We are a group of Independents launched in 2015. We have grown steadily since then. We have a string of achievements to our name and we are the Council group setting the ideas agenda in West Lancashire. We are determined to put residents before the party whip. We’ve attracted people new to politics and from all the main political parties. We agree a core of policies below. Beyond that, our councillors and candidates are free and Independent to pursue the ideas and strategies that best represent their area.
Housing, Development & Climate Change
- Champion a new improved local plan that recognises West Lancashire’s predominantly rural nature, builds homes only to meet local need, protects the best most-versatile agricultural land and addresses climate change.
- As evidence shows there is more than sufficient, through the new Local Plan, stop ALL further conversion of family homes to student accommodation and purpose-built student accommodation. Work with student landlords who want to return their properties to family homes by granting them 6 months additional council tax relief during the conversion works.
- Change the rules to allow new housebuilding levies to be used to address flooding problems as other councils already do.
- Following the successful Firbeck and Beechtrees revivals in Skelmersdale, launch a new revival scheme in Skelmersdale to replace the worst of the new town housing with modern energy-efficient 21st century houses with private driveways and garden space.
- £2 million for additional energy efficiency measures on the Borough’s council houses reducing fuel use and carbon emissions, combating fuel poverty and leaving more money in the pockets of council house tenants.
- Wind up the Borough Council’s controversial Housing Company after completion of its current partly-built contracts. It adds extra costs as a middleman between Council and builders and is involved in speculative out of Borough projects. Instead, build council housing in the traditional way directly via the Council itself.
Litter, Flytipping and the Environment
Maintain efforts to improve our local environment by ensuring that the recently-agreed budget measures are implemented and effective, i.e., –
- 50 new litter bin locations are identified and bins installed;;
- The additional full-time enforcement and education officer is recruited promptly to increase enforcement action and take the anti-litter and recycling message to schools and fast food outlets;
5 additional Mobile CCTV systems are purchased and deployed at fly tip hotspots across the Borough if the current trial of 3 systems proves effective;
- 4 Community Environmental schemes e.g., Community Orchards around the Borough are developed with the funds provided
- Our entrance and feature roundabouts such as those at Pippin Street, Burscough and Railway Road in Skelmersdale are returned to their former glory with the funds provided.
Leisure and Wellbeing
- New Swimming Pools for Ormskirk and Skelmersdale by 2025 – Our West Lancashire halted Labour’s plans to close Park Pool in Ormskirk. Now we would set aside £9 million to ensure the developing business plans for 21st century swim facilities in both towns come to fruition.
A Plan for the High Street
- A 12-month pilot project with FREE parking from 1pm on Mondays and Tuesdays in Ormskirk town centre and monitor the change in footfall and all-day FREE parking at Derby Street car park on Saturdays.
- £25,000 for Christmas Decorations for Skelmersdale Town Centre
- Supporting shop front improvements through utilising the new budgeted monies to attract other funding and to promote a revised Design Guide for Retail shop fronts.
- A rebate of the first 6 weeks’ rent for new traders at Ormskirk market when they commit to take a permanent market stall
Your council serving you better
Opening the doors of power
- Introduce a public question time at Full Council meetings and hold two council meetings a year in venues in other communities in West Lancashire.
- OWL will hold no secret caucus meetings before planning committees in the way that Labour and Conservative hold.
- Publish the Council’s Street sweeping schedules so that residents can know when their streets and pavements will be swept.