Politicians and their officers – local and national – are here to serve the public. Often information is kept under wraps. If Knowledge is Power then more of that knowledge should be readily available to you.

This page aims to provide more information and resources to help put you on a more level playing field with those who are meant to be our servants, not our political masters.

It will continue to be developed and expanded in the coming months, so bookmark this page and come back to it when you want to “battle bureaucracy”.

Recycling Guidance

Make sure you’re using the correct bin

Recycling rates dropped by 3% in West Lancashire in 2022/23 when the target was for them to increase. The council could do more to promote recycling but in the meantime, OWL have updated their recycling guidance for 2023 and included a new section for those who want to do that bit extra. The guidance can be downloaded below. Print it off, keep it handy and do your bit to boost recycling and re-use in West Lancashire.

Councillor Attendance

WLBC Chamber

In 2016, after an Our West Lancashire council motion, the council started publishing councillor attendance records. Find out how your councillor attended in 2022. Seven Conservative and Labour councillors missed more than 30% of meetings and 3 of the Conservatives had similar poor attendance in 2021. One councillor appointed to a committee in 2021 has never attended a meeting of the committee letting down the voters they represent. (pdf format).

Boundary Changes – in force in May

It was all change in May 2023 with boundary changes meaning that every councillor was up for re-election.  The number of councillors was also reduced from 54 to 45.  There are now 15 wards with three councillors in each.

You can download a hi-resolution copy of the boundary map here and find out which new ward you live in.

Making your voice heard on a Planning Application

To be effective in making an impact with your points concerning a planning application, you need to be logical and methodical. It’s natural that emotions run high, but you must use material planning considerations in any representation on planning applications. Download our information sheet here.

West Lancashire Borough Council opens its books

The Borough Council makes available a great deal of information though its not always in the easiest of formats.

Want to know what land the council owns then that is listed? Want to know about senior officer salaries, again they are listed. There’s a lot of information and its available here .

Opening the books at WLBC

Food Hygiene Ratings – West Lancashire Food Establishments

Planning that special occasion with a slap up meal at one of the many fine restaurants and eateries in West Lancashire? Then you can check out the Food Hygiene Rating of the venue via the Food Standards Agency website here.

Want to know about all planning applications in your street or area or settlement?

Following a question asked by an Independent OWL councillor, the council provided details on how anyone can keep up-to-date with planning applications in their area. Simply download and follow the two guides below. You can specify the area of West Lancashire in which you are interested. The system will then automatically email you on planning applications in your area as they develop.

However, to keep getting automatic updates on the planning applications that interest you, then you must re-submit your details periodically – we recommend monthly.

To initially register (one time only), then download and follow these instuctions.

For the user guide to how to select and track the planning applications of interest to you – download it here.

For the user guide to how to select and track the planning applications of interest to you

Which areas pay what Council Tax?

A resident asked us what areas paid what council tax. The information is shown in the table below. It comes with a health warning. Councils receive funding from many other sources. An example would be business rates and an area such as Simonswood with its industrial estate would contribute significantly in that way. UPDATED FOR 2022/23 BELOW.

Area% of total council tax
Great Altcar0.2
Hesketh with Becconsall4.1
Lathom South1.0
North Meols4.2
Up Holland6.8

Freedom of Information

Our West Lancashire are strong supporters of Freedom of Information. A wide range of public bodies are subject to Freedom of Information. Contact Us and we will help you approach the public body in question and help you get the information you seek.