St Annes Enterprise Partnership changes constitution to step out on its own
A Fylde traders' organisation which has been closely connected to St Annes Town Council since its launch more than five years ago is striking out on its own.
The key step forward for the St Annes Enterprise Partnership, popularly known as STEP, comes following the demise of the Government-backed Coastal Communities Alliance, under which it was founded early in 2016.
Later that year, after initially being established to promote and improve all aspects of the town, it also took on the mantle of the St Annes Chamber of Trade, when that folded, to become the town's representative organisation for traders.
To help make the change as smooth as possible, the Town Council is supporting STEP financially with an initial £3,500 grant and more backing to follow in future years.
The switch coincides with the imminent departure of mots recent STEP chairman Colin Ballard, who is leaving the area.
He said: "The Coastal Communities' Fund no longer exists and that was the umbrella for St Annes Enterprise Partnership.
"At the AGM, I outlined a brief background and explained how STEP was now to become an autonomous group, business orientated and voting a committee accountable to the membership.
"I urged for a positive stance regarding progression for the town and wished them all well."
St Annes Town Council's town clerk Kevin Martin said: "STEP has for a number of years been supported by Town Council through the provision of dedicated administrative capacity.
"Until its annual meeting, the STEP board had consisted of several representatives from both Fylde Borough and St Annes Town Councils. More recent meetings had seen council representation making up nearly 60 per cent of those attending.
"Therefore, in looking to assist STEP to become more autonomous, St Annes Town Council has agreed to provide a core grant of £3,500 in the current financial year and given an undertaking for funding in future years.
"Having now approved a new constitution, STEP will have only one councillor on its board from each of the Fylde and St Annes Town Councils. All other board members will have a business interest in the town.
"It is hoped that this new approach will give STEP the freedom to encourage even more business owners to join and thus make STEP a much more business-led organisation.
"The Town Council looks forward to working with STEP in the future to deliver initiatives benefiting residents, businesses, visitors, and the community generally in St Annes."
It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.
Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe