Previous month:
February 2011
Next month:
April 2011

Parish Council Precepts

Around about now the annual notice of Council Tax charges is dropping into letterboxes. I am constantly amazed by the number of people who have no knowledge of Parish Council Precepts.

This time of the year, as they do each year, local Parish Councils precept details are published. The precept is a sum of money decided upon by the members of Parish and Town Councils. This sum of money is added to the local District Council Tax bill. Residents in parished areas pay both their normal Council Tax and the Precept.

The precept pays for extra spending in parished areas specifically for the benefit of local residents. Precepts vary in amount and reflect local decisions in local communities. The details of the precepts raised this year in each of the 10 local Town or Parish Councils, here in Sefton are shown below.

ParishPrecept Source: Sefton MBC Council Tax Notice 2011/2012

This year Formby Parish Council added an extra £3000 to the precept, last year it was £40,000, this year it will be £43,000. This is to try to take account of cuts in grants by Sefton to local events and organisations here in Formby.

By way of illustration, Band D properties will pay an additional £4.54 on top of the normal Council Tax sum which is £1482.22 this year. The actual sum will vary according to the 'Property Band' that applies to each individual property.


Hard Winter Effects

GiantDaff I don't know what your garden looks like after this very harsh and early winter but ours has really suffered.

A lot of well established shrubs have died and it's taking a lot of effort to remove them. There are some compensations though, for us the most startling has been the discovery of a 'giant daffodil'.

It's been hidden behind a bank of shrubs, now dead and removed. In order to get light and trumpet it's existence, it has grown into a 36 inch tall giant.

Can you beat that?

There must be lot's of stories about this winter's effect on our gardens. I know that all the Palm Trees at my local bowls club have died and members have been busy removing what was a distinctive botanical feature of the club.

Cycling around Formby I've noticed that other Palm Tree plants have also died, so a feature of our normally mild micro-climate throughout Formby has become a victim of the winter.

I'd love to hear if you found something special amongst those garden plants that have survived.

We're so proud of our daffodil I'm blogging about, I repeat 36 inches tall. What a magnificent effort on the part of this single flower to rise above it's neighbours and declare...

It's spring.

Local Election Season Starts

image from Saturday morning campaigning in the village is evidence that the local election season is starting. Local party candidates for Sefton MBC elections competed with each other handing out leaflets and button-holing potential voters.

From today Parish or Town Council candidates also start submitting their nomination papers. Nominations close at midday next Monday.

Candidates do not have to be a member of a political party. I personally hope that there will be a greater number of Independent candidates than last time. It would even be better if they out-number those sponsored by a Political Party for this election.

All 15 Parish Council seats are up for re-election. All a candidate needs is 10 signatures of support, from residents living in the ward.

Go on, go for it. Here's a chance to make a difference where you live.

Formby needs you!


Formby Business Village Partnership

Sefton MBC have announced that due to the the need to generate significant savings their dedicated support for Business Village Partnerships will come to an end on 31 March 2011.

The dedicated budgets provided by the Council for BVP activity .... paid for things like Xmas events, Farmers Markets and marketing material.
Source: Correspondence from Sefton MBC

It was through these means that Formby received support for a number of events and services including regular meetings for local businesses, which enabled exchanges of views and advice between Sefton and the local business community. The funding also helped to meet the costs of the Xmas lights in Formby Village and events such as Formby Live. The letter from Sefton MBC continues:

If any of these activites were to continue we would need to find resources from outside the Council.
Source: Correspondence from Sefton MBC

As the current Chair I'm sure there will be an urgent review in the near future to decide where to go with the Formby Partnership. I will write more, once it is clearer, what's going to happen.

Formby Oddbins to close

OddbinsFormbyLive Oddbins have announced the closure of their Formby shop. I'm afraid that once again Formby is about to find another empty shop premise in the very heart of the village.

Despite the best endeavours of Louise and Colin, the shop's popular staff, it will close this coming Saturday. This particular branch of Oddbins, despite being part of a national chain, has forged close relations with other retailers and residents of Formby. They will be missed, Louise's brightly painted window displays have lent an air of cosmopolitan pizazz and charm.

Louise and her colleagues have embraced the life of the village and the wider community their contribution to the Formby Live Music festival was highly valued by those of us involved.

Thank you and good luck in the future.

Needless to say, this once again stresses the importance of shopping locally  and supporting our local shops.