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Kirkby Long-Term Plan Update

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley Council’s Cabinet has tonight received an update on the Long-Term Plan for Kirkby, following the Government allocation of £19.5m of funding (originally announced by the Government as £20m) to progress local people’s priorities over the next 10 years.

In return for the funding, the Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities required a Town Board for Kirkby to be established by 1 April 2024.  The Chairperson for the Kirkby Town Board has since been confirmed as Max Steinberg CBE DL.

Opportunities to be a member of the Town Board were also then advertised and the applications are currently being reviewed.  An announcement on the appointment of Board members will be shared in the coming weeks.

The Government requires some compulsory Board members, including representatives from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Merseyside Police.

The Government guidance further requires that, in addition to the Member of Parliament for Knowsley, the Rt Hon Sir George Howarth MP (who has confirmed his acceptance of a place on the Board), a maximum of two local Councillors may also be invited to join the Board.  These have now been confirmed as Councillor Tony Brennan (Regeneration and Economic Development Cabinet Member and Councillor for Shevington Ward in Kirkby) and Councillor Jayne Lonergan (née Aston, Resources Cabinet Member and Councillor for Cherryfield Ward in Kirkby).

The guidance encourages alignment of the Long-Term Plan to three broad investment themes of “Safety and Security”, “High Streets, Heritage and Regeneration”, and “Transport and Connectivity”.  In order to develop the Long-Term Plan for Kirkby, the public will be invited to share their views over the coming months.

The Government guidance requires Knowsley Council to act as the Accountable Body for the programme and funding and the Council’s Cabinet has tonight agreed to fulfil that role.

Once fully established, the Kirkby Town Board will oversee the delivery of the Long-Term Plan for Kirkby and will be responsible for:-

  • Identifying the issues and priorities to focus on in the Long-Term Plan and how the community will be engaged;
  • Working with the Council to develop the Long-Term Plan, and setting out how partner agencies will use their knowledge, powers, assets and new funding to deliver for the community;
  • Identifying opportunities to utilise specific powers (such as neighbourhood planning) to drive forward the Long-Term Plan;
  • Identifying opportunities to bring in additional philanthropic or private investment to support the Long-Term Plan; and,
  • Overseeing the delivery of projects in the Long-Term Plan.