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Local News Archive - 2005


Brown and white Leonberger x Bernese Mountain cross breed

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Police have today asked for all residents to be aware of a vehicle which is suspected to be being used in the West Lancs area by a white male for the commission of burglary. The vehicle is a blue Ford Mondeo registered number M63 NVR.

If this vehicle is seen please report it's location to the Police if you have any information relating to this vehicle please ring the Police or Crimestoppers on Tel 0800 555 111



South Ribble and Southport Parliamentary Spokesmen call for cross party campaign

Lorraine Fullbrook, who hopes to be the Conservative MP for Banks, Tarleton, Hesketh Bank, Rufford, Mawdesley, Eccleston and Croston, after the next General Election and Mark Bigley, who hopes to represent Southport for the Conservatives in Parliament, have thrown their support behind the campaign against the possible merger of the areas hospitals.

In a letter to the local press and this website, Mrs Fullbrook and Mr Bigley have welcomed the decision of Rosie Cooper MP and John Pugh MP to oppose the possible merger, but point out that it is Mrs Coopers own Government that is behind the problems that have led to the consultation that could result in the merger of our local Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust with Liverpool Trusts.

"The Government has thrown huge sums of money at the Health Service, and yet they have done such a bad job that the Trust is around £15 million in debt. We urge everyone to sign the petition against the possibility of a merger, and we pledge to work with anyone, regardless of their political affiliation, in the battle to keep our health Trust local. The Government seem hell bent on merging everything from our Police Force to our Councils and now our Hospital Trusts. Together we can send a clear signal that local people have had enough." say Lorraine and Mark.

Mark Bigley and Lorraine Fullbrook discuss the proposed Hospital Merger
Mark Bigley and Lorraine Fullbrook discuss their opposition to the possible merger of our local hospital Trust with Hospital Trusts in Liverpool


Residents of Tarleton will be getting a copy of the latest 'Village View' newsletter courtesy of Tarleton Parish Council.

The newsletter carries updates on a wide range of local projects and community news. The consultation slip this time focuses on the Police and Communities Together (PACT) initiative and the proposed redevelopment of Mark Square. Feedback is important to the Parish Council and readers are again asked to take the time to submit their thoughts on these topics.

If you can't wait for yours to be delivered or if you live outside of the parish then you can download the document as a .pdf file by clicking here

Tarleton Parish Council Website



A change of use planning application has been submitted to develop two intersecting grass airstrips for microlight and very light aircraft at a farm in Bretherton.

The land is within a 5.7 Hectare parcel of agricultural land at Long Fold Farm, North Road, Bretherton and access to the airstrips are proposed to be via a grass taxiway.

The planning committee is expected to make a decision on the application on the 1st March 2006.



Detective Chief Inspector Martin Kay has joined the Senior Management Team within Southern Division.

Born and brought up in South Ribble and living in Hoghton, Detective Chief Inspector Kay has 23 years service and joined Lancashire Constabulary in 1983 as a Police Constable in Blackburn.

DCI Kay worked in the County’s Eastern Division in Uniform and Detective roles at both Constable and Sergeant level for approx 14 years before working at HQ within the Serious and Organised Crime Unit. In 2001 Martin was promoted to Preston where he worked in the Intelligence Unit as a Detective Inspector with additional responsibility for the investigation and detection of serious crime prior to joining Southern Division on promotion last week.

DCI Martin Kay

Detective Chief Inspector Kay commented,” I am thrilled to be working in Southern Division, which is a new area and provides a new challenge for me. I am looking forward to getting to know local people and working with fellow officers to continue to provide a first class service to the local community.”

Detective Chief Inspector Kay will be responsible for the divisional reduction and detection of crime and responsibility for CID, the Intelligence Unit, Target Teams, the Operations Department including Road Policing, the Tower Project as well as the Multi-Agency Problem Solving teams.

Hesketh Bank & Tarleton Police And Communities Together Website



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Locals who think they have been wrongly accused of speeding have been urged to demand photographic evidence after a freak flaw was discovered in a traffic camera on the A59 at Penwortham. The camera has apparantly been triggered by the vibration of roll-down shutters on the back of large lorries as they queue in the slow moving traffic.

The Daily Mail has reported that the vibration from slow-moving and even stationary lorries has caused the static roadside Gatso cameras to flash hundreds of innocent motorists stuck in the traffic jams (recording them travelling at speeds of up to 80mph), leaving them in line for a £60 fine and three points on their licence.

Serco, the company whose Gatsos account for 85 per cent of all speed cameras in use on UK roads, were said to have confirmed the problem but went on to claim that 'fewer than 20' cars were flashed and no one was wrongly penalised.

However, speed camera officials in Lancashire said Serco technicians had told them there was a widespread problem with cameras across the UK. Solicitor Clive Burton, who has handled numerous traffic offence cases, said: "I would urge everyone to demand the photographic evidence. There are, I'm afraid, some quite unreliable devices around."

Association of British Drivers spokesman Mark McArthur Christie said: "Thousands of drivers could already have been wrongly fined around the country. "Most people do not ask for a photograph when they receive their fixed penalty notice. They simply pay the £60 for fear of a much bigger fine if they challenge it."

Speed camera expert Dr Michael Clark said: "There have been a number of incidents where someone successfully contested a case by insisting on seeing the pictures."

Have your say on the LETTERS page!



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


OPSTA – the Ormskirk, Preston & Southport Travellers’ Association – is holding a meeting on Wednesday, 23rd November at the Stanley Institute, Burscough starting at 7.15 p.m. The topic will be the serious losses of public transport in West Lancashire.

Everyone knows the old joke about waiting ages for a bus, and then three come along together. Well, the residents of parts of West Lancashire and the surrounding areas will be waiting even longer in the future, because there will be no buses – or at least very few.

Already we have lost many of the rural services subsidised by the County. Then last May Arriva took off the 303 that used to run from Ormskirk to Preston, changing it to run from Ormskirk only as far as Tarleton. Now we know that Arriva is soon taking off all its bus services north of Ormskirk, to Burscough, Martin Mere, Rufford and Tarleton. The feeling of isolation is only getting stronger – and there may be even more cuts coming along.

But it is not just buses. There is a risk that some of our local railway stations could be affected. The new franchise award to Northern Rail – who operate all the trains from Ormskirk to Preston and from Southport to Manchester – includes a review of all the Northern services, with a clear directive from the Government to reduce the cost of subsidising local train services. In other parts of the country, stations have already been identified for closure, and they have more passengers than several of our local stations.

All this comes despite the County making a serious effort to improve public transport. There is now recognition that our roads are so congested, and fuel is so expensive, that a good convenient public transport system is essential. And it needs to be a lot more attractive to a lot more people.

With the opening of the new Burscough Bridge Interchange only days away, it would be a terrible wasted opportunity if there were no buses at the Interchange soon. So what can be done? There are some opportunities that could help to provide some answers.

First, Burscough Parish Council has taken the lead in looking into alternative bus arrangements. They have met with the County, with bus operators and others. There is a possibility that the County could help, if a viable proposal can be put forward, to find another bus operator to replace the services we are losing. But it must be a commercially viable operation, because the County does not have the money to provide a subsidised service. So a lot of thought is needed locally to see if this can be achieved.

Second, the MP for Southport John Pugh has sponsored a detailed proposal for major improvements in local train services. These improvements could include an extension of the electric train service from Liverpool through Ormskirk to Burscough, a new route from Southport to Preston via Burscough, and in the longer term even more improvements. While many people remain doubtful, there have been some positive and hopeful signs recently.

None of these may eventually happen. But the chances that they will can be improved if local people get involved in whatever way you can. It is crucial that local knowledge and ideas are pulled together, because local public transport is supposed to serve us – the local people who know what we want! So come along on November 23rd, and put your ideas forward.



Hesketh with Becconsall All Saints C of E School have established a strong partnership with a School in Sweden - The Karl Johans School from Orebro, the 6th largest town in Sweden. Following a recent successful visit by 8 Swedish teachers from the Karl Johans School to All Saints School earlier this Summer, they are now bringing over 25 girls (aged 13 -15) who form part of their School's Girls Choir to visit us in Hesketh Bank. They will be arriving on Thursday 24th November and staying until the Monday 28th November. All of the girls will be staying with local host families in the village.

During their time here they will be performing the St Lucia Concert at Blackburn Cathedral on the Saturday evening the 26th November at 6.30 pm This is a FREE concert which is open to anyone. It promises to be a very good concert and all are advised to make the effort to attend. Click here to download a .pdf brochure for this event.

"This will probably be the closest that you will ever get to hearing Angels sing"

The Karl Johans Girl Choir will also be singing at the All Saints Church in Hesketh Bank on Sunday 27th November at 10.30am (which is the first Sunday of Advent) This will be an ideal opportunity for local people to come along to meet our Swedish visitors and to enjoy their musical contribution to our Advent service at All Saints Church.

The girls from the Karl Johan School will be performing their very last concert here in the UK - (exclusively for the parents and pupils of Hesketh and Becconsall All Saints C of E School) on Monday 28th November at 9.00am at All Saints School.




Hesketh with Becconsall Parish Council declared a vacancy on the council last night after Stephen Trippier was disqualified for non-attendance.

Cllr Trippier was reported to have failed to attended the Parish Council meetings since the 4th of April 2005 and had only attended 5 of the 20 meetings that have been held since he was elected in 2004 (See election results) with 498 votes.

It is now up to Parishoners to decide as to wether an election is required - If a 10 signature form is returned within 14 days there will be an election, if not, then the Council will co-opt a nominee onto the Council. An election costs the village approximately £1600. Keep an eye on the notice boards for more details.

At last month's meeting of Tarleton Parish Council, the Parish Councilors who remained in the meeting until public participation heard a member of the public berate the council for the lack of attendance by Councillors after the council struggled to maintain the necessary quorum of four from the twelve councillors that should have been present.

Have your say on the LETTERS page!



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

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

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

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

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

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

Have your say on the LETTERS page!



There has been a spate of house burglaries in the West Lancashire are which have occurred between 7pm and 9pm of an evening.

The offenders have entered garages and garden sheds, taken the garden spade and used it to gain entry to the house by forcing the windows.

Once inside they have stolen Plasma Tv's, cash, car keys and then stole the car. The offenders are believed to be using a Gold coloured VW Golf saloon, registered number similar to PE53 LCS.

Both offenders are reported to be male and white, one has dark hair the other has Ginger hair and a frecle covered face. Please report any sightings of the offenders or the vehicle and remember to secure your outbuildings that contain garden equipment.

If you have any information, please contact the Police on 0845 1 25 35 45. or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.



Building on the school's status as a Community Technology College, Tarleton High School is pleased to announce that starting in November, its not just pupils that will benefit from recently refurbished computer rooms!

The school has been selected to become a Microsoft IT Academy, with teachers receiving specific training on Microsoft Office software. This enables the school to deliver a nationally recognised qualification to adults in the community that is fully accredited by Microsoft.

The first course will study Microsoft Word and will be aimed at parents helping their children to word process homework. Further classes in other Microsoft Office applications will follow, along with classes targeted at parents.

The course will cost £130, which includes:

* Expert tuition
* The examination fee at the course completion
* Transportation to the examination centre
* Refreshments during the evening
* Free Microsoft software for 180 days

This course does enable parents to achieve a nationally recognised, Microsoft accredited award that is sought by businesses today. A Free 'taster' session is offered to the public during our launch night of Wednesday 2nd November from 7pm-9pm. Classes for the course then start on Monday 14th November 2005 from 7pm until 9:15pm for 10 weeks.

Tarleton High School's Head of Information Communication Technology, Alison Jones said ''this is a fantastic opportunity for both the school and the community, we can't wait to start!''



Paul Smith of Acland Bracewell tonight tabled a proposal for a comprehensive redevelopment of Mark's Square in Tarleton at the meeting of Tarleton Parish Council.

The futuristic 'improvements' to the popular facility include a supermarket three times the size of the current Spar shop, a fitness club on the second floor and additional retail space. The pedestrianisation of the central square would allow community events to be staged and offer the potential for siting small market stalls and vending kiosks within the traffic free square. It was claimed that by incorporating the field behind the bike shop into the design, the overall impact on car parking facilities would be negligable.

An exhibition of the proposal will be hosted in Tarleton Library 2pm-7pm Friday 4th November and 9.30-12pm Saturday 5th November.

Acland Bracewell also intend to mail a copy of the proposal to each of Tarleton's 2300 households and provide residents with the opportunity for feedback. It is understood that the leaflets will be posted out on Monday 31st of October with all comments required to be received by 13th November. It is anticipated that the official planning process will begin shortly afterwards.

Some immediate concerns were voiced at the meeting regarding such a contemporary design being sited alongside a conservation area, additional traffic and the loss of the fairground site but the main discussion was very much focused on the detrimental impact a shop of this size may have on other village shops both within Mark's Square and beyond.

Strong views were offered that it would be the final nail in the coffin of village life in both Tarleton and Hesketh Bank; should such a proposal go ahead it was considered unlikely that Booths would continue with their proposed development which would have created a focal point for Hesketh Bank, leaving Mark's Square as the centre of a small town made up of the combined villages.

Expect both 'sides' to be having their say in the local press over the coming weeks but what do you think? Have your say on the letters page!

Local Arm Wrestling Team Launch


On Monday 24th October at 7.00pm, at the Becconsall Hotel, Keith Taylor will be launching The Preston Panthers ArmWrestling Federation.

Keith competed in the Great Britain Championships and came second on his right arm and third on his left arm in his weight class. A number of his fellow UK and World competitors from the sport will be in attendance at the pub and the event promises to be a great opportunity for local people to see the sport first hand.

Keith is currently looking for potential members and also sponsorship opportunities so get down to the Becc on Monday night if you are interested.



Brian "Warsteiner" a well known regular at the Cock and Bottle has volunteered his services to raise funds for Macmillan Nurses by having his head shaved this Wednesday to coincide with the pubs latest entertainment, an evening of music from a Beetles tribute band.

Anyone wishing to support Brian and his efforts can either come along on the evening and enjoy the music and Brians actual shaving or pop into the pub during normal opening hours and a member of staff will be happy to let you sign Brian's sponsor form.

Brian's efforts so far are edging towards the £400 mark so we all wish him well.



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

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

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

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

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

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


The Conservatives in Lancashire have started the campaign to win the next election by re-adopting Lorraine Fullbrook as the candidate for the key marginal seat of South Ribble.

The seat was held by Labour after a recount in May by just 2000 votes, and boundary changes are expected to reduce this to a notional majority of just 1000 at the next General Election.
Lorraine Fullbrook - Conservative candidate for South Ribble at the next election
Lorraine Fullbrook collecting signatures in support of the
"Out of Lancs - No thanks" campaign.

Local Party members attending the meeting held last weekend voted overwhelmingly to endorse Mrs Fullbrook as the Conservative Party's Parliamentary Spokesman for the South Ribble Constituency.

The seat which includes Banks, Tarleton, Hesketh Bank and Rufford, will also include villages such as Mawdesley, Eccleston and Croston at the next General Election, and is seen as one of the Tories top targets.

The decision by the Conservative Party to "fast track" Mrs Fullbrook is seen by local Conservatives as recognition that whilst unsuccessful in May she is one of the Party's rising stars.

Commenting on her re-adoption, Lorraine said "I am delighted to have been given the chance to finish the job I began less than two years ago. David Borrow knows just how lucky he was to hold on in May, and his dearest hope must have been that having halved his majority, I would cut and run for a safe a seat, leaving him unchallenged for the next two years. Sadly, for Mr Borrow his worst nightmare has just come true. I committed myself to the people of the South Ribble Constituency then, and will continue to do so for the rest of my political career."

She continued, "Labour is failing local people, more today than even just six months ago. I see it as my job to speak up for each and every local person who it is being let down."

One of those pleased with Lorraine's re-adoption is County Councillor Malcolm Barron who represents Hesketh Bank, Banks and Tarleton.

He commented, "Lorraine was a fantastic champion for local people in the eighteen months running up to polling day in May. Her support for campaigns such as the "Green Lane Link" and "Out of Lancs, No Thanks" was fantastic, and having worked closely with her, I am convinced that that she has everything it takes to become our MP at the next election. She will do brilliantly for local people and for the country."


Vandals struck at the Shore Road playing fields last weekend, demolishing the roundabout and cutting down young trees.
Shore Road recreation ground hit by vandals

The roundabout has now been immobilised and will be replaced as part of the extensive improvements to the play area which started this week.

The Parish Council have also instructed contractors to renew the path from Delta Park and make improvements to the surface of the car park.

The Parish Council will also be seeking a commitment from Hesketh Bank Football Club to finish the work they agreed to do to the Shore Rd changing rooms and surrounding area after local residents again complained about the lack of progress.


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

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

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

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

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

Have your say on the letters page

Spaniel Found


Good news - Bryn the spaniel is back home! He was found asleep in the hedge at the Anchor Inn at Hutton.

Joyce said "He is very lucky dog in every way. Please thank everyone for us as they have been so kind. We have had people who we have never met before walking the fields for us and wanderered about looking for him. We have had phone calls and emails about him beeing seen, and calls asking about him."

"He is fine but has a bit of a limp and is very tired. He has been checked out by the vet and was fit enough to come home. I just can't say thank you enough times"

Bryn the Spaniel - Back home at last!
Bryn - "please don't shout at me"
Lost Spaniel Update


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

Best Kept Village Awards For Tarleton And Mere Brow


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

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

Lost Spaniel


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

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

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

New RSPB reserve proposed for Hesketh Out Marsh


Plans by the Environment Agency and the RSPB to breach the existing Hesketh Bank embankment in four places in order to create 100 hectares of additional inter-tidal marsh land and creeks for wildlife have now been put forward for comment.

The RSPB is negotiating to purchase a total of 168 hectares (primarily the western half of Hesketh Out Marsh) and the new reserve will include eight 1 hectare salt water lagoons which are to be excavated on the site to provide wader feeding habitat.

New flood defences will be required and construction of a new "cross-wall embankment" separating Hesketh Out Marsh West from Hesketh Out Marsh East is proposed (although if the scheme were later expanded this bank would be removed). The existing embankment between Hesketh Out Marsh West and Hesketh New Marsh would be upgraded as this would become the new primary line of defence.

The report also notes "As a result of the change of use of Hesketh Out Marsh West from agricultural to nature conservation use, the proposed planning application will include change of use of one nearby residential property (Ribble Hall, presently subject to an agricultural tie) and an adjacent barn (Ribble Hall Farm) together with extinguishing of a nearby public footpath leading to the site (for which alternative plans exist and to which a new access route is to be created)."

Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council have been invited to offer their views on the proposal but their response to the consultation document is required by 22nd September 2005. As there are no other known routes for public consultation on this project at this stage, if you do have any comments, issues or more information you MUST contact a councillor immediatly.

Hesketh-with Becconsall Parish Council Website

Book Sale marks end of Hesketh Bank Library


The Hesketh Bank Village Hall Library provided a facility for the villagers using grant funding from West Lancashire District Council, the Carnegie Trust UK, the Lotteries Board Small Grants Scheme and the donation of over 2000 books by the villagers. A small band of volunteers helped with the renovation of the Front Hall and the library was finally opened on April 1st 2000 by South Ribble MP Mr. David Borrow and the Hesketh Bank Millennium Queen Miss Lara Johnson.

Hesketh bank Village Library

For three years, the library proved popular and was open for three days a week with over 4000 books on file, covering a wide range of topics. The children from Happy Days Nursery enjoyed story time in the Library with books read to them by the volunteers who ran the facility, it also offered the use of a computer for school work and a photocopying service. Eventually however, unable to compete with the service provided by Tarleton Library and the Mobile Service, interest declined and the library was reluctantly forced into closure on April 1st 2003.

Due to the ongoing need to renovate the Village Hall, it has now been decided to hold a sale of the books and use the proceeds to contribute towards the replacement of the timber cladding with brickwork and replacing the existing wooden windows with UPVC units. The sale will be held in the Village Hall Library on Friday 16th , Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September with doors open between 10am and 4pm. All books (most in ‘as new’ condition) and bookcases must go, with prices from only 25p. A selection of the books available can be found here

Both of Hesketh Bank's village halls are available for hire at very reasonable prices. Current users include Happy Days Nursery, Hesketh with Becconsall Parish Council, Judo, Kick Boxing and Painting Classes and Slimmers World. To enquire about booking the Halls or discuss setting up a club or group please contact either Brian Birkby on 01772 813340 or Mike Winrow on 01772 814214.

Hesketh Bank Village Hall Website

No Way Forward For Youth Shelter


Removal of the Youth Shelter in March

Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council remain unsure of what will be the outcome for the infamous Hesketh Bank Youth Shelter. Offers to loan the structure to neighbouring parishes have been made by the Council but as yet there have been no takers.

The £8,000 Youth Shelter was installed in December 2004 on land behind the Hesketh Bank Village Library but was removed after only a few weeks following a surge of vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the area.

The location of the facility was decided between the Parish Council and the teenagers themselves and was supported by the Police. Local residents were not consulted.

Through the fothcoming September issue of the Parish Council newsletter, the council will be asking residents for suggestions on what they should now do with the Youth Shelter. Why not have your say now on the letters page.


Tarleton High School has teamed up with Liz Jarrett, a local Belly Dancing instructor to offer a new, fun and different way to relax and keep fit. Best known in the West as a dance performed by women, it is a great way to get fit and suitable for all ages body types and levels of fitness! Gentle on the joints, it is based on natural movements of the body - with dancers in America and Europe finding it a colourful antidote to the stresses and strains of everyday life.

For those people that are interested and would like to find out more, we are offering an open evening on 5th September 2005 at Tarleton High School, from 7:45-8:45pm, with a 10 week course starting on 12th September. People should contact Tarleton High School Sports Hall on 01772 817907 (open evenings and weekends) to enrol or express an interest in the open evening.

Tarleton braces itself for an influx of Belly Dancers


Tom Pickering of Tarleton & District Brass Band
Tom Pickering Solo

Tarleton and District Brass began their concert at Becconsall Old Church on Sunday with the majestic flourish of the march "Imperial Echoes". They ended with the rock anthem "Angels", propelled along in thrilling style by their 11-year old drummer. In between, we enjoyed a wide variety of music, played with enthusiasm and verve by this generally youthful band. A splendid group of soloists included Alan Rimmer on "Share My Yoke", who also duetted with Steve Cochrane on "Ein Schnapps", Tom Pickering on "Hello Dolly", his sister Genna on "Lady in Red", Alan Taylor on "Myfanwy" and Alan Bould on "Demelza".

Gillian Bould, the band's conductor, was sadly indisposed. Bandmaster Barry Taylor, himself a conductor of long experience, stepped into the breach, his important euphonium part in the ensemble taken over at short notice, and with admirable aplomb, by Alan Taylor.

A sizeable audience added their own enthusiasm to the afternoon. It all added up to another highly successful musical event at this very special venue.

You can find more info about this and forthcoming events on the
Friends Of Becconsall Old Church Website



Fatal Motorcycle  crashes are on the increase
A motorbike that was in a collision with a car and came to rest alongside a barrier. This rider was lucky to escape with just broken bones.

Local Police are issuing warnings and advice to motorcyclists after a number of collisions on the Division’s roads involving motorbikes.

Since 1st April 2005 there has been a significant increase in collisions involving motorcyclists – five of which have resulted in drivers or pillions losing their lives.

Inspector Eddie Newton who is in charge of the officers who attend and investigate these collisions commented,” In recent months there has been a disturbing increase in motorcycle collisions."

"In some cases the collision occurs through no fault of the rider who is always vulnerable, but it is fair to say that a significant number have also resulted from excessive or inappropriate speed and rider misjudgement of hazards. All riders no matter what their experience or whether they have sports bikes or commuter bikes are at risk. We are not trying to take away the enjoyment from bikers, but really want to make them consider the consequences of their actions not only for their own safety but the effects a serious accident can have on their families.”

In the next few weeks police officers across the division will be proactively targeting riding standards amongst motorcyclists including excessive and inappropriate speed, illegal number plates, loud exhausts and tinted visors.

Police will visit areas that are known to have a high casualty rate or where numerous complaints from residents have been received regarding unsafe riding. These will include the Elmers Green area of Skelmersdale, Aughton, Halsall, Holmeswood and Croston. They will also visit popular meeting points including Rivington Barn at Rivington to speak to riders informally.

Inspector Newton said “We are aware of a significant problem caused by large numbers of riders passing through the division to attend bike meetings at the Scotch Piper pub at Lydiate and the Hen and Chickens pub at Maghull on Wednesday evenings. My message to those riders is simple, ride safely and lawfully and you are welcome to enjoy the roads of this area. Ride dangerously or in a way that puts you and others at risk and you can expect to be dealt with firmly by police officers.“

Police and Community Newsletter Launched


Community Beat Manager Phil Corrigan, ECSO Jan Dobson and PCSO Rob Massam have been working hard to get the first Police and Community Newsletter published and distributed.

Topics in the newsletter range from an explanation of what the PACT initiative is about and how you can get involved, an update on Operation Summer Nights, crime prevention advice and an appeal for more local Neighbourhood Watch schemes to be set up. The newsletter is now available to read online in pdf format - click here.




The planning application for the redevelopment of Alty's into a mix of industrial buildings and 83 residential dwellings will go before West Lancs Planning Committee on the 28th July.

The meeting will be held in the Council Chamber at 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk commencing at 7:30pm.If you wish to speak at the meeting you must complete a request to speak form and return it to WLDC by 5pm Monday evening.

The planning report will be available to read at Ormskirk or online. The recommendation of the Case Officer is that the application be refused.



Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council have decided that the time has come to break free from the confines of and for them to run their very own web site. The Clerk has been very busy setting it all up and their new web site can be found here.



A close-to-capacity audience crowded into Becconsall Old Church last Sunday to hear David Johnson talking in inimitable fashion about the long history of of Hesketh Bank and Tarleton.
Despite describing himself as a mathematician rather than a historian, he was able to bring to life the earliest, pre-Roman evidence of human occupation of this virtual island. With many enthralling digressions David brought us up to date by way of probable Viking settlement, a medieval earthquake and 'tsunami' which uprooted thousands of trees, and the thrills of river crossings in the 17th and 18th centuries, when there were more routes to Preston than there are today.
He dwelt on the coming of the canal and railway, and the odd station at Douglas Port, from where, for a couple of years at least, the paddle steamer 'Virginia' operated a service to Lytham. He also spoke of Hesketh Bank's railway driven ambitions as a holiday resort, when there were flounders for tea in the smart hotel, and sea and sand where there is now marsh and mud. During the interval, his audience gathered with enthusiasm round the exhibition of photographs and documents which David and his wife had spent hours assembling before the event. Here were to be found pictures of the last train to leave Hesketh Bank railway station, Silver Bands from many years ago, long departed family groups, lost buildings, and much more

Friends Of Becconsall Old Church | More Local History



There was praise today for the sensitive manner in which police officers and members of the local community responded to the abusive graffiti that was discovered early Sunday morning. The police confirm they are taking the matter very seriously and request that the public come forward with any information they may have that would help catch those responsible.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Inspector Melling said "We can confirm that there were incidents of racist graffiti that appeared on buildings within the Tarleton/Hesketh bank area over the weekend. The graffiti was cleaned up very quickly and we are very grateful to members of the community who helped do this.

We are currently working with key members of our community to reassure them at this sensitive time and we would appeal to anyone who may have any information about the graffiti to get in touch with us via Ormskirk Police Station on 01695 566430 or via our Communications Centre on 0845 1 25 35 45."



Racial intollerance hits rural West Lancashire

Villagers in both Hesketh Bank and Tarleton awoke to find that anti-Muslim graffiti had been daubed throughout their respective villages during the night.

Targets for the attacks included Bang Bang School outfitters, Post Office/Bargain Booze, Hesketh Lane Chapel and Tarleton Community Primary School.

The Police attended the scenes this morning and put on additional patrols throughout the villages to assess the extent of the damage.

Police Scientific Support staff were also quickly on the scene collecting evidence including taking samples of the paint used in the attacks.

By 10:00 am the clean-up operation was allowed to get underway and many volunteers got to work to remove the abusive messages.

Anyone with any information about these incidents should contact on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111


Outraged or Apathetic?
Have your say on the letters page

Race Hate arrives in Hesketh Bank
Racial intollerance arrives in Hesketh Bank
Anti Muslim attack on Primary School
A message of hate in the TCP playground
Anti-Muslim Grafitti attack on Hesketh Lane Methodist Chapel
Removing Graffiti from Hesketh Lane Chapel


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Have you ever wanted to look inside a police cell or sit inside a police car? If the answer to these questions is yes, local Police will be giving you the opportunity to do just that at their Open Day, which will be held at Skelmersdale Police Station this Sunday 10 July from 11am until 4pm.

Amongst the attractions this year will be Police Dogs an Armed Response Vehicle, a Police Motorcycle, a Traffic Car, along with the Automatic Number Plate Recognition System – one of the latest pieces of equipment that the police are using to catch criminals. The Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety will also be attending along with their “Billy Bee” mascot.

Adults and Children will also be able to have a look round the police cells and custody office where they will be able to have their “fingerprints” taken.

Various information and advice will be available on a range of issues from Crime Prevention, Neighbourhood Watch as well as Recruitment for joining the police on a full time basis or on a part-time basis as a Special Constable or a volunteer. Local Bobbies along with Community Beat Managers will also be available to speak to. There will be various attractions for children including a magician and balloon modeller, competitions as well as the opportunity to try on some items of police uniform.

Inspector Ian Blackburn, Acting Area Commander for Skelmersdale commented, ”This is a great opportunity for adults and children to come along and learn more about their local police, what they do and the equipment they use. The event will be a fun day with various attractions on offer for children. Everyone is welcome to come along and have a chat with local officers about the work they do.”

Anyone requiring further information or details should contact Skelmersdale Police Station on 01695 566134. It is requested that children under 13 are accompanied by an adult.

If you have any issue you wish to raise with your
local police officer don't miss the

Wednesday 6th July 5:30-6.30 pm
Tarleton High School

Police And Communities Together Website




If enough helpers can be found, the famous Hesketh Bank Horticultural Show may well be staged once more.

It is now several years since the show was last held and whilst still very popular with exhibitors, insufficient help behind the scenes forced the annual event to close.

At the P.C.C. meeting last week the committee agreed to endeavour to resurect the show for September 2006 - if sufficient support can be found to assist in the running of the event. Some of the previous organisers have agreed to help and pass on their knowledge.

Commitment to holding the show must be made soon enough to allow potential entrants preparation time before the start of the next growing season. If you can help in any way then please contact the Rector on 01772 814798.

Prize winning onions
Man polishing his onions
NSPCC Midsummer Ball tops £7,000


Despite the heat, the Midsummer Ball held at Mere Brow Institute last Saturday proved to be a great success with all those attending, the sponsors and also the NSPCC who will benefit from the massive £7,000 raised.

The evening commenced at 6pm with a champagne reception, followed by dinner, fundraising and then dancing late into the night.

Norman Walker took on the role of auctioneer and proved to be a very worthy one, pushing the auction funds alone to a staggering £3770.

Event organisers, Karen, Gill, Janet and Cathy would like to say a very big thank you to all those who sponsored the Midsummer Ball, donated prizes, offered help and advice along the way.

2005 Midsummer Ball in aid of the NSPCC
Holly, Tom, and Chloe helped out at the Midsummer Ball by selling Teddy Bears and also saying Grace before dinner.
After a well earned rest the girls will need to begin thinking about next year as the clamour for tickets and tables at the 2006 Midsummer Ball has already begun!


Local Traders Arden Lea Nurseries and Alty's Horticultural Supplies have backed the Parish Council's efforts in the Best Kept Village competition by supplying and planting out some fifteen hanging baskets now displayed on the front of commercial premises within Hesketh Bank - and all for free.

The Parish Council had previously fitted all the buildings with purpose made brackets, with shopkeepers making a contribution to the cost.

The picture shows Mrs Dorothy Hinde admiring the basket outside the Post Office on Station Road with Mr Duncan Taylor of Arden Lea and also also Chairman of the British Bedding and Pot Plant Association.



Unconfirmed reports suggest that the archaeological remains of two iron age or bronze age "Round Houses" have been found during the excavations at St. Mary's Marina, Rufford.

Lancashire County Council Archaeological Servcies are said to be involved and a full report including carbon dating is anticipated over the coming months.



Iain Dutton has kindly provided photographs of the parade Hesketh Bank & Tarleton Ecumenical Walk held on Saturday the 11th of June. Click here to see the photos



Despite being found in breach of the “Code of Conduct” on numerous counts, the Standards Board for England has concluded that ‘no action’ need be taken against ex-Parish Councillor Raymond Ball, apparently on the basis that he “is no longer a member of the Council and has no intention of becoming a member in future”. Members were originally given to believe that Mr Ball would face disciplinary Tribunals on several counts.

At their monthly meeting last Monday, Hesketh with Becconsall Parish Council roundly condemned the decisions of the Standards Board as being totally incomprehensible, believing that their conclusions sent out a wholly unacceptable message on standards to the general public. The Council resolved to make the strongest of representations to the Standards Board and the Office of the Deputy Prime-Minister as well as the Standards Committee and Monitoring Officer at West Lancashire District Council.

Commenting after the meeting, Councillor Richard Plant, Chairman of the Parish Council said, “It would appears from this that a Member can break all the rules, but if he is subsequently leaves the Council, there is no redress”. Cllr Plant went on to say, “The high public profile given to many of the unacceptable activities of Mr Ball at that time made it essential that justice was seen to be done, this has not been the case. The Standards Board for England advertise themselves as offering “Confidence in Democracy”, and go on to say “Confidence can only be achieved when elected and co-opted members of local authorities are seen to live up to the high standards the public has a right to expect from them”. Such decisions as we have seen today make this a farce. It would appear that Mr Ball, if he so wished, could still stand for election on four or five adjacent Parish Councils as well as Hesketh; this surely cannot be acceptable”.

“Fortunately the Council has now moved on and is actively carrying out its duties and functions as well as instituting several new initiatives.” Commented the Parish Clerk.



After a lengthy, thorough and no doubt costly investigation into the shenanigans at Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council, the Standards Board have now published all their findings. The allegations being investigated by the Standards Board primarily related to the events surrounding the dismissal of the Parish Council Clerk and the infamous Football Club Tree saga (see the 2003 and 2004 news archive for more details):

Case no. SBE4628.03 Date received: 09 Jan 2003
Member: Councilor Antony Murphy

It was alleged that Councillor Antony Murphy, a member of Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council, bullied and intimidated the parish clerk between February and August 2003. Councillor Murphy allegedly failed to communicate with the clerk, questioned his advice, and ignored the clerk’s minutes of council meetings. It was also alleged that Councillor Murphy did not give the clerk the chance to respond to a list of allegations about his performance, and seconded a proposal to dismiss the clerk. In addition, Councillor Murphy allegedly sent an email to West Lancashire District Council saying that the clerk had been dismissed prior to the parish council having decided to dismiss him. It was further alleged that Councillor Murphy invited a county adviser to attend a confidential session of a parish council meeting, and required the clerk to hand financial documents and chequebooks to the adviser.

On the available information, the Ethical Standards Officer considered that Councillor Murphy, as Chair of the council, played a role in the council’s actions leading up to the dismissal of the clerk. However, the Ethical Standards Officer considered that there was no compelling evidence that Councillor Murphy breached the Code of Conduct by failing to treat the clerk with respect.

The Ethical Standards Officer found that no action needs to be taken in relation to this matter.

Case no. SBE3101.03 and SBE3223.03
Date received: 03 Mar 2003
Member: Councillor John Hunter

The complainant alleged that Councillor John Hunter failed to declare a personal and prejudicial interest while discussing matters affecting Hesketh Bank Football Club at parish council meetings on 10 and 31 March 2003. One of Councillor Hunter's relatives is a senior figure at the club.

The complainant also alleged that Councillor Hunter was disruptive at both meetings, which brought his office or authority into disrepute.

The Ethical Standards Officer considered that the council's decision would have affected Councillor Hunter's relative more than others in the parish and that his relative's interest was so significant that it would have prejudiced his judgment of the public interest. The Ethical Standards Officer therefore found that Councillor Hunter failed to declare a personal interest and failed to withdraw from the meeting on 10 March 2003 where he had a prejudicial interest.

The Ethical Standards Officer noted, however, that there was no evidence that Councillor Hunter deliberately ignored the Code of Conduct and that he would not benefit personally from a council decision about the club.

The Ethical Standards Officer also considered whether Councillor Hunter had been disruptive at the meeting. The Ethical Standards Officer found that on the available evidence, if Councillor Hunter did disrupt the meeting, it was during a robust political debate.

In these circumstances, the Ethical Standards Officer found that no action needs to be taken.

Case no. SBE3100.03 and SBE3222.03B
Date received: 31 Mar 2003
Member: Councillor Paul Sergeant

It was alleged that Councillor Paul Sergeant failed to declare an interest a discussion at a Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council meeting on 10 March 2003.The council debated the removal of Leylandii trees from a sports ground used by a football club. Councillor Sergeant was the Vice President of the football club, but did not declare an interest, remained in the meeting and took part in the debate. It was also alleged that Councillor Sergeant had a prejudicial interest in the discussion and should have withdrawn from the meeting.

The Ethical Standards Officer referred this matter to the Monitoring Officer at West Lancashire District Council for determination by the Standards Committee.

Councillor Sergeant told the Standards Committee hearing that he had breached the Code of Conduct, but that he had taken part in the meeting as a mediator in favour of the parish council.

The Standards Committee decided that Councillor Sergeant had a personal and prejudicial interest in the discussion at the meeting. The Standards Committee therefore concluded that Councillor Sergeant failed to comply with the Code of Conduct by failing to declare a personal interest and by failing to withdraw from the meeting.

The Standards Committee took into account the fact that Councillor Sergeant's actions were not malicious. It also welcomed Councillor Sergeant's admission of his failure to comply with the Code.

The Standards Committee decided to censure Councillor Sergeant.

The Standards Committee recommended that members of Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council attend West Lancashire District Council?s training on the Code of Conduct on 24 November 2004.

Case no. SBE3100.03 and SBE3222.03A
Date received: 31 Mar 2003
Member: Councillor Paul Sergeant

The complainant alleged that Councillor Paul Sergeant failed to declare an interest in the discussion at a Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council meeting on 31 March 2003. The council allegedly discussed the removal of Leylandii trees from a sports ground used by a football club. Councillor Sergeant was the Vice President of the football club, but did not declare an interest and remained in the meeting room. It was also alleged that Councillor Sergeant had a prejudicial interest in the discussion and should have withdrawn from the meeting.

The Ethical Standards Officer noted that the meeting was a short one that only seems to have discussed the accuracy of draft minutes for a previous meeting. The council did not discuss the merits of the council's decision to remove the trees from the sports ground. The Ethical Standards Officer therefore concluded that Councillor Sergeant did not have a personal or prejudicial interest at the 31 March 2003 meeting.

The complainant also alleged that Councillor Sergeant failed to treat another member with respect by calling them a "liar" at the meeting.

The Ethical Standards Officer considered that Councillor Sergeant's remark was part of a robust political debate. The Ethical Standards Officer accepted that Councillor Sergeant believed the other member had lied to the council. The Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Councillor Sergeant did not fail to treat the member with respect.

The complainant made a further allegation that Councillor Sergeant brought his office or authority into disrepute by disrupting the meeting on 31 March and another meeting on 10 March 2003.

The Ethical Standards Officer was not satisfied on the available evidence that Councillor Sergeant disrupted these meetings in a way that brought his office or authority into disrepute.

Finally, the complainant alleged that Councillor Sergeant failed to register his involvement in the football club in his register of financial and other interests.

The Ethical Standards Officer did not consider that the position of vice-president of an amateur football club was a registrable interest under any of the sub-paragraphs of paragraphs 12 and 13 of the Code of Conduct.

The Ethical Standards Officer reached the overall finding that no action needs to be taken in relation to these matters.

Case no. SBE3274.03, SBE4338.03 and SBE7146.04
Date received: 17 Apr 2003
Member: Councillor Raymond Ball

The complainants alleged that Councillor Raymond Ball gave inaccurate advice about the proposed removal of Leylandii trees from a sports ground in Preston at a Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council meeting on 10 February 2003. Councillor Ball also allegedly insisted on a vote on the issue without first obtaining quotes for the work or discussing the allocation of council funds. The complainants believed that Councillor Ball had a personal and prejudicial interest in the issue because he lived near the sports ground. The complainants also alleged that Councillor Ball arranged for the removal of the trees by a contractor the next day and asked the contractor to charge the council using four separate invoices.

The Ethical Standards Officer considered that Councillor Ball had a personal interest in the issue because he lived near the sports ground, and the removal of the trees would have affected the view from his property. The Ethical Standards Officer also considered that Councillor Ball’s interest was so significant that it was likely to prejudice his judgement of the public interest. The Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Councillor Ball breached the Code of Conduct by failing to disclose a personal interest, failing to withdraw from the meeting and improperly seeking to influence a decision on the matter.

The Ethical Standards Officer also considered that Councillor Ball breached the council’s Standing Orders and its decision to defer payment for the removal of the trees. Councillor Ball told a contractor to start work without obtaining the required two quotes and later signed a council cheque to pay the contractor without the council’s approval. The Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Councillor Ball failed to act in accordance with the council’s requirements for the use of its resources and so breached the Code of Conduct.

The Ethical Standards Officer considered that Councillor Ball behaved inappropriately in failing to give advance notice of the agenda item and engaging the services of the contractor. The Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Councillor Ball brought his office and authority into disrepute.

The Ethical Standards Officer noted that Councillor Ball is no longer a member of the council and has no intention of becoming a member in the future. In all the circumstances, the Ethical Standards Officer found that no action needs to be taken.

Case no. SBE9467.04 Date received: 08 May 2003
Member: Councillor Raymond Ball

The complainant alleged that Councillor Raymond Ball disclosed confidential information about the employment of the parish clerk at a council meeting on 21 July 2003. The council considered the clerk’s employment during a confidential session of the meeting. When the open meeting resumed, Councillor Ball asked whether the parish council was going to be advertising for a new clerk.

The Ethical Standards Officer considered that Councillor Ball’s question was not specific enough to disclose what had been discussed during the confidential session of the meeting, as Councillor Ball did not reveal why the vacancy had arisen. The Ethical Standards Officer noted that, in any event, the details of the council’s decision to end the clerk’s employment were made public shortly after the meeting. The Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Councillor Ball did not disclose confidential information and did not bring his office or authority into disrepute.

The Ethical Standards Officer found that there was no evidence of any failure to comply with the Code of Conduct.

Case no. SBE4378.03 Date received: 08 May 2003
Member: Councillor Raymond Ball

The complainant alleged that Councillor Raymond Ball aggressively swore and shouted at several members during a Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council meeting on 21 July 2003. Councillor Ball allegedly used highly offensive language to a member, stuck two fingers up at him and told him to “f*** off”. The complainant also alleged that Councillor Ball was asked to leave the meeting on a number of occasions but refused to do so.

The Ethical Standards Officer considered that Councillor Ball’s comments went beyond the bounds of acceptable political debate and were unnecessary and highly offensive. The Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Councillor Ball breached the Code of Conduct by failing to treat other members with respect and by bringing his office and authority into disrepute.

The Ethical Standards Officer noted that Councillor Ball is no longer a member of the council and has no intention of becoming a member in the future. In all the circumstances, the Ethical Standards Officer found that no action needs to be taken.

Case no. SBE5015.03, SBE5034.03 and SBE5670.03
Date received: 10 Oct 2003
Member: Councillor Raymond Ball

The complainants alleged that Councillor Raymond Ball failed to treat others with respect and brought his office and authority into disrepute at a Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council meeting on 6 October 2003. Councillor Ball was allegedly disruptive and argumentative. According to the complainants, Councillor Ball shouted and swore at councillors and members of the public, threatened the Chair and the Vice Chair of the council with physical violence and failed to leave the meeting room when he was asked to do so.

The Ethical Standards Officer considered that Councillor Ball’s behaviour at the meeting was entirely inappropriate. The Ethical Standards Officer noted that Councillor Ball was generally disruptive. Councillor Ball made personal comments about a member from the gallery and insulted and threatened members at the meeting. The Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Councillor Ball breached the Code of Conduct by failing to treat others with respect and by bringing his office or authority into disrepute.

The Ethical Standards Officer noted that Councillor Ball is no longer a member of the council and has no intention of becoming a member in the future. In all the circumstances, the Ethical Standards Officer found that no action needs to be taken.

Case No. SBE9473.04 Date received: 16 May 2004
Member: Councillor Raymond Ball

Allegation 1
The complainant alleged that Councillor Raymond Ball improperly authorised payments worth more than £3,000 on behalf of Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council, including £32 to pay for his attendance, with his partner, at a civic dinner hosted by West Lancashire District Council.

The Ethical Standards Officer found that Councillor Ball did not obtain the council’s approval before co-signing eight cheques totaling more than £3,000. The Ethical Standards Officer did not regard any of these payments as urgent. Moreover, the Ethical Standards Officer noted that one of the payments, for the cost of the civic dinner, directly benefited Councillor Ball and his partner. The Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Councillor Ball failed to act in accordance with the council’s requirements when authorising the use of its resources. The Ethical Standards Officer also concluded that Councillor Ball improperly secured an advantage for himself and his partner and brought his office and authority into disrepute.

Allegation 2
The complainant also alleged that Councillor Ball improperly obtained a loan of £100,000 on behalf of the council and improperly transferred half of the money to be used by a secondary school.

The Ethical Standards Officer found that Councillor Ball acted without the council’s specific approval when he authorised the transfer of the funds to the school. The Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Councillor Ball brought his office and authority into disrepute.

Allegation 3
Finally, the complainant alleged that Councillor Ball improperly closed council meetings on 31 March and 1 May 2003 and improperly cancelled a council meeting scheduled for April 2003.

The Ethical Standards Officer considered that Councillor Ball ignored members’ reasonable requests to criticise his performance as the Chair of the council on two occasions. The Ethical Standards Officer considered that by closing the meetings, Councillor Ball frustrated the democratic process and tried to avoid being held accountable for his actions. The Ethical Standards Officer also considered that Councillor Ball’s decision to cancel the meeting planned for April 2003 was arbitrary and prevented members from dealing with the ordinary business of the council. The Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Councillor Ball brought his office and authority into disrepute.

The Ethical Standards Officer noted that Councillor Ball is no longer a member of the council and has no intention of becoming a member in the future. In all the circumstances, the Ethical Standards Officer found that no action needs to be taken.

Case no. SBE9476.04 Date received: 19 May 2004
Member: Councillor Raymond Ball

The complainant alleged that Councillor Raymond Ball failed to declare a personal interest in a discussion about the construction of a wall at a sports ground at a Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council meeting on 9 February 2004. Councillor Ball allegedly had an interest because he lived near the sports ground and because his partner had sent a letter to the council objecting to the wall.

The Ethical Standards Officer considered that Councillor Ball had a personal interest in the discussion because he lived opposite the site of the proposed wall and because his partner had objected to the wall. The Ethical Standards Officer also considered that Councillor Ball’s interest was so significant that it was likely to prejudice his judgement of the public interest. The Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Councillor Ball breached the Code of Conduct by failing to disclose his personal interest and by failing to withdraw from the meeting.

The Ethical Standards Officer noted that Councillor Ball is no longer a member of the council and has no intention of becoming a member in the future. In all the circumstances, the Ethical Standards Officer found that no action needs to be taken.

The Standards Board for England is responsible for promoting high ethical standards and investigating allegations that members' behaviour may have fallen short of the required standards; "Confidence in local democracy is a cornerstone of our way of life. It can only be achieved when elected and co-opted members of local authorities are seen to live up to the high standards the public has a right to expect from them".

It would thus seem that despite the findings of the investigations and the previous censure of a councillor, the suggestion that Cllr Ball has "no intention" to become a member of Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council is good enough for the Ethical Standards Officer. If you witnessed the appalling behaviour frequently on display at the Parish Council meetings has your confidence in local democracy now been restored?

You also may have noticed that according to their own reports, the Standards Board on two occasions were fortunate enough to receive the complaints in advance of the incident taking place (See SBE9467.04 and SBE4378.03 above) - perhaps not the best way to restore our confidence in the robustness of the process!

Readers may wish to ponder the role and purpose of the Standards Board, the Monitoring Officer at WLDC and the point at which action should be taken against our elected representatives when they fail to adhere to basic standards of behaviour. What do you think? Have your say on the letters page.

Standards Board | Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council | WLDC



Trading Standards have today warned residents to be wary of anyone ringing up and offering to postcode their valuables for free. In an attempt to gain access, the caller claims that your home insurance will be invalid if items are not postcoded.

Dawn Robinson, Senior Trading Standards Officer at Lancashire Trading Standards Service, advises "Under no circumstances should residents allow representatives of this company into their homes".

Whilst the complaints received to date have mainly been from the Fulwood area of Preston, all should be aware of the potential problem and refer any complaints to Lancashire Trading Standards Service, 56-58 Guildhall Street, Preston, Lancs tel 0845 6001352 / 01772 533573.

If you have feel there is any threat or fear of burglary contact the police at once.

Neighbourhood Watch News


One type of car crime that is concerning many owners of Ford Cars and in particular Mondeo’s, is the theft of the vehicle’s CD player from the dashboard. It seems that the original factory fitted player is easily removed and as it is of good quality can be quickly sold on by the thief. To combat this it is suggested that owners of these cars go to the Ford main dealer where special screws can be purchased to secure it to the dashboard. These screws are called “grub screws” and need a special tool to remove them.

Although not a common problem, the theft of vehicle numberplates is on the increase. This is due in the main to the fact that when ordering a new numberplate from an accessory shop you have to produce the vehicle’s logbook. What has been happening is that thieves steal say, a white Transit van; they then steal the number plates off another white Transit van and swap the plates. It can be some time before the police can identify the stolen vehicle especially if it is moved to another part of the country. This can also cause a considerable headache for the legal owner if the stolen vehicle is involved in an accident. The advice from the police is to ensure your numberplates cannot be easily removed and if they are report the loss of them immediately to the police.

Vehicle tax discs are worth a lot of money especially if you renew yours every 12 months. When a thief steals your tax disc he will carefully alter the registration number. (Doesn’t need to alter anything else if the vehicle he wishes to use it on is the same make and colour). A simple thief proof tax disc holder can be purchased for £1.27 in Tesco's It is called the “Secur-i-disc and is worth every penny. Details on

The Lancashire Neighbourhood Watch Forum has just set up a new web site and they are looking for ideas on crime prevention to pass on to others.

And finally,
On a different theme there are extremely good forged £20 notes circulating in Lancashire. The serial numbers begin with 6 or 8. Check your wallet!!

Tarleton & Hesketh Bank Neighbourhood Watch Website



The rain held off on Saturday just long enough for Tarleton High School to complete it’s 25 year old traditional Gala day. Despite being held indoors, the locals rallied once again to raise money and to beat last year’s total. The annual event is part of the Friends of Tarleton High School (FOTHS) continual fund raising programme.

The new community Sports Hall, completed last year, was used to host a penalty shoot out, a bouncy castle, a Gladiators-style jousting game and two new trampolines - paid for by previous FOTHS fundraising events.

Youngsters also enjoyed a 30ft slide, a coconut shy and plenty of cakes! A classic car display and fire engine in the car park proved a big hit, as well as a model boat display in the Swimming Pool.

A spokesman said ‘‘We would like to say a big thank you to all those that supported the school this year, to the volunteers manning all the stalls and to the local businesses for their continued backing’’.



To help cater for the many people waiting for places, a new Rainbow and Brownie Unit has opened in the Hesketh Bank & Tarleton Area.

The new unit meets on a Tuesday night at the Christian Centre on Moss Lane. The Rainbows meet between 5pm and 6pm and the Brownies 6.15pm - 7.45pm.

More information will be available at an 'Open Night' which will be held at the Christian Centre between 6pm and 8pm on Tuesday 24th May.

If you wish to join, get your name on the waiting list or can help in any way please contact Sue on 07754 203701.


Tarleton Fire Station has launched its very own website this weekend - designed and paid for by the Station commander of Tarleton Fire Station, Tom Cookson.

The extensive site is intended to provide local people with all the information they need relating to fire safety and includes some interesting facts about the history of firefighting locally but its main purpose is to be a key tool in encouraging new recruits to work at the Tarleton Station.

Tom said "Due to increasing problems in recruitment of firefighters working the retained duty system, the site is designed to give local people an insight in to how the station and retained duty system operates. If anybody has any questions or would like to contact us please use the contacts page on the site."

In addition, Tarleton Fire Station will be holding an Information evening on Wednesday 18th May commencing at 7pm. The evening is for anyone who is interested in joining the crew at Tarleton to meet the team and discuss any questions you may have.



Tarleton High School have today launched a questionnaire aimed at asking as many local people as possible what they think of the new Community Sports Hall and refurbished Swimming Pool over the next few weeks.

The brief questionnaire is available from the Sports Hall, Pool, High School, Library, Hollywood Nites video store, local pubs as well as a number of other local shops. A downloadable MS Word version (1.5Mb) is also avaialbe here.

Hopefully the answers will allow activities to be tailored to the needs of the local people and act as a reminder that both the Sports Hall and Pool are open to the public at evenings and weekends.

The questionnaire will also be available at the School’s Gala Day on Saturday 7th May, for which preparations are going well and the School anticipates the largest ever show of support from the local public.

Tarleton Sports Hall | Tarleton Swimming Pool


Hesketh Bank's very own UK record holding pumpkin growers, Liam Cupit (9) and James O'Hanlon (11) were yesterday invited down to Berryfields to help Monty Don launch the Gardeners' World Pumpkin Challenge.

The children were made very welcome by the whole Gardeners' World production team who went out of their way to accomodate them, despite the need to get next weeks programme filmed whilst the weather held.

They were treated to a tour of the Berryfields garden and an outdoor lunch before getting down to the business of the day; helping Monty with his pumpkin sowing.

Monty tried desperatly to extract the secret of how to grow record breaking pumpkins but the kids were having none of it and stood their ground - the secret remains safe. However, once off camera they did each exchange some valuable tips about growing pumpkins and Monty gave them both a signed copy of his new book, Gardening From Berryfields.

The feature is scheduled to be part of the Gardeners' World TV programme next Friday but you can find full details of the competition on the BBC Gardeners' World Website. If you are considering having a go at the Gardeners World Pumpkin Challenge, then beat the crowds and get your 'Hundredweight' pumpkin seed now.

Enter your Gardeners World Hundredweight Pumpkin in the 2005 Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition
If you do grow a big pumpkin then don't forget to enter it in the
2005 Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition

The time for the annual “Parish Assembly” has come round again in Hesketh Bank. This is a separate meeting from the Parish Council; the only connection being that the Chairman of the Parish Council also chairs the Assembly.

The meeting is an open forum for parishioners to hear reports from the County, District and Parish Councils as well as the Village School.

The village’s Emergency Support Officer Jan Dobson will bring villagers up to date with progress and Tracy Jacobs will be there to listen to problems regarding health matters and discuss any item which affects the Parish.

Members of the Parish wishing to place Propositions before the Assembly must put these in writing to the Parish Clerk no later than the 22nd of May 2004.

The Parish Council AGM follows immediately after the Assembly

Hesketh-with Becconsall Parish Council Website


In what has been a slow start to the election campaign trail it is Malcolm Barron who today breaks cover to lead the local charge with his election message to local voters. Malcolm is the local Conservative’s candidate for the 'West Lancashire North' seat on Lancashire County Council, vacant as a result of the death of Cllr Robert Hodge.

The prospective Ribble South parliamentary candidates are also likely to begin active campaigning for your vote over the next few days. David Borrow holds the seat for Labour and had a majority of 8% in 2001. The seat is however high on the Conservatives' target list and with Lorraine Fullbrook on the case it is likely to be a very close call. Local teacher Mark Alcock is also standing for the Liberal Democrats.

As always, we offer a free platform for all official candidates to share their message to their electorate and we have also opened a new election thread for letters.


The amount of owners who allow their dogs to foul footways and other pedestrian areas in Tarleton is of great concern to many residents and Tarleton Parish Council have been working in partnership with West Lancashire District Council to help provide additional distribution points for free poop scoop bags.

They are now available from Tarleton DIY on Church Road, The Spar Mark Square are available from Glassbrooks Vets, Hesketh Lane, and Tarleton library.

To also aid the disposal of dog waste there are 13 dog bins which are situated in Carr Lane, River View, Southport New Road, Trinity Walks, Highfield Close, Meadway, 2 on Rectory Gardens, Plox Brow, Mark Square, Sutton Lane/Gorse Lane, Fermor Road and Plox Brow/Coe Lane.

Nadine Ashcroft commented "There is no excuse for dog owner not to dispose of their dogs waste sensibly so please make use of the free poop scoop bags and dispose of them in the dog waste bins or take it home."

A Dog Fouling Enforcement Officer regularly patrols in Tarleton in an unmarked vehicle, specifically looking for the irresponsible minority of dog owners who do not clear up after their pets. Whilst he will normally issue £50 Fixed Penalty Notices, non-payers or repeat offenders will be taken to Court, where the maximum penalty is actually £1,000.

Download (pdf) DOG FOULING & THE LAW

West Lancs Environmental Health | Tarleton Parish Council

Sponsored Cycle Ride Around Banks & Tarleton

Following the success of last years boundary of Tarleton sponsored cycle ride Banks Piv Posse and Tarleton Youth Action Group are joining forces to do it bigger and better this year.

The boundaries of Tarleton and Banks form the route for this years event which will take place on Saturday 16th April. The cycle ride will start at Mark Square at Tarleton and follow a route to Banks and meet up with youngsters from Banks at Hesketh Avenue Pavilion, the two groups will complete the leg from Banks to Tarleton together where the Tarleton Group will finish and the Banks group will cycle back to Hesketh Avenue.

The groups are hoping to raise funds for a variety of things including an activity holiday to Normandy, new equipment for the Banks Youth Drop In and for the proposed Tarleton Youth Drop In, football kits and for summer activities.

The cycle ride will leave Mark Square at 11am, a briefing will take place at 10.45am, and Hesketh Avenue Pavilion at midday.

Local residents are welcome to join the groups on the cycle ride either just for fun or to raise funds for their chosen charity.

For further information please contact
Helen Randle on 01772 816648 or 07971 527520
Nadine Ashcroft on 01772 811552 or 07973 701585
or email
Banks PIV Posse or Tarleton Youth Action Group

Disabled Parking Logo "Offensive"?
Natwest Tarleton - Disabled Parking Puzzle

Mystery surrounds the yellow painted area on the car park outside the Natwest Bank on Church Road in Tarleton.

At first glance it would be natural to think that it is a disabled parking spot. But wait, where is the familiar disabled logo - person in a wheelchair - it's not there!

So the questions are: why has the area been marked up and who is it marked up for?

Our intrepid reporter ventured into the Bank to find out. 'Is it for disabled people to park their cars on when visiting the Bank?' The answer was 'Well it could be'.

Our reporter tried a different approach; ' Is the disabled logo still to be painted within the area? 'Oh no!' came the emphatic reply 'it might offend disabled people'.

Rumours suggest the painter refused to paint the logo and cited the Disability Discrimination Act as the reason for leaving it blank.

So there you have it. Is it for disabled drivers? Is it for non disabled drivers? Is it just a waste of yellow paint? Answers on a post card.....

After only three months of use, workmen today removed the Youth Shelter at Hesketh Bank on the instruction of the Parish Council.
Youth Shelter removed after surge in vandalism and anti social behavior

At the Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council meeting held last Monday, the councillors resolved that it was no longer equitable to put up with the continuing damage, nuisance and noise that had occurred most weekends since it’s installation. In addition, the amount of litter and evidence of alcoholic drinking had proved to be unacceptable.

The £8000 Youth Shelter was jointly financed by the Parish Council and West Lancashire District Council as an initiative to provide a meeting place for teenagers. The location of the facility was decided between the Parish Council and the teenagers themselves and was supported by the Police.

“Users were warned initially that if the facility was abused, then it would go. Regrettably the warning has not been heeded” said the Parish Clerk.

When asked if this was the end of the road for the Youth Shelter, the Clerk said “If the Parish Council, Village Hall Committee and Police can be truly convinced that our local teenagers can properly manage the facility, then there is the possibility that a Shelter could return to the Village”.

Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council

Youth Shelter - will it ever return?


The High School Gala Day is set for Saturday 7th May (see events). If any companies would like to advertise in the programme / brochure, they should contact the school on 01772 812644 by the end of March.

Dreams came true for West Lancs Tories tonight as they took 87% of the vote in what could possibly be one of the last local elections held before the General Election.
West Lancs District Council Election
Turnout 29%
Tarleton Parish Council Election
Turnout 31%
Sian Annis (Labour)
Jim Kay (Conservative)
Bob Foster
Jim Kay

Jim Kay
Councillor Jim Kay

Jim Kay stole the show with a resounding win in the head to head contest for the District Council seat and also by securing a place on Tarleton Parish Council.

Jim thanked all his supporters and promised to stand by the comments made in his election message. He vowed to help all those people who he now represented at both councils and genuinely hoped to help make Tarleton a better place.

Much interest also surrounded the postal vote which produced a massive 53% return, which was over 3 times that anticipated.


Three polling stations are open between 8am and 9pm today at:
Holy Trinity CE School
Mere Brow CE School
ATC Hut, Tarleton High School

Parish Council
Bob Foster
Jim Kay
District Council
Sian Annis (Lab)
Jim Kay (Con)


Counting of votes will start at 9pm this evening.
The results of the Parish Council and District Council election
will be posted on this website tonight


The Blue Box Recycling Scheme came under fire today after the collection was again delayed leaving the unsightly blue bags and boxes strewn along the footpaths of Tarleton and Hesketh Bank.

"It is just not on." said one resident today. "I try and do my bit, collecting the things that can go in the box, drag it to the front of the house only to see it stay there unemptied for days. During the recent storms the yellow lids and plastic bottles were blown all over the place. It makes Tarleton look like dump."

"Why is it just so difficult to collect on the day they told us it would? They say they have been taken by surprise at the response but there cannot be more Blue Boxes to empty than they issued in the first place!"

"Who is responsible for someone tripping over a box full of glass left on the pavement - me or the Council?"

Despite the protracted 'teething troubles' the District Council has still not rescheduled collections and insist Blue Boxes should still be put out on the day originally listed.

West Lancs DC Blue Box & Blue Bag Information


Tarleton High School is once again celebrating the fantastic sporting success of its pupils, who managed to achieve the title of Under 14’s District Champions at Basketball. Individual successes in Badminton were also achieved by Oliver Gyte, who is the Year 11 Boys Singles District Champion and Vicky Greenwood, who is the Year 10 Girls Singles District Champion.

Previous attempts at these titles were hampered as pupils could only practice the sport outdoors or with limited facilities, which was less than ideal.

The pupils, who can now practice various sports from the comfort of their brand new sports hall, were able to hone their basketball skills on the 10 hoops now available to them or their badminton on the 4 full sized courts.

Another benefit of the hall has been pupil’s willingness to participate in sports, which was never easy when faced with a cold and wet day! With the new hall, pupils are not only actively participating in new and exciting sports but their interest in exercise has been boosted, a fact supported by the attendance at after school sports clubs.

The staff and pupils are excited about the future and anticipate further sporting achievements in Tarleton High School’s continued rise to become a ‘centre of excellence’, a path that has become easier with the new facilities and equipment now available.

The sports hall is available for the public to hire at evenings and weekends for a variety of sports including; 5-a-side football, cricket and badminton.
In addition, the swimming pool is open to the public at various times during the week and weekend, so why not make use of your local sports facilities and drop in for a timetable or call 01772 817907 for more information.

Tarleton Community Sports Hall

The first stage of renovating the Hesketh Bank Village Hall by replacing the timber cladding with brick and replacing the existing wooden windows with UPVC units has now been completed. The southern facing side of the building (next to the Care Home) was chosen as the first stage of the project with the brickwork costing £5,750 and the windows £1,290. The Village Hall Committee hope to complete the remainder of the building over the next few years subject to successful applications for funding.
Currently, Happy Days Nursery and a number of recreational clubs including Judo, an Art Class and Slimmers World use the Village Hall, it is also hired out for birthday parties etc. In an effort to promote the Hall as a community asset, a survey of the village is to be carried out to identify other potential uses for the facility.

The Village Hall Management Committee would be delighted to hear from anyone either wishing to start up an activity in the village, or who would like to become involved helping manage this valuable community resource. Volunteers are always most welcome and could be involved in anything from a bit of painting at the weekend to the management of grant applications.To enquire about booking the Hall, please contact Brian Birkby on 01772 813340 or for all other enquires contact Mike Winrow on 01772 814214.


The Chair of Tarleton Parish Council today acknowledged that the so-called 'Gang of Ten' did act in the best interests of democracy by forcing an election and avoiding a co-opted member being introduced to the council.

His call for a review of the Standing Orders of the Council in order to prevent such a situation ever arising again has been widely welcomed. The full statement from the Chairman can be found on the TPC Letters Page

It is believed that only two people have thrown their hat in the ring for the Parish Council; Jim Kay and Bob Foster. For the position on West Lancs DC it is believed that Sian Annis and Jim Kay are standing. Official conformation of nominees is expected tomorrow.

Addendum: A statement received from WLDC this evening regarding who is responsible for the communication of such notices:

"In accordance with section 87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972 the responsibility to give public notice of the vacancy is the proper officer (Parish Clerk) of the council. Section 232, public notices, of the above act states;

(a) by posting the notice in some conspicuous place or places within the area, and

(b) in such other manner, if any, as appears to the parish council to be disable to giving publicity to the notice.

This section shall apply to a public notice required to be given by the chairman of a parish meeting as it applies to public notices required to be given by a parish council."

Tarleton 2005 - Local Election Page


Whereas the public have been led to believe that it was the 'Gang of Ten' who last week, with "disrespectful haste", called an election, it transpires that it was the Clerk to Tarleton Parish Council who initiated the process for filling the vacancy, the day after Cllr Hodges' funeral.

The form, completed by Mr Sears on the 29th December, clearly states that the Council will fill the vacancy by the Co-Option process unless ten electors from the parish request an election within 14 working days of the notice. The Notice of a Vacancy did not appear on the Parish Council notice boards and no mention of it was made at the Parish Council meeting held on the 18th of January - less than 24 hours before the deadline.

The 'Gang of Ten' claim they acted after being made aware of the situation on Wednesday the 19th at 1:30pm. "Unless we got ten signatures deposited at West Lancs District Council by 5pm that day the Parish Council would be able to co-opt a person of their choosing onto the Council. In the circumstances, we felt we had no choice but to act quickly"

An observer of the Parish Council today commented "It is hard to believe that the events that are unfolding do not reflect a cynical and calculated attempt to deny the public of their opportunity to participate on the council. No doubt the Clerk and WLDC will have to answer some pretty awkward questions about the way in which this whole saga has been handled".

The deadline for nominations to stand in the election is at noon this coming Friday.


The Licensing Act 2003 is due to be implemented in November 2005. This Act transfers responsibility for regulating licensed premises form magistrates to local authorities and its implementation will see the end of traditional licensing hours. From 7 February operators have been allowed to apply to extend the opening hours of their venues and by the time the Act is implemented in November 2005, it is expected that up to 80% of premises operators will have applied to open for longer.

Police and local authorities are currently processing applications from premises and it is extremely important that the views and concerns of all members of the community are taken into account when such applications are considered. Chief Inspector Jon Donnelly, Lancashire Constabulary's Licensing reform Co-ordinator offers the following advice for anyone concerned about the prospect of any particular premises opening for longer than at present from November this year; "Whilst there is an obligation under the new legislation for a premises to publicly declare an intention to apply for longer opening hours, these are easily missed. Consequently, my advice to any person or groups of individuals who may be concerned about a particular premises opening for longer is to approach the management of that premises and ask them what their intentions are for operating under the new regime. If the response doesn't allay concerns, then individuals and groups can register objections with the local authority. Arrangements have been made for local police licensing officers to be informed of all objections as a matter of course as they may assist any police objection."

Chief Inspector Donnelly continues "The Government's intention in formulating this Act is very much to relax licensing laws, but the legislation does create scope for reviewing opening hours where problems arise. Lancashire Constabulary licensing officers will be monitoring the effects of longer opening and intend to move swiftly to review the operating conditions of any premises that causes an unacceptable increase in crime, nuisance or disorder following implementation of any longer opening hours from November 2005."

Each policing division in Lancashire has dedicated licensing officers so members of the public wishing to discuss any issue with them should make contact through their local police station.


As there is only a matter of a few days during which a person can be nominated to stand in local elections, public awareness of a forthcoming election is paramount. Yet, unless you happen to be passing the notice board in the Ormskirk Council Offices, you may be unaware that the date has been set for the elections of a West Lancashire District Councillor and Tarleton Parish Councillor, both arising from the recent death of Cllr Hodge.

Despite the official date for publicising the election being yesterday, the information has still not yet managed to find it's way onto the Parish Council notice boards and no mention of an election was made at the Tarleton Parish Council meeting held only last week.

If you or anyone you know would wish to stand for either or both of these positions, nomination forms for both the District and Parish election can be obtained by telephoning 01695 585013. The election timetable is as follows:

27th January Publication of Notice of Election
Noon 4th February Nominations Closes
8th February Publication of persons nominated
3rd March Polling Day

The lack of communication about the election has already given rise to speculation that both "sides" may have little desire to bring the nomination 'window' to the attention of the masses; both possibly preferring to see a two horse race fought solely on party political grounds.

However, there was no doubt in any minds that communication will dramatically improve once the nomination window closes and the campaigning begins!

Tarleton Parish Council | West Lancashire District Council


Police are keen to trace the driver of a green Vauxhall Astra who they believe may have witnessed a fatal accident which happened yesterday morning.

A motorcyclist from Southport died after a collision with a black Peugot 206 on the A59 near the Black Horse at Hoole.

If you have any information please contact Lancashire Police on 0845 1 25 35 45


Tarleton High School, a Community Technical College, is delighted to announce that their brand new Community Sports Hall was opened on 21st January 2005 by Mr. David Borrow MP, who was joined by County Councillor Nora Ward, Chair of Lancashire County Council, County Councillor Alan Whittaker, Cabinet Member for Education, County Councillor Keith Riley and Mr. Kenny Dalglish, together with chairpersons from the local parish councils.

Tarleton and Hesketh Bank villages are celebrating as the first class hall is now combined with the existing swimming pool and the school’s recently achieved Technology College status. This now provides a real boost to the local community with new amenities available to all from Information Technology suites to a full sized indoor 5-a-side football pitch. With the recently published school league tables demonstrating the excellent academic success already achieved, combined with the brand new facilities, Tarleton High School will continue to grow as a centre of excellence.

Mr. Borrow MP said ‘’children deserve quality buildings, such as this sports hall’’ he added that the local community had changed over the years, along with its needs, which was also reflected in the schools investment in the new Information Communication Technology Suites.

Des Wadsworth, Longton Community Church Youth Pastor described the hall as the ‘first base’ on a road to sporting education and achievement for many pupils.

Mr. Kenny Dalglish spoke to school football team captains and representatives from all years represented by the school about their sporting successes on the football field and their ambitions for the future.

Head teacher Tony Hardiker, spoke of his delight at such a welcome facility now being available to both the pupils and local community, who have waited many years for the funding for such a project to be in place.

For many pupils, this is the first opportunity to partake in a number of new and exciting sports, which were previously unavailable. Badminton, Basketball and five-a-side football have been very popular activities and combined with the new trampoline, there is an activity to cater for most tastes.
One pupil beamed ‘’this is the first time I have really been able to play badminton, I enjoy it so much I have joined a club here’’

The funding, planning and construction was completed on time thanks to the hard work and a solid partnership consisting of the school, Lancashire County Council, Hesketh Bank Parish Council, Tarleton Parish Council and building contractor Clement Dickens.

A number of local teams and clubs are already operating sports programmes in the fantastic new hall including; badminton, football and trampolining. This provides much needed sporting opportunities for the local children and teenagers. In addition, a large number of the local community are already making good use of the facility by hiring it on a casual basis at evening and weekends for 5-a-side football and badminton.

On Friday morning, the school offered parents the opportunity to view the facilities now available to their children. Many of whom remarked on how wonderful it was that their children could learn the principles of sport and exercise in the comfort of the new hall. In the evening, many members of the local community grasped the opportunity to have a guided tour of the new sports hall, where they were able to see first hand the new facilities now on offer.


In a letter to Tarleton Parish Council which was read out at tonight's meeting, Tarleton High School Headmaster, Mr Anthony Hardiker, confirmed that the phone masts on the school will be removed.

Answering a number of queries raised by the Parish Council (see "REPORT OPENS HIGH SCHOOL HEALTH DEBATE" news report on 12th Jan), Mr Hardiker concluded his letter saying "You may be interested to know that a joint decision has been made by the school, LCC Legal Services and the LCC Property Group that we should commence communication with Orange to remove the phone masts within our contractual obligations. This procedure will commence in February 2005."

The controversial telephone equipment was first mounted on the High School roof in 1994 and has since generated over £35,000 of revenue for Lancashire County Council.

Whilst the news was warmly received by all present at the meeting, it will no doubt be a mixed blessing to local Orange customers who may feel this will provide little incentive for the mobile operator to address the local signal problems that have beset the network since the recent storms.

Associated Websites
Tarleton Parish Council | Lancashire County Council | Orange

Mobile phones

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


West Lancs District Council is about to take part in a high profile campaign to tackle the issue of abandoned vehicles. Between the 17th and 28th January one hundred and fifty Councils across the country will be running a two week "car amnesty" offering a free collection service to registered keepers wishing to surrender their vehicles.

It is estimated that 300,000 cars are abandoned every year at a cost of over £23 million to local authorities.


The local administration of the Poppy Appeal has now been picked up by Ian Cropper (perhaps better known locally in his role as Clerk to Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council). Ian is now responsible for the distribution and collection for the British Legion Poppy Appeal for Banks, Mere Brow, Hundred End, Hesketh Bank and Tarleton.

Last November was the first year with Ian in this role and he has just received feedback on the amounts collected in this area.

"I am truly amazed - the total amounted to £3,288.88. This is simply from the boxes in pubs, shops and schools around the area and two or three door to door collections."

"The real star was Tarleton High School who filled six boxes and raised a staggering £370."

In recognition of this achievement Ian will be presenting Tarleton High School with a special "Certificate of Appreciation" from the Royal British Legion at the School Assembly on Wednesday 26th of January.

Royal British Legion


A study into the potential health risks of phone masts urged a review of the planning process, which continues to allow them to be put up near homes and schools.

The findings of the second report compiled by world-renowned expert Sir William Stewart will come as a major boost to locals with concerns over the plethora of communications equipment mounted both on and near Tarleton High School.

Sir William, who is chairman of the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), spoke just before the official launch of the long-awaited document yesterday.

Stewart Report rekindles health debate over Mobile Telephone Masts on School
Storm clouds gather over High School Telecom's Masts
He said: "We will suggest that the planning process on base stations needs to be revisited and updated. I think it is a very important issue that has to be revisited."

Currently local authorities cannot refuse phone mast applications on the grounds of health fears but many locals would prefer no more masts to be sited near homes or schools until it is conclusively proved they are safe.

The concern regarding the telecommunication masts on the roof of Tarleton High School was last raised in public at the November 2004 meeting of Tarleton Parish Council. The Parish Council then agreed to write to the High School requesting details of the original specification and the specification as of now, and who benefits from the income provided by the equipment operators. In turn, the High School has sought professional advice on the topic and a survey by Lancashire County Council was conducted on the 17th December .

The report by LCC's Environmental Directorate was circulated to Parents on the 21st December, and concludes that the average field strengths found were 2.1 % of the guidelines and went on to say "There is general misunderstanding in relation to mobile phone telephony. It is generally accepted that if any casual link were ever shown with any health effect, this would be due to handsets rather than base stations."

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Hesketh Bank Silver Band Hut Vandalised

On Saturday night, vandals again targeted the Hesketh Bank Silver Band Hut, smashing a window and removing a chair. The chair was later found in the new Youth Shelter which is sited between the Band Hut and the Village Library.

Vandalism in the vicinity of the £8000 Youth Shelter has surged since its introduction in December. Windows in the Village Library have also been broken and panels from the concrete fence to the rear of the shelter have been removed and destroyed.

For the second Sunday in a row Tom Johnson, the Silver Band Secretary, found himself having to spend Sunday morning making emergency repairs to secure the Band Hut. "There was no public consultation about the site for a youth shelter but the council did promise that if there was any trouble it would be removed. Well there is trouble and I am calling for its removal."

The Clerk to the Parish Council responded "I was saddened to hear that there had been further trouble at the Village Hall site this weekend; The Parish Council do appreciate that it must be a cause of considerable annoyance to members of Hesketh Bank Silver Band."

"We are of course aware that instances of broken windows and bad behavior have occurred in the past, with damage to both the Library Building and Band Room and I am sure that none of us wish to apportion all the blame for these latest incidents to the new Shelter."

"It would be wrong to penalise the many decent children who now regularly use this facility because of the loutish behavior of a few. We do have some leads and these have been passed to the police."

The Chairmen of the Parish Council and Village Institute are to hold discussions as to the way forward and the action needed to be taken. As a gesture of good will, the Parish Council Chairman has offered to reimburse the cost of replacing the broken windows with 'vandal resistant' glazing.

Leaflets (see below) are also being circulated to local children directly and via local schools, basically saying that if the facility is abused, they will loose it.

The Clerk added "I hope we can all work together to make this project a success by tackling the vandalism rather than letting it win".

This Shelter is YOUR shelter

The Parish Council and Village Institute have provided it for YOU
so you have somewhere to meet . Please look after it.

Please donít leave litter, use the bin or take your rubbish home.

We want you to enjoy your new shelter but if abuse takes place, like the recently broken windows or the lighting of fires, we will have to remove it.

Some people didn't want this facility as they said it would cause a nuisance,
weíve put our faith in you to look after it and not be a nuisance
so please donít let us down.

If you know people that are causing a nuisance or committing damage
leave a telephone message in complete confidence on 07941 195150


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Associated Websites Hesketh Bank Band | Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council


At the 10.30 am Sung Eucharist on Sunday 2nd January, the Wardens were happy to announce the appointment of the Rev. Nicholas Davis to be the new Rector. He is currently curate at Darwen St Cuthbert with Tockholes St Stephen in the Darwen part of the Blackburn with Darwen deanery.

The date for his institution has yet to be arranged, but it is hoped it can be before Easter. He will be instituted as Priest-in-Charge of Tarleton, initially with a five year license, as is increasingly the practice in the diocese of Blackburn. This makes no difference to the parish, as he will be the Rector, a full time priest living in the parish, with all the same responsibilities as an incumbent.

The Rev Nicholas Davis is close to 30, and unmarried. Born and brought up in West Yorkshire (Rawdon, near Leeds), he says "but I do have a Lancashire grandfather."

After reading theology at the University of Bangor, he took a post as a lay pastoral assistant at St Mary, Tottenham. He then worked in London for Bishop's - an organ builder - before training for the priesthood at Mirfield.

While in training, he had an attachment in Darwen and that led to him being offered the post of curate at St Cuthbert with St Stephen in 2000. Ordained deacon in 2000 and priest in 2001, he looked after the parish during a clerical vacancy which ended in 2004.

A musician, with considerable experience of piano and organ, he also sings with choirs, and is a bell ringer. He enjoys fell walking and caving/ potholing, among many other interests.

He says: "I'm very excited about coming to Tarleton. I'm impressed by what I have seen of the parish so far and am looking forward to meeting more people and working with them to build up God's kingdom in this part of Lancashire."

Tarleton Holy Trinity Website


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