Posted by: westlancashirerecord | July 13, 2018

Thou Shalt Not Scrounge Council Funding

The excellent QLocal  website asks “Do selfish drivers on Long Lane, Aughton need to be reminded of a new commandment? Aughton Park Baptist Church has invested in a new notice board and with its Bible texts prominent for all to see, is there room too for an 11th commandment – ‘Thou shalt not speed’?”. But we ask should there be a 12th commandment for the Aughton Parish Council bean counters “Thou shalt not scrounge” as they bank a donation of £3,000 from WLBC for buying SPIDs.

The Aughton Parish Council  (APC) is exceptionally rich, as is shown by its official Annual Returns, and in the past three years its cash and short term investments have risen from £102,211 in 2015/2016 to £109,239 in 2016/2017, and now to £117,857 in 2017/2018. Its total fixed assets plus long term investments and assets in 2017/2018 add a further £320,809. It reports “Total borrowings” of £9,041.

For each of the years mentioned above some residents of Long Lane and the surrounding areas of Aughton have regularly attended APC monthly meetings and described the serious dangers posed by speeding traffic. There have been accidents, and the nature of the traffic, farm tractors and trailers and many cars using Long Lane as a fast route to the M58. They all have to pass the usual lines of parked cars outside the Aughton Park railway station.

The April 2015 APC minutes record “The issue of the speed of traffic on Long Lane was brought up again and the Chairman suggested the resident raised the matter with the police and county council representative at the Annual Parish Assembly, following this meeting. And in June 2015 the minutes record “Another resident from Long Lane spoke about the ongoing problem of the speed of traffic in Long Lane. The Chairman said the matter would be taken up with the relevant authorities”. In the July 2015 minutes “Sgt Kelly advised that ‘speeding’ was always an issue right across the Borough. She spoke about the roles of Lancashire County Council, the Road Traffic Unit, Community Road Watch and the local police and that everything would be done to focus on ‘speeding’ and try and solve the problems on Long Lane and Prescot Road”.

Some concerned residents of Aughton asked for SPIDs to be installed on Long Lane. But who would pay, was the problem. Notwithstanding the huge unused APC reserves there has never been a will on the part of the APC to support its parish precept payers whose reserves they are. Until due to continuous pressure the APC decided not to buy the SPIDs but to apply for matched funding towards them from the West Lancashire Borough Council. And the bean counters of the APC were duly rewarded as they were told that a decision was made to award grant funding to Aughton Parish Council for their SPID parish capital application on 23/5/18 and they were informed of this decision on the 25/5/18. “The Borough Council will provide 50% match funding for this scheme with a maximum contribution of £3,000”.

By contrast, in recent times the WLBC has cut awards to Ormskirk’s Age UK Lancashire Wellbeing Centre on Moorgate, quickly helped by OWL Adrian Owens . It was the subject of speculation as to whether it could continue to operate after news the council had decided to remove the funding for the next 12 months, from 2016. We do see some strange priorities from our elected council?

WLR is now taking a break.


Responses

  1. What an ignorant lot, APC were in 2015. Telling concerned residents that despite having a *very* expensive dog, that they should bark to the police themselves. And cue the patronising police lecture. Pathetic. 3 years on, loads in the bank, and they still go begging. Shameless.

    • Yes, they haven’t changed, and probably never will. They really are shameless.


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