Formby Point Update
COMMENTS in relation to the potential
land transfer of land in Formby from Sefton Council and the National Trust have
Earlier this month, Sefton Council published a formal notice considering the
disposal of land to the northern and southern side of Lifeboat Road (Formby
The closing date for comments was 22 March 2017, with most correspondence in support
of the scheme. This included a petition with 69 names on it in full support of
the potential land transfer.
Positive conversations have taken place and will continue regarding the transfer
of land at Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols from Sefton's ownership to The National
If agreed, it would see more than 204 hectares become part of the National Trust
Formby portfolio which is home to one of the very best mobile sand dune habitats
in the entire UK.
The comments made will now form part of a report going to Cabinet in May which
will look at the possibility of transferring the land to the National Trust.
Sarah Kemp, Executive Director at Sefton Council, said:- "So far the
feedback over the potential transfer of land in Formby to the National Trust has
been very supportive.
We strongly believe this potential land transfer will enable the National Trust
to make a significant contribution to the outcomes of the Sefton 2030 Vision. It
will also enable a positive impact in terms of managing the broader landscape
for the benefit of people, the local economy, natural wildlife and the
Further discussions will take place with National Trust with the view of
transferring the land to them to develop a richer visitor experience with local
communities and secure the future of this extraordinary coastline. This will be
reported back in May."
The dunes themselves are home to rare wildlife including sand lizards, Northern
Dune Tiger Beetles and the rare Natterjack toad. The pine woodlands that fringe
the coast provide a wonderful habitat to rare and much loved red squirrels.
The significance of the land at Lifeboat Road recreation area and Ravenmeols has
been recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of
Conservation and Special Protection Area.
Rebecca Burton, National Trust Assistant Director of Operations, said:-
"We are really encouraged by the feedback received to the potential land
transfer and the petition in its support. We appreciate just how important the
Formby Coast is to the people who love it and use it and for the rare wildlife
that makes its home here. As we head towards the milestone 50th Anniversary of
our care for land, at Victoria Road, on 12 April 2017, our aim is to continue to
ensure that this special place can to be used and enjoyed by future generations.
We want to continue caring for and protecting this special piece of coastline,
working closely with our neighbours, key stakeholders and partners. We are
excited about the future opportunity the land transfer would offer to invest in
things that local people and users have told us they would like. These include
better visitor facilities and access, working alongside local people to shape
The potential land transfer coincides with 2017 being the Year of Sefton's Coast
and also the 50 year Anniversary of the National Trust in Formby.
Join our Twitter polls today!
WE have started a new feature on our Twitter Page for our
Twitter Followers, with a pole. This week our Twitter Poles asked about BREXIT.
As we leave the EU we have asked will the UK
remain United after BREXIT following the Scottish Parliaments vote and the final
results where 50% chose:- "No", its the start of the end of the UK
and 50% said:- "Don't care..."
The next question was, should UK have a
referendum about keeping Scotland and Wales in the UK, should they want out
after leaving the EU, should the English have a vote..? 38% said:- "Yes",
30% said:- "No," 12% "Don't know..." and 12%
We also asked should we have another
referendum once we know the terms of BREXIT or should we just let the
politicians decided? 33% said:- "Yes we should have a say."
Interestingly 63% said:- "No we had our say!"
So if you want to take part in our next Twitter pole, please log
on to our Twitter account at:-
If you did not get a chance to vote on these issues this week and
you would like to have your say, please do email us to:-
News24@SouthportReporter.com and let us know what you are thinking!
Green light for biggest ever
investment in grassroots football
WORK is to get underway this summer on
the biggest ever investment in grassroots football in Liverpool worth almost ₤17
million as part of The FA's Parklife Programme.
A report approved at the Council's Cabinet accepted an external funding package
worth ₤12.9 million for the Liverpool Parklife Project, supplemented by a ₤4.4
million investment from the City Council, and will see four all-weather sports
hubs created in Liverpool.
The external funding is coming from the Football Foundation (₤11.9 million on
behalf of The FA, DCMS and The Premier League), Sport England (₤0.8million) and
the RFU (Rugby Football Union) - ₤272k.
It will initially see 4 all weather sports hubs created in Liverpool in the
► Jeffrey Humble Playing Field (Fazakerley)
► Heron Eccles Playing Field (Allerton)
► Jericho Lane Playing Field (Otterspool)
► Simpson Road (Woolton)
Each will have three floodlit artificial grass pitches together with grass
pitches, changing facilities and extensive car parking. There will also be
health and fitness facilities at Jeffrey Humble and Jericho Lane.
The investment follows discussions in 2015 between Mayor Joe Anderson and the FA
about a brand new approach to the sport designed to meet the changing needs of
participants, drive up the standard of facilities and reduce reliance on
subsidies from the City Council by ensuring income generated from the sites is
reinvested back into the game locally.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "This is a huge investment in
grassroots football and will be pivotal in improving the facilities in
Liverpool. Far too often during the winter, matches have to be called off
because the grass is waterlogged or frozen, causing disappointment for thousands
Unlike many other Councils, we have chosen to keep the use of pitches free. But
we have far less money than we used to and we can't invest as much as we would
like to improve the pitches and associated facilities. That is why we have
worked together with our partners to come up with an innovative new approach
that will deliver major investment in great new facilities and get more people
involved in the game."
Football is the City's major participation sport with over 1,200 teams; of
which more than 60% are junior/youth teams; and it is estimated that half a
million people participate in the game every year.
Under the initiative, a varied development programme with be introduced to
ensure the new facilities are accessible to all sections of the community
through the week and matches and other activities at the weekend as part of the
drive to ensure both football development and social outcomes are delivered.
Martin Glenn, FA CEO, said:- "After the success of our inaugural site in
Sheffield last year, this is another positive step in helping football
communities across the country. Liverpool is a real hotbed for the game at youth
level. Crucially, this development means poor pitches, inadequate changing
facilities and a battle against the elements to get fixtures completed each
winter will be a thing of the past for everyone who uses it which underlines our
commitment to providing football for all."
David Woods, Chair of the Liverpool Grassroots Steering Group, said:- "The
addition of new state of the art 3G pitches, pavilions and car parking will
provide new facilities for everyone, allowing people to access football all year
round across the City. Once construction has concluded, these four hub sites
will provide high quality facilities for grassroots clubs and leagues, who will
be able to play football in a safe environment. Not only will these facilities
be available for clubs during the week for training; at weekends they will allow
for mini-soccer to be played in the morning, with youth and adult football able
to be played in the afternoon."
Dave Pugh, Chief Executive of the Liverpool County FA, said:- "We have
been working hard with the Liverpool Grassroots Steering Group, Liverpool City
Council and The FA to develop this project, which will not only see a huge
investment in the City for grassroots football, but will also provide
opportunities to support grassroots football leagues, both junior and adult, by
providing high quality facilities for them to access for match days, and clubs
for training during the week. The new facilities will also improve the access
and quality of our coach education programmes, improve skill development of
young players, allow more people to access football opportunities and ultimately
change the way we support and deliver football in the City for the better."
An external operator will be sought to run the pitches, which will remain in
Council ownership. The Council's contribution will be funded using borrowing and
initially repaid via a licence fee received from the operator. Once this
borrowing has been serviced, all income received by the Council will be donated
to the Council's charitable delivery agent.
3 of the sites are currently subject to the lease arrangements with Merseyside
Youth Association (MYA) and as part of the new arrangements the leases at Heron
Eccles and Simpson Ground will not be renewed. A new lease will be granted to
the MYA for the Jeffrey Humble site which will be leased back to the Council
with the MYA receiving ₤15k a year rental income. All MYA staff will transfer to
the new operator.
Planning permission has already been secured for the sites and work is expected
to get underway this June with the new sites opening in April 2018.