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Getting Down To The Hard Decisions

Formby Parish Council Loses Funding Opportunity

Mary Portas and her report

Last February I suggested Formby Parish Council should become a 'Portas Town' Team. This would have enabled them to submit a bid for Central Government funds.

In the end Formby Parish Council did not submit a bid.

You can find the original posting here: "Parish Council Should Bid for a Town Team" as well as other stories that describe the progress of the suggestion.

The Portas Town scheme was popular and oversubscribed and some of the successful original applicants included Parish and Town Councils. Since then applicants that formed Town Teams and more importantly made a bid, even if it failed, have been awarded a sum of £10,000 pounds in a second funding award. This was given by central Government to each official applicant. Formby Parish Council missed out on this second award because it did not apply for the first one.

As a result Formby Parish Council is now ineligible for yet another large grant.

Sefton Cabinet members meet this week to discuss  the ‘High Street Innovation Fund'. The document in front of the Cabinet member’s states:

"To note the current Town Team partnerships that exists within Crosby,  Maghull, Southport and Waterloo and their agreed activities... Agree that the £100,000 High Street Innovation fund be allocated as follows;  Crosby - £17,000, Maghull - £17000, Southport - £49,000 and Waterloo -

The Council document goes onto comment:

"By allocating the above amounts to the Town Teams it will allow partners to create community and economic resilience within the Town Centres, while also allowing the Town Teams to implement a number of their activities. The funding combined with their already allocated £10,000 Portas Pilots monies will allow the Town Teams to plan a sustainable model that will enable them to co-ordinate future activity and map out the future of their Town Centres."

As a former member of the Parish Council I can only express my bitter disappointment at the inertia shown by our local Council members. Their failure to be proactive in the first place has led to the loss of considerable funding that Formby could ill afford to lose. Perhaps as much as around £22,000, the equivalent of half the annual precept.

In my view this failure ought to be acknowledged, the Council should resign. The citizens of Formby deserve an opportunity to elect others more willing to be active for the common good.

The Parish Council began in 2003 and initially received praise for its energy and actions. It is sadly merging into obscurity and anonymity. With the honourable exception of a couple of members, too many of the Council seem to be content to be members in name only.