Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 1, 2016

“Ask Us Our Views Before You Rebrand Ormskirk”

So says the OWL owlpic party on behalf of local residents.

Well, how many times have we residents been “consulted” and our views sought on matters pertinent to us? No bus travel, social isolation, the travel concession, the local plan, flooding, shale, equality and disability, we can go on ad nauseam. The Grant emails, the Grant letter that wasn’t, Yew Tree Farm, solar farms, wind farms, county matters, all matters discussed and or consulted on, all responses ignored and decisions taken regardless.

Now the OWLs rebrand want residents of Ormskirk to be formally consulted again. Not all residents of West Lancashire, who will all pay the bill, just residents of Ormskirk. Parished areas provide council tax from about 20,700 homes, non parished areas, ie Ormskirk and Skelmersdale provide council tax from 12,221 homes. But the majority payers will be ignored in this consultation.

Residents of the town should be formally consulted before any steps are taken to rebrand the town say local residents and supporters of Our West Lancashire. Jane Thompson who lives in Station Road and recently stood as a candidate in the local elections said “I recently attended a presentation on the work of consultants employed by the council to look at Ormskirk’s image and how we promote business in the town centre. At the end of the presentation the consultants said their big idea was to rebrand Ormskirk as a ‘University Market Town’. I’ve spoken to a fair number of people about this and received very mixed views. I think the council need to ask us as local residents what we think before making any change.”

Cllr Adrian Owens added “The council has spent thousands of pounds on consultants and so far only presented the findings to a select group of people. Now it’s time to ask residents what they think of the rebranding idea in a formal consultation. Are we a “Historic Market Town” or a “University Market Town”? A town’s branding goes right to the heart of people’s sense of place and identity.”

He continued “We need to agree a marketing message that carries the widest public support, so a formal consultation seems to be in order. The consultants identified some important points and we undoubtedly need to maximise the many benefits of the University to the town while minimising the negatives. Council Cabinet are to consider the consultants findings formally in June and I hope they involve the people of Ormskirk in this important matter.”

The “widest public support” should mean what it says, Borough wide, not just Ormskirk. Who was that clown who referred to Ormskirk as the capital of West Lancashire? Ah, I recall now, it was the then Derby ward Cllr Sudworth. He said it for his own political enhancement by ensuring the retention of the Ormskirk police station. And he was a one term wonder boy Tory!

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