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Mere Brow Village News Archive 2005


Missing Dog Amadeus last seen in Tarleton

AMADEUS is a 6 year old brown and white Leonberger x Bernese Mountain cross breed. who has been missing from Banks since November.

Originally from Devon, he has been living rough since escaping from his new owners and is described as a shy dog, particularly of men.

Whilst there have been many reported sightings around Tarleton and Hundred End he has still not been caught. If you have any information please ring 07769 865385.



"Don't let local village policing be merged with Merseyside" - warns Lorraine Fullbrook

Local Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman Lorraine Fullbrook has called on the Government to think again about proceeding with plans to merge the Lancashire police force into one of just twelve giant regional constabularies, at an "astronomical" cost to the taxpayer.

Following a Commons debate on the merger the week before Christmas, Lorraine has warned that the independence of Lancashire police is at stake, along with their operational effectiveness, stability, and essential links with local communities.

And she has accused Home Secretary Charles Clarke of seeking to force through the changes without adequate debate: "Rather than being driven by operational effectiveness, the changes are being driven by blind belief in centralisation that defies the facts. And rather than focusing on the needs of local people, they are bound to be driven by an agenda of regionalisation that this Government continues to pursue against the will of the people."

Mrs Fullbrook stressed how the most successful recent anti-crime drive was achieved in New York where police teams were locally managed, directed and financed.

She warned how the proposed larger force responsible for local policing in villages like Mere Brow may cover Merseyside as well Cumbria and would be "too huge to be effective" and result in some officers having to drive for hours to reach their new regional headquarters. Mrs Fullbrook also expressed alarm at the likely costs of the shake-up - which she warned could run into hundreds of millions of pounds, while taking ages to implement.

"As my colleague David Davis pointed out in Parliament , there is every chance that costs will go up, not down. If nothing else, all experience shows that the process of amalgamation itself will be a ferociously disruptive and distracting exercise, probably for several years...during which time neither the criminals nor the terrorists will rest."

Mrs Fullbrook declared: "I am not opposed to any change in the current structure of Forty Three police forces, but I do believe there are very serious problems with the current proposal. It makes policing remote, when we should be making it local. It makes policing unaccountable, when we should be giving people greater control. It threatens massive costs for local taxpayers with no extra benefits and it is driven by a regional agenda which has already been rejected by the British people.

Everywhere we turn, the Government seem determined to organise our lives on regional lines. Like the possible merger of local Hospital Trusts this is all about saving money, and breaking Britain up into euro-regions and not about improving service.It would be a tragedy indeed if we sacrificed good and effective policing on the altar of regional dogma. It will be a tragedy if the Government pushes through this hasty, ill-considered, costly, disruptive, and dangerous plan. A tragedy the people of Lancashire cannot afford."



With the Met Office set to confirm tomorrow that we are expecting the worst winter in 10 years, leading switching and comparison site, reveals that the arctic freeze forecast for this winter is set to add £600 million to the nation’s energy bill.

The last time the UK suffered from an unusually cold winter (1995/96) energy consumption swelled by 5% per household. Based on today’s prices this would bump up the nation’s energy bill by £600 million. Furthermore, recent price rises mean that consumers who wish to turn up their thermostat by 1 degree to keep warmer, will have to pay an extra £57 - 46% more than four years ago.

Alan Tattersall, Director of Home Services at, states: “This could be the most expensive winter people have faced for many years. Freezing temperatures mean that the amount of energy used just to keep warm and healthy this winter, would result in energy bills soaring.

“By the end of this year, customers will have seen their energy bill rise by at least 16% or over £100. In addition, the poorest 10% of the population are now spending 9% of their income (up 27% since 2001) on their energy bills which is perilously close to the industry definition of “fuel poor”, which is 10%. We are concerned that further increases in the New Year could see vulnerable groups struggling to keep warm this winter.”

The average consumer bill will have risen by over £100 by the end 2005 to a total of £770. In a double whammy, energy customers should brace themselves for price hikes in the region of 15% by major energy suppliers as early as the first quarter of 2006 (possibly pushing the average fuel bill up by a further £116). These anticipated prices increases come in the wake of burgeoning wholesale gas prices that have risen by 417% since the start of the year.

The combined impact of a volatile market, price increases by all major suppliers and a harsh winter means that consumers who have never switched could pay close to £1000 for their gas and electricity by early next year.

To exacerbate the issue, data from the Met Office between 1971 through to 2000 shows that February has, on average, the coldest minimum temperatures - suggesting that the worst of the weather is still to come.

To help mitigate this and ensure that people keep warm this winter, recommends the following measures:

  • Switch to save £££’s
    Switch supplier and you could make savings of up to £170 a year. Use an independent energy price comparison service to ensure you get a like for like comparison
  • Claim your rightful benefits. Everyone over 60 should claim the Winter Fuel Payment and there are many other benefits and grants to which you may be entitled. Call SeniorLine to find out more: 0808 800 6565
  • Apply for energy savng grants and programmes. There are many free products and services designed specifically for older people, such as the British Gas 'Here to HELP' programme. Contact major energy suppliers to find out what they offer.
  • Inadequate insulation could cost UK consumers £1.9 billion in unnecessary energy use this winter, according to figures from the Energy Saving Trust. Save up to £250 by making some simple energy efficient changes such as investing in loft insulation, using a draft excluder and changing normal for energy efficient light bulbs.
  • Keep your home between 21 and 24 degrees – this is the optimum temperature recommended to keep you healthy. Keeping heating on longer at a lower temperature is also cheaper than putting it on for shorter periods at a higher temperature.


Police across Lancashire's Southern Division are warning car owners to take more care over their car security in an attempt to cut down on incidents of auto-crime over the winter months as the frosty mornings set in. They are again stressing the following messages to motorists across the division:-
  • On frosty mornings do not leave your insecure car unattended whilst defrosting. Many motorists will start their car and leave it running with the fan turned on to help the defrosting process whilst they go inside. If you cannot garage your car overnight, either stay with it whilst the windscreen clears or cover it with a protective sheet so that the windscreen does not get frosted up.
    Last Friday at approx 7.40am a Mazda MX5 was stolen from Kilsby Close in Walton-le-Dale in exactly this way.
  • Leaving the engine running whilst out of the car on a public highway is an offence but this also gives criminals the opportunity to take the vehicle. Quite a few people do this whilst calling into a newsagents first thing in the morning but will also leave their keys in a switched off vehicle when filling up with petrol – an open invitation to an opportunist thief.
  • Insurance companies request details of auto crimes from the police to assess each individual’s claim. These details help to establish whether the aggrieved has been contributory to the loss and ultimately whether the insurance company will pay out.
  • In the run up to Christmas do not leave valuables on display in your car and avoid leaving bags of presents on view. This also applies not only to Christmas presents but other items such as laptops and bags – if you don’t need it don’t leave it in your car.
  • Ensure your car is safe, secure and properly alarmed at all times. Leaving high powered and valuable vehicles on driveways attracts attention and incidents have happened recently where thieves have broken into insecure properties and stolen the keys to vehicles – these crimes have not just happened overnight. Keep your property secure and your car keys out of sight.
Chief Superintendent Chris Weigh commented, “We are in our first real cold snap of the winter and offenders have already seized opportunities whilst owners defrost their vehicles. Please don't think that they won't visit your area - thieves travel everywhere to carry out these type of offences and unfortunately they are usually successful in finding what they are looking for. It is far easier for them to steal a vehicle with keys than without."


Lorraine Fullbrook, the Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for the South Ribble constituency, which covers Tarleton, Banks, Hesketh Bank and Rufford, and soon to include Eccleston, Mawdsley and Croston, has re-affirmed her opposition to the Government’s new licensing laws, which are due to come into full effect on 24 November.

The new Licensing Act will allow pubs and night clubs to apply for whatever opening hours they wish, abolishing the old 11pm closing time and 20 minute ‘drinking up’ time. The new laws come at a time when violent attacks across West Lancashire have risen by 123% in the last three years.

Lorraine explained that although responsibility for licensing is being transferred from magistrates’ courts to local authorities, councils have very little discretion to refuse late licences:

  • Applications are automatically granted unless an objection is made, but only certain people are allowed to object. Residents can only object if they live in the immediate ‘vicinity’.
  • Councillors are not allowed to object to applications in their ward in their own right.
  • Councils must follow the 180-page Whitehall guidance, which prevents councils from staggering closing times across an area.
  • Councils cannot object to ‘Temporary Event Notices’, such as controversial raves or festivals for up to 500 people.
  • There are few powers to hold pubs and clubs responsible for rowdy or drunken customers once outside their premises, even if the serving of alcohol caused the nuisance.

“At a time when violent crime is rising, weakening the laws on late licensing threatens to increase crime, nuisance and disorder even further. I am all in favour of people having a good time out, but a licensing ‘free for all’ threatens to create not a café culture, but a yob culture in our village centres.

“Labour’s new licensing laws fail to give local residents and councillors a strong enough say to decide what’s best for our local community. The whole legislation needs a complete overhaul to stop the upsurge in yob behaviour, to lighten the burden on village halls and community facilities, and give local councils far more discretion to take into account the concerns of local people.”



Tarleton's very own John Midgley took the crown of heaviest giant pumpkin grower at the Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition which was held today. The 702lb pumpkin is also believed to be the heaviest pumpkin weight recorded this year at any of this seasons UK competitions.

John Midgley - Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition winner 2005
Dave Turley from Dune FM presents the coveted Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Shield to this year's competition winner - John Midgley of Tarleton.

Dave Turley, first time giant pumpkin grower and Dune FM DJ proudly displays the local radio station's own entry which weighed in at a very respectable 301 lb.

John last won the Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition in 2001 with a 454lb Pumpkin.

A record 32 giant pumpkins were entered into the famous Mere Brow competition which was again compered by the tireless DJ Dave Turley of Dune FM. The proceeds of the event are to be donated to the North West Ambulance.

J. Midgley 702
James O'Hanlon / Liam Cupit 638
G. Wright 541
M. Bond 530
Jack & Hollie Bond 519
Josh Whiteside 515
Mark O'Hanlon 506
L. Whiteside 497
Lois Cupit 497
James O'Hanlon / Liam Cupit 473
R. & E. Langton 466
G. Wright 442
Jody Wilson 440
Jody Wilson 420
Amy Woolam 411
J. Rimmer 389
J. Houghton 376
M. Done 370
J. Whiteside 361
J. Bryan 356
A. Whiteside 356
Grace Wright 334
P. Wareing 330
D. Shaw 312
Grace Wright 304
Dune FM 301
P. Wareing 295
M. Johnson 277
A. & K. Midgley 266
T. Wilson 249
Amy Woolam 224
J. Wilson 209


West Lancs District Council today announced that it has issued over 100 fixed penalty notices to litter bugs in West Lancashire in the last three months alone. All of the £50 fines were issued for either throwing litter in the street or out of car windows or for putting bin bags out "too early".

The news release then goes on to name and shame the 32 people who have already paid their fines (including the unlikely named "Mr Firwood Timber") but makes no reference to those who did not pay up.

The clampdown comes in advance of the controversial cut in refuse collections set to be introduced in October whereby "grey" waste collection will be halved without any change as to what or how much recyclable material will be collected.

Critics of the proposed change claim that the average household will have to deal with over 4 bin bags of refuse a month that will remain uncollected under the new arrangements and this will inevitably lead to an increase in fly tipping.

Many residents have already applied to the Council for additional bin space but as each request is to be dealt with individually, the unexpected demand made on the Council department has meant that the home visits to establish requirements have not yet started.



Good news - Bryn the spaniel is back home! He was found asleep in the hedge at the Anchor Inn at Hutton.
Joyce said "He is very lucky dog in every way. Please thank everyone for us as they have been so kind. We have had people who we have never met before walking the fields for us and wanderered about looking for him. We have had phone calls and emails about him beeing seen, and calls asking about him."
"He is fine but has a bit of a limp and is very tired. He has been checked out by the vet and was fit enough to come home. I just can't say thank you enough times"



Joyce has asked us to pass on the following update about her spaniel who went missing last Saturday:
Please let folk know our spaniel was sited on Monday asleep in the grass verge on the Longton bypass by the lolipop lady for Walmer Bridge school but, being frightened, shot across the road down Dob Lane. He was again sited today (Wednesday) at Midge Hall at the cross roads leading to Bretherton and Leyland. He seems to be following the roads to find his way home so please keep a look out for him. After six days he must be getting quite weak.
If you have any information at all please contact Joyce Walmsley on 01772 81xxxx.

Best Kept Village Awards For Tarleton And Mere Brow


The annual Best Kept Village competition has declared Tarleton the winner of the Large Village Class and also awarded the accolade of Most Improved Small Village to Mere Brow.

The formal presentation of the awards will be made on the 15th October and each village will be given Garden Centre vouchers as prizes.



A white and brown springer spaniel was lost in Tarleton yesterday (Saturday 17th September). The dog is described as small size, still has his tail and can be skittish towards men.

He is a small dog for a springer, has white/brown patches and still has his tail. He had no collar on at the time when he was last seen late afternoon down Moss Hey. The dog warden and police have been informed and posters have been put around the village and in local shops

He is a much loved pet and the owner would like to hear from anyone who has any information. Please contact Joyce Walmsley on 01772 81xxxx.



Thanks to funding from the Local Network Fund and North Meols Parish Council, Banks Piv Posse are able to run a comprehensive Summer Scheme for young people aged between 10 and 17.

Activities will take place between Tuesday 9th August and Thursday 18th August.

Activities are Circus Skills, Video Skills, Football Training by an FA qualified coach, Golf, Outdoor Pursuits at Rock and River Mawdesley, Raw Art (Graffiti), Clog Dancing, Modern Disco Dance, African Drums, Arts and Crafts and several sessions of Outdoor Games.

The activities are open to any young person from Banks, Tarleton, Hesketh Bank or Rufford and any young person who attends Tarleton High School. Most activities are being run from 10am to 3pm, although some sessions are only 2 hours.

Volunteers running the scheme have been CRB checked and the majority are trained in Youth and Community work.

The cost is 50p a session for young people from Banks and £1.50 for anyone else.

For further information please email or ring and leave a message on the answerphone on 01772 811552.

Programmes and booking forms are available from all schools in the area, the drop in at Hesketh Avenue, Banks, on Thursday 21st and 28th between 6pm and 10pm and Tarleton library.

This is an excellent opportunity for young people to learn new skills and have fun at affordable rates.

The final event on Thursday 18th August which is for all those who have participated in the scheme is a Bar B Q and fun session.



Lancashire Youth and Community Service are offering 4 trips during the summer holiday period. The trips on the dates below are for young people aged between 11 and 16 from the Tarleton, Hesketh Bank, Banks, Rufford, Holmeswood and Mere Brow areas.

Tuesday 2nd August Ice Skating Cost £8
Tuesday 9th August Rhyl Sun Centre Cost £8
Tuesday 16th August Bowling and team activities Cost £8
Tuesday 23rd August Alton Towers Cost £15

Pick up points will be at central points in each village and a packed lunch or money for food is not included in the above price. Application Forms are available from Tarleton library, by contacting or ringing 01695 585761.



The excitement is growing at Tarleton High School, as preparations are nearing completion for the very first Summer Fun Club to be held in the brand-new £1.2million Community Sports Hall.

The fun packed programme has something for everyone this summer with sports such as football, basketball, badminton, swimming, gymnastics and trampolining scheduled in an extensive programme that runs through to September. Organisers stress the need to enrol for the activities to avoid disappointments

The Fun Club will feature 3-day football camps to offer in-depth training with FA qualified coaches. In addition, multi-sport camps will follow the same format, but offering badminton, basketball and swimming sessions in the school’s pool.

West Lancashire District Council will be offering a chance for children aged 8-14 to try a variety of sports in their activity days on 25th July and 15th August from 10am-3pm. For just £6 children will be able to spend the day practising Tri-Golf as well as other fun sports!

Gymnastic classes will be held every Friday, with a two-hour session for both beginner and intermediate gymnasts.

The schools Sports Hall and Swimming Pool are open to the public at evenings and weekends year round and will be available throughout the summer holidays.

The complete Timetable of Events is available as a pdf file - CLICK HERE
For bookings and enquiries for all activities, please call Steve James on 01772 817907


Dear Editor,

We have our dog back... Yip Heeee. Many thanks to all the businesses in Mere Brow who were more than happy to have our posters in the shops regarding the missing dog, the dog walkers on Leisure Lakes who I bumped into, the local school for putting a notice on the Notice board. Boarding Kennels and Caravan Park.

She was found a mile from Leisure Lakes by Mr. Pimlott of Banks Southport while walking his friends dog. She had made her bed in a dry ditch on a local farm, and lived rough for 10 days, I don't know how much longer she would have lasted living rough with little or no food. A big thank you to Mr. Pimlott and to Vanessa your local Dog Warden for returning her to us.

Our family is now complete.

Bev Forber, Prescot, Merseyside, 23rd January 2005


The BBC reports that a former Liberal Democrat councillor who defected to Labour in 1997 has been chosen as a prospective candidate for West Lancashire.
Labour MP Colin Pickthall, 60, who has represented the seat for the last 13 years, is stepping down.
Former councillor and Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Rosemary Cooper, was chosen on Sunday to represent Labour.


Dear Ed,
I lost a 1yr old Doberman bitch chocolate in colour at Leisure Lakes on Sunday 9th January at 11am, we only rescued her from a Dogs Home the previous week. She bolted and came out of her lead and collar, but she is micro- chipped I have contacted the police and dog warden's for West Lanc's and Sefton. And given contact numbers out to local shops and schools. She will be very frightened. If anyone comes into contact with her even if running loose in a certain area could they please contact me on 0151 545 5083 (8.30am - 5pm) 0151 430 7313 Home or Moble 07976 510830. I have two children who are very upset.
Many thanks,
Bev Forber, Prescot, Merseyside 11th January 2005



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