The Community Plan was developed following regular discussions between Parish Councillors and members of the public. Liaison with other important stakeholders included the Police, Civic Society organisations, local clubs and businesses. In representing the local community's aims and wishes, the Parish Council was able to devise a number of key action points. It then used these to liaise with relevant partners in order to try and move things forward. In doing so it accepted that whilst some elements could be met at relatively little expense, others would be far more challening. The plan is reviewed by the Parish Council on a yearly basis, and updated or amended to reflect changing priorities. Key acton points include:
1. Economic development & sustainability (including improvements to the Village centre)
A phased programme of improvements to enhance the appearance of the Village centre has been introduced e.g. the memorial garden has been renovated, flower planting undertaken and improved access corridors provided, together with measures to reduce speeding traffic in Chapel Lane. Other initiatives included promoting a Dickensian Day, supporting the annual Nativity Play, the Churches Together scheme and Neighbourhood in Bloom, whilst also considering longer term questions such as a Civic Centre and public toilet facilities. The Area Partnership has also been supported and measures to expand the business estate explored.
2. Safety & Security
Local businesses have been encouraged to review their security arrangements. Schemes such as bike marking, HomeWatch, ShopWatch and Beach Safe have all been supported. The safety and well-being of pedestrians has also been promoted and encouraged, including specific parking impovements.
3. Formby's Environment
The Parish Council has endeavoured to protect the area's natural landscape. It has promoted recycling initiatives, the Waste DPD, highlighted the need to reduce CO2 emissions (supporting EST, United Utilities, EoN and nPower energy saving initiatives), maintained green areas and played an active role in coastal and flood risk management e.g. including Environment Agency infrastructure assessments and supporting local school and library projects.
4. Public Transport links
The Council has given its support to the establishment of a comprehenmsive transport plan, has agreed to take part in Local Transport Plan consultations, helped to improve the appearance of train stations (promoting Formby/Freshfield stations maintenance work) and bus stops, sponsored school initiatives aimed at reducing car use, identified ways of alleviating car parking problems and supported pedestrian safety measures (by helping to to identify road maintenance programme priorities, supporting bus circular routes and the establishment of specific pick-up points for taxis).
During the implementation of the Community Plan the Parish Council has also been involved in assessing the impact of public expenditure cuts on Sefton MBC's work performance, determining local residents reaction to the same and helped to identify key public service priorities.
Attempts to secure inward investment are also being facilitated by the Parish, by using declining local authority resources, augmented from the Council's own budgeted resources and working creatively with the Formby Town Team and local community organisers. Plans include increasing resident and visitor footfall in the Business Improvement District e.g. by working with landlords reluctant to engage with the local community, the innovative use of emply shop fronts to promote local talent and activities, exploring the feasibility of establishing a community information facilitiy, extending 'Shop Local' across Formby, exploring local delivery and transport ideas, and encouraging a better pedestrian and cycling experience.
In addition the Parish Council is refining the aims and objectives of Phase 2 of the Village Improvement Plan e.g. by protecting and developing the local economy, promoting resident involvement and making the Village itself more social, progressing the Elbow Lane concept design, implementing the proposed Wi-Fi project, undertaking tree maintenance work and improvements to the Village's appearance generally, whilst maintaining safety and security. The intention is to try and achieve all this whilst building on, and respecting, Formby's traditions.
Hence general standards of cleanliness will be maintained to keep the Village's traditional feel. Highway management will include looking at bus and taxi stops, parking and deliveries, maintaining road surfaces (whilst ensuring access to utilities) and improved access for cyclists (with proper provision for less able residents and visitors). Roundabouts, planters and gardens will also continued to be maintained.