Cllr Stephen Phillips' Diary Summer 2023

Nearly the end of July, so a little update from me about what I've been up to on St. Anne's on the Sea Town Council.

I've now been a Councillor for nearly 3 months and am getting into the swing of how things work on the Town Council.

Basically there is the Full Council that meets approximately every 2 months, and then there are a number of Working Groups that work on specific topics and report back to the Full Council. There are also a number of Councillors who are effectively outreach to community groups (Outside Bodies) such as the St. Anne's Carnival Committee, Kite Festival Committee, Allotments, etc., who attend meetings with their respective groups and report back to the Full Council.

I've been to 2 Full Council Meetings so far and have noticed that, although the meeting is open to the public, and there is a 15 minute slot set aside at the beginning for questions from the public, so far there have been no members of the public present. Perhaps this will change as things progress.

Allocation to the various Working Groups and Outside Bodies is all by a vote of the Councillors. Competition was surprisingly fierce, although I did manage to get elected onto the Town & Environmental Network (T&EN) Group. T&EN are responsible for working to improve the local environment for residents and tourists alike. T&EN were behind the mural on the building in the Crescent Gardens, and also for the Summer Activity Sessions going on at the moment. I'm enjoying T&EN as its meetings are informal and there is a general view of just getting on and doing stuff for the Town without politics getting in the way. I hope this continues.

Please find below an update of the key things that have arisen so far in no particular order:

  • The closure of Garden Street (the link from the Square to Ashton Gardens) due to the work on the former JR Taylor's site has been shortened after public pressure, but it's still going to be closed to traffic until February 2024. It is hoped that the businesses along there won't suffer too badly over Christmas, and this is something that the Town Council will keep an eye on. 
  • There is lots of anticipation for the Music Festival in Ashton Gardens that will be staged between 25th and 28th August. I went last year and it was great, but this year looks even better, definitely a date for your diaries!
  • The free Summer Activity Sessions for primary school kids are now in full swing at Ashton Gardens and are proving really popular. They will move to Hope Street Park in mid August and continue there until the 1st September. This is a new initiative by the T&EN Working Group and we are hoping it is a success so it can be repeated next year.
  • There is, of course, lots of discussion about the proposed "pop up" Event Space in St. Anne's Square. From looking at some of the comments on Facebook, I started off with quite a negative view of the proposal, but after attending the display at the Town Hall after work, I came away actually quite positive. Yes, it needs some further work on traffic management, what to do with the buses, and the wind tunnel effect, but basically I think that having an Event Space with a temporary road closure, that can pull people into the Square for various activities, should help with footfall in the Square and boost our local economy. I'm sure many have views on this, so don't forget to tell Fylde Council what you think via their on-line consultation.

OK, that's all for now, speak soon.

Cllr Stephen Phillips' Diary Spring 2023

First of all, a huge THANK-YOU to all the residents of Heyhouses ward in St. Anne's who put their confidence in me as their choice for Town Councillor. Let's start with a little bit about me and what I hope to achieve over the next 4 years.

So, I’m Stephen Phillips, I’m 58 years old, married with 2 teenage children, and a cat.

I’ve lived in Fylde for 34 years, and in Heyhouses for over 20 years, but I grew up in Kent. After attending primary and comprehensive school, I graduated with an Honours Degree in Applied Physics, and then moved to the Fylde coast in 1989 to begin work at a major local aerospace manufacturer. I still work there today, managing a team of specialist engineering staff across many high value multinational projects.

My 3 key priorities for St. Anne's are:

  1. Road and Pavement Repairs: Our roads and pavements are a disgrace. Potholes damaging cars, broken paving slabs and kerbs risking injury. They need fixing!
  2. Parks and Green Spaces: It's important to upgrade our Play Parks, but we also need to protect and manage these areas to ensure that they do not fall into disrepair.
  3. Recycling: The council used to provide a free collection of food and garden waste, but no longer. We need to make it easier for people to recycle.

You can be assured that whilst a Town Councillor I will do my utmost to bring about positive change in St. Anne's on my key priorities, and I look forward to meeting the residents of Heyhouses to discuss your aspirations and concerns.