Councillor gets 50 penalty notices overturned in bid to encourage more work to restore Southport’s heritage

10th April 2018

Councillor gets 50 penalty notices overturned in bid to encourage more work to restore Southport’s heritage.

A campaigning councillor has called for more encouragement for businesses to restore Southport architectural heritage after getting 50 Conservation Area fixed penalty notices overturned.

Cllr David Barton said more leniency from Sefton Council, coupled with a drive towards partnership working, would lead to far more being achieved.

Since 2015, Cllr Barton, has worked alongside many of Southport’s leading contractors and key stakeholders to restore various pieces of Southport’s Victoriana, ranging from civic assets within the public sector to buildings in the private sector.

That has included the prized Victorian Verandahs along Lord Street to the upper tier fascia frontages incorporating the traditional style bay sill windows, gables and other decorative features.

nsg scaffolding ltd
Pictured Left to right Neil Wilks General Manager NSG Scaffolding Ltd Wayne Wallace Managing Director NSG Scaffolding Ltd Cllr David Barton Sefton Council Nicky Sinclair Team Leader NSG Scaffolding Ltd

Cllr Barton, who represents Dukes Ward, said: “A huge token of gratitude must go to everyone who has positively supported this highly successful campaign to date, ranging from local residents to local businesses and landlords that have in some cases become proactively involved by joining aboard the campaign at their own properties.

“I would at this time also like to remind critics of the need to positively and constructively support the local community as opposed to demeaning negativity which is neither in retail investors’ nor the true community’s best interests for the long- term.

“That includes the issuing of penalty notices for minor breaches when a policy of partnership working and encouragement will achieve far better results in the long term.

“In view of the recent increase in the Sefton FPN Fixed Penalty Notice for being in breach of the Conservation criteria, I would strongly recommend anyone who may have received such a letter forewarning of the potential enforcement action to get in touch so that I may assist with having this rescinded at the first possible instance, as I have done recently for a total of 50 stakeholders to date.”

Cllr Barton has produced a thorough guide of locally approved contractors who have all worked on Lord Street properties before with an extensive core knowledge, who have on multiple occasions teamed up to restore properties at a marked reduction.

He said: “Whilst many elements of my original guide have been since adopted by the council’s own subsequent version, theirs does not actually offer any substantial additional information, nor does it offer any direct support with appointing locally-sourced contractors or indeed joint partnership working to get the best value for the pound. For many long- standing family businesses and independents, this has so far been highly supportive for local long-standing independents and cases corporates alike.

“Where two or more stakeholders have utilised the same contractor from the approved checklist, this has allowed for far greater consistency, especially where a unique paint scheme is utilised, such as the signature gold leaf floral filigree and laurels that adorn The Wayfarers Arcade.”

Cllr Barton said free car parking has also been provided wherever possible to contractors whilst on site to facilitate improved working conditions, kindly provided by residents who have long supported his community conservation campaign.

He said: “As part of an ongoing campaign to support both property owners, incumbent and prospective investors and retailers I have always pursued the best possible and most simple methods to do this, which has included requests for greater leniency and conveniences for contractors, including financial reductions when applying for street works and scaffolding licences to encourage greater uptake of restorative and maintenance works.”

These proposals were raised at this year’s Sefton Council 2018 Budget meeting with a view to them being taken forward by the Local Authority.

Cllr Barton added: “It is essential that Southport maximises its fullest potential by harnessing the unique selling point of its proud Victorian Civic infrastructure and wherever possible.

“Seeking to adopt a more in keeping aesthetic may yet attract high quality retail outlets as once before.”

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