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MERE BROW & HOLMESWOOD
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16th December 2015
GP appointments over Christmas and New Year
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During the festive period, people in West Lancashire are able to make an appointment to see a GP when their normal practice is closed.

To support the increased demand for health services at this time of the year, the local GP out of hours service is offering routine GP appointments during the day over Christmas and New Year.

Appointments will be available 9am – 5pm from 26 to 28 December 2015 and from 1 to 3 January 2016.

To book a routine GP appointment on the above dates, please call 01695 574634. These appointments are being offered at either West Lancashire Health Centre in Ormskirk or at Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre.

Dr John Caine, local GP and Chair of NHS West Lancashire CCG said ‘’As demand for health services can be high during peak times over winter, these additional appointments for residents of West Lancashire will help reduce pressures on our A&E departments which should be accessed for serious illnesses and life-threatening injuries only’’.

If you need a GP appointment outside of these hours (9am-5pm), the GP out of hours service is available for urgent appointments by calling NHS 111.


14th December 2015
Hospitals lift restrictions on visiting hours
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Friends and family will be able to spend much longer with patients at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals from 18th December 2015.

Wards will open for visiting at midday and stay open until 8.30pm, seven days a week.

The decision by Simon Featherstone, Director of Nursing and Quality, follows a successful trial at Southport hospital earlier this year.

“The support and company of friends and family is an important part of any patient’s recovery but traditional visiting times don’t always fit round people’s working lives and personal commitments,” said Simon.

“We also know some visitors want to play a more active role in the care of the patient they’re visiting, such as helping at mealtimes and providing a familiar voice in unfamiliar surroundings, so I hope this more flexible approach will help them.”

He added: “To make this work, we also need visitors to help us too. We ask that there should be only two visitors per bed and, from time to time, we may ask visitors to leave the bedside during personal care for patients or consultant ward rounds.”


26th November 2015
Junior doctors’ industrial action
Source: SOUTHPORT AND ORMSKIRK HOSPITAL NHS TRUST

The public is being asked to use NHS hospital services responsibly ahead of a strike by junior doctors planned for Tuesday 1st December.

It is the first in a series of three strikes junior doctors have planned in their dispute with Government over a new contract.

Rob Gillies, Executive Medical Director at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said the Trust was working with nurses, doctors not affected by the strike and other clinical staff on robust plans to ensure that appropriate care is delivered.

“With the exception of dermatology, ophthalmology and maxillo-facial care, many of the planned services our hospitals provide will be affected and we are in touch with the patients concerned,” said Mr Gillies.

“Put simply, our message to patients with appointments is: ‘if you haven’t heard from us, we still want to see you on Tuesday’.”

Mr Gillies added: “Patients in need of emergency hospital care will continue to receive the treatment they need, when they need it. In all cases priority will be given to those patients with the most pressing health needs.

“A&E is for people facing life-threatening and emergencies such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes.

“Anyone who needs help in such circumstances should not hesitate in calling 999. There are other healthcare options available for less serious situations – such as visiting your pharmacist or GP, calling NHS 111 or using NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk).

The first junior doctors’ strike will last for 24 hours and start at 8am on Tuesday and affect all hospital services except emergency care. Two all-out strikes are planned for Tuesday 8th December and Wednesday 16th December between 8am and 5pm.


12th November 2015
GUIDE DOGS BENEFIT FROM OPEN GARDENS DAY
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A donation was made this week to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (GDBA) by Mere Brow Methodist Church. 
This money was part of the amount raised by the church's Open Gardens Day held earlier in the year.

Mere Brow Open Gardens donation to the Guide DOgs For The BlindRepresentatives from the newly-formed fundraising group in Preston and Leyland attended to receive the cheque, accompanied by two of the puppies at present being trained to be guide dogs, namely Zebedee and Sherwood.

GDBA is a national UK charity providing guide dogs for blind people who can't go out from home unaccompanied due to their sight loss and, at the moment, there are 5000 working guide dogs in this country.

GDBA have to find £1m a week just to keep going and, as there is no government funding, up and down the country there are fund-raising groups out and about in the community gathering funds from giving and making talks to schools, adult groups, sponsorship from local businesses etc. 

Volunteers will be made most welcome so, if anyone is interested in helping, or just want to learn more about the great work of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, please email Preston-Guide-Dogs@hotmail.com who will be pleased to answer any queries.


5th November 2015
NHS & Macmillan team up for people affected by cancer
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The NHS is joining forces with Macmillan Cancer Information at a free health and well-being clinic in Southport on Thursday 12th November.

The event at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre is an opportunity to find out how to access local support, information and advice to help patients and their families adjust to life with and beyond cancer. It will run from 1pm to 3.30pm.

Jackie Brunton, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust’s lead cancer nurse, said: “We’re delighted to join forces again with Macmillan, building on the success of previous health and well-being clinics.  We would also be delighted to welcome friends and family to come along as we understand how a cancer diagnosis affects not just the person with cancer.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to find out what local support, information and advice is available to them, their families, carers and friends to adjust to life with and beyond cancer. Clinical nurse specialists will also be on hand. There will also be:

  • Healthy food demonstrations
  • Hand massages from Sefton OPERA (Older Persons Enabling Resource and Action)
  • A benefits advisor
  • Representatives from local cancer support groups
  • A performance by the Living Well Centre/Macmillan Singing Group
  • Expert-led sessions around fitness, wellbeing and Macmillan’s work

Helen Jones, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre Manager, said:

“We understand how patients can often feel they lose the safety net of support they receive while attending the hospital regularly for treatment. These events are designed to help people to return to everyday activities and make the most of the good things in their life. If you have any questions, we are here to help.”

Places are free but limited, booking is essential. For information or to book a place contact Macmillan Information & Support Centre on 0151 288 6793/7 or email sfccg.macmillancic@nhs.net. Sefton council is offering subsidised parking at 80p per car.

The event is organised by Macmillan Information and Support Centre in partnership with Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group.


28th October 2015
NHS CCG welcomes views on LOCAL health services
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The NHS in West Lancashire is welcoming views from the general public about experiences of using local community health services.

As part of its ongoing re-procurement of the community services contract, NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) would like to know what is working well locally and what could be improved.  Community health services and primary care includes various local services such as GPs, district nurses, community matrons, mental health services, podiatry, dieticians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, treatment room services, leg ulcer clinic, continence service, MSK (musculoskeletal) clinics and end of life care teams.

The CCG has launched a survey, which is available online via: surveymonkey.com/s/joinedupcare.  Printed copies of the survey can be requested directly from the CCG by calling 01695 588 203 or emailing myview@westlancashireccg.nhs.uk

Claire Heneghan, chief nurse of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said:

“As local healthcare commissioners, we must continuously review all the contracts we hold in terms of patient safety, quality and choice, clinical evidence and value.  This procurement is therefore part of normal NHS practice.  This decision to re-procure is part of our vision for joined up care, which will bring improvements in care locally and deliver services closer to people’s homes.

“We will ensure we work collaboratively with everyone, such as hospital and community staff, the voluntary sector and other partners, on our plans and importantly consider the local community’s views as part of this process.   This element of co-design is something we’re committed to.  It is crucial we understand from the people using these local services what is going well, what could be improved and any other experiences or feedback they wish to share”.

The CCG’s website is updated regularly with news on this procurement including a summary of the local NHS body’s vision for joined up care: www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk. More information can be requested by contacting the NHS using the details above.


3rd September 2015
Ask your NHS a question
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Members of the public are invited to the annual general meeting (AGM) of local NHS leaders, West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The AGM will be held at Banks Leisure Centre (Greaves Hall Ave, Banks, PR9 8BL) on Tuesday 22 September at 11.30am (for registration) until 3pm and is a chance to learn more about the local NHS and ask questions directly to the management team in a panel style question and answer session.

Dr John Caine, chair of NHS West Lancashire CCG and local GP, said: “Despite our AGM being a formal requirement, we also view this as a valuable opportunity to highlight our achievements, challenges and plans for the year ahead, and welcome views and input from our community”.

The event is being hosted alongside a health network event of West Lancs CVS.   Greg Mitten, chief officer of West Lancs CVS, said:  “The AGM will involve updates and discussion with the voluntary, community and faith sector and allow both local voluntary groups and members of the public to quiz the NHS management team about a broad range of topics.”

Refreshments will be provided on the day. It is therefore encouraged that places are booked in advance by contacting myview@westlancashireccg.nhs.uk advising of any special dietary, sensory and venue accessibility needs.

Similarly if anyone is travelling from Skelmersdale, Ormskirk and other areas and would like transport to be provided, please contact us on the above details or phone 01695 588 000.

The CCG will take questions on the day and would welcome any submitted in advance by using the above email address.

The CCG’s board meeting will take place at the same venue earlier in the day at 9.30am.  Members of the local community are welcome to attend to observe the board meeting. Questions relating to items on the agenda, which is published one week prior to the meeting on the CCG’s website, can also be raised by contacting 01695 588144 by noon on Monday 21 September.

There is also the opportunity for attendees to have an informal discussion with some of the board members following the closure of the meeting.


12th August 2015
Broke FMX back at Mere Brow BANK HOLIDAY FAIR
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Broke FMX Motocross DisplayFreestyle Motocross has become a leading spectator attraction since it took-off just a few years ago and is now one of the country’s leading crowd-pullers. And anyone unfamiliar with it need look no further than Southport Town & Country Fair over the Bank Holiday weekend at The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow.

There will be a packed programme of events over all three days, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, August 29 – 31, but the Broke FMX team will be giving three, breath-taking, displays only on Sunday and Monday.

With the riders performing acrobatic stunts: at up to 35 feet above the ground, or around height of an average house and over ground distances in excess of 100 feet; they will literally be impossible to miss ! And just in case you don’t believe what you are seeing the riders even provide an on-board commentary while performing some of their hair-raising stunts. While between displays show-goers can visit the Broke FMX interactive stand, meet the riders and a get a close-up of both them and their machines.

Leader of the Leyland-based team, John Pearson, commented: “We have spent around ten years traveling the world, pushing the boundaries of FMX and setting new, high, standards for other motorcycle display teams to follow. We came to Southport for the first time last year – to the Country Fair – and we really impressed with how enthusiastic and knowledgeable the crowd were. So we are really looking forward to this year’s show.”

There will be a number of themed areas within the overall site, such as:

Dog arena: fun dog shows (Saturday and Sunday only 13.30 approx.), organised by the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home with prizes and rosettes for the Class Winners. Classes include ‘Handsomest’ dog, best biscuit catcher, golden oldie, waggiest tail and the not-to-be-missed ‘fastest sausage eater’ – so bring along the family’s best friend. Southport photographer Diana Celine will be providing each class winner with a free 10 x 8 ins. portrait of their choice. Demonstration and Scurry by Mere Brow Gun Dogs on all three days. Siberian Huskies, including a main arena parade on Saturday and Monday.

Creature House: ever-popular favourites include the North West Reptile Society, Banks Homing Pigeon Society, ferrets and, still-to-be-confirmed, budgerigars.

There’s a veritable A – Z of Country Pursuits to be found throughout the site: alpacas (Sunday only), duck-racing, ferret-racing, goat-racing, North West Stick-Makers and S&R Birds of Prey static display of hawks, owls and other raptors Sunday & Monday only).

Other attractions range from Jema Leopold’s Performing Horses and Ponies to a display of Ford side-valve vintage cars (Monday only), air-rifle shooting with the Tawd Vale Shooting Club, and antiques and Egyptian artifacts.

14th Southport Town & Country Fair - 10.00 - 17.30, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, August 29 - 31, The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, PR4 6JX. Tickets £6.00 for adults or just £5.00 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734. OAPs and the disabled £5.00. Children (over three years) FREE on Saturday and until 12.00 Sunday – and £2.00 thereafter. Family Ticket, for two adults and three children, just £16.00.


12th August 2015
VIP TRUSTEES REQUIRED
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Villages in Partnership is the trading name of the Rural Community Partnership Trust, Charity Number 1111237, which is based in Eccleston. The Villages in Partnership Board of Trustees are a group of people who are there to govern and oversee the charity’s activities to ensure we are compliant with charity law.

They are the governing body of the charity and are ultimately responsible for everything the charity does. They are also responsible for setting our short and long term strategic aims and objectives.

  • The Trustees’ fundamental role is to determine:
  • The overall direction of the charity
  • Provide leadership
  • Uphold the charity’s fiduciary responsibilities

Villages in Partnership would like to add more trustees to their board. By becoming a trustee you will be joining the charity at a time of growth and development.

We are looking for individuals with the skills, energy and passion to assist with continuing the boards’ work in taking the charity forward. This role requires attendance at the monthly meeting of the trustees, which are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month.

For further information and details of how to apply, please contact vip@villagesinpartnership.co.uk or telephone 01257 452698.


9th August 2015
WESTERN FRONTIER FAKE VODKA FINE
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

A WESTERN themed pub which supplied fake vodka has been fined £800.

Investigators found Smirnoff sold at the Western Frontier public house at the Leisure Lakes caravan site in Mere Brow, Preston, was a spirit that did not classify legally as vodka.

Owner Lakeside Bar (Preston) Ltd, based in Fulwood, was ordered to pay £500 costs and a £40 surcharge by Preston Magistrates Court.

Company director Frederick Jorden, 67, of South View Terrace, Leyland, must pay £452 in fines, £125 costs and a £42 surcharge, while bar manager Gordon Woof, 51, of The Gravel, Mere Brow, must pay a £360 fine, £20 surcharge and £125 costs.

All admitted offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 in relation to the false description of Smirnoff, and offences under Spirit Drinks Regulations relating to spirits having a lower alcohol content than required by law.

Click here to view the complete LEP article


9th July 2015
A Day at the Races – you can bet on it !
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‘Punters’ after a ‘flutter’ and some fun need look no further than the 2nd Southport Country Fair Race Day at The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, on Sunday July 19, 2015.

The show was launched last year by local businessman Kelvin Pye and proved so successful that is back by public demand.

Pig racing‘They’re off !’ at 11.30 and Kelvin has promised a minimum of a 12-race card featuring a range of farm-yard and domestic animals including: ferrets, goats, Indian Runner Ducks, pigs, sheep, Shetland Ponies and even International Formula 5nail . . . for those who like their fun a little less than ‘Fast and Furious’.

‘Honest Joe’ the bookie will be on-site and covering all bets . . . up to a maximum of £1.00 . . . and for the uninitiated it is literally as simple as picking your favourite colour.

“We had a great time last year,” said Kelvin, “Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I hope it will be even better this time around.”

In addition to the racing there will be a full programme of events throughout the day.  This includes a, musical, horse and pony ‘Liberty’ performance by circus-trained, Jema Leopold, who has been running her own display team since 2006.

The show is very dog-friendly and owners are encouraged to bring their ‘man’s best friend’ along with them.  There will be a Fun Dog Show, organised by the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, starting around 13.15.

There will be a total of seven different classes and owners entering their dogs into two classes will be entitled to enter a third class for free.

Other canine capers will include a Gun Dog demonstration and scurry from the local Mere Brow Gun Dogs Club and Flyball dog-racing plus Siberian Huskies demonstrating their sled-pulling prowess.

There will also be an air-rifle shooting range, with proceeds raised going to the Royal British Legion.

2nd Southport Country Race Day - 10.00 – 18.00, Sunday July 19, The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, PR4 6JX.  Adult tickets £4.50, (or £4.00 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734), OAPs £4.00,and children (over three years) £1.00 or just £11.00 for a Family Ticket covering two adults and up to three children. 


28th June 2015
NHS & Macmillan event for people affected by cancer
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Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is joining forces with Macmillan Cancer Information at a free health and well-being clinic in Southport on Thursday 9th July.

The event at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre is an opportunity to find out how to access local support, information and advice to help patients and their families adjust to life with and beyond cancer. It will run from 4pm to 6.30pm.

Jackie Brunton, the Trust’s Cancer Services Manager/Lead cancer Nurse, said: “We’re delighted to join forces again with the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service, building on the success of previous health and well-being clinics.  We would also be delighted to welcome friends and family to come along as we understand how a cancer diagnosis affects not just the person with cancer.”

Cancer nurse specialists will be on hand to offer advice and support along with local organisations including Sefton Active Lifestyles, local benefits advisors and Sefton/West Lancs Carers Support.

Information on fitness, walking groups, diet, benefits, stopping smoking, and carers’ support will also be available as well as the opportunity to talk to other people living with and affected by cancer. Refreshments will be provided and interactive sessions will include:

  • A presentation on the benefits of physical activity during and after cancer 
  • A tai chi taster session
  • Mini make-up classes from Boots No7
  • Healthy food demonstrations
  • Hand massages from Sefton OPERA (Older Persons Enabling Resource and Action)

Barbara Flowers, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre Manager, said:

“We understand how patients can often feel they lose the safety net of support they receive while attending the hospital regularly for treatment. These events are designed to help people to return to everyday activities and make the most of the good things in their life. If you have any questions, we are here to help.”

Places are free but limited, booking is essential. For information or to book a place contact Helen, Barbara or Sarah at the Southport Macmillan Information and Support Centre on 0151 288 6893 or SFCCG.macmillancic@nhs.net

A further event will be held on Thursday 12 November between 1pm and 3.30pm.


17th June 2015
SCYTHE DEMO AT Leisure Lakes GARDEN FESTIVAL
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The most traditional of ‘cutting-edge’ technologies, the ancient art of scything, will be show-cased at the brand new, one-day, Southport Garden Festival at the Leisure Lakes, The Gravel, Mere Brow, on Sunday, June 28.

Scythe association demo

The Scythe Association of (Britain and Ireland) will not only be staging demonstrations of scything but also ‘peening’: cold-forging the blades using a hammer and anvil to bring them to the razor’s-edge of sharpness necessary for precision cutting.

Jez Hastings – one of the three-man demonstration team – reckons scything is quicker, more efficient, eco-friendly and even safer than using strimmers or lawnmowers.  And he should know.  Jez, who lives in Pitshill in the Peak District has learned to scythe almost 30 years ago.

He was one of the founding members of the Association – a professional order representing scythes-men and scythes-women set up just five years ago - and only about 2,000 years after the arrival of the scythe on our shores.  Then there were only around a dozen members, but today there are 230 spread throughout the British Isles.

At the Festival Jez and his colleagues will be working in and around an over-grown ditch, but Jez says the scythe is ideal for a range of uses from meadows and crops to allotments and even lawns.  He even appeared, briefly, in the film ‘Anna Karenina’ as part of a team mowing the lawn of a country estate with scythes.

“Before moving to the Peak District I lived in the Hebrides for a while and the scythe was still in everyday use.  Done properly it is not hard work and is extremely satisfying” he said, “On one hand there is a group of allotment-holders in Goven in Glasgow, that I was involved with, who have chosen to use scythes as their ‘management tool’.  On the other Prince Charles is obviously known for being very eco-friendly and so scythes are in regular use on his Highgrove estate.”

While harvesting and cutting are obviously important so is planting and growing.  The Association’s chairman, Richard Brown, produces wildflowers and seeds, and so the team also hope to have some available to sell on the day.

A packed programme for the day will also feature falconry and ferrets, a fun dog show – so make sure you bring your family’s best friend along – an unusual display of pig-herding from Jema Leopold, and a pony display set to music.  Plus music from the Ceilidh Folk Band and a stalls ranging from rare and unusual plants, vegetables and fruit trees, to local wildlife organizations and even Egyptian artifacts and antiques.

1st Southport Country Fair - 10.00 - 17.00, Sunday, June 28, The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, PR4 6JX.  Tickets £4.00 for adults or £3.50 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734.  OAPs & Disabled £3.50.  Children (over three years) just £1.00.  Family Ticket, covering two adults and three children, only £10.00


17th June 2015
Attempted armed robbery of burger van
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Detectives are trying to solve an attempted armed robbery in Mere Brow and are appealing for anyone with information to get in touch.

At around 12.50am on Sunday 7 June, a 34-year-old man has in his burger van at the Leisure Lakes camping site when he has been confronted by two men pointing firearms through the top half of a stable-type door.

They demanded he hand over the till.

The men have then tried to open the bottom half of the door but the victim has tried to prevent them gaining access. He has then been repeatedly punched to the head and face.

The offenders have been disturbed and made off when a nearby resident went over to the van on hearing pleads for help from the victim.

DC Dom Webster from Skelmersdale CID said: “This was a terrifying attack for the victim who ended up not only having to deal with the fact he was about to be robbed but he was then badly assaulted for trying to protect his van and takings. “Had the offenders not been disturbed, the man could have been seriously hurt as well as having his money taken. “I would appeal for anyone with any information about this incident to make contact with us.”

The pair are described as being white, of medium build and they spoke with Liverpool accents.

Anyone with information can contact DC 168 Dom Webster on 01695 566179 quoting incident reference number 0094 of 7 June. If the caller does not get an answer, they can alternatively call 101, or details can also be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

15th June 2015
ALT-CROSSENS CATCHMENT – NOTICE OF MEETING
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The Environment Agency will shortly be serving notice on five satellite pumping stations marking the beginning of a two year period before closure. The stations involved include Rufford, Clay Brow, Boundary Brook, Kew and Banks Marsh.
The Agency is holding a series of engagement events for those directly affected.

The first meeting is aimed at farmers and landowners and will be held on:
Thursday 2nd July, 2015, 7.00 p.m. at the NFU Offices, 1 Moss Lane View, Skelmersdale, WN8 9TL.

18th May 2015
Trials bike champion to headline Southport Country Fair
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In the high-octane, high-risk world that is international trials bike riding Steve Colley has won just about everything there is to win

And now the Isle of Man based rider will be show-casing his incredible skills at the 9th Southport Country Fair at the Leisure Lakes, The Gravel, Mere Brow PR4 6JX, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 29 - 31, 2015.

Steve, who is known as ‘Mr Showtime’ for his ability to really make things happen when it matters, began his career a two-times winner of the BBC Junior Kickstart competition.  Other titles gathered along the road and down the years have included:

3 times British Solo Trials Champion
4 times winner at Scottish Six Days Trial
11 times winner Manx National Two Day Trial
Winner 2007 Tough One Trials Challenge
3 Times winner Paris Bercy Trials Master Indoor
4 times winner Val De Isere Mountain Pursuit Trial

‘Mr Showtime’ – who is appearing on Saturday and Sunday only - is equally at home riding his bike over cars and even buses indoors as he is up and down seemingly impossible mountain courses.

“This is my first time at Southport,” he said, “But I understand it’s a very friendly and knowledgeable crowd I am hoping to give them something they will remember for years to come.”

Also new for 2015 are a Falconry Display and other Birds of Prey (Friday and Saturday only), budgerigars and parakeets courtesy of the Southport Budgie Society, a display from the Southport Original Cruisers Motorcycle Club.  While for those who tastes are a little more historic there will antique and Egyptian artifacts stalls.

As usual there will be a packed programme of events over all three days including: air-rifle shooting with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion, alpacas (Sunday), Creature House – featuring reptiles, homing pigeons and bees - Donkey Rides and a Show (Sunday), ferret racing, gun dog demos and ‘scurry’, Pony Club Games and musical pony rides (Friday - provisionally), Side-Saddle displays (Sunday) and the Show’s very own Fun Dog Show (Friday and Sunday)

Friday tickets are just £3.00 for adults; Saturday and Sunday tickets: £6.00 for adults - or just £5.00 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734 – OAPs £5.00.  Children (over three years) are FREE all day Friday and up to 12 noon on Saturday and £1.50 thereafter.


11th May 2015
HOSPITAL Nurse recruitment open day
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Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is holding two recruitment events for nurses to find out more about working there.

The first event will be held on Tuesday 19 May at Southport hospital, Clinical Education Centre, between 4pm and 8pm. This is a chance for newly qualified and experienced nurses to come along and meet other nurses and team members at the Trust and discover what opportunities are available. Nurses looking to return to practice will also be warmly welcomed. There are vacancies available in all areas.

On the day, the Trust will be holding informal interviews and potential candidates are asked to bring along some identification. There will also be a chance for tours around the hospital and representatives will be on hand from nurse education to explain how the Trust supports nurses in their career development.

Light refreshments will be available for all those attending.

The second event will be held at Ormskirk hospital, Education Centre on 10 June, between 4pm and 8pm.

To view all current vacancies at the Trust visit www.jobs.nhs.uk and search for Southport and Ormskirk.


28th March 2015
free support for social enterprises in West Lancs
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Have you ever thought that you'd like to start a business that doesn't just make a profit, but also makes the world a better place? Then you might want to think about starting a social enterprise - a type of organisation that combines the business savvy of the private sector with the social mission of a charity.

Big social enterprises that you may have heard of include The Big Issue, Jamie Oliver's chain of 'Fifteen' restaurants, or Divine Chocolate - but there are also lots of much smaller social enterprises that all try to improve the world we live in, in their own particular way.

Like the idea but don't know where to start? Get in touch with a new, free, local service designed to help new social enterprises in the Southport and West Lancashire area. You can get one to one support from a qualified business advisor to help you see if your idea could be developed; access to small amounts of start-up funding (up to £500); plus additional training and development opportunities as your organisation grows.

For more information, email mandy.naylor@sharedfuturecic.org.uk


24th March 2015
HOSPITAL CAR PARK CHANGES
Reported by: Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Changes to hospital parking and fees:

Parking for patients and visitors should increase by at least 120 spaces at Ormskirk and District General Hospital later this year.

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is seeking planning permission to expand parking at the top of the main car park which faces the hospital entrance. The land is currently set aside for helicopter transfers.

Neil Aindow, Capital Projects Manager, said: “There are now few occasions when this facility is needed. By making alternative arrangements we can use this land more productively for the benefit of patients and visitors.”

The Trust also announced charges for some visitors parking at Ormskirk and Southport hospitals will rise from 1 April 2015. It is the first increase since 2013. Parking for staff will also cost more.

Band

Current fee

Fee from 1 April

Less than 20 mins

No charge

No charge

20 mins to 2 hours

£2.90

£2.90

2 to 4 hours

£3.40

£3.50

4 to 8 hours

£4.20

£4.30

More than 8 hours

£5.20

£5.30


5th March 2015
VIP Network Meeting
Reported by: Villages in Partnership

Villages in Partnership, a local community charity with shops in Eccleston, Longton and Burscough, are holding a network meeting on Wednesday 18th March, 2015 at 4.30pm.

The venue for this one is Longton VM Sports and Social Club, School Lane, Longton.

These meetings are aimed at community groups and small charities as we try and support their growth. We can offer support and advice on fundraising and funding.

If your group would like to attend to see if we can offer them any support, then please feel free to come along, or contact Simon Kenyon, Project officer, on 01257 452698 for more information.


2nd March 2015
HELP KICKSTART NEW MadelEine BOOK
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Last September local author and illustrator Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts released their first book together called Madeleine Goes to the Moon.

New Madeleine book on KickstarterIt was extremely well received with perfect reviews across the board. Peter has spent much of his spare time since visiting local schools, libraries, nurseries and fairs reading the book to children, and the one question he is always asked is ‘When is the next book coming out?’.

Well, Madeleine’s next adventure is written and is called Madeleine Goes to the Sunken Shipwreck. In it, Madeleine dives to the dark depths and explores the bottom of the ocean in search of hidden treasure. But what she actually finds there takes her somewhat by surprise…..

In order to turn Madeleine’s next imaginary adventure into a reality, Peter will be running a Kickstarter project for 30 days, from 2nd to 31st March. During this time Madeleine Goes to the Sunken Shipwreck will be available to pre-order from the Kickstarter website, and if enough orders are placed to reach the target goal, then work on creation of the book will commence in April.

So how does Kickstarter work? Well, in reality it is quite simple and very easy to use. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Place a pre-order of the book on the Kickstarter website.
  2. Provide payment details but pay nothing now.
  3. If enough pre-orders are taken within the 30 day time limit, the book will be created and payment taken.
  4. The book (and anything else you order) will be delivered in October.

If you are interested in supporting Peter and Charlie in their next project then please click here to pre-order a copy of Madeleine Goes to the Sunken Shipwreck.


23rd February 2015
38% Paid less than living wage
Source: Southport Visiter

The South Ribble constituency which includes Hesketh Bank, Tarleton, Banks and Rufford has come third in a list of living wage black spots in the North West.

In South Ribble 38.1 per cent of of the jobs based there pay less than the living wage. In the neighbouring constituency of West Lancashire, 37.7% of jobs pay less than the living wage.

Across the UK, 26.6 per cent of women are paid below the living wage, rising to 28.9 per cent here in the North West. In West Lancashire the figure is a 48.3%, and South Ribble is 47.9%.

Click here to read the complete Southport Visiter article


12th February 2015
RUGBY LEAGUE COMES TO TARLETON
Reported by: Southport Storm RLC

Newly formed Southport Storm Rugby League club will be playing their home games at Tarleton RUFC, Carr Lane, Tarleton this season.

Their first match is at Tarleton on Saturday 14th February against Runcorn, 2pm kick off. Spectators are very welcome.

Storm also train at Carr Lane on Monday and Wednesday nights 7 to 8.30 pm. The club has a squad off 22 but would like more. Contact Dave Oliver on 07720  660533 for more information.

There is another home game on Saturday 28th against Chester Gladiators, 2pm.


28th January 2015
Phoenix Rebels named UK's best Country club
Source: Southport Visiter

Phoenix Rebels Country Music Club has been named as the ‘UK’s Best Club’ in a national country music competition.

Awarded by UKCountryMusic.com, the title celebrates the best of the UK’s country music scene.

A judge from the radio station, known as ‘Big Jack’ visited the venue and gave it a gold award for ‘The UK’s Best Country Music Club.’

The venue, which opened in 2000, is run by husband and wife team Fred and Julie Jorden, who say they’re “very proud” of the award.

They said: “We’re all very proud with the award. We’ve come such a long way - we started off with around 50 members 15 years ago. Now, we have around 200 members.”

56-year-old Mrs Jorden says Phoenix Rebel’s "all round friendly atmosphere” is the secret to their success.

“We’re always very welcoming to newcomers, and we have such a mix of people that everyone feels welcome. We’re a really friendly bunch and that must be why we’ve been successful

“We don’t worry whether or not country music is popular at the moment - it’s all we’re interested in and so to us it will always be popular,” she added.

Originally, the club was known as ‘Riverside Rebels’ situated at Hesketh Bank Bowling club, however a change of circumstances meant that the club re-located to its current site at Leisure Lake, earning its new name ‘Phoenix Rebels.’

Phoenix Rebels Country Music Club is based at Leisure Lakes Caravan Park and is open on Friday and Saturday nights.

It holds a weekly ‘casual night’ every Friday, with free entry, line dancing, drinks and music, with Saturdays dedicated to live music hosting a different live act each week.

Click here to read the complete Southport Visiter article


12th January 2015
NHS 'OPTIONS' ADVICE
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Health leaders ask local people to examine their options

NHS leaders across north Sefton and West Lancashire are asking for the public’s help this winter to keep health services available for those who need them.

As part of the Examine Your Options campaign, health and social care providers are working together to advise local communities on the range of health services available to them.

Jonathan Parry, Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust said: “We are seeing unprecedented demand for care from older, frailer patients and people living with long-term health conditions.

“These patients often require hospital treatment but can take longer to get better and may need care arranging at home, delaying their discharge and limiting the beds available to new patients.

“This is why we are experiencing unavoidable delays in some departments such as Accident and Emergency.”

He added: “Our staff, many of whom are working long hours, continue to demonstrate their tireless dedication and commitment to patients during this challenging period.”

Fiona Clark, of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and Mike Maguire, of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “As demand for care rises, together with our colleagues from council social services, we are working to ensure patients get the best and most appropriate care. 

“However, we’d also like to encourage local people to consider the health service options available to them and not just A&E.  Walk-in centres and pharmacies don’t require appointments but are available to offer advice and treatment on a daily basis.”

A&E is for people facing life-threatening and serious emergencies such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes.  Therefore the health organisations are supporting the Examine Your Options campaign, which highlights the range of health services available to people.

Pharmacies. Pharmacists are qualified to offer advice on health issues and medication as well as treat coughs, colds and other common illnesses without an appointment. Private consultation rooms are available. The pharmacy minor ailments scheme means that you can have a consultation with your pharmacist and obtain advice about treatment.

GP out-of-hours services. If you need to see a GP when your local practice is closed, simply dial the usual number and you will be automatically redirected to the GP out-of-hours team. 

NHS walk-in centres. With no appointment necessary, walk-in centres are managed by doctors and nurses who are available to deal with minor illnesses and injuries.

  • Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre at The Concourse (01695 554260) is open weekdays 7am to 10pm and weekends 9am to 5pm
  • West Lancashire Health Centre, to the left of the main entrance at Ormskirk hospital, (01695 588800) is open 8am to 10pm weekdays and weekends
  • Litherland Walk-in Centre at Hatton Hill Road, L21 9JN (0151 475 4667) is open 8am to 8pm daily

Emergency dentist. If you need emergency treatment when your dentist is closed, call 01704 548863 from Southport and Formby or 01772 777397 in West Lancashire

To find your local NHS services, go to www.nhs.uk to use the free service finder.

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and its NHS commissioners are easing the pressure on services over winter by investing an extra £3m through the local Care Closer to Home programme. Among the schemes the NHS is funding are:

  • Dedicated nurses to help co-ordinate care for vulnerable patients and offer additional support in community settings
  • A Short Stay Unit at Southport Hospital to treat and discharge frail older people and offer them the specialist care they need
  • Extra staff in A&E, radiography and mental health liaison
  • 38 community beds in local nursing homes to provide appropriate out of hospital care
  • Some additional GP appointment slots, and GPs in local nursing homes to treat people quickly and avoid hospital admissions

24th December 2014
DRY JANUARY
Reported by: Hospital Alcohol Liaison Team

The Hospital Alcohol Liaison Team (HALT) at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust are encouraging staff and patients alike to take part in Dry January.

Dry January is an initiative by the charity Alcohol Concern that encourages people to take a month off from alcohol following the excess of the festive period. HALT will be hosting a stand at Southport hospital in the first week of January explaining the benefits of going dry for January.

Research has shown that, after completing Dry January:

  • 72% of participants had sustained reduced levels of harmful drinking six months later
  • The 23% of people who had “harmful” alcohol consumption when they started Dry January are now in the “low risk” category
  • 4% of participants were still dry six months on

Mandy Smith, Lead Alcohol Specialist Nurse, said: “People who have taken part in Dry January have reported feeling healthier, losing weight, having more money and taking up new hobbies. There are great benefits to be had from taking part, even if it is just for the month!”

The HALT team also works in partnership with Lifeline Sefton and DISCOVER West Lancashire to provide support for those with alcohol dependency.

For more information on Dry January you can visit the HALT team at Southport hospital, outside the restaurant on the first floor, during the first week of January. You can also visitwww.dryjanuary.org.uk 


15th November 2014
CALL FOR SUPPORT FOR WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN
Source: West Lancashire Borough Council

West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership is supporting a campaign which calls on men to take a stand against domestic violence.

The White Ribbon Campaign is an international campaign to ensure men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women. Organisers say that men need to join women and women's organisations in taking action to end the problem.

Over the last 12 months, 154 cases of domestic abuse in West Lancashire have been taken to court.

The Liberty Centre – formerly known as the Domestic Violence Support Services (West Lancashire) – helped 637 women and families between April and September 2014. Many of these were referred there by the police or other agencies, while others came themselves.  More than a third of them were deemed to be at a medium or high risk of domestic violence, and the centre is currently supporting 159 families.

The Liberty Centre offers a number of services to support victims of domestic violence, including a refuge for emergency accommodation, outreach services in the community, counselling, early intervention for young people whose mothers have been the victims of domestic violence, legal and welfare benefits advice and groups sessions to help victims move on. The centre’s helpline is Helpline number is 0808 100 3062.

White ribbons will be on available for a small donation from the Liberty Information Centre, Park Road, Ormskirk.

Click here to read the complete WLBC article

For more information on the White Ribbon Campaign please visit www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk


3rd October 2014
MERE BROW WW1 DISPLAY AND EXHIBITION
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

The collection of photographs and memories of local families relating to WW1, recently displayed in the Methodist Chapel in Mere Brow, will now be on show again.

This display will take place in Mere Brow village hall foyer from Sunday, 1st November, until Sunday, 16th November. Normal viewing and opening hours are Mon-Thursday, from 5pm. Fridays from 4pm, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm. Also Tuesday and Fridays, 9.30am-11am.

If you missed this exhibition first time around or if, indeed, you wish to have another look at these fascinating documents, please come along, and bring your friends with you - it's well worth a visit!


22nd September 2014
Becconsall U3A Recruits 100th Member
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Following on from its successful launch last May and the Inuagural Meeting in July, the Becconsall U3A Group, serving Banks, Hesketh Bank and Tarleton, has maintained a steady increase in membership and was delighted to sign up its 100th member at the Hesketh Bank Village Show on Saturday 20th September.

U3A sign up their 100th memberThe University of the Third Age is a national movement which encourages retired or semi retired people to lead a full and active life by joining together in all manner of activities that they choose to follow - or lead, from Art to Zumba.

Already there are more than a dozen activities on offer within the Becconsall Group. These include:

Sports - Badminton, Golf and Table Tennis,
Leisure and Recreation - Art, Backgammon, Bridge, Crafts, Gardening and Walking.
Educational - French, IPad for Beginners and Italian for Beginners

In addition, a number of outings and social activities have been organised such as a Luncheon Club, Christmas Party, Theatre Trip and Coach Trip to a Christmas Fair.

If you think you might be interested in joining or know someone else who might benefit, a warm welcome awaits at the weekly Coffee Mornings at Hesketh with Becconsall Village Community Hall from 10.00 - 12.00 every Thursday.

You can also visit the website at becconsallu3a.org


21st September 2014
MERE BROW HARVEST FESTIVAL
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Mere Brow Methodist Church are holding their annual Harvest Festival services on Sunday, 28th September.

At 10.30am the Rev.Kevin Jones will conduct the service when the Sunday School children will present their gifts for the harvest table.

The evening service, also conducted by the Rev. Kevin Jones, is at 6.30pm and there will be several items by the choir, conducted by Mr. Henry Bond.

On Monday, 29th September, there will be a Harvest Tea, commencing at 5pm. after which there will be the sale of the fruit and vegetables etc. in aid of Church funds.

Everyone is warmly invited to these events - why not come along and bring a friend, you will certainly enjoy the weekend if you do.


15th September 2014
One cyclist a day is killed or injured on Lancashire’s roads
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

The risks to cyclists have been laid bare in new figures on the rate of accidents they suffer on county roads.

Latest police statistics reveal 105 cyclists were killed or seriously hurt after collisions on the county’s roads last year.

And following a Freedom of Information request by the Lancashire Evening Post, it was revealed that overall 461 cyclists were injured due to accidents involving vehicles across Lancashire in 2013.

Read the complete LEP article


21st August 2014
INTERACTIVE MAP DETAILS ROAD FATALIITES
Source: BBC

Using official data recorded by police the BBC have mapped every death on every road in Great Britain 1999-2010.

The map shows 73 people died on the roads of West Lancashire during this period.

Road fatalities in West Lancashire from 1999 to 2010

For more information on this and other areas please Click Here


20th August 2014
LEISURE LAKES 18 HOLE GOLF COURSE APPROVED
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

A new 18 hole golf course has been given permission to open at Leisure Lakes in Mere Brow.

It is the latest in a series of plans to redevelop the recreational site, which will also see 50 chalets built in woodland, and a new central amenity building.

The complex already has a nine hole golf course and 18 bay driving range, which currently operates as Southport Golf Academy.

But bosses say the additional 18-hole course is necessary to stop young talent leaving the area.

Leisure Lakes owner Philip Whitter said: “The academy is superb, the best in the area, and we get 350-400 new golfers coming through it every year.

“The nine-hole course is fantastic to practice on, but when you get better, it’s too easy.

“We lose a tremendous amount of players to other courses, so we’re very pleased that this will allow us to attract more people into Leisure Lakes, boosting the local economy.

To read the complete LEP article click here


13th August 2014
QUAD BIKES AND MORE AT Southport Town & Country Fair
Source: Garden Festivals Company

The ‘Adrenaline Tour’ quad-bike show: four-times more fun at the Ex-world championship motocross rider Jason Smythe will be wowing the crowds with his amazing ‘Adrenaline Tour’ at this year’s Southport Town & Country Fair at The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, on Bank Holiday Monday, August 25.

Jason performs some of his display on motorcycles but is most famous for his unique quad- bike stunts and routines – including quad freestyle, rarely seen in the UK – featuring huge jumps over ramps.

As if simply hurling himself and his machines more than 30 feet into the air, Jason somewhere manages to provide a running commentary via a helmet-mike and is able to catch items of memorabilia while airborne . . . which he later presents to the spectator who gives him the loudest cheer !

“I think I have pretty much performed all around the world,” said Jason, “But this is my first time in Southport and I am really looking forward to giving the crowd something to cheer

The three-day show runs from August 23 – 25 but Jason is only appearing on the final day – although he will be giving two performances. And when he’s not in the air spectators are encouraged to visit the ‘Adrenaline Tour’ stand to meet Jason and the team.

While organiser Kelvin Pye added: “Our move to the Leisure Lakes last year was really successful and gave us the opportunity to enlarge our Main Arena . . . and we are certainly going to need the extra space this time around.”

Building on last year’s successful formula there will be a number of themed areas within the overall site, such as:

Dog arena: fun dog shows (Sunday only 13.00), Flyball and Scurry (Sunday & Monday) plus a Siberian Husky Parade on all three days.

Creature House: ever-popular favourites include the North West Reptile Society, ‘Bug House’, Banks Homing Pigeon society, ferrets and, new-for-2014 the Amphibian and Reptile Group of South Lancashire.

There’s a veritable A – Z of Country Pursuits to be found throughout the site: alpacas (Sunday only), carriage-driving (Saturday), donkeys (Saturday and Sunday); gundog demos and scurry courtesy of the local Mere Brow Gundogs, pig racing and Indian Running Ducks racing, sidesaddle riding demonstrations (Sunday) and stickmaking.

Other attractions range from Jema Leopold’s Performing Horses and Ponies to a display of Ford side-valve vintage cars (Monday only), and from aerobic gymnastics (Sunday) to stamp collecting and air-rifle shooting.


26th July 2014
10k VIP Charity Walk Fundraiser

Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

On Sunday 7th September at 11am, staff and volunteers of Villages in Partnership are undertaking 3 separate 10k sponsored walks to raise funds and will all meet up at Croston Sports Club, Westhead road.

Walks will start from our shops in Longton, Eccleston and Burscough.

We would like to invite other individuals & groups to join us.

Entry fee is £5.00 per person, which enables you to join the walk and raise money for your chosen group or charity.

For more details and an entry form, contact the shop manager, email: vip@villagesinpartnership.co.uk or telephone 01257 452698


24th July 2014
“HIDDEN GEM” GARDEN OPENS FOR CHARITY

Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

John and Elizabeth Caunce will open their beautiful Wild flower Gardens for the first time ever under a Charitable garden scheme and one of its beneficiaries will be the Clatterbridge Cancer Care Charity.

The event in partnership with The National Garden Scheme known as NGS Open Gardens will be open from 1030 to 5-30pm on Saturday and Sunday 26th and 27th of July

All proceeds from the opening will go to the NGS and Clatterbridge

NGS Becconsall, Holmes, Tarleton, LancashireThe one acre private gardens called Becconsall in Holmes,Tarleton features wild flowers, a fountain, with beautiful herbaceous borders and raised vegetable beds along with a Rill.

The wild flower gardens are this year dedicated to WW1 and its forgotten heroes.

The event will feature entertainment over both days from 2pm with Tarleton & District Brass Band on the Saturday and climaxing with Holmes Brass Ensemble on the Sunday.

John Caunce who is also Secretary of the local Mere Brow Village Hall stated” Over the years we have raised over £5000 for various good causes by hosting smaller events in our garden but this year with the generous support of the public we aim to raise substantial funds for Clatterbridge.

We hope you enjoy our “Hidden Gem” and look forward to meeting you all”

There will be delicious refreshments of teas, cakes and wine and there will be plenty of seating inside a large marquee and outside ,and the green fingered hosts cordially invite visitors to bring chairs and rugs to sit on the lawn as well.

A resident plant and herb stall will be offering plant sales. There is ample free parking and entry is only £3-00 per adult with children free. Disabled parking is also available.

Look out for the NGS Yellow signs from the A565 – the open garden is situated on Hunters Lane, Tarleton, PR4 6JL

For further details contact Elizabeth on 07739 297 248


14th July 2014
all-new Country Fair Race Day !
Source: The Garden Festivals Company

And the winner by a short-head, snout, bill, nose, long-horn, antennae and even snail-shell is . . . the all-new Country Fair Race Day at the The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, on Sunday July 20, 2014.

Because ALL of them are to be found on competitors of different size and species in this fun-filled and action-packed family event.

Doors open at 10.30 and there will races at approximately 20 minutes intervals throughout the day until they close again at 19.00. There will be an on-course ‘bookie’ available for those who like a flutter – with a donation made from profits to a local charity.

On the ‘Cards’ for the day are Shetland Pony Racing, National Hunt Pig Racing – over mini-hurdles – Indian Runner Duck Racing – on the flat naturally – sheep and goat racing, ferret racing, ‘Flyball’ (team dog events over hurdles) and even Formula 5nail racing, for those who don’t like life in the fast –lane.

The show is the brainchild of local businessman Kelvin Pye, who runs the very successful Southport Country Fair and Town & Country Fairs – both of which moved to the The Leisure Lakes in 2013.

“We had pig-racing at an event I used to run in Preston several years back and it very entertaining and a real crowd-pleaser,” said Kelvin, “But as far as I am aware no one has done all these things in a single day before, so it’s a bit of an Animal Olympics. I can’t pretend Formula 5nail is the fastest or most exciting thing I have ever seen . . . but usually you can go for a cup of tea and a bit of a walk round, come back and still not have missed the finish.

In addition to the various races throughout the day there will many other displays and attractions. These will include a horse and pony ‘Liberty’ performance by circus-trained, Jema Leopold, who has been running her own display team since 2006, Stanley High School’s very own Animal Farm, Gun Dog Demo and Scurry by the Mere Brow Gun Dogs and an air-rifle shooting range.

The show is extremely dog-friendly so feel free to bring along the family’s best friend for a Fun Dog Show and have-a-go agility test – starting at 13.30 after the Fun Dog Show.

Adult tickets are £4.00, (or £3.50 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734), OAPs £3.50, and children (over three years) £1.00 or just £10.00 for a Family Ticket covering two adults and up to three children.


3rd July 2014
MERE BROW SCHOOL 1934
Source: Alan Greenwood

Mere Brow Scholl Photo 1934

Alan Greenwood of Hesketh Bank sent in this old school photo from Mere Brow School taken in 1934.

BACK ROW
Mr Billington, Harry Abram, Albert Becconsall, William Hudson, Joe Black, Charlie Wright, Charlie Mayor, John Ascroft, Harry Johnson, James Reed Ashcroft, George Becconsall, Richard Harrison, John W. Moss

THIRD ROW
James Abram, Eric Wright, Bill Molyneux, Sam Moss, John Ashcroft, Annie Hough, Jessie Black, Annie Hart, Edna Rimmer, Frank Cairns, Harry Iddon, John Caunce

SECOND ROW
Harry Mayor, Tommy Sutton, Bill Mayor, Mabel Moss, Sadie Ashcroft, Betsy Johnson, Rachel Black, Phyllis Harrison, Grace Harrison, Cissy Rimmer, Molly Wright, Eva Hunter, Jane Wright

FRONT ROW
Eric Ashcroft, Jacj Harrison, Roy Vernon, Jim Yates, Walter Ascroft, Joe Rimmer, Stanley Ascroft, Norman Wright, Teddy Ball, Stanley Brian, Leslie Greenwood, Harry Rigby

More local photos...


6th June 2014
LEISURE LAKES WINS APPEAL FOR 49 Holiday Homes
Source: Place North West

MAZE Planning Solutions and Urban Green have secured detailed planning permission for 49 holiday homes at Leisure Lakes in Tarleton, West Lancashire, on behalf of the owner, Leisure Lakes following an appeal.

The proposed holiday homes are situated in 7.2-acres of woodland with a lakeside setting and form part of planned improvements being carried out to facilities at the outdoor pursuits, water sports and caravan park.

The site lies within the green belt and much of it is within a biological heritage site covered by a woodland tree preservation order, which planners said raised a challenging set of land-use planning issues.

West Lancashire Council refused to approve the detailed design for the holiday homes in May 2013, but the scheme has now been approved following reconsideration by a government planning inspector.

The planning inspector's decision draws a six-year reserved matters planning application process to a close after negotiations between Leisure Lakes, West Lancashire Council and Lancashire County Council faltered.

Manchester-based consultants Urban Green were commissioned in the latter stages of the project to prepare a woodland management programme, construction management plan and arboriculture assessment, as well as landscape design proposals for the holiday homes.


31st May 2014
BANK BRIDGE REPAIRS
Source: Southport Visiter

Work will take place next weekend to repair Bank Bridge on the A59 near Tarleton after it was hit by a car in March.  

Bank Bridge carries the main A59 Liverpool Road over the River Douglas. It was badly damaged when struck by a car, resulting in a length of the parapet wall being demolished.  

Lancashire County Council recovered the fallen stonework earlier this year and is now ready to reconstruct the wall.  

The road will need to be restricted to one-way traffic controlled by temporary lights while the repairs take place, but engineers will be working overnight to minimise disruption and complete the job as quickly as possible, while keeping the bridge open during the day.  

Work will start at midnight on Saturday June 7, with the road being reopened at 9.00am on Sunday June 8. Work will then begin again at midnight on Sunday June 8, with the road being reopened at 5.00am on Monday June 9.  

Click here for the full Southport Visiter article


26th May 2014
EU Election ResultS FOR NORTH WEST ENGLAND
Source: BBC

Party Votes % MEPs change+/-
Labour 594,063 33.86(+13.46) 3 +1
UK Independence Party 481,932 27.47(+11.62) 3 +2
Conservative 351,985 20.06 (-5.56) 2 -1
Green 123,075 7.01 (-0.68) 0 0
Liberal Democrat 105,487 6.01 (-8.25) 0 -1
British National Party 32,826 1.87 (-6.13) 0 -1
An Independence From Europe 26,731 1.52 (0.00) 0 0
English Democrats 19,522 1.11 (-1.31) 0 0
Pirate Party 8,597 0.49 (0.00) 0 0
NO2EU 5,402 0.31 (-1.12) 0 0
Socialist Equality Party 5,067 0.29 (0.00) 0 0

MEP's
  • CON Jacqueline Foster
  • CON Sajjad Karim
  • LAB Theresa Griffin
  • LAB Afzal Khan
  • LAB Julie Ward
  • UKIP Louise Bours
  • UKIP Paul Nuttall
  • UKIP Steven Woolfe

24th May 2014
Freestyle Motocross Feature at Country Fair
Source: Garden & Countryside Festivals

Freestyle Motocross has become a leading spectator attraction since it took-off just a few years ago and is now one of the country’s leading crowd-pullers.

And anyone unfamiliar with it need look no further than the new-look Southport Country Fair at the Leisure Lakes, The Gravel, Mere Brow, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 30 - June 1, 2014.

Broke FMX freestyle motocross show at Mere BrowThe Broke FMX team will be giving three, breath-taking, displays on the Sunday of the show and with the riders performing acrobatic stunts: at up to 35 feet above the ground, or around the rooftop height of an average house and over ground distances in excess of 100 feet; they will literally be impossible to miss!

And just in case you don’t believe what you are seeing the riders even provide an on-board commentary while performing some of their hair-raising stunts.  While between displays show-goers can visit the Broke FMX interactive stand, meet the riders and a get a close-up of both them and their machines.

Leader of the team, John Pearson, commented: “We have spent around ten years traveling the world, pushing the boundaries of FMX and setting new, high, standards for other motorcycle display teams to follow.

“This is our first time at Southport and we are really looking forward to putting on a show that people will remember for years to come.”

While organiser Kelvin Pye added: “Our move to the Leisure Lakes last year was really successful and gave us the opportunity to enlarge our Main Arena . . . and we are certainly going to need the extra space this time around.”

There will be a packed programme of events over all three days including: alpacas (on Sunday), bug house, Donkey Show competition and rides, ferret racing gun dog display, (Saturday and Sunday), homing pigeons, honey bees (Sunday), North West Reptile Society, Parade of Hounds courtesy of the Holcombe Hunt (Friday), rabbits, sheepdog demonstrations (Friday and Saturday), Side Saddle Association and competition, ‘Steve Woofs Beginning Dog Agility and a Dog Show and Flyball demonstration by Dogs Fun Zone (Friday).

8th Southport Country Fair - 10.00 - 17.30, Friday, May 30, Saturday and Sunday, June 1 - 2, 2014, The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, PR4 6JX.  Friday tickets just £4.00 for adults and children (over three years) FREE.  Saturday and Sunday tickets: £6.00 for adults - or just £5.00 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734 – OAPs £5.00, children just £2.00 until 12.00 on Saturday.


21st March 2014
hesketh bank cricket club sponsored bike ride
Reported by: Hesketh Bank Cricket Club

On 18th April (Good Friday) this year, members and friends of Hesketh bank Cricket Club will be participating in a sponsored bicycle ride. The route will take us from Hesketh Bank Cricket Club to Croston, Burscough, Ormskirk, Scarisbrick, Rufford, Mere Brow, Tarleton and back to Hesketh Bank and will be approximately 50 miles in total.

The club would like to take this opportunity to invite you all along to join us on the ride, and help make the day as resounding a success as last year’s event. Whilst 50 miles might sound daunting, the route has been carefully chosen to make for a fairly easy ride, and there are plenty of pubs etc dotted around the route where you can stop for valuable refreshments! This isn’t a race, and whilst some participants will be trying to beat their best times, most will be enjoying a pleasant days cycling with friends and colleagues.

The purpose of the event is to raise money, and most of our members will be getting sponsored, with proceeds going towards projects at the club, including improving junior cricket facilities and running Under 11 cricket training and teams. We appreciate however that you might wish to raise money for your favourite charity, so any sponsor money that you wish to raise through sponsorship you are free to use as you wish – all we ask is for a £15 entry fee  (or £20 on the day), which will go to the club. This covers your admission, and you will also receive a certificate on completion, refreshments for the ride, and Pie and Peas at the club after the ride! Those raising £50 or more for the club will receive a free Tee Shirt, or you can purchase one for £5.

It might be the case that you are unable to ride with us on the day, but still wish to support us, either with sponsorship or in some other capacity, such as by providing bottles of water or energy bars for the riders.  If this is the case, please contact us on one of the numbers below.

If this is something you feel you would like to be part of, or you can help us with, we’d love to hear from you; you can contact us via email on hbcricketclub@hotmail.co.uk, or through our Facebook page.


7th March 2014
Queenscourt Hospice 'MAKE A Will Month'
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Solicitors in Southport and West Lancashire have teamed up with Queenscourt and are giving their time to write a standard Will or amend an existing one in return for a donation to the Hospice.

Have you been putting off making or updating your Will? It’s a fact that over 70% of the UK population don’t have a Will, even though it may be one of the most important documents you’ll ever write.

‘Make a Will Month’ is an invaluable opportunity to help protect your family’s future. All you have to do is make an appointment with one of the participating solicitors any time between the 1st and 30th of April. The solicitor will not charge you for their time but will invite you to make a suggested donation to Queenscourt of £90 for a basic single Will or £135 for a joint Will or £40 if you require an existing Will changing.

Carolyn Lowry, Fundraiser at Queenscourt Hospice said “We are delighted to have the support of so many local solicitors for this campaign. Having a Will professionally written is such an important thing to do and the only way to make sure that your wishes are carried out after you die. This is a great opportunity and anyone taking part in Make a Will Month will enjoy the added feel-good factor of knowing they have also helped their local hospice.”

Solicitors taking part in the campaign include Breens, Brighouse Wolff, Brown Turner Ross, Cockshott Peck Lewis, Cook and Talbot, Ellen Fay, Hodge Halsall, J O’Neill & Co, Kirwans, Richard Jacklin & Co and Steve Davies Solicitors.

Ensure those you love and care about are provided for and help Queenscourt to plan for the future.

For full details please either call fundraising on 01704 417420 or visit our website www.queenscourt.org.uk


17th February 2014
COUPON SCAM WARNING
Source: Lancashire Trading Standards

Lancashire Trading Standards Service is warning Lancashire traders and consumers about counterfeit money-off coupons.

A large quantity of fake coupons for money off well known brands has recently been discovered in Lancashire. The coupons appear to be copies of genuine coupons and were purchased by a Lancashire consumer over the internet. The consumer used the coupons in a supermarket to buy groceries but when the supermarket discovered the fakes, the Police were called and the consumer's groceries had to be returned to the store.

Consumers are being warned that coupons available to buy on the internet may be fakes. If they are purchased and used to buy products in shops or supermarkets, consumers may find that they are trading an illegal product and may lose money.

Retailers are asked to be vigilant when accepting money-off coupons in exchange for products as they may not be redeemable if they are found to be counterfeit, causing a loss to the business.


13th February 2014
CHARITY SEEKs NEW members for Board of Trustees
Source: Villages In Partnership

Villages in Partnership is the trading name of the Rural Community Partnership Trust, Charity Number 1111237, which is based in Eccleston. We work in the rural communities within the Borough of Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancashire. The aim of the Charity is to improve the Social, Environmental, Health and Economic Quality of Life for the residents of villages within these areas.

      • Banks, Bispham, Bretherton, Burscough
      • Charnock Richard, Coppull, Croston
      • Eccleston, Euxton
      • Hilldale, Hesketh Bank, Heskin, Hutton
      • Longton, New Longton, Mawdesley, Much Hoole
      • Parbold, Rufford, Scarisbrick
      • Tarleton, Ulnes Walton
      • Walmer Bridge, Wrightington

We also run Three Charity Shops to support the organisation.

The Villages in Partnership Board of Trustees are a group of people who are there to govern and oversee the charity’s activities to ensure we are compliant with charity law. They are also responsible for setting our short and long term strategic aims and objectives.

Our board is made up of individuals with a broad range of experience and knowledge, personally and professionally. We appreciate our board’s dedication and admire their compassionate approach to the role, which they do on a voluntary basis.

Trustee duties and responsibilities:
The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the charity and is ultimately responsible for everything the charity does. The Trustees’ fundamental role is to determine:

      • the overall direction of the charity
      • provide leadership
      • uphold the charity’s fiduciary responsibilities

Villages in Partnership would like to add more Trustees to their board. By becoming a trustee you will be joining the charity at a time of growth and development. We are looking for an individual with the skills, energy and passion to assist with continuing the boards’ work in taking the charity forward. This role requires attendance at the monthly meeting of the trustees, which are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month.

Trusteeship is a serious responsibility and should not be taken lightly. You must be prepared to give the necessary time for reading board papers, attending meetings, keeping yourself informed about the charity’s activities, and keeping up to date with regulations including charity law and company law.

For further information and details of how to apply, please contact vip@villagesinpartnership.co.uk or telephone 01257 452698.


7th February 2014
COUNCIL FREE BOILER SERVICE SCHEME
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

West Lancashire Borough Council are now receiving applications for their West Lancs Winter Warm Scheme which includes free gas fire servicing, boiler servicing and free boiler replacement. The scheme runs from 20 January 2014 to 31 March 2014.

The scheme is targetted at owner-occupiers living in West Lancashire who have not had their boiler serviced in the last 12 months and who do not have a plan covering service and repair (for example British Gas Boiler Cover).

Applicants must also be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Based ESA
  • Guarantee Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit (with an income of less than £15,860)

If you are not in receipt of one of the benefits listed above but are on a low income and have a long-term illness that is affected by the cold, you may still be considered for the scheme.

For more details and an application form, please visit West Lancs Winter Warm or telephone Help Direct on 0303 333 1111 quoting 'West Lancs Winter Warm Scheme'


27th January 2014
WALKING DAY UNDER THREAT FROM POLICE CUTS
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

A Lancashire councillor fears traditional village parades across Lancashire are in jeopardy owing to police cuts.

Now Coun Malcolm Barron has tabled a motion to the next full meeting of Lancashire County Council on February 27.

He is responding to complaints from churches and other organisation that police may no longer marshall parades and walking days owing to economic and staffing cuts.

Lancashire police says each case is considered on its own merits.

Coun Barron, whose area covers Hesketh Bank, Tarleton and Banks, said he had been approached by a number of concerned organisations.

Coun Barron’s motion reads: “Lancashire County Council regrets reports that the Lancashire Constabulary will no longer marshal traditional parades and walking days which contribute so much to the traditions and life of the county.” He asks “the Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner to reconsider this action and requests that in future they will continue to marshal these parades.”

Coun Barron said: “These are important local events and a great public relations opportunity for the police to be seen mingling with the community.

“If they refuse to marshall these events it will be a real shame. I hope to get all party support.”

A spokesperson for Lancashire Constabulary said: “Due to the significant resourcing implications in attending the numerous events and parades held across the area on an annual basis it has become necessary for us to review all occasions where we provide policing services.

“We understand that there has always been a perception and expectation that it is the police’s role to provide resources and manage the events, however this is not the case and it is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure the safety of those attending and to undertake all stewarding and traffic management requirements. We are more than happy to continue our engagement with events organisers who require guidance on their responsibilities when organising a community event or parade.”


17th January 2014
INVITE TO HOSPITAL TRUST BOARD MEETING
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust hospital trust Board is going on the road to bring greater transparency to its decision-making processes.

The directors of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust will meet at the Salvation Army’s new building at 65, Shakespeare Street, Southport, PR8 5AJ at 9am on Wednesday 29th January.

Graham Slee, acting-chairman of the Board, said: “We know more and more people want to attend our board meetings. So, we intend to hold some future meetings at community venues where we can accommodate more members of the public and bring the business of the Trust closer to local people.”

The agenda will be available on the Trust website in advance of the meeting. Supporting papers will be available on the day.

Members of the public are welcome to attend. Anyone with a special requirement should contact the Trust in advance on 01704 704714.


21st December 2013
GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR COMMUNITY GROUPS
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Villages In Partnership has opened up applications for small grants from community groups within its catchment area.

For further information please email vip@villagesinpartnership.co.uk. The deadline for applications is noon, Thursday 6th February 2014.

The charity also helps organisations look for other areas of funding and will assist in the search for funding and completion of any grant bid and can be contacted if you require support in this area.


2nd December 2013
WEST LANCS TRANSPORT CONSULTATION
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Have your say on the future of transport in West Lancashire... Click Here


18th November 2013
URGENT CONSUMER ALERT
Source: Trading Standards

Lancashire Trading Standards Service are warning of a telephone caller purporting to be representing Lancashire County Council and offering energy surveys.

They seem to be targeting the elderly.

The caller asks for personal information such as if they own their own property and which energy provider they are currently with. The Government is currently launching a scheme called the Green Deal where independent traders may seek information such as whether you own your own property and if you are claiming benefits – however, none of these traders are working with or on behalf of Lancashire County Council.

For more information about Green Deal visit www.gov.uk or call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.

Trading Standards strongly suspects this is a scam call and residents should not give any information out to the caller. Trading Standards advice generally is not to do business with cold callers, be they on the doorstep or by telephone.

Contact the Trading Standards Service via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06


4th November 2013
Tarleton / Hesketh Bank Fire Safety Week
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Between the 18th and 22nd November Community fire safety staff from Lancashire Fire & Rescue will be working in Tarleton & its surrounding areas offering fire safety advice.

They will be located at various sites in the area across the week speaking to local residents about fire safety in the home and offering a FREE home fire safety check service.

Anyone wishing to have a free home fire safety check during this week (or any time) can contact the team via freephone 0800 169 1125.


23rd October 2013
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BIG PUMPKINS?
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Ever wondered where all the big pumpkins go after the Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition? Well a couple have ended up as part of a quest to break maritime records!

Artist Dmitri Galitzine (www.dmitrigalitzine.com) bought two whoppers from the competition winner Mark O'Hanlon and immediatly whisked them off the Portsmouth where he has turned the giant pumpkins into sea-going craft as part of a world record quest.

Saturday 19th October
Mark O'Hanlon winning the 2013 Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Show

Tuesday 22nd October
Pumpkin boat

One, weighing 800lb, has been covered in plywood, had the seeds scooped out and an engine fitted so the 27-year-old artist can attempt to cross from Gosport to the Isle of Wight.

The other 600lb pumpkin will attempt to set a Guiness World record for the fastest time to paddle a pumpkin over 100 meters.

Click here for the full Daily Mail article

If you want to buy a giant pumpkin for sailing or carving there a still a few left! Visit www.giantvegetableseed.co.uk


22nd October 2013
Vote for Gymzkool For Community Fund Award
Source: Gymzkool

Lloyds Community Fund - Vote For Us!Gymzkool has been selected out of the whole of West Lancashire to be in the top 4 groups to receive a Community Fund Award from Lloyds Bank.  

These 4 groups are now reliant on a Public Vote where the top two will receive £3000 and the remaining two will receive £300.

Gymzkool delivers gymnastics classes in Banks, Holmeswood, Mere Brow and Tarleton to school aged children and pre-school children. We would now like to offer classes to children in our area who have disabilities or special needs which don’t allow them to take part in our regular classes.

The award would enable us to pay for essential training and purchase suitable equipment which would benefit all of our members. We have full backing from British Gymnastics. The Award will allow us to involve more children in the fantastic sport of gymnastics. Children are encouraged work towards the British Gymnastics Proficiency Awards and their participation in gymnastics will help them adopt a fit and healthy lifestyle and make new friends in a safe and friendly environment.

Children can join us as soon as they are walking in age appropriate classes on a weekly basis, they will achieve badges and certificates and can progress onto our new Young Leaders Programme and will have the opportunity to continue to achieve coaching qualifications.

You can find out more about the Community Fund and Gymzkool and cast your vote by visiting the Lloyds Bank Community Fund website at: www.lloydsbank.com/communityfund

Community Fund 2013 voting is now open until 1 November 2013


19th October 2013
TREVOR CALLS TIME ON MERE BROW PUMPKINS
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

A happy pumpkin!After twenty years running the Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Show, Trevor Wilson announced that the 2013 event would be the last.

Trevor thanked the sponsors of the show, the helpers and volunteers and his long suffering family for their support over the years.

Over the years, the giant pumpkin show has raised many thousands of pounds for local charities; predominantly for the North West Air Ambulance.

For the fourth year running the show was won by Mark O'Hanlon.

Click here for the full list of the Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Show 'weigh off' results and here for more photos from the event.


9th October 2013
REAF FRACKING UPDATE EVENTS
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Local environmental group Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) are running a series of informal information events around West Lancashire this autumn starting with Banks Village on Sunday 13th October between 12 and 5pm at the St Stephens Institute & Club on Hoole Lane.

Residents are invited to drop-in at any time for an update and discussion on Shale Gas Fracking and how full scale commercial development might affect the area should it go ahead.

There will be multi-media presentations and information packs to take away as well as group members on hand to answer your queries. Free refreshments are also provided.

REAF are also conducting a survey of local views on fracking; you can still share your views by filling in the groups online survey at www.reaf.org.uk/survey

For more information contact info@reaf.org.uk or phone 07582 809722


29th September 2013
REAF Fracking Survey
Source: REAF

It is likely that many of us will have witnessed recent news reports on the anti-fracking protests in the village of Balcombe, West Sussex. Balcombe's villagers protested, and continue to protest, overwhelmingly against energy company Cuadrilla's plans with reports suggesting figures as high as 85% against fracking.

The similarities between the Balcombe situation and that facing Hesketh Bank and Banks are striking. Both are village communities and both are proposed fracking sites by Cuadrilla.

The response to this in Balcombe is now well-recognised and documented; the views of Hesketh Bank, Banks, and Tarleton residents are very much less so. This survey is your opportunity to express your views in a format that will allow independent recognition of local attitudes to the activities that Cuadrilla proposes in our villages. If local opinion matters in Balcombe then surely it matters just as much in our vilages!

http://www.reaf.org.uk/survey

We are looking for a survey sample of 1,000 and the results will be published via the Village Websites and reported on the REAF Website.

REAF are a residence group who are opposed to the commercial production of Shale Gas in our area and are working hard in seeking transparency on proposed regulation, planing and environmental issues.


29th September 2013
REAF Fracking Survey
Source: REAF

It is likely that many of us will have witnessed recent news reports on the anti-fracking protests in the village of Balcombe, West Sussex. Balcombe?s villagers protested, and continue to protest, overwhelmingly against energy company Cuadrilla?s plans with reports suggesting figures as high as 85% against fracking.

The similarities between the Balcombe situation and that facing Hesketh Bank and Banks are striking. Both are village communities and both are proposed fracking sites by Cuadrilla.

The response to this in Balcombe is now well-recognised and documented; the views of Hesketh Bank, Banks, and Tarleton residents are very much less so. This survey is your opportunity to express your views in a format that will allow independent recognition of local attitudes to the activities that Cuadrilla proposes in our villages. If local opinion matters in Balcombe then surely it matters just as much in our vilages!

http://www.reaf.org.uk/survey

We are looking for a survey sample of 1,000 and the results will be published via the Village Websites and reported on the REAF Website.

REAF are a residence group who are opposed to the commercial production of
Shale Gas in our area and are working hard in seeking transparency on proposed regulation, planing and environmental issues.


13th August 2013
PUBLIC NOTICE: Tarleton Endowed School Trust
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

TARLETON ENDOWED SCHOOL TRUST - PUBLIC NOTICE

The Trustees of Tarleton Endowed School Trust invite persons under the age of 25 who are, or who have a parent or parents, resident within the boundaries of Tarleton Parish, and who are in need of financial assistance, to apply for a grant towards their educational (including social and physical) training costs.

Youth Clubs and similar charitable organisations, based within the Parish of Tarleton that provide services to the target group outlined above, are also welcome to apply for a grant. However, it must be noted that the Trustees will give a higher priority to individual rather than group applications.

Application forms, for individuals and groups, are available from Tarleton Library. Completed forms must be received by the Secretary by Monday 30th September 2013;

Mr. N. Leadbetter,
Secretary to the Tarleton Endowed School Trust,
18 Delamere Road,
Ainsdale,
Southport
PR8 2RD

The Trustees will consider all applications in early October. The funds available to the Trust are limited and if you have not heard from the Trustees by the end of October 2013 you should assume that your application has been unsuccessful.

The Trustees decision is final and no correspondence and/or dialogue will be entered into regarding individual applications.


7th August 2013
SHOP 'TRANSFORMATION' PLANNED FOR WEBSTERS OF TARLETON
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Plans for a new retail destination in Lancashire, creating more than 25 jobs, were unveiled today.

Owners of the popular Ena Mill, Atherton, have agreed a deal to transform the site of Websters of Tarleton, near Preston.

The agreement will see the famous 10,000 square-feet shop transformed during a £100,000 five-week development.

The refurbishment begins next week before the new shop opens for the first time in September under a new name.

The new outlet will create more than 25 new jobs and focus on famous fashion brands and high quality homeware concessions.

The agreement between Ena Mill owners Simon Yates and Jon Addis, and Websters of Tarleton owner Jonathan Webster, will see the 50-covers Whittles Farm restaurant plus the coffee shop on the site continue to trade throughout the refurbishment period.

Once the store re-opens, the restaurant and coffee shop will be remain under the management of Jonathan Webster, Ann Palmer and Head Chef Simon Jackson.

Simon Yates said : “Everyone for miles around knows what a wonderful retail site this is. And the Websters’ legacy for high-quality retail is legendary.

“Thanks to our agreement with Jonathan, we now have a wonderful opportunity to build on that famous family legacy.”

Since 2011, Ena Mill has enjoyed steadily increasing visitor numbers from throughout the North West. Last year more than 400,000 shoppers passed through its doors.

Jonathan Webster said: “What Simon and Jon have achieved at Ena Mill is nothing short of amazing. If we can enjoy a fraction of the success they have enjoyed in Atherton, then it will be a massive economic boost for the site, Tarleton and, hopefully, the surrounding villages too.”


7th August 2013
RIVERSIDE ADDED TO WEST LANCS CYCLE HIRE SCHEME
Source: West Lancashire Borough Council

You can use pedal power to see the sights of West Lancashire thanks to a new cycle hire scheme in the area.

Cycle hire docking stations have been installed in locations across the borough to encourage visitors and residents to get out on bikes and enjoy attractions in West Lancashire and Sefton. 

Bikes can be hired for £1 an hour (although a minimum 6hr initial purchase is required).

VISIT Sefton and West Lancashire - a partnership between Sefton and West Lancs Borough Councils- has set up the scheme to promote the visitor economy in both boroughs.

The new docking stations in West Lancashire are at the following sites:

  • Park Pool (Ormskirk),
  • Burscough Wharf and Burscough Leisure Centre (Burscough)
  • The Ship Public House (Lathom)
  • Riverside Caravan Park (Banks)

VISIT Sefton and West Lancashire are looking at additional locations which may be suitable and are currently developing themed family-friendly cycle routes which will start and finish at the docking stations. 

Cllr Martin Forshaw, the portfolio holder for Planning and Development who sits on the VISIT board, said: ”We are pleased to be introducing the cycle hire docking stations in West Lancashire.  These facilities link with attractions and transport interchanges and we hope residents and visitors will take advantage of the facilities and visit the many attractions available in West Lancashire and Sefton.

Visit Sefton & West Lancashire website


5th August 2013
Local Macmillan committee UPDATE
Reported by: Macmillan Committee

Macmillan Cancer Support local committee updateMacmillan Cancer Support are a national organisation which improves the lives of people affected by cancer. There is a Macmillan committee for Hesketh Bank, Tarleton, and Banks. The committee comprise Kate and David Maughan, Sandra Johnson, Angela Jenkins, Lyndsay Howard, Jean Ross, Anne Leadbetter, Anne White, Georgie Dagnall and Izzie Iddon. New committee members are always welcome and anyone interested please contact Kate or David on 01772 811662

The local committee organise about four fund raising events per year in this area. These consist of;

  • a January Burns Night Supper (held in the Wellington Lodge venue in Leyland),
  • an event in the Spring (fashion show, flower arranging, bingo),
  • a late Summer Hog Roast or similar
  • an Autumn event of some description

The aforementioned events are in addition to the annual ‘Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning’ (which tend to be privately organised local get togethers, albeit very lucrative for our deserving cause)

Wellington Lodge has already been booked for Burns Night on 25 January 2014. All those who went last year will no doubt try to get there again so availability of tickets will be at a premium as numbers are limited by the size of the room – first come first served. If you are a business, why not consider taking a table – great entertainment idea and the bonus is it is allowable against profits to offset tax!! Win/Win and tax efficient.

As far as the Coffee morning is concerned, Sandra Johnson normally holds one in Hesketh Bank, Jean Ross has one in Tarleton and there are normally another one or two held elsewhere in the area.

This year, Macmillan have issued a challenge!! And they call it ‘The £100 Challenge’

Imagine a grid 10 x 10 with a volunteer in each box who will raise £100 from an event within next 12m – will raise £10,000 in total

  • Event could be sponsored ‘whatever’ – swim, run, walk, give up drink, give up smoking, etc.
  • Or as simple as ‘Evening In’ where you feed someone and they pay for their meal

Are you up for it? If so, contact Kate or David on 01772 811662 and get your name in one of the 100 boxes on the grid – first come first served!!!

We trust this update has been useful, get the date in your diary or on your calendar and we look forward to seeing you all at upcoming events in the future. Many thanks for all your support

The Committee


4th August 2013
LEADERS NEEDED FOR Tarleton CUBS
Reported by: 44th Tarleton Scouts

Tarleton Beavers has enjoyed a period of continued growth thanks to some great nights being run by a brilliant leader team. Our Beaver section had so many on the waiting list that the only thing to be done was to open another evening for the 6 - 8 year olds.

We did this in the spring thanks to a number of new leaders joining the group in Easter. How ever this leaves us with a new problem on the horizon. Practically speaking we need to be able to cope two cub nights each week by some time next spring (2014) so we are now looking to recruit a number of extra volunteers to either join the new cub section or take over the original Monday Beavers as we have a reshuffle of some of the existing leader positions.

Anyone interested should contact Paul on 814317 or email scouts.tarleton@googlemail.com


1st August 2013
LORD HOWELL CONFIRMS LANCASHIRE AS HIS FRACKING TARGET
Source: Liverpool Echo

Lord Howell mixes North East with North West in fracking debacle. The peer who suggested that fracking be carried out in the “desolate” North East actually meant Lancashire

The peer who offended an entire region by suggesting that fracking should be carried out in the “desolate” North East of England today admitted he made a mistake – he actually meant Lancashire.

Lord Howell, George Osborne’s father-in-law, caused outrage when he described the North East as “desolate” and “uninhabited” when saying it was better suited to shale gas drilling than other “beautiful” areas.

But it appears he may have mixed up his North East and North West.

In response to a letter from Northumberland  MP Ian Lavery, the Conservative peer said: “It was wrong of me to mention a specific region, although actually I had Lancashire, not the North East, in mind.”

Today Mr Lavery said he did not believe the well-educated Lord Howell had made such a mistake, claiming the former minister was simply trying to undo the damage his comments caused.In his letter, Mr Lavery said the peer’s initial speech appeared to be based on ignorance rather than science.

“Doesn’t the pirate digging for buried treasure normally have a map to indicate it is there?” asked Mr Lavery.

“The British Geological Society has completed an estimate of shale gas that stops completely short of the North East.”

Fracking company Cuadrilla Resources have already applied to Lancashire County Council  to perform tests at a site in Banks, near Southport.

Click here to read the full Liverpool Article


29th July 2013
Hospital welcomes Portuguese nurses
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Ten Portuguese nurses are joining the staff at Southport hospital to help care for local people.

The eight women and two men, who come from across Portugal, were recruited in its second city, Porto, by deputy director of nursing Angela Kelly and assistant matron for education Nicky Williams in May.

“We have 20 home-grown and newly-qualified nurses in training with the Trust, and more in the pipeline, but there is a national shortage of qualified nursing staff with experience,” said Angela.

“Each of the nurses joining us from Portugal has at least 12 months’ nursing experience. We were very particular about who was recruited and the successful candidates were whittled down from a shortlist of 20. They all have excellent English which was a pre-condition of interview.”

Seven of the nurses, two of whom have previously worked in the UK in Yorkshire, started work this week. The remaining three will take up their posts in September.

Sara Costa, one of the new recruits, said: "There are many nurses without work in Portugal so moving to Southport is a great opportunity to develop my career."


29th July 2013
FRACKING SHOULD BE CONCENTRATED AWAY FROM THE SOUTH
Source: The Telegraph

Lord Howell, a Government energy adviser and father-in-law to George Osborne, has described parts of the North East of England as “desolate” and suggested controversial fracking should be concentrated away from the south.

The Conservative peer, who advises William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, on energy and resource security, called for fracking to be concentrated in the North East because it has “large, desolate and uninhabited areas”.

He claimed that it could be a “mistake” to discuss shale gas drilling – known as fracking – in terms “of the whole United Kingdom in one go”.

In comments sure to cause controversy, he seemed to suggest that there are not “beautiful” areas in the North East and that it would be ripe for shale gas exploration.

“There are obviously in beautiful rural areas, worries not just about the drilling and the fracking, which I think are exaggerated, but about the trucks, the delivery and the roads and the disturbance,” Lord Howell said. “And those are quite justified worries.”

Click here to read the complete Telegraph article


25th July 2013
SUMMER HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Village CHATT is back with summer holiday activities in Holmeswood, Banks and Hesketh Bank.

Village CHATT is a non-incorporated voluntary group aiming to provide school holiday fun for FAMILIES with children aged 0-11. This summer CHATT are offering :

  • Fighting Fit Marital arts based exercise and action classes.
  • Funky Fit street and popular dance activities.
  • Junior Gym learning basic gymnastic moves and exercise to music.
  • Arts and Crafts with lots of things to make and take home.
  • Crafty Cooks come and bake and make all kinds of tasty dishes.
  • All our activities are just £2 per child per session.

We have linked with Tarleton Academy who offer CHATT members discounted swim sessions and with local activity centre to offer discounted admission prices.

This year we are hosting a Summer Showcase Finale on Wednesday 28th August 3-6pm at the Christian Centre Moss Lane Hesketh Bank. There you see the children dance and move; they can have a go on the bouncy castle and join in the games.

See what we have been up to over summer and meet the CHATT team as well as some friendly characters that are popping in to meet the children. This event is free to CHATT members and there will be a Hog Roast and food and drinks on sale a tombola, lucky dip and prizes.

Click here to download a CHATT Summer 2013 Booklet

Call the CHATT line on 0785437964 or Children's Centre 01772 815021 for more information or visit village CHATT on facebook.


24th July 2013
FRACKING & HOME INSURANCE
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

The local pressure group 'Stop Fylde Fracking' have reported that a resident has been advised by her insurance broker that damage to buildings as a result of fracking is now an ‘Excluded Peril’ on all buildings insurance throughout the United Kingdom.

The group has suggested that all concerned residents should contact their MP about this development. View the full article and the sample letter go to the Stop Fylde Fracking Website

Coincidentally, Banks resident Doreeen Stopforth yesterday released a short animated film "Don't Frack Our Future - Doreen's Story".

Click here for all the News and Views about the Banks / Hesketh Bank Fracking site


11th July 2013
HUNTAPAC LAUNCH 'ROOTS' CRISPS
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Tarleton fresh produce grower, Huntapac, has diversified into the snacks category for the first time with the launch of their own brand ‘Roots’ Hand Cooked Vegetable Crisps.

Made from Huntapac’s own carrots, parsnips and beetroot, the crisps are an extension of the company’s existing Roots range of vegetables and salads.

Two years after the idea was first raised, the product is now being sold exclusively through branches of national wholesaler Booker in boxes of individual bags or in tubs for foodservice operators.

Warren Hunter, managing director of Huntapac, said the move was “adding value” to the business.

He said: “We we wanted to see what other avenues our produce could take us and veg crisps seemed to be the winner.

“Buying statistics show that they are a treat item and do particularly well around Christmas time but we wanted to create smaller retail packets so that pubs may stock them or stores could sell them alongside individual bags, as the majority of veg crisps are mainly in a sharing size bag.”

The family business, which was set up in 1942, currently employs 480 people across commercial, transport, harvesting and production.

The company grows and harvests carrots and parsnips, salads and brassicas across the country, which are then washed and packed on site in Tarleton.

Mr Hunter added: “We’ve created some fantastic packaging that will really help our new vegetable crisps stand out on the shelf in the snacks aisle.

“Roots Vegetable Crisps are also backed by the Huntapac story and heritage, which we believe will resonate with consumers, who are keener than ever to know how and where their food is produced.”


8th July 2013
Popular Beer & Wine Festival Returns to Farmers Market
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Following the mouth-watering success of the pint-sized Beer and Wine Festival at Mere Brow & Holmeswood Farmers’ Market in July and October last year, a Mini Beer & Wine Festival will be a major part of the next market on Saturday, July 13th

And with the sizzling hot weather predicted to stay,Farmers Market organiser Kelvin Pye said "If the current hot weather holds,the farmers market and mini Beer Festival will be very popular,so I advise people to get there early to stock up with beers and summer food for the BBQ"

Opening hours at the market held at Homestead Farm are from 10.00 – 1430 and it will feature Medieval Raptors and regular Farmers Market stalls …. washed down with beers from local microbreweries plus a continental lager or two.

On the bitter front, sees the return of National Hero and the Famous Golden Sands of Southport Brewery who will be competing with established favourites such as: Temptress and Victorian Oyster Stout from Prestons Hart Brewery and ales from Blackburns Three B'S Micro Brewery and even organic lagers,pale ale and cider from Samuel Smiths Brewery in Tadcaster.

There will be fruit wines,and ciders from Yorkshire’s Orchard Fruit Wines, and Dove Syke cider and even non-alcoholic herbal Sarsaparilla with “mocktails” like Thriller In Vanilla and Beetle Juice from the Infamous Temperance Bar of Botany Bay.

While for the more sober-minded, Homestead Farms licensed tea-room will also be supplying nonalcoholic, refreshments including home made cakes and lunches

The event has the enthusiastic support of the local Southport and West Lancashire branch of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) who will be manning an awareness and membership stand.

While for the more adventurous – or thirsty - a Home Brew beer stand showing visitors how to brew-it-themselves.

Young families can be entertained by Formby's very own S & R Birds of Prey, with a display of Falcons,Hawks and Owls.

The Festival is free and also offers free car parking. Most of the Stalls are undercover.


27th June 2013
Shale gas plan to reward communities
Source: BBC

The BBC understands that communities that host fracking sites will receive 1% of any revenues generated by the well over its lifetime.

The package is expected to be set out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change later.

BBC industry correspondent John Moylan says gas flow rates from "fracked" wells tend to deteriorate significantly over their lifetime, so it is likely that much of the cash communities would receive would be in the early years of the well's operation.

The communities would decide how any cash was spent.

Click here for the complete BBC News report. Have your say on fracking.


27th June 2013
GREEN BELT ERRORS IN WLBC LOCAL PLAN
Source: Ormskirk Advertiser

ERRORS made to the Green Belt boundaries in the West Lancashire Local Plan were submitted to the government inspector.

A total of nine inconsistencies were identified by officers ahead of the council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday, June 18.

The council’s errors occurred when officers prepared the new Policies Map for the new Local Plan and based this on the 2006 electronic version of the Proposal Map, which carried a number of inconsistencies between the paper map and electronic map.

Click here to read the complete Ormskirk Advertiser article


24th June 2013
Call for volunteers to support older people in hospital
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and Royal Voluntary Services are working in partnership to develop a service at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals aimed at improving the well-being of older patients during their stay.

This integrated approach between health and social care will focus on the needs of older patients with long-term conditions including dementia.

To provide this service, we are looking for volunteers who will be part of the on-ward team complimenting patient care at the hospital.

The help and support provided by volunteers will include befriending, diversion therapy, companionship, reading and techniques to stimulate the patient’s appetite, and improve social activity.

Liz Yates, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “We are thrilled the Royal Voluntary Service has chosen to support patients in this way and I know there will be many local people who want to get involved. This is an opportunity for anyone who wants to make a difference to the lives of people in need while enjoying the personal satisfaction and reward volunteering can bring.”

Volunteers will be needed over a seven day period between 10am and 9pm, and are asked to give a minimum of two hours on the day they attend.

Everyone will receive full NHS mandatory training alongside specific dementia training and successful applicants will be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.

For further information about this opportunity, please contact Erika O’Shea on 01704 705 156. erika.oshea@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk or visit www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk


14th June 2013
Arup appointed for Environmental Impact Assessments
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla appoints Arup to conduct independent Environmental Impact Assessments as part of Lancashire planning applications.

Today, Cuadrilla announced the appointment of Arup, the engineering and design consultancy, as independent provider of Environmental Impact Assessments to be conducted as part of planning applications to explore for natural gas from shale in Lancashire.

The process will start this summer, and is expected to run into the first quarter of 2014.

Arup’s work on the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) will include environment risk assessment, public and stakeholder consultation and planning application support.

“These EIAs are being carried out as part of a robust process of developing informed consent for the ongoing exploration of the very significant natural gas resources in Lancashire’s Bowland shale", said Francis Egan.

Founded in 1946, Arup is a leader in consulting to industry and governments around the world. "Arup's experience in technical and public consultation was perfectly suited to the issues and opportunities in Lancashire, where there is a mix of technical and public issues,” said Egan.

Des Correia, project director, Arup, said “Shale gas exploration is an emerging area in the UK and Arup understands the full range of environmental issues. However, the vital element in this work will be using that knowledge to ensure we fully assess, explain and, as appropriate, mitigate any implications for the local environment or communities. We are pleased to have the opportunity to assess these issues in more detail and to support Cuadrilla in its commitment to the highest environmental standards on this project.”

One of the first steps of the project will be to agree a stakeholder and public consultation plan. Discussions are already underway with Lancashire County Council.

“Shale gas exploration is a process which necessitates that communities have confidence that all material risks have been properly identified and assessed, and the appropriate control steps agreed," said Correia. “We will be working closely with Lancashire County Council, a range of technical experts, and local communities to provide the necessary analysis and consultation.

Arup has always believed in high quality community consultation, and there will be a number of opportunities for communities to be part of the process.”

Click here for more news and views on the Cuadrilla fracking site at Banks


13th June 2013
CENTRICA invests in LANCASHIRE SHALE gas
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla welcomes Centrica as new investment partner in Lancashire

Centrica plc has today become a 25 per cent investment partner in the Cuadrilla Resources operated Lancashire Bowland shale gas exploration licence area.

The ownership of the joint venture before the transaction was 75per cent Cuadrilla and 25 per cent A J Lucas.
Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s CEO, said: "Today’s announcement represents a significant step in our on-going exploration programme for natural gas within the Lancashire Bowland Basin. Centrica, Cuadrilla and A J Lucas recognise the exciting gas potential that lies within the shale rock in Lancashire."

"Natural gas from UK shale can create thousands of jobs, generate significant tax revenues, reduce our ever increasing reliance on imported coal and gas and make a positive contribution to the country’s balance of payments."

"Centrica will bring to the Cuadrilla operated joint venture deep experience of all aspects of natural gas exploration, extraction and transportation and share the commitment of Cuadrilla and A J Lucas to explore for and develop this resource in a safe and environmentally responsible manner."

Mark Hanafin, Managing Director of Centrica’s International Upstream business, said: "With North Sea gas reserves declining and the UK becoming more dependent on imported gas supplies, it is important that we look for opportunities to develop domestic gas resources, to provide affordable sources of gas to our customers, and to deliver broader economic benefits to the UK"

"This transaction presents an attractive opportunity for Centrica to explore the potential and commercial viability of natural gas from shale in the UK, while utilising its expertise as a responsible operator and developer of UK gas resources."

Cuadrilla will keep the local community, politicians and the media informed of future developments. Centrica has paid £40 million in cash and committed to fund £60 million of expenditure on the Bowland joint venture from the transaction, effective date of 1 January 2013. A further contingent payment of £60m will be paid by Centrica subject to certain operational milestones having been reached.

Today’s news will not affect Cuadrilla’s other business operations in the UK and overseas.

Click here for more news and views on the Cuadrilla fracking site at Banks


6th June 2013
MP WELCOMES DEVELOPMENT IN CAMPAIGN AGAINST WIND TURBINES
Source: Press Release

Conservative MP Lorraine Fullbrook campaigns against wind turbine projects in South Ribble ConstituencyLorraine Fullbrook, Member of Parliament for the South Ribble Constituency, who has been campaigning on behalf of local residents against wind turbines, has warmly welcomed the Government announcement today outlining changes to planning law that mean local residents in South Ribble, will have more say in whether wind turbines are sited in or near their communities.

This dramatic development comes after Lorraine joined local residents in fighting unsuitable onshore wind turbine developments in South Ribble and joined colleagues last year in signing a letter to the Prime Minister outlining strong opposition to wind turbines.  The letter called for the views of local residents, to be given more weight in planning decisions.

Current planning decisions on onshore wind are not always reflecting a locally-led planning system.  Under the new planning guidance, the Department for Communities and Local Government will make clear that the need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protections and the planning concerns of local communities. It will also give greater weight to landscape and visual impact concerns.

Welcoming the announcement, Lorraine said: “This is fantastic news for residents in South Ribble who do not want wind turbines blighting our local landscape.   It is absolutely right that local residents should have greater say in whether or not wind turbines are on their doorstep.”

“Let’s hope this marks the beginning of the end of unwanted wind turbines in South Ribble!”


30th May 2013
Southport Country Fair in Mere Brow this weekend
Source: Southport Visiter

Three days of stunt shows, alpacas, bug house, busking band, donkey show, falconry & ferrets plus much more at the Southport Country Fair in Mere Brow this weekend

May 30 2013 by Andrew Brown, Southport Visiter

ONE of the country’s top stunt teams will be wowing the crowds at this weekend’s Southport Country Fair with a death-defying mixture of car, motorbike, fire, escapology and high-fall stunts.

The popular show, now in its seventh year, has moved to a new home at the Leisure Lakes, The Gravel, Mere Brow, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 31, June 1 and 2.

Organiser Kelvin Pye has enlarged the main arena and hopes the new dates, at the end of the school half-term, will bring better weather for the crowds.

Appearing on Sunday only, the Stannage Stunt Team is a family affair consisting of Mark, his 18 year old son Aaron and even wife Jannine gets in on the act.

Mark’s 29-year career has taken him all over the world and he has performed stunts in numerous TV shows and films.

Aaron is one of the country’s youngest stuntmen with thousands of performances under his belt, specialising in spectacular and dangerous motorbike jumps and high-fall stunts.

Mark said: “We are really looking forward to the show and can promise some really breath-taking action including motorcycle jumps, fire stunts and our famous 50ft Tower of Death Jump – not to be missed.”

On Friday only in the main arena is a Parade of Hounds, featuring horses, huntsmen and bugle, courtesy of the Holcombe Hunt.

There will be a packed programme of events over all three days including alpacas, bug house, busking band, Donkey Show, competition and rides, falconry and ferrets walking displays plus a falconry village, Guinea Pig house (with open show on Sunday), gun dog display, H&M Dog Display Team (Saturday), homing pigeons, honey bees, Lurcher and Terrier Racing (Sunday), North West Reptile Society, rabbits, sheepdog demonstrations, Siberian Huskies, Side Saddle Association, dog agility and daily dog shows.

The event is open 10am to 5.30pm Friday, May 31, Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2. Friday tickets £2.50 for adults and children (over three) free. Saturday and Sunday tickets – £5 adults or £4.50 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734 – OAPs £4.50, children £1.50 until midday Saturday.


23rd May 2013
NEW ADMINISTRATION AT Lancs COUNTY COUNCIL
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have reached an agreement that sees Labour form a minority administration, with the support of the Liberal Democrats. 

Under the agreement, the Liberal Democrats supported a proposal for Jennifer Mein, Leader of the Labour Group, to become Leader of Lancashire County Council. 

The proposal was passed at today's Annual Meeting of Full Council and County Councillor Mein was duly elected as Leader of the county council. 

County Councillor Mein formed a minority administration, with a cabinet made up of Labour councillors, namely: 

CC David Borrow, deputy leader 
CC Matthew Tomlinson 
CC Azhar Ali 
CC Tony Martin 
CC Janice Hanson 
CC John Fillis 
CC Marcus Johnstone 

The cabinet members' portfolio areas have yet to be allocated. 


16th May 2013
TARLETON CORINTHIANS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR PLAYERS
Source: Tarleton Corinthians

Tarleton Corinthians FC are looking for players for all their age groups for the new season, 2013/14.

We have an U7’s team and teams of all ages from U9’s to U18’s. We are also looking for new players for our adult teams, who play in the Mid Lancashire League.

We are also looking for coaches, to assist with our Under 14’s Red team for season 2013/14. Preferably level 1 qualified, although not essential, and FA CRB cleared. The team plays in the Central Lancs Junior Football League. All home matches are played at Carr Lane, Tarleton on a Sunday.

If interested please contact the club secretary, Simon Kenyon, at tarletoncorinthians@gmail.com


11th May 2013
Anti-fracking protest Camp set up AT MERE BROW
Source: BBC News

About 300 people are taking part in a weekend-long protest against fracking in West Lancashire. The campaigners, have set up camp in Mere Brow near Tarleton.

Organisers said Camp Frack was a weekend designed to highlight the dangers of fracking and promote environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Click here to see the complete BBC News article


9th May 2013
CHARITY OFFICE SPACE SEARCH
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Child and Family Connect is a small regional charity that provides safe premises, friendly and neutral place where children of seperated families can spend time with with one or both parents and, sometimes, grandparents or siblings.

The charity is looking for a room for the use as a central office. Two people work from the office and require space for desks and filing cabinets in addition to a telephone point (although the cost of fitting would be bourne by the charity).

The working hours for the staff are 9am - 4pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.

If you can help please contact Child and Family Connect on 0151 922 5330 or email childandfamily@talktalkbusiness.net


9th May 2013
fracking CAMPAINGNERS LOOSE APPEAL
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Two protesters convicted of storming a drilling site in protest against fracking have lost their appeal against their sentences.

Lauren Pepperell and Edward Lloyd-Davis, both university graduates, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday to appeal against their convictions for aggravated trespass.

But following out-of-court negotiations, they dropped that appeal, but then sought to object to the sentences imposed by Preston Magistrates Court last July.

Pepperell, 27, and Lloyd-Davis, a 39-year-old unemployed astro-physicist, had both been convicted of two offences of aggravated trespass after they climbed 45 metres up to a drilling platform at the Cuadrilla Resources site in Bonny Barn Lane, Banks, near Southport, on November 2, 2011, in protest at the shale gas extraction technology being used at the site.

Lloyd-Davis was also convicted of assaulting a security guard who tried to stop them but today, after the prosecution agreed to offer no evidence on that charge, a not guilty verdict was recorded and his appeal against the conviction abandoned.

The couple, both of Rugby Place, Brighton, had both been given a two-year conditional discharge, and each ordered to pay £750 towards the £4,000 prosecution costs after the five-day case.

After hearing their appeal, along with two magistrates, Judge Heather Lloyd upheld the sentences and also ordered them to pay £100 each towards the costs of the appeal hearing.

Click here to read the complete LEP article


8th May 2013
FRACKING 'TRESPASS' APPEAL BEGINS
Source: Frack Off Press Release

Two activists are appealing their convictions last year for disrupting "lawful activity" at a shale gas drilling site where they occupied a fracking rig in November 2011. 

On the 2nd November 2011, 5 people occupied the Cuadrilla Resources drilling rig at Banks to draw attention to growing threat posed by the spread of unconventional gas extraction to the British Isles.

This protest was timed to coincide with an industry sponsored “Shale Gas Environmental Summit” in London, as well as the release of a report in which Cuadrilla admitted that the fracking of its first well had caused several earthquakes.

The appeal in Liverpool Crown Court begins on Wednesday 8th May and is scheduled to last three days. Two protesters who were convicted of aggravated trespass last year are appealing; asserting stopping fracking is necessary in the context of run-away climate change and the damage it will cause the environment and local communities. The defendants will also be challenging the lawfulness of the destructive process.

On Friday, Camp Frack 2 begins at Mere Brow in Lancashire, a short distance from where the Cuadrilla fracking site in Banks where the November 2011 action took place. The three day camp, which is expected to attract thousands of people, will bring together activists and local communities fighting fracking from around the country. Since fracking has come to the UK there have been a groundswell of local resistance, with numerous community groups forming to oppose it.


19th April 2013
BIRD SCARERS (GAS GUNS) CODE OF PRACTICE
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Bird scarers and deterrents are an essential tool to protect many crops from damage. However, if used thoughtlessly they can seriously disturb neighbours unnesecarily.

The NFU has recently reminded all members that just a few inconsiderate actions could threaten the ability of all growers to protect their crops in future and provided the Code of Practice as a download.

Click here to download a copy of the NFU Bird Scarers Code of Practice

16th April 2013
Question Time comes to Tarleton
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Friends of the Earth have invited your local County Council candidates (West Lancashire Northward), from across all political parties, to answer your questions and give their views and policies on Fracking.

Lancashire is at the forefront of the UK's fledgling shale gas industry. Shale gas is being promoted as a safe, clean energy source that can help cut energy bills and create much-needed new jobs for Lancashire. Its advocates claim it has transformed the US energy system and that the same could happen in the UK.

But what is the cost to our communities, environment and local economy? And what can we learn from the Fracking Industry elsewhere? Hear from Dr Mariann Lloyd Smith, Senior Advisor to Australia's National Toxics Network, a former UN advisor on chemicals and the environment, and co-author of a report on the chemical impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the Australian shale and coal seam gas industry.

Decisions on shale gas in the next few months and years will change the West Lancashire villages forever. Come along to this event to ask YOUR questions to your local County Council candidates.

Wednesday 24 April 2013 7 - 9pm, Our Lady's Catholic Hall, 152 Hesketh Lane, Tarleton, PR4 6AS.

Click here for more local events


10th April 2013
NEW Neptune HOME & GARDEN Centre OPENING in Mere Brow
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Neptune Furniture Store at Mere BrowJoe and Kate Webster are delighted to unveil their new showroom the Neptune Design Centre this month at Southport New Road, Mere Brow, Tarleton.

Kate Webster comments “We are delighted to have regenerated a local building into something so fantastic and we are looking forward to offering everyone the full Neptune Home and Garden experience at the grand opening on 26th -28th April.

This stunning new home store is one of a handful of showrooms that offer the full range of Neptune handcrafted furniture and accessories for the whole home. Kitchens, bathrooms, living and dining furniture will all be available and shown in the sympathetically restored building with over 6,600ft of beautiful room sets.

Right from the very start, Neptune has had a clear set of goals; to create the finest quality furniture, with outstanding design, and all at a price that need not cost the earth.

As the seventh Neptune Design Centre to open in the UK and Europe it makes excellent and affordable designs more accessible to everyone. With a friendly team of experts, headed up by the owner’s Joe and Kate, the showroom will offer the full range of Neptune Kitchens and Interiors with the best in-house design service available.


9th April 2013
NOMINATIONS FOR Lancashire County Council ELECTIONS
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

The nominees have been published for the Lancashire County Council elections on Thursday 2 May 2013. The following candidates are standing for the West Lancashire North seat:

BARRON Malcolm, The Conservative Party
HODSON John, The Labour Party Candidate
HORNSBY Barry, UK Independence Party (UKIP)

Candidates have until noon on Wednesday 10 April (tomorrow) to withdraw their nomination.


8th April 2013
Meet your local NHS
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

The new leaders of your local NHS from West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are to host several open public events in West Lancashire to meet with the local community.

Anyone is welcome to come along and meet some of the GPs and management team that are running the local NHS commissioning organisation.

All the events are one hour and will include a short introduction and a chance to ask questions directly to the GPs. NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) takes over the responsibility of commissioning local healthcare services from NHS Central Lancashire from 1 April 2013.

Come and meet your local NHS at Tarleton on Wednesday 10 April 5 - 6pm The Sports Pavilion, Carr Lane, Tarleton, PR4 6BT


7th March 2013
Jail for Farmhouse Burglar
Source: Southport Visiter

A “CAREER criminal” who burgled a farmhouse to fund a drug habit while a family slept upstairs has been jailed for three years. Michael Pinder, of Cog Lane, Burnley, but formerly of Mere Brow, pleaded guilty to burgling a home on The Marshes Lane, Mere Brow, on November 2 last year.

Click here to see the full Southport Visiter article


6th March 2013
LCC BUDGET PROVION FOR GREEN LANE LINK
Submitted by: Cllr Malcolm Barron

I am delighted to announce that the County has agreed in the Budget that the Green Lane Link which will take HGV's out of the villages of Tarleton, Hesketh Bank and Banks has been allocated £100,000 for years 2013/14 and £1,150 mil for 2014/15.


1st March 2013
Growing Farmers Market Re Rooted
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Mere Brow Farmers Market is re launching on Saturday 9th March with a move to a new farm home, that commercially grows root crops.

The market previous held at Mere Brow Village Hall for the last 12 months has outgrown this venue and has been resowed to a nearby working farm, Homestead Farm in Holmeswood. Seddon & Sons Produce Ltd operate from the farm, producing Leeks and the on site Farm Shop attraction specialises in Food Made in Lancashire.

Organiser Kelvin Pye who also runs the successful Southport Country Fairs stated “On many occasions we would run out of car parking and the market could not grow any more because car parking was replacing room for food producers.” He added “We have moved locally to Homestead Farm, a popular farm shop and tea rooms and with it being a working root crop farm, it adds value to our farmers market”.

Mr Pye stated that the new venue has enough capacity for car parking and more area to expand the market. He went on to say “ I would like to thank the committee of Mere Brow Village Hall as they had always backed the market and had been very supportive, helping with the parking, but you cannot get better than a farmers market being held on a working farm.”

The market will be held on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10am to 2.30pm. Homestead Farm Shop and its tearoom will be open for Lancashire food, teas, coffee, cakes and even a farmers hearty meal. The farmers market will include fresh meats, poultry, game, vegetables, cheeses, seafood, cakes, pies, bread, chutneys, plants, flowers and much more.

Homestead Farm will be operating a BBQ food outlet cooking local bacon and sausage for hungry visitors.

The first market at Homestead Farm is Saturday 9th March which is the day before Mothers Day so there is plenty of opportunity to visit the market and and treat Mum.

Homestead Farm is situated on Wiggins Lane, Holmeswood L40 1UJ. Admission and car parking is free.


25th February 2013
Appeal following serious road traffic collision in Tarleton
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

POLICE are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a man and a woman were injured in a four car road traffic collision in Tarleton this morning (Monday 25th February).

The collision took place at 8am on the A59 Liverpool Road at Tarleton, outside Old School Houses around half a mile prior to the traffic lights at the junction with Windgate.

A grey Nissan Qashqai has been travelling from Rufford towards Tarleton when it has been involved in a head on collision with a black Vauxhall Corsa travelling from Tarleton towards Rufford.

The female driver of the Corsa and a male passenger in the Qashqai were taken by ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital. The man is being treated for suspected spinal injuries and the woman for whiplash and minor facial injuries.

A grey Nissan Almeria travelling behind the Corsa and a silver WV Passat travelling behind the Qashqai were also involved in the collision.

Sergeant James Power said: “This collision has taken place on a main road at rush hour so I would appeal to anybody that witnessed it to come forward and contact Lancashire Police on 101.”

The A59 was closed at the junction with A565 with traffic diverted through Croston whilst recovery took place.


19th February 2013
Football Tournament HELD for Michael JONES
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

A football tournament featuring scores of players from home and abroad was held in honour of Michael Jones. The 25-year-old football coach, from Tarleton, near Preston, was stabbed to death in New York in October last year.

The competition at the all-weather pitch in Station Road, Hesketh Bank, featured ‘Jonesy 6’s’ sides - his shirt number - made up of family and friends.

And coaches from the New York Red Bulls, for whom Michael coached, came over from the US for the event to play alongside ex-teammates from Tarleton Corinthians FC.

The tournament was followed by a trophy presentation at Mere Brow Social Club and an auction to help raise funds for Michael’s family. It included signed football shirts and boots worn by Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer and Gianfranco Zola and photographs of Liverpool’s fifth European Cup victory in Istanbul.

Family friend Karen Walton, 55, from Tarleton, helped organise the day.

Click here for the complete Lancashire Evening Post article


12th February 2013
VILLAGE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Village C.H.A.T.T. are looking for volunteers and committee members to be part of the planning, organising and delivery of holiday activities and events in the local villages.

Village C.H.A.T.T. is a "not for profit" voluntary organisation that organises school holiday activities and events for the villages of Rufford, Tarleton, Hesketh Bank, Mere Brow, Holmeswood and Banks. All activities are family focused and parents and carers stay with the children and join in the fun!

Karen Cookson said "Last year we were successful in securing funding to run CHATT Summer 2012 scheme and we had over 180 children attend our events and activities. This year we hope to do the same, but we need help. If you are looking for volunteer activities to enhance your CV, enjoy working with children and families, and you want to be part of something in your local community then please contact us for more information."

"To make sure all our activities are safe for families and children, all of our volunteers and committee members are subject to our CHATT policies and procedures and have an enhanced CRB clearance."

Village CHATT meets at Hesketh Bank Childrens Centre, Shore Road, on the second Tuesday of the Month from 1-3pm. For more information call Karen on the CHATT line 07858437964 or Anne at the Children's Centre on 01772 815021


4th February 2013
WEST LANCASHIRE LOCAL PLAN 2012-2027
Source: WLDC

Examination hearings about West Lancashire Borough Council’s blueprint for future development will start on Tuesday 19 February.

The West Lancashire Local Plan 2012-2027 Development Plan Document (DPD) will guide development in the borough over the next 15 years. It covers everything from new homes and jobs to retail and leisure facilities, transport and local services and energy and the environment.

Certain specific sites are allocated within the West Lancashire Local Plan where the Council would expect the more significant developments to take place. The plan has to make sure development is located in the most sustainable parts of the Borough and can be supported by infrastructure and services.

Further information is available at the  West Lancs 2027 web pages 


29th January 2013
Southport man jailed for series of farm raids
Source: Southport Visiter

A 27-YEAR-OLD man who carried out more than a dozen farm burglaries in West Lancashire has been put behind bars.

But a judge was only able to sentence Christopher Taylor to a maximum of six months imprisonment for the raids because his case had been committed to Liverpool Crown Court under the wrong legislation.

Judge Brian Lewis told Taylor, of Crescent Road, Southport, that his hands were tied but if they had been unfettered the sentence would have been much longer.

He imposed five months for a break-in at a Tarleton farm and activated eight months of a suspended sentence for wounding which had been hanging over Taylor at the time making a total of 13 months.

Geoffrey Lowe, prosecuting, said that Taylor struck at Johnsons Meanygate Farm in Tarleton on September 28 last year and broke into an outhouse and stole various items.

Click here to read the full Southport Visiter article


25th January 2013
Complete Cuadrilla 'ATTITUDES TO FRACKING' SURVEY RESULTS
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Cuadrilla have recently commissioned two telephone surveys of 500 adults in three local authority areas in Lancashire. Selective highlights of the surveys have previously been issued via press release but the full survey results have now been made available. Click Here


24th January 2013
CUADRILLA Q&A SESSION
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Interview with Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan and Mark Linder, Director of Public Affairs.


Q.Will my house fall down?
A. Goodness, no! Even the larger of the two events in 2011 was well below the threshold of structural damage. Going forward, the fracturing process will be managed using an established system from other seismically sensitive operations. This includes arrays of sensors and a Traffic Light system which requires us to stop when seismic activity reaches a magnitude of 0.5ML on the Richter scale; a level of activity which will not be felt at the surface. There are many such surface movements at this level occurring every hour in Lancashire, primarily from human activity (traffic, aviation etc). This is many orders of magnitude below the level at which damage to property would be expected to begin to occur. DECC and Cuadrilla will have real-time access to the data gathered from the sensors installed around the village.

Q. Will there be any benefits to local people?
A. Yes, assuming we successfully fracture and flow test wells, and assuming we are approved for development. In operation, there will be around 75 people employed at and in support of each "resource hub" of which the majority will be operations-related staff. Figures from the US suggest that there is a "multiplier" effect of three times the number of jobs created as a result of the direct jobs. Cuadrilla has hired a number of local people, and prefers to do so going forward, but there are specialist skills required which may necessitate hiring non-local people. As a long term local employer, we envisage providing real opportunities for youngsters. Next week, for example, we are engaging with year 9 pupils to explain the potential career opportunities.

We are also actively considering other ways in which we contribute to the local area beyond employment opportunities.

Q. Why is your Corporate Structure so fragmented?
We actually believe the Cuadrilla organisation is a clear picture of accountability. We have operating units in each country reporting into one Cuadrilla entity at the top of our structure which reflects the accountability we have as operator across all countries. For legal and tax reasons, like all companies in this sector, we maintain operating subsidiaries for each of our license areas -- in the UK, Holland and Poland.

The structure reflects the way in which Government licences are granted and operated, and where taxable income is measured. We do draw on many consultancies and sub contractors but Cuadrilla is always accountable for the whole operation, including subcontractor performance. Unusually, we own our own rig and fracturing equipment. It is our brand on that rig because it is our rig, and we take accountability as operator.

Q. How will you communicate the ongoing operational activities?
A. We do recognise that what is happening at the Becconsall site is of interest to many locals and we are working on ways to make information available in a timely manner and are considering setting up a website for the Becconsall Pad to let everyone know what is going on.


23rd January 2013
Cuadrilla bids to resume WESTBY and Banks fracking
Source: BBC News

A company carrying out shale gas extraction in Lancashire is hoping to resume fracking on the Fylde coast.

Cuadrilla is to submit a planning application to Lancashire County Council to hydraulically-fracture a well at its Anna's Road site in Westby.

Managers are to meet residents in February to explain more about what is involved in the extraction process.

Cuadrilla staff will also meet residents of Banks near Southport later today over plans to drill for gas there.

Protesters say fracking could have "enormous implications" for the local area.

Tony Young, of Ribble Estuary Against Fracking, said: "We're missing out on unlimited supplies of renewable energy. "This is just distracting us from that."

Cuadrilla Resources chief executive Francis Egan said: "It's about exploiting our natural resource - we're running out of it.

He said there was "nothing wrong" with renewable energy "but it's not going to be enough".

Fracking is a controversial process that involves pumping water and chemicals into shale rock at high pressure to extract gas.

It was temporarily banned in the UK after it was blamed for two earth tremors in Blackpool in 2011. A government review has now concluded that fracking is safe if adequately monitored.


10th December 2012
LOCAL MACMILLAN UPDATE
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Macmillan Cancer Support are a national organisation which improves the lives of people affected by cancer. They are a source of support, helping with all the things that people affected by cancer want and need. It's not only patients who live with cancer, they also help carers, families and communities. They guide people through the system, supporting them every step of the way. They fund nurses and other health care professionals and build cancer care centre’s, but they give so much more than medical help. People need practical support at home, so they provide anything from some precious time off for a carer, to a lift to hospital. People need emotional support, so they listen, advise and share information though their own cancer support specialists, website and trained professionals. People need financial help to cope with the extra costs cancer can bring, so they give benefits advice, and grants for anything from heating bills to travel costs. Together they listen, learn, and act to help people live with cancer.

There is a Macmillan committee for Hesketh Bank, Tarleton, and Banks. The committee comprise Kate and David Maughan, Sandra Johnson, Angela Jenkins, Lyndsay Howard, Sue Hodgkins, Jean Ross, Anne Leadbetter, Anne White, and Georgie Dagnall. New committee members are always welcome and anyone interested please contact Kate or David on 01772 811662

The local committee organise about four fund raising events per year in this area. These consist of;

  • a January Burns Night Supper (held in the Wellington Lodge venue in Leyland),
  • an event in the Spring (fashion show, flower arranging, bingo),
  • a late Summer Hog Roast or similar
  • an Autumn event of some description

The aforementioned events are in addition to the annual ‘Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning’ (which tend to be privately organised local get togethers, albeit very lucrative for our deserving cause)

The Autumn event was held recently at The Cock & Bottle in remembrance of Robin Bryan and raised £869 and took the total raised in 2012 to £8,500

Wellington Lodge has already been booked for Burns Night. All those who went last year will no doubt try to get there again so availability of tickets will be at a premium as numbers are limited by the size of the room – first come first served. If you are a business, why not consider taking a table – great entertainment idea and the bonus is it is allowable against profits to offset tax!! Win/Win and tax efficient. Get the date Saturday 26th January 2013 in your diary in anticipation

As far as the Coffee morning is concerned, Sandra Johnson normally holds one in Hesketh Bank, Jean Ross has one in Tarleton and there are normally another one or two held elsewhere in the area.

We trust this update has been useful, get the date in your diary or on your calendar and we look forward to seeing you all at upcoming events in the future. Many thanks for all your support

The Committee


3rd December 2012
CHRISTMAS FARMER'S MARKET
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On Saturday the 8th of December , Mere Brow Farmers Market, held at Mere Brow Village Hall will
be holding an Xmas Special.

Open from 10am until 2-30pm there will be a variety of local Food, crafts and gift producers

Christmas Wreaths, Holly Pots, Grave Pots , Chestnuts and Mistletoe will be on sale. Along with
Fresh Herbs for your Roast Christmas dinner and gifts and presents for Xmas.

The Market will contain 20 plus stalls with entertainment:

  • Morris Dancing by Southport Swords and Argameles Clogs
  • Birds of Prey by falconer Stephen Green
  • Siberian Huskeys with Hug a Huskey

The Cafe/Lounge in the Village Hall will be serving hot Mulled wine and mince pies


19th November 2012
THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AT RUFFORD OLD HALL
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The Twelve Days of Christmas is the theme for this year’s Christmas celebrations at Rufford Old Hall, together with Christmas concerts Christmas shopping Days and a visit from Father Christmas himself.

Catherine Hazely is Rufford’s Events Co-ordinator.  “We’ve really gone to town on decorating the hall this year” says Catherine.

“In the Tudor Great Hall there’ll be a real fire, along with a mistletoe ball and hoped garlands across the windows. We’ll also have 12 drums lined up in front of the 16th century wooden screen – which will be the start of the story of The Twelve Days of Christmas. The carol has links with the Tudor era: it was supposedly written to help young Catholics remember the various threads of their religious faith as, in the late 1500s’s, Catholicism was outlawed and anyone found practising the religion could be put to death. For example the ‘partridge in the pear tree’ refers to Jesus, and the two turtle doves are the Old and the New Testaments.

The Tudors celebrated the entire 12 days of Christmas, (25th December - 6th January) but not every day was celebrated equally. All work stopped except looking after animals, spinning was even banned as this was the most common occupation for women and flowers were placed around the spinning wheels. People would visit friends and it was seen as very much a community celebration. Work re-started on Plough Monday  - the first Monday following 12th Night”

Outside in Rufford’s garden, see if you can spot 11 pipers piping before heading back into the School Room to discover 10 drummers drumming. The Great Hall will be displaying 9 decorated Christmas trees with 9 ladies dancing in the form of Christmas fairies on each tree: the trees have been decorated by local schools, U3A and local Trust Association groups. You’ll find 3 French hens in the tea-room,  2 turtle doves over the shop entrance and of course the partridge in the pear tree.

Meanwhile, Rufford’s dining room will be set out for a candlelit Christmas Day evening feast – you can see the extravagant menu and make ‘7 swans-a-swimming’  out of origami to float on a sea of blue green jelly which forms part of the dessert course. Over in the study write last minute festive greetings on a card printed with the Hesketh family of Rufford’s own coat of arms, which staff will post if you donate £2 to conservation fundraising at Rufford.

Father Christmas will be visiting Rufford each weekend from 24 Nov – 16 Dec – so make sure you take your Christmas list along and let him know what you want! You’ll find him by the fire keeping nice and warm!

The splendid setting of Rufford’s 16th century Great Hall is the venue for a concert by Tapestry of Music on 1 December at 7.30pm. Dressed in Tudor costume, they’ll be performing festive music from the past 100 years, including medieval carols and songs. Tickets are £17 and booking is essential on 01704 821254.

Finally, for those who want to do their Christmas shopping without the hassle of crowded shops – and even more crowded car parks, then Rufford’s Christmas shopping days are just for you!  “These were very successful when we ran them for the first time last year” says Catherine, “ so we’ve organised more this year:  Weds – Fri, 5 – 7 and 12 – 14 December, 11am – 3pm.  It’s a chance for people to shop in relaxed surroundings and take their time choosing gifts from our fantastic Christmas range in the shop. The tea-room and garden will also be open – so when you’ve finished shopping, treat yourself to a delicious mince pie, coffee, cake or lunch – and then take a wander around the winter garden”.

Rufford Old Hall is open weekends from 24 Nov – 16 Dec, 11am – 4pm and Weds – Fri, 5 – 7 and 12 – 14 December, 11am – 3pm for Christmas shopping days.  For full details of the Christmas programme go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ruffordoldhall or call 01704 823812.


9th November 2012
becomE a governor of your NHS trust
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Are you interested in becoming a governor of your NHS trust?

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is hosting a series of events for people who are interested in becoming a governor of the Trust.

Across Southport, Formby, West Lancashire and beyond, the Trust currently has around 1600 members. Once appointed, governors will act as the main point of contact for those members and will meet in public several times a year to feedback members’ views to the Board of Directors. The Council of Governors will act in a shadow role until the Trust is authorised as a foundation trust.

There will soon be elections for public governors to represent the views of members in the following areas:

Southport                                                      

3

Formby and Maghull

2

Ormskirk and Western Parishes                

2

Skelmersdale and Southern Parishes       

2

Northern Parishes                            

1

Rest of England and Wales

1

Anyone over the age of 18 can nominate themselves for election if they are a member. Nominees can only stand for election in the constituency in which they live.

Four events will be held across Southport, Formby and West Lancashire:

Monday 19 November, 6.30 – 7.30pm
Edge Hill University, The Business School, Ormskirk L39 4QP

Tuesday 27 November, 6.30 – 7.30pm
Formby Christian Fellowship, Church Road, Formby L37 3NB

Wednesday 5 December, 6.30 – 7.30
Southport Family Life Centre, Ash Street, Southport PR8 6JH

Wednesday 12 December, 6.30 – 7.30
Tarleton Academy, Hesketh Lane, Tarleton PR4 6AQ

If you would like to attend any of these events please let us know by phoning 01704 704714 or e-mail soh-tr.communications@nhs.net

All are welcome to attend but they must be a member in order to stand as a governor. Join for free at www.southportandormskirk.nhs.uk or by phoning the above number.


20th October 2012
2012 Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Show
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The 2012 Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Show winner

The 2012 Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Show proved to be a close affair with only a few pounds separating first and second place. Mark O'Hanlon retained the title with a 849 lb pumpkin closely followed by Gerrald Wright who managed a massive 801 lb. Jess Wilson claimed third place with a personal best of 724 lb.

Click here for the full Giant Pumpkin Show weigh off results.

5th October 2012
Mere Brow Farmers’ Market Oktoberfest!
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Following the mouth-watering success of the pint-sized Beer and Wine Festival at Mere Brow Farmers’ Market in July, a Mini Munich Oktoberfest will be a major part of the next market on Saturday, October 13.

Opening hours at market held at the Village Hall are from 10.00 – 1500 and it will feature song, dance and a Hog Roast . . . washed down with beers from local micro-breweries plus a continental.

Organiser Kelvin Pye said “Popular demand from our last Beer Festival has created our Oktoberfest In addition to the beers, wines, ciders and food, visitors will be able to shop, watch two Morris Dancing Teams ‘slugging it out’ and even admire magnificent Hawks at our Bird of Prey stall.”

The event has the enthusiastic support of the local Southport and West Lancashire branch of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) who will be manning an awareness and membership stand.

While for the more adventurous – or thirsty - a Home Brew beer stand showing visitors how to Local Morris Dancing teams the Southport Swords and Argameles will be battling it out and S & R Hawks will adding to the medieval flavour of the Mere Brow Oktoberfest.

On the bitter front new-comers such as Ruck & Maul and Cyclone, both from Southport Brewery will be competing with established favourites such as: Wild Oat Stout, Dishy Debbie and Ice Maiden from Prestons Hart Brewery to Black Canon Stout and Mug Billy from Burscough Brewing Company.

Or for a taste of the Continent, Southport’s Inn Beer Store will be selling European and there will be fruit wines, ciders, sloe gins, strawberry and elderflower vodkas, all from Yorkshire’s Orchard Fruit Wines; and even non-alcoholic herbal punches from The Punch Brew Co.

Thwaites Wainwrights and Lancaster Bomber will be available to taste and buy in the Mere Brow Village Hall bar for visitors who want to sit down and rest in pleasant surroundings and Thwaites Brewery will be giving away free Promotional pen-drive, memory stick, bottle openers.

While for the more sober-minded, the new tea-room will also be supplying light, non-alcoholic, refreshments including home made cakes.

The Festival is free and also offers free car parking. There are stalls inside and outside the hall. All enquiries to 01704 212 734 (office hours only).


24th September 2012
FLOOD ALERT
Source: South Ribble Borough Council

There will be an increased risk of flooding across the North West over the next two days.

Up to 100mm of rain is expected across the region in 24 hours from Monday to Tuesday this week. The Environment Agency says there is the possibility of significant disruption, with strong winds increasing the risk of flooding as wind-blown debris has the potential to block watercourses and drains.

You can check the Environment Agency website for the latest information: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood

Anyone concerned about potential flooding should sign up for free flood warnings via the website or by calling the Environment Agency Flood Line on 0845 988 1188.

Steve Moore, Regional Director for the North West Environment Agency said "We are expecting persistent and heavy rainfall for much of today and Tuesday. We strongly urge people to sign up to flood warnings, keep a close eye on local weather forecasts and be prepared for the possibility of flooding. We also ask that people stay safe, by staying away from swollen rivers and not attempting to drive through floodwater.

"The Environment Agency already has teams out on the ground checking on flood defences and clearing any blockages in order to reduce the risk of flooding as much as possible."

You may also find the following 24-hour emergency contact numbers useful:

Lancashire County Council (roads flooding): 0845 0530011

United Utilities (drainage issues): 0845 7462200


21st September 2012
Statement from Cuadrilla Resources
Source: Cuadrilla Resorces

Francis Egan, Chief Executive of Cuadrilla Resources, said: "We note the publication of two important reports into shale gas in the UK by two highly respected organisations, the Institute of Directors and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. We note that other respected institutions have come to independent conclusions about shale gas that give positive assessments of the potential economic impact and creation of skilled jobs."

"For some time Cuadrilla has been working alongside other local employers, academics and local authorities in the Fylde Coast to plan for potential future skills requirements and we are committed to ensuring that local people are given the chance to train for and then take up the skilled jobs that we hope to create with a move to gas production."

"We remain focussed on the engineering challenges of exploring the distinctive geological potential of the Bowland formation, and demonstrating to regulators and Lancashire’s communities that shale in the UK can set a world standard producing onshore gas safely and sensibly."


19th September 2012
concert performance of HMS PINAFORE
Reported by: Ian Wells

Calling all Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiasts! It is with great pleasure that Holy Trinity plays host to The Hoghton Players autumn tour, this year a concert version of HMS Pinafore, one of the most popular of the Savoy Operas.

The cast includes members from Tarleton and Hesketh Bank. So roll up at Holy Trinity (Church Road, Tarleton) on Saturday October 6th for the performance starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are just £7 (£6 concessions) available from Diane Mackley on 01772 815508 or Phil Clieve on 0754 0768160

For this and more local events in and around Tarleton please visit the event section of this website.


18th September 2012
GOLF ACADEMY FUNDRAISER FOR MACMILLAN Coffee Morning
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Southport Golf Academy fundraiser for Macmillan Coffee MorningRichard Carpenter, the director of Southport Golf Academy is organizing a coffee morning with a twist to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. On Friday 28th September, at Leisure Lakes Golf Complex at Mere Brow there will be two activities going ahead for any ladies wishing to take part and have a fun morning with friends.

The first is a challenge for any ladies who are part of a team in the local area, each team will pay an entry fee and compete to be the champions of the Macmillan Shield. Not only that but there will be medals for the winners and prizes for the runners up, which of course will then be followed by tea, coffee and cakes.

The second activity invites people to have a taster session on the driving range, whilst being supervised by the golf coaches. This is a fantastic opportunity for people to sample the sport as well as having fun with their friends and raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Anyone is welcome to come along, whether you are a complete beginner, an expert or even just a crazy golf fan. Again this will be followed by teas, coffee, cakes and the chance to chat about the morning’s activities.

Tickets are being sold for this event at £7.50 per person, which includes the loan of all the equipment needed. For tickets please contact; Leisure Lakes Golf Complex, Mere Brow, Tarleton, Lancashire, PR4 6JX. Phone: 01772 815842


17th September 2012
MP's SURGERY AT HESKETH BANK BOWLING CLUB 
Source: Press Release

Lorraine Fullbrook, Member of Parliament for South Ribble, has announced that she will be holding an informal advice surgery in Hesketh Bank on Friday 21st September 2012 from 11am – 1pm at Hesketh Bank Bowling Club,  Station Road, Hesketh Bank, PR4 6SR.

Local residents of Hesketh Bank and of Lorraine’s constituency of South Ribble, who have any concerns that they wish to discuss with Lorraine, are invited to pop in and have a chat.  No appointment is necessary.

As well as her regular appointment only advice surgeries that Lorraine holds in her office, Lorraine also likes to get out and about and hold more informal advice surgeries across the South Ribble constituency.

Lorraine said: “As well as holding my Friday surgeries in my office, I do like to meet local people out and about across the constituency.”

“If you are in the area on Friday, please do pop into Hesketh Bank Bowling Club and have a chat.”


12th September 2012
Cuadrilla Resources – update on local operations
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

In July this year, we announced that small pieces of sensitive monitoring technology would be installed around our Banks site, to enable us to undertake comprehensive seismic monitoring.

This installation work is currently underway. Practically, it involves fitting the monitoring equipment in to 104 specially prepared holes across a wide area to the north and south of the river estuary, in Fylde and West Lancashire. Preparing these small holes takes between 2 to 4 days per hole and uses mobile drilling equipment, the same kind used to drill water wells.

There should be no surface impact once this technology is installed. The majority of these locations are away from residential areas, in fields surrounding the Banks site. Unfortunately, the wet weather we’ve had means the ground conditions can be soft and some mud is transferred on to the roads when the equipment is moved.

We understand that this was an issue in the Becconsall Lane area on Friday 7th September and we have worked hard to rectify the situation with full road cleaning carried out. We apologise for the inconvenience this might have caused residents here. To keep residents informed we have delivered information letters to houses in the area explaining what this work involves.

We’d like to assure people that this is temporary work to install passive monitoring equipment which will have no impact at the surface. It is permitted under national planning regulations and has been agreed with Lancashire County Council, as well as all land owners whose property we are working on.

Our website – www.cuadrillaresources.com – is regularly updated with information about all of our work and is a great place to find out more. If residents have specific questions they would like to ask, or perhaps have an issue that needs to be resolved, they should contact us directly on our Freephone information line 0800 170 1115 (weekdays, 9.00am to 5.30pm).


8th September 2012
Homestead Farm Coffee Morning Extravaganza
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Homestead Farm Macmillan fundraising extravaganza including Nick Park Watercolour auctionHomestead Farm Restaurant is hosting a fundraising coffee morning and charity dinner to raise charity cash for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Jenny Parker and Margaret Seddon, the organisers, are urging locals to join them in helping Macmillan make this year’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, the biggest ever.

The pair are hosting their Coffee Day on Saturday 29th September from noon until 4pm. £1.00 from each coffee sold will go directly to Macmillan, but Homestead Farm have made sure there’s much more to their coffee morning than refreshments

Local Artist Anton Dolders will be involved, providing a percentage of his painting's sales towards the charity from the Coffee Day and through October. He is also set to be painting something special on the day. Wood carver, John Mercer will also be selling work for Macmillan, Malcolm Mentha, photographer, can give you some photo tips.  Everyone is helping to make this coffee morning a little bit more unique. 

The star of the show will be a separate auction, held for an original pen and watercolour of Wallace and Gromit from Nick Parks. Parks, along with his family, is a regular patron of the Restaurant and was keen to offer an original piece to help raise money for Macmillan.

However, Jenny and Margaret didn’t want to end their coffee morning there. Therefore they have included a charity 2 course dinner and dance, with live artists and a raffle from 7pm onwards, for just £20 a ticket.

Margaret said "We felt that with the space we have here at Homestead we could do so much more with our Coffee Day. All of our staff are working for free on this day and the atmosphere is going to be fantastic."

The live performances are set to include New Dawn, a local gospel group of seven ladies,who perform voluntarily throughout the year for charity across West Lancashire. 15 year old Chloe Mcloughlin will also be performing, alongside local singer Jenni Eckersley.

One of the organisers Jenny said, "The entertainment is sure to be superb. Chloe was the first person to sing in the House of Lords during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June, so we couldn’t be more delighted to have such a talent at our charity dinner."

Macmillan fundraising manager for West Lancashire Grace Higgins said: "We are very grateful to Jenny and Margaret for holding a coffee morning for Macmillan. "I hope they inspire other people to hold their own coffee morning for Macmillan to help us raise the money we need to fund our vital services."

The idea behind the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is that people hold their own coffee mornings, or days, in their homes, work places or local community.  They ask for donations in return for drinks and cakes and then pass on the proceeds to Macmillan.The money raised from the event will then be used to fund Macmillan’s support services for people with cancer and their families.

To contact Jenny or Margaret call 01704 821358.


29th August 2012
Cuadrilla seeks to extend use of temporary site
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Cuadrilla Resources, the British company exploring for gas in Lancashire, is to submit an application to Lancashire County Council to continue work at a temporary site near Hesketh Bank.

A 10,500 feet deep well was drilled between August and November 2011 at the West Lancashire site. After the well was completed, the company removed its drilling rig and secured the site which has since seen a low level of activity.

Cuadrilla is set to ask for a 36 month extension to allow the company to complete testing and analysis work in a gradual and responsible way, as part of its exploration programme which seeks to establish whether it is viable to recover gas trapped within Shale rock deep beneath the surface.

The existing planning permission, which was granted in October 2010, allows Cuadrilla to drill and hydraulically fracture a well at the site. However, the company has said that it cannot carry out the fracturing process without the approval of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

In a letter to residents living near to the site, Development Director Mark Miller said: “Extending the existing planning permission would not change the fact that the site will be returned to its original condition once operations are complete.”

Residents interested in the application or Cuadrilla’s operations generally have been advised to contact the company on its Freephone Information Line, which can be called on 0800 170 1115 (Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.30pm), or to visit www.cuadrillaresources.com for detailed information about all of the company’s operations.


5th July 2012
WILD OATS AND DISHY DEBBIE AT FARMERS MARKET
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Award-winning micro breweries, cider and wine-makers near and far afield will be travelling to Mere Brow Farmers’ Market on Saturday, July 14th when a brand new Mini Beer and Wine Festival will will be adding some extra fizz and sparkle to the regular Farmers’ Market which is held every 2nd Saturday in the month at Mere Brow Village Hall from 10.00 – 14.30.

Visitors will be able to sample organic beers, Lancashire bitters and milds, stouts, ciders, fruit wines, sloe gins and even a fruit-flavoured vodka to lift the spirits.

New-comers such as Dishy Debbie and Wild Oats Stout, both from Preston’s Hart Brewery will be competing with established favourites such as: Natterjack, Old Shrimper and Mug Billy.

While others to tickle the taste buds include: fruit wines, ciders, sloe gins and strawberry and elderflower vodkas, all from Yorkshire’s Orchard Fruit Wines; the Lancashire Heroes Off Licence – supplying beers from the Southport Brewery, Liverpool Organic Brewery and George Wright Brewery; the Burscough Brewing Co., micro-brewed in the cobbled courtyard of the village’s Hop Vine Pub; plus a selection guest beers from Mere Brow Village Hall including Wainwrights, 13 Guns (American-style IPA) and Thwaites ales and even non-alcoholic herbal punches from The Punch Brew Co.

Banks resident and business man John O'Hanlon will be giving Home Brew Demos and allowing sampling of three different brews: “I like a pint of Real Ale more than any one but with all the austerity measures coming in Home Brewing is exciting and you save some money. I am looking forward to showing people how easy it is to brew beers,’ he said.

The event has the enthusiastic support of the local Southport and West Lancashire branch of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) who hopefully will be manning an awareness and membership stand.

Organiser of the Festival, Market and Southport Country Fair, Kelvin Pye stated: “We wanted to spice up the Farmers Market with themes and a Summer Beer Festival seemed a good idea. By inviting micro-breweries and small vineyards we are ‘inn keeping’ with our small local food producers and if it goes down well we will repeat it in the autumn.”

In addition to the Beer Festival, regular farm producers selling their goods and giving away free tastes, producers include: Shirley's home made pies, world famous Goosnargh duck and duck liver pate, award winning Dalesbred finest meats, Lancashire cheese, olives, French bread, local cup-cakes, herbs and plants, chillis, tomatoes, Southport Shrimps and fresh fish.

For craft lovers and shoppers there will be some local woodcrafts, cards and gifts and home made leather hand bags and accessories For the more sober-minded, the new tea-room will also be supplying light refreshments including home made cakes.

The Festival is free and also offers free car parking. For more information contact Kelvin on 01704 212 734 (office hours only).

More local events


2nd July 2012
NEW FLEETWOOD CELEBRATION FUN DAY
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On Saturday the 7th of July The New Fleetwood Pub in Banks marks its 50th year of opening by holding a fun packed Family Fun Day from 12 noon until 6pm

The Fleetwood House as it was originally called, opened on the 4th of July 1962,when it was bought by Tetley Walker, originally a house, it was owned by local resident Mr Hugh Cropper.

Before 1962 there had been two other pubs in Banks, which did not survive the strong Methodist tradition of Teetotalism amongst locals, keeping pubs out the village. By the 1950's with traditions changing and a demand for a local Pub, the Fleetwood House, arose.

Over the years the Pub has become the hub of the community, changing its name to The Royal Oak and then recently to the New Fleetwood Pub.

The pub under new management is owned by Mrs Linda Weatherby who also owns The Shrimper in Marshside, The Thatch in Blowick, The Cock and Bottle in Tarleton and the Old Ship in Southport Town Centre.

Managers of the pub, Carl and Marie wanted to celebrate its 50th anniversary by giving something back to the Regulars and the Local Community.

The Family day includes Fairground rides and stalls, bouncy castle, face painting by Fab Fun Face and Sand Art for the children. There will also be an array of fine foods with a small Farmers Market including cheese, ice cream, cakes and biscuits, vegetables, herbs, plants, chutneys and preserves and local crafts.

The Fun Day is free, with free parking and a sizzling BBQ will be open from 12 noon. The New Fleetwood Pub will be serving food and refreshments all day. For further information contact Marie on 01704 809493


26th June 2012
Alty’s Move Update
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

A date has now been set for the relocation of all Building & Timber sales from Hesketh Bank to Hoole.

The huge investment in Warehousing, Timber Machining, Racking, Offices and Machinery at Hoole is almost complete and the final phase will be to move the Stock and Staff.

The Woodyard and Weighbridge will trade as normal up to Lunchtime on Saturday 21st July. As from Monday 23rd July, Chris, Wayne, Ken, Matt, Eric, Steve, Allan and Michael will all move to Hoole for the launch of the ‘All New’ Altys Builders Merchants.

Although this marks the end of an era in Hesketh Bank, Alty's are very excited about the new operation and customers will benefit from a one stop shop with wider product ranges as well as improved prices and service.

Alty's will also offer an unbeatable, FREE, delivery service into the Hesketh Bank, Tarleton and Banks area.

The Horticultural Department is completely unaffected by any of these changes. The Head Office will remain open and there are no changes to Telephone numbers, e-mail addresses etc.


25th June 2012
CHALLENGE MADE OVER FUTURE FOR SMALL RURAL SCHOOLS
Source: Formby Times

MP Rosie Cooper issues challenge over funding reforms that have sparked fears for small rural schools.

Funding reforms which have sparked fears for the future of small schools were challenged by West Lancs’ MP at the House of Commons.

Last month, the Visiter revealed how rural schools with fewer than 100 pupils – including five around Southport – could be affected by government proposals to change the way schools are funded.

Banks methodist, Tarleton Mere Brow CE, Pinfold primary, Scarisbrick St Mark’s CE and St Mary’s Catholic Primary in Scarisbrick all have fewer than 100 pupils.

Currently, Lancashire County Council is able to control funding arrangements to reflect the needs of pupils in small schools, allowing them to provide extra cash to deal with their costs.

But if the proposals to simplify the system go through it could cut back the council’s flexibility in setting school budgets – including those relating to the needs of small schools.

Click here to read the complete Formby Times article


23rd June 2012
MP Welcomes EA Response to Flooding Consultation
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Malcolm Barron, Lorraine Fullbrook, Jane Houlgrave and William Cropper outside Crossens Pumping StationLorraine Fullbrook, Member of Parliament for South Ribble, has welcomed the report released this week by the Environment Agency in response to the consultation relating to flood risk management in the Northern Parishes, and believes that it is a significant victory for local campaigners. 

The consultation response confirms that coastal defences that protect residents from tidal flooding will not be affected and the key pumping stations of Altmouth and Crossens will continue to be operated by the Environment Agency for ‘the foreseeable future’.

The issues raised in the consultation will form the basis of a further twelve month engagement after which further recommendations will be made before the Environment Agency make a final decision in Autumn 2013.

Lorraine said: “This response to the consultation is re-assuring and shows how the vocal support for this campaign has once again led the Environment Agency to listen to views of residents and businesses in the Northern Parishes and commit to continuing to operate strategic flood and land defences for the foreseeable future.”

“This is a victory for local campaigners and really does show the importance of residents submitting a response to this consultation and making their views known.”

 “Every local grower, business owner and resident who submitted a response to the consultation should be proud of the significant part they have played in ensuring that, for now, the flood and land defences will remain.  But, there is more work to do. I need them to continue to stand firm with me and local councillors over the next twelve to eighteen months to ensure that a workable solution can be reached to manage land drainage in the area.”


18th June 2012
patients told TO Keep appointment on STRIKE DAY
Source: Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Keep your appointment on BMA day of action, patients told

Patients should attend appointments with Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust unless told otherwise during the British Medical Association’s national day of action on Thursday.

Chief Operating Officer Sheilah Finnegan said: “The BMA has made a commitment to protect patient safety and ensure emergency cover continues on 21 June.

“Doctors’ representatives have been working with us to make sure any disruption was known about well in advance so patients could be told as soon as possible.

“I am pleased to say that, because of their cooperation, we will be operating normally in many departments. In a small number of areas where non-urgent care can be safely delayed, we have told patients and postponed their appointment to a later date.”

West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk and Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre will be open as normal on Thursday.

The Accident and Emergency departments at Southport hospital for adults and Ormskirk hospital for children will be also operating normally. However, they should only be used for urgent injuries and serious medical conditions that cannot be dealt with by a pharmacist, GP practice or NHS walk-in centre.


15th June 2012
NEW CEO FOR CAUDRILLA
Source: Press Release

Cuadrilla Resources, the British shale gas exploration and production business, has announced the appointment of Francis Egan as the company’s new Chief Executive.

Egan, who will take up this post on 9 July, has been appointed to lead Cuadrilla through its next stage of development, as the business gets ready to further explore the Bowland shale. He brings extensive experience in exploration & production, most recently as President of the Global Production Division of BHP Billiton Petroleum. At BHP he has also held numerous leadership roles in the UK, US, Australia, Pakistan and Algeria.

Mark Miller, Cuadrilla’s current CEO, will stay with the company as Director of the Bowland Shale exploration and development programme. On his change of role Mark Miller said: “The appointment of Francis as CEO demonstrates that Cuadrilla is investing in the very best people as we continue to strengthen our management team. This move will allow me to focus on our operations in Lancashire and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the local communities that I and my team have come to know so well.”

Commenting on his appointment, Francis Egan said: “I am delighted to be returning to the UK to join Cuadrilla at this exciting time for the energy industry in the UK. Cuadrilla has led the way in unlocking the potential of shale resources reserves in the UK, and we hope that the next few years will be about starting to realise that potential in a sustainable and responsible way. As CEO my fundamental commitments are to safety and environmental protection. I appreciate that there are still important questions about shale exploration in the communities in which we operate, so my first priority will be to ensure Cuadrilla continues to listen to and work with our local communities in Lancashire.

I am convinced that the potential of shale resources in the UK is significant, with the prospect of real and lasting benefits for local communities, the wider Lancashire economy, and to the UK as a whole.”

Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of Cuadrilla said: “I would first of all like to thank Mark Miller for the outstanding job he has done as CEO of Cuadrilla over the past two years. He has led the company through a critical period, helping Cuadrilla to grow and develop while working very closely with the local community in Lancashire. I am delighted that he will be remaining with the business.

As Cuadrilla prepares to fully explore the potential of shale gas in the UK, Francis’ extensive industry knowledge will mean that the company will be well positioned to unlock the potential of shale gas and most importantly set the very highest standards of safety.”


4th June 2012
New Tea Room Opens at Mere Brow Farmers Market
Source: Press Release

Mere Brow Village Hall, the Venue of the Mere Brow Farmers Market will be opening a new Tea Room in the Village Hall, this Saturday 9th June 2012.

The Secretary of Mere Brow Village Hall John Caunce said “there is a demand for Teas, Coffees and slices of home made cakes at our Farmers Market. From this Saturday we will be serving Cream Teas, and home made cakes in the Runner Platt Bar as well as soft drinks and Real ales.”

Mere Brow Farmers market organiser Kelvin Pye explained “The demand for sensibly priced teas and cakes has been there since we started last November. Visitors will now be able to relax in pleasant surroundings and think about what local food they are going to purchase”

This month there will be new stalls to include Tumbling Tomatoes, Herbs, Chilli Plants and Indian Cuisine of  baltis, curries, somosas and onion bhajis

Mere Brow Village Hall is a modern village hall, situated just of the A565, Southport to Tarleton Road, Sat Nav PR4 6JX.

The next market is Saturday the 9th of June, 10am to 2-30 pm.  Admission is free and there is plenty of free parking.

Click here to see more local events


29th May 2012
OUTBREAK OF 'SLAPPED CHEEK SYNDROME'
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Pregnant women are being urged to take care at a Lancashire school following an outbreak of “slapped cheek syndrome”.

Two children at Little Hoole Primary School on Dob Lane, Walmer Bridge, near Preston, have been confirmed as having the condition while four or five others showed symptoms.

The illness, also known as Fifth’s Disease, is commonly dubbed slapped cheek syndrome because it causes the cheeks to become red and inflamed as if they have been slapped.

It is caused by a virus called parvovirus B19 and in children, it is usually mild with no symptoms in some cases, while some youngsters can suffer mild fever and flu-like symptoms.

However, if a pregnant woman becomes infected, the virus can cause problems and in around 10% of cases of mothers infected in early pregnancy, the baby does not survive.

A spokesman from Little Hoole Primary School said: “Two children at the school have been confirmed as having slapped cheek syndrome and four or five others showed symptoms so we contacted parents.

“We gave advice in our school newsletter on what symptoms to look out for and warned about the risk to pregnant women.”

Dr John Astbury from the Cumbria and Lancashire Health Protection unit, said: “Slapped cheek syndrome is very infectious.

“For most people, it is a mild and self-limiting disease, but there is a risk to pregnant women.”

Read the full LEP Article


15th May 2012
Rock festival will go ahead
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

The organisers of a summer rock festival are celebrating after the event was given the go ahead.

The Rock the Lakes Festival at Leisure Lakes in Mere Brow, was thrown into doubt after West Lancashire Council’s licensing sub committee ruled that only country and western music could be played at the venue.

It followed four complaints from last year’s event regarding noise.

However, organisers appealed the decision.

The appeal was heard at Ormskirk Magistrates Court where it was decided to delete the statement ‘country and western’ and ‘re-enactment’ events only from the council’s original document, therefore allowing the Rock The Lakes Festival to go ahead.

Click here to read the complete LEP article


3rd May 2012
HOME INSURANCE FLOOD COVEr DEAL ENDING
Source: Southport Visiter

HUNDREDS of homeowners could be unable to insure their homes when a deal between insurance companies and the government over flooding cover ends next summer.

Insurance firms currently insure homes at “significant” risk of flooding in an agreement called the Statement of Principles (SoP).

However, that pact is set to end – potentially leaving homeowners in threatened areas unable to sell their properties.

The joint Statement of Principles on flood insurance between the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the government sets out how ABI members will consider flood risk when managing insurance requests from property owners and occupiers.

Flood risk is based on Environment Agency data, and areas considered at “significant” risk are those where the risk is greater than 1.3% (1 in 75) each year. Taking into account flood defences, 469 homes in Southport, and more in Banks and Hesketh Bank would be among those hit if a new agreement is not reached. With the flood risk often changing, a further 5,000 more homes currently at “moderate” or “low” risk could also be effected.

Click here to read the complete Southport Visiter article


22nd March 2012
PLANNING QUESTION MARK OVER ROCK THE LAKES FESTIVAL
Source: Southport Visiter

A MUSIC festival planned for this summer will have to be cancelled unless a West Lancashire Council decision to refuse permission for the event is overturned.

Rock the Lakes was due to take place at Leisure Lakes in the summer.

But an application to West Lancashire Council for a premises licence at the Mere Brow venue was only partially successful. The new licence only allows for country and western music events to take place. The venue hosts a country music festival each year.

Click here for the complete Southport Visiter article


22nd March 2012
APPEAL OVER LEISURE LAKES RACE TRACK
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Controversial plans to turn a green area in a village into a motorcycle racing site could be given a repeal after planning bosses decided to hear the appeal of the site’s owner.

Lee Walsh, of Leisure Lakes, The Gravel, Mere Brow, Tarleton launched an appeal after West Lancashire Council turned down his plans for the green belt site.

The site previously sparked anger from locals after motor activities were held there without planning permission.

West Lancashire Council issued the site with an enforcement notice in 2008.

The Tarleton based leisure complex appealed against the enforcement notice over a breach of planning control relating to motorbike racing on the land, and last year a government planning inspector ruled against the owners after they appealed.

But in June the owners of Leisure Lakes submitted a planning proposal for the change of use of the land which include a change of use for recreational motor vehicles activities, including bikes and cycles, and motor racing activities.

These plans were turned down by the council but have been appealed by Leisure Lakes.

The Secretary of State has decided the issue is not suitable to be heard solely through written representations and will now go to an informal hearing before an Inspector.

The date of the hearing is yet to be confirmed but it is understood both sides will be allowed to attend.

The site offers outdoor activities like jet skiing and paintballing to tourists and visitors.


21st March 2012
FURNITURE SALE AT WEBSTERS
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

J Webster & Sons of Tarleton are currently making preparations for a massive clearout of the Furniutre and Carpet departments beginning tomorrow.

Jonathan Webster said "We are closing our furniture department to make way for a whole new shopping experience."

Websters will be using the space to expand the clothing and gift sections and there are also exciting plans to create some new departments. More news about this will follow soon!

During all the changes, Whittles Farm restaurant will remain open as usual


20th March 2012
Hospital chief hosts ‘have your say’ meeting in Tarleton
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Patients and the public in and around Tarleton have the chance next week to find out more about plans for Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust to become a foundation trust.

Foundation trusts were created to put decision-making about healthcare into the hands of local people. Southport and Ormskirk trust wants to become a foundation trust by April next year.

The third in a series of public meetings will be held next week and hosted by Jonathan Parry, the trust’s chief executive. He said: “Foundation trusts have been around since 2004 and now the Government says all NHS trusts must become one. “It is important we have local people’s support for our plans and this is one of a number of public meetings I am hosting where people can learn more and have their say.”

The meeting will be held on Tuesday 27th March at Our Lady’s Parish Centre, 152 Hesketh Lane, Tarleton, PR4 6AS at 10.30am. Please call 01704 704714 if you have any special requirements the Trust can help with in advance of the meeting.

People can also make their views known by visiting the Trust website at southportandormskirk.nhs.uk


19h March 2012
MP SEEKS SOUTH ASIAN RESTAURANT NOMINATIONS
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Lorraine Fullbrook, Member of Parliament for South Ribble, would like your nominations for the best South Asian restaurant in the South Ribble Constituency.   The annual Tiffin Cup competition celebrates the best of South Asian cuisine in the country.  And Lorraine wants South Ribble residents to help promote their favourite local Indian, Bangladeshi, Maldivian, Iranian, Nepalese, or Sri Lankan place to eat by voting in the competition.   Lorraine will choose the South Asian restaurant in South Ribble, which receives the most votes from local residents, as the nomination for this year’s competition.

The top ten entrants from across the country will be invited to Parliament for a cook-off, and all proceeds will be donated to World Vision, an international relief charity.

Please submit your nomination by 5:00 pm on Friday 30th March 2012. You can vote by emailing info@lorrainefullbrook.com or via Lorraine’s website, www.lorrainefullbrook.com.

Lorraine said: “The Tiffin Cup is a great way to celebrate the best of South Asian Cuisine and support local businesses”

“It would be great to get a finalist cooking in Westminster from South Ribble so please help support local businesses with your vote!”


13th March 2012
Northern Parishes Family and Community Network
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook 

Following the success of the activity days held during the summer holidays of 2011 in conjunction with the local parents, the Children's Centre and Hesketh Bank Christian Centre, we are looking to develop a community network which will organise and raise funds for holiday activities across our local villages.

Initially the plan is to provide holiday activities for families with primary aged children. These events will be available for families living in Rufford, Holmeswood, Mere Brow Banks, Hesketh Bank and Tarleton and we hope to deliver activities in local venues. We hope to develop this work to provide services for local children and families.

If you are interested in being part of this network then we will be holding an Inaugural General Meeting on Monday 26th March at 10am in the Hesketh Bank Children's Centre, Shore Road Hesketh Bank PR4 6AA

At this event there will be an election by ballot of officers for the post of Chair person Secretary and Treasurer. Nominations forms are available at Hesketh Bank Children's Centre.

If you would like more information then please contact Anne Cookson on 01772 815021 or 01704 896424 or email anne.cookson@lancashire.gov.uk

Click here for more local events and activities


12th March 2012
WLBC CONCERNS Leisure Lakes licensing plans
Source: Formby Times

LICENSING officers at West Lancashire Council believe controversial plans for live entertainment at Leisure Lakes should be refused.

Frederick Jorden, who runs bars at the Mere Brow site, has applied for licence to host live music performances and sell alcohol at them between 11am and midnight. The licence also covers recorded music and dance performances.

Wednesday’s licensing sub-committee meeting will decided whether the licence should be granted.

Click here to read the full Formby Times Article


10th March 2012
BROADBAND UPGRADE SCHEDULED FOR "LATER THIS YEAR"
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

As part of the programme to bring next-generation broadband technology to at least ninety percent of the UK by the year 2015, plans have now been drawn up for the Hesketh Bank exchange to be upgraded later this year.

The new service is already available in Ashton-on-Ribble, Broughton, Chorley, Fulwood, Leyland, Longton, Penwortham, Rossendale, Skelmersdale and Upholland.


10th February 2012
MP PULLS PLUG ON ONSHORE WIND POWER SUBSIDY
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Lorraine Fullbrook, Member of Parliament for South Ribble, has joined over 100 Parliamentary colleagues in signing an open letter to the Prime Minister urging a reduction in the amount of subsidy given to onshore wind power.

The joint letter also asks for amendments to be made to the National Planning Policy Framework to help protect the rural landscape and heritage sites across the country.

In the letter, Lorraine along with the other MPs are asking for the Planning Inspectorate to be told that these factors, as well as the views of local residents, are given more weight in planning decisions.

Lorraine recently helped local residents in their successful fight against wind turbines being built on green belt land between Little Hoole and Midge Hall. Lorraine’s efforts with the ‘Protect Little Hoole’ residents group resulted in the planning application being withdrawn.

Lorraine said: “I am delighted to have helped the local residents and to have added my name to this campaign. I’m keen to see the amount of money available in subsidy for onshore wind reduced, and spread equally across other renewable energy types.”

“Recent wind turbine applications in our local area, such as in Little Hoole, have received a very hostile response from local residents and I believe that it is important that the new planning regime ensures that local people’s views are taken fully into account.”


27th January 2012
PAUL'S CHARITY TRACTOR TREK
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Clarke & Pulman Fendt Dealers, BurscoughLocal Plant Hire & Contractor Paul Taylor has been challenged to drive a new tractor from the Fendt Factory in Germany to Derian House Children's Hospice on a single tank full of diesel.

The challenge was set by Burscough Fendt dealer Clarke & Pulman and it is hoped that the event will raise a massive £7,000 for the Derian House Wish List which is used to buy much needed items that help make a difference to the lives of the children at Derian.

Paul will begin the 1437km tractor trek on the 14th April, leaving Marktoberdorg, Germany on a brand new Fendt 700 Vario Tractor worth £175,000 and will hopefully complete the challenge the following day by arriving at Derian House Children's Hospice, Chorley at around 2.00pm.

Sponsors are urgently required (just £100 will get a sticker on the tractor) and a Just Giving account has been set up to receive donations.

For more information and updates see www.heskethbank.com/home/challengepaul


22nd January 2011
GAS MONITORING DEVICE INSTALLED ON FRACKING SITES
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Cuadrilla have just installed a network of 21 'GasClams' to monitor their current exploration sites and are the world’s first company to use it as part automated early warning system.

If the instrument detects an increase in gas concentrations it automatically alerts an engineer allowing a rapid response.

The monitoring device will collect background gas levels and compare them between before, during and after our operations, according to Mark Miller, CEO of Cuadrilla.

Mr Miller anticipates that the data from the monitoring equipment will be made available to local communities via the Cuadrilla website.

GasClam was developed by Salamander, a University of Manchester spin out company and is a previous winner of the North West Innovation Environment Technology prize.

Dr Pete Morris, from Ion Science, the global distributor of the technology, said: “As gas occurs naturally from a range of sources, GasClam will provide reliable information to Cuadrilla and the surrounding community to show the level of gas and its origin.”


17th January 2012
LANCASHIRE FIRE & RESCUE "SAFER DAY"
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

In Lancashire, the numbers of house fires and injuries from fires are at their lowest recorded levels ever. Despite this, six people have tragically died in their homes over the last month. As part of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service's response, the Service will hold a high profile Smoke Alarm Fire Education Roadshow (SAFER) at every Fire Station in Lancashire on Saturday 21st January 2012 between 11am and 5pm.

The campaign will see all fire stations open to the public who are invited to come along to collect a free 10 year smoke alarm and fire safety guidance, as well as having the opportunity to book a free Home Fire Safety Check.

Whilst the smoke alarms are being distributed, firefighters and community fire safety will be demonstrating how to install and clean the alarms. The videos will be placed on social networking sites, such as YouTube and the Service's new Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Many fire related deaths are caused by people being overcome by smoke and fumes, not just burns. Therefore, a working smoke alarm is essential. It provides vital early warning and extra time to escape if there is a fire. Every home should have at least one working smoke alarm.

When a smoke alarm has been fitted it is vital that it is regularly tested to ensure it works properly at least once a week using the test button. Every six months, the alarms need to be cleaned by opening the case and gently vacuuming the inside to remove dust from the sensor. If the smoke alarm doesn't open, vacuum through the holes.

Peter Holland, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service's Chief Fire Officer says; "Every single member of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is devastated about the loss of life in recent weeks, especially when it is so needless. We are urging everybody to get a working smoke alarm and test it every week."

"This Saturday every available member of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will be on the streets making sure everyone gets the message; Get a working smoke alarm and test it."

"If you can not attend any of the fire stations on Saturday and you still wish to get a free smoke alarm, call us on 0800 1691125 or visit our website www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk to book a free Home Fire Safety Check."


11th January 2012
MEN IN COURT OVER TANKER THEFTS
Source: Ellesmere Port Pioneer

TWO men have appeared in court charged with conspiracy to steal three tankers worth more than £300,000 from an Ellesmere Port industrial estate.

Timothy Edwards, 53, of the Marshes, Tarleton, Lancashire, and John Downes, 23, of Moss Lane, Lydiate, Liverpool, appeared before magistrates in Chester on Wednesday, January 4.

The men were arrested last May after three Scania articulated tanker lorries were taken from an industrial unit on North Road, Ellesmere Port.

The vehicles were stolen between 6.15pm on Tuesday, May 3, and 1.45am on Wednesday, May 4. Each was loaded with £45,000 worth of diesel, bound for various locations throughout the UK. Two of the tankers – minus their tractor units – were recovered by police the following morning at Mere Brow.

Enquiries by officers from Ellesmere Port CID subsequently led to the recovery of the three tractor units and third tanker in Skelmersdale, Warrington and Widnes.

All the vehicles have been returned to their owners.

Edwards and Downes will appear in Chester Crown Court on January 30.


5th January 2012
LOCAL PLAN OPTIONS CONSULTATION BEGINS
Source: West Lancashire Borough Council

The West Lancashire Local Plan Preferred Options Paper will be available for consultation from Thursday 5th January to Friday 17th February 2012.  

The West Lancashire Local Plan takes over from the Local Development Framework, and will eventually replace the current Replacement Local Plan as the planning framework for the Borough.  This change-over is reflective of national guidance to try and make the planning process easier for people to understand and get involved with.  As well as the planning policies, the Local Plan now also contains information about the specific sites we will allocate for future development, and new policies that will be used to help make decisions on planning applications.  All these policies and proposals are set out in the Local Plan Preferred Options paper.

The Preferred Options Paper sets out the policies that will guide development until 2027 and covers important topics such as housing, employment, transport, local services, Gypsy and Traveller sites and Edge Hill University.  The Local Plan also sets out the preferred option for Green Belt release in Burscough, with some additional Green Belt release in the north of Ormskirk.  Further sites of Green Belt will also be released but safeguarded from development unless a ‘Plan B scenario’ dictates they should be used to help meet Borough targets.

The Preferred Options Paper and accompanying documents will be available from 5th January in local libraries, Post Offices, the Council offices ( 52 Derby St , Ormskirk and the Contact Centre in the Concourse, Skelmersdale) and on the Council’s website (www.westlancs.gov.uk/2027).  The Champion papers’ cover pages will explain the proposed policies and plans and how to comment on them. Homes in rural areas that do not receive the Champion should receive their information through the post.  We are also holding a number of events including drop-in exhibitions and evening forums to which we would like you to attend.  Details of times and venues for these events are given below.  Places for the evening forums must be booked. You can also receive updates and news on our consultation events by joining our Facebook page – “Your West Lancashire 2027”.

The Borough Council would welcome your comments on the content and nature of the Preferred Options paper.  Comments can be made on the Preferred Options Paper, and accompanying documents such as the Sustainability Appraisal, via the Borough Council website at www.westlancs.gov.uk/2027. Comments must be received by 5pm on Friday 17th February 2012.



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