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January 2021

Formby Flood Defence

Is Formby always likely to flood?

The answer to that question is a resounding Yes!

The reason is easily explained because of the geography of Formby. It is open to all three of the causes of flooding. According to the Zurich Insurance Company.

The three definitions of flooding they cite are Fluvial flooding, Pluvial flooding and Coastal flooding.

A fluvial, or river flood, occurs when the water level in a river, lake or stream rises and overflows onto the surrounding banks, shores and neighbouring land. The water level rise could be due to excessive rain or snowmelt.

A fluvial, or river flood,
occurs when the water level in a river, lake or stream rises and overflows onto the surrounding banks, shores and neighbouring land. The water level rise could be due to excessive rain or snowmelt.

A pluvial flood occurs when an extreme rainfall event creates a flood
independent of an overflowing water body. A common misconception about the flood is that you must be located near a body of water to be at risk.
Yet pluvial flooding can happen in any location, urban or rural; even in areas with no water bodies in the vicinity.

Coastal flooding is the inundation of land areas along the coast by seawater.
Common causes of coastal flooding are intense windstorm events occurring at the same time as the high tide (storm surge), and tsunamis.

Storm surge is created when high winds from a windstorm force water onshore — this is the leading cause of coastal flooding and often the greatest threat associated with a windstorm. The effects increase depending on the tide - windstorms that occur during high tide result in devastating storm surge floods. In this type of flood, water overwhelms low-lying land and often causes devastating loss of life and property. (Source: )

Recently various local Councillors and our MP have commented on the causes and potential solutions. On a personal note, the recent exchanges between one of our Parish Council members and a Sefton Councillor have added little to answer the question of 'What can and should be done'? On the other hand, Bill Esterson MP seems to be unaware that the Environment Agency has already agreed on a policy for river flooding. They first mooted the idea at least 20 years ago. An accidental breach of a dyke on Moss Lane contained the Cheshire Lines Brook, which was flooding onto the local fields.

This, in turn, led to the Lunt Meadows project which was designed to be the solution for any flooding of the River Alt. At the time of adopting the policy, a few members of the public in Formby were bitterly opposed, citing the spread of malaria-like diseases because the scheme would be home to extensive mosquito colonies. As a member of the Little Altcar Parish Council, I supported the flood meadow scheme. And I'm pleased I did.

Nevertheless, since so much of Formby is below sea level and the effects of the Climate Crisis get even more significant, I'm of the view that we will continue to be threatened by flooding until the causes are addressed by everyone in the world. But, in the meantime, it would help if our local Parish Councillors had a closer look at their Powers in relation to Public Health and flooding. The Council have acted once before around 2011 when they made a decision to clean up the Long Lane Brook and insist that landowners clear the banks of the brook.

At the time it raised a great deal of vitriolic criticism from residents, some of whom felt it despoiled a little bit of their local environment.

I wonder what they think now?



Vote for The Atkinson.

I am an enthusiastic supporter of The Atkinson arts centre in Southport. I have been ever since I was a member of the Sefton Council Arts and Libraries Committee in the very early 1980s.Drama-312318_640

As such I am happy to support this request from them for your vote. (Ed)

After a challenging year for arts and culture, The Atkinson is proud to be nominated twice in the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards. We are a finalist in The People’s Choice award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture as well as the Impact Award – Covid-19 Creative Response.

We are happy to be a finalist in The People's Choice Award alongside Liverpool Theatre Festival, BlackFest, Imaginarium Theatre, Milap and Writing on the Wall.

It’s your decision who will be named the winner of The People’s Choice Award. Voting closes Tuesday 26 January.

You can cast your vote online.


COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout

Published at the request of our local CCGs (Ed.)

COVID-19 vaccination rollout gathers pace in Sefton

As the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations gathers pace across the NHS, our GP led services in Sefton continue to make good progress immunising priority patients.

Working together with the borough’s two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), GP led services are working hard to immunise those residents over 80 years old and care home residents and staff.

As well as operating from local vaccination centres, roving teams of Immunisers are going directly into care homes to vaccinate residents and staff.

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, explained:

“Since December our GP practices have been working together in groups to deliver the vaccinations as quickly as possible to those aged over 80 years and to invite them into a community centre in Sefton to be immunised safely and we’re making good progress.”

Sefton’s GP led services are just one part of the national vaccination programme. A regional vaccination centre has also opened at St Helens rugby league club's stadium, which is an additional option and some pharmacies in Sefton will also join the national programme by the end of January.

Dr Gillespie continues:

“The regional vaccination centre in St Helens is in addition to our local GP led services. We understand it won’t work for everyone and if you do get a letter to go there and can’t travel or don’t want to go there please don’t worry. You will still be contacted by the GP led service to be invited for your vaccine in the centre nearest to you.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“Importantly, we are still asking you not to contact your GP practice or another NHS organisation to ask for your vaccination – or to request one for a member of your household or carer.

“We are asking people not to turn up at a regional vaccination centre without an appointment. Our GP led service will be in touch as soon as it can book you in for the vaccine. We are also asking you to stay safe and follow the restrictions in place, even if you have had your first dose of the vaccine which gives you a good level of protection but not the maximum. You may be partially protected but others around you might not be so please remember, hands, space, face.”

If you haven’t already been vaccinated at a GP led service and receive the letter from the national service, providing you can travel to the regional vaccination centre safely, we recommend that you book using the details the letter provides.

If you are unable or don’t want to go to a regional vaccination centre, you can choose to wait and get your vaccination from your nearest GP led service, this might not be at your usual GP practice but details of that will be shared with you when you are contacted.

Some residents may be offered their vaccinations in a hospital if they are an inpatient or an outpatient during the vaccine rollout. Hospitals are also vaccinating health and care staff.

This is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken. It is a huge challenge and the local NHS is working hard to overcome any logistical issues as they may arise. The exact weekly roll-out of the programme will be largely shaped by the vaccine supply from the manufacturers.

You can find out more about the programme here


Shape our Future Health Services

Posted at the request of health leaders in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire.


Health consultation
Health leaders in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are inviting people to share their views and experiences of local healthcare by getting involved with Shaping Care Together, a programme of work designed to improve hospital services.

Like NHS services across the country, our local hospitals face significant challenges. Some have been with us for years while the urgency of others has been made clear during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Trish Armstrong-Child, Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said:

“We need to redefine how we provide hospital services, help people use them only when they need them, and ensure those services are safe, sustainable and high quality.

“Shaping Care Together aims to do just that – shape, develop and improve future services for everyone by listening to the patients, carers and staff who use and deliver them.

“We need to build on what we have in place now, understand what works well and how things can be made better.”

Shaping Care Together will explore how health and care services are accessible, effective and operated by skilled staff to meet everyone’s needs. Care should be integrated with other services so that patients are supported by the services they need as quickly and safely as possible.

Views are being sought on what currently works well at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals as well as in primary and community healthcare services and in particular, what steps should be taken to improve the following:

  • frail and elderly care
  • when you have an urgent or emergency care need
  • services for children including those who have complex needs
  • services for women who are pregnant and for the new-born
  • gynaecology - dealing with women’s reproductive system
  • sexual health services for all genders
  • planned care, such as follow-up outpatient and/or subsequent admissions as part of ongoing treatment.

Despite the challenges our hospitals face, local access to care has been improved by providing services in the community during the evenings and at weekends.

Dr Rob Caudwell, Chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), added,

“We need to listen to local people to understand how we commission NHS health and care services and make sure that they meet patient needs. Local initiatives have been introduced which are helping to care for people at home and thereby avoiding admissions to hospital. For example, a new medical response car with a paramedic on board is being trialled in Southport, which has already started to have a beneficial impact on patient satisfaction, hospital admissions and length of hospital stay. We want to hear about how local services at the hospital and across health organisations are working and what can be improved.”

Dr Peter Gregory, local GP and chair of the West Lancashire CCG said:

“It is vital that we build on the strong foundationsthat are already in place across our system. West Lancashire has some great examples of how coordinated care wraps around a patient in a community setting. However, we understand from previous conversations with our local residents that both the access and quality of primary, community and hospital services is hugely important, and this is something we should always strive to improve. As part of this listening exercise, we therefore welcome views from residents to share their experiences of using various local services”.

Shaping Care Together is led by NHS Southport and Formby CCG NHS West Lancashire CCG and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and is the first stage of a process to understand patient experience and views before any proposals to solve the challenges faced are considered.

This programme will last throughout 2021 and there will be many opportunities for local people to have their say. It is important to stress that no decisions have been made and we are seeking views which will inform our thinking and proposals for change.

Over the coming months there will be lots of different ways for people to get involved but first views can be shared on the dedicated website: . People who do not feel comfortable using the internet can call 01695 588025 to receive paper copies of a questionnaire.