Community Services during Covid-19

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 have business continuity plans in place to ensure essential services, such as refuse and recycling, continue for our communities.
We are also utilising members of our street cleansing teams to assist with other refuse collection services.
We would also like to ask any residents who are self-isolating to ensure they dispose of any used tissues or hygiene products in a double bag and present it for collection within their grey bins as normal.
There is no need to arrange for a clinical waste collection for this type of waste.
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.
Household waste recycling centres
All of our household waste recycling centres are currently closed until further notice.
 

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 

Due to continuing guidance from the government on the COVID-19 situation, we have taken the decision to temporarily close our libraries, One Stop Shops and our Sefton@Work public facing buildings.
"The safety and health of our staff and residents is paramount and we have taken this decision in line with recent government advice to close both Southport & Bootle One Stop Shops, our Sefton@Work Hub as well as our six libraries across the borough until further notice.
“These services will continue to be delivered online and via telephone where applicable. For more information about services which have been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/communitycovid

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Following official government advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), The Atkinson is now closed to the public until further notice.

Click here for more.

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Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 Sefton Council have taken the decision to temporarily close our Leisure Centres.

This includes Dunes Leisure Centre, Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, Bootle Leisure Centre, Litherland Sports Park, Netherton Activity Centre and Meadows Leisure Centre.

All activities including swimming lessons are also suspended until further notice. This also extends to community based Active Sefton sessions and the Easter Be Active Programme.

As a result of Leisure Centre closures, all direct debit fees will be frozen for the full length of closure. If direct debit payments have just been taken, once the Centres reopen there will be no further payments taken until the closure period has been accounted for. Although we are unaware of a date, as an example, if centres are closed for 4 weeks, you will be able to access the centre for this duration before the next direct debit is taken. This will happen automatically so there is no need to contact us. 

For those who pay annually or for 3 monthly memberships, these will again be extended. 

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Due to reduced staffing we have taken the decision to rationalise our buildings.  From Thursday, March 19, Menai, Thornton, Litherland, Linaker and Cambridge Family Wellbeing Centres will close.  This will enable staff to work from other Centres and continue to deliver services.  All other Centres remain open at this time.

As from Monday, March 23, we will be further rationalising delivery of services from buildings. As such the following buildings will be open: Marie Clarke Family Wellbeing Centre (South Locality); Netherton Family Wellbeing Centre (Central Locality) and Talbot Street Family Wellbeing Centre (North Locality).

In addition, all group based non-essential activities in the Sefton Family Wellbeing Centres for the next month. This is to help support the Government’s delay phase of the COVID-19 response.

We will, however, continue to support our most vulnerable families at this time. Our Centres are still open and staff will be available for support however we ask that, where possible, you avoid coming to the Centre in person but contact us via telephone where our staff will be available to advise you.

We will also be posting regular updates via social media to keep you informed of any changes.

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Sefton Carers Centre have advised Young Carers are currently getting 1:1 support via Skype, text and phone and all parents have been contacted.
An interim policy of no home visits has been put into place and they must consult with a  line manager before attending external events, meetings or conferences.
No  youth group meetings will take place until further notice, and a communication has been sent to the parents of all Young Carers to keep them updated on the interim precautionary measures that may affect them.  

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced several measures aimed at supporting businesses during the current COVID-19 outbreak. See what this means for your business here

To support local businesses through this extremely difficult time, Invest Sefton, the council's business and inward investment arm, has developed the a dedicated Covid-19 business support on their website, where you will find information on financial support and useful guidance. 

Visit http://www.investsefton.com/ for more information.

 

Death registrations   

 From Monday 30th March all death registrations will be carried out by telephone. We will no longer carry out face to face registrations until the end of the current emergency period. Please contact the office on 0151 934 2011/2012/2013 for further information.

 

Sefton Register Office

The Register Offices at both Southport and Waterloo Town Hall will be closed until further notice.

Please do not visit the Register Office as we are unable to assist at this time

 

Weddings and Civil Partnerships

 All ceremonies booked at Sefton’s Town Halls and Approved Premises are cancelled until further notice.

 We will not be taking any new appointments for giving notice or provisional ceremony bookings until further notice.

 If you wish to postpone or cancel a ceremony you have booked please email your names, date and place of ceremony to registrars@sefton.gov.uk We will respond to your email as soon as possible. If you have already emailed we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

 

Registering a birth

 Following instruction from the Registrar General no further birth registrations will take place at present. You can claim child benefit and universal credit before the birth is registered.

 

Copy certificates

 If you wish to purchase a copy certificate from the Register Office please use our online service or apply by post. No counter applications will be accepted at the present time. Unfortunately we are unable to guarantee turnaround times for posting out certificates.

 

Coroners Services

 

The Coroner has taken the decision that all Inquests were witnesses are attending will be postponed until September 2020. 

 

We will try wherever possible to still list “paper” Inquests – this is when only the Coroner and Coroner’s Officer will need to be present in court and all evidence will be read out.

 

 

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There is currently a suspension to the following services:

 

  • Turning the book of remembrance
  • Scattering of ashes
  • Face-to-face services (please use telephone, mail and email)

 

 

 

 

Parking & Car Parks

Many Sefton Council car parks have remained open even during lockdown. With the exception of park and ride and multi storey car parks, all other council-run car parks will be open next week and charges will apply to these car parks and on-street parking.

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.

Moreover, we would not expect significant numbers using these car parks as the vast majority of our residents should be staying at home, in alignment with the national guidance.

 

Highways Maintenance

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.

More info:

/parking,-roads-travel/parking.aspx

 

Taxi Licensing

Information relating to licensing at this time can be found here.

 

For updates to public health services Sefton, visit the following webpage 

For information on any changes affecting Sexual Health Services please check the Sefton Sexual Health website 

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. 

Key contacts:

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

 

Sefton@Work

In response to the latest Government announcements, including measures on social distancing, Sefton@Work has decided to suspend face to face services, while maintaining remote services online and over the phone.

 

Residents

Sefton@Work's Employment Advisers are still 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

Email:  seftonatwork.info@sefton.gov.uk

Live Chat:  www.seftonatwork.net and click on the green circle on the bottom right hand corner

 

Employers

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

Email:  elt@sefton.gov.uk

Live Chat:  www.seftonatwork.net and click on the green circle on the bottom right hand corner

 Keep an eye out for updates on web and social media channels.

 

Sefton Community Learning

 As you will already be aware the Prime Minister announced on Wednesday evening that educational providers including colleges, will close until further notice.

Sefton Community Learning Centre will remain operational although the Centre at Cambridge Road will be closed from Friday onwards, 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 communitylearningservices@sefton.gov.uk

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 sarah.vaughan@careerconnect.org.uk   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

07837418241 Bootle Litherland Netherton areas 

07800885562    Southport Formby Ainsdale and surrounding areas

 www.careerconnect.org.uk

Housing Standards

Until further notice only serious housing-related complaints of disrepair in privately-rented properties will be inspected by Council Officers.

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 may take longer than normal to be carried out. 

Any resident who is self-isolating/over 70/has underlying health concerns must inform their landlord before any contractor attends their home to undertake works.

Thank you for your understanding and patience at this time.

Housing Options 

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.

Building Control

Submission of applications for building work can be done either by using the Planning Portal at www.planningportal.co.uk or by emailing building@sefton.gov.uk 

For all building control issues including advice and guidance on building works and to book inspections, please email building@sefton.gov.uk

If you are notifying us of dangerous structures and vacant and insecure premises please email building@sefton.gov.uk .  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 building@sefton.gov.uk 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.

Development Management

At this moment in time please make sure that documents are sent electronically.

For all planning enquiries please email planning.department@sefton.gov.uk

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 planning.department@sefton.gov.uk 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.

Site visits

At present, we are suspending site visits until further notice. The only exceptions are where there is a health and safety risk or potential danger, subject to safety precautions being guaranteed. This follows Government advice to limit travel to only that which is essential. We want to continue delivering services and making planning decisions where we can.

During this time, 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 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:

Planning Guidelines

  • 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.   

Decision making

Delegated decision making will continue as usual. We are working on alternative arrangements for considering those applications which would normally be reported to Planning Committee. This is likely to take the shape of a virtual meeting and we will confirm details on our website once finalised.

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  planning.department@sefton.gov.uk , though there may be some delay in responding to you.

Land Charges

All search requests should be made via

Please email requests for Local land Charge Searches to land.charges@sefton.gov.uk  

Payments - To make payments for land charge searches please use www.sefton.gov.uk quoting the address of the property.  Please can you email land.charges@sefton.gov.uk 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, there will be a suspension of MOTs to cars and light vehicles in Sefton Council's depot. Find out more here 

Important changes to Litherland Walk-in Centre

In order to maintain patient and staff safety, Litherland Walk-in Centre will move to a telephone triage and appointment system, with effect from today (1 April 2020).

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.

Our parks, coastal areas and other green spaces within the borough remain open, however we are strongly urging any visitors to follow social distancing guidelines at all times.

As a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak:

  • All play areas and outdoor gyms have been closed
  • All coastal car parks have been closed
  • All public toilets have been closed
  • Lifeguarding has been suspended at all beach sites

Residents are still currently permitted to go outside to exercise once a day, either alone or with people they live with. This should be somewhere within walking distance. Everyone should avoid congregating in groups and remain 2m away from others.

Green Sefton is also urging visitors to take rubbish and dog fouling home with them, as refuse collection and other maintenance will not be possible across all sites at this time.

If you see anything that requires attention in any of our green spaces, email greensefton@sefton.gov.uk. Green Sefton may not be able to commit as many resources to regular inspections during the COVID-19 outbreak, so visitors can play their part in helping us to maintain our green spaces.

The following services have altered the way they work or the service they deliver. 

Environmental Health

Our Officers are currently working agilely from home to reduce none essential travel. To avoid the risk of infection to residents and themselves they are not entering into domestic premises except in exceptional circumstances and so they are not able to visit  all requests for service that they receive.

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 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 exceptional 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

Pest Control officers are currently working agilely from home to reduce none 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 left at the front door and social distancing guidance will be followed. 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:

  • Fleas
  • Cockroaches
  • Bedbugs

Sefton Library Service is providing a wide array of useful services to residents remotely during Coronavirus.

Bookworms of all ages can immerse themselves in the latest literary titled, with Borrowbox, the UK's largest e-library, listen to a vast array of audiobooks using RBDigital or take that time you always wanted to explore your ancestry. You are also welcome to take part in the online reading group.

Little ones can also take part in a fun virtual Rhymetime!

Find out more here

 


Last Updated on 11 May 2020

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