Eagle-eyed voters will notice the significance of this year's local elections for Parish Councillors.
The following extract from the Little Altcar PC website explains it clearly [Note: Formby Parish Council website and their Facebook have been inactive for months]
“Following the last parish council meeting the Clerk has been exploring alternative options for the amalgamation of the 2 parishes and a Grouping Order would appear to provide a way forward without the necessity of obtaining over 2000 signatures"
The extract continues with the following:
Using the Law: Grouped Parishes
A more formal way of enlarging resources through partnership is by grouping a number of adjacent parishes. Provision for this exists in the 1972 Local Government Act. A grouped parish is a way of pooling resources whilst preserving the identity of each of the individual parishes or settlements within it. It is also a way of avoiding the hassle of a boundary review.
Under the 1972 Act, a group of parishes can apply to a principal authority (the District in a three-tier area) for a grouping order. The order must name the group and must provide for the separate representation on the council of each parish on the council. It is as if each constituent parish were a ward in a principal authority’s area, with representation on the Council. Units which previously had no council can be added to the group, also with representation. A group cannot be formed without consent of an electors’ meeting in each of the parishes or units concerned. A group may apply to the principle authority for a dissolution order or for a single unit or parish to be separated from the group, again with the consent of an electors’ meeting.
Extract from LGIU and SLCC publication “Parish and Town Clustering” Sept 2006
(Source Little Altcar Parish Council Website, accessed 9th April 2019)
According to Sefton Council, the Grouping Order is likely to be made later this year. So for the time being each Parish Council in Formby is a separate entity.
I'm intrigued regarding the eventual governance structure. Formby PC consists of 15 members [Note the odd number] and Little Altcar PC has 7 members. But if all 22 members are de facto members of the principal body then voting could become an issue. I suspect that the new Council may form an executive body with representation from each of the wards. But who knows?
Watch this space!
In my next post, I have a closer look at the range of candidates standing for election and how, apart from two unaffiliated independents, all the others are linked with Political Parties.