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Litter louts found guilty of dropping rubbish

Four people have been fined after being found guilty of littering in the borough.

Fines totalling over £1,400 were handed out at South Sefton Magistrates Court on February 27 after all four failed to pay fixed penalty notices after being caught dropping rubbish.

Paul Carter, 48, of Waterloo plead guilty by post and was fined £322.

Craig Keevil, 46, of Southport was found guilty in absence and was fined £392.

Makala Smith, 29, of Eccles, was found guilty in absence and was fined £392.

Emma Wilkinson, 39, of Chorley, was found guilty in absence and was fined £392.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “People need to think twice before just throwing their waste away and court cases like these highlight what can happen if you are caught.

“Littering is an unsightly act and we will not hesitate to fine those who do it.

“Please take it home or use a bin or face the consequences.”

For more information about littering, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/bins-recycling/litter-and-fly-tipping.

Sefton residents are invited to give their views on bus services in the area

Residents in Sefton have the chance to give their views on bus services in the area in the first consultation phase of a new bus network review in the borough.

This initial consultation phase of the review will run from Wednesday, February 27 until 5pm on Tuesday, March 26.

Members of the public will be able to give their thoughts and feedback via an online survey which can be access from the Bus Network Review webpage at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/busreview.

There will also be two drop-in events taking place in where residents can speak to representatives from Merseytravel about bus services across the area, how they  use them and what might encourage residents to use them more. The two events are listed below:

  • Southport Chapel Street – Wednesday, March 6, 10 to 3pm
  • Bootle New Strand – Thursday, March 7, 10 to 3pm

Merseytravel, as part of its Bus Strategy, is committed to carrying out regular bus network reviews across the Merseyside bus network, with the aim of creating an improved and simpler network.

The first set of reviews took place from 2016 to 2018. Going forward, there will now be a regular cycle of network reviews, ensuring that the bus network delivers the aspirations of the Liverpool City Region.

Historically bus routes were considered on a piecemeal basis. The idea of these network reviews is to consider the commercial network and the supported network – that which relies on public subsidy via Merseytravel – as a whole. This will ensure that the network best reflects the needs of the public and adapts to plans for future housing, leisure and employments developments.

As part of the Bus Alliance with Arriva and Stagecoach, and with support from other operators, Merseytravel is working through these network reviews with the aim of getting more people using the bus by creating a better bus experience.

Part of the review will look at the current supported bus network and consider how increasingly limited public resources can be focused where there is most need.

To help this, we are looking for feedback and information from the public about how they use the bus network in the area, particularly any supported bus service. The first stage of review is to gather feedback on bus services in the area, which will help inform any potential changes.

Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said:

“The original set of bus network reviews helped us to begin to shape the bus network in Merseyside to better fit the needs of residents and businesses, while facing up the challenges we face in trying to fund supported services.

“By listening to the feedback gained in those reviews, we were able to work with commercial operators as part of the Bus Alliance to see where existing routes could be adapted to cover any changes. This has not been the case across the country, where some local authorities have taken the tough decision to withdraw all supported services.

“This latest cycle of bus network reviews will help us to continue to adapt the bus network so that it reflects the aspirations of the Liverpool City Region and we would encourage everyone to give their feedback through the appropriate channels to help shape the network in the best way possible.”

Sefton’s Budget Meeting and Council Tax set for 2019/20

Council Tax for services provided by Sefton Council will increase by 2.99% to fund the unprecedented demand on Children’s Social Care, protecting our vulnerable older people, and being able to continue to provide the everyday services residents rely on.

At Full Council this evening (February 28), councillors agreed the third year of the budget plan and approved the 2.99% rise for 2019/20 for the local authority’s services.

For an easy explanation of how your council tax is spent, click here.

It means that for the provision of council services, it will cost the majority of householders an extra 78p or less per week (figures based on a Band C property).

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to increase our Council Tax but we’ve been left with no alternative because we just don’t get enough funding from the Government to continue to run the services that our communities rely on. This is the only way to ensure we manage to provide the vital services everyone expects from us. From caring for children, the elderly and other vulnerable people to emptying the bins, cleaning the streets and maintaining the roads, as well as still providing leisure, cultural and community activities and supporting the skills and business sectors that are essential to the growth of our economy.

“To put it into context, between 2010 and 2020, Sefton will have lost the equivalent of £746 from each household as the Government continues to reduce the money it gives to councils. That is a huge loss and we keep warning about the huge risk to local services. This loss also comes at a time when we have seen massive increases in pressures for services. Not only due to the unprecedented loss of funding and the ongoing social care crisis, but a surge in demand for children’s services, support for special educational needs and disabilities and the uncertainty over schools funding.”

Due to the increased pressure for social care services, Sefton has still had to identify some new savings to ensure a balanced budget this year. At full Council, a number of options were agreed that would have the least impact on Sefton’s communities.

Cllr Maher continued: “We will continue to invest our resources where it will deliver the most impact – in creating jobs, protecting our most vulnerable children, adults and families and in improving the local environment. Despite the challenges we face we will work hard with our partners to remain a confident and connected borough. We believe that with the right funding, we can continue to lead our areas and improve residents’ lives.”

The overall Council Tax bill – which includes police and fire services charges and the new tax for a Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor – will go up by 5.11% to £1,662.32 for the coming financial year (for a Band C property). This excludes the amounts charged by Parish Councils for homes in their areas.

In the following video, Cllr Maher provides insight into the pressures facing Sefton Council as it continues to deliver quality services to residents despite increasing pressure on its resources.

Sefton launches major bid for Future High Street funding

Sefton Council is bidding for a slice of the £675m 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 £10m 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 £500k 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 £500,000 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 £500,000 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

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