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Public invited to April’s CCG governing bodies meetings

image from formbyfirst.typepad.com
Members of the public who are interested in hearing more about health across Sefton are invited to attend forthcoming governing body meetings for local clinical commissioning groups (CCG).

NHS Southport and Formby CCG is holding its governing body meeting on Wednesday 3 April andNHS South Sefton CCG holds its meeting the following day, Thursday, 4 April.

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“These meetings are held in public so people can stay informed about the work we do. At these meetings members of the public will be able to watch our governing body members make decisions and discuss the work that’s been happening in Sefton over the past months and anything coming up.”

Dr Craig Gillespie, local GP and acting chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: 

I would encourage you to attend one of our meetings as it’s an excellent way to stay up to date on the work of health commissioners.

“We want to ensure members of the public know what is going on in Sefton and can see how decisions about local health services are made.”

NHS Southport and Formby CCG’s meeting takes place on Wednesday 3 April at the Family Life Centre, Ash St, Southport at 1pm. Papers will be made available here beforehand:www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/about-us/governing-body/governing-body-meetings

NHS South Sefton CCG’s meeting will take place on Thursday 4 April at Merton House, Stanley Road in Bootle at 1pm. Papers will be made available here beforehand: www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/about-us/governing-body/governing-body-meetings

Attendees have the chance to ask questions shortly before the meeting formally starts. To confirm attendance or for more information please call 0151 317 8456.

 


New-born Arthur delivers dad’s marriage proposal

Arthur and family 2
Romantic dad Guy Lowe celebrated the birth of his baby boy by proposing to mum Laura Graham in the delivery suite.

He left midwives in tears of joy at Ormskirk hospital after presenting newly-dressed Arthur in a baby-grow with “Will you be a Lowe like me?” on the front.

“It took a bit of time for the penny to drop because Arthur was waving his arms everywhere,” said Guy, 25. “But when she’d managed to read it, I was there on one knee with the ring.

“All the staff were cheering and the midwives were crying.”

Guy was inspired to propose by his future mother-in-law after they discussed a “push present” for Laura, 34 – often a piece of jewellery given during a birth.

“I thought what could be better than proposing?” said Guy, who lives with Laura and her daughter Gracie, eight, in Southport.

The couple have yet to set a date for the wedding but it will be “the next couple of years,” said Guy.

“We have a new baby and building a house extension, so life’s pretty busy!”

 


Call for views on proposals to help the NHS deliver its Long Term Plan

NHS Home Page 2
As part of a national engagement exercise, NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a call for views on how targeted amendments to the law could help local and national health organisations work together more effectively to improve services for patients.

The suggestions include changing the law to:

  1. • Encourage local health organisations to work more closely together, towards a shared goal of improving the health of the communities they serve, the quality of services, and the sustainability of the NHS;

  2. • Reduce delays and costs associated with current procurement processes, while maintaining patient choice and introducing a new ‘best value’ test to ensure value for money for taxpayers;

  3. Allow different health organisations – such as hospitals, groups of GPs and voluntary groups and social enterprises – to come together to provide joined-up services which better meet the needs of local people in partnership with local government, and;

  4. • Remove the barriers to greater coordination between the national NHS organisations, creating a single national voice for the NHS and making it easier to work together on the most important issues facing the health service, such as prevention, the workforce, and harnessing the opportunities presented by digital technology.

For further information about the proposals and how you and your stakeholders can get involved, visit NHS England’s website.

 


Will the Formby Neighbourhood Plan Pass its Final Inspection?

Finally, after six years in preparation, Formby and Little Altcar Parish Councils have submitted the Formby Neighbourhood Plan to Sefton Council.

Neighbourhood Plan Title Page

Six years is a very long time but presumably, the plan is the very best the two Parish Councils can produce?

So it's disappointing to note that the Sefton Council reception seems to raise some doubts. I've highlighted them in bold.

The Sefton document starts by setting out the Parish Councils'  purposes. Almost immediately they add some notes of concern. You can read them in the following extract. 

3.1 The Formby Neighbourhood Plan sets out a shared vision for Formby and Little Altcar Parishes. The whole of both Parishes were designated as a neighbourhood area’ for the purposes of preparing a neighbourhood plan and approved by Cabinet Member on 12th September 2013. The plan contains policies on the following areas

 General Policies
 Housing
 Working and shopping
 Getting around
 Community, leisure and wellbeing
 Environment, sustainability and design
 Flooding

3.2 Consultation on the draft plan (known as Regulation 14 Consultation) was undertaken by the Parish Council between 31st October 2016 and 12th December 2016. The Parish Council took account of comments received during this period in the submitted plan.

3.3 There are some concerns about some of the submitted documents and whether they fulfil some of the basic conditions. 

In particular:


 The Neighbourhood Plan needs have regard to the National Planning Policy Framework and the Local Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan and the Basic Conditions Statement repeatedly refer to the 2012 NPPF that has since been superseded.

The Neighbourhood Plan includes some policies that are contrary to strategic policies in the Local Plan, this includes a radical change to the affordable housing policy.

 The consultation framework is required to show people’s comments from the reg.14 consultation, what they said and how they have been considered. Whilst all comments are either summarised or included verbatim, it has not been shown how resident’s comments or the comments of other bodies have been considered, the statement simply says what they said.

3.4 The Neighbourhood Plan steering group did not accept the offer of advice from Sefton Council before submitting the plan.

3.5 It is up to the Examiner to decide whether the policies and content of the plan meet the basic conditions. The Council will make comments at the reg.16 stage.

(Source: Sefton Council: Report from Chief Officer Planning to Cabinet Officer Building and Planning Control for decision)

In my view, the most significant comment is item 3.4. It raises a number of questions.

  • Did both Parish Councils agree to 'disagree' with the Sefton Council advice?
  • Why did the Parish Councils reject the advice from the highly experienced Council officers?
  • Is there a conflict of views on some or all of the issues involved between Sefton Council and the two Parishes?
    • What are those?
    • Is this difference of views related to legal interpretations over the relative powers of Parish Councils and District Councils?
    • Has it to do with the Green Belt redesignation and the new housing developments, which have received official inspectors approval, thus confirming the status of the Local Plan?

Then there's the matter of the 2012 NPPF policy (National Planning Policy Framework)? Why have the Parish Councils not acted, after all, there's a seven-year gap between that change and now?

It is a remarkable passage of time, why have the Parish Councils not make the necessary adaptations?

Finally, on the question of the representation and response to the public views generated during the consultations is likely to compromise the whole plan. It is supposed to be a shared, collective and agreed public policy - not simply the Parish Councils policy.

Sefton Council closes in 3.5, with two observations:

  • A comment about the function of the Official Inspector, It's difficult not to draw the conclusion that the plan could be failed at this stage.
  • Sefton Council has also highlighted they will make comments at the 'Reg 16' stage of the process, could there more potential issues for the viability of the Plan? 

If you want to read more about the Neighbourhood Plan process I advise you to visit the Formby Parish Council website. There's a dedicated section with access to the various reports but following the plan through the Formby Parish Council minutes of meetings is more difficult. At one stage I noticed a reference to the near completion of the plan sometime in 2017, apparently, it just required some relatively small updates.

It seems to have taken over two years to make those additions and of course, the late submission date means that the current membership of both Councils is due for re-election, retirement or replacement, in the May elections. 

It begs the questions, why so long, what of the notion of electoral accountability, what has it all cost, what happens it the whole plan fails, who will be to blame?

To read the full report on the Sefton Council website follow the link: http://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/moderngov/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=56436&Opt=0