Please find below my experiences on Newton with Clifton Parish Council, and what I've been up to this Autumn / Winter
I joined the Parish Council as a co-opted member in 2021 and was re-elected unopposed in 2023. I was also elected as Vice Chair in 2022. Like many rural Parish Councils there are no party politics and there is a real team focus on acting for and with local residents. I continue to be impressed by the diligence and commitment of my fellow Parish Councillors in their various roles within the Parish.
There is an Open Forum at the start of each meeting which allows members of the public to air issues and concerns, which the Parish Council then considers. There is a well-established Friends of Newton Community Park who have been very successful in gaining grants for the multi award-winning Park, and an embryonic Friends of Clifton Park.
We also have the opportunity to comment on all planning applications. Most recently this has included the Morecambe and Morgan Off Shore Wind Farm route and substations. This includes a 120m wide path from St Annes to Penwortham, cutting through the Fylde and with two substations between Newton and Freckleton. The Parish Council has been rightly critical about the poor quality of consultation and is opposing the substations being outside the village. Over 400 local people shared their letters of objection with the Parish Council and we are working closely with the Newton Residents Association and Hornbies Trust to ensure that we continue to keep the pressure on for this proposal to have proper consultation and consideration of local people. We will also liaise with other local Parishes on a Parliamentary Petition.
I sit on the Fylde District Parish Planning Liaison Panel, and Fylde District Parish Liaison Panel.
I have taken a role around local flooding, and in particular, drains. I was appalled at the flooding that took place in late 2021 and raised a number of concerns about blocked drains. After some perseverance, and demonstrating to Lancashire County Council that the drains they said were clear remain blocked, outstanding drains were all cleared. Following flooding on the main Blackpool Road, I identified a further 15 blocked drains, and followed up with video evidence of flooding. In total I have got 52 drains cleared, although following the recent rain I have reported a further 20 blocked drains.
I thoroughly enjoy my role as a Parish Councillor and would love to see more people taking up this challenge!