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
This meeting was held online due to the covid-19 pandemic
Councillors: Bob McCann (Chairman), Colin Appleton, Derek Baxter, Sandra Baxter, Maria Bennett, Dawn Brodie, David Dutton (items 12 to 19.1), Dave Irving, Yvonne Irving, Susan McCann, Bernie Prescott, Carol Richards, Joe Riley and Mike Weild.
In Attendance: Claire Jenkins (Clerk), Jill Hendry (Administrative Assistant) and 3 members of public.
12.0 Apologies for Absence
There were apologies received from Cllr Wiencke.
13.0 Members Declaration of Interest
Cllr Appleton declared an interest in minute 20.0 as a member of the Cricket Club.
14.0 Public Forum
The meeting was adjourned for this item.
14.1 Cllr Riley has received 2 petitions from 95 members of the public regarding the traffic chaos caused by visitors to the beach and National Trust. The petitions were read out:
- 52 signatures
Demand action to rectify the regular traffic chaos caused by visitors to the beach and National Trust nature reserve.
Asking for the following action to be taken immediately:
- The provision of yellow lines around the green, signage on the green stating “parking prohibited”. Double yellow lines and extended double yellow lines around junctions of Wicks Green and Wicks Crescent.
- Provision of wooden stakes on the grass verges to prevent parking
- The large green to be protected by wooden stakes, to prevent it being turned into a car park.
- Parking fines to be increased to £150 around the beach area of Formby
- Residents parking only measure to be put in place west of the railway line
- Alternative parking access to be obtained to resolve the issue- Woodvale would be a perfect fit. This area has direct access from the bypass and direct access to the beach (away from built up residential areas of Formby and Ainsdale).
We, the residents require full consultation prior to implementation taking place
Could we also respectfully request in writing from the Clerk to the Council, a stipulation of the powers of the police and traffic wardens, regarding the existing enforcement of parking bylaws.
- 43 signatures
We the undersigned demand that action be taken to solve the unacceptable beach traffic chaos.
We require the following action:
- Double yellow lines between Barkfield Lane and Wicks Lane 24/7
- Where appropriate posts and bushes on grass verges to prevent damage by cars
- We request in writing from the Clerk to the Council:
- A statement of powers of the police and traffic wardens
- What the position is in relation to the clamping and/or towing of vehicles and who has the power to do this
- What is the legal position regarding drivers parking over the entrance to private properties?
- What is happening to the proposal to increase the fine for illegal parking from £30 to £150?
Could you advise on the timescale to put all this into operation.
Members advised that they were aware of the issues around parking. Cllr B McCann read out his comments made to the Chief Executive and Senior Officers at Sefton Council regarding traffic problems in the area.
“The points I raised are documented in previous emails in relation to possible by-laws, tow-zones, higher fines, resident passes, road closures, one way systems, park and ride, toilet facilities, waste bin provision, inaction by the National Trust, responsibilities of the National Trust, safety and security, antisocial behaviour, strategic segmented action planning, and I am sure there was much more!
I am aware that the leader of the council has appointed 4 cabinet members to work with (the Senior Officer) and his team to look into the situation, and that they have weekly operational meetings along with partner agencies. However I must admit that after seeing the council leader on the television speaking about our issues I was not convinced that he had a good grasp of what the problems were or that this was an annual issue and not just this year!
The most I can say is that I am confident that I, as a ward councillor and as Formby Parish Council chair, have raised these issues with the most senior people in Sefton Council. I have expressed our concerns and dismay at that level. I have provided ideas and suggestions for discussion and implementation and have offered to assist with the potential of some funding from the Parish Council.
I cannot criticise (the Senior Officer) or his team because I know they are aware of the issues and on some occasions have to face them, but I do feel that satisfactory outcomes are scarce. I am also aware of a groundswell of feeling from affected residents who are considering organised direct action themselves which may result in anti-social behaviour with the visitors, which is obviously something that we need to avoid.
I am sure (the Senior Officer) will provide an update to ongoing arrangements made and actions that are being taken by both the working party, his team and our partner agencies.”
Cllr D. Irving reported that he has written to Sefton Council in response to the “Sefton Council Gateway Visitor Action Plan” with a suggestion of residents only parking in the affected areas, and 2 hour parking restrictions at Larkhill Lane and St Luke’s Church Road in order to allow local residents short trips to St Luke’s Church, Community Centre and Cemetery. In his letter, Cllr Irving also suggested more traffic wardens at peak times, fines to be increased and either wheel clamping or tow-zones. Members discussed installing shrubs and posts on grass verges as an idea to stop people parking there and agreed to investigate the cost of implementing this in the requested areas.
14.2 A representative for the Formby Business and Community Partnership addressed the Council:
- Would the Parish Council be prepared to set up a joint working party with Formby Business and Community Partnership, separate from their own businesses?
- What vision does the Parish Council have for the centre, which in our thinking includes Brows Lane, Three Tuns Lane, Gores Lane and Elbow Lane, in addition to Chapel Lane? And does the Parish Council have ideas for the order in which improvements can be made? FBCP ideas include 1-way roads through the centre, more crossing points, widening of paths and road closures 1 day a month for artisan markets.
- Would the Parish Council see it as reasonable to rent/buy a space in the Village for a meetings and communication point?
Members agreed to attend a joint working party and reminded the partnership that 2 Members did attend previous meetings of the Business Partnership but they never received notifications of cancelled meetings and have not been invited in recent months to the online meetings. It was noted that the cost of renting a space in the village would be far higher than the costs of leasing our space in Formby Library, which is a civic building, where residents can come to speak to the Parish Council and in normal circumstances attend monthly meetings. Cllr Bennett advised that the Parish Council have carried out a number of surveys with businesses and residents which informed the production of the Neighbourhood Plan. It was noted that the pavements in the village centre are already wide pavements allowing outdoor seating and social areas, so it was unclear what would be gained by widening the pavements further and consequently reducing the width of the road, which would be a very costly exercise.
The meeting was reconvened.
15.0 Minutes of the Previous Meeting
It was resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 June 2020 were approved as a correct record. As the meeting was held online, the Clerk will arrange for the minutes to be signed.
16.0 Matters of Report from Previous Meeting
Cllr McCann reported that he has applied fertiliser to the 3 Chestnut trees in the Village and a seaweed meal has been ordered to be applied also.
16.1 Recognition of the work and dedication to the Sefton Local Councils by the late Mr Ian Cowell.
The Clerk has written to Mrs Cowell with suggestions of a plaque on the pavement or a bench dedicated to him. We are awaiting a response.
17.0 Planning Applications
Members discussed the planning applications on Sefton’s weekly list and noted the following:
17.1 Liverpool Road Site – there have been lots of complaints regarding dust and dirt. The hours of work on the site have been extended but not for noisy works.
17.2 Unauthorised development of Green Belt land adjacent to Formby Refuse Centre. The Parish Council complaint regarding these works has not been upheld. Councillors agreed to escalate the complaint to level 2.
17.3 82 Freshfield Road – prior approval not required. It was noted that the developer has demolished half of the property and built an insecure fence around it. Residents have complained about unsafe conditions and people getting onto the site. A wall has also been built that is not in keeping with the area. It was noted that objections have been submitted and Planning Officers have been to inspect the property.
17.4 39 Church Road – Formby Police Station – application for internal and external refurbishment works.
17.5 2 Chapel Alley – application for 2, 2 bed flats withdrawn.
17.6 Homebase application refused.
18.0 Annual Return
18.1 To receive the Internal Auditors Report
Cllrs received and noted the Internal Auditors Report, which did not include any recommendations.
18.2 To approve the annual governance statement section 1
Cllrs answered all the questions detailed on the governance statement and this was recorded on the Annual Return, which will be published on the website.
It was resolved that the governance statement (section 1) be approved.
18.3 To approve the accounting statements section 2
It was resolved that the accounting statement (section 2) be approved.
18.4 To note the dates set for the exercise of public rights
Members noted that the library is still closed due to Covid 19. It was decided that the dates for the exercise of public rights would be changed to Monday 20 July to Friday 28 August. As visitors will not be permitted to stay in the library, the Clerk will arrange for anyone wishing to view the accounts to do so outside of the building.
19.0 To discuss and approve the following:
19.1 To approve a virement of £15,000 from general reserves to the capital projects budget as per the Finance and General Purposes Group minutes.
It was resolved to approve a virement of £15,000 from general reserves to the capital projects budget.
19.2 To approve the cost of a skip for the two allotments in Formby.
Cllrs discussed what the skip would be used for as most allotment users would compost their garden waste. It was reported that a lot of rubbish has accumulated due to lockdown which may be attracting the rats that have been sighted and there is now too much waste for the allotment tenants to take to the refuse tip which is operating an appointment only system.
It was resolved to approve the cost of the 2 skips subject to further information being obtained to the satisfaction of the Finance and General Purposes Group.
- Employer expenses – £1551.69
- Office Lease, Sefton MBC – £250.00
- Office phone and broadband, BT – £56.39
- Zoom subscription, Zoom Video Communications – £143.88
- Repair to Chain of Office, Thomas Fattorini Ltd – £929.53
- Domain renewal, 1&1 IONOS Ltd – £23.98
- Inspection and BITE treatment, BHA Trees Ltd – £450.00
- Data protection fee, ICO – £35.00
- Grant donation, Formby Cricket Club – £1000.00
- Tree ties x 50, Amazon – £33.49
- Tree fertiliser, Amazon – £29.99
It was resolved to make the payments as listed above.
21.0 Chairman’s Report
The Chairman’s report was taken at item 14.1 above.
22.0 The following reports were noted (circulated with Agenda)
Finance and General Purposes Group Minutes
To note the report from the aboriculturalist.
Members noted the report on the trees in the village. The tree outside Boots is declining and some branches need removing. Cllr B McCann is hopeful that the fertiliser and seaweed meal will help.
23.0 To resolve that pursuant to section 1(2) of the Pubic Bodies (Admission to meetings) Act 1960, because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the press and public leave the meeting during consideration of employment terms and conditions of service.
24.0 Date of Next Meeting:
The next Ordinary Meeting of Formby Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 4 August 2020, 7pm, online. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. Log in details can be found on the agenda, which will be published on the website.