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City of the Fylde?

City of the Fylde?When Fylde and Wyre entered into a 'Joint Working' arrangement, it soon became clear that much more than sharing a post or two, or  bulk buying, was on the agenda. Likewise after the 2007 election, having three Conservative administrations makes it much more likely that we will see a city of the Fylde appearing over the horizon as they try to block the possibility of another party taking power in the future.

We think the plan is to merge Fylde and Wyre Councils first, to give them a position of greater strength to negotiate a subsequent merger with Blackpool, thus producing the City of the Fylde that many locals dread.

This idea has been around for a while, but the recent story so far is..........

April 2006
Fylde & Wyre Councils create an informal Joint Committee.
Project groups set up to join "Streetscene Services" together.
Wyre to do coastal defence inspection and maintenance for Fylde.
Coastal defence for both councils be part of Streetscene.
October 2006
Look at extending joint working to include Blackpool and/or Lancaster.
Closer look at joint working on leisure management, esp. operation of the Marine Hall, Little Theatre and Lowther Pavilion
June 2007
Agree before Xmas07 which leisure services should to be jointly provided
Prepare for this in budgets for 2008/09.
"In principle" decision to create a joint Streetscene service reporting to a formally constituted Joint Committee.
Grounds Maintenance to remain a joint Streetscene service.
Joint working on Strategic Housing issues start, as part of the Multi-Area Agreement involving Fylde, Wyre, Blackpool and Lancashire County Councils.
July 2007
Cabinet members and the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees invited to attend future meetings of the Joint committee.
Senior Blackpool Officers and Members invited to attend and observe future meetings.
Leisure services defined as: Leisure Management, Sport, Theatre, Parks & Open Spaces (noting grounds maintenance (ie gardeners) was also included in Streetscene), Children’s Play, Countryside Leisure, Tourism, Arts Development, Creative and Cultural Industries.
Agreed to go for joint Leisure Services in Fylde and Wyre, but John Coombes says joint working between the three Fylde coast authorities, would be better. Agreed that the Chief Executive(s) consult with Blackpool.
November 2007
Confusion about whether Grounds Maintenance should be in "Streetscene" or "Parks". It is temporarily added to both.
Existence of Fylde's shell trading company (FBC Solutions Ltd) is noted.
Services to be within Streetscene/Community Services are defined. Huge and detailed lists in the report, including all vehicle operation and management, street and other cleaning, refuse collection, trade waste, loos, beaches, dog control, coastal defence, land drainage, car park management, bus shelters, street nameplates, planning applications and consultations, parks, playing fields, burial & cremation, allotments and more.
Wyre to be the employer of all staff delivering joint services.
A new legal entity probably called "Streetscene Committee" to be approved by both Cabinets. This will have 3 members from Wyre, 3 from Fylde. All must be Cabinet members. Political balance won't apply.
It will meet to Wyre's Cabinet cycle.
For all Streetscene Joint services, it will
  • Set policy for the services
  • Approve an annual business plan
  • Provide the services
  • Get the officer reports
  • Report at least annually to the Council's executive
  • Oversee the accounts and financial information
  • Manage all the staff
  • Receive audit and inspection reports
There will be one or more joint scrutiny committees to undertake overview and scrutiny on behalf of both councils.
Wyre to provide committee administration.
Legal advice and scrutiny to be provided by Fylde.
Leisure, culture and tourism services to be worked up in detail for joint working. Further report to follow.
Support staff levels and operation to be examined and possibilities for joint working pursued as consequence of the changes now agreed.
This meeting also had an oral report from Fylde's Chief Exec about moves to jointly provide some services with Blackpool. At least part of this idea is  to take over and to jointly operate, services that the County Council provides in Wyre and Fylde.
LINKS:  to in-depth articles:

Joint Meeting Snapshot 6 November 2007
Get the flavour of the meeting that heralds the demise of Fylde Borough Council and sets a clear path toward one single Council covering Fylde and Wyre (and possibly Blackpool).......

Wylde Fyreworks? 1 November 2007
Fylde's Commissar Coombes plans to abandon service delivery by Fylde Council and have almost everything run from Wyre. Around 60% of Fylde Council staff are to be pruned out in the first move. We break this exclusive story for our readers.....

Election Results 2007  4 May 2007
Shocks for many in Fylde's election results. A sea of blue sweeps over Blackpool and Wyre. Fylde is less clear cut. We're one step nearer to the 'City of the Fylde' as a result.

City Sickers   14 March 2007
The City of the Fylde is on its way now the Commissar is supporting joint working with Blackpool. Fylde's Independent councillors are concerned. So are we.......

Doing the Business   10 February 2007
FBC goes into business - what's behind this move and is it going to cost us more. We look at the possibilities and the threat (or promise?) of fines in the future.....

WyldeFyre on the Cards 5 March 2006
Fylde and Wyre are to form a joint working committee, and Local Government in our area might soon be re-organised again. What does it all mean?   

Dated:  November 2007


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