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Mere Brow Village News Archive 2003
Bizarre Boundary Proposal

On 1st December the Boundary Committee for England published their Draft recommendations for unitary local government in Lancashire and are now "consulting" on the draft options put forward for a period of 12 weeks until 23 February 2004. Click Here to view the full report. The recommendations are founded on the findings of a "statistically robust" Mori Poll of 300 West Lancashire residents. Click here for the Mori Report in full.

In summary, the three options that the Boundary Commission have proposed are:

  • Option 1: We become part of a massive Lancashire County Council "Unitary Authority"
  • Option 2: We become part of a new "Sefton and West Lancashire"
  • Option 3: We become part of a new "Sefton and West Lancashire"

Rather bizarrely, our three options are actually only two. You are asked to provide feedback on these proposals but, to date, the supposedly convenient Online Feedback Form on the Boundary Commission website does not work and so any comments you wish to make must be made as best you can using pen and paper and it will cost you the price of a stamp. We have informed the Boundary Commission of this oversight and are awaiting a response.

Block Bogus Callers

Tarleton Village Design Group is working in partnership with Lancashire Constabulary, West Lancashire District Council Home Safe Scheme and Identislot to encourage those people aged 60 or over who live in their own homes to increase their security to avoid bogus callers. The overall value of the project to the area is £8,000 (£7,500 from West Lancashire District Council Home Safe Scheme). Tarleton is being used as a pilot for this project which it is anticipated to be rolled out to the whole of West Lancashire.

There is a package of a security measures that will be made available, free of charge, to people who may be vulnerable to distraction burglaries. The package consists of:

  • A mechanism that is fitted into the door which allows an identity card to be passed from the caller to the householder without the door being opened.
  • An intercom system that allows the householder to control the contact with a caller through a viewcom.
  • Upgrading of front and back door locks to 5 lever mortice systems, if not already fitted.
  • Fitting of window locks to all ground floor windows and those accessible from flat roofs.
  • A bar system that allows the door to be left open for ventilation or to view a caller without fear of intrusion.
  • A smoke alarm.

This is quite a unique opportunity for older people to increase security in their homes at no expense to themselves. They will receive a visit from the West Lancashire District Council Home Safe Scheme to assess their requirements.

This project is presently for Tarleton residents only, however if people from other parishes wish to register an interest they can do so. The project is being coordinated by Dianne Hignett and John Marriot Crime Prevention Officers at Ormskirk Police Station who can be contacted on 01695 566353 or 566354. No names of any individuals wishing to participate in the project will be shared with anybody outside of the police and appropriate staff from West Lancashire District Council and Identislot who will fit the assessed equipment.

Outlook Wet for the Northern Parishes
Floodplain Map for the West Lancashire Northern Parishes and neighbouring villages -  Croston, Walmer Bridge, Hesketh Bank , Banks and Crossens at risk from the sea and  Bretherton, Mawdsley, Eccleston, Rufford, Mere Brow, Banks and Churchtown at risk from River flooding.
Get the very latest floodplain data direct from the
Environment Agency Website

The Environment Agency's new Indicative Floodplain Maps provide a general overview of areas of land in natural floodplains and therefore potentially at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea. The maps use the best information currently available, based on historical flood records and geographical models. They indicate where flooding from rivers, streams, watercourses or the sea is possible. However the maps do not show flood defences which offer vital protection in many areas.

The Agency is making these maps widely accessible to make it easier for people to find out if they are in a flood risk area and what local flood warning arrangements exist. They also inform planners and developers and are a key tool in informing decisions on controlling development in floodplains. For more information and the answers to frequently asked questions about flood plain maps, the impact it has on properties, the impact on property insurance and answers to general questions about flood risk CLICK HERE
More White Vans Wanted

All members of the public are asked to be on the look-out for the following 2 vehicles. They have been seen recently acting suspiciously and it is also believed they have been seen throughout the West Lancs area. The vehicles are both White Transit vans:-

H 846 RAW
P 850 KJA

The whereabouts of these vehicles are wanted by both Lancashire and GMP Police. One vehicle is believed to be involved in theft of motorcycles. Please be on the look-out for both these vehicles. Any sightings should be reported to the Police immediately.

Water Board Warning
Message from The West Lancashire Neighbourhood Watch Association
The police are warning the public about bogus officials who have been gaining entry to elderly persons homes by posing as water board officials who want to check water pipes. Once in the home the offenders have stolen property.

Descriptions of two offenders seen are males early 20's one of whom had red hair and spoke with a stammer. He was wearing a white anorak. Do not let persons into your home without seeing proper authority or them having made a written appointment.

A second problem concerns telephone calls to elderly residents, saying that the Environment Agency wishes to make an appointment to call. Their reason is to give advice on Crime Prevention, mentioning security alarms in the conversation. These calls do not have any connection to any Professional body.

Please do not let anyone into your home without first checking their identity. If you require information on Security alarms please contact the Crime prevention officers at your local Police station. If you wish to contact the Police please ring 0845 1 25 35 45 or in an emergency dial 999.

If you wish to pass on information anonamously about this or any other incident and then you can contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Thefts Continue
The Police are reminding everyone, once again, of an increasing crime trend in rural areas of West Lancashire. These are thefts from garages, farm buildings and driveways of heavy equipment such as sit-on lawnmowers and farm equipment including trailers. It is believed the offenders are from the travelling community and are using white transit vans as well as a dark coloured saloon car.
They are calling at premises offering landscape gardening services. Within half an hour of their call equipment has been stolen. Please be aware of these offences and exercise caution with any unknown callers on your property. If you are suspicious please notify the Police.
Pumpkin Wars

A worried "John Midgley"
Pumpkin late last night

Trevor Wilson and the Mere Brow Giant Pumpkins featured on BBC Radio Lancashire this morning.

Trevor remains confident in being this years contest winner but, despite clandestine nightime surveilance, John Midgley's entry remains shrouded in secrecy and could pose a serious threat. Watch this space!

The big weigh in is this coming Saturday at Bungalow Farm, Scarisbrick

PS Trevor once paid £10 for 1 seed from a 1000lb Pumpkin but don't tell his wife!

Wanted: White Van Man

All farms and Neighbourhood Watch members are asked to be on the lookout for the following vehicle:- A white Transit Van reg. no. S817 SRJ.

This vehicle was seen in suspicious circumstances in Bickerstaffe at around 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon. It is thought they may have been attempting to steal a caravan but when challenged the driver( who spoke with an Irish accent) said they were cutting hedges and then made off towards Rainford. About 2 hours later a shed was reported broken into when lawnmowers and other property were stolen. Please be on the look-out for this vehicle and report any sightings to the Police immediately. To repeat:- A white Transit van S817 SRJ.

Tennis Coaching a big hit
Tennis Coaching at Holmeswwod 15th August 2003
The first of this seasons youth tennis coaching sessions started today at Holmeswood with an excellent turnout. The coaching is organised by Holmeswood Sports Association Tennis Club The next session is Tuesday 19th at 9am.
Advance on Western Front

Planning has been approved (with conditions) for a single storey extension to the leisure lakes bar to accomodate a dancefloor / stage and a games room / arcade. Planning reference 8/2003/0725 was submitted by Western Frontier Limited.

Review of Rufford Parish Council

Following a response to a petition from the residents of Holmeswood, received prior to December 2000, seeking the creation of a new Parish Council in their area, the West Lancashire District Council have decided not to proceed with a recommendation to the Secretary of State to constitute a new parish of Holmeswood, by the separation of part of the parish of Rufford. At that time and at the present date, Rufford Parish Council consists of two wards, one for Rufford and one for Holmeswood.

When the Council first received a request to undertake a review from the residents of Holmeswood, an overwhelming majority (255 0f the 291 electors -87.6%)signed the petition in support. On 4 April 2003 a letter was sent to all electors in Rufford Parish, together with a questionnaire setting out options available.

A response of 225 questionnaires was received from the Parish as a whole, equal to 13.5% of the total possible (1666 electors) Of the 225 questionnaires received only 76 were received from the Holmeswood Ward of which only 58 supported the option to form a new Parish Council for Holmeswood. Of the 225 questionnaires received 105 votes were in favour of leaving Holmeswood with Rufford, 111 to separate Holmeswood from Rufford and 9 in favour of Holmeswood joining Mere Brow.

The West Lancashire District Council in following the advice and guidance of the office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) concluded that there was not sufficient support to make a recommendation successful.


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