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Meeting report: SSCA meeting with Sefton Chief Exec

Updated: Feb 5


Bootle Town Hall. Photo Credit "Rept0n1x" at Wikimedia Commons


On Monday 22nd January, members of our Alliance were invited to meet Sefton Council's Chief Executive, Phil Porter, at Bootle Town Hall. This followed our letter to him and then Council Leader, Ian Maher.


Politically, much has changed since we wrote to Phil Porter, with a new Council Leader in post and we look forward to hearing more about Marion Atkinson's vision for our part of the borough in the year ahead.


In the meantime, the purpose of this meeting was to introduce ourselves and to go through the issues that matter most to us, as set out on this website.


Phil Porter was joined by Andrea Watts, Executive Director for People, who therefore had obvious links to the issues we were raising.


In advance of the meeting, we shared an Action Plan, which sets out some of the things we are targeting under each of our areas of focus, which are:


  • Improving air quality

  • Reducing traffic

  • Making streets cleaner and safer

  • Addressing the negative impacts of the port's operations

  • Protecting our green spaces

  • Protecting communities against the impacts of climate change; and

  • Supporting the work of community groups


You can view the action plan in full here:


SSCA Action Plan
.pdf
Download PDF • 205KB

We had an hour of their time, so it wasn't possible to run through every item on the plan. Instead, we talked about how these issues impacted on our communities on a daily basis.


We gave examples including littering/fly-tipping, concerns over the reliability of air quality monitors, difficulties community organisations face in securing leases of council land, issues generated by over development and new housing among other things. A copy of the minutes can be viewed here:


20240122 - SSCA-Chief Exec Meeting MinutesAPPROVED
.pdf
Download PDF • 215KB

We felt that the response of both Phil Porter and Andrea Watts was positive, open and that there is a genuine desire to improve engagement with community groups and alliances like ours.


They also asked to be held to account on their progress in relation to the items on our action plan, which is exactly what we intend to do by continuing to meet with them, as well as the relevant Cabinet Members and Lead Officers with responsibility for each area.


There are things we disagree on, or that we need more clarity on, but it felt like a positive first step towards achieving the objectives we have set out as a collective of community groups.


All in all, we believe this was a decent start to our engagement with the council and it has already led to a specific meeting focussing on the challenges around street cleansing, which we'll be reporting on soon.


One final update; we're currently busy getting our alliance on a more formal footing, which means some pretty dull admin work! As soon as that's done, we'll be going out to the South Sefton community again and inviting others to join us, as we want our alliance to grow. Updates to follow in the coming weeks and months.


In the meantime, if you'd like to get in touch, email info@southseftonalliance.org

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