Do you know what your residents think of your council? Are they happy with the way you run things, the value for money they receive, and do they think you keep them well informed? These are questions raised by the Local Government Association.
Conservatives in Sefton are alarmed that our Labour Council is making decisions in secrecy and which impact upon all of our lives.
The Area Committees have been abandoned. Each year Blundellsands Ward Councillors receive £4,500 to be spent on the local community. As a result of underspending for years the budget now stands at over £10,000 (as of 1/4/19). The budgets allocated each year to Council wards are being spent at the whim of individual councilors with no community consultation, publicity or accountability. Have any Labour councilors bothered to tell you about the area committee funds or asked where you think the money should be spent in Blundellsands?
As part of their planning process McCarthy & Stone contributed £137,569 to the Council for Crosby Village (Section 106 funding). Some of this we know was spent on Christmas lights in the village, again with no community consultation. No statement was published showing how this income has been spent or how much remains uncommitted. How much has the Council received from other planning developments and how has the money been spent?
A decision was made by "somebody" to buy a "living Christmas tree" but no consultation about where it would be located or how it would be maintained. The tree has now been planted in a park in Bootle! Why not plant it in one of the many parks in Crosby?
The Labour Council commissioned a transportation and access study for Crosby Village 2 years ago but the results have not been published. That study looked at car parking, the road layout and public transport requirements but we have not been told how much it cost to employ the consultants to provide this "secret study". Public data should be public by default.
The Council's website tells us that in 2018 Sefton Council received £4.449m from car parking charges and made a profit of £2.156m. Where has this money gone?
We are pleased that the Council eventually responded to our suggestion that they bid for a share of the Government's £675m Future High Streets Fund. However, the local community and the shopkeepers have not been asked for their views of our future high street. The Council again seems to think they know best.
Speaking this week Martyn Barber, Conservative Candidate for Blundellsands & Local Association Chairman said: "As a Conservative I believe that consultation involves listening to and learning from local people before decisions are made or priorities are set. Decisions involving public expenditure should identify the individuals responsible for making those decisions and the factors they have taken into account in reaching those decisions."