Local Councils Feed

Formby Parish Council To Change it's Name?

Formby Parish Council  wants your views on the proposal it should change it's name.

Recently Parish Council members were asked to consider the following suggestion from a local resident1

That Formby Parish Council formally consider adopting a title change from Parish to  Town Council.

Make your views known with the online survey form

The following reasons were given in the accompanying letter of support for the proposed change.

The reasons are set out briefly below:

  • FPC Name Change2
    Survey Form View
    The public still associate the Parish Council with local Churches. Changing the name will break that mistaken association.

  • It will emphasise the most immediate accessible and accountable civic local Government in Formby is The Town Council.

  • At a time when Sefton Council is increasingly unpopular it's an opportunity to renew local interest in Democracy.

  • With the introduction of Liverpool City Region it will emphasise that Formby is a very significant Town that has unique qualities that deserve and demand attention in their own right.

  • This is the right time to make the change. The new Council is setting its first precept and the change helps to reinforce the Town’s new ambitions and plans.

  • It's an opportunity to consider the repatriation of some or all of the Formby Urban District Council powers ceded to Sefton in 1974.

  • Most older residents have an affection for our previous 'Council' and would welcome ‘going back to the past’.

  • Newer and younger residents will feel that at last they have a 'proper' local Council of their own.

  • Returning to Town status will recapture the long history of local Government in Formby, from its formation as a Parish Council around 1895, followed by its transformation into an Urban District Council some 10 years later.

  • Finally, it chimes with the growing popularity of the localism movement, local shopping, local control, accessibility, local markets and a general resistance to remote decision making about local lives.

Make your views known with the online survey form

Editorial Note1: For the purposes of openness and accountability.

I am the author of the letter. As a former member and chair of FPC and also chair of the Association of Sefton Town and Parish Councils, the title change, in my experience, will help strengthen local pride and involvement in community life




The Sefton 2030 Vision : Consultation

Sefton Council have begun to consult residents about the future.

'The 2030 Vision' document will be a ground-plan for the future and is based on previous work and conversations in the Borough. There are 8 common themes which Sefton Council is inviting residents to comment upon.

Imagine Sefton 2030Developing the 2030 Vision will build upon the work and conversations that have taken place during the past few years with local people and what they think is important – jobs, good quality housing, accurate information on activities, services and how to keep well, for example.  During the past six months, over 1000 Sefton Council employees (many also live in the Borough) have also told us what they think Sefton should be like in 203

From the consultations, eight common themes have emerged and these have been put together into a draft Vision and Outcomes Framework

This stage of the consultation will start on the 13th June 2016 and finish on the 31st July 2016.

The feedback from this consultation will be included into a report to Sefton Council Cabinet to be considered as they continue to develop the Vision and Outcomes Framework.

It is anticipated that this conversation and development of plans will take place during the next two years.  Public engagement will be an integral part of every project phase.

For further information, please visit imaginesefton2030.gov.uk


Time to Solve the Holiday Traffic Crisis?

Did you know you can write directly to your local Councillors or any of your other elected representatives?

Contact Your PoliticiansLook to the right of this post, just enter your postcode and follow the rest of the instructions.

Here's my letter to my local Sefton Councillors.

If you feel like I do can I suggest you use the same link to write your own letter, the system won't send copies of letters already submitted.

Good luck.

Dear Catie Page, Bob McCann and Maria Bennett,

As residents of Formby we are all aware of the chaotic traffic problems caused by the weight of visitor traffic during high seasons and holidays.

Most if not all observers will be horrified by some of the dangerous, potentially life threatening results. Jammed roads making it impossible for emergency vehicles to pass, vehicles stranded in the middle of the level crossing at Freshfield station, trapping residents on their properties because of inconsiderate and illegal parking.

Despite the growth in this issue I can find little or no evidence that Sefton Council, Formby Parish Council together with The National Trust finding effective solutions yet.

I know that parking restrictions have been put in place, but so far the solutions seems to be reactive rather than proactive. It's clear that most if not all visitors come by car and with very little or no notice find themselves caught in the jams, they queue waiting in vain not knowing how long that wait may take or how far they have to travel.  We all know that there is insufficient parking spaces on the really busy days and this in turn leads to cars parking close to the access points. It's fortunate that the dramatic scenes of last weekend are limited to a relatively small number of days in the year. Small comfort for the residents most badly affected.

As a resident I'd like to see the evidence of concern over this issue. Links on the Council web sites to documents, meetings and actions taken are required - occasional 'tweets' are not sufficient.

Can I suggest all of the Bodies involved need to address how best to be proactive. Visitors need more advice sooner.

Solar powered Mobile Variable Systems, Highway Agency approved are worth worth trying out. They can be hired for trials.

Secondly it might be worth considering a plan based on Zoning. An outer zone with signs on the by-pass with the latest up-to-date advice. The next zone within Formby using similar signs. Finally as a last resort but a necessary remedial response, some means of directing vehicles to places on roads to park and helping visitors to access the beach from different points. There are a range of different paths that need signposting with advice on the time it would take or access advice (Wheelchairs, pushchairs etc).

The solution also needs to incorporate the use of Social Media - these days most visitors will have access to mobile phones. It would help to use commonly agreed #hashtags such as #formbyparking.

Another aspect of an overall plan would be to accept that visitors arrive at different times of the day. Early arrivals do not cause the problem but on 'high days and holidays' from 11.30am or at times of high tides visitors need active relevant and live updates. There has to be an organisational infrastructure in place, both physical and human.

A solution will cost money, we all have to accept it, but perhaps on a longer term, means can be found to generate an income from visitors to offset some of these casts.

I hope you will seriously consider these suggestions and help reassure the besieged residents of Formby something is being done to resolve an ever-worsening problem.

Many thanks,

Sean Brady



Sefton Council Municipal Year Restarts

Sefton Council will restart the Municipal year this week by holding it's annual General Meeting at Bootle Town Hall.

The question is : 'What are likely to be the changes as a result of the elections?'

Sefton_council_logoMembers old and newly elected, have been summoned to attend the meeting at the Town Hall. Traditionally the meeting is held in two halves. The first half is held on Tuesday and the second half of the meeting is reconvened on the following Thursday.

The first part of the meeting is all about the appointment of a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor and the retirement of the existing office holders. Then on Thursday the Council appoints individual members to a variety of roles and membership of committees.

There are formal rules determining how the seats on committees are allocated. In essence the rules are based on the proportions of the Political Parties. In general individual Independent Councillors are not allocated any roles under these arrangements.

I'm looking forward to the resolution of two interesting questions. 

Firstly it'll will be interesting to observe whether or not FRAG will get membership of any of the committees.

Following the elections this May there are now 2 Councillors who have stood for election under the FRAG banner. Both of them are from Formby.

  • Cllr Maria Bennett
  • Cllr Bob McCann

We're about to find out if the increase in representation has produced any tangible results or whether they will remain as back bench Council members and only required to attend the very minimum of meetings.

Secondly, who will become the new Leader of the Conservative Group?

The once mighty Conservative Party membership of the Council has dwindled to 6, I remember when they were in the majority as Labour are now. The leader has just resigned his role, so the question is, 'Who will succeed him as leader?'

It's interesting to note  3 of the present members were or are elected members for Formby.

  • Cllr Denise Dutton, currentlt Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group (Harington Ward)
  • Cllr Simon Jamieson (Harington Ward)
  • Cllr Harry Bliss (Formby Chair of Formby Parish Council now Cambridge Ward)

Watch this space!




Sefton Council Election Outcomes

Now the dust is settling after the fury of the local elections the question might be, 'What happens now'?

Council CloudThe answer is simple, the normal annual routine of local Government starts once more. Next Tuesday newly elected members join the existing Council to apportion the exercise of power and responsibility among the members.

The figures make interesting reading.

Political Group Number of Councillors
Labour 38
Liberal Democrat 17
Conservative 6
Independents 4
Conservative Independent Member 1
Total 66

I can remember the time when Sefton was controlled by the Conservative Party from 1974 until 1986. Following elections in May 1986 the Council was under  'No overall control', some preferred to describe it as a 'Balanced Council'. The Council stayed in some form or other of 'coalition' until the Labour Party gained power.

Between 1980 and 1987 I was a Labour Councillor for the Linacre Ward in Bootle. I was one of 21 Labour Councillors, it was the most frustrating period of public office. All we had to offer was bluster and empty promises, we could do no more other than try to meet the individual needs of residents in our wards

So what now in May 2016?

Labour retain overall control of Sefton Council thoroughly hamstrung by central Government controls on the exercise of local power. Essentially Councillors have become 'administrators' of Government policies at the local level.

The Conservatives Councillors are a troubled group, now a shadow of their former selves. The Liberals are regaining Southport and the remaining members can exercise nothing more than their voices.

In my view that's the outcome.

What can we, the residents and voters do, just wait until next year to endorse or unseat the standing Councillor?

I know what I'm going to do.

I will follow the careers and activities of each and everyone of our local Formby Councillors. I will judge them on their activity and visibility within and on behalf of the Community, I may not agree with all their policies but I will try to judge what they as individuals bring to enrich the community in as many and varied ways of possible.

  • No actions
  • No visible accountability
  • No ideas to take the community forward across the whole spectrum of civic life
  • Concentration only on a single issue, it won't be enough for me.

Here's my manifesto: I want

  • Imagination
  • Creativity
  • Ideas to take the whole community forward
  • Leadership
  • Determination to involve us vigorously, the public in Civic life not just meetings - doing stuff.
    • In local Economics including the visitor economy
    • In Village Life
    • In Social life
    • Our Health and well being
    • The environment
  • And much more and I include our own Town Councillors in this too I want to see you on our streets,

How about you?