Sefton Council are working hard to keep all residents informed of the current situation with regard to COVID-19 and to let our communities know what is happening from a Council perspective.
The list below will be updated on a regular basis.
We have a dedicated page for information relating to schools and colleges during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please visit it here
An update on how we deliver services to our most vulnerable residents during this time can be found on the Adult Social Care page of our website
We ask local people to please be patient with our teams as services may take longer than usual at this time. Please don’t contact us about a missed bin until at least the day following your usual collection day and please give our teams extra time to get to your street.
Household waste recycling centres
Our household waste recycling centres are now open, for full details, please visit our dedicated webpage here
If you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for the Council Tax Hardship Fund. Find out more here
You may also be able to access the Council Tax Reduction Scheme during the Coronavirus pandemic, find out if you're eligible by visiting our 'Help With Your Council Tax' page here
We take the safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff seriously, and we are closely following advice from the Government and Sefton Council.
Sefton Libraries will temporarily close to the public from Tuesday 5th January 2020 until Lockdown restrictions are eased.
- All books, audio books and DVDs will be automatically renewed.
- Library members can access the Digital Library via the Borrowbox or RBDigital apps, for more information please visit - https://www.sefton.gov.uk/schools-learning/libraries/
- Where possible Home Visits Service, delivering books to our most vulnerable residents, will continue. The deliveries will be carried out by volunteers and library staff, following strict social distancing measures.
- If you wish to join the library, to access our digital resources, or if you have any queries please contact email@example.com
- Every Monday morning at 10.30am Digital Storytime, for toddlers, will be broadcast via our Facebook page.
You can keep up to date with our news via our website and social media pages;
- Facebook – Sefton Libraries
- Twitter - @seftonlibraries
We hope all of our customers and community keep well and look forward to welcoming you back once it is safe to re-open our buildings.
Thank you for your patience and understanding at this challenging time.
Public Facing Buildings
As the One Stop Shop provision for Southport is currently located within the Atkinson, this too will close. However, I am pleased that the Bootle One Stop Shop is able to remain open for taxi appointments only. All other enquiries will be handled online or via the Council’s contact centre.
Sefton@Work is open from Monday to Friday from 9.45am-4.15pm to see clients on an appointment only basis at the present time. Clients can still access support virtually and over the phone.
In response to the government’s lockdown rules The Atkinson will close to the public from 5 January 2021 until further notice. This includes the Box Office, Theatre, Studio, Museum, Galleries, Shop, Library, One Stop Shop and A Great Little Place cafe.
Further information on The Atkinson’s reopening details will be provided in due course. We take the safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff seriously, and we are closely following advice from the Government and Sefton Council.
We will continue to champion the enjoyment of arts, culture and heritage, where residents, visitors and communities can be entertained, inspired, continue learning and improve their wellbeing. You can keep up to date with our activity by reading our news page, following us on social media and by subscribing to our e-newsletter. We will continue to share ways to get involved, as well as content and stories from our collections and programmes. On our website, you can visit a selection of our exhibitions online in virtual reality.
Library members can use the digital Library service. All books currently on loan will be automatically renewed. For further information on Southport Library please visit the Sefton Libraries website.
The Box Office team will be in contact with customers awaiting refunds as soon as possible. theatkinson.co.uk/box-office
We look forward to welcoming you back into The Atkinson once it is safe to resume our programme.
Thank you for your patience and understanding at this challenging time.
Following the latest government announcement regarding national lockdown, all 6 Active Sefton Leisure Centres and activities within have closed from 5th January 2021 until further notice.
Outdoor sports venues, including tennis /basketball courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, park buildings and pavilions are also closed, along with grass roots sports (junior and non-elite) being suspended until further notice.
As it is so important to stay healthy and well during these times, we will be providing healthy living advices, hints, tips, and information on our online classes through our social media channels during lockdown
One FWB centre in each locality will remain open (see below) to support the facilitation of supervised contacts and to offer support to the most vulnerable
Marie Clarke – South Locality
Netherton – Central Locality
Talbot Street – North Locality
All face to face delivery and interventions will be postponed until we are in receipt of further Government guidance. Some doorstep and home visits will continue. On line delivery and virtual support will continue. Please visit our Facebook and Instagram pages for more information and to be kept up to date.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer continues to announce measures aimed at supporting businesses during the on-going Covid-19 outbreak. See what this means for your business and what financial support packages are available through Sefton Council.
To support local businesses through this extremely difficult time, Invest Sefton, the council's business and inward investment arm, has developed a dedicated Covid-19 business support section on their website, where you will find information on national and regional financial support and useful guidance.
Visit http://www.investsefton.com/ for more information.
Weddings and Civil Partnerships
From 19 July, the rules for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies; and wedding receptions and civil partnership celebrations changed. At Step 4:
- There will no longer be legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations).
However some venues may still limit the number of attendees permitted, in line with risk assessments and the venue’s safe capacity.
After reviewing its risk assessment, the Council is returning to a maximum of 50 people at Southport and Waterloo Town Halls. People attending will be encouraged to wear face masks while entering and leaving the venue. Rooms will be ventilated and hand sanitiser will be available.There are restrictions in place at Sefton Council chapels of rest. To find out more click here.
- Legal requirements for social distancing no longer apply and you do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with.
- Face coverings are no longer required by law in any setting. However, the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
- COVID-secure rules, including table service requirements and restrictions on singing and dancing, no longer apply. However, there are steps everyone should continue to consider to reduce the risk of transmission, which are explained in this guidance. All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance.
- If someone has been instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because they have tested positive for COVID-19, or they’re the close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must still self-isolate and not attend.
There are no legal limits on the number of people who can attend funerals or commemorative events. Those attending, arranging or managing such events should consider that it may be harder to manage the risk of spreading COVID-19 if spaces are crowded, and venue operators may choose to set their own limits.
Both Sefton Council's chapels, at Southport and Thornton, currently have a limit of 80 attendees.
We also allow for additional socially distanced attendees to pay their respects outside the chapel, where they join family and loved ones in a poignant tribute.
Those involved in arranging or managing such events should see the working safely guidance.
Keeping your distance and limiting close contact can help reduce the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19. People who are self-isolating or who are in quarantine following international travel may be present at a funeral where a legal exemption applies. Keeping a distance of 2 metres is strongly advised for those attending a funeral during their self-isolation or quarantine period following international travel.
COVID-secure rules, including table service requirements and restrictions on singing, chanting and dancing, will no longer apply. However, there are steps everyone should continue to consider to reduce the risk of transmission, which are explained in this guidance. All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance.
Face coverings will no longer be required by law in any setting. However the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas.
Registering Births and Deaths
Parking & Car Parks
All Councils car parks with the exception of the Southport Park and Ride are currently open
The authority however is not responsible, nor has any control over the operation of privately owned car parks.
Civil Enforcement Officers will be following all guidance on social distancing. These officers are providing a vital and much needed service to ensure our borough’s incredible emergency services and NHS staff are able to freely move throughout Sefton without obstruction.
We know the vast majority of our residents will appreciate that this is an important service and that our operatives are simply doing their job.
However we will not tolerate any abuse, either verbal, written or physical, towards officers who are simply carrying out their day to day duties.
An update on our Highways Maintenance service can be found here.
Renewing or applying for new Blue Badge
Due to high demand and the impact of COVID19 there is a delay in processing applications. We apologise for this delay.
If an applicant's Blue Badge has expired on or since the 1st February 2020, then we have instructed our enforcement officers not to enforce.
However, the badge must still be displayed and we can only guarantee that enforcement will not take place on Sefton's Highways and its own off-street car parks.
We cannot guarantee this for other Local Authority Areas, private car parks, Hospitals, etc.
If anyone with a Blue Badge which has recently expired has received a PCN since the 1st February, we would invite them to appeal.
Information relating to licensing at this time can be found here.
Citizens Advice Sefton's face to face drop-in advice service has been suspended until further notice. Face to face outreach services at Sefton's Jobcentres and One Stop Shops have also been suspended.
Customers can still use the telephone service to access support.
People who are showing no symptoms of Coronavirus can still currently attend Jobcentres for face to face support to make a claim for Universal Credit.
Help to Claim (Universal Credit application): 0800 144 8 444
General advice: 0344 493 0012 (Mon to Thurs 9.30am – 1.30pm)
Debt Advice: 0300 330 1196
Visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk for more information
From Monday 12th April 2021 the Sefton@Work Bootle office reopens from 9.45am -4.15pm. It is strictly on a pre-booked appointment only basis and not ‘drop-in’. Clients and those wishing to register can still contact the advisers on 0151 934 2610.
Sefton@Work's Employment Advisers remain available to provide information, advice, guidance and practical support to anyone in Sefton who is currently looking for employment and training opportunities or those who are currently worried about their job and potentially being made redundant.
You can get in touch with us in the following ways:
Telephone - 0151 934 2610 or 0151 288 6194
Live Chat: www.seftonatwork.net and click on the green circle on the bottom right hand corner.
Sefton@Work's Employer Liaison Team is still able to assist local businesses to find new staff and continue to provide a FREE service. Sefton@Work act as an intermediary between companies that need support to recruit new staff, and Sefton residents that are looking for work.
Sefton@Work will provide your business with a free, bespoke recruitment service that includes advertising, managing applications and pre-screening applicants.
You can get in touch with us in the following ways:
Telephone - 0151 934 2875 or 0151 934 2610
Live Chat: www.seftonatwork.net and click on the green circle on the bottom right hand corner
Sefton Community Learning
Sefton Community Learning Centre will remain operational although the Centre at Cambridge Road will be closed, as tutors will be preparing to support students remotely during these times. Tutors will be contactable for advice and or support on 0151 934 4546 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sefton Community Learning Centre are currently creating new courses that can be delivered remotely and will provide updates when available.
NEET Reduction Support - Career Connect
Are you 16-18? Live in Sefton, on an Apprenticeship and furloughed? Career Connect on behalf of Sefton Council are currently carrying out calls to our Young Apprentices to offer support during this challenging time. Our specialist team are here and an adviser can help you make sense of things. If you are not in education, employment and training we can also help you by keeping in touch and providing support to develop your employment skills, update your CV and explore options for the future. Don’t wait for us to call you, call us now on 0151 944 6100 to request a call back or email email@example.com Parents of young people who are concerned about them are also welcome to call this line!
Career Connect staff will continue to provide information advice and support to young people and will endeavour to provide as full a service as is possible by using all available technology. This will include support for young people Not in Education Employment and Training, school leavers and parents all by virtual appointments.
For more information contact:
07811205523 - Maghull, Crosby, Seaforth and surrounding areas
07800885562 - Southport, Formby, Ainsdale and surrounding areas
Until further notice only serious housing-related complaints of disrepair in privately-rented properties will be inspected by Council Officers. (Please see below for examples)
Customers should contact their landlord (or agent) to report any urgent disrepair in the first instance. They should do this in writing (email, text conversations, or letter with proof of postage) before they make a complaint to Sefton Council.
Council Officers will not action any housing disrepair complaint unless they can provide proof of this and at least 28 days has passed since the initial contact was made. Please note that officers may decide not to visit and inspect properties but ask for photographs of disrepair if these can be supplied electronically.
Due to the ongoing situation, repairs by your landlord may take longer than normal to be carried out.
Any resident who is self-isolating, or over 70, or has underlying health concerns must inform their landlord before any contractor attends their home to undertake works.
Examples of when an inspection by a Council Officer may be deemed necessary at this time:
- There is a duty to inspect because, for example, there is an imminent risk to a tenant’s health due to a serious hazard.
- A serious hazard was previously identified and may still exist.
- The local authority has been made aware that a tenant is vulnerable and it is not clear if they are aware of the presence of hazardous conditions.
This list is not exhaustive and should not be treated as conclusive.
However, it might not be possible to inspect a property if tenants are self-isolating or refusing to allow access. It may be that the Council will look at the following as a way forward in such cases:
• A decision may be made to de-prioritise lower-risk hazards.
• An assessment could be made through photographs, video or live broadcasting by the tenant.
• In cases of very serious risk, the effective use of maintaining strict separation to facilitate an inspection should be very carefully considered, taking into account government guidance and the local authority’s own health and safety policy.
• In cases of extremely hazardous conditions, alternative accommodation might be considered as an alternative to emergency remedial action.
The suggestions above are not exhaustive and all decisions will be made on the merits of the individual case and an assessment of risk.
During this unprecedented time the local housing authority will only take the enforcement action that we determine is necessary. A pragmatic and risk-based approach to enforcement action will be taken. All decisions will be made on the merits of the individual case and based on an assessment of risk and the latest government advice around the outbreak.
If you are homeless, or at risk of homelessness during Covid-19, our Housing Options Team will be working differently. See how you can access their support here
Building and Planning Services
Following the recent government announcement in response to the coronavirus outbreak, we have had to make some changes to the way we work. The Planning Service is continuing to operate as effectively as it can under the circumstances, however our goal is to maintain business as usual.
At this time we ask that everyone observes the Government guidance on social distancing in relation to officers carrying out their duties.
We are no longer able to offer a face to face reception service at Magdalen House.
For all building control issues including advice and guidance on building works and to book inspections, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are notifying us of dangerous structures and vacant and insecure premises please email email@example.com . If you are notifying us outside business hours please telephone Sefton ARC on 0800 622 6107.
Payments - To make payments for building regulation applications please use www.sefton.gov.uk quoting the reference or address of the property. Please can you email firstname.lastname@example.org to notify us of the receipt number once the payment has been made. This will help us to ensure there will be no delay in marrying up your payment with the appropriate case.
At this moment in time please make sure that documents are sent electronically.
For all planning enquiries please email email@example.com
Payments - To make payments for planning and related applications please use www.sefton.gov.uk quoting the reference or address of the property. Please can you email firstname.lastname@example.org to notify us of the receipt number once the payment has been made. This will help us to ensure there will be no delay in marrying up your payment with the appropriate case.
During the current lockdown period, we will visit application sites only where absolutely necessary to do so. To assist us with timely decision making, applicants and agents will be required to provide additional information, including comprehensive photographs, and in some instances videos of the outside and where necessary the inside of properties to assist us. If we consider a site visit to be essential and are unable to make a comprehensive assessment, we will not determine an application and the applicant/applicant's agent will be advised.
Site Photograph Guidance Note
As a general guide please can you provide the following site photographs of the site:
- Street scene showing the property in the context of the adjoining properties, including parking arrangements;
- Views towards the proposed development from the front rear and all sides
- Views towards adjoining or other properties abutting the site clearly showing the existing windows, materials and any level changes.
- An annotated block plan to show the location and direction of the photographs taken together with the reference number, address and date photo taken.
- Where considered appropriate a video may be requested;
- A declaration to confirm that the information submitted is correct and an accurate reflection of the site and its context.
Where the proposal involves highway works or other works or changes of use affecting the highway:
- 1 & 2 should be taken from 2.4m back from the carriageway edge in the centre of the access;
- A photograph of speed limit terminals in the vicinity of the site should be included;
- Please include anything extra that you feel will provide a fuller picture of the site context and surrounding area;
- An accompanying plan should clearly reflect the view of any photographs submitted.
Please be aware that any missing information may restrict our ability to fully assess your application and incur delays. In order to minimise any delays please provide as much information as possible including, but not limited to, the following:
- The speed limit of the road, and location of any changes in speed limit;
- Carriageway and footway widths of the surrounding highway network; and
- Level of visibility achievable from the access point, noting the vertical alignment of the highway must also be considered.
These temporary arrangements will remain in place until such time that the Government advises us that normal business arrangements can continue.
Making comments on applications
If you are making representations (i.e. comments) on an application, we can only receive these via our website or by email.
Delegated decision making will continue as usual. Further information how we will are running Planning Committee at this time can be found here.
Temporary Relaxation of Construction Working Hours on Development Sites
On 13 May 2020, the government published a written ministerial statement on planning and construction working hours. This statement expects local planning authorities to approve requests to temporarily extend construction working hours to ensure safe working in line with social distancing guidelines unless there are very compelling reasons against this. This statement has been followed by the Business and Planning Act 2020. Local Planning Authorities are expected to grant temporary changes to construction working hours until at least 9pm, 6 days a week (Mon-Sat), wherever possible and where construction working hours are controlled by planning condition. This flexibility is in relation to control imposed by the planning system only.
Details of how to apply to temporarily extend construction hours can be found here
Planning enforcement complaints
During this period Planning Enforcement complaints will only be investigated where there is evidence of significant harm.
General enquiries and queries
If you have a general planning query, please get in touch with Sefton’s Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845 (Option 4). You can find answers to the most frequent queries either on our Planning Pages[SM1] or on the Planning Portal, both these sites provide a range of planning information.
If you still need to contact us, you can email us at email@example.com , though there may be some delay in responding to you.
All search requests should be made via
Please email requests for Local land Charge Searches to firstname.lastname@example.org
Payments - To make payments for land charge searches please use www.sefton.gov.uk quoting the address of the property. Please can you email email@example.com to notify us of the receipt number once the payment has been made. This will help us to ensure there will be no delay in marrying up your payment with the appropriate case
Following Government guidance, we have resumed MOT's at our depot with some changes in place. Find out more here
Important changes to Litherland Walk-in Centre
In order to maintain patient and staff safety, Litherland Walk-in Centre is now operating a telephone triage and appointment system.
Open access will still be available to all, however to reduce the number of face-to-face consultations, patients will now be triaged over the phone based on clinical need.
Appropriate advice will be given on the call and where necessary, an appointment will be allocated at the walk-in centre. This telephone triage approach will be consistent with the model being used by other walk-in centres across Sefton and Liverpool.
The number patients are now advised to call before accessing Litherland Walk-in Centre is: 0300 100 1004 where they will also be screened for potential symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Those who only have Covid-19 symptoms will be directed to NHS 111. If you have Covid-19 symptoms and still require walk-in centre treatment for another problem (e.g. for minor injury) you will still be triaged and seen.
Active Workforce - “To improve the health & wellbeing of our employees”
Sefton’s Staff Health and Wellbeing service, Active Workforce, offers 11 companies across Sefton a health service for their staff with opportunities to increase activity levels, lower stress levels and improve staff morale.
The service has worked to adapt their programme to respond to the needs of the workforce and the impact of COVID-19, with the programme now being delivered virtually.
Full details can be found here.
How can I get in touch with Active Workforce?
To access the programme and receive updates on what is on offer to you, please complete the Active Workforce Registration Form.
For more information contact the team on 0151 934 2079 or email Active.firstname.lastname@example.org
Please take a look at our Green Sefton page for the latest information on our parks, open spaces and coast as well as outdoor sports and volunteering activities.
The following services have altered the way they work or the service they deliver.
Our Officers are currently working agilely from home to reduce non-essential travel. To reduce the risk of infection to residents and themselves, should they be required to enter into domestic premises, they will be expect you to undertake certain measures beforehand. Such as opening windows in rooms to be investigated, doors to permit them ‘free access’ without touching handles and doors etc.
Priority is being given to -
- Public Health Act Funerals
- Drainage complaints (blocked/defective or overflowing drains) etc.
- Serious and hazardous fly tipped waste.
Where possible requests for service will be initially investigated using telephone information and correspondence undertaken via email. Additional information such as photographs may be requested to assist in the assessment and investigation of a request for service. In circumstances where a visit outside a premise can be undertaken we would ask that all social distancing and good hygiene guidance is followed.
Pest Control officers are currently working agilely from home to reduce non-essential travel. To avoid the risk of infection to residents and themselves, they are not entering inside domestic properties and so are not able to respond to all requests for a pest control treatment.
As a result, they will treat:
- Rats and/or mice in Gardens and Sheds etc. where these can be accessed without entering inside the property.
- Where rat and mice activity is inside the property, home bait suitable for use by the occupier will be supplied following social distancing guidance. Advice and guidance on how and where to use this bait, to have the best results, will be provided via a telephone consultation and subsequently at the time of visit.
- Appointments will only be provided in the afternoon to enable officers to undertake telephone consultations.
They are unable to treat domestic premises for: