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Cllrs told to expect ‘surprising’ results of Southport Cycle Lane consultation

The results of the recent Southport Active Travel Cycle Lane consultation will be presented to the November 9th Overview and Scrutiny committee (O&S), fulfilling the promises Sefton Council has continually made to ward councillors.

This decision preceded a formal request which has been made by five ward councillors to call an Extraordinary General Meeting of the council to discuss the same report.

At a meeting of full council in July, Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, guaranteed that an Overview and Scrutiny committee made up of cross-party councillors will be able to take a detailed look into the results of the much publicised consultation.

Ahead of the meeting Cllr Fairclough warned committee members may be very surprised at the picture painted by the feedback of residents and campaigners.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services said: “As promised we will make the full results of this consultation public and subject it to cross-party scrutiny to ensure complete fairness and transparency.

“Those who take a look at the reports findings will see some unusual outcomes including multiple, and in one case 19, submissions from a single IP address and people responding to every single question with ‘strongly disagree’.

“I can understand there are people who do not agree with our proposals and there has been some high-profile opposition expressed.

“However, I have never known people to be so adamantly against plans to introduce crossing points that would improve road safety for pedestrians.

“My concern is that the genuine views of the people of Southport might have been hijacked in a coordinated response by people who don’t want to see these walking and cycling schemes go ahead and I look forward to hearing the views of the Overview & Scrutiny Panel.”

Common concerns expressed included the loss of street on-street parking for some residents and its possible impact on local businesses, the effect on journey times for Birkdale residents and the people driving to rugby tournaments and school events having to park further away.

Cllr Fairclough added: “As the report says, the Council put a lot of effort into encouraging people to take part in the consultation but it seems to have been mainly people who fit a certain profile who have responded in large numbers so we need to look at how we can try to get broader responses in the future.

“And, given the multiple submissions identified, we are going to need to build in ways of detecting this into future consultations, to ensure the outcomes are truly representative of a community’s views.”

A full report of the consultation’s feedback and comments will be publicly published on November 1st before being presented to an Overview & Scrutiny Committee on November 9th for a comprehensive analysis and consideration.

In order to ensure maximum transparency, Sefton Council’s Overview & Scrutiny committees are responsible for scrutinising a whole range of local authority functions and responsibilities and the impact those works may have on the local community.

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Sefton revamps cycling & green travel infrastructure in Southport

Work has now begun to repair and refurbish cycling and green transport provisions in Southport Town Centre.

Hundreds of thousands of cycle journeys have been made on the town centre cycle scheme, which was introduced in the town as part of Central Government’s mandated Emergency Active Travel Scheme.

Now Sefton Council’s Active Travel team have commissioned contractors to begin works to refurbish road markings, signage and replace vandalised traffic bollards along both Hoghton Street and Queen’s Road.

These works will ultimately improve the facilities available to cyclists and other road users

Refurbishment works include:

  • Amended and retouched road markings
  • Changes to cycle lane width where space permits
  • Enhanced junction marking
  • Installation of permanent separation wands
  • Implementation of additional signage

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “We are all too aware that Sefton, like many other councils, were told by the Government to quickly implement strict active travel schemes.

“Owing to the timescales set to us by Central Government, there was relatively little time to develop the Hoghton Street project fully and this was further compounded by a national shortage of materials available to our contractors.

“Now following a detailed series of independent reviews, we have identified and implemented a series of modifications which we feel are necessary to ensure this scheme is as effective as possible.

“Once these modifications have been implemented, we remain fully committed to reviewing the scheme after six months

“Neither the Department for Transport nor the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority have provided definite criteria on which to judge the successes of such a scheme.

“As such our teams will use detailed and publicly available cycle usage data, along with further survey work, to inform future decisions over whether this scheme becomes permanent, modified further or is ultimately removed.”

For more information about Active Travel schemes and provision across Sefton, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/parking-roads-travel/transport-policy/your-streets-your-say/

 

The Mersey Beatles bring number one hit-packed show to Southport

All 17 of The Beatles sensational UK Number One hits will be delivered in an all-new live show by the world’s favourite Liverpool-born tribute to the Fab Four.

The Mersey Beatles have played to sold-out audiences around the globe for more than 20 years and they are bringing their unmissable theatre show to The Atkinson, Southport, on Saturday September 4.

This will be one of the first full-capacity shows at the historic coastal venue since the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

And to celebrate the return of live music – and, of course, the hits of the greatest band of all time – The Mersey Beatles will play every Beatles’ chart-topping single in this magnificent two-hour show alongside more than 20 other classic songs.

So, get your dancing shoes ready as such smash-hits as From Me To You, She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand to Lady Madonna, Get Back and Hey Jude will all be delivered in a truly authentic way.

Formed in Liverpool in 1999, The Mersey Beatles – Mark Bloor (John), Steven Howard (Paul), Craig McGown (George) and Brian Ambrose (Ringo), together with keyboard player and percussionist Tony Cook – were the resident Beatles’ band at the legendary Cavern Club between 2002-2012 – clocking up more than 600 gigs.

Since leaving The Cavern, The Mersey Beatles have toured the world many times over – winning legions of fans, including John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird and The British BeatlesThe Mersey Beatles tour image Fan Club who rate them as “The best Beatles tribute band around”.

They exude the inner and outer spirit of the real thing, from the costumes, instruments, Scouse charm and, of course, that unmistakable era-defining, Liverpool-born sound. Their show wonderfully flows from the ‘Mop Top’ hits of Beatlemania, through the psychedelic creativity of Sgt Pepper to the melodic wonder of the Fab Four’s later work.

Steven said: “We can’t wait to play Southport – The Atkinson is a brilliant venue and the audiences are always up for a great night.

“As for everyone, this last year has been incredibly difficult. Our 2020 World Tour was postponed and not being able to go and play shows has been so frustrating.

“But live music is back at last and so we thought what better way to celebrate than to create the ultimate feel-good night by playing, for the first time, every Beatles’ Number One in the same show.”

Mark added: “That’s 17 chart-toppers – from 1963’s From Me To You to 1969’s The Ballad of John and Yoko – played totally live, as they should be, plus many, many, more Fab Four hits.

“We’ll play around 40 songs in the show so it’s going to be a brilliant night for Beatles fans. My advice is bring your dancing shoes!”

Final tickets for The Mersey Beatles at The Atkinson, on Saturday September 4, are available now from theatkinson.co.uk or by calling (01704) 533 333

Tens of thousands enjoy brand new Southport Market in just 48 hours

More than ten thousand excited and hungry customers passed through the doors of the brand new Southport Market in its first 48 hours of opening.

After much excitement, Sefton Council opened the doors of the refurbished £1.4m Southport Market on Thursday, July 22 and immediately traders were made to handle the heat of what is the North West’s latest place to be for good food and drink.

In fact nearly 15,000 tasty treats, from wood fired pizzas to mouth watering bubble waffles, were served up to customers in the first 48 hours of the market’s launch, as thousands descended on the resort’s market quarter for a taste of the action.

Gavin Williams and James Kennedy, co-owners of Allotment; one of the ten stunning food stalls in the new look market, said they were delighted to be firing up the grills and serving up a selection of burgers, hot dogs and loaded fries meals.

Gavin said: “The council have been phenomenal and the market is already buzzing! I am sure this is the start of something amazing for Southport.

“We chose to be a part of the market after walking into the building for the first time and became instantly struck by how spectacular it looks.

“It is a real eye catching site and we know it will draw in so many people to the town.”

James added: “The investment that has been put into the market is fantastic and it is something that is completely different and we are very excited to be a part of it.”

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “It’s no surprise that already we are seeing tens of thousands of people visiting Southport Market in its first few days of opening.

“Across the region word is spreading quickly about the market and we cannot thank our incredible traders, bar team and council staff enough for all the hard work that has been put into making this a reality.

“We look forward to welcoming even more people through our doors this coming weekend!”

Southport Market’s opening hours:

Mon and Tue closed
Wed 10-10
Thursday 10-10
Friday 10-11
Sat 10-11
Sunday 10-8
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Doors open on North West’s newest food & drink gem

Pizzas were baked, pies rose and ice creams were scooped as the first customers of the brand new Southport Market enjoyed its launch yesterday (Thursday, July 22).

Hundreds of Sangdrounders and tourists visited the refurbished market to sample mouth-watering delights and delicacies from around the world, with ten stalls and traders, as well as a feature bar and drinks space, to choose from.

Incredible mix

Southport Market is the North West’s newest food and drink experience. It combines an incredible mix of local talent from across the resort and an array of international delicacies at the heart of the town’s revamped market quarter.

The £1.4m scheme, which is a early success in Sefton Council’s Covid-19 recovery plan for Southport, also features a flexible events area able to host high-quality pop-up markets along with other events.

Outstanding venue

Cllr Marion Atkinson said: “Our new Southport Market is an outstanding venue that represents Sefton Council’s strong appetite for success.

“The wide range of high-quality food and drink on offer complements the rejuvenation of the market quarter and wider Southport town centre.

“Not only is this a much-needed addition to the hospitality on offer in Sefton but it also generates local jobs and provides a further boost to the economic fortunes of our Borough as we look to bounce back post-pandemic.

“Southport Market has something for everyone and already we have seen hundreds of happy diners and drinkers as we welcomed people here for the first time.

“Every single trader comes to the market with a passion and desire to succeed and we are incredibly confident Southport Market will very quickly become one of the North West’s best food & drink gems.”

Southport Market’s opening hours are

  • Wed 10-10
  • Thursday 10-10
  • Friday 10-11
  • Sat 10-11
  • Sunday 10-8

It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

For more information visit www.southportmarket.com

Southport Town Deal

In May, it was announced that Southport would receive £37.5 million of Town Deal funding from the Government.

The key themes of the town’s Investment Plan are

  • Marine Lake Events Centre – transforming the existing Theatre and Convention Centre into a high quality, distinctive entertainment and business events venue.
  • The Light Fantastic – UK’s first light, water and sound show created in the Marine Lake.
  • Enterprise Arcade – refurbished Crown Buildings space for new business incubation and the town’s emerging creative, digital and tech sector.
  • Les Transformations de Southport – turning the streets that inspired Paris’s famous boulevards into high-quality public spaces, connected with an accessible and well-connected transport network
  • Building Better Customer Experience – to pull all these developments together and extend an even further welcome.

Find out more about the Southport Town Deal.

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