In an apparent blatant hijack of taxpayers’ money, West Lancashire Borough Council has grabbed another £755,000 of my, and your, income taxes on top of the annual council tax amount for ‘average’ Band D properties (excluding parish council precepts) of £1,891.02. You might be paying more.
They’ve grabbed it and relish the fact of Historic England receiving £87.1 million in grant-in-aid from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport that’s funded from income and other taxes.
“Our Management Agreement with Government provides the context and framework for our work and sets out our key activities for the money we receive. “£755,000 Funding Success For West Lancashire”
“We are pleased to announce that £755,000 match funding has been secured from Historic England to deliver the High Street Heritage Action Zone programme in Ormskirk.
“West Lancashire Borough Council and Lancashire County Council will also be contributing significant amounts of funding which has previously been allocated, to deliver a number of projects within the HAZ programme, which will be delivered over the next four years. Some of the match funding allocated includes improvements to the bus station and further improving the public realm in Moor Street and other parts of the town centre.
“Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said “We are laughing all the way to our bank [we think that’s what he’s thinking!] which holds £25,728,000 in useable reserves. This is great news and will help us build on the proud heritage Ormskirk has.
“This scheme was for historic town centres and high streets, which is why the Council bid for Ormskirk. We are ambitious for the whole of West Lancashire and constantly looking for external funding schemes that might be used to enhance different areas. Prior to the pandemic construction work had begun on the Skelmersdale town centre regeneration scheme and we have been in discussions with the owners of the Concourse Shopping Centre on possible future phases of development.”
“The High Street Heritage Action Zone is an initiative from Historic England to use a place’s heritage to create economic growth and improve quality of life to help revive our high streets.
“Working with local people, partners and Historic England, We are helping to breathe new life into [half-dead] Ormskirk town centre which is rich in heritage and full of promise. The programme will unlock Ormskirk’s potential and make the area more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors. The programme will be delivered through joint-working, grant funding and sharing the skills of experts at Historic England.
“The High Street Heritage Action Zone programme will include physical improvements and cultural activities to help to regenerate Ormskirk town centre. We will be working with local partners to develop and deliver this by implementing projects that draw upon and enhance the town’s historic character.
“Projects included within the programme are the improvements to public realm areas, enhanced connectivity to access the town centre by walking, cycling and public transport and visual improvements to alleyways and public realm, to better highlight the town’s heritage. An associated cultural programme focussed on working with communities and local cultural organisations in developing site-specific events will also be designed to encourage local people to engage with the heritage on their high street”.
What a load of old bollocks, if you will pardon the expression. It’s a heist from the public money-go-round. Let us know the last time you thought about “public realm” or engaged with the heritage, as you strolled through Burscough, Skelmersdale, and Ormskirk, so we all know what it means! We must all cherish this “culture” paid for unknowingly by us all!