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June 2008
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August 2008

Allotment Spaces

Back to Formby after a short break with family in London. The issue of allotment space in Formby is currently at the forefront of my mind. I visited an allotment about 500 yards away from my daughter's home in Frien Barnet, North London on Sunday, designated Slow Sunday by the Resurgence Trust, it seemed the appropriate activity.
What a community resource, a huge site, one of a number in Barnet, the waiting list of 10-12 is frequently refreshed and new applicants look forward to a very short waiting time. Compare this to the situation in Formby, I quote from an email just in today:

'Things are getting no better with the state of the Formby
Association's waiting list. The net figure (discounting people who are
on both lists)  now stands at 73.  With a turnover of one or two plots
a year, that could mean a wait of  30+years for people now joining the
list!!'

This is not acceptable and I am now planning to take action with others to see if this can be improved sooner rather than later. I hope we will soon have a petition in place, and surely Lottery Grants are a suitable source of funding; Sefton MBC  has ignored this issue for too long. Incidentally I'd rather see that the Parish Council takes charge of the allotments, this was always one of the primary functions of a Parish Council when they were formed in 1894, I'm going to try to address this point as well, I'm sure we could manage them better with the return of the Council Tax taken from us in the first place, for this purpose.

A final quote from the email I mentioned earlier reinforces the need for action:

'People are becoming very despondent about ever having the chance to
work an allotment and I  can't see  the situation getting any better in
the future unless more land is provided by Sefton Council.'

What do you think? Write a response, are you one of those who would like to manage an allotment? Please let me know and support this campaign.


Parish Council Expert

As I held my usual surgery at the Formby Pool on Wednesday morning it was a pleasure to meet Ian Cowell. He is the present Clerk for Ince Blundell Parish Council, but he is the acknowledged expert in all matters to do with Parish Councils. In his time he has been the Clerk for Little Altcar PC, Hightown PC and Formby PC. He was very closely associated with the establishment of the last two Councils in the list.
Our conversation turned to the recent 'shennigans' in Sefton MBC, our local political parties had fallen out with each other and for a period of weeks abdicated their duties, we both wondered whether there isn't a case for holding back their allowances to reflect that failure to provide local government, after all we pay for it via Council Tax.
I find myself increasingly supporting the idea of an Elected Mayor for Sefton to serve a four year period in office and preferably a non-aligned Mayor, in my view petty party politics is getting in the way of good local governance.


July meeting of the Parish Council

I will be attending the usual monthly meeting of the Parish Council in Formby library this evening. I will present two reports, the first will be a short summary on the progress of the Community Plan and the second has already been circulated and describes the recent Formby Summit meeting, this is described in more details in a previous posting.


Formby Summit: Follow up

Yesterday I was invited to a short meeting to hear about the plans to follow up the recent Formby Summit meeting of young people in Formby.
The organisers have agreed to ask the young people involved to produce a report on the summit and that this should be shared with each of the school communities. They are hoping to publish this information on the Internet to enable young people to interact with the content and they will discuss how this should be done  with the young people themselves.
As an example of putting the 'citizenship' element of the national curriculum into practice I applaud the schools for their efforts, it promises to be an exciting next 12 months.