Southport councillors should make a greater effort to engage with local business people to facilitate measures to improve the business environment, Southport Area Committee has agreed. (Cllr Hands pictured above right)

The Committee agreed to a proposal from Birkdale Lib Dem Councillor Richard Hands that the proposed new make-up of ‘Area Partnerships’ within Sefton was a bureaucratic mess which could not be supported. The Southport Area partnership proposal involved only one Southport councillor and one Bootle councillor. It was noted that this make-up of the Area Partnership would be determined by the Bootle Labour Cabinet notwithstanding what Southport councillors might say, and the Chair of the Area Committee would attend the meetings nevertheless it was felt that the Committee’s concerns should be minuted.

Members of all Parties supported Dukes Ward Councillor Tony Dawson’s concerns that the progress which was being achieved in Southport up to April 2012 between business representatives and local councillors had been encouraging and there was great disappointment that joint interaction between local business and Southport’s elected representatives had been ‘put on hold’ for over six months while Sefton officers were producing their ‘one size fits all’ approach to area partnerships.

Seconding Councillor Hands’ proposal, Councillor Tony Dawson said that the proposals which had come forward seemed to be North Korean in nature in that they were looking at the world from a bureaucratic structural aspect rather than any objective-driven focus recognising local priorities.

The Area Committee members further endorsed Councillor Dawson’s proposal that approaches should be made on behalf of all Southport councillors, to local business representatives within the town to see if they might wish to engage on a regular basis with a representative group of elected representatives. Such a group might look at a wide range of issues affecting the town which impinge upon local business. Councillor Dawson gave credit to his ward colleague, independent Councillor Sir Ron Watson, who was not present at the meeting, for floating a similar suggestion.

Onthespot – your online reporter Do you have a story to tell? Please text or phone 07930717137 or email Follow OTS (Onthespot) on Twitter