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Sefton Council joins Merseyside message to stand strong on stay at home guidance

Sefton Council, along with local authorities across Merseyside, is calling for members of the public to remain vigilant and continue to stay home as much as possible, in light of national changes to the UK’s Coronavirus response.

The move comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an easing of the UK lockdown, due to the nation’s ‘R value’ (the reproductive number or rate of infection of the virus) dropping below one transmission per COVID-19 case.

According to data gathered by Merseyside Resilience Forum’s (MRF) Intelligence cell, this is not the case for the Merseyside region which has a significantly higher death rate than England and the rest of the North West.

Serena Kennedy, Chair of Merseyside Resilience Forum, said: “Local authorities across the MRF are united in this call for the public and partners to continue to follow the stay at home guidance, as much as is possible.

“While infections and deaths are reducing, it appears that we are not coming down the other side of the epidemic curve as fast as other areas and regions.

“Easing of lockdown does not mean that we are through the worst of this and as ever, the health and safety of our communities comes first.

“Right now, we need to do more than stay alert, we must all continue to stay at home where possible and do our bit to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, together.”

The latest Government guidance states that everyone must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “I am urging all Sefton residents to continue to follow the national guidance and stay at home wherever possible.

“Some people may interpret the relaxing of measures to mean things are going back to normal.

“In the ‘new normal’, we must continue to stay at home as much as possible, to keep our distance from others when out and about and, if we show any symptoms of Coronavirus, we must self-isolate.

“I’d like to thank all of you for your continued efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, which I know have come at great physical, emotional and financial cost for many. We must continue to stay strong with these measures to ensure that our most vulnerable are protected.”

Find the latest guidance. 

Council following Government guidelines on opening Green Sefton facilities

In line with the government’s new guidelines unveiled on Monday, Sefton Council has re-opened outdoor tennis and basketball courts.

People wishing to use tennis courts need to book online.

To minimise the chances of infection, the Council’s Green Sefton team is asking visitors to the coast and to parks to take their litter home with them. The Council is also asking people to continue being its eyes and ears and to report any large gatherings to the police by dialling 101 or to greensefton@sefton.gov.uk

Published by the government on Monday 11th May, the guidance, says that from today people can take more outdoor exercise and that outdoor sports facilities, including golf courses can start to open.

Golfers are being asked to remain patient as the Council works out measures to ensure the safety of players and staff as courses re-open. The Government guidance states that people should only use them alone, with members of their household, or with one other person from outside their household, while keeping two metres apart at all times. The Green Sefton team hopes to have Bootle Golf Course, and Southport Golf Links open during the week commencing Monday 18th May, and will update people when details are known.

A Sefton Council spokesperson said: “Having received guidance from the government on Monday, saying that it will allow outdoor sports facilities to open on Wednesday, the Council has been looking at how it can achieve this across the board as soon as possible.”

“Although allowing facilities such as golf courses to begin opening, the guidelines in Monday’s 50-page document show that the Government is still putting an emphasis on social distancing.”

“Ensuring the safety for players and staff at our courses remains paramount and our teams have been working on plans that will enable us to re-open as soon as possible while also focusing on ways in which we can ensure we are following the government’s new guidance.”

Children’s playgrounds, outdoor gyms, dog areas and pavilions and buildings in parks will remain closed, as will outdoor sport pitches for team games such as football and rugby. However, these can be used for sunbathing and picnics but no barbeques. Bowling greens will also remain closed for the time being.

Although people can visit the coast, these locations sites are not able to cope with high level of visitors at this time. Beach car parks at Ainsdale and Southport will not re-open in the short term and public toilets will also remain closed to ensure social distancing and the safety of cleaning staff that would be required to clean them. All visitors to the coast must adhere to Government strict social distancing guidelines and barbecues are strictly not permitted.

Sefton Council is encouraging people to take advantage of the new guidance by visiting their own local parks and greenspaces rather than travelling longer distances. And, it is asking those people who do visit its sites to treat them with respect and take their litter home.

The spokesperson added: “We would remind that despite the minor changes announced on Sunday, the government is still stressing the importance of people staying at home except for the reasons it has specified. And that when people do need to go out, they should follow the guidelines on staying safe outside the home.

“These include maintaining your distance from people outside your household, keeping your hands and face as clean as possible, avoiding crowds, from being face-to-face with people outside your household and washing your clothes regularly.”

Find out more about Sefton’s Parks and Greenspaces

Register now for next Electric Vehicle Webinar Information Event

Sefton Council is holding a second Electric Vehicle Webinar Information Event at 2pm on Thursday 21st May in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust.

If you:

  • want to know more about electric vehicles;
  • are unsure if an electric vehicle can meet your needs

this event is for you!

It is a chance to learn about electric vehicles, including types, charging options and the financial incentives available. You can also learn about the benefits of choosing an ultra-low emissions car and have your questions answered by independent specialists from the Energy Saving Trust.

The event takes place on Thursday 21st May at 2pm. 

Register now.

 

 

Opportunity to take part in national COVID-19 research

University College London is running a study into the psychological and social effects of Covid-19 in the UK and is looking for people across the country to take part.

Over 80,000 people are already taking part in the study but University College is looking for more participants. They are looking for adults who are happy to take part by answering a 10-minute online survey now and then answering a shorter follow-up survey once a week while social isolation measures remain in place.

The results are being used to understand the effects of the virus and social distancing measures on mental health and loneliness in the UK and to inform government advice and decisions.

Get involved.

University College is also keen for people to spread the word about the study so tell your friends and family.  They have sent us the following FAQs about the project.

What happens to the data?
The data people provide are analysed anonymously (so people can’t be identified) and provided into weekly dashboards for cabinet office, wider departments of government (including DHSC and DfE), Public Health England, NHS England, and mental health organisations and charities.

In line with an ‘open science’ approach during the COVID-19 pandemic, the reports are also made publicly available for members of the public to see what is happening at www.marchnetwork.org/research.

The data are then being used to inform what advice is given to people, and what support is available, whether that is formal mental health service support or other support such as from telephone lines (such as Samaritans) and voluntary organisations.

The data are also being used to inform decisions such as the length of lockdown. These are all decisions that directly affect individuals’ daily lives, so taking part can give individuals a chance to say what challenges they are facing.

Is the study ethics approved and GDPR compliant?

This study has full ethical and data protection approved and is GDPR compliant, all hosted through secure servers and data safe havens. It is funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Nuffield Foundation (two of the largest scientific funders on medicine and society respectively).

Get involved.

Household Waste Recycling Centres to re-open from Monday 4th May 2020

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority has announced it plans to re-open Household Waste Recycling Centres from Monday 4th May. Along with its contractor Veolia, Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority will be implementing clear operating guidelines to ensure the safety of users and hard-working staff.

In Sefton Borough, the South Sefton site at Irlam Road in Bootle and the Southport site at Foul Lane will be open from Monday.

Restrictions and traffic management plans will be in place and the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority is currently working with Council Highways Departments and the Police on these.

The restrictions are:

  • sites will be open 8.00 am – 8.00 pm every day.
  • the number of vehicles allowed on site at any one time, which means queuing times will be significantly longer.
  • cars only – no vans, commercial-type vehicles or large trailers.
  • one person per vehicle (NB. Blue Badge holders will be able to be accompanied by one family member).
  • social distancing of at least 2 metres will be strictly enforced.
  • site employees will not be able to assist with unloading

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services said: “We know people will be pleased to see these sites opening but need to stress that they should only go along if it is really necessary or urgent.

“Also, to help us ensure we can manage the sites and ensure the safety of everyone, both visitors and staff, we are asking that if people do need to go to one of the sites, they pick a time through the week rather than all try to go along on Monday.”

Arrangements to ensure the Sefton sites at Maghull and Formby can be operated safely are still being finalised.

If anyone in a household has had Covid-19 symptoms, waste should be left for at least 72 hours before disposal and personal waste should be safely double bagged. These items should be placed in your normal bin collection if possible.

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority has thanked residents for their understanding and patience during this challenging time.

You can find out more from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority website and on social media @MerseysideRWA.

Details of local Household Waste Recycling Centres.

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