Posted by: westlancashirerecord | May 28, 2017

Ormskirk In Bloom…ing Mess?

A letter to the Champion is scathing about Ormskirk and its appearance but praises Burscough. Read it here  [click to enlarge]. The writer is a bit mixed up about responsibilities and no wonder, what with LCC, WLBC and parish councils all in the mix.

On “Highway maintenance” we might recall that in June 2016 West Lancashire Borough Council announced it is “…advising residents of changes in relation to the maintenance of grassed areas adjacent to the district’s highway verges and major roads from this summer. The changes affect highways with speed limits over 50mph where grass verge cutting has, for a number of years, been carried out by the Borough Council on behalf of Lancashire County Council, as the highways authority. Due to funding changes, from 1 July, the work will again be carried out by the County Council. Any queries should therefore be directed to LCC as the Highways Authority. Roads affected include the Rainford bypass; roads around Skelmersdale including Grimshaw Road, Stannanought Road and Neverstitch Road; and parts of the A59 through Aughton, Ormkskirk, Burscough, Rufford and Tarleton”.

All public services ultimately exist to serve their communities and their citizens. A key driver in establishing the future “Public Service Delivery Model” is to place the citizen at the heart of the delivery agenda whilst also empowering and enabling local communities towards independence [pardon me while I start the bullshit meter] . The new model will make accessing information easier with an integrated Front Office and access to information that clearly signposts people to the right service at the right time.

At a county level, the public finances in Lancashire are significantly stretched with recent performance data (June 2016) showing four of the six NHS providers in Lancashire & South Cumbria posting a deficit. Lancashire Constabulary has had to make budget savings of £53.4m over four years since the 2010/11 spending review. In total the Local Authorities have lost 27% of their spending power between 2010/11 to 2015/16. Following a review by PwC of LCC’s statutory services budget (Statutory Services Budget Review, Sept 16) the Council is forecasting a cumulative deficit of £398m by the end of 2020/21. It also found that even if the Council was to reduce its expenditure to the level of lowest quartile within the term of this financial planning period it would still be facing an in year deficit of £79m and a cumulative deficit of £227m by 2020/21. The Council has been drawing on its reserves to plug the financial gap. On the current trajectory, these will be exhausted by 2018/19. But don’t worry too much, we will still have 84 LCC councillors and 54 WLBC councillors, all with no inclination to cut those numbers in line with the cuts in services and new charges for services we already pay for in council tax!


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