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Why the Parish was formed

Until Local Government Re-Organisation in 1974, the whole of Lathom was part of Lathom and Burscough District Council. In 1974, the council was subsumed into West Lancashire – which at that time excluded Skelmersdale new town – and the area which we have described as Lathom South became part of Ormskirk Derby Ward. In 2000/2001, the Boundary Commission ruled that most of the area should become part of Bickerstaffe Ward and the area around Vale Lane should move into Lathom Ward (the purpose of these changes was solely to reduce Derby Ward to a more manageable size).  For residents, there remains a strong bond with Lathom and virtually no bond with either Bickerstaffe or Skelmersdale, which are regarded as merely neighbours with different characteristics and problems.


Anyone driving into the southern fringes of Lathom from the East (Skelmersdale), South (Bickerstaffe) or West (Westhead) could be forgiven for believing that they have entered a “no man’s land” because the name Lathom has been removed from our boundaries. They would not see a Lathom sign until they reached the northern area of Lathom, where numerous signs abound.


It is not surprising, therefore, that our residents feel that they inhabit a forgotten and - for the District Council – an insignificant corner of its domain.


West Lancashire District Council covers a wide geographical area which is largely rural or semi-rural in character but the council is dominated by councillors from urban areas. This leaves predominantly rural areas like ours in jeopardy. Rural areas of West Lancashire, in the main, are served by Parish Councils, which at least act as a form of counterweight by making local voices heard, but the southern area of Lathom currently had no such voice.


Around the time of the formation of the Parish council the area was awash with problems,

  • We had large warehouses being developed on what was former green belt adjacent to Firswood Road (ASDA and Comet) with numerous associated problems
  • We had a proposal form Skelmersdale Landowners to develop land on Vale Lane for further industrial use and inevitably hoping to develop more big warehouse sheds
  • We had traffic problems generated by Round O Quarry
  • Many non-residents and council officers viewed the area as part of Skelmersdale, which meant that we were under threat of being part of Skelmersdale expansion plans


South Lathom Residents Association dealt with all these issues but as a non statutory body they were not entitled to be consulted on planning issues and were often excluded from meetings.  They needed more power and so on 31st March 2003 approximately 100 residents attended a public meeting to discuss the need for some form of local representation for those people of Lathom who are not covered by Lathom Parish Council. A Working Group was set up to consider the available options and after careful consideration, members of the Working Group recommended the creation of a Parish Council and called a second public meeting, which was held on 1st July 2003 where it was agreed to petition for the formation of a Parish Council