CLAIMS that volunteers carrying out Covid vaccinations at Aintree Community Centre are being evicted by Sefton Council have been denied by the local authority who say the move has been agreed so that other essential services can now be carried out at the venue.
The ‘licence to occupy’ agreement, which the council entered in to with Aintree Primary Care Network to run the scheme at the location, finished at the end of May, and has not been renewed.
One of the volunteers at the programme Jack Colbert said: “We were the first vaccine centre in Sefton and have been carrying them out since December. The programme hasn’t finished yet, so I think it is disgusting that we have to find alternative premises.
“How can we get back to normal if we haven’t finished administering vaccines?”
A spokesman for Sefton Council, however, said that Aintree Primary Care Network had given no indication that they wanted to extend the agreement and that it was now important to restore other services at the site.
The spokesperson said: “At the start of the vaccination roll-out programme, Sefton Council made every effort to accommodate a vaccination centre in the area and had worked closely with Aintree Primary Care Network to secure Aintree Community Centre as a temporary vaccination centre.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Sefton Council has not ‘evicted’ Aintree Primary Care Network, nor has it ‘cancelled’ the lease; the ‘licence to occupy’ agreement which the Council entered in to with Aintree PCN, expired at the end of May.
“The PCN had given no indication that they would want to renew this licence, and so the council made plans to start reintroducing services at Aintree Community Centre that had been put on hold while the site was being used as a vaccination centre.
“These services, which are invaluable to our local community, include services for disabled young people, domestic abuse support services and community groups for elderly and isolated people.
“It is important that we restore services such as these in an attempt to ‘get back to normal’, and to support local people who have missed out on these for so long.
“Sefton Council has offered support to move to alternative venues that the PCN are considering, and is committed to ensuring that as many of our residents have access to the incredible vaccination programme that is currently underway.”