Sefton Council this month have produced a report to the Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control on the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment for the 5 year period from 2023.
This shows that the Council’s Planning Department is predicting some 5,335 new homes will be built in Sefton between 2023-2028.
Using data from the Office of National Statistics, of 2.4 people per household, this equates to an additional 12,804 residents in the Borough.
Regrettably, the Council’s Housing predictions make no comment on how they are preparing to manage the infrastructure to support this population growth.
For example, the British Medical Association has indicated that nationally there are 7.8 GP’s per 10,000 population. This figure is lower than the OECD figure for Europe which shows 10.8 GP’s per 10,000 population.
Taking Sefton’s increased population predictions this would require between 9.98 additional GP’s, based on current UK levels or 13.8 using OECD standards.
The situation regarding NHS Dentists is even more acute and most are no longer taking on new patients.
Sefton Council has responsibility through its Health and Social Care Directorate to work alongside NHS Cheshire and Merseyside to ensure adequate health services are in place within the Borough.
Also, why is there no comment from the Planning Department on the adequacy of schools within Sefton to deal with this additional population growth?
One would expect the Planning Department, the Health & Social Care Directorate and Education Services to share such critical information but again there is no evidence that this is taking place. It is as if each council department operates in a silo, with little communication between them.
One would expect the Cabinet of 9 Labour politicians would share information but this evidently does not happen. They will doubtless congratulate themselves on 5,335 new houses and the resultant community charge which will arise, but have no regard to the health and educational support for these new residents.
What action is Sefton’s Labour Council taking to ensure the borough is able to provide healthcare and education provision to support this additional population?