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Another Contribution to the Future of Formby Discussion

I am grateful to Julian Dobson for permission to feature the following presentation. Julian leads 'Urban Pollinators' they are:

a practical think tank. We help people work through complex and challenging issues about placemaking, regeneration and society. Urban Pollinators is led by Julian Dobson, working with leading thinkers and practitioners. (Source:

How many of these ideas could we adapt and use, have you got any more suggestions.
Join the discussion on the 'Your Letters' page, or add a comment below.
Thank you and my thanks once more to Julian for the slides.




A Lively Stream of Letters

There has been a lively stream of letters submitted to Formby First in the last 8 days. Using the comment form on the 'Your Letters' page, a string of local residents have submitted their suggestions for the future of Formby Village.

Grace was the first to write:
"I think that Formby would benefit from having more independent stores than chain stores such as Iceleand or New Look....."

William agreed with Grace:
"I agree with Grace on this one." And went on the add..."The survey of how many chain stores there are (e.g Waitrose, Iceland etc) was quite astonishing..... "

While Dylan was kind enough to remark on this web site:
"This website is so useful, it is amazing how you have set all of it out, this is great for people who live in formby....." 

I've only taken a very small exceprt from the whole discussion and I would like to thank all of you for your contributions. So in addition to those above there are some very useful and stimulating suggestions by Natasha, Anna, Morgan, Emma, Sean, Sophie and Sam... 

To read all the letters go to the 'Your Letters' at elsewhere on this blog. Add you own or challenges those that have already being submitted.

Once again, my thanks to all of those who have sent me their ideas.


Formby Features in Parliament

The question of Formby's Portas Town Team bid was the subject of the following question to Eric Pickles, The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in Parliament on 12 March.

Bill Esterson (Sefton Central, Labour)
The Mary Portas review will help with business growth. In my constituency, Formby has a parish council and Maghull has a town council. Will the Secretary of State confirm whether parish and town councils will qualify as accountable bodies for funding bids under the Portas review, or will the bids have to go through the borough or district councils?

Eric Pickles (Secretary of State, Communities and Local Government; Brentwood and Ongar, Conservative)
I am afraid to say that, despite Formby being the apple of my eye and a wonderful place to invest, the process will be at borough level.

Though pleasing to know that Formby is the 'apple of his eye' to Eric Pickles it's disappointing that this isn't the case when it comes to Sefton MBC. Who, so far as I'm aware, have not changed their collective mind to support only one of three proposals from across the Borough. Despite the fact that  at a 'Workshop organised by the Association of Town Centre Management' an official of the DCLG has

....suggested authorities might put anything from 1 to 10 bids in, subject to local interest.  They also confirmed the key role local community involvement has in being a 'new' partner in the authority / business structures of running towns.

Frankly I despair of and for Sefton MBC, they just don't get it. How will local communities thrive unless their local Borough politicians facilitate and encourage them?

Finally a word of thanks to Bill Esterson MP at least he's batting on our side. 


Portas 'Town Team' Bid Setback?




Last Friday three members of the Formby Town Team bid core group were invited to make a short presentation to Sefton MBC. They were one of three such groups. After the presentation the Sefton panel of eight decided that they needed to filter any applications for them to approve a final submission. Formby and Crosby were both rejected by Sefton, in favour of one from Southport.

Members of the Core Group have written to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) seeking urgent clarification about Sefton MBC's action. There is no advice in the application documents that gives the a Local Authority the right to filter out applications. These bids are supposed to be community based with the role of the relevant Local Authority confined to that of a 'conduit' for the funds from the DCLG to the Team concerned.

In the meantime the team have decided to proceed with the preparation and submission of the bid. A large number of local retailers, traders and others are expected to show their support tomorrow at a 'drop-in session' at Formby Swimming Pool from 4pm.