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August 2009
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October 2009

Formby: Wartime base for the Chindits


Yesterday morning I attended the funeral of Mary Creagh OBE. TD.JP.DL D*CHS a very popular, active and redoubtable resident of Formby. I knew her as a member of my Church, St Anne's Freshfield, but she was known to many more in a wide range of roles. During her very active life she was Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, and among many other activities Colonel in Chief of Formby Royal British Legion. I took the opportunity later in the morning to let Cyril Golbourne, the current Chair of the local Branch, know about an old weatherbeaten plaque attached to the wall of an Electricity sub-station on one of Formby's many footpaths, between Proctor Road and Gorseway.

As I was photographing the plaque a little while ago, some local residents asked me if I was reponsible for it, they went onto tell me that up until about two years ago, an elderly gentleman would lay a wreath on VJ Day. They wondered who he was and what had happened to him, because the wreath laying had stopped. I promised I would follow it up, so rather belatedly I told the Formby RBL about it yesterday, Mary Creagh wouldn't have taken as long as I did. Cyril went to see it in the afternoon, he didn't know it existed and he has phoned since to say he'll take up the question of it's condition and try to make sure that the memory of the Chindits here in Formby is maintained.

Digital Formby Continued.....

Two short stories, firstly the Formby 'networking' site (, the companion web site to this blog, has recently recruited more members. One of them, Tonyb, has added a series of photographs of Formby's 'Lost houses and shops'. Have a look, it's very interesting, the passage of time and the changes that occur are visually striking, identifying some of the sites is a challenging riddle too. How is this relevant to 'Digital Formby'?, well recently a Parish Council member accused me of 'technobabble', the spurt in the growth of the network suggests there is an increasing interest in things 'digital'.

And the second mention, a short note of thanks to HB Computers, our own local computer dealer. When I crashed my PC two weeks ago, they very quickly sorted out the problem and retrieved my files, very cheaply and I for one will go back when I buy a new computer, they are really good value for money, compared with the computer 'chain stores'.

A Budget for the Future

For family reasons I will not be able to attend the usual monthly meeting of the Formby Parish Council finance committee. The Chair of this committee mentioned at last weeks full Council meeting his intention of raising the question of next years budget at tomorrows meeting. This process eventually results in an agreement to set the annual precept in the January cycle of meetings.

As I mentioned last February, I'd like to introduce 'Participatory Budgeting'. According to the organisation promoting this approach they:

...believe broader participation in budget setting is essential for effective, democratic and relevant local governance.. .......Participatory Budgeting establishes a process in which the effects of peoples involvement are directly seen in either policy change or spending priorities. It is not just a consultation exercise, but an embodiment of direct, deliberative democracy.

I support the idea of 'direct, deliberative democracy'. What would your budget priorities be if asked?

Sefton Housing Consultation

SeftonSHLAA1 At last nights Parish Council meeting, members were informed about Sefton MBC's housing consultation for Formby. I urge residents to look up the 94 proposals for Formby on the Sefton MBC web site. Each potential site is assessed against a variety of criteria and is then either recommended for inclusion on a list of potential housing sites or ruled out.

There are quite a number of potential sites located in the current green belt, but they could be added if the pending Green Belt Review leads to changes in the boundaries.

The screen shot is taken from the Sefton web site and illustrates what part of each entry looks like, in this case the corner of Green Lane and The Cricket Path. If you know the site you'll be aware that it is a field of potatoes, which the owner has regularly sown, grown and harvested for years, one of those quaint oddities, but highly valued by local residents in that part of Freshfield.

Please use your rights to make your views known. The consultation recently held by Sefton MBC on the question of an elected Mayor only received 19 responses from the whole of Sefton! These proposals will affect the use of valuable and in some cases very attractive open green spaces here in Formby.  The closing date is 1st October 2009.