Edge Hill University and West Lancs District Council are planning to work together more closely for the benefit of Ormskirk and the district as a whole.
A special forum is being established bringing together senior university board members and district councillors to discuss issues of mutual concern. It is intended that a West Lancs MP will also be invited to attend forum meetings.
Cllr Ian Grant, Leader of the District Council, said: “We recognise that there are many issues of shared interest and it will benefit Ormskirk and the district as a whole if the Council and the University try to work together more closely. Both the University and the Council play hugely important roles in local life and have exciting aspirations for the future. We need to ensure that we grasp appropriate opportunities yet at the same time protect our status as a historic market town. It seems to me that with the University having just appointed last week its first chancellor that the time is right to set up the forum. There may be times in the future when the Council and the University will have different views on a variety of subjects but open dialogue may well prevent issues arising.”
John Cater, Vice-Chancellor of Edge Hill University, said: “The University very much welcomes this joint initiative and looks forward to working more closely with councillors to secure a constructive and mutually beneficial relationship. As the District’s largest employer – and the region’s most significant provider of professionals for both the health and the education service – we have a great deal to offer our community, and we look forward to further developing our contribution locally, regionally and nationally.”
The terms of reference of the forum include:
- Considering issues of mutual interest;
- Considering the impact of the University on Ormskirk and the surrounding area;
- Facilitating a full understanding of the University’s aspirations;
- Maximising the opportunities for the local community to enjoy facilities on the campus;
- Highlighting the influence that the University has in the local community.
The Edge Hill University / West Lancs District Council Forum will be formally established at the Council meeting on 17 December 2008 and the first meeting will be held the following day.
The forum will be consultative body only, with decisions and planning applications being made and dealt with through the usual processes of the Council and the University.