it may well replace the need for this fund, enabling us to repurpose the money back to other areas where it is also sorely needed.”

Paul Askew, Chef Patron of The Art School restaurant, said: “The new Tier 3 restrictions are a real hammer blow for hundreds of businesses in our sector and for thousands of our staff.

“I’ve been pleased to work with our colleagues in the Combined Authority and the six Local Authorities to help shape it to our needs.

“It will provide an urgent life-line to hundreds of viable businesses who might otherwise face closing for good due to the restrictions.

“While this fund is hugely welcomed, I join the Metro Mayor, City Mayor and local authority Leaders in calling on the Government to now step up quickly to provide the hospitality sector and our whole economy with full the support we need.”

Natalie Haywood, owner of Leaf and Oh Me Oh My, said: “This emergency fund is sorely needed to help save hundreds of businesses from collapse and thousands of jobs.

“It’s impossible to overstate just how difficult it will be for hospitality businesses to keep trading with these restrictions in place – either because they are still trading but not breaking even or because they are forced to close.

“Once a business and the jobs it supports are gone, they will not come back easily, so we have to do everything we can to keep going so that we have an industry left when we get through Covid-19.

“We are doing everything we can to keep going and protect our staff and have been really pleased to collaborate to shape this emergency fund to meet our needs.”

Find out more from the Sefton Council website now.

 

COVID restrictions guidance including update for people considered clinically extremely vulnerable

On Monday 12th October the Prime Minister announced new restrictions for Sefton and the rest of the Liverpool City Region, which have now come into effect.

Exact details of some of the new restrictions are still being clarified but the FAQs on the Sefton Council website have been updated to explain how residents and businesses will be affected.

You can find the updated FAQs here.

With Sefton and the rest of Liverpool City Region having been placed at the Tier 3, Very High COVID alert level, new guidance has been issued for people who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable. These are people who have specific health conditions, certain cancers or who are organ transplant recipients.

These people, who are likely previously to have been shielding, are being advised to stay at home as much as possible, to work from home and to avoid all but essential travel. They are also being told to reduce shopping trips significantly, to use online delivery services or ask other people in their household, support bubble or volunteers to collect food and medicines.

However, clinically extremely vulnerable people should still try to go outside for exercise, and can still go to school and to work if they cannot work from home.

Anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable and who needs support to follow the guidance should contact the Council’s Call Centre on 0345 140 0845.

People can also find out more about the restrictions from the Sefton Council website. 

 

Sefton Council joins forces with partners to tackle Hate Crime

National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from 10th – 17th October 2020. The aim of the week is to raise awareness of what hate crime is and how it affects people, encourage people to report hate crime, and let people know what is happening in the local area to tackle hate crime.

Raising awareness and encouraging the reporting of hate crimes and incidents is a priority for the Council and partners throughout the year, but we can also take the opportunity to join with national groups across the country to highlight issues during campaign weeks.

What is Hate Crime?

A hate crime is defined as ‘Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.’

A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.

Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police

Cllr Ian Maher Leader of Sefton Council said:

“Sefton Council take all incidents of Hate Crime very seriously and we are working hard with our partner agencies to tackle this problem.

 “I would encourage people to tell and partner agencies such as the Police, support charities such as Stop Hate UK and housing providers who can help take action and support victims and witnesses.

“You don’t have to be the victim to be able to report a hate crime or hate incident, anyone can make a report a crime. Please help us make Sefton a safer place for everyone.”

Click here for more information about hate crime from the Sefton Council website.

Click here for more information from Merseyside Police, including an online reporting.

Click here for more information about National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Click here for more information about the Stop Hate UK national hate crime helpline.

Constructive intervention by Council helps Bootle business to re-open

Sefton Council’s Environmental Health officers have been working with the owner of a Bootle business, closed for not implementing the required precautions to protect staff and customers against COVID-19, to enable it to re-open again safely.

Last week the Council issued a Closure Notice to the owner of Skin Kerr in Bootle after visits to the premises by the Council’s Environmental Health team raised concerns that current restrictions and public health guidance were not being adhered to, meaning customers and staff were being put at risk from infection by COVID-19.

Productive

After meetings described as ‘productive’, Council officers were assured that the owner is willing to comply with the regulations and put the required measures in place. This means that the imminent threat of infection has been removed.

Under a new Direction Order, the business can re-open and trade provided the conditions agreed remain in place. Ongoing inspections will be carried out and any breach of the Direction Order’s requirements would result in the business being ordered to close again.

Constructive

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “I am pleased that our Environmental Health team has been able to work constructively with the owner of this Bootle business to put the measures in place that enable it to re-open.

“As we have made clear, Sefton Council will not hesitate to take action against businesses refusing to put in place measures to keep staff and customers safe, but equally we will do all we can to work with them to resolve the issues and enable them start trading again.

“The vast majority of our local businesses have been doing their utmost to meet their legal duty of ensuring they are COVID-secure and since the start of the pandemic in March we have been providing advice and support.

“We appreciate the efforts and sacrifices they have made and would encourage them to get in touch if they are struggling to meet the requirements.”

Supportive

Earlier this week, Sefton Council leader Cllr Ian Maher joined the Metro Mayor, the Mayor and city region leaders in announcing an emergency fund of up to £40million in a bid to rescue Liverpool City Region’s vital hospitality and leisure sector from economic collapse. The unprecedented emergency fund is vital to protect the sector as a stop-gap until financial support from central Government is secured.

The fund has been set up a direct response to new government restrictions, which came into force on Saturday 3 October, forbidding people from mixing with other households in indoor venues – including pubs, bars and restaurants.

Find out more about the Emergency Aid package.

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