Formby Parish Council Minutes – 7 December 2021

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Please find below the minutes for the latest Formby Parish Council meeting. A copy of the minutes is available to download at the bottom of the page.

MINUTES OF MEETING

Present: Councillors: Bob McCann (Chairman), Colin Appleton, Derek Baxter, Sandra Baxter, Maria Bennett, David Dutton, David Irving, Yvonne Irving, Susan McCann, Bernie Prescott, Carol Richards, Joe Riley, Mike Weild and Paul Wiencke.

In Attendance: Claire Jenkins (Clerk) and 2 members of public

74.0 Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Cllr Brodie.

75.0 Members Declaration of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

76.0 Public Forum

The meeting was adjourned for this item.

Merseyside Police officers reported on the measures taken to curb anti-social behaviour in Formby. They have been working with the British Transport Police; however, the Transport Police have limited numbers to cover the Northern and Ormskirk Lines. There have been repeated dispersal orders put in place, which have received great feedback. Merseyside Police cannot do this continuously as it is very labour intensive and costly. Recommendations have been made to Merseyrail to improve the infrastructure, ticket enforcement and security at the stations to help manage the influx of youths to the area by train. If there is a dispersal order in place, then the police have the legal power to question youths arriving and put them back on the next train home if they can’t demonstrate a valid reason for being in Formby. Or to take youths to a place of safety, usually their home address where the police can speak to the parents. The problems around Duke Street Park were discussed and measures to make the area more family friendly and less attractive to “gang” culture to include reducing the height of bushes and improving lighting so the youths can’t hide and either repairing or removing the broken wall.  It was also noted that there has been an escalation of anti-social behaviour around Redgate.

The meeting was reconvened.

77.0 Minutes of the Previous Meeting

77.1 Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 2 November 2021

It was resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2021 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

78.0 Matters of Report from Previous Meeting

78.1 The Chairman reported on the positive feedback received from traders and residents after the Christmas Lights Switch-On Event held in the village. It was noted that the total cost to stage the event came to £4,900. This was offset by donations from the Ward Cllrs of £1,000, payment from the fairground of £1,550, together with £50 from the ice cream van this gives a net cost of £2,300 to the Parish Council. Everyone agreed that this had provided a boost to the village economy after 21 months of pandemic restrictions. Members expressed differences of opinion as to whether precept funds should be used to host future Switch-On events and it was agreed to discuss this further at a later meeting.

78.2 Cllr Prescott reported that there has been difficulty getting an electrical supply to the Nativity adjacent to the Christmas Tree. The new position of this, determined by Sefton Street Lighting, should have enabled a power supply. However, the contractor installing the lights had not been able to meet up with the volunteers installing the Nativity, due to problems caused by the storm elsewhere and they are limited as to when they are allowed to work on the public highway. Post meeting note- this was resolved by the contractor on the 14 December who at their own cost installed a new connection and string lights in the Nativity.

79.0 Chairman’s Report

I was very sorry to hear of the passing of former councillor Barry Griffiths. He was very well known in the area and, in the past, had been a force to be reckoned with, championing the Formby community. Often seen in the village with his wife Norma who also died earlier this year, he will be a figure who will be missed in the community.

We find ourselves at the end of another calendar year and the effects of the pandemic are, unfortunately, still with us; whilst we have had some restrictions, we have still managed to make some progress, not least in increasing the influence that the Parish Council has on the local community.

Our move to engage with Sefton Council over the project to change the former Holy Trinity School playing field into a public green space, suggested by Cllr Dave Irving, means that this will be the first significant piece of land to become the responsibility of the Parish Council. If all goes to plan a lease of 99 years should provide a recreational area to be used by the community for many years to come and I sincerely hope that it comes into fruition.

The decision to accept responsibility for the Christmas lights at the end of last year has resulted in a transformation of the village scene this festive season. Cllr Maria Bennett has led the way by dealing with the necessary organisations in order to replace and enhance the display in the village. This, coupled with a “lights” switch on event that was organised with what seemed like military precision, is a testament to Maria’s organisational ability and dedication to our community for which she seeks no plaudit; I, however, think it important that her efforts are recognised and recorded and thank her for her hard work.

Speaking of the switch on event, can I thank those councillors that gave their time to assist in traffic management, marshalling, and for just being there to be seen.

We have recently experienced one of the worst storms to hit Formby in a long while, we are about to experience another one and, I suspect, this is unlikely to be the last as the weather systems appear to be getting more extreme in recent years. The number of mature trees lost in the storm was around 85 and this has had a very negative effect on the look of the community in some areas, and significantly in the Harington ward. I would like us to look at our abilities to bolster our tree replacement and enhancement project so, whilst we cannot replace like for like, we can try to mitigate the effect over years to come.

Can I thank councillors for continuing to work toward improving our community because our efforts are often unsung. From checking, counting, cleaning and maintaining benches and raising the flags, to representing residents and keeping an eye on planning matters; we do what we do and everything else.

Finally, everything we do, every decision we make and every action we take is overseen by one person with help from one other. This Council would not, and indeed could not, function without the work and dedication of both Claire and Jill. The changes and growth that have been achieved by this Council over recent years have been made possible by the guidance and counsel from Claire, so can I take this opportunity to record our ongoing thanks and appreciation to them both.

Can I wish everybody a merry Christmas and I look forward to new endeavours next year.

80.0 Planning Applications

80.1 Maryland Residential home application for 13 apartments. It was noted that there are only 17 car parking spaces and there should be 25. There is no amenity space included. it was agreed to make an objection.

80.2 1 Orms Way application for the bungalow to be demolished and 3 4-bedroom homes to be built.

80.3 Members noted that Sefton MBC are taking the landowner of the land west of Formby Football Club to court for failure to comply with the enforcement notice to return the land, (which had been used for unregulated and unlicensed waste disposal), to its former green belt condition.

81.0 To discuss and approve the following:

81.1 To approve the proposal to Sefton Council for a lease agreement for the former Holy Trinity School playing fields, Lonsdale Road.

Members discussed the proposal and the draft plan drawings and agreed that this should be sent to Sefton Council’s Estate Manager to progress for final approval by Sefton Council. It was noted that some of the residents have expressed an interest in funding a tree and it was agreed to explore whether there could be some more mature trees planted amongst the saplings.

It was resolved to approve the proposal to Sefton Council for a lease agreement for the former Holy Trinity School playing fields, Lonsdale Road.

82.0 Payments

  1. Employer expenses – £1,641.28
  2. Office lease, Sefton MBC – £250.00
  3. Office phone and broadband, BT – £56.39
  4. Event barrier hire, Glawton Ltd – £150.00
  5. Posters, Solopress – £19.99
  6. Leaflets, Solopress – £26.33
  7. Wreath, Royal British Legion – £18.50
  8. Office supplies, Select Office – £78.00
  9. Event traffic management, Taylormade Traffic Management – £972.96
  10. Event street cleansing, Sefton MBC – £192.00
  11. Baskets and planters winter planting, J&A Horticulture – £920.00
  12. Event security, Matrix Security – £400.00

Total – £4,724.54

It was resolved to make the payments as listed above. 

83.0 The following reports were noted (circulated with Agenda)

  • Finance and General Purposes Group Minutes
  • Environment Group Minutes

84.0 Date of Next Meeting:

The next Ordinary Meeting of Formby Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 4 January 2022, 7pm, at Formby Library, Duke Street, Formby.

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