Households Face Paying £100 A Year More In Council Tax

West Lancashire Borough Council states “We aim to deliver the best possible services within the resources available and as a public body spending taxpayers’ money we work hard to ensure that the Council gets value for money from its spending. In 2020-21 we propose to spend a total of £86.411m on providing day to day services for the local community. This spending will be funded by £78.289m of income raised through grants, rents, interest, fees, charges and other sources resulting in a council tax requirement of £8.122m. The budget that has been set requires an increase in the council tax level of £5.00 for a Band D Property, which is equivalent to a 2.46% increase”. 

“The Council Tax for West Lancashire Borough Council for the average Band D property in 2020-21 will be £208.39 per year or £4.00 a week. Around 11% of the Council Tax comes to the Borough Council. The total council tax includes charges from Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Lancashire Constabulary. The Council Tax for some areas will also include a parish Council precept”.

West Lancashire Borough Council£208.39£203.392.46%
Lancashire County Council£1,400.32£1,346.593.99%
Lancashire Combined Fire Authority£70.86£69.481.99%
Lancashire Police Authority£211.45£201.454.96%

From The Times

Council tax bills will increase by £1.8 billion from April under new rules that allow local authorities to put up rates without consultation, official forecasts have shown.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that two thirds of councils will increase their taxes by the maximum 5 per cent, costing households up to £100 a year. Over five years bills will increase by a total of about £7.5 billion.

In November the government loosened rules on the amount that local authorities could charge. Previously, any council wanting to increase taxes by more than 2 per cent would have to hold a referendum. That limit has been increased to 5 per cent. An average band D property will pay between £50 and £100 more council tax a year. The OBR projects that by 2025-26, the council tax take will rise from £38.1 billion to £45.6 billion.

The Local Government Association, the membership organisation representing local authorities, said “Councils face the tough choice about whether to increase bills to bring in desperately needed funding to protect our services at a time when we are acutely aware of the significant burden that this could place on some households. Council tax rises particularly the adult social care precept have never been the solution to the long-term pressures faced by councils, particularly in social care, which is desperately in need of reform.”

Labour has attempted to apply pressure on the issue of council tax rises in recent months. Reacting to the budget this week leader Starmer said that the increase would hit those on lower incomes “very, very hard”. But a recent survey showed that Labour councils were twice as likely as Conservative councils to increase taxes by the maximum amount. Eight in ten Labour authorities told the Local Government Chronicle that they would increase bills by 5 per cent, compared with four in ten Tory councils.

Public Comment? “Roughly a third is used to pay gold plated pensions to former councillors and employees. £9.5bn in the financial year 17/18. Most Council tax payers don’t have an employer-sponsored guaranteed index linked pension. My local council has made some questionable investments in property schemes yet no aparatchik is ever held to account for their cock ups”.

The West Lancashire Borough Council Staff Pension Liability?

“The value of the net pension liability in the 2019/20 accounts has reduced by £3.426m to £53.147m. The net pension liability represents the excess of long term accrued liabilities, assessed on a prescribed basis, compared with the market value of pension assets. Statutory arrangements for the funding of the pension scheme mean that the financial position of the Council remains healthy”.

West Lancashire Reports New Coronavirus Infections

The West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals have reported 18 new coronavirus infections today, that’s 8,581 infections, 7,507 per 100,000 of our population.

Between 28 February 2021 and 6 March 2021, 110 people had a confirmed positive test result. This shows a decrease of 19.1% compared to the previous 7 days.

There were no deaths reported within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus on 6th  March 2021.

Between 28th February 2021 and 6th March 2021, there have been 3 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. This shows a decrease of 50% compared to the previous 7 days.

Rosie Cooper MP Raises Concerns At Proposed Parrs Lane Housing

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has raised concerns about the proposals from David Wilson Homes to build hundreds of houses on land to the south of Parrs Lane.   

DWH have launched a website with plans to deliver a new housing community on this land stretching as far as Moor Hall.  Rosie has asked West Lancashire Borough Council what discussions have taken place and whether an application has been submitted.

She said “For residents of Aughton this will feel all too familiar, with big housing developers keen to swoop in and build large scale housing developments with executive homes on valuable and vital, high-grade, agricultural land in the greenbelt. 

“On multiple occasions Aughton Residents Group have had to mobilise and inform the local community of developers’ plans for the area, and they are ready to fight again.  I have written to West Lancashire Borough Council asking for more details and their understanding of what stage the plans are at.   

“Should the development proceed to a full planning application, I will be supporting local residents in opposition and calling for the council to adhere to their Local Plan, which clearly gives no indication that this land should be used for housing.  The council have already had to take legal action to defend its local plan and I would hope they do all they can to resist these predatory applications”. 

Down memory lane, who can forget the appalling slur by that Aughton councillor in 2013, that residents told lies door to door? Danielle Thompson told the story brilliantly. Will history repeat itself?

How To Procure An Exciting Salary

Simple, apply for the role of Procurement and Contracts Manager at West Lancashire Borough Council. It will pay you £43,857 to £46,845 per annum and mounds of goodies, such as flexible working, LGPS pension scheme, family friendly policies and healthcare insurance.

“We pride ourselves on being a good employer with a range of benefits and employment terms and conditions to suit you”.

“This exciting opportunity has arisen because the council is ambitious for our economy and environment and the health and wellbeing of local people and we strive to deliver the best possible services for all our residents and stakeholders”.  You’ve read the blurb that “West Lancashire has a diverse economy with market towns, small villages and thriving commercial areas nestled alongside rural countryside. The Borough offers a wide contrast between open farmland and small picturesque villages together with the larger vibrant market towns of Burscough and Ormskirk. Our largest town Skelmersdale is a hive of urban activity with a number of thriving employment estates, busy shopping centres and exciting plans for the Town Centre”. Yawn, yawn!

“As an experienced procurement expert, with a relevant professional qualification, you will lead the development of the Council’s approach to procurement and provide sound advice on contract and procurement matters”.  Which is a bit late to apply to the contracts that were procured and applied to the Beacon Park Golf Course landfill development ten years ago that have left it wrecked!

Sad Landmark Coronavirus Deaths In West Lancashire

In the Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals, 14 new people had a confirmed positive test result reported on 5 March 2021. Between 27 February 2021 and 5 March 2021, 108 people had a confirmed positive test result. This shows a decrease of 19.4% compared to the previous 7 days.

The Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals recorded one more death on March 3, reported today, bringing their cumulative total to 400. Between 27 February 2021 and 5 March 2021, there have been 3 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. This shows a decrease of 50% compared to the previous 7 days.

Repeat Prescription Ordering Back In GP’s Hands

Says Rosie Cooper MP

Following the decision by West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group to transfer responsibility of the Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service back to GPs, Rosie Cooper MP

“Residents will be pleased to hear that the CCG has finally returned repeat prescription ordering back into the hands of the GP Practices.  

“Ever since it was introduced in 2017, I have received a consistent stream of serious complaints about the POD. Difficulty getting through to the call centre, lost prescriptions and even clinical decisions made by the unseen administration unit left patients very frustrated.  

“A disconnected and faceless administration unit is no place to be dealing with people’s medical prescriptions. I am grateful that the CCG have put patients first and are ending this cost cutting endeavour”.

Some residents have faced none of the above “serious complaints”, just complete efficiency and friendly service, as I have. Is it really the case that those POD staff have caused such frustration? Shouldn’t these management shortcomings have been easily overcome? Will POD staff lose their jobs?

You said: We were aware from the patient experience we gathered that some patients may struggle to use the new repeat prescription ordering system.

We did: We monitored all patients with a repeat prescription, identifying when they are due to order their repeat prescription and if any resident, after a week overdue, has not ordered their medication, the CCG rang them personally to check that they are ok and not having issues. If issues were identified then these were managed immediately.


West Lancashire Coronavirus Update

The Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals have reported 19 new people had a confirmed positive test result reported today, 4th March 2021.

Between 26th February 2021 and 4th March 2021, 104 people had a confirmed positive test result. This shows a decrease of 33.8% compared to the previous 7 days.

Sadly there was one death within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus reported on 4th March 2021. Between 26th February 2021 and 4th March 2021, there have been 3 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. This shows a decrease of 62.5% compared to the previous 7 days.

Are You Short Of A Few Quid To Overhaul Your Home?

Don’t worry, ask a charity to fund it.  Boris Johnson is said to be struggling to fund a makeover of his official flat by his partner. He privately complained that the cost was totally out of control and that she had ordered gold wall coverings, tacky, according to sources. In one meeting he reportedly said the bill ran to tens and tens of thousands, while in another, that it was over a hundred grand. 

An article in Tatler reveals that his partner has been overhauling the flat to remove all trace of Theresa May’s John Lewis furniture nightmare. According to the magazine, the main living area of the flat has been painted deep green and is “often lit by candles”.

A No 10 spokesman did not deny there were plans for a charity, saying “As has been the case under successive administrations, refurbishment and maintenance are made periodically. Matters concerning works on the Downing Street estate, including residences, are covered in the Cabinet Office annual report and accounts”.

Who knows where this might end? We could seek charitable aid for potholes, or grid cleaning, because the LCC doesn’t fund them enough. Flooding needs help, and our pumping stations are poor relatives in the funding queue?

NHS staff could seek charitable aid after the miserable and nasty 1% pay rise. RCN Chief Executive Dame Donna Kinnair said the government was “dangerously out of touch with nursing staff, NHS workers and the public”.

“Nursing staff would feel they are being punished and made to pay for the cost of the pandemic. It is a political decision to underfund and undervalue nursing staff. With the time remaining before the Pay Review Body recommendation, the government can expect a backlash from a million NHS workers. Taxpayers are supportive of a significant and fair pay rise for NHS workers this year of all years”.

Stay Coronavirus Vigilant In West Lancashire

The Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals reported 16 new people had a confirmed positive test result reported on 3rd March 2021.

Between 25 February 2021 and 3 March 2021, 103 people had a confirmed positive test result. This shows a decrease of 32.2% compared to the previous 7 days. We’ve recorded 8,530 infections, that’s 7,462.4 per 100,000 of our population.

There were no deaths within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus reported on 3rd March 2021.

Delivery Of An (Unwanted) Inclusive And Sustainable Community!

They want to put a “sustainable development site” on a historic working productive agricultural green belt site by claiming to be “Safeguarding Green Belt”!

 “The natural boundaries of the built site, with an established wooded area to the east, will restrict future growth and ensure that future development will not affect the strategic Green Belt, now or in the future”.

An open letter from Colin Atkinson, Chairman ARG (2012) to Rosie Cooper MP, all WLBC Ward Councillors, and Aughton Parish Council.

“I presume that by now you are all probably aware of the Barratt David Wilson Homes proposal for a housing development named Little Moor Hall Gardens at land bounded by Parrs Lane, Maltkiln Lane and Prescot Road, Aughton.

Details of this proposal can be viewed using  the link

“I am sending you this email for your information as our elected representatives in the hope that you will give support to our Group and voice your objections to this unwarranted proposal at the appropriate time during the ongoing WLBC Local Plan processes.   

“This proposal is very similar to that submitted by Barratt David Wilson Homes in 2012/2013 and was rejected and not included in the current Local Plan. I have submitted the following comment/feedback on behalf of ARG (2012) to the developers by way of their electronic form.

“I have been the Chairman of Aughton Residents Group ARG (2012) since its formation in 2012 to resist unwarranted and uncalled for housing developments on sites in Parrs Lane Aughton and represent the views of hundreds of local residents.

“Our Group strongly and robustly object to your proposed development and will endeavour to do so at every opportunity during the formulation of the new WLBC Local Plan. We are against your development plans for a number of reasons including

1. The proposed development lies in the Green Belt and no amount of obfuscation can avoid this point.

2. The agricultural land in question is undoubtedly of the ‘Best and most versatile’ BMV type and as such the NPPF policies deem it way down the scale when land for building on is selected. Your similar proposal on the same area for an Aughton Village East submitted for consideration by WLBC in 2012 / 2013 was rejected and not included in the current Local Plan.

3. It is understood that the Local build requirements likely to be set by the Government will result in WLBC’S target being reduced to 193 per annum not warranting such proportional large scale developments in Aughton as your proposal.

4. Your ‘speculative’ proposal especially at this very early stage of the Planning process once again brings angst, distress and uncertainty to residents of this area of Aughton who have endured years of battling against unwelcome and unnecessary profit driven housing schemes which take little or no heed of Local views or the irreparable damage done to or loss of our precious Greenbelt. 

“There are numerous other reasons why we object to this proposal which no doubt will be outlined at later stages of the Planning process. I’m sure that in reading my submission you realise that there is already very strong resistance to this proposal albeit at this relatively early stage of the Local Planning Process.

“I’m aware that the Local Development Scheme (LDS) timetable was before WLBC Cabinet for approval yesterday and the target date for adoption of the new 17 year plan (2023 – 2040) is now December 2023.

“Our Group wish to make it clear to Barratt David Wilson Homes at this early stage that they will encounter strong local opposition to this proposal. I ask that as our elected MP, Aughton Ward Councillors and Aughton Parish Councillors you give due consideration to voicing your opposition to this unwarranted development on precious Greenbelt land”.

Of interest “David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets, said Barratt would also be looking for good news from the budget. He said “The Company has benefited greatly from the help-to-buy scheme, and it is banking on further assistance from Westminster, especially on the back of the Tory party win at the back end of last year”.

The executive director of campaigning body Positive Money said “It’s now beyond clear that rather than helping those who can’t afford to buy a home, Help To Buy has mainly been a subsidy for a housing bubble, benefiting property developers and existing home owners”.

Should we really have these tax subsidised developers taking away our greenbelt? As for “natural boundaries” bounded by “established woods”, are they strategic green belt or not? Perhaps our elected members might tell us?