Margaret Carney, Sefton Council CEO, has written to local Councillors setting out the current position regarding the village trees. I'm grateful to her for permission allowing me to publish the letter. (The highlights are mine and not part of her original)
I refer to my previous emails regarding the trees in Formby Village. Having discussed this matter with Council officers we remain concerned about the health and safety risks associated with these trees. We also want to ensure the views of local communities are heard and that we take a balanced view whilst always prioritising the safety of pedestrians and road users. Delaying the removal of the trees obviously increases the risk, however, having sought internal professional advice I am proposing a way forward that I hope you will be able to support.
I am minded to agree to an independent inspection of the three worst trees i.e. those outside (Waterfields, Boots and Cassidy’s) providing it is commissioned and funded by either the Parish Council or Ward Budgets and includes the requirement to assess the health and safety implications. Whilst not being bound by the inspection the Council will consider the results and our internal experts will scrutinise the report.
The inspection must be carried out by a suitably qualified and experienced person and we would ask that provision be made for a conversation on any report with the Council’s experts if required. I have to remind councillors that liability remains with the Council and therefore this inspection will need to be completed quickly. The independent report would need to be received by 13th February and the intention would be to carry out any work in the week beginning 19th February.
The two other trees will as previously advised be left in situ and we will assess these in Summer when they are in leaf. It remains our view that these trees are in decline and will need to be removed in the near future.
We currently assess these as needing to be removed next Winter. However, this will be subject to a further consultation with ward and parish councillors nearer time. This complies with the approach outlined in my email of 31st January of a phased approach.
I understand the Parish Council is considering the proposal to commission an independent survey next week. Obviously, the proposals above is dependent upon that or another funding source being identified. I would be grateful if you could indicate your support or otherwise for this approach. If I do not hear from you by 5 pm on the 5th February, I will assume you are in support.
I would ideally like to achieve unanimous support for this way forward.
Proposed Temporary Emergency Road Closure Long Lane, Formby Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, Section 14, as amended by the Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991. 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Head of Locality Services Commissioned is empowered to authorise a Temporary Emergency Road Closure Order for any period up to 21 days duration. 1.2 In order to install a retention system at the southern bank of Dobbs Gutter and to maintain safety for operatives and road users, it will be necessary to close Long Lane, Formby 1.3 Work will commence on 15th January 2018 and is due to be completed by 23rd February2018
Visitors with cold and flu symptoms are being asked to stay away from Southport and Ormskirk hospitals unless absolutely necessary to prevent their spread.
Andrew Chalmers, Deputy Director of Infection Prevention and Control, said:
“There are a number of visitors who I’ve seen visiting their relatives over the weekend who seemed particularly poorly themselves with coughs, colds and even flu-like symptoms. So, unless it is absolutely necessary, please stay home and get well before you visit.
“Please bear with us at these challenging times. Our main priority is to contain the flu virus and to protect all our patients and ensure they fully recover as soon as possible so they can return home to their family and friends.”
Andrew advised people with a suspected flu virus, or family members suffering from one, to visit the NHS Choices website for information.
People across Merseyside and West Lancashire are being reminded of the simple message to protect themselves and others from cold and flu this winter:
Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.
CATCH IT – Always carry tissues and use them to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
BIN IT – Dispose of used tissues as soon as possible.
KILL IT – Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser following coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
The most up to date and comprehensive national information about flu is here.
Formby Fracking application submitted to West Lancashire Council
An energy company has submitted a planning application which could lead to fracking for shale gas.
Aurora Energy Resources plans to drill two exploratory wells in Altcar Moss, north of the village of Great Altcar in West Lancashire.
The firm said it "proposed to drill and hydraulically fracture a vertical well and a separate horizontal well to evaluate the potential to produce hydrocarbons from deeply-buried, Carboniferous-age rocks".