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News Report Page 8 of 13
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Southport BID encourages people support local businesses safely in the run up to Christmas

PEOPLE are being encouraged to go out and support local shops, restaurants and other Southport businesses in the run up to Christmas, in a safe way. Southport BID is looking forward to seeing a number of local firms reopening their doors next week under the new Tier 2 restrictions after the national lockdown ends, on 2 December 2020. The BID has recently created the Southport Nutcracker Trail with 12 figures situated around the Town Centre to make venturing into the Town Centre an even more pleasant experience for people. People who post pictures on social media along with the hashtag #southportnutcrackers are in with a chance of winning a ₤50 Southport Gift Card. Shoppers will also be able to enjoy seeing Christmas decorations the BID has supplied throughout the Town Centre, including the tree in the Town Hall Gardens which creates stunning LED light displays and the features on the roundabouts at either end of Lord Street.  Southport BID has also launched the new Southport Gift Card, which is accepted in over 70 outlets in our Town, as a way of encouraging people to support local businesses.  Southport BID CEO Rachel Fitzgerald said:- "We are pleased to see so many shops, restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, hotels, bars and others in Southport being able to reopen in Tier 2 restrictions after the end of the national lockdown. Local businesses have made huge efforts to make their premises Covid secure and to give their staff excellent training so that people can feel confident in doing their Christmas shopping safely. Local retailers, restaurateurs and other business owners are doing everything to keep their customers safe and stores secure. I would like to ask people in Southport to play your part by please shopping responsibly."

Southport has placed into the less restrictive Tier 2 Covid restrictions after people worked hard to help bring down Coronavirus cases in the area in recent weeks. While Covid figures are falling, people are still being urged to remain cautious with any increase in cases the last thing anyone wants to see. Rachel Fitzgerald said:- "I would like to ask customers to please keep following all essential hygiene measures such as cleaning their hands, covering their faces when necessary, and making space for others. Southport's shops, restaurants and others are looking forward to welcoming you all back. Local businesses are safe and open so you can enjoy Christmas shopping safely. Retailers in the UK have spent hundreds of millions of pounds making their premises safe for both customers and staff and are following all Government safety guidance. This is something Southport BID has worked on with local firms in recent months. Business owners have prepared well, putting in place screens, social distancing measures, additional cleaning, and other measures too. Local people have an important part to play too. Customers and colleagues should wear face coverings in stores, maintain social distancing and follow all necessary hygiene measures. They must follow safety advice inside and outside shops. Try to avoid peak times where possible. Please queue considerately, and respect our hardworking shop and restaurant workers. This year, more than ever, please start your Christmas shopping now, don't leave it all until the last minute! Everyone is doing their best, so remember to be patient and remember it's Christmas for retail colleagues too. Please support our local businesses in Southport this Christmas, and make sure you keep yourselves and others safe."

Sefton recognised for blooming marvellous commitment to gardening

BOOTLE, Crosby, Southport and Waterloo have all been recognised by the North West in Bloom despite the cancellation of this year's usual judging. Earlier this year it was confirmed that due to the ongoing restrictions with COVID-19, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) had decided to cancel judging for this year's regional in Bloom competitions.

However, residents across Sefton were not deterred by this news and when restrictions were lifted in June, volunteers returned to green spaces to showcase once again their gardening skills by maintaining flower beds and creating wonderful displays. As a result, North West in Bloom has shared certificates of recognition for the creativity and ingenuity shown despite such testing times.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:- "The Green Sefton team has been absolutely bowled over by the determination and commitment of our green fingered community groups and volunteers who've still created such wonderful displays this year. Not only do their continued efforts help to make our Sefton greener, but they also help to bring communities together making them stronger and happier. We've all enjoyed spending time outdoors, perhaps more than ever this year, and having passionate gardeners across our Borough looking after our valued green spaces has really enhanced our time spent out; who help co-ordinate North West in Bloom within the Borough; are encouraging green fingered residents to think ahead now to next year when it is hoped the North West in Bloom competition will go ahead. Anyone interested in becoming involved can email:- Green.Sefton@Sefton.Gov.UK."

For more information on taking a more active role in community gardening, the RHS has lots of helpful resources, simply visit:- RHS.Org.UK.

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