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World Immunisation Week is opportunity to ensure you are up to date with all vaccinations says Sefton Health Chief

Margaret Jones, Director of Public Health in Sefton
Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health

As World Immunisation Week gets underway Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones is urging people across the Borough to ensure they are up to date with their routine vaccines. 


She said: “Over the past few years as a result of COVID, vaccines have been very much in the limelight and quite rightly so as during the pandemic they have saved many thousands of lives.

“It is now important that we think about all those other vaccines that provide us with day-to-day protection from serious illnesses and suffering.

“That means checking that we and, importantly, our children are up to date on the routine inoculations. The ones that protect us from serious diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and hepatitis which, thanks to vaccines, have largely disappeared in our country.

“But for some of us it also means making sure we have had all the vaccinations against COVID, which is still about, including the latest third primary doses for those people who are immunosuppressed.”


With one in ten children in England not up to date with their vaccinations and at risk of becoming seriously unwell, this World Immunisation Week (24-30th April), the NHS is encouraging people to make sure they are up to date with their routine vaccinations at all life stages.

In particular, the NHS is asking all parents to check if their children are up to date with their MMR vaccines to protect them against measles, mumps and rubella. To become fully protected, children need two doses, the first at age one year and the second at 3 years 4 months.

Rare complications

The World Health Organisation (WHO) have predicted a rise in measles cases across Europe in 2023, making it more important than ever to make sure that your child is fully protected. Measles can make a child seriously unwell and can lead to pneumonia   and other rare complications such as blindness and brain damage.

To make sure your children are up to date check your child’s red book or GP records and make an appointment to catch up any missed doses.

For more information on the NHS vaccination schedule, people should visit

Saving lives

Margaret Jones added: “After clean water, vaccination is the most effective public health intervention in the world for saving lives and protecting good health.

“People can check whether their child is up to date with their vaccinations by looking in the child’s red book or contacting their GP.”

Spring booster

People aged 75 years and older, residents in care homes for older people, and those aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system are now being offered Spring coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations.

COVID-19 is more serious in older people and in people with certain underlying health conditions. For these reasons, people aged 75 years and over, those in care homes, and those aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system are being offered a spring booster of COVID-19 vaccine.

The NHS is contacting those who are eligible for the booster, but people can also book online or visit a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site.

To book online, people should visit

People can find a walk-in vaccination site at

Living Well BusLiving Well Bus

The ‘Living Well’ bus service is returning to Sefton this month to offer eligible residents Spring booster jabs as well as the chance to catch up on first and second COVID-19 vaccines for anyone who hasn’t had them yet.

On Friday 28th April, it will be at the former H Samuel unit, Strand Shopping Centre, Bootle  and on Wednesday 10th May, it will be at Lidl Car Park in Maghull. The bus will be open from 10:30am-4pm and no appointments are needed.

Free health checks will also be available.

Find out more about the Living Well bus visits.


Just over a week left to apply, for anyone who needs new, free Voter Authority Certificate as ID to vote at polling station

Advert telling people about the need for ID to vote at polling stations.Just over a week is left for anyone who doesn’t have the photo ID required by new legislation to vote at a polling station, to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. 

Applications must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.


Changes by the UK Government to the UK electoral system through The Elections Act, mean you will need to show an accepted form of photographic identification to vote at a polling station in the local elections on Thursday 4th May 2023.

If you are voting at a polling station on election day, Thursday 4th May 2023, you will need to show one form of photographic ID.. 

You can use any of the following:

  • a passport
  • a driving licence – including provisional license
  • a Blue Badge
  • an older person’s bus pass (it must state it is funded by the government – local travel passes cannot be used)
  • a disabled person’s buss pass
  • an identity card with Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) mark 
  • a biometric immigration document
  • a defence identity card
  • certain national identity cards

You can find the full list of accepted forms of photo ID here.

Voter Authority Certificate

If you do not have photo ID from the accepted list above, you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate but applications must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.

 To apply you will need:

  • a recent, digital photo of yourself
  • your National Insurance number;

and you will need to be registered to vote. 

Apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate here.

You can register to vote here (deadline 4:59pm on Monday 17th April). 

If you are not able to apply online or would prefer to receive a paper application form, please contact Electoral Services on 0345 140 0845 or email


The deadline for applications for Voter Authority Certificates is 5pm on Tuesday 25th April, but please apply as soon as possible if you do not already have an accepted from of photo ID. 

Postal Voters WON’T be affected by this change.

Postal Votes

If you don’t want to go to a polling station or would struggle to get to one on Thursday 4th May, you can vote by post.

You can apply for postal vote because you’re away on holiday or because your work schedule means you can’t get to polling station.

You can also choose to vote by post simply because it would be more convenient for you.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote for the May 2023 elections is 5pm on Tuesday 18th April

Apply for a Postal Vote here.

Proxy Votes

If you can’t make it to a polling station and do not want to cast your vote by post, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you.

This is called a proxy vote and the person casting your vote is often referred to as ‘your proxy.’

If you nominate a proxy, the person you choose to vote on your behalf will need to show their own photo ID to cast your vote. They will not need to show your ID.

The deadline to apply for a proxy vote for the May 2023 elections is 5pm on Tuesday 25th April.

Apply for a Proxy Vote here.

Visit the Sefton elections webpages. 

Sefton business networking group for financial and professional sectors relaunched this month

Net Zero event at Formby Hall, hosted in partnership by InvestSefton and Liverpool John Moores University.
Net Zero event at Formby Hall, hosted in partnership by InvestSefton and Liverpool John Moores University.

‘Professional Sefton’, the business networking group previously known as the Financial & Professional Forum, is being relaunched at Southport & Birkdale Sports Club, at 8am on Thursday 27th April.

Free event

Organised by the Council’s InvestSefton team, ‘Professional Sefton’ brings together the financial and professional sectors, which are well represented in the Borough. The free event, which includes breakfast, is open to Sefton’s financial and professional businesses including accountants, solicitors, estate agents and surveyors.

Mark Borzomato, Chief Executive of River Capital (formerly the Merseyside Special Investment Fund), has been invited to make a presentation at this meeting. River Capital Limited is a Liverpool-based fund management business. Mark will be explaining its strategy for supporting business across the City Region and providing an overview on the range of products and services currently available to businesses.

Initiatives, support and funding

April’s ‘Professional Sefton’ will also be an opportunity for InvestSefton, Sefton Council’s Business Support and Inward Investment Service, to highlight any initiatives, support and funding that might be of interest to local businesses and their clients.

Anyone wanting to book free places at ‘Professional Sefton’ should call Dom or Sharon on 0151 934 3452 or email

Before COVID, InvestSefton hosted the Financial & Professional Forum network events twice a year. Gatherings were well-attended and regularly attracted attendees from over 50 local businesses.

‘Health is Wealth’

Representatives of more than 30 local businesses attended InvestSefton’s recent ‘Health is Wealth’ workshop, organised by InvestSefton Sefton and PACT Mantality.

InvestSefton, partnered with PACT Mantality, a Sefton based businesses, to deliver the event. ‘Health is Wealth’ was an informative and insightful workshop focused on improving mental health.

Held at the recently renovated Maghull Cricket Club, the workshop was led by Pact Mantality’s Paul Garrigan and Carly Skelly. Its aim was to provide local business leaders with ways of benefiting their personal and professional lives as well as their companies and their workforces.


Paul is passionate about creating mental wellness for others after struggles in his own personal and professional life. He has worked with leading experts covering mental health, trauma and human development. He has also learned from doctors and other specialists to develop courses for his business to deliver.

As well as working in the NHS as a paediatric nurse, Carly is a professional boxer who has competed at the highest level. She is the current WBC bronze champion. She has immersed herself fully in the health and well-being industry, studying mental wellness and trauma-related holistic therapies.

Paul and Carly are currently receiving support from InvestSefton to help them grow their business as well as looking to help other businesses and to promote how good mental health can benefit both employees and employers.


After the event, Paul said: “As PACT Mantality, we believe very strongly that good mental health in the workplace and good management go hand-in-hand, a view which is shared by the InvestSefton team. ”

Carly said: “High levels of mental health wellbeing in the workplace tend to result in organisations being more productive and more profitable as well as being better able to retain staff. 

“It was great to speak to so many Sefton businesses, to pass on our views and advice and hear their response.”


Stephen Watson, Sefton Council’s Executive Director of Place Economic Growth and Housing said: “I am pleased we have been able to work with PACT Mantality, a business that is itself being helped by InvestSefton, to organise this beneficial event for other local businesses.

“It is important that we all think about our mental health in the workplace and the recent ‘Health is Wealth’ workshop made that very clear and provided some good insights on how we can look after ourselves and our employees.

“Now I’m looking forward to another busy event with the relaunch of ‘Professional Sefton’, later this month.”

Business support service

InvestSefton is Sefton Council’s enterprise, business support and inward investment service. It offers free information and advice and access to a wide range of services and is there to help any business, of any size, in any sector.

You can find out more  about Invest Sefton here.

As well as regular events such as ‘Professional Sefton’, InvestSefton also organises demand-led events. The topics for these are based on feedback from businesses and have previously covered Digital Marketing, Carbon Reduction, Branding and Access to Finance as well as a Meet the Buyer event for the construction sector.

A Marketing Workshop is planned for Thursday 18th May. 

Local businesses can book places and suggest topics for future events by calling InvestSefton on 0151 934 3452 or email

Grand National Travel Advice 2023 | All You Need To Know

Sefton is once again preparing to welcome thousands of visitors to the Borough for the three-day Aintree Grand National Festival later this month.

Sefton Council is just one of the agencies that will help thousands of festival-goers get to and from Aintree Racecourse as smoothly as possible throughout the weekend of Thursday 13th to Saturday 15th April.


Working alongside Merseyside Police, Merseytravel and several other partners, the Council’s traffic management team helps coaches, cars, limousines and even horse boxes get to the right place at the right time.

The teams also help residents who aren’t attending the festival, and businesses who are potentially affected by it, to go about their daily business with as little disruption as possible.

A number of diversions and traffic management measures will be in place throughout the festival’s three days including temporary road closures.

You can find Merseyrail’s Grand National timetable information here.


Local residents not attending the festival are advised to avoid the A59 Ormskirk Road from Switch Island through to the Black Bull junction.

Ormskirk Road, as well as Park Lane between Bridle Road and Ormskirk Road, will be closed between 4pm and 9pm on all three festival days. Heavy traffic is expected on the A59 from 10am – 2pm.

During the closure, traffic will be diverted via Switch Island, Dunnings Bridge Road, Netherton Way and Southport Road.


A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “The weekend brings thousands of racegoers, tourists and visitors to our beautiful borough and once again all eyes will be on Sefton as the home of incredible international events.

“We are working closely with partners to help keep the Borough moving during the festival and to keep disruption and delays to a minimum.

“People attending the race meeting itself are encouraged to use the Merseyrail network and alight at Aintree station.

“After racing finishes on both Friday and Saturday buses and taxis will be operating from Park Lane into Liverpool City Centre.

However, we would ask visitors who are in the region for a number of days to return to Sefton and explore our wonderful Borough and glorious coastline even further.”

Test of Government’s new, national Emergency Alerts system at 3pm on Sunday 23rd April

Government ad explaining Emergency Alert on Sunday 23rd April 2023At 3pm on Sunday 23rd April there will be a test of the Government’s new, national Emergency Alerts system set up to warn people across the UK if there’s a danger to life nearby.

What happens when you get an emergency alert?

In an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe. Your mobile phone or tablet may:

  • make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent;
  • vibrate;
  • read out the alert.

The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds.

If you receive an alert, it will include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.

Any alerts sent to you will be based on your location at the time and not where you live or work.

You do not need to turn on location services to receive alerts and the Government does not need to know your phone number or location to send you an alert.

Reasons you might get an alert

You may get alerts about:

  • severe flooding;
  • fires;
  • extreme weather

Emergency alerts will only be sent by:

  • the emergency services
  • Government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies.

This video shows more.


What you need to do if you get an alert.

If you get an alert, stop what you’re doing and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you’re driving or riding when you get an alert

  • Don’t read or otherwise respond to an emergency alert.
  • Find somewhere safe and legal to stop before reading the message. If there is nowhere safe or legal to stop close by, and nobody else is in the vehicle to read the alert, tune into live radio and wait for bulletins until you can find somewhere safe and legal to stop.
Remember, it is illegal to use a hand-held device while driving or riding.

If you cannot receive emergency alerts

If you do not have a compatible device, you’ll still be informed about an emergency. The emergency services have other ways to warn you when there is a threat to life.

Emergency alerts will not replace local news, radio, television or social media.

If you’re deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted

If you have a vision or hearing impairment, audio and vibration attention signals will let you know you have an emergency alert.

Switching off the Emergency Alerts system if you are experiencing Domestic Abuse

To avoid being put at risk, people experiencing domestic abuse, who for their safety have a secret or secondary mobile phone, are being advised to run off Emergency Alerts.

This is because the alert will play a sound even if the phone is on silent. The alert will play a loud siren and vibrate, and the phone will not be useable until the alert is acknowledged.

Refuge has made this video explaining how to turn off the emergency alerts on both Android and iPhone.

Alert languages

Emergency alerts will be sent in English. In Wales, they may also be sent in Welsh.


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