Welcome to the Leader’s Review page for 2021/2022

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Leader’s Review for 2021/2022, a new annual feature in which we will showcase the accomplishments Fylde Council have delivered for the people of the Borough in the preceding twelve months.

No honest retrospection of 2021/2022 could fail to make mention of the effect that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had upon our lives. Throughout the year, we suffered the loss of loved ones, economic hardship, and disruption to our daily lives, and as we now prepare for a future of living with COVID-19, where vaccinations and booster jabs are widely available, we have an opportunity to reflect on how we have changed and how we have endured.

As a local authority, our responsibilities during this difficult period were twofold: to go above and beyond in supporting those worst affected by the pandemic, and to maintain the high standard of everyday services that our residents expect.

Fylde Council were pleased to be able to administer numerous grants to local businesses and residents throughout the year. These grants have helped new businesses get started, renovate existing storefronts to stimulate trade, and stay afloat during periods intermittent trading caused by COVID-19. Other grants supported local charity organisations in becoming more self-sufficient to help those worst hit by Coronavirus, provided targeted business rates relief for sectors most affected, and offered financial support to residents during periods of self-isolation.

Our waste collection teams worked tirelessly to ensure that not a single bin round was cancelled due to COVID-19, an achievement of which our crews can be proud. Incidents of fly-tipping, while lower than the previous year, continued to be above pre-pandemic levels, and our Environmental Protection teams continued to ensure every report was dealt with in a timely fashion. Our Customer Service teams excelled, surpassing their performance targets despite the disruption caused by the pandemic. Every single team at the Council persevered to deliver results and value for money for the people of Fylde throughout these difficult times.

The Council budget agreed for 2022/2023 embodies these values, laying out cost-effective measures to provide better protection from flooding for rural areas, bring further improvements to local amenities, and prepare Fylde for the new year as we exit the COVID-19 pandemic while focusing on matters close to our residents’ hearts.

Below you will find numerous examples from 2021/2022 of Fylde Council’s work on behalf of the people of the Borough. I invite all readers to see for themselves how hard we have been working to ensure Fylde continues to prosper throughout the year, and beyond.

Kind regards,

Cllr Karen Buckley
Leader of Fylde Council

KIRKHAM TOWN CENTRE REGENERATION

Plans continue to regenerate Kirkham Town Centre under the Future High Street Funding initiative. Following a succession of highly competitive bids, in April 2021 an award of £6.29m for the Kirkham scheme was announced from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which was approved at Council on 5 July 2021. A report was approved by our Planning Committee and Council in December 2021 to authorise various property acquisitions as part of the project, and work is ongoing to realise this ambitious plan to revitalise the town.

Read more here.

M55 LINK ROAD

The M55 to Heyhouses Link Road continues to take shape, with work on the first phase beginning in June 2021. The project, funded by numerous partners including Fylde Council and constructed by Lancashire County Council’s in-house team, will improve access between the motorway network and the Lytham St Annes area, relieving congestion on local roads and improving the local economy by making access easier.

Read more here.

ST ANNES SEA WALL

A significant milestone was reached this year in the proposed renovation of the St Annes Sea Wall, the project to regenerate the sea defences protecting The Island and the wider coastline from flooding and erosion. In October 2021, the Environmental Agency approved a £12.1m bid submitted by Fylde Council, to be funded by a grant of £9.7m and the Council’s contribution of £2.4m, allowing the project to proceed into the planning phase. The construction phase is proposed to start in early 2023.

Read more here.

FAIRHAVEN LAKE

The second-round capital grant of £1.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, supported by match funding from Fylde Council and other external sources, allowed the makeover of the Fairhaven Lake and Gardens to continue despite the complications of COVID-19. Having delivered a new Adventure Golf course, renovations to the RSPB Fairhaven Lake Visitor Centre and the Isaac Dixon Boathouse, and a reopened Fairhaven Café, our project continues into the new year, with the replanting of the Japanese garden, new landscaping around the pavilion, and additional renovation of the operational boathouse yet to come, to name but a few.

Read more here.

CHRISTMAS TREE RE-USE PROJECT

Our annual Christmas Tree Re-use project collected an estimated 1500 Christmas trees, which are then planted as part of the sand dune conservation scheme. This is alongside our existing Trees and Woodlands Strategy, which acknowledges the importance of replacing lost trees and lays out a suite of polices to ensure this oft-overlooked element of our environment is looked after by the delivery and planting of trees across the borough.

ST ANNES TOWN CENTRE REGENERATION

Our officers have been hard at work with consultants Building Design Partnership Ltd, developing an exciting masterplan for the future of St Annes’ Town Centre and seafront to enhance the economic prosperity of our beautiful seaside town. Consultations have begun with local businesses, householders, and elected members, and you can keep up to date with the progress of the masterplan on our website here.

BETTER CARE FUND (DISABLED FACILITIES GRANT)

One of our duties as a local authority is to provide disabled adaptations within the Borough for those residents who require additional assistance within their homes. Formerly known as the Disabled Facilities Grant, the level of funding received by Fylde has increased under the ‘Better Care Fund’ administered via Lancashire County Council from the Department of Health, with a budget of £1.236m in 2021/2022 to provide for the delivery of this vital service, and this is anticipated to continue into 2022/2023.

Read more here.

SAND DUNES PROJECT

A £1m boost was secured this year from the Environment Agency as part of our project to maintain and extend the iconic sand dune systems along our coastline. This additional funding will help improve the habitat, ensuring that local properties are protected from coastal erosion and flooding exacerbated by climate change, and safeguarding a valuable ecological niche for wildlife.

Read more here.