As a result of the Lib Dem initiative to forge closer links with Lancs CC and West Lancs District Council a meeting was held on Thursday. Pictured is the Sefton Lib Dem Council leader,Tony Robertson and his Lancs CC counterpart Hazel Harding. Here is Tony's report:
First meeting between Sefton, West Lancs and Lancshire County Councils finds common ground
The recent proposal put to Sefton Council's Cabinet by LibDem Deputy Leader Iain Brodie-Brown to start a serious discussion with Sefton's neighbouring Lancashire Local Authorities an initial meeting was held at Southport Town Hall on Thursday 20th November.
The meeting called by Sefton Chief Executive Graham Haywood was attended by the Chief Executives of all all three councils with Sefton and Lancashire providing Cabinet member level input.
Says Sefton Council Leader Tony Robertson "There was a wide measure of agreement to take forward further discussions to identify policy areas where collaborative working across the Sefton/Lancashire boundary candeliver real benefits for our communities. We discussed transport,health, housing and economic matters and the next stage will be to refine a clear agenda down to a few key issues that we will try todrive forward together
"Having been split from Lancashire in 1974 by local government reorganisation my firm view is that we can and should be rebuilding the lost links as so many issues that affect the West Lancshire area effect Sefton as well. You only have to look at the geography of Sefton to see that it is surrounded by Lancshire and what we do effects them and what they do effects us.
"I was delighted by the positive approach coming from both WestLancs and Lancashire County Councils and think that we can build a relationship that delivers real benefits to our residents.
"Top of my agenda was transport issues such as the much needed Ormskirk by-pass and the reconnection of the Burscough curves rail lines. Indeed, these two transport challanges sum up why we need to work more closely with our Lancashire neighbours as we have a clear common interest in trying to push them forward."I hope we have started a real relationship of trust and forward collaberative thinking.
It is scarcely necessary to remark that the Tories voted against this idea and demanded that their opposition was noted!