Trying to turn around Sefton Council to welcome community/volunteer ventures

I have submitted the following motion to the next meeting of Sefton Council to be held on 23rd January more in sadness than in anger. Readers will know how profoundly unhappy I have been over the community/volunteer bids to run College Road, Crosby and Aintree Libraries being turned down by Sefton Council. I genuinely feel that the bids need to be given a chance to succeed rather than Sefton turning them down without giving the bidders the chance to try to prove whether they can make a go of their bids.

This Council wishes to be seen to be fully signed up to the localism agenda that all 3 major political parties support both in broad terms and in many areas of detail.

To this end we welcome and support in principle proposals from Parish Councils, community groups and local charities who wish to assist in running services that the Borough Council can’t find the resources to sustain such as libraries, youth facilities, community halls etc.

Cllr. Tony Robertson

I submitted the motion on the 6th of January and realise that things may have changed before the motion is debated on 23rd January. I say this as we are yet to hear the outcome of the ‘appeal’ against the refusal to approve the two bids to one of Sefton’s Scrutiny Committees, which was heard before Christmas and was subsequently deferred to a second meeting to be held at some point in January.

Stop press: the Scrutiny meeting will not now reconvene until 11th February so I am told.

It would be nice to think that before I come to move the motion that the principle at the heart of it is something that all 3 of the political parties on the Borough Council will sign up to and that the present rather ugly spat between community campaigners and the Borough Council can be put to one side.

All I want is for community campaigners and volunteers to be welcomed with open arms and their ideas be given the chance to flourish.

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