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Referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan for Formby and Little Altcar - What's it all about? What sh


On Thursday 10th October 2019, there is a Referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan for Formby and Little Altcar to decide on this question: ‘Do you want Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Formby & Little Altcar to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’ This means that you will be able to vote either 'YES' or 'NO' at the polling station.



If you do not understand what it is all about, we have tried to simplify it for you. It is really important for our local area for as many people to vote as possible.


The Localism Act in 2011 introduced the right for parishes to decide the future of their community by developing a Neighbourhood Plan. This will enable those who know and care about Formby to plan for its future development. It is not about stopping growth, but rather making sure the right things are built in the right places. Such a plan can help with the delivery of homes, jobs and services whilst at the same time protect and improve the best of the parish and its environment.


In general Neighbourhood Plans are produced by the local community, not the Planning Authority. They can form a vision for how communities see their areas developing. Through the Neighbourhood Plan, residents can say where they want new homes, shops, employment and open spaces to be; and what buildings should look like. Hence they will be used in determining planning applications. Whilst the Neighbourhood Plan must dovetail with the Local Plan, it can promote more development than the Local Plan (but not less). It can be used to set out priorities for improvement of local infrastructure and services. Therefore a Neighbourhood Plan must be realistic and comply with the National Planning Policy Framework.


Formby Parish Council and Little Altcar Parish Council joined forces to produce a Neighbourhood Development Plan for the whole of the Formby area.


On 10th October 2019, there will be a referendum on a neighbourhood development plan (usually known as the Neighbourhood Plan) for Formby. The Neighbourhood Plan has been produced by Formby & Little Altcar Parish Councils as the ‘Qualifying Body’.


Referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan

A referendum asks you to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a question.

For this referendum you will receive a ballot paper with this question:

“Do you want Sefton Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Formby & Little Altcar to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”


How do I vote in the referendum?

You vote by putting a cross (X) in the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ box on your ballot paper. Put a cross in only one box or your vote will not be counted.


If more people vote ‘yes’ than ‘no’ in this referendum, then Sefton Council will use the Formby & Little Altcar Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in the Parishes of Formby & Little Altcar. The Neighbourhood Plan will then become part of the Development Plan for the Borough.


If more people vote ‘no’ than ‘yes’, then planning applications will be decided without using the Neighbourhood Plan as part of the Development Plan for the local area.


Can I vote?

You are entitled to vote in the referendum if:

• You are registered to vote in local council elections;

• The address at which you are registered to vote in a local council election, as shown in the register of electors, is in the Referendum Area assuming that you are entitled to be registered at this address; and

• You are 18 years of age or over on 10 October 2019


The last time to register to vote at the referendum was 24 September 2019. You can check if you are registered to vote by telephoning 0345 140 0845 if you have not received an official poll card by the 20 September 2019. The referendum will be conducted based on procedures which are similar to those used at local government elections.


Am I registered to vote?

If you’re not registered, you won’t be able to vote. You can check if you are registered by calling the Helpline on 0345 140 0845 or emailing electors@sefton.gov.uk If you are not registered to vote, you can register by going online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. The last date you can register for this referendum was 24 September 2019. If you are unable to register yourself online, please call the Helpline on 0345 140 0845 and a member of staff will be able to do this for you. You will need to provide your date of birth and national insurance number when you register.


Ways of Voting.

There are three ways of voting:

1. In person on 10 October 2019:

At your local polling station. It is easy and a member of staff will always help if you are not sure what to do.


In the Formby & Little Altcar neighborhood area, the polling stations will be situated at:

• Victoria Hall, Timms Lane

• St. Lukes Church Meeting Room, St Lukes Church Road

• Gild Hall, Church Road

• Formby Maritime Cadets, Redgate


You will receive a poll card confirming your polling station for this referendum. If you do not receive your poll card, you can contact the Helpline on 0345 140 0845 or email us on electors@sefton.gov.uk to find out where your polling station is.

The Polling Station will be open from 7am to 10pm


2. By post:

• If you have a postal vote already, you will receive a pink poll card confirming this

• If you want to vote by post, you will need to complete an application form and send it to the Electoral Registration Officer to arrive by 5pm on 25 September 2019 at this address: The Electoral Registration Officer Sefton Council Bootle Town Hall Oriel Road Bootle L20 7AE

• Postal votes can be sent overseas but you need to think about whether you will have time to receive and return your completed postal vote by 10pm on 10 October 2019.

• You should receive your postal vote about a week before polling day. If it doesn’t arrive in time, you can ask for a replacement from 4 October 2019 up to 5pm on 10 October 2019 by contacting the Helpline on 0345 140 0845.


3. By proxy:

• If you have a proxy vote already, you will receive a poll card confirming this

• If you can’t get to the polling station and don’t wish to vote by post, you may be able to vote by proxy. This means allowing somebody that you trust to vote on your behalf

• To vote by proxy, you will need to complete an application form and send it to the Electoral Registration Officer to arrive by 5pm on 2 October 2019 at this address: The Electoral Registration Officer Sefton Council Bootle Town Hall Oriel Road Bootle L20 7AE

• When you apply for a proxy vote, you must say why you cannot vote in person

• Anyone can be your proxy as long as they are eligible to vote and are willing to vote on your behalf. You will have to tell them how you want to vote.

• Postal and proxy vote application forms are available from the Helpline on 0345 140 0845 by emailing electors@sefton.gov.uk or at www.yourvotematters.co.uk


Counting of Votes

The verification and counting of votes will take place following the close of poll on 10 October 2019


Declaration of Results

Results of referendum will be available at Formby Library. The results will also be available online at www.sefton.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning


Referendum expenses

Expenses can be incurred by an individual or body during the period of the referendum for referendum purposes only.


The Referendum expenses limit that will apply in relation to this Referendum is £3,486.00 The number of persons entitled to vote in the Referendum by reference to which the limit has been calculated is 19,054.


Campaigning groups are encouraged to register with and submit a statement of expenses to the Counting Officer via Electoral Services, Bootle Town Hall, Oriel Road, Bootle L20 7AE. Please contact Electoral Services at electors@sefton.gov.uk


Specified documents

You are reading one of a number of documents (the Regulations call them ‘specified documents’) that will help you make a decision on how to vote. A copy of these specified documents may be inspected at:

• Formby Library, Duke Street, Formby, L37 4AN

• Sefton Council Offices at Magdalen House, 30 Trinity Road, Bootle, L30 3NJ. Normal opening hours: Monday – Thursday 9.00am to 5.00pm, Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm.

• On Sefton Council’s website www.sefton.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning


The ‘specified documents’ are:

• The Referendum version of the Formby & Little Altcar Neighbourhood Plan;

• Report of the Independent Examiner;

• Summary of Submission Consultation Responses submitted to the Independent Examiner;

• Decision Statement by Sefton Council that the Neighbourhood Plan meets the ‘basic conditions’ (see below). This also lists the Examiner’s modifications to the Plan and sets out that the Council agrees with them and why they need to be made; and

• This Information for Voters and General Information on Neighbourhood Plans’ document


The ‘Basic Conditions’

The Neighbourhood Plan must meet all the following conditions if it i to be considered for referendum:

• Has regard to national policy and guidance from the Secretary of State;

• Contributes to the achievement of sustainable development;

• Be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan for the area;

• Be compatible with and not breach European Union (EU) obligations(including the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive 2001/42/EC);

• Meet prescribed conditions and comply with prescribed matters;

• Not likely to have a significant effect on a European site (as defined in the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010)


How to find out more:

• You can find more information about the Formby & Little Altcar Neighbourhood Plan at www.sefton.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning or www.formbyparishcouncil.org.uk

• For more information about voting and the arrangements for this referendum, please contact the helpline on 0345 140 0845 or email electors@sefton.gov.uk



What is Neighbourhood Planning?

Neighbourhood planning aims to help local communities play a direct role in planning the areas in which they live and work. Neighbourhood plans are prepared by Town or Parish Councils(or Neighbourhood Forums in locations where a Town or Parish Council does not exist) and are known as the ‘Qualifying Body’. The ‘Qualifying Body’ is responsible for preparing a Neighbourhood Plan and the Plan can show how the community wants land to be used and developed in its area. In this case the Qualifying Body is Formby & Little Altcar Parish Councils.


What is a Neighbourhood area?

A neighbourhood area can cover single streets or large urban or rural areas. The boundary is put forward by the Qualifying Body when applying for the designation of a neighbourhood area. In this instance the neighbourhood area covers the Parish areas of Formby & Little Altcar.


What is a Development Plan?

In England, planning applications are determined by Local Planning Authorities in accordance with the Development Plan. A Development Plan is a suite of documents that set out the policies for the development and use of land across the entire Local Authority area. In Sefton, the Development Plan currently consists of the Local Plan (adopted April 2017) and the Merseyside and Halton Waste Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans in Lydiate and Maghull, both ‘made’ (adopted) in January 2019. If this Neighbourhood Plan passes the referendum it will be ‘made’ (adopted) by Sefton Council and will also become part of the Development Plan.


Neighbourhood Planning in Formby & Little Altcar Parishes

The Referendum area is identified on the map below as the Parish areas of Formby & Little Altcar and is identical to the area designated as the neighbourhood area. For queries about Neighbourhood Planning in general, please email neighbourhoodplanning@sefton.gov.uk . For queries about voting and the arrangements for this referendum, please contact the helpline on 0345 140 0845 or email electors@sefton.gov.uk

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