Latest News

JUNE 2018

Roadworks

Works at Windle Island

Commencing June 2018

The works at Windle Island are due to commence on Monday 25th June 2018 with a construction period/programme of 40 weeks, therefore finishing on site in March 2019.
The main contractor is Balfour Beatty and before construction works begin on site, the works compound will start to be installed (off Crank Road) on Monday 21st May 2018 and all will be ready before the construction works start on site.


Wheatsheaf

Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting

11.06.18

An Extraordinary meeting of Rainford Parish Council will take place on Monday 11.06.18 in the Reception Room at Rainford Village Hall at 6.30pm

Agenda
712    Apologies

713     Incident at the Village Hall on 26.05.18

714     New email addresses

715     Proposed Warehous Development at Sandwash Close with road linking Pasture Lane to Mill                 Lane
Wheatsheaf

Exercise of Public Rights

Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return

RAINFORD PARISH COUNCIL
 
NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN
ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2018
 
Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 26 and 27
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)
NOTICE NOTES
1. Date of announcement____01.06.18____________________________________(a)
2. Each year the smaller authority’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd.  The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.
Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2018, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:
 
(b)     Sally Powell
         Clerk to Rainford Parish Council
          01744 884709    [email protected]
 
commencing on (c) __Monday 4 June 2018 _______________________
 
 
and ending on (d) ___Friday 13 July 2018 ________________________
 
3. Local government electors and their representatives also have:
 
  • The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and
  • The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.
 
The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only.
 
4. The smaller authority’s AGAR is subject to review by the appointed auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice 2015.  The appointed auditor is:
 
PKF Littlejohn LLP (Ref: SBA Team)
1 Westferry Circus
Canary Wharf
London E14 4HD
([email protected])
 
5. This announcement is made by (e)  Sally Powell
Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer of Rainford Parish Council
 
 
 
(a) Insert date of placing of the notice which must be not less than 1 day before the date in (c) below
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(b) Insert name, position and address/telephone number/ email address, as appropriate, of the Clerk or other person to which any person may apply to inspect the accounts
 
(c) Insert date, which must be at least 1 day after the date of announcement in (a) above and at least 30 working days before the date appointed in (d) below
 
(d) The inspection period between (c) and (d) must be 30 working days inclusive and must include the first 10 working days of July.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(e) Insert name and position of person placing the notice – this person must be the responsible financial officer for the smaller authority
 
LOCAL AUTHORITY ACCOUNTS: A SUMMARY OF YOUR RIGHTS
 
Please note that this summary applies to all relevant smaller authorities, including local councils, internal drainage boards and ‘other’ smaller authorities.
 
The basic position
 
The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (the Act) governs the work of auditors appointed to smaller authorities. This summary explains the provisions contained in Sections 26 and 27 of the Act. The Act and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 also cover the duties, responsibilities and rights of smaller authorities, other organisations and the public concerning the accounts being audited.
As a local elector, or an interested person, you have certain legal rights in respect of the accounting records of smaller authorities. As an interested person you can inspect accounting records and related documents. If you are a local government elector for the area to which the accounts relate you can also ask questions about the accounts and object to them. You do not have to pay directly for exercising your rights. However, any resulting costs incurred by the smaller authority form part of its running costs. Therefore, indirectly, local residents pay for the cost of you exercising your rights through their council tax.
The right to inspect the accounting records
 
Any interested person can inspect the accounting records, which includes but is not limited to local electors. You can inspect the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records. You can copy all, or part, of these records or documents. Your inspection must be about the accounts, or relate to an item in the accounts. You cannot, for example, inspect or copy documents unrelated to the accounts, or that include personal information (Section 26 (6) – (10) of the Act explains what is meant by personal information). You cannot inspect information which is protected by commercial confidentiality. This is information which would prejudice commercial confidentiality if it was released to the public and there is not, set against this, a very strong reason in the public interest why it should nevertheless be disclosed.
 
When smaller authorities have finished preparing accounts for the financial year and approved them, they must publish them (including on a website). There must be a 30 working day period, called the ‘period for the exercise of public rights’, during which you can exercise your statutory right to inspect the accounting records. Smaller authorities must tell the public, including advertising this on their website, that the accounting records and related documents are available to inspect. By arrangement you will then have 30 working days to inspect and make copies of the accounting records. You may have to pay a copying charge. The 30 working day period must include a common period of inspection during which all smaller authorities’ accounting records are available to inspect. This will be 2-13 July 2018 for 2017/18 accounts. The advertisement must set out the dates of the period for the exercise of public rights, how you can communicate to the smaller authority that you wish to inspect the accounting records and related documents, the name and address of the auditor, and the relevant legislation that governs the inspection of accounts and objections.
 
The right to ask the auditor questions about the accounting records
 
You should first ask your smaller authority about the accounting records, since they hold all the details. If you are a local elector, your right to ask questions of the external auditor is enshrined in law. However, while the auditor will answer your questions where possible, they are not always obliged to do so. For example, the question might be better answered by another organisation, require investigation beyond the auditor’s remit, or involve disproportionate cost (which is borne by the local taxpayer). Give your smaller authority the opportunity first to explain anything in the accounting records that you are unsure about. If you are not satisfied with their explanation, you can question the external auditor about the accounting records.
The law limits the time available for you formally to ask questions. This must be done in the period for the exercise of pubic rights, so let the external auditor know your concern as soon as possible. The advertisement or notice that tells you the accounting records are available to inspect will also give the period for the exercise of public rights during which you may ask the auditor questions, which here means formally asking questions under the Act. You can ask someone to represent you when asking the external auditor questions.
Before you ask the external auditor any questions, inspect the accounting records fully, so you know what they contain. Please remember that you cannot formally ask questions, under the Act, after the end of the period for the exercise of public rights. You may ask your smaller authority other questions about their accounts for any year, at any time. But these are not questions under the Act.
You can ask the external auditor questions about an item in the accounting records for the financial year being audited. However, your right to ask the external auditor questions is limited. The external auditor can only answer ‘what’ questions, not ‘why’ questions. The external auditor cannot answer questions about policies, finances, procedures or anything else unless it is directly relevant to an item in the accounting records. Remember that your questions must always be about facts, not opinions. To avoid misunderstanding, we recommend that you always put your questions in writing.
The right to make objections at audit
 
You have inspected the accounting records and asked your questions of the smaller authority. Now you may wish to object to the accounts on the basis that an item in them is in your view unlawful or there are matters of wider concern arising from the smaller authority’s finances. A local government elector can ask the external auditor to apply to the High Court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful, or to issue a report on matters which are in the public interest. You must tell the external auditor which specific item in the accounts you object to and why you think the item is unlawful, or why you think that a public interest report should be made about it. You must provide the external auditor with the evidence you have to support your objection. Disagreeing with income or spending does not make it unlawful. To object to the accounts you must write to the external auditor stating you want to make an objection, including the information and evidence below and you must send a copy to the smaller authority. The notice must include:
 
  • confirmation that you are an elector in the smaller authority’s area;
  • why you are objecting to the accounts and the facts on which you rely;
  • details of any item in the accounts that you think is unlawful; and
  • details of any matter about which you think the external auditor should make a public interest report.
 
Other than it must be in writing, there is no set format for objecting. You can only ask the external auditor to act within the powers available under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.
 
A final word
 
You may not use this ‘right to object’ to make a personal complaint or claim against your smaller authority.  You should take such complaints to your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau, local Law Centre or to your solicitor. Smaller authorities, and so local taxpayers, meet the costs of dealing with questions and objections.  In deciding whether to take your objection forward, one of a series of factors the auditor must take into account is the cost that will be involved, they will only continue with the objection if it is in the public interest to do so. They may also decide not to consider an objection if they think that it is frivolous or vexatious, or if it repeats an objection already considered. If you appeal to the courts against an auditor’s decision not to apply to the courts for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful, you will have to pay for the action yourself.
 
For more detailed guidance on public rights and the special powers of auditors, copies of the publication Local authority accounts: A guide to your rights are available from the NAO website.  
If you wish to contact your authority’s appointed external auditor please write to the address in paragraph 4 of the Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return.
 


Agar 1

Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return

Section 1

Ceilidh

Ceilidh 15.06.18

Tickets £20 including supper

This will be the Chairman's first fundraiser for Girlguiding in Rainford.
Take your partner by the hand and come along and have a dance to a great live band on 15.06.18.
Tickets are £20 per person and include a buffet supper

Further info and tickets available from the Clerk's Office
01744 884709   [email protected] 
RPC

Rainford Parish Council

Next Meeting Monday 25.06.18 - 7pm

The following meetings of
Rainford Parish Council 
will take place in JUNE 2018:

Community Development Committee
Wednesday 06.06.18 at 7pm



Finance, Planning & Administration Committee
Wednesday 20.06.18 at 6.30pm

 

Full Council Meeting
Monday 25.06.18 
at 7pm
 
All meetings take place in the Council Chamber at
Rainford Village Hall
Members of the press & public are invited to attend

[email protected]
01744 884709
Rainford Village Hall, Church Road, Rainford, WA11 8HB
Modern Jive

JayDee's MODERN JIVE

New Weekly Class

JayDee's Modern Jive
A new Weekly Social Dance Event
Rainford Village Hall

Absolute Beginners Welcome
Professional tuition given each social evening
Venue opens at 7.45pm until 10.45pm
8.00pm... 3-Move beginner lesson
9.00pm... 3-Move Intermediate
and refresher Beginner lesson
Social time and freestyle dancing to excellent music
Usual admission £6pp
For more information

Tel 07792398762 or 07741488950
[email protected]
Paint Pots

ART EXHIBITION

04 - 07.10.18

The exhibition will take place from 4 -78 October 2018 at Rainford Village Hall.

Prizes may be awarded in the following categories for adults:

Painting - Oil/Acrylic

Painting - Watercolour

Drawing/Other media

Digitally enhanced photography

Sculpture

Ceramics

Pottery

Handicraft

 

Maximum of 2 works in each class will be accepted from each entrant

 

Prizes will be awarded for Children in age and medium categories

 

Exhibits should be submitted to the Clerk’s office at Rainford Village Hall

24 - 27 September 2017 9am – Noon

No late entries will be accepted

 

The title  and medium of the work should be shown on the front of each exhibit and the name and contact details of the artist on the reverse
Exhibits should be ready for hanging or display as appropriate.

 

Alexander Technique

ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE CLASSES

Starting 26th September 2017

Live better & stay young with the Alexander Technique. Improve your posture, discover balance & poise and experience less pain as a result. Introductory Classes commencing Tuesday 26th September 10-11.30am. 5 week class, cost £40, booking essential. This is what previous attendees have to say about the classes:

"I liked the way we were encouraged to join in and discuss our observations. I liked the practical hands on approach."

"I have started to introduce the techniques into my day to day living"

"I am more self aware & my back is much 'happier'"

Contact Kim Cant for further information:- 07854 025726

Email: [email protected]

 
Donate Blood

Blood Donor Sessions

WEDNESDAY 20.07.18
PLEASE CALL 0300 123 23 23 FOR AN APPOINTMENT

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT
www.blood.co.uk

 
Wheatsheaf

Rainford Parish Council

Submission to St Helens Council regarding the Local Plan Preferred Options

This document is Rainford Parish Council’s submission to the St Helens Council Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation
 
The current preferred options include the proposal to build 1100 dwellings within the Parish of Rainford on Green Belt land.  While the Parish Council recognises the need to provide new housing and employment across the Borough, it wishes to make the following comments and observations in relation to the existing document:
 
The Proposed Housing Allocation Sites HA14 & HA 15 included in Phase 1 of the plan
It is understood that the current proposals would see up to 300 dwellings being built on these Green Belt sites.  The existing Village does not have the infrastructure and services to provide for such a sudden high percentage increase in the population:
v  Rainford has 2 Doctors surgeries and 2 Dental practices.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that waiting a week or more for an appointment with a doctor is commonplace.  Neither of the dental practices presently accepts NHS patients.
 
v  Although no estimate for the number of new residents is given, it is reasonable to assume that many of the occupants of the proposed housing would be less than 18 years of age.  While the CE Primary School is currently undersubscribed by 26 places, 15 of these are in one year group. Although Corpus Christi and Brook Lodge Primary schools may both currently have the capacity for extra pupils, this is not on a scale to accommodate the number of children requiring places.  All three of the primary schools in the Village have little or no room for expansion.  This would mean that a substantial proportion of children residing within Rainford could not be educated within the Village, or that a new primary school would have to be built. 
No site is identified within the plan for this purpose.
 Rainford High School was oversubscribed by in excess of 100 places for the September 2016 intake.  The Parish Council understands that the school has increased its PAN by 20 to 290, with 10 entry classes, which was approved by St Helens Council.  Rainford High has ambitions to increase 6th Form pupil numbers as part of its academisation plans, the fulfilment of which will bring the infrastructure of the school to capacity. 
There is no provision for the secondary education of an increased number of resident 11 – 18 year olds within the plan.
 
v  The current limited retail offering within the Village would not be able to support the requirements of an additional 3000 residents and there is no provision within the plan for additional retail outlets.
 
v  It is commonly estimated that for every new home built, the occupiers will have 2 cars.  The roads in and around Rainford were not designed or built to accommodate the volume of traffic the first phase of building would create and it is impossible to envisage how the traffic generated by an additional 800 dwellings would be managed.  Indeed, many of the roads in the Village, (for example Mossborough Road), struggle to cope with the prevailing vehicular movement.  Furthermore, there are frequent accidents, some of a serious nature, at the junction of Mill Lane and Higher Lane and the junction of Mill Lane and the Rainford by-pass (A570).  Building houses at site HA15 would further aggravate this dangerous situation.  Additionally, much of the extra traffic would wish to travel through Windle Island during the rush hour period.  It is the understanding of the Parish Council that the works shortly to commence at this busy junction are expected to be a solution to the existing traffic problems at this location, not to alleviate the anticipated increases due to the implementation of the Local Plan.
The lack of available parking in the Village centre is also an existing issue and further development on such a large scale would only exacerbate this problem.  The roads accessing sites HA14 & HA15 are in the main too narrow for the high number of HGVs that would be required during development. 
No provision has been made in the plan to cope with the extra traffic generated either in or around Rainford or for improving the access roads to the Village.
 
v  The high volume of cars travelling in, out and through Rainford is partly due to the very poor public transport services.  The bus services that are available do not connect with the meagre rail services, and it is impossible to get to and from either Liverpool or Manchester by train in the evening from Rainford.
 
Other General Observations regarding the content of the Plan
FLOOD RISK
Much of the land within Rainford is prone to flooding and remains such despite remedial works.  This is particularly true of sites HA14, HA15, HS18, HS19, HS20 & HS21.  Development on these sites would cause even greater problems in adjacent areas and it is difficult to see how the stipulation in the plan that the water flow rate must remain the same post development as it was before, is achievable.
 
AGRICULTURAL LAND
All the Green Belt sites identified for development within Rainford in the Preferred Options consist of Grade 1 agricultural land.  People need to be fed as well as housed and there is no provision in the plan for the recovery of this lost farming land in other areas of the Borough.  Agriculture and its associated industries are major commercial activities and the highest source of employment within the Parish.  No consideration is given to the amount of land locally (and nationally) that is required for growing food or more importantly perhaps, the effect on the local economy of building on farmer’s fields.  The Parish Council would question the morality of building on land which produces 2 and sometimes 3 crops per annum.
 
 
POPULATION
Rainford Parish Council does not accept the premise made in the plan that 570 new homes per year will be required and queries whether the ‘Brexit’ referendum decision has been factored into the population figures the Council has used to predict housing requirements.  It is not unrealistic to assume that EU migration into St Helens will decline over the timescale of the Development Plan.  The population of the Borough is currently decreasing with the greatest exodus in the 25 - 44 age group:  the very people that developers wishing to build on Rainford’s Green Belt would want to target.  The overall effect is a further reduction in population numbers and this calls into question the Council’s statistics in predicting housing requirements in the Borough over the stated 15 years and beyond. Furthermore, there are newly built houses within the Borough that have still not been sold, despite being available for some time.  Rainford Parish Council would suggest there is insufficient evidence to support the perceived need for the number of houses required.  Therefore the case for using Green Belt land constituting the exceptional circumstances required to release the land for development is invalid.
 
BROWNFIELD SITES
It is the understanding of the Parish Council that there are a sufficient number of Brown Field sites within the Borough to fulfil the perceived housing and industry requirement.  Although more costly to develop, building on these sites would provide affordable housing within walking distance of St Helens Town Centre.  This would provide employment and thus stimulate and boost the economy of a town currently struggling to attract both business and residents.  Leaving ugly Brown Field contaminated sites as they are is not going to alleviate this situation.  Building dwellings on the Green Belt in Rainford will not alleviate this situation.  Building affordable homes close to the town centre will.
 
INFILL
In recent years, a number of dwellings have been built in Rainford on small plots of land and the Parish Council have supported these initiatives which have put unused land to good use.  The Parish Council wish to propose that in order to maintain the rural and Village nature of Rainford, smaller plots of land are identified where minor developments could take place which would not damage the infrastructure of the Village.  It would be possible to integrate and absorb the resultant additional number of dwellings and residents, which would not be the case if the many hectares of Green Belt land the plan proposes are developed.
 
Conclusion
In conclusion, Rainford Parish Council maintains that Rainford does not have the infrastructure to support the large scale development proposed on Green Belt sites within the Village.  The current preferred options for Rainford are completely disproportionate given the current size and rural nature of the Village and the limited facilities and services available.  Flooding of the sites and/or of adjacent land should be a great cause for concern and St Helens Council should be mindful of the wider effects of releasing  Grade 1 agricultural land from the Green Belt for the building of houses.
The Parish Council does not consider that St Helens Council has successfully made the argument for the ‘exceptional circumstances’ required for releasing Green Belt land for development as it questions the validity of the assumptions made regarding the increase of the population and need for housing within the Borough during the time frame of the plan.
Rainford Parish Council suggests that Brown Field sites within the Borough, even if they are more problematic, would be more appropriate for development as this would have the added advantage of assisting in the rejuvenation of St Helens Town Centre.  The Parish Council would support small scale developments within the Parish.
 

Paint Pots

ART EXHIBITION

5 - 8.10.17

 

ART EXHIBITION
RAINFORD VILLAGE HALL   

 
Residents of Rainford and adjacent districts are invited to submit paintings, pottery, sculpture or handicraft for display at the above exhibition.
Exhibits will be accepted from all age groups 
 
***Exhibits must be ready for hanging***
All enquiries to the Parish Clerk’s Office
Telephone: 01744 884709 
[email protected]
More information »
Wheatsheaf

Second Quarter Report

April - September 2016

Click here to download a copy of the Report »
Wheatsheaf

Quarterly Report

April - June 2016


Click here to download a copy of the Report »