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Will Formby Be Treated Equally In The New NHS?

At 10.00am on Thursday Sefton MBC Cabinet members will meet at Bootle Town Hall. They have a heavy agenda. One of the items under discussion includes the abolition of the PCT.

Sefton Council will take on the lead role for public health from 1 April 2013 as a result of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

As a consequence of PCTs being abolished as legal entities on 1 April 2013 it is necessary to transfer all assets and liabilities currently belonging to PCTs to other legal entities, such as local authorities, Public Health England, National Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups.

This transfer of assets and the size of the budget will figure large in the elected members discussions.

The Council has received notification of its first ring-fenced public health grant allocation on 10 January 2013 – £19.4m in 2013/14 and £19.9m in 2014/15.

Part of the planned response to these changes includes the formation of a 'Health and Wellbeing Board'. This will become a formal committee of the Council. They will be expected to:

  • Improve significantly the health and wellbeing of local populations
  • Carry out health protection functions delegated from the Secretary of State
  • Reduce health inequalities across the life course, including within hard to reach groups
  • Ensure the provision of population healthcare advice.

There is going to be much uncertainty about the impact of all these changes.

I have a question. If the funding is allocated on the basis of a formula that allocates monies to 'areas of need and inequalities', will Formby receive less than elsewhere in Sefton? 

Formby is considerd to be a 'well off' area. But it also has one of the largest population of the elderly in the country. They are probably 'asset rich but cash poor'. Are the health and care needs of this group of residents going to be met equally fairly?

I suspect there is a busy debate going on behind 'drawn curtains'. Residents in Formby deserve to be informed.

To read the full Sefton Cabinet agenda visit the sefton MBC web site here: http://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=139&MId=6729


Can You Spare An Hour This Weekend?

The Royal Society for the protection of birds needs your help this weekend. They want your help to conduct a short survey of birds you see in just one hour.

MistleThrushIt's important our garden birds are disappearing. The survey could help to discover why and what to do about it?

In 1972 when I first moved into Formby the garden was full of flocks of noisy, busy sparrows. There were Blackbirds, Finches of all kind, Cuckoos, Mistle Thrush. We saw and heard Owls regularly, the evening sky was full of insects and bats.

They've all gone.

This is all you have to do - three simple steps.

Watch the birds in your garden or local park for one hour on the weekend of 26 - 27 January 2013.

Record the highest number of each bird species you see at the same time. Don't count the total over the hour as you may get the same birds visiting more than once. Also, please only count those birds that land within your garden - not flying over.

Once your hour is up, tell us what you've seen. Even if you didn't get as many birds as you expected, or your 'regulars' didn't appear, do still please let us know. It's all really useful information. Our form will be open from the Birdwatch weekend until 15 February 2013 for you to tell us what you've seen.

For more see the The Royal Society of Birds.

Weather Alert: Snow Possible on Friday

The Met Office have recently updated their weather alert:

Issued at:1233 on Thu 24 Jan 2013

Valid from:1100 on Fri 25 Jan 2013

Valid to:0200 on Sat 26 Jan 2013

Further snowfall will spread from the west, as another weather front moves eastwards across the UK.

Snow will reach parts of Scotland during Friday morning, and eastern parts of England during the late evening, likely to clear these eastern areas by the early hours of Saturday. 4 to 8 cm is likely quite widely within the amber warning area, with a low risk of more than 10 cm locally even on lower ground.

Further north, accumulations of 10 to 20 cm may occur in some upland areas. Strong winds will also lead to drifting and blizzard-like conditions, particularly over higher level roads in the north. The public should be prepared for likely disruption, particularly to travel.

This alert covers the North W est of England and includes Formby

More: Details available on the Met Office web site.


Times Are a Changing!

Recently I wrote 'Difficult decisions lie ahead for the community of Formby'. One of the major changes includes the inauguration of CCG's, Clinical Commissioning Groups that will come into force in April.

I came across the following presentation on The King's Fund web site in which they forecast the issues that lie ahead in the years for the 'Future of health and social care 2013-2033'.

Unfortunately this presentation does not work on the Android Platform, for a web based version see: Future Trends.

What are your views about the implications for Formby?

The King's Fund Presentation

This timeline picks out some of the key trends – from changes in population make-up to advances in technology – that will affect how health and social care is delivered over the next 20 years. Find out more about our trends in health and social care.



Click on 'Start prezi' in the middle of the screen.
Use the arrows at the bottom of the image to move between slides.
Once the prezi has finished you can zoom into areas that most interest you by clicking directly on the image.
If you want to view the prezi in full screen, click on the icon in the bottom right-hand corner. Press 'Esc' on your keyboard to return to the site.


School closure details, following the snow: Latest

Update Monday 2pm 21 January

There are no known school closures in Formby.

Update Monday 10.00am 21 January

There are no reports of school closures so far this morning.

Update Friday 12.57 18 January

There are quite a number of changes occurring please follow twitter.com/formbyvillage this blog will not be amended again.


Update 12.47

This has just come to hand:

Due to the unforeseen weather conditions we have decided to close the school at12:00pm. Children will be served their lunch before they go home. We are sorry for the inconvenience of this - Our Lady of Compassion (Source: school web site)

Update: 12.44

Due to the worsening weather, parents can pick their children up at 1pm if they wish but school will stay open until 3.30pm. - St Jerome's Primary School (Source: school web site)

Friday 18 january 12.22pm.

School closure details, following the snow, as published on Sefton MBC web site. Please note the caveat about information direct from the schools. 

Emergency School Closures - Friday 18th January

Due to the current weather conditions the following schools will be closing earlier than usual today:


SchoolClosure details
Oakfield/Jigsaw Closed
Crossens Nursery  From 12.30 pm 
St Michaels High  Closed
St Philip’s CE (Litherland)  From 1 pm 
Rowan Park From 1 pm
St Ambrose Barlow  Closed
Merefield  From 1 pm

Greenacre Nursery


Litherland Moss Primary

Children can be picked up from 1pm if parents wish (school will remain open) 

Redgate Primary

From 1 pm

Sand Dunes Nursery


Shoreside Primary

Open although parents can pick up children if they wish to

Springwell Park Primary

From 1 pm

St Robert Bellarmine Primary

Children can be picked up from 1 pm if parents wish (school will remain open) 
St William of York From 12.30 pm

Please note, that any information you may receive from the school directly should take precedent over what is reported on this page.

(Source: http://www.sefton.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=10173)



Street Lighting

In the next few weeks Sefton may decide to reduce the scale of street lighting in Formby. The decision to first 'light up Formby' was made in November 1897. Here's how the Liverpool Echo reported the story at the time.



Last evening, a public meeting of the ratepayers of Formby, convened bv the Formby Parish Council, was held at the Jubilee Hall, for the purpose of considering the advisability of lighting the township.

Mr. John Formby presided, and there was a crowded attendance. After a long discussion, it was resolved that the roads of the township should be lighted.
(Source: Liverpool Echo - Friday 12 November 1897) 

Sefton is asking should 'Council Tax should go up?', clear evidence that hard decisions will be made. Perhaps for the first time in over 100 years the roads of our town will be darker at night.

What do you think? Let me have your views via the 'Your Comments' link.



It's All Going To Get A Little Bit Tougher

We're approaching the second weekend of a New Year. The season of gifts and goodies is giving way to harder times.

Difficult decisions lie ahead for the community of Formby. This week Formby Parish Council began to discuss the idea of a Neighbourhood Plan involving a serious consideration about the future of Formby.

To give you some idea of what I mean, I recently heard a Health professional explain that, 'Formby is 25 years ahead of the rest of the country'. She was describing the age profile here in Formby. Our ageing residents far outnumber the average number elsewhere in the country. The nature of their needs, the cost and extent of provision to meet those needs, are already a major preoccupation for Sefton. Cuts in public spending mean some hard decisions will be made.

On Thursday members of the Formby Area Committee were asked for a commitment to protect the Greenbelt. I understand they stated that they supported the 'Principle' of the Greenbelt. In a few weeks perhaps months that Principle will be put to the test by others.

On Monday the consultation about Sefton MBC's plans for the Library in the next municipal year ends - have you made your views heard?

There is still time for people to have their say on proposed changes to the library service in Sefton. The council wants to hear residents' views on draft proposals and a range of mitigating measures as well as potential new ways of delivering the service. No final decision to close any libraries has been taken at this stage and councillors are strongly urging people to fill in the consultation form before January 14, 2013.
This is a new questionnaire following an initial public engagement earlier this year which drew 6,000 responses from library users and non-users. (Link: Consultation)

More meetings and debates are forthcoming, Little Altcar Parish Council will also look at Neighbour Plan preparation. In Public Health meetings residents and practitioners are discussing local provision.

Clinical commissioning groups are groups of GPs that will, from April 2013, be responsible for designing local health services In England. They will do this by commissioning or buying health and care services including:
• Elective hospital care
• Rehabilitation care
• Urgent and emergency care
• Most community health services
• Mental health and learning disability services
(Source: Wikipedia) 

It's clear that in the early part of this new year we face periods of disruption and doubt not just because of the weather. Formby is facing a series of important challenges. Are we ready for change?


Epiphany Sunday

It's Epiphany Sunday today and is being celebrated as such in Christian Churches throughout Formby, essentially it is the official end of Christmas.

Epiphany, the 12th day after Christmas, celebrates the visit of the three kings or wise men to the Christ Child, signifying the extension of salvation to the Gentiles. What is the date of Epiphany 2013?
(Source: http://catholicism.about.com/od/2013calendar/f/2013_Epiphany.htm) 

So I hope you've taken down all your Christmas decorations. In my view there's always something slightly forlorn about decorations and lights that linger on into the new year. On the other hand I find the local Waitrose shop's decision to display Easter Eggs at the checkout astounding. What do you think?

I like my seasons celebrated properly and at the right time. For all we know yet we still face a harsh winter with snow rather than rain. I prefer my life to reflect the natural rhythms of Nature and Season. Life is not about one constant stream of 'sales and promotions'.

I trust that some day soon the remote retail giants will 'see the light'.