Minutes of the Meeting
Councillors: Ann Ibbs (Chairman), Yvonne Irving, Sandra Baxter, Mike Wield, Leo Kolassa and Paul Murphy
In Attendance: Mrs C Jenkins (Clerk) and 3 members of public
1.0 Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
2.0 Welcome by Chairman of Little Altcar Parish Council
Cllr Ibbs welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained the reason for the motion that Little Altcar Parish Council have been working in partnership with Formby Parish Council over the past few years and would now like to formalise this relationship by grouping the two parishes together in order to combine resources for the benefit of all the residents.
3.0 To propose that Little Altcar Parish Meeting apply to Sefton MBC for a Grouping Order for the purpose of forming a grouped parish council with Formby Parish Council to be known as Formby and Little Altcar Parish Council.
The Clerk explained the background, the legal situation and the desired outcome:
Formby and Little Altcar Parish Councils propose to make one local council for the whole of Formby.
- Formby Parish Council was established in 2004
- Little Altcar Parish Council was established in 1974, but its origins go back to 1894.
- When Formby Parish Council applied for designated status to do a Neighbourhood Plan the consultation concluded that this process could not exclude Little Altcar as this parish having no schools, shops, doctors, dentists or parks is an integral part of the Formby community.
- The Neighbourhood Plan process has demonstrated that Formby is a single cohesive community with a shared vision for the future challenges that are faced in terms of the housing allocation and employment allocation identified in the Sefton Local Plan.
- The community of Formby has recognisable barriers to the north and south with the Woodvale aerodrome and the Altcar rifle range and a natural barrier to the west with the shared coast line. The boundary to the east of Formby is with West Lancashire. It is a distinct settlement and the existing boundaries between the 2 parishes are hard to define by walking around the area.
- One community
- Shared sense of place between the two parishes and the geography of the area contributes to its local identity.
- At present Formby Parish Council has 15 members and Little Altcar has 7 members who are all unpaid volunteers.
- For the past 18 months Little Altcar has been supported by Formby Parish Council, who have entered into an agreement to provide clerk services for 2 years. In the new arrangement there would only be a requirement for 1 Clerk.
The Legal Situation
- A Grouping Order is a means of grouping together parish councils to form one local council for an area.
- Provision for this exists in the 1972 Local Government Act
- A way of pooling resources whilst preserving the identity of each of the individual parishes or settlements within it.
- The order must name the group and must provide for the separate representation on the council of each parish on the council.
- The reorganisation of localities by means of grouping orders means the units (parishes) concerned retain their identity and their electors meeting and such orders can be made by the principal council without the formalities of a governance review. LGA 1972 ss 11(1)-(3) and 29(1)-(3)
- There must be separate representation on the group of each parish; each parish council would be dissolved, and the grouping order may provide for any necessary adaptations e.g. enable an election to be held in a year when one would not normally be held.
The Desired Outcome
- Sefton have the legal authority to make a Grouping Order
- The Grouping Order to name the group “Formby and Little Altcar Parish Council”
- The Formby and Little Altcar Parish Council would meet each month (except August)
- Formby has an electorate (those residents registered to vote) of 18,465 and has 2 wards
- Little Altcar has an electorate of 811 and would form a 3rd ward within the grouped council
- The Parish Council would comprise 15 members (or as Sefton determine) to include:
- Harington 7 members
- Ravenmeols 6 members
- Little Altcar 2 members
It was resolved to approve the motion “To propose that Little Altcar Parish Meeting apply to Sefton MBC for a Grouping Order for the purpose of forming a grouped parish council with Formby Parish Council to be known as Formby and Little Altcar Parish Council.”
4.0 Close of Meeting
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending.