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December 2009
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February 2010

Business as usual....

Yesterday we heard from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) that Formby Parish Council had not succeeded with it's bid for Climate Change Challenge funds. This is very disappointing given the amount of effort and time spent putting the bid together in the last 5 weeks I am personally very grateful to Mo Kundi and Norman Foster of Sefton MBC for all their efforts.

Notwithstanding this result, the Parish Council is likely to include it's own ideas and plans for addressing the issue of Climate Change here in Formby in the forthcoming Parish Plan.

Watch this space!

Another 'Digital Formby' Story

FixMyStreet1 I have just reported a series of street light failures in Timms Lane by means of a web site called 'Fix My Street' to do it. It is simply to use, you can choose to be anonymous if you wish and it seems to work. The web site also provides information about other 'issues' that local residents have also reported.

When the problem is fixed it usually includes a report to that effect. At this time of the year I suspect that the usual means of contacting Sefton MBC is very busy. I use 'Fix My Street' as an alternative to the phone and I would recommend Formby residents to try it. If you do, let me know what the outcomes are, in this advancing 'digital age', here's another way in which Formby can 'go digital'.

While I was composing this blog entry another Formby resident has also reported on the state of Freshfield Road using the same web site, Fix My Street

Mayor and Mayoress visit Little Altcar Parish Council

Tonight I will be attending the first meeting of Little Altcar Parish Council in 2010. They have invited the Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton to attend this normal Parish Council meeting. They do this every year at this time and so far as I am aware they are the only Parish Council in Sefton to issue such an invitation. I have been included because of my former membership of the Little Altcar Parish Council.

There will be others who have been invited and I have very warm memories, in particular, of other such meetings in the old Formby Town Hall Council Chamber. Representatives of the Police, the Armed Forces, the Fire Service and others serving in Local Government used to attend.

Parish Councillors are not paid allowances neither do they claim expenses, their service to the community is voluntary.

The Chair of the Parish Council will give a speech to welcome the Mayor and other guests, this will be followed by a speech of thanks by the Mayor. A ritual, yes, but a symbol of active civic life at local level. Parish Councillors are not paid allowances neither do they claim expenses, their service to the community is voluntary. Parish Councils are the very first tier of local Government and if we are to believe all that is being said by our national politicians, then Parish Councils are likely to take a larger role in future in local life.

If you can, please try to attend at least one Parish Council meeting a year. Councillors would be thrilled to answer your questions or act on your suggestions. Every meeting includes a 'public forum' for just such public participation.

How many years?

Election79 I came across this old election poster as I tried to declutter my old files. It was published  by Sefton MBC in 1979, this was the first time I stood for public office. On this particular occasion I was not elected. Norman Williams a much loved and admired Conservative Councillor was re-elected. Later when I became a Sefton MBC Councillor I had many an entertaining exchange of views with him, but he remained a gentleman throughout and rightly deserved the praise he received. He was a good local Councillor for Formby.

Finding the poster reminded me how many years I've been engaged in some form of public life. Here's my list as far as my memory serves me.

I first became interested in politics through my support for the Merseyside Anti Racist Alliance(MARA), this was strongly supported by all of the Churches on Merseyside. Then I served as follows:

  • Member of the North West Labour Party Environment Group, we considered issues like nuclear waste and sewage disposal.
  • I became a candidate in local elections, like the one in 1979
  • In November 1980 I was elected to Sefton MBC for Linacre ward and served until May 1987
  • I stood as a Parliamentary Candidate for Labour in Southport 1983
  • In early 1988 I joined the Green Party and for a brief period I was one of the joint National Chairs
  • I was the Parliamentary Candidate Green Party in the Bootle By-elections (2) 1990, there were two elections following the very unexpected and sad death of Mike Carr MP
  • Sometime in 1996 I became a member of Little Altcar PC until February 2007 during this time I left Party Politics and became an Independent, in my experience party politics is like gang warfare!
  • I became a Member of Sefton Local Strategic Partnership around 2000 until Feb 2007
  • I was the Chair of Sefton Area Committee of Local Parish & Town Councils 1998- Feb 2007
  • Finally I have been a Member of Formby Parish Council 2003/4 - to the present Jan 2010
By my calculation I have been engaged in public life in one form or another for over 30 years. In my previous blog you will find a record of some of those activities. I know people say they don't like politicians but local residents should join in the life of their local community, make their views known, and better still become active, it is most rewarding.