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This page last updated on 23
Council to open play areas again
SEFTON Council is now
confident it has the measures in place for its play areas to
start opening after being closed as part of nationwide
"lockdown" restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19.
Initially, the Borough's four largest and busiest play areas, at
Crosby Lakeside, Kings Gardens and Hesketh Park in Southport and
Botanic Gardens in Churchtown will be open by Saturday, 25 July
2020. Others will follow on soon after. In line with Government
guidance the Council's Green Sefton team is carrying out new
risk assessments for each site and considering how to apply the
guidance to minimise the risk of Coronavirus infection. At the
same time, these inspections are being used to identify any
faulty or damaged equipment, which will be removed or disabled
before re-opening. Children will have to be accompanied and
supervised by parents, guardians or carers while using play
areas. Groups should not enter play areas and each child should
have only one family member accompanying them. People are
expected to maintain a 2 metre social distance from anyone
outside their family or support bubble. And they are being asked
to restrict visits to ½ an hour at busy times and not return
for 2 hours, to allow everyone to have a turn. Parents,
guardians and carers should ensure their children's hands are
sanitised before and after using any play apparatus. They should
also clean or sanitise seats and handles before using the
equipment. People are asked to avoid touching their faces and to
cough or sneeze into a tissue or arm when a tissue is not
available to prevent risk of infection. Food and drink is not
permitted and visitors should take their litter home with them
or place it in a litter bin away from the play area.
"Throughout this ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, our priority has
been to protect all our residents, which is why we have been
carrying out this thorough process to ensure play areas can open
safely in line with the Government's guidelines. With over 100
sites, more than 2,000 pieces of equipment and a limited number
of staff this is a time-consuming process that will take several
weeks to complete totally. However, we are determined to put all
the measures in place to minimise the infection risk at each
location and are asking parents, guardian and carers to work
with us by following the guidelines to keep themselves and
others safe when they visit."
New signage is being erected at all playgrounds to remind users
of the measures designed to keep everyone safe. A limited amount
of equipment such as certain swings will have to remain out of
use for the time being to enable people to maintain social
distancing. Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for
Health and Wellbeing said:-
People should not use not use play areas if they or anyone they
live with has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive or if
they have been advised to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace
service. Cllr Moncur added:-
"As with each stage of the restrictions being lifted by
Ministers, Sefton Council is adapting its facilities and
services to meet the Government's guidelines but this needs to
be a measured and thorough process. And it needs to be one on
which the public works with us so we can re-open and recover
gradually and steadily and avoid risks to our friend and loved
ones as well as avoiding the setbacks faced in other parts of
New report reveals the obstacles holding back UK's ethnic
"moral and economic"
sense to support the 3 million workers who have missed out on
Government help during the Coronavirus pandemic, says a
Merseyside MP. Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson attended a cross
party meeting to discuss the plight of the
"excluded." The Excluded
UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which has over 240 MPs
in its membership, met this week and heard from workers who had
been left with no support during the pandemic. They include
those who began new roles after 28 February 2020, so were not
eligible for the Coronavirus job retention scheme, Company
Directors whose main income is from dividends, the Self Employed
who have done some PAYE work or been on maternity leave in the
past 3 years, self employed who had been earning over ₤50,000 a
year and freelancers, including in the creative industries,
whose income is from short term PAYE contracts.
Mr Esterson said:- "The 3 million have been left
high and dry by this Government. This could be as much as 10 per
cent of economically active people in the UK. If they are left
with no income, the knock on effect for the rest of the economy
will be huge. If they have no income, they are not able to
spend, and that is going to be a big hit to the economy."
The APPG meeting heard from two members of the public who had
been affected. Mr Esterson said:- "Tim and Julie
brought to life just how tough things are for families. They
have been incredibly brave. We must make the case for support
both from a human and an economic standpoint. Human, in support
of families facing real hardship. Economic, as the same families
buy goods and services. Excluded UK members need financial help
now and help finding new work longer term. Otherwise the
hardship will continue and the economy will be deprived of
spending power which will have a knock on effect on everyone
else. That's the case that the Chancellor must consider. Sadly,
the Business Secretary has stuck to the mantra that the
Government is supporting many businesses. It simply isn't good
enough of them to ignore Excluded UK members and the Government
has to have a rethink."
In the House of Commons on Tuesday, 21 July 2020, the Shadow
Business Secretary Ed Miliband raised the issue, saying:-
"The Excluded, include over 2 million people who are essentially
self employed, but have been disqualified from help under the
self employment scheme for various often arbitrary reasons. In
many cases, this is not simply rough justice, but deep
unfairness. Many of these individuals are not high earners. This
issue of 3 million people being excluded is not going away.
Yesterday, Make UK, the manufacturers' organisation, said that a
furlough extension was vital to prevent a "jobs bloodbath" in
aerospace and automotive. We see the looming threat too in
sectors that have not yet reopened, such as events and
exhibitions, and those operating well below capacity, such as
hospitality. Yet from next week, the Government are insisting
that every single employer, whatever their industry, will have
to start contributing to the furlough. Does the Secretary of
State not recognise that this decision to phase out the
furlough, irrespective of circumstances, risks handing a P45 to
hundreds of thousands of workers?"
Mr Esterson said he received dozens of emails from constituents
who have been affected, including Small Limited Company
Director, Mike Evers, from Thornton, who is an IT contractor who
usually works from home. He has been unable to secure any work
during lockdown and has had no support and could not be
furloughed as he is paid via dividends. Mike was 1 of 3 people
involved in starting a petition eventually signed by 348,000,
which was delivered to the Treasury on Wednesday, 15 July 2020.
Members of the campaign groups Excluded UK and Forgotten Ltd
were also in attendance.
Mr Evers said:- "For 37 years I was employed by the
same company in various roles in IT Management and Business
Transformation. I was made redundant and became self employed in
2013 and was advised by my accountant to set myself up as a
Limited Company because I would not secure contracts as a Self
employed Sole Trader. I was also advised to take a wage from the
dividend mechanism twice annually rather than regular monthly
PAYE, as the nature of my contract work was infrequent and
sporadic, i.e. not knowing if there would be sufficient
work/monies to support small regular monthly PAYE wages. I have
my accounts checked and submitted to HMRC and Companies House
annually. I currently pay 19% Corporation Tax, 7.5% Tax on
Dividends, plus 20% Personal Tax. I have never claimed anything
in benefits, ever; but when I have needed it most there has been
no support for me. I have been totally excluded by this
Government. And, there are millions like me in the same
position. We are the self-employed Forgotten Limited Company
Directors campaigning for the same support afforded to the self
Mr Esterson has written to the Chancellor to urge him to look
again at how the 3 million can be supported. He said:-
"These are the only workers who have not been helped by the
financial support schemes, they haven't had effective Government
support. It is having significant consequences now and it makes
the recovery much harder. There is also a moral argument to be
made as well, that they're the only ones that have not been
residents urged to donate face coverings to foodbanks
WITH face coverings
becoming compulsory in shops on Friday, 24 July 2020, foodbanks
across Sefton Borough are now accepting donations of face masks
or coverings in addition to other items. South Sefton Foodbank,
Southport Foodbank and Shoreline Foodbank are accepting
donations of face coverings using the Foodbank Collection Points
in local supermarkets and shops. Donations could range from
disposable masks to homemade coverings, which the Foodbanks will
then distribute to their users.
"People are incredibly generous in their donations of food and
toiletries to support the foodbank if amongst the things they
would like to donate to us they include face coverings this
would be really helpful. We realised that face coverings are not
always easy to find and represent an additional cost for people
who may already be facing financial challenges. By donating face
coverings you will be helping people to access the services they
need to support them at this time. We are reliant of the
kindness of local people to support the food banks in the North
and South of the borough. These are challenging times with more
people using the food banks for support, we cannot thank local
people enough for their ongoing generosity."
Debbie Shelley Manager at South Sefton Foodbank and Richard Own
Chief Executive Officer at Compassions Acts, said:-
Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while still
allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably. They can easily be
made from things people have at home like an old t-shirt, or by
simply tying a scarf or bandana behind your head. You can leave
a donation at your local supermarket at the Foodbank collection
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for
Communities and Housing, said:- "Many vulnerable
people in our communities are facing a number of issues and
worries at the moment so I am pleased to see this initiative to
help ensure masks and face coverings are available to everyone
across the Borough. I hope the people of Sefton will continue to
show the generosity they have throughout the pandemic and
remember to add masks or face coverings to their donations when
they visit the supermarket."
The True Impact of Covid-19 on the Event and Promo Staffing
RESPONDING to the
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Report on the
impact of Coronavirus on the Department's areas of
responsibility, Cllr Gerald Vernon Jackson, Chair of the Local
Government Association's Culture, Tourism and Sport Board,
said:- "It is positive that the vital contribution that
Councils' Cultural and Leisure Services make to our communities'
physical and mental health has been recognised. We have been
highlighting the perilous financial state that these services
are in, along with many independent cultural and sporting
organisations and are pleased with the Committee's
recommendation that Leisure Centres should be given financial
support before August 2020. Councils are working hard to support
as many of our key partner organisations as possible, but their
own services have been affected by loss of income, staff
affected by COVID-19, and the need to redeploy staff to help the
most vulnerable and the shielded. In light of the continuing
impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, particularly on tourism, we
agree with the Committee's recommendation that specific support
deals are continued, including workforce measures to support
freelancers and small companies. If funded properly, our
cultural and leisure services can play a critical role in the
nation's recovery and the Government should therefore urgently
consider these recommendations."
Total UK cases COVID-19 cases - update for Liverpool City Region
THE total number of UK
Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections that have been laboratory
confirmed, within the UK, has risen by
769 cases and the total
number now stand at
297,146, that includes tests carried out by
commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National
Daily number of COVID-19 associated UK fatalities added to the
total, was sadly reported to be
53 according to the Department
of Health. The total number of deaths of people who have had a
positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS
In England, there are a total of 255,740 confirmed cases. North
West - total of 44,678 confirmed cases. The number of laboratory
confirmed cases within the following Local Authorities, in and
around the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-
► Liverpool, 2,489 confirmed cases.
► Sefton, 1,549 confirmed cases.
► Wirral, 2,054 confirmed cases.
► St. Helens, 1,200 confirmed cases
► Halton, 697 confirmed cases.
► Blackpool, 1,038 confirmed cases.
► Blackburn with Darwen,
1,243 confirmed cases.
Under local lockdown
Numbers up by 20 cases.
► Bolton, 1,924 confirmed cases.
► Bury, 1,310 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire West and Chester,1,261 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire East,2,226 confirmed cases.
► Lancashire, 6,937 confirmed cases.
► Manchester, 3,068 confirmed cases.
► Oldham, 1,961 confirmed cases.
► Rochdale, 1,783 confirmed cases.
► Stockport, 1,665 confirmed cases.
► Tameside, 1,556 confirmed cases.
► Trafford, 1,317 confirmed cases.
► Wigan, 2,151 confirmed cases.
An urgent warning has
also been issued to residents in Pendle...
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