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January 2018
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March 2018

Bike & Go offers free book with every sign-up to mark World Book Day

Leading bike hire scheme Bike & Go is offering every new subscriber a brand new best-selling fiction book worth up to £10 on World Book Day this Thursday

BikeandGoBooksFor 24 hours on March 1, each person to take out an annual subscription, which allows up to two bikes at a time to be hired from participating train stations including Formby, Ainsdale and Southport, will receive a new paperback by a critically acclaimed author.

The range of titles to be sent out at random includes Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Sunday Times Bestseller Gail Honeyman, and Lullaby by Leila Slimani.

The books are being given away to mark the benefits that reading, like cycling, can bring to mental health, including reduced anxiety, increased self-esteem, and a sense of escapism.

Users will receive their new book through the post and, unlike the bike rentals, they don’t have to be returned.

David O’Leary, Bike & Go director, said:

“Cycling and reading have both been proven to have a positive effect on health and wellbeing, which is why we’ve decided to offer this 24-hour World Book Day giveaway to new subscribers.

“Whether braving the cold now or waiting for the temperatures to rise later, we want to give all Bike & Go users the opportunity to hire a bike, cycle to somewhere cosy and take some time out to relax with a good book.

“Our users don’t even need to return the bikes to the same place. So if they enjoy a bike ride, spend some time reading, then find themselves too engrossed in their book to cycle back again, they can simply leave the bike at another Bike & Go facility and catch the train home, enjoying some added reading time while they travel.”

Bike&goWorldBookDayBike & Go offers bike hire facilities from 21 participating train stations across the Merseyrail network, including Liverpool Central, Moorfields, Aigburth, Southport, Ormskirk and West Kirby, in addition to a further 49 participating train stations across much of the North West, North East and Yorkshire, East and South East of England, and Scotland.

In 2016 the scheme was praised by a UK division of the travel giant TripAdvisor when it was included in a list of the top seven bicycle hire companies drawn up by its subsidiary rental company Holiday Lettings.

To hire a Bike & Go bike, users simply need to register their card details online, which they can do via smartphones, tablets, or at home, and pay the annual £10 subscription fee. They will then receive a user number via email which will allow immediate bike hire – usually charged at just £3.80 per 24 hours up to a maximum of 72 hours - while they wait for their Bike & Go membership card.

Sefton Citizen’s For Good scheme

Nominations now open for Sefton Citizen’s For Good scheme

Nominations are now being accepted for the third round of a major scheme that recognises Sefton residents who make a difference to life in their local communities.

Citizens 4 Good was successfully launched last summer as a joint initiative by Sefton CVS and the Mayor of Sefton’s office.

The scheme aims to highlight the good deeds, support and kindness that local people show to other members of their community.

“However, we know there are plenty more people out there who deserve recognition. We want to encourage people to nominate any Sefton residents they know who have made a difference to their community.”

(Mike Howlett, Sefton CVS Volunteer and Citizenship Lead)

For all the details

Sefton4Good logo

Sefton residents urged to ‘keep warm, keep well’

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG have joined Sefton Council in encouraging people in Sefton to ‘keep warm, keep well’ over the next few days as severe low temperatures and bitterly cold wind are forecast from now until the weekend.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings across the North West, and although Sefton isn’t currently expected to see any snow over the coming days, that doesn’t lower the risk of freezing temperatures.

People over the age of 65, pregnant women, people with a long-term health condition and very young children are amongst those who most at risk from the cold weather. The NHS offers advice on how to keep you and your family well at home including:

- heating your home to at least 18C (65F)

- draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts

- get a flu jab, if you haven’t already had one

- wear several layers of clothes to maintain body heat

- have at least one hot meal a day and have hot drinks regularly

- keep moving and active

- seek advice from a pharmacist if you are feeling unwell, even if it’s just a cough or cold

- check in on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they are safe and well



Debbie Fagan
Debbie Fagan

Debbie Fagan, chief nurse at the CCGs, said:


“This week looks like it could be one of the coldest we’ve had for some time so it is important for people to prepare. It can be difficult to stay warm in these kind of temperatures and if you know someone who needs help, please do take the time to look in on them over the next few days.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:

“With temperatures predicted to drop below zero this week, it’s important for residents to make sure that they are prepared for the cold.

“If you’re in good health and able to get about please check in on elderly relatives, neighbours or those who may be living with dementia to ensure they are warm enough and have everything they need at home.”

For more advice on how to ‘keep warm, keep well’, please visit the NHS Choices website:


Good rating shows progress for Sefton diabetes care

Care standards for patients with Type 2 diabetes in Sefton have been rated as amongst the best in the region after a report by independent inspectors. Both NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG were rated as ‘Good’ by the National Diabetes Audit (NDA), one of the largest annual clinical audits in the world

Sefton residents on the National Diabetes Prevention Programme

This is the first year that the NDA has been compulsory, requiring all GP practices to report on 8 different measures of care quality. The results represent a further improvement for the two CCGs who signed a pledge to improve care for people with diabetes in February 2016. The pledge, put forward by national charity Diabetes UK, included a commitment to help more people with diabetes to maintain healthy blood glucose levels, crucial in managing the condition and avoiding complications such as diabetes-related amputations.

The following year, the CCGs established a diabetes improvement group and also secured funding from NHS England for a pilot of the National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP), the first nationwide initiative of its kind anywhere in the world.

The NDPP involves a structured education programme where people learn about how they can reduce the risk of contracting diabetes by changing their lifestyle. Since being launched in Sefton, 725 people have started on the programme with 65% losing an average of 3.2 kg and a reduction in waist circumference of 3.4cm. Diabetes accounts for around 10% of the annual NHS budget with spending currently at around £8 billion a year.

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair, said:

“These results represent two years of hard work to improve the care available for people either at risk from or living with diabetes. Diabetes is a growing problem, not just here in Sefton but all over the country, and we will be continuing our hard work to ensure people get the advice and support they need to reduce the risks associated with this disease.”

Yvonne Browne, Diabetes UK Influencing Manager for the North West, said:

“We are pleased to see NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG working to improve the quality of diabetes care. We look forward to seeing improvements continue and to working with the CCGs to ensure better services for people living with diabetes in the local area.”


Great Snowstorm

Are we ready for the 'Beast from the East?

According to all the weather forecasts Formby is going experience a rare snowstorm. It's some time since the last appreciable snowstorm, but when it came, it transformed the appearance of the Town.

On other earlier occasions, I can remember how the melting snow froze when the temperatures plummeted again and left long ice ruts on the surface of the road. Once your car wheels were in them, you could release the steering wheel and experience the first taste of self-driving cars.

Here's a story of heavy snowfall in January 1941 that caused the closure of railway lines around Formby because of it.


Rail track in snow 2While not so severe or protracted as the great snowstorm and frost-grip of a year ago, the downfall experienced by Merseyside, North Wales, and more or less the whole country early in January caused widespread dislocation of traffic and business and damage to water systems, domestic and otherwise. For those who suffered most there were the consolations that the rigours of the weather normally caused a lull in the “blitz,” that the trials were of comparatively short duration, and that, thanks to the lessons learned last year, methods adopted to keep traffic routes open were applied promptly and with good effect.

The lowest temperature reported by Bidston Observatory was only five degrees of frost during one night, and the fall of snow was officially estimated at between three and four inches.

It drifted deeply in many places, however, and the L.M.S. line beyond Hoylake was closed for some time,as also was that round Formby on the electric line to Southport.

While in the suburbs snow was nearly a foot deep along a great many streets and roads, and banked high against the sidewalks, remaining for some days a great hindrance to foot and vehicular traffic, in the city it was quickly converted into appalling mess of chilling grey-brown "porridge,” and every passing car threw a shower of filth.

Air raid precautions gumboots came in very useful for those who had them, and there was a great run on goloshes and waterproof trousers....
Numerous villages, becoming completely isolated, could not be reached by either newsboy or postman, and at number of points milk vendors had their rounds much restricted.

After a gentle thaw, snow came down again during the night, rendering conditions still more unpleasant, but the next day was a day of rapid thaw, and the rumble and the thud of snow falling from roofs here and there and the accompanying and more disconcerting sound of water falling from split cisterns and pipes

(Source: Liverpool Daily Post - Tuesday 28 January 1941)

I wonder whether Merseyrail will manage to counter-act the effects of some 'disruptive snow'. I guess all of us are looking forward to the next few days with a mixture of feelings, it all depends on your point of view.