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31st December 2012
Anti-fracking group slams study
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

AN anti-fracking group has hit out at a new study which claims more people in Lancashire support the controversial gas extraction.

Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF), set up to oppose hydraulic fracturing work taking place near Hesketh Bank, said “the majority” of people in the county were still unaware what ‘fracking’ would mean.

The research, published by Cuadrilla Resources the company behind the work earlier this week, claimed people were “more knowledgeable” about the process and supported further.

A REAF spokesman said: “Fracking is a multi-faceted subject with a steep learning curve and people have to really engage with the the detail to be able to get a firm grip on the realities of planned commercial activities.”

13th December 2012
Gas fracking: Ministers approve shale gas extraction
Source: BBC News

The government has given the go-ahead for a firm to resume the controversial technique known as fracking to exploit gas in Lancashire.

The company, Cuadrilla, was stopped from fracking after two tremors near Blackpool.

Conditions have been imposed to minimise the risk of seismic activity.

In fracking, a mixture of water, sand and some chemicals is pumped into a well under high pressure to force the gas from the rock.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said shale gas was a promising new potential energy resource for the UK. It might contribute significantly to energy security and substitute for imports which are increasing as North Sea gas is decreasing.

But he warned against over-excitement: "We are still in the very early stages of shale gas exploration in the UK and it is likely to develop slowly.

"It is essential that its development should not come at the expense of local communities or the environment. Fracking must be safe and the public must be confident that it is safe."

He said the government had uncovered management weaknesses in Cuadrilla following the minor earthquakes. These had been put right, he said.

Click here for the full BBC News article

Lilly Morse, a campaigner from 'Frack Off' responded: “The long expected announcement that the government will allow fracking companies to continue attempts at exploitation of unconventional gas is the start of a major battle over what sort of world we will leave to our children”

“The government and industry’s promises of cheap, abundant gas are deluded. In the US the gas bubble has already burst with fracking companies on the verge of bankruptcy. Drilling has ground to a halt and gas prices have doubled since the begining of the year”

“The governments strategy of relying on fracking to fuel a new wave of gas fired power stations is utterly insane. Fracking is dirty, destructive and extremely expensive, and could never deliver the quantities of gas envisaged”

“In the last year and a half, a growing number of communities have begun organising to oppose fracking. Those communities can now clearly see that if they do not win this fight they will be sacrificed for the profits of vested interests”

“The evidence from the US and Australia that fracking destroys water supplies, air quality, ecosystems, and people’s health has been mounting for years, and is now too strong to ignore. Waiting for even more impacts to be discovered is not an option”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Committee

5th December 2012
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

Cuadrilla welcomes the Chancellor’s plans to consult on tax breaks for shale gas exploration. “We welcome the government's initiative to help the emerging shale gas industry get established," said Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s CEO.

Cuadrilla is seeking approval to drill, fracture and flow test a small number of wells in 2013. "Exploration is necessary to have a better understanding about how shale gas can be developed safely and sensibly from the Bowland Basin,” said Egan. “Costs in a technology industry such as ours will be higher at the outset, but will reduce over time as the industry grows.”

The company also supports the establishment of an Office for Unconventional Gas & Oil.

“In the UK, our activities fully comply with one of the world’s tightest regulatory systems for oil and gas,” Francis Egan said. “We welcome any initiative that streamlines decision-making processes while ensuring that all shale gas extraction conforms to the highest environmental and health and safety standards.”

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

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

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

The Market will contain 20 plus stalls with entertainment:

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

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

2nd December 2012
Cuadrilla set to resume fracking
Source: Sunday Telegraph

Cuadrilla is poised to spearhead the creation of a new UK industry in shale gas extraction, its chief executive has said, as the company prepares to resume "fracking" in Lancashire.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Francis Egan said the private-equity-backed company was ready to "press on quickly" once Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, lifts a moratorium on the controversial process.

Read the full Telegraph article here

2013 Hesketh Bank Calendar
12 Views of
In Watercolours

Cost £5
with all proceeds going to the North West Air Ambulance
Now on sale in local shops
or from June on 01772 813018

22nd November 2012
CUADRILLA: "strong local support for shale gas"
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

New research shows strong local support for shale gas, with people highlighting benefits of cheaper energy and job creation

Nearly twice as many local people support shale gas exploration in Lancashire than oppose it, according to a new survey.

Cuadrilla Resources commissioned BritainThinks to conduct 1,000 telephone interviews with people living in three council areas – Blackpool, Fylde and West Lancashire. The purpose of the survey was to understand peoples’ attitudes about shale gas, together with their beliefs about the potential benefits and risks associated with the gas’s extraction.

Following prompted and unprompted questions about the benefits and risks of natural gas from shale, the survey found that 44 per cent of respondents support continued local exploration to understand the potential of shale gas, with 23 per cent opposed. The remaining 33 per cent are undecided. Of those people who expressed an opinion, 65 per cent back shale gas exploration, while 35 per cent oppose it.

Respondents were most likely to identify cheaper energy (23 per cent) and job creation (11 per cent) as the potential benefits to come from shale gas. The risk of earth tremors (32 per cent) and water pollution (11 per cent) were highlighted as the main potential disadvantages. Around one-third of people were unable to identify any potential benefits or disadvantages associated with shale gas.

Overall, the survey found that knowledge levels about shale gas are low, with 48 per cent of people saying they know “very little” or “nothing” about it. A further 38 per cent believed they know “a little” about shale gas, with only 15 per cent knowing “a lot”.

"There are claims made that Lancastrians are against shale exploration and development, but this research provides a more accurate perspective,” said Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla Resources. “We commissioned this survey to increase our understanding of local sentiments about shale gas. It’s clear that, while many people support our plans, others either haven’t made up their minds about or want more information.

"The only way we can earn community trust is through openly discussing all perspectives on shale gas, based on the facts. We will continue our efforts at this kind of engagement.”

“This research shows that, for local people, the debate around natural gas from shale is just beginning” said Ben Shimshon, Director at BritainThinks “At the moment, knowledge levels are low, but a majority of local residents are interested and open to hearing more.”

Cuadrilla Resources is still in the early stages of exploration and it hopes to receive the go ahead in the near future to fracture and flow-test two wells in 2013.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded here

19th November 2012
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The Twelve Days of Christmas is the theme for this year’s Christmas celebrations at Rufford Old Hall, together with Christmas concerts Christmas shopping Days and a visit from Father Christmas himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Formby and Maghull


Ormskirk and Western Parishes                


Skelmersdale and Southern Parishes       


Northern Parishes                            


Rest of England and Wales


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

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like to attend any of these events please let us know by phoning 01704 704714 or e-mail

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

8th November 2012
Source: Southport Visiter

POLICE are hunting a man want over thefts of alcohol from Booths in Hesketh Bank.

An appeal for information has been made after a member of staff was verbally abused by a thief making off with a bottle of Verve Clicquot champagne from the store on November 1 at 8.37pm.

Police also want to speak to the man over three other thefts from the store this year.

On April 5 a bottle of Jack Daniels worth £24.39; a bottle of Famous Grouse worth £16.69 and a bottle of Courvoisier worth £25.09 were stolen.

Another theft on August 29 saw two bottles of Martel Brandy worth £41.90 taken and the third theft on October 25 involved two bottles of Prestige Des Secres Brut Champagne worth £59.98.

Click here for the complete Southport Visiter article

28th October 2012
Recycling Plant POTS FOR CHARITY
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The Garden Studio at Tarleton have launched a great idea to raise funds for charity recycling decorative plant pots for charity.

Simply bring in your unused or unwanted ornamental plant pots (not the basic 'utility' pots) and they will resell with all the proceeds given to a chosen charity. The recipient charity will change every 6months.

In addition, the Garden Studio will plant up selected plant pots with top quality hardy plants donated as their contribution, and sell them too!

Have a look around your garden: do you have any decorative pots that you haven't got around to planting up or ones that you don't like anymore? Would you welcome the opportunity to do something different with them and help a charity into the bargain?

If you are interested in this scheme then either visit The Garden Studio at 151A Southport New Road, Tarleton. PR4 6HX or telephone 01772 812672

26th October 2012
Farewell Requiem Mrs McBride
Reported by: The McBride Family & Beryl

Mrs Una McBrideIt is with great sorrow I tell you that God took our darling, beautiful, courageous little Mumsy home to Heaven very suddenly last Thursday 18th October 2012.

She is safe with my Dad again now, all who loved her and the angels.

My cousin said, “Auntie Úna is on a rocket to heaven, no question about it.”

I ask you to please say a prayer for her soul, light a candle if you can and Bless you.

Mums final words were giving as ever, she said to Rose, one of her wonderful carers, “Bless You…” then she left us all for heaven.

The Coroner has now given me permission to plan for Mums Farewell Requiem. Our fond farewell and a joyous Celebration of the life of an amazing Lady will take place on Saturday 3rd November at 1pm at Our Lady Help of Christians RC Church ,Tarleton , Lancashire PR4 6.

In honour of our Mother, whose whole life was devoted to giving to others, we invite you to send donations rather than flowers. All donations will help to launch a new Charity pilot, “Dying to Keep Warm” which will buy safe heaters to keep vulnerable old people less fortunate than Mum, from dying of cold this year. £30 buys one safe heater and may save the life of one vulnerable old person in Lancashire this winter. Please consider any amount will make a difference, do as you feel best in memory of Mum and thank you for your generosity of spirit.

For all details and to donate, please contact: W.H. Hull Funeral Directors on: 01772   812409

Thank you.

With warmth, gratitude, respect and great sadness,

The McBride Family &  Beryl

24th October 2012
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A honey coloured Golden Retriever, about 18 months old has been found today on Sutton Avenue, Tarleton at around 12.30 pm.

She has no collar and looks like she's had a recent vets visit as she has 2 shaved patches on her front legs.

Please call 01772 811 053 for more information.

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

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

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

16th October 2012
Source: Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council

The Parish Council Planning Committtee at their October Meeting Resolved to object to the proposed development of two wind turbines on land at Shore Road Hesketh Bank. Over twenty residents were present at the meeting with a large majority objecting to the proposal. The full text of the objection is detailed below:-

1.    The Council are of the opinion that the proposal would have detrimental effect on the locality generally, and on amenities that ought, in the public interest, to be protected contrary to the provisions contained at paragraph 39 in the ODPM Companion Guide to PPS 22.

2.    The Council are of the opinion that as the proposed development is within a few metres of a registered Bridle Way (Number 53) it presents a significant danger to horses and riders. It is also noted that contrary to paragraph 56 of the ODPM Companion Guide to PPS 22, the applicant has apparently failed to formally consult with the British Horse Society who recommend a minimum distance between a Bridle Way and a wind turbine of 200 metres.

3.    The Council note that the proposed development would have a total electrical output of 1,225 Mwh which is clearly an industrial installation and inappropriate within the Green Belt.

We also note with some concern that many residents (especially to the west of the proposed site) had not been consulted. The Council believe that such a physically large proposed development which would be visible on this flat land over a great distance, should involve consultation over a similarly large area; we would respectfully recommend that “Natural England” is also consulted.

The Council were also concerned that the application did not fully convey the impact of the proposed development in that:-

1. The location map was of poor quality and did not accurately locate the proposed turbines.

2. The Photomontage did not give an adequate picture of the proposal as no comparative images were included.

3. There is a failure to refer to the adjacent Bridleway in the Design and Access Statement.

Have your say on the Letters Page

10th October 2012
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

A pair of wind turbines the size of nine houses stacked on top of each other are planned for farmland in the Lancashire countryside.

Plans have been submitted for the turbines to go up on land at Cottams Farm on Shore Road, Hesketh Bank, near Preston, which will create a mini-commercial wind farm.

They will stand 182 feet high from the base to the tip of the propeller.

The planning expert who submitted the plans admitted the company behind them, Manning UK, was planning to pump the energy straight into the National Grid rather than use it to power a local farm.

Click here for the complete LEP article | Have your say on the Letters Page

9th October 2012
Michael Jones 1987 - 2012
Source: Hesketh Bank AFC

All at Hesketh Bank AFC would like to pass on their sincere condolences to the close friends and family of Michael Jones, who has tragically passed away after a fatal stabbing in New York, he was just 25.

Although Michael did not play for the club, he was an excellent footballer for Tarleton Corinthian's Saturday and Sunday senior sides. He was living in New York establishing himself as a superb youth team coach at New York Red Bulls.

He was very close to current management and players of the senior section of Hesketh Bank AFC, this is a very sad time for both clubs and everyone in our community.

James Smith - 1st team manager (On behalf of Hesketh Bank AFC)

8th October 2012
New York Red Bulls coach Mike Jones stabbed to death
Source: BBC NEWS

A 25-year-old British man who was working as a football coach in the US has been stabbed to death in New York.

Mike Jones, originally of Tarleton, Lancashire, was attacked in Manhattan in the early hours of Sunday, the New York Police Department (NYPD) said.

Mr Jones, who coached the New York Red Bulls juniors, was declared dead on arrival at Bellevue Hospital, New York.

An NYPD spokesman said the coach had been found with a severed ear and stab wounds to his head and neck.

"It is absolutely horrendous," said Betty Parkinson, chair of Tarleton Corinthians who Mr Jones used to play for.

Click here to see the complete BBC News article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3rd October 2012
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AVON representatives from all over the area, including Hesketh Bank and Tarleton, will be helping to raise money for the BREAKTHROUGH FOR BREAST CANCER CHARITY at the AVON Open Day at the Brewers Fayre, Ocean Plaza, Southport, PR8 1RY, on Monday 15th October between 10.30am till 7pm.

There will lots of the fabulous AVON Christmas products on show for you to have a look at and try, including the special Breakthrough products. Entry is £1 for which you get a raffle ticket to win an Avon Hamper. If you haven't tried AVON before, this is your chance, and you will be raising money for a very worthwhile cause.

If you can't get to that, but would like to see an Avon catalogue, with the new anti-wrinkle AF33 products, the new Strictly Come Dancing perfumes, and the Christmas gifts, ring Sue & Ian on 07767 638996, or contact your regular Avon independent representative.

2nd October 2012
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

Cuadrilla Resources applies for a permit for water disposal Cuadrilla Resources has submitted an application to the Environment Agency for a permit to safely dispose of its returned water.

Cuadrilla currently has completed exploration well sites near Banks, Singleton and Weeton. A fourth exploration well is currently being drilled at Westby.

The Environment Agency is charged with regulating Cuadrilla’s water usage and disposal, and with setting any conditions it considers appropriate to protect the environment and people. The permit application sets out the measures that Cuadrilla proposes to take to ensure the safe disposal of returned waters.

The Environment Agency will carefully review this application, including an appropriate period of public consultation.

26th September 2012
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Both North Meols and Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Councils have been today invited by Lancashire County Council to comment on a variation to planning regarding the Cuadrilla exploration site at Hundred End:

Our ref: 08/12/1032/ASP/RJ
Date: 26 September 2012

Dear Sir/Madam

APPLICATION: 08/12/1032
GR: 340599 422951

I have received an application for the above. The application, plans and supporting
details can be viewed on the County Councils web site I should be pleased to have your observations
or comments within 21 days of the date of this letter, after which date I will assume you
have no observations to make and the County Council will be able to determine the

Please note I am considering whether or not the proposal requires the submission of an
Environmental Statement. I will write again when I have made my decision. In the event
an Environmental Statement is required and submitted, you will be provided with a copy
or relevant extracts and a further consultation period will be provided.
If you require any further information, please contact me on the above telephone

Yours faithfully
Rob Jones
Planning Officer

As the 21 days allowed for responses will not allow for agenda items to be formally raised, residents should ensure they make any representations directly to their local Councillors.

24th September 2012
Source: South Ribble Borough Council

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

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

You can check the Environment Agency website for the latest information:

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

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

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

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

Lancashire County Council (roads flooding): 0845 0530011

United Utilities (drainage issues): 0845 7462200

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18th September 2012
Source: Press Release

The Parish Council is delighted to announce that Hesketh Bank has been “Highly Recommended” in the Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition in the Large Village Category achieving fourth place out of twenty three entrants.

This is the first time in over fifteen years that Hesketh Bank has featured in the list of winners and is undoubtedly due to the significant number of improvements made by both private enterprise developments and the Parish Council Initiatives such as the “Jubilee Gardens” outside the Village Community Centre and the extensive Allotments on Shore Road.

17th September 2012
Source: Press Release

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

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

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

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

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

15th September 2012
Hesketh Bank Village Show
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Best in Show winner at the 2012 Hesketh Bank Village Show 2012 BEST IN SHOW - Sandra Baxter
"Flowers and Plants" - W. Taylor
"Floral Art" - Janette Bradley
"Professional Grower" - Robert Ball & Sons
"Amatuer Gardener" - Andy Roe
"Eggs" - Jillian Young
"Home Baking" - Sandra Baxter
"Photography" - Rachael Abram
"Age 5 & Under" - Thomas Smitton
"Age 6 - 8" - Mia Ascroft
"Age 9 - 16" - Joanne Houghton
"Children All Ages" - Samantha Whiteside

Hesketh Bank Village Show photos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10th September 2012
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Please don't forget that entry forms for the Hesketh Bank Village Show must be in TODAY! Download a show schedule and an entry form on :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To contact Jenny or Margaret call 01704 821358.

7th September 2012
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Residents had a rude awakening this morning when a Cuadrilla drill rig was loaded and moved through a residential area at 7am. Calls for clarification on how such operations are authorised, managed and regulated have been made.

The move follows days of rising tensions over the surprise arrival of the drilling machine and the subsequent movements thereafter of heavy plant up and down Becconsall Lane to service the operation on farm land at Becconsall Hall.

Residents upset over Cuadrilla drill rig

Residents complained that they had been kept in the dark. "We had no notice at all about the disruption", "A courtesy notice of what was going to happen and for how long would have been helpful". "Why was planning not needed?"

Complaints to Lancashire County Council about the trails of mud down Becconsall Lane and beyond have not yet resulted in any meaningful clean up operation.

It is understood that the Becconsall operation was one of many holes being drilled in the area down which listening sensors are being fitted in readiness for the fracking operations begining on the marsh.

Update 9:30am Richard Brown of Cuadrilla has been in touch saying that a roadsweeper is scheduled to clean the roads today.

Update 4pm A roadsweeping machine has this afternoon removed all loose material but the bulk of the clay remains caked on the road. Cuadrilla are aware and will be addressing this early next week.

Update Saturday 8th Road cleaned and explanatory Cuadrilla Micro Seismic Monitoring leaflets distributed to residents.

7th September 2012
Source: Southport Visiter

THE scheme to develop the Becconsall Hotel site is set to get the go-ahead after changes to the scheme’s drainage requirements.

Concerns had been raised about the amount of surface water which collected in the site’s car park, and where the water would drain to.

But after consultations with United Utilities a plan to connect the site’s drainage to an existing sewer system in Station Road has been approved, marking the removal of the last barrier blocking the development – and which is expected to be approved at a planning meeting this week.

Click here for the full Southport Visiter article

Have your say on the letters pages

7th September 2012
Source: Southport Visiter

COMMUNITY facilities in Tarleton are set for an investment of more than £40,000.

The pot of cash has come from Section 106 money – funds that developers must provide as part of housing schemes to enhance public open space for community benefit.

The proposed projects in Tarleton, which will be considered at a meeting of West Lancs cabinet on September 11, would see £43,970 invested in improvements to the Carr Lane recreation area.

The two-part plan would involve the refurbishment of the children’s play area, and improved drainage to the playing fields – meaning teams such as Tarleton Corinthians FC will be able to play through the winter with less disruption through flooding.

Click here for the full Southport Visiter article

6th September 2012
BBC TV Gardener's World visits Hesketh Bank
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A film crew for BBC Gardener's World visited Hesketh Bank yesterday. Filming took place in the garden of Richard & Irene Hodson at Hawthornes Clematis, Marsh Road, Hesketh Bank.

Richard and Irene's nursery specialise in Clematis, mostly Viticellas and host the National Collection.

During the visit, Carol Klein approved a new pink clematis bred here to be named after her.

Due to the dynamic nature of the programme a definite slot cannot be guaranteed but the footage is due to be screened "soon".

6th September 2012
Cuadrilla’s fracking PROTEST VERDICTS
Source: 'Rising Tide' Press Release

An environmental activist who climbed a drilling rig in a protest against fracking in December last year was today found guilty under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act at Preston Magistrates Court. She was ordered to pay a £250 fine and £750 costs.

Yesterday two other defendants were cleared of charges of aggravated trespass as part of the same court case.

On 1 December 2011, protestors from Bristol Rising Tide occupied the test drilling rig, at Cuadrilla Resource’s Hesketh Bank site, Lancashire, shutting it down for 13 hours.

During the trial, it emerged that Cuadrilla had continued drilling for two months after their planning permission had expired.

In her final submission, the defence barrister, Farraht Arshad said of her client: “As a concerned citizen no other avenues were open to her.” She justified this statement by the evidence given in the trial by DECC and Lancashire County Council.

DECC, the licencing authority, uses the off-shore oil regulations to licence on-shore fracking operations and stated that they are not interested in policing breaches of environmental law which is the job of the local planning authority and the Environment Agency.

The local council planning officer made it clear in his evidence that he only had limited resources and few powers to police developers. The general expectation from these regulators is that companies will regulate themselves.

It was clearly established during trial that Cuadrilla Resources had flouted the period of their planning permission by two months, and had failed to comply with their own method statement related to the protection of birdlife from the nearby Site of Special Scientific Interest. As a result they were potentially in breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Neither DECC nor the local council appeared to be concerned about taking action to prevent this crime.

Despite these facts, Judge Ward rejected the defence’s argument that the activists were preventing a crime.

Zoë Smith, the convicted activist said: “This verdict confirms my view that the regulatory authorities are
hopelessly inadequate at their job and don’t have the protection of the environment as a priority. Companies like Cuadrilla are allowed to flout their obligations with impunity, while concerned citizens are

4th September 2012
Lawfulness of Cuadrilla’s fracking operations QuestionED
Source: 'Rising Tide' Press Release

Cuadrilla Resources continued drilling for two months after their planning permission had expired at their Hesketh Bank site, Preston Magistrate's Court heard today.

Three activists are on trial at Preston Magistrates Court today, following an action which shut down Cuadrilla Resources' hydraulic fracturing rig at the Ribble Estuary, Lancashire last December. The activists are charged with aggravated trespass.

To be found guilty, it needs to be shown that they had disrupted a legal activity. In this case that means the drilling operations of Cuadrilla. However, today in court the Head of Planning from Lancashire County Council, Alyn Perigo, confirmed that Cuadrilla were operating outside the period of their planning permission.

Cuadrilla had in fact continued to drill two months beyond their agreed time limit. Mr Perigo also confirmed they had failed to meet a key condition to safeguard bird life from the adjacent Ribble Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The council officer admitted they had few resources and very limited powers to police developers and that they largely relied on developers meeting their obligations.

Tomorrow morning, Pat Waring, an Ecologist employed by Cuadrilla Resources, will be called as an expert witness by the prosecution to try to demonstrate that Cuadrilla were not breaking the law.

2nd September 2012
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Everyone is reminded to be thinking about their entry forms completed and submitted by next weekend in readiness for the show itself on Saturday 15th September.

The show schedule is available to download here or grab a paper copy at many of the local village shops.

Please send completed entry forms to Hesketh Bank Village Show, Douglas View, 21 Guide Road, Hesketh Bank, PR4 6XS. Please enclose your entry fee with cheques made payable to Hesketh Bank Village Show. The final date for entry forms to be received is 10th September.

Click here for more details about the Hesketh Bank Show.

29th August 2012
Cuadrilla seeks to extend use of temporary site
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

Cuadrilla Resources, the British company exploring for gas in Lancashire, is to submit an application to Lancashire County Council to continue work at a temporary site near Hesketh Bank.

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

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

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

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

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

23rd August 2012
Source: Ormskirk Advertiser

POLICE have called for a review into the premises licence of a Hesketh Bank sports complex after complaints from residents..

Concerns have been raised about 3G All Weather Football Pitches on Station Road, Hesketh Bank, after police and environmental protection officers received complaints of excessive noise and disorderly customers.

During 2011, police received a total of 21 reported incidents relating to the complex, which includes the Locker Room Restaurant and the Boots Barred sports bar.

On September 24 last year, police responded to a report of women fighting at a function held at the Locker Room. One woman was found to be unconscious and two other women were arrested.

Two complaints about loud music have been received during 2012, including one occasion on May 26 when police were forced to stop a live band from playing in the car park outside the venue.

Police have also raised concerns about “securing of evidence in relation to any incidents that may occur at these premises.”

A letter of complaint from local residents, received by the council, said: “This business regularly flouts its licence in respect of loud, live music and noise. This is having a terrible effect on the residents in the area.”

Click here to read the complete Ormskirk Advertiser article

14th August 2012
Caravan stolen from SOUTHPORT NEW ROAD, Tarleton
Source: Southport Visiter

A SOUTHPORT man is furious after a thief stole the caravan he had just finished paying for.

Glen Jones, 53, recently drove to a private site in Tarleton where his caravan was kept only to discover it had been stolen.

Lancashire police has confirmed that the caravan was towed away from the park off Southport New Road after a wheel clamp was removed.

Mr Jones described his caravan as a cream-coloured Abbey Spectrum 620. The registration was M925 BMA.

Click here to read the complete Southport Visiter article

31st July 2012
new podiatry clinic OPENS next to Booths
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Southport podiatrist Chris Lean has opened a new clinic next to Booths in Hesketh Bank.

She identified the need for the clinic in Hesketh Bank and  will be offering a range of foot care services from simple toenail cutting to nail surgery, biomechanics and orthotics.

Shirley Robinson an experienced and well respected podiatrist will be based here along with Chris and both are looking forward to providing the people of Hesketh Bank & Tarleton with a service that is professional and comprehensive.

Having both practised in the NHS and privately they are currently open for appointments on Wednesday 9-1pm and Thursday 9-5pm.

Find more local businesses and services in the local directory

24th July 2012
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Hesketh Bank’s Police and Communities Together (PACT) will hold their next two open meetings in the coffee shop at Booths Supermarket, Hesketh Bank, on Thursday 6th September and Thursday 1st November from 1pm.

“The Public Participation meetings are designed to give an open forum for any local resident to have their say, raise concerns and find out first-hand what is happening with policing in the village,” said ECSO (Emergency Community Support Officer) Andy Curry, who will be at the meetings.

22 July 2012
Official Naming of Locomotive "JOFFRE"
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The sun shone down on the volunteers and dignitaries who gathered today at the West Lancashire Light Railway at Hesketh Bank for the official naming of the restored Kerr Stuart Locomotive 2405 'Joffre'.

Naming Ceremony of the locomotive 'Joffre' at the West Lancashire Light Railway in Hesketh Bank

The Director of the National Railway Museum, Steve Davies MBE unveiled the nameplate before invited guests took their place on the inaugural passenger train hauled by 'Joffre'.

Inaugural run of the newly restored Joffre on the West Lancashire Light Railway at Hesketh Bank

'Joffre' is the oldest known surviving member of a class of 70 locomotives built by the Stoke-on-Trent firm Kerr Stuart in 1915. They were ordered by the French Military for the first World War, hauling supplies and troops on the many narrow gauge railways that criss crossed the battle fields of Northern France. The Joffre Class took their name from Marshall Joseph Joffre, the French Chief of General Staff.

After the war many locomotives were sold off and five of the Joffre class ended their working days in a quarry outside Calais. All five were repatriated in 1974 and No 2405 delivered to Hesketh Bank. Restoration has been progressing over the last fifteen years by a small devoted team who have attempted to faithfully return it to "as delivered" condition.

More Information: West Lancashire Light Railway | West Lancashire Locomotive Trust
More Photos: Flickr Slideshow

17th July 2012
Fracking VerdicT: GUILTY
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Three people accused of disrupting ‘lawful activity’ at a Cuadrilla Resoucres fracking site in Lancashire have been found guilty after a four day trial in Preston Magistrates Court.

In November 2011, Lauren Pepperell, Barbara Anne Cookson and Edward Lloyd-Davies entered a test-drilling site on Banks marsh owned by Caudrilla. They occupied the rig and prevented it from operating.

The three were arrested and charged with aggravated trespass. Cookson and Lloyd-Davies were also charged with assault. All three were today sentenced to two-year conditional discharges and a fine of £750 each.

The defendants, who all plead not guilty, challenged the lawfulness of the company’s operations and also presented a defence of ‘necessity’; asserting that stopping fracking is necessary in the context of run-away climate change and the damage it will cause the environment and local communities.

The defendants presented a large number of expert and non-expert witnesses from the UK and US to testify against the use of this unconventional process in the British Isles. This included climate scientists Prof Howarth, from Cornell Univerity, and Prof Broderick, from the Tyndall Centre, an ex-industry insider from the US, James Northrup, and Caroline Lucas, Green MP.

17th July 2012
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On Friday 20th July, BT will be upgrading the local phone exchange as part of the nationwide roll out of BT Infinity.

The upgraded fibre optic technology and new cabinets are anticipated to deliver a more reliable and possibly slightly faster service to all users whilst enabling subscription to the 'Infinity' service at speeds of up to 76Mb.

16th July 2012
Diamond Jubilee Medal AWARD FOR SUE
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Sue Rigby, of Hesketh Bank, has been handed the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for 11 years service as a community first responder with the North West Ambulance Service.

She is a member of the responder team covering Tarleton and Hesketh Bank and recently helped raise funds to buy a defibrillator in memory of a heart attack victim.

The 50-year-old said: “It was just before Christmas that the victim died and friends and I knew we had to do something.

“Everytime a heart goes into cardiac arrest, every minute the heart stops beating, the patient’s chances of survival drops by 10%, so having this equipment to hand is life-saving.”

The kit is now installed at the branch of supermarket chain Booths in Hesketh Bank.

13th July 2012
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The trial of 3 people accused of disrupting lawful activity at the Cuadrilla 'Becconsall' fracking site on Banks marsh enters its last day today. The defence case, which finished yesterday, presented evidence from a number of expert witnesses and local residents on the threat posed by the fracking process. Closing arguments in the four day trial will begin on this morning and a verdict is expected soon afterwards. 

The trial, in Preston Magistrates Court, has accepted evidence from a number of expert witnesses including Prof Robert Howath from Cornell Univerity and Dr John Broderick from the Tyndall Centre in Manchester on threat posed by Shale Gas extraction. Evidence was also presented from Caroline Lucas MP on the urgent threat of posed by climate change and need for protests like this to catalyse change.

Residents from around the Cuadrilla Resources sites in Lancashire testified to propety damage and health effects caused by the fracking operations last year that resulted in several earthquakes, and to the total lack of notice or consultation they received before planning permission was granted. Other witnesses raised issues around environmental permitting and planning permissions for Cuadrilla's activities.

On the 2nd November 2011, 5 people occupied the Cuadrilla Resources drilling rig at Banks to draw attention to growing threat posed by the spread of unconventional gas extraction to the British Isles. This protest was timed to coincide with an industry sponsored “Shale Gas Environmental Summit” in London, as well as the release of a report in which Cuadrilla admitted that the fracking of its first well had caused earthquakes.

UPDATE 13th July 6pm

District Judge Peter Ward, sitting at Preston Magistrates Court, has adjourned the case to consider the complex evidence given by both sides, including the effects of fracking on the environment.

He will give his decision on Tuesday July 17 at 2pm. All three defendants are bailed until then.

9th July 2012
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A range of nutritious meals designed specifically for Seniors has launched at Booths.

The range has been developed by On The Menu to tackle the problems faced by pensioners living alone, and those who care for them.

In 2011, five patients aged over 60 were admitted to hospital with malnutrition every week due to various factors including decreased mobility, reduced appetite and difficulties in finding food that they find easy to open and prepare that also fits their tastes.

As government cutbacks mean that local services such as Meals on Wheels are reduced and the population steadily ages, this figure looks set to rise again this year. It is predicted that by 2015 more than 400,000 over 65s will live alone in the North West.

On The Menu developed the range of meals with the input of more than 200 pensioners through Lunch Clubs and across the Senior community at large to produce a range of meals that fit both the taste and digestion of seniors

The hand prepared meals have been developed by chefs and approved by dieticians and take into consideration the GDA guidelines set out by the British Heart Foundation, provide 1 of your 5 a day vegetables, are high in protein and low in saturated fat.

The fresh frozen meals can be cooked in either the microwave or in an electric or gas conventional oven. The easy open packs have been specially designed with a large-sized, easy-to-grip tab, making it easier to peel back the film lid, and larger type size to ensure cooking instructions and nutritional information are easy to read.

On the Menu founder and MD, Elizabeth Jones, developed the idea for Seniors after caring for her own mother and finding great difficulty in finding meals that were safe to store, easy to cook and fitted her mother’s taste, digestion and preferred portion size.

She said: “As we get older, shopping and cooking meals from scratch can become challenging and with one in seven of those over-75 and living at home currently malnourished, the need for accessible, convenient and nutritious food has never been greater.

“With local council budget cuts in some areas, the cost of subsidised Meals on Wheels in the community is increasing in price or, in some areas, being decommissioned entirely. On the Menu is offering a convenient alternative to both care providers and family members who shop for parents and relatives.

“We all want to be able to stay in our own home and maintain independence for as long as possible. Eating well and having adequate nutrition is key in achieving this.

It can be a real concern that those we love and care for are eating enough wholesome food when we, as carers, are not there.”

Always keen to offer the very best, Elizabeth continued: “We want to hear from local communities and understand what they would like us to add to the menu next. We also know from our research that certain ingredients can cause digestive irritations and have taken this into consideration with our recipes.

“We are delighted that Booths is stocking our food and look forward to providing a necessary service to the community.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Organiser of the Festival, Market and Southport Country Fair, Kelvin Pye stated: “We wanted to spice up the Farmers Market with themes and a Summer Beer Festival seemed a good idea. By inviting micro-breweries and small vineyards we are ‘inn keeping’ with our small local food producers and if it goes down well we will repeat it in the autumn.”

In addition to the Beer Festival, regular farm producers selling their goods and giving away free tastes, producers include: Shirley's home made pies, world famous Goosnargh duck and duck liver pate, award winning Dalesbred finest meats, Lancashire cheese, olives, French bread, local cup-cakes, herbs and plants, chillis, tomatoes, Southport Shrimps and fresh fish.

For craft lovers and shoppers there will be some local woodcrafts, cards and gifts and home made leather hand bags and accessories For the more sober-minded, the new tea-room will also be supplying light refreshments including home made cakes.

The Festival is free and also offers free car parking. For more information contact Kelvin on 01704 212 734 (office hours only).

More local events

28th June 2012
Source: Ormskirk Advertiser

TARLETON Brass Band celebrated a clean sweep after picking up five trophies at an annual band contest in Kirkby Lonsdale.

The June 17 event saw Tarleton competing with five others from across the North West.

And they walked away with five trophies on the day – for best overall band, best hymn tune, best march, most entertaining band and best conductor.

Click here to read the complete Ormskirk Advertiser article

26th June 2012
Alty’s Move Update
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

A date has now been set for the relocation of all Building & Timber sales from Hesketh Bank to Hoole.

The huge investment in Warehousing, Timber Machining, Racking, Offices and Machinery at Hoole is almost complete and the final phase will be to move the Stock and Staff.

The Woodyard and Weighbridge will trade as normal up to Lunchtime on Saturday 21st July.

As from Monday 23rd July, Chris, Wayne, Ken, Matt, Eric, Steve, Allan and Michael will all move to Hoole for the launch of the ‘All New’ Altys Builders Merchants.

Although this marks the end of an era in Hesketh Bank, Alty's are very excited about the new operation and customers will benefit from a one stop shop with wider product ranges as well as improved prices and service.

Alty's will also offer an unbeatable, FREE, delivery service into the Hesketh Bank, Tarleton and Banks area.

The Horticultural Department is completely unaffected by any of these changes. The Head Office will remain open and there are no changes to Telephone numbers, e-mail addresses etc.

25th June 2012
Source: Formby Times

MP Rosie Cooper issues challenge over funding reforms that have sparked fears for small rural schools.

Funding reforms which have sparked fears for the future of small schools were challenged by West Lancs’ MP at the House of Commons.

Last month, the Visiter revealed how rural schools with fewer than 100 pupils – including five around Southport – could be affected by government proposals to change the way schools are funded.

Banks methodist, Tarleton Mere Brow CE, Pinfold primary, Scarisbrick St Mark’s CE and St Mary’s Catholic Primary in Scarisbrick all have fewer than 100 pupils.

Currently, Lancashire County Council is able to control funding arrangements to reflect the needs of pupils in small schools, allowing them to provide extra cash to deal with their costs.

But if the proposals to simplify the system go through it could cut back the council’s flexibility in setting school budgets – including those relating to the needs of small schools.

Click here to read the complete Formby Times article

23rd June 2012
MP Welcomes EA Response to Flooding Consultation
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Malcolm Barron, Lorraine Fullbrook, Jane Houlgrave and William Cropper outside Crossens Pumping StationLorraine Fullbrook, Member of Parliament for South Ribble, has welcomed the report released this week by the Environment Agency in response to the consultation relating to flood risk management in the Northern Parishes, and believes that it is a significant victory for local campaigners. 

The consultation response confirms that coastal defences that protect residents from tidal flooding will not be affected and the key pumping stations of Altmouth and Crossens will continue to be operated by the Environment Agency for ‘the foreseeable future’.

The issues raised in the consultation will form the basis of a further twelve month engagement after which further recommendations will be made before the Environment Agency make a final decision in Autumn 2013.

Lorraine said: “This response to the consultation is re-assuring and shows how the vocal support for this campaign has once again led the Environment Agency to listen to views of residents and businesses in the Northern Parishes and commit to continuing to operate strategic flood and land defences for the foreseeable future.”

“This is a victory for local campaigners and really does show the importance of residents submitting a response to this consultation and making their views known.”

 “Every local grower, business owner and resident who submitted a response to the consultation should be proud of the significant part they have played in ensuring that, for now, the flood and land defences will remain.  But, there is more work to do. I need them to continue to stand firm with me and local councillors over the next twelve to eighteen months to ensure that a workable solution can be reached to manage land drainage in the area.”

22nd June 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

A set of seven class photos taken at Tarleton C of E Primary School have been submitted by Helen Hinde (nee Melling) where her mum, Mrs Jenny Melling, was the Teacher.

Class photos from Tarleton County Primary School

Unfortunately all the photos were undated and only the one shown above had any details of who might be on the photo: Kenneth Prescott, David Nobam(?) John Haslam, Clifford Graham, Peter Williams, Pamela Wignall, Lorraine Lathom, Dorothy Burns, Noreen Kennedy, Bevery Walmsely, Stephen Turner.

To see all seven of the photos please click here. Can you add any more details?

19th June 2012
Booths in continental challenge
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Booths will represent the UK in the battle to be named Europe’s most sustainable business.

The firm, which has 28 stores across the North including Hesketh Bank, has been selected as one of 50 finalists in the environmental and corporate sustainability category at the annual European Business Awards.

The judging panel picked out the firm for its close links with local food suppliers which sees it source 85% of its meat from the region, 65% of its bread from local family-run craft bakers and a quarter of all the products on its shelves being locally produced.

Read the full LEP Article

19th June 2012
BRETHERTON cyclist had ‘no lights’
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

A promising young cyclist was killed when his bike collided with a transit van on one of his regular training routes, a court has heard.

Lewis Balyckyi, 18, was found dead in a hedgerow shortly after the collision with the van driven by Leslie Pitblado at around 5pm on January 18 last year.

Preston Crown Court heard the teenager, who had been selected to train with a European race cycling team in France, was riding along North Road in Bretherton, near Chorley, when he was struck by the van.

As he left his home shortly after 3.30pm, Lewis told his mother he needed new lights for his bike.

Read the full LEP Article

18th June 2012
patients told TO Keep appointment on STRIKE DAY
Source: Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Keep your appointment on BMA day of action, patients told

Patients should attend appointments with Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust unless told otherwise during the British Medical Association’s national day of action on Thursday.

Chief Operating Officer Sheilah Finnegan said: “The BMA has made a commitment to protect patient safety and ensure emergency cover continues on 21 June.

“Doctors’ representatives have been working with us to make sure any disruption was known about well in advance so patients could be told as soon as possible.

“I am pleased to say that, because of their cooperation, we will be operating normally in many departments. In a small number of areas where non-urgent care can be safely delayed, we have told patients and postponed their appointment to a later date.”

West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk and Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre will be open as normal on Thursday.

The Accident and Emergency departments at Southport hospital for adults and Ormskirk hospital for children will be also operating normally. However, they should only be used for urgent injuries and serious medical conditions that cannot be dealt with by a pharmacist, GP practice or NHS walk-in centre.

17th June 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

My name is Matthew Rhodes and I am the proud owner of a Guide Dog called "Karlo". In December 1995, after surviving a summer tour of Bosnia whilst surviving in the British Army I suffered from a serious accident which left me with a third of my brain cells unable to function. This in turn left me with several disabilities, but two of the main disabilities are that I am paralysed down my right hand side and am classified as blind, but can see a little, basically all I can see is half a penny.

Because I was in the forces I am now part of the charity "Blind Veterans UK", (which used to be St Dunstan's). I am also a member of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Before I was given my guide dog I was dependant on my wife's help or trained staff from the Blind Veterans UK. I found this very limiting with no independence to live my life on a day to day basis, but now I have my canine pal I am able to get on with my life with confidence!

For these two, well deserving charities I've done many a fund raising activities, from skydiving from 12,000ft, two swimming in the  sea using just one arm, to completing the London and Brighton marathons.

As time has passed my injuries have limited my physical activities but undaunted I have found with help from the Blind Veterans UK I am able to paint and have raised thousands of pounds for charities. If you are interested in my paintings then please look at my website, which is

This year I've been nominated as the most inspirational Guide Dog owner in the UK. I have to travel down to London on Thursday the 26th of July to see if I've won the award!

15th June 2012
Source: Press Release

Cuadrilla Resources, the British shale gas exploration and production business, has announced the appointment of Francis Egan as the company’s new Chief Executive.

Egan, who will take up this post on 9 July, has been appointed to lead Cuadrilla through its next stage of development, as the business gets ready to further explore the Bowland shale. He brings extensive experience in exploration & production, most recently as President of the Global Production Division of BHP Billiton Petroleum. At BHP he has also held numerous leadership roles in the UK, US, Australia, Pakistan and Algeria.

Mark Miller, Cuadrilla’s current CEO, will stay with the company as Director of the Bowland Shale exploration and development programme. On his change of role Mark Miller said: “The appointment of Francis as CEO demonstrates that Cuadrilla is investing in the very best people as we continue to strengthen our management team. This move will allow me to focus on our operations in Lancashire and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the local communities that I and my team have come to know so well.”

Commenting on his appointment, Francis Egan said: “I am delighted to be returning to the UK to join Cuadrilla at this exciting time for the energy industry in the UK. Cuadrilla has led the way in unlocking the potential of shale resources reserves in the UK, and we hope that the next few years will be about starting to realise that potential in a sustainable and responsible way. As CEO my fundamental commitments are to safety and environmental protection. I appreciate that there are still important questions about shale exploration in the communities in which we operate, so my first priority will be to ensure Cuadrilla continues to listen to and work with our local communities in Lancashire.

I am convinced that the potential of shale resources in the UK is significant, with the prospect of real and lasting benefits for local communities, the wider Lancashire economy, and to the UK as a whole.”

Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of Cuadrilla said: “I would first of all like to thank Mark Miller for the outstanding job he has done as CEO of Cuadrilla over the past two years. He has led the company through a critical period, helping Cuadrilla to grow and develop while working very closely with the local community in Lancashire. I am delighted that he will be remaining with the business.

As Cuadrilla prepares to fully explore the potential of shale gas in the UK, Francis’ extensive industry knowledge will mean that the company will be well positioned to unlock the potential of shale gas and most importantly set the very highest standards of safety.”

14th June 2012
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Travelling criminals coming into areas such as Tarleton and Hesketh Bank are being targeted as part of a new police operation.

Checkpoints are to be set up on main roads into West Lancashire in a bid to catch travelling criminals.

Police say the borough’s proximity to areas such as Merseyside has contributed to figures which show one in three vehicle and property thefts in the area are committed by people who are not residents.

Routes coming into West Lancashire will be heavily patrolled including the use of plain clothed officers, road and dog policing units and the constabulary’s helicopter.

Insp Andy Willis, of West Lancashire police, said: “We have seen a reduction in the number of burglaries in West Lancashire, but we are not complacent and want to ensure this continues.

Read the full LEP Article

14th June 2012
Source: Ormskirk Advertiser

A TARLETON teenager had a Jubilee to remember, after she sang the national anthem on the steps of the House of Lords, in London.

Fourteen-year-old Chloe McLaughlan, of Trinity Walks, Tarleton, was invited to sing for a group of influential business women after she was spotted by one of the organisers of the Jubilee party.

“It was a fantastic day and I got to meet lots of people,” said Chloe, who is a pupil at Bishop Rawstorne Church Of England Academy, in Croston.

Read the full Ormskirk Advertiser Article

11th June 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Kiddiroo in Marks Square, Tarleton is going from strength to strength and has expanded their store even further to include the Teddy Mountain Build A Teddy Bear experience.  

With over 24 bears to choose from you are sure to find a bear for life.  Kiddiroo are also providing Build A Teddy Bear parties within their store.

Kirsty, at Kiddiroo said, “We only launched our Teddy Mountain experience just over a week ago and it is already proving very popular with both children and adults. There are a wide range of bears, outfits and accessories to choose from including children’s favourites Sooty, Sweep and Soo. 

We ensure every child, young or old, leaves with a lasting memory.  As well as bringing the bear to life and getting an adoption certificate each bears comes with its own backpack.  As Kiddiroo also has it’s own photography studio we are including a complementary photograph taken with their new best friend.”

6th June 2012
Trinity 125 Walk
Reported by: Ian Wells, Reader, Holy Trinity Parish Church

Thank you for everyone involved in the walk on Trinity Monday. Thanks especially to those running both Tarleton pubs: Glenn for opening The Village Inn specially for us for coffee at the start, and Linzi at the Cock and Bottle for accepting increasing numbers at short notice, producing excellent sandwiches and chips, and handing back a donation when I paid for the food.

Thanks to those who came and enjoyed themselves, walking or just lunching, and those who supported us with donations – including the one who saw about the walk on this website and dropped us in a donation.

The Lord smiled on us and gave us the best weather of the Jubilee weekend, and twenty people enjoyed lunch, most walking the first half before lunch, and slightly fewer the second half. I had intended it to be a Jubilee free event, but then realised I was wearing red socks, blue trousers and a white shirt! The total raised will be at least £150 and probably nearer £200.

Look out for the actual events celebrating 125 years since the dedication of Holy Trinity Church during 2013.

Click here to see more local events

4th June 2012
New Tea Room Opens at Mere Brow Farmers Market
Source: Press Release

Mere Brow Village Hall, the Venue of the Mere Brow Farmers Market will be opening a new Tea Room in the Village Hall, this Saturday 9th June 2012.

The Secretary of Mere Brow Village Hall John Caunce said “there is a demand for Teas, Coffees and slices of home made cakes at our Farmers Market. From this Saturday we will be serving Cream Teas, and home made cakes in the Runner Platt Bar as well as soft drinks and Real ales.”

Mere Brow Farmers market organiser Kelvin Pye explained “The demand for sensibly priced teas and cakes has been there since we started last November. Visitors will now be able to relax in pleasant surroundings and think about what local food they are going to purchase”

This month there will be new stalls to include Tumbling Tomatoes, Herbs, Chilli Plants and Indian Cuisine of  baltis, curries, somosas and onion bhajis

Mere Brow Village Hall is a modern village hall, situated just of the A565, Southport to Tarleton Road, Sat Nav PR4 6JX.

The next market is Saturday the 9th of June, 10am to 2-30 pm.  Admission is free and there is plenty of free parking.

Click here to see more local events

29th May 2012
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Pregnant women are being urged to take care at a Lancashire school following an outbreak of “slapped cheek syndrome”.

Two children at Little Hoole Primary School on Dob Lane, Walmer Bridge, near Preston, have been confirmed as having the condition while four or five others showed symptoms.

The illness, also known as Fifth’s Disease, is commonly dubbed slapped cheek syndrome because it causes the cheeks to become red and inflamed as if they have been slapped.

It is caused by a virus called parvovirus B19 and in children, it is usually mild with no symptoms in some cases, while some youngsters can suffer mild fever and flu-like symptoms.

However, if a pregnant woman becomes infected, the virus can cause problems and in around 10% of cases of mothers infected in early pregnancy, the baby does not survive.

A spokesman from Little Hoole Primary School said: “Two children at the school have been confirmed as having slapped cheek syndrome and four or five others showed symptoms so we contacted parents.

“We gave advice in our school newsletter on what symptoms to look out for and warned about the risk to pregnant women.”

Dr John Astbury from the Cumbria and Lancashire Health Protection unit, said: “Slapped cheek syndrome is very infectious.

“For most people, it is a mild and self-limiting disease, but there is a risk to pregnant women.”

Read the full LEP Article

25th May 2012
Elaine to welcome Olympic stars
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

An aspiring actress is celebrating after she was chosen to entertain athletes at this summer’s Olympic games.

Elaine Fellows, 19, from Hesketh Bank, is one of 150 people from the National Youth Theatre who has been selected to welcome athletes from across the world as they arrive for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The teenager, who has been a member of the National Youth Theatre since 2010, said she was “shocked” when she found out she had been successful in her audition for this summer’s show.

She said: “It’s not what I expected to be doing at 19.”

The National Youth Theatre will create, write and perform the Team Welcome Ceremonies which have been designed to welcome the athletes and team officials to the games.

Read the full LEP Article

20th May 2012
Government backtracks on fracking
Source: The Independent

The Government has rejected shale gas technology as a solution to Britain's energy crisis, conceding it will do little to cut bills or keep the lights on.

Supporters of the fracking technology – which blasts water, sand and chemicals at extreme pressures to release gas trapped deep in rock – argue it could be the single greatest factor in transforming Britain's energy market, reducing our reliance on foreign imports and dramatically reducing costs.

But The Independent on Sunday has learned that industry experts made clear at a meeting attended by senior ministers, including David Cameron and Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy secretary, that the UK's reserves were smaller than first thought and could be uneconomical to extract.

Now senior coalition figures have agreed that shale gas has the potential to be deeply controversial without securing major benefits in lowering carbon emissions or reducing energy costs.

The revelation, ahead of the publication this week of major reforms of the energy market, will be welcomed by green campaigners who have been deeply opposed to clearing the way for a new generation of gas power plants, and voiced serious concerns about the environmental impact, including the potential for fracking to trigger earthquakes and contaminate water supplies.

Read the full Independent Article

15th May 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Holy Trinity Church, Tarleton will be holding it’s annual Rose Queen Day on 23rd  June this year.  The event starts at 1.30pm.

There will be a procession of visiting Queens and their attendants followed by the Crowning of the 2012 Rose Queen, Shannon Parkinson.

This will be a fun filled day for all the family with stalls and attractions, raffle and tombola prizes to be won.

Once again this year as part of Rose Queen Day there will be a mini village show, with a wide variety of sections for all ages.  Entries for the mini show must be in by Tuesday 19th June 2012, so don’t delay and download your schedule here for full details. 

Schedules can also be collected from Tarleton Library, Holy Trinity Church, Tarleton DIY, T Ascroft & Sons Mere Brow and local Schools.

For more things to do in and around Tarleton see the EVENTS page

15th May 2012
Rock festival will go ahead
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

The organisers of a summer rock festival are celebrating after the event was given the go ahead.

The Rock the Lakes Festival at Leisure Lakes in Mere Brow, was thrown into doubt after West Lancashire Council’s licensing sub committee ruled that only country and western music could be played at the venue.

It followed four complaints from last year’s event regarding noise.

However, organisers appealed the decision.

The appeal was heard at Ormskirk Magistrates Court where it was decided to delete the statement ‘country and western’ and ‘re-enactment’ events only from the council’s original document, therefore allowing the Rock The Lakes Festival to go ahead.

Click here to read the complete LEP article

3rd May 2012
Source: Southport Visiter

HUNDREDS of homeowners could be unable to insure their homes when a deal between insurance companies and the government over flooding cover ends next summer.

Insurance firms currently insure homes at “significant” risk of flooding in an agreement called the Statement of Principles (SoP).

However, that pact is set to end – potentially leaving homeowners in threatened areas unable to sell their properties.

The joint Statement of Principles on flood insurance between the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the government sets out how ABI members will consider flood risk when managing insurance requests from property owners and occupiers.

Flood risk is based on Environment Agency data, and areas considered at “significant” risk are those where the risk is greater than 1.3% (1 in 75) each year. Taking into account flood defences, 469 homes in Southport, and more in Banks and Hesketh Bank would be among those hit if a new agreement is not reached. With the flood risk often changing, a further 5,000 more homes currently at “moderate” or “low” risk could also be effected.

Click here to read the complete Southport Visiter article

24th April 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

PACT hoping to have an impact Police and Communities Together (PACT) will hold their next open meeting in the coffee shop at Booths Supermarket, Hesketh Bank, on Thursday 3rd May between 1pm and 2pm.

Following a restructure in 2011, the PACT meetings moved from Tarleton to Hesketh Bank Village Centre in the evenings, but public attendance has been poor. In response to that ECSO (Emergency Community Support Officer) Andy Curry reported that Booths had agreed to host the next meeting during the day to try to encourage the local residents to participate.

“The Public Participation meetings are designed to give an open forum for any local resident to have their say, raise concerns and find out first-hand what is happening with policing in the village,” said PC Mark Woolston, who will be at the meeting.

He continued, “We are hoping that moving it to an afternoon and Booths we will be more visible and therefore have more of an impact.”

For more information please contact ECSO Andy Curry on 07912 051955 or

24th April 2012
Submitted by: Graham Rigby

Harry Bentham, the well-known and much loved conductor of the Hesketh Bank Silver Band, has died suddenly at the age of 89. Mr. Bentham suffered a suspected heart attack recently at his home in Eccleston, near Chorley.

Harry BenthamA talented and gifted musician, Harry was associated with North West Brass Bands for over 80 years. He began playing with Coppull Band at only 8 years old, and by the age of 14 he was Principal Cornet. In his heyday he played at the top level with various bands, winning the coveted Grand Shield, broadcasting regularly on the B.B.C. and played under the baton of the late Harry Mortimer.

Harry’s conducting career began in 1951, winning many prizes with bands at all levels and was a much-loved teacher and mentor to countless young players, some becoming well-respected professional musicians. Harry took over the baton at Hesketh Bank in 1980 and became a firm favourite with audiences far and wide, presenting a wide selection of music at the band’s concerts.

One of the finest moments in Harry’s career came in 1985 when he conducted Hesketh Bank as they won the 4th Section National Brass Band Finals at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Harry told friends only recently that he had enjoyed the time he spent at Hesketh Bank over the years and he felt that they were like a family to him.

This sad event has left the band looking for a new Musical Director for it’s full program of concerts, walking days and private functions. They are seeking someone with enthusiasm and a dedication to build upon the band’s playing foundation.

The band would also welcome new players of any age and standard and can provide instruments and tuition. Rehearsals are held on Thursdays from 8-10pm at the Bandroom on the Village Hall site at Station Road Hesketh Bank.

All applicants are welcome – please contact Band Secretary Christine Robinson on 01772 812084 or Chairman Peter Watkinson on 01772 812748. You can visit the Band’s Facebook page at or their website

19th April 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Join parishioners from Holy Trinity, Tarleton in a gentle six mile sponsored stroll on this year's unique Trinity Bank Holiday Monday (Monday 4th June).

Holy Trinity, Tarleton, church building will be 125 years old next year, 2013. Among the many events that will be taking place to celebrate this important date will be a Flower Festival, and events are already underway to raise the initial funding for this.

Ian Wells, Reader at Holy Trinity said: “When I saw that the late May Bank Holiday had been moved to Trinity Monday (to tie in with the Queen's Jubilee) I thought we must use this one-off opportunity to do a Trinity related event.”

For many years, Ian used to organise walks on Bank Holiday Mondays and couldn't resist doing one on an unrepeatable Bank Holiday. “This will be two 3 mile gentle strolls, making a figure-eight six mile route and involving both village pubs” Ian said.

“We meet from 10.00am for coffee at The Village Inn (park at Mark Square) to leave from 10.30am. We walk through the village then back up the river and canal to get back to the centre of Tarleton for lunch at The Cock & Bottle before heading to Sollom and back along the canal.

The final part of the walk will be symbolically from the Old Church (St Mary, Windgate) back to Holy Trinity.” Ian added: “Then there's the option of a drink at either of the pubs!”

To book a lunch or get a sponsor form ring Ian on 07767 638996. Closing date for ordering lunch is Sunday 27 May.

Click here for many more local events

17th April 2012
MIXED VIEWS ON seismic events REPORT
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Cuadrilla Resources today welcomed the publication by the Department of Energy & Climate Change of its scientific experts’ review of the seismic events which occurred in April and May 2011 in the Bowland Basin, Lancashire.

The review team included experts from Keele University and the British Geological Survey and was charged with reviewing a series of expert reports submitted to DECC late last year by Cuadrilla Resources.

The DECC expert review published today concludes that it is safe to resume hydraulic fracturing provided the recommended operating procedures as outlined in their report are followed.

Responding to the experts’ review, Cuadrilla’s Chief Executive Mark Miller said: “We are pleased that the experts have come to a clear conclusion that it is safe to allow us to resume hydraulic fracturing, following the procedures outlined in the review. Many of today’s recommendations were contained in the original expert studies we published in November last year, and our supplementary information sent to DECC in January. We have already started to implement a number of the experts’ recommendations in the pursuit of best practice and look forward to the final decision by DECC ministers concerning the resumption of hydraulic fracturing following the six week period for public comment commencing on 17 April.”

However, the of the report has been met with disdain from environmental activists as it concludes that ‘it would not be possible to state categorically that no further earthquakes will be experienced during a similar treatment in a nearby well’.

Activists feel that though seemingly damming, the report actually focuses the minds of the press and public on minor seismic events and claim that "This could be seen as a PR coup for a company whose extraction method of choice has consistently been linked to groundwater contamination, severe methane leakage, air pollution, climate change and radioactive waste".

"Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a process used not just to get gas from shale rock, but also to get at gas trapped in un-minable coal seams (Coal Bed Methane). There is also a third form of unconventional gas extraction threatening the UK, known as Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), where un-minable coal is burnt underground and gas is collected at the surface. All three extraction processes involve elements which are highly destructive. However, what is not being addressed is the what it would mean for all three of these processes to be in full production in the UK."

Elsie Walker, a Frack Off activist, said, ‘This report is a seriously dangerous distraction. People need to understand that the wave of unconventional gas development that is threatening the British Isles will bring with it far greater consequences than a number of small earthquakes’.

She continued, ‘The scale of development proposed is being completely ignored. Cuadrilla want to drill 800 wells in Lancashire alone. They are one company going after one type of gas. There are several companies going after several types of unconventional gas in the UK and all potentially on a similar scale to Cuadrilla. If we allow this to happen, we will witness the total industrialisation of the British countryside and the destruction of the ecosystems we rely on for our survival. We cannot allow this to happen’. 'Even within the narrow context of earthquakes, this report misses all the real issues such as sub-surface damage to wells causing them to leak, the much larger earthquakes seen in the US as a result of wide spread shale gas development and the potential effects on sensitive infrastructure like nuclear power stations and railway lines'.

Have your say on the Letters Page

15th April 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Bees at DunscarDunscar Garden Centre has started to keep bees in a bid to encourage customers to plant more bee friendly gardens.  Dunscar started a campaign in 2009 to save the honey bee after learning of the decline of Britain’s honey bee population.  Some scientists estimate that as many as 40 to 50% of bees have disappeared or died since 2007 alone.  The concern is that bees not only produce honey, but pollinate many of the plants and vegetation that we all consume.  Indeed it is said that one in three mouthfuls of what we eat has depended on bees for pollination.  Bees are so important for the pollination of crops that Einstein once calculated mankind could only survive 4 years without bees. 

According to Dunscar’s director, Shaun Lewis, gardeners are in a great position to help local bee populations.  “Bees depend on nectar and pollen produced by plants for food and will fly up to 2 miles to feed.  Since 2009 we have thus been encouraging people to introduce into their gardens a range of plants attractive to bees and capable of feeding them during the key feeding months of the Spring and Summer.  To help, we set up a special grouping of some of these plants on our plantarea and a full list of the more widely available plants is available on our website,”

The family owned garden centre is now taking the next step by keeping bees itself.  Shaun states, “For the past couple of years we have enlisted the help of local beekeeping societies to provide talks and demonstrations on site to our customers on how to create a bee friendly garden and even, for the enthusiastic, on how to keep bees.  They advised that it is a very rewarding hobby and also not too time consuming.  The next logical step was to try it for ourselves with our own hives and share our experience with our customers.  I am very grateful to the Preston Beekeepers for all the training and advice they have given us.”

More information on beekeeping can be found at

13th April 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

2012 "Challenge Paul" Tractor Trek gets underwayFor the last three years Paul Taylor has raised money for Derian House in memory of Alice Hannah Foster, the daughter of friends, who sadly died aged 12 at Derian House Children's Hospice in Chorley on New Year's Eve 2007.

Tractor trek from Germany to Deriian House, ChorleyThe 'Challenge Paul' for 2012 was set by Clarke and Pulman of Burscough: to drive a brand new £175,000 Fendt 700 Vario out of the factory in Marktoberdorf, Germany to Derian House Children's Hospice in Chorley, Lancashire; a journey of 1437km which must be completed on a single tank of diesel.

As at 9pm last night, Paul Taylor and the support team, James Bond, John Horricks & Peter Ashcroft were just arriving at the German Factory and preparing for the return journey. Good Luck!

For more more information on the event and the many local sponsors, please see Challenge Paul, Just Giving and Derian House.

7th April 2012
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Hesketh Bank Village ShowLocal gardeners, growers, bakers and crafters can start to plan which categories they are to compete in as the Hesketh Bank Village Show shedule is now available to download.

The show will be held on Saturday 15th September and will include categories for cut flowers, pot plants, floral art, fruit and vegetables, home produce, baking, preserves and arts and crafts.

For more information, a show schedule and entry forms please visit

Download a show schedule

1st April 2012
Higgs Boson Particle found in Hesketh bank
Reported by: Hubmaker Media
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The eyes of the scientific world are focused on Hesketh Bank today after the Higgs Boson Particle was found in the builder's yard at Alty’s.

Picture of the Higgs Boson Particle

Eric made the discovery whilst emptying his desk in readiness for the move of the building materials section to the Hoole depot when the so called “God Particle” was found at the back of a drawer.

Eric said “At first I thought it was just an old Malteser but then I realised it was in fact the particle responsible for mass, gravity and the universe.”

By chance, a local amateur particle physicist, Richard Newton-Einstein, happened to be returning from the wood yard when Eric made the discovery.

Richard said “The search area for the elusive particle had recently narrowed to the PR4 area and I did suspect that it would not be long before the particle would be found."  "I had hoped to be the one who found it but it is still very exciting to have been present at the actual discovery.”

Richard suffered a serious setback in his own search for the HB particle when his home made 'small hadron collider' malfunctioned and burnt down the conservatory at his Cherry Vale home in 2010.

Scientists at CERN are presently recreating an exact copy of Eric’s desk in a bid to replicate the experiment under laboratory conditions but a spokesmen confirmed there was actually very little doubt that the discovery was genuine. 

“We believe that Eric has recreated the big bang by accidentally smashing a Proton in the drawer when slamming it shut. This has by chance forced the quarks and gluons Eric had roaming around loose in his drawer to collide and create the only known example of the HB particle”.

“Whilst theorists believe the HB particle might give others mass, we don’t believe the proximity of Alty’s weighbridge is relevant to Eric’s discovery but we will be testing this scenaio with our particle accelerators at CERN and at Fermilab."

The Higgs Boson Particle will be on display in the foyer of Booths until mid-day on the 1st April.

29th March 2012
HGV Driver arrested after Tarleton SMASH
Source: Southport Visiter

A WOMAN was airlifted to hospital after being cut out of her car following a horror smash in Tarleton.

A Renault HGV hit an MG ZR, which led to another car and van being shunted at the Liverpool Road junction on Southport New Road at around 5.10pm on Monday.

Emergency services were called to the scene and the driver of the MG was cut out by firefighters.

The woman, from Burscough, was flown to Preston hospital by air ambulance with suspected head injuries.

Following the crash, the 29-year-old driver of the HGV, from Kent, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.

He has been summonsed to appear in court at a later date.

Click here for the full Southport Visiter article

21st March 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

J Webster & Sons of Tarleton are currently making preparations for a massive clearout of the Furniutre and Carpet departments beginning tomorrow.

Jonathan Webster said "We are closing our furniture department to make way for a whole new shopping experience."

Websters will be using the space to expand the clothing and gift sections and there are also exciting plans to create some new departments. More news about this will follow soon!

During all the changes, Whittles Farm restaurant will remain open as usual

21st March 2012
Source: Champion Newspapers

A TALENTED photographer from Hesketh Bank has won a top award for taking the picture which helped unearth a scandal at an Amir Kahn boxing match.

Mark Robinson, of Ashbrook Close, won the award for the Sports News Picture of the Year at the Sports Journalism Awards in London last week, after a picture he took at one of Amir Kahn's matches last year helped back up the boxer's claims that a man was “interfering” with officials at the event.

“Although the photo wasn't part of the original story, when Amir tweeted about the man interfering I went back through the photos and found that image, and it went into all the nationals. It helped to drive the story for at least another ten days, and eventually led to Amir Kahn being granted a rematch.”

Click here to read the complete Champion article

20th March 2012
Hospital chief hosts ‘have your say’ meeting in Tarleton
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Patients and the public in and around Tarleton have the chance next week to find out more about plans for Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust to become a foundation trust.

Foundation trusts were created to put decision-making about healthcare into the hands of local people. Southport and Ormskirk trust wants to become a foundation trust by April next year.

The third in a series of public meetings will be held next week and hosted by Jonathan Parry, the trust’s chief executive. He said: “Foundation trusts have been around since 2004 and now the Government says all NHS trusts must become one. “It is important we have local people’s support for our plans and this is one of a number of public meetings I am hosting where people can learn more and have their say.”

The meeting will be held on Tuesday 27th March at Our Lady’s Parish Centre, 152 Hesketh Lane, Tarleton, PR4 6AS at 10.30am. Please call 01704 704714 if you have any special requirements the Trust can help with in advance of the meeting.

People can also make their views known by visiting the Trust website at

19th March 2012
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Lorraine Fullbrook, Member of Parliament for South Ribble, would like your nominations for the best South Asian restaurant in the South Ribble Constituency.   The annual Tiffin Cup competition celebrates the best of South Asian cuisine in the country.  And Lorraine wants South Ribble residents to help promote their favourite local Indian, Bangladeshi, Maldivian, Iranian, Nepalese, or Sri Lankan place to eat by voting in the competition.   Lorraine will choose the South Asian restaurant in South Ribble, which receives the most votes from local residents, as the nomination for this year’s competition.

The top ten entrants from across the country will be invited to Parliament for a cook-off, and all proceeds will be donated to World Vision, an international relief charity.

Please submit your nomination by 5:00 pm on Friday 30th March 2012. You can vote by emailing or via Lorraine’s website,

Lorraine said: “The Tiffin Cup is a great way to celebrate the best of South Asian Cuisine and support local businesses”

“It would be great to get a finalist cooking in Westminster from South Ribble so please help support local businesses with your vote!”

19th March 2012
Overturned car ON STATION ROAD
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Overturned mini on Station RoadEmergency services were called to a collision on Station Road / Rankin Avenue last night which resulted in a Mini overturning and skidding down the road on its roof.

The ambulance service did attend but no serious injuries were reported.

13th March 2012
Northern Parishes Family and Community Network
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Following the success of the activity days held during the summer holidays of 2011 in conjunction with the local parents, the Children's Centre and Hesketh Bank Christian Centre, we are looking to develop a community network which will organise and raise funds for holiday activities across our local villages.

Initially the plan is to provide holiday activities for families with primary aged children. These events will be available for families living in Rufford, Holmeswood, Mere Brow Banks, Hesketh Bank and Tarleton and we hope to deliver activities in local venues. We hope to develop this work to provide services for local children and families.

If you are interested in being part of this network then we will be holding an Inaugural General Meeting on Monday 26th March at 10am in the Hesketh Bank Children's Centre, Shore Road Hesketh Bank PR4 6AA

At this event there will be an election by ballot of officers for the post of Chair person Secretary and Treasurer. Nominations forms are available at Hesketh Bank Children's Centre.

If you would like more information then please contact Anne Cookson on 01772 815021 or 01704 896424 or email

Click here for more local events and activities

12th March 2012
WLBC CONCERNS Leisure Lakes licensing plans
Source: Formby Times

LICENSING officers at West Lancashire Council believe controversial plans for live entertainment at Leisure Lakes should be refused.

Frederick Jorden, who runs bars at the Mere Brow site, has applied for licence to host live music performances and sell alcohol at them between 11am and midnight. The licence also covers recorded music and dance performances.

Wednesday’s licensing sub-committee meeting will decided whether the licence should be granted.

Click here to read the full Formby Times Article

12th March 2012
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International children’s Author and Illustrator Penny Dale captured children’s imagination on Saturday.  Penny was at the Kiddiroo store in Mark Square, Tarleton to sign books and provide an exclusive preview of her new book Dinosaur Zoom! out on the 2nd August 2012.  

Penny has recently signed an exclusive partnership with Kiddiroo, who are now selling personalised and signed prints from her best selling books.

As well as signing books Penny spent time with each child to talk about her books.  Kirsty, one of the owners of Kiddiroo said "We have had a marvelous turn out and it has been a pleasure to welcome Penny to our store today.  As well as signing books Penny showed children how she creates her initial drawings using her iPad, which she kindly gave children the ability to have a go on."

Anyone who missed the event can still buy a signed book by contacting Kiddiroo on 01772 816343

11th March 2012
Appeal for missing man - Mark Winstanley
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Mark WinstanleyPOLICE are appealing for information about a man who has gone missing from home.

Mark Winstanley who is 36, was last seen at his home address on Great Gill in Walmer Bridge on Wednesday 7th March. Mark is described as white, of medium build and has short, dark brown hair and brown eyes.

When he was last seen, he was wearing blue jeans and a dark coloured fleece jacket. Police are growing increasingly concerned for his welfare and are asking anyone who thinks they may have seen him to get in touch.

Anyone with any information can contact police on 101.

UPDATE 12/3/2012: Mark Winstanley, from Walmer Bridge, was found safe and well at an address in Eccleston this morning.

10th March 2012
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As part of the programme to bring next-generation broadband technology to at least ninety percent of the UK by the year 2015, plans have now been drawn up for the Hesketh Bank exchange to be upgraded later this year.

The new service is already available in Ashton-on-Ribble, Broughton, Chorley, Fulwood, Leyland, Longton, Penwortham, Rossendale, Skelmersdale and Upholland.

9th March 2012
Source: Southport Visiter

HESKETH With Becconsall councillor Iain Ashcroft has been nominated to be the new Deputy Mayor of West Lancashire.

Iain, 68, was formally given the nomination at last week’s full council meeting.

The formal vote on his appointment will be made at May’s Annual General Meeting in May.

He is expected take over as Deputy Mayor when the current holder of that position Cllr Paul Greenall succeeds Cllr Rob Bailey as Mayor.

Click here to read the full Southport Visiter article

5th March 2012
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As a Local employer and service provider to Hesketh Bank and the surrounding areas for over 130 years we wanted to inform the local community about the changes happening at Alty’s

We recently made the decision to consolidate the sale of all Building and Timber materials to our site at Much Hoole. We are currently investing in major improvements at Hoole which includes New Warehousing, Timber Storage, Timber machining facilities, Racking, New Sales Office, Plant and extra parking. Work has already started and once it is complete, hopefully sometime in the Summer, the Woodyard and Weighbridge will close and the Staff, Stock, Machinery, Wagons etc will relocate to the new site at Hoole. The new site will offer everything from one location and customers will benefit from better service and improved product range.

The custom we have in this area is extremely important to us and we hope you will come and visit the new store to see the benefits for yourself, it is only 5 minutes from Hesketh Bank. We will also be offering FREE delivery in to the Hesketh Bank, Tarleton and Banks area.

The Horticultural Department is NOT affected by any of these changes and will continue to operate as normal.

The Head Office at Hesketh Bank will also remain OPEN as normal. All telephone numbers, FAX numbers and E-Mail addresses will also remain the same.

We are really excited about the changes and would like to assure ALL our customers we remain committed to serving both the Horticultural and Building Trades for many years to come.

Stephen Gautrey
Joint Managing Director
Henry Alty Ltd

25th February 2012
The Becconsall - Next Chapter
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Photos of the demolition of the Becconsall Hotel

Dear Village Friends,

Today Saturday 25th Feb 2012 it’s over – The Becconsall Hotel no longer exists in this world and is reduced to several piles of rubble now in darkness in Hesketh Bank. This final thing to be go, were the metal shutters nailed to the front of the large bay window in Mums lounge bar. Ironically, “SAVE ME” was the last thing to be seen as the machine lifted them away, high through the air. Very poignant.

Many people turned up this morning before 8am to witness the end of an era for this village, which is now growing into a little town. Today we witnessed local history being destroyed and local history also being created. It is time to turn to a fresh page and the next chapter of Hesketh Banks growth.

Today amongst the dust, the dirt and the sights and sounds of destruction, some amazing things happened too. The team of Demolition men could not have been more kind, helpful, considerate, professional and respectful of the job they were charged to carry out. I witnessed them being very honouring of local feeling and the history of The Becconsall Hotel. For this I am very grateful to them, to Rowlands builders and to Hollins for showing this consideration and respect to the community.

To my own surprise and amazement, I went from feeling a mixture of shocked, upset and sad at the reality, to feeling admiration, gratitude and respect for the skill of these chaps who operated the machines of destruction. Like huge dinosaurs with big gaping jaws, they could  deftly reach into the centre of the building, pick up a piece of something quite delicately, transport it high through the air, then place it onto one of the “neat” piles at the side of the site. Incredible.

What this means to me now is, The Becconsall, this old friend to so many, was razed to the ground with respect, care and dignity. It wasn’t just roughly smashed to smitherines before our sad eyes! Right now I feel both privileged to have witnessed this and grateful to the Demolition Team, especially Alan and Jimmy for being so understanding and supportive of everyone watching in the crowd. They even called to get me this morning before they started their demolition of The Bec – thank you.

When my brother Sean arrived from Derbyshire to bear witness, he was stunned at what he saw!  As he says, he came with the building. Mum was pregnant with Sean when we moved into The Bec years ago. He grew up there for 25 years and lived overlooking The Bec for many more years too. Poor Sean, he was very, very shocked and upset as 25 years since we left, the heart of the building was now wide open to the world when he arrived. Again, both Alun and Jimmy were very kind to him, they gave him a hard hat and yellow jacket too, then patiently listened as he told them his story of The Bec and what it meant to him. Again, thank you both, I am grateful.

Dad was in many peoples thoughts today too as villagers spoke to us on site. Dad and Mum were certainly in mine and Seans hearts and minds as the building came down in front of us. In fact, thank you to everyone who came over to have a chat and speak so fondly of all the family, Mum, Dad, my beautiful sister Fionuala, my late brother Bernard, Sean and myself.

I know that my Dad would have been devastated today to witness the end of The Bec ...he would also have been standing with his friend Peter Watkinson, fascinated and in admiration of the skill and respect shown by the Demolition Team during the process. Though today saw the death, funeral and final resting place of the building which closed The Becconsall Hotel Chapter forever, today has also the opened The New Becconsall Development Chapter. This will be written before our eyes this year by Hollins and Rowlands.

Save The Bec campaign has ongoing involvement in the quality development planned for this site. This now mixed development, also meets some local social needs for local elderly downsizing near to the shops, locals with disability, first time buyers and for family homes. The style pays respect to The Bec. We have also secured some bricks from The Bec to create a raised flowerbed in front of the New Becconsall apartment building. We will give some to the Parish Council for the flowerbed at Booths too if they wish. Together, we can create something special to be proud of on the New Becconsall Site. Time to look to the future...

We wish you all well and cheers!

With warmth and respect on this emotional rollercoaster of a day,

Mrs Mc, Sean, Beryl & Úna McBride

25th February 2012
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Demolition of the Becconsall Hotel begins

Demolition of the Becconsall Hotel, Hesketh Bank

24th February 2012
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Demolition of the Becconsall Hotel begins

24th February 2012
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Kiddiroo in Mark Square, Tarleton, is holding a special event with International Children’s Author and Illustrator Penny Dale on Saturday 10th March 2012, between 11am and 1pm, to celebrate this year’s World Book Day and mark Kiddiroo’s exclusive partnership with Penny.

Kiddiroo is one of thousands across the UK and Ireland marking the occasion by showing how magical books can be. Special activities on the day include a book signing by Penny along with a special preview of her next book - 'Dinosaur Zoom !' out on 2nd August 2012.

Kirsty, at Kiddiroo said, “We can’t wait to get budding bookworms buzzing about World Book Day. Good reading starts early and children who share books with others are more likely to develop language skills and advanced reading levels. Our event is a fun way to get local children's imaginations fired up and encourage them to become avid readers.”

World Book Day aims to help children explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. To mark the day, all school’s and nurseries will be handing out World Book Day £1 Book Tokens to each child. You will be able to redeem the Book Token against any book costing £2.99 or more at Kiddiroo.

To avaoid any dissapointment, you can pre-order your books by Penny at the shop or call 01772 816343.

23rd February 2012
Becc: Final Countdown
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Dear Village Friends,

It the final countdown for The Bec...

Today I went into the Becconsall building and drew my breath to see it gutted and stripped of all its treasures. The beautiful solid oak, the floorboards, the bars,  the ornate plasterwork of hand painted vines around the ceilings, the leaded glass windows broken and torn. How sad, how very, very sad.

It is the final D Day for The Becconsall on Saturday 25th February 2012 when the actual building will be demolished. The demolition will begin at 8am and it will all be rubble by 2pm. How sad.

I keep meeting people in the village who all say the same thing, “How sad. I remember such good times at The Bec...I remember my first pint there and my youth in The Bec...I remember...I remember...I remember...”

What is lovely for me, is that so many people recount their happy stories of their time spent enjoying a pint at The Bec with Dad and my Mum, who was 95 two weeks ago, though she says she is 59! They remember happy times with our family and with Peter & Jean too. These memories are photographs for the soul.

So, I invite each of you to gather all your happy memories together wherever you may be, and on Friday evening at 8pm please join with us and together let’s raise a glass to The Becconsall as it used to be in its glory days. Let’s say “Thank you and Cheers!” to this old friend for all the happy times and memories. For all the friends you met there, the lovers you courted, the 18ths and 21sts, the engagements, the weddings you celebrated, the babies you christened, the Christmas’s you enjoyed, the New Years Eve Parties, all the fun and all the milestones you marked in your lives, hosted there, at The Becconsall Hotel Hesketh Bank.

Friday night will really be “last orders” for The Bec and “Time Gentlemen Please”.

We wish you well,  let us now create something new to be proud of as a community.

With warmth and respect,

Mrs Mc, Sean, Beryl, Úna and Save the Bec Action Team

23rd February 2012
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From 9th March 2012, there will be a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) situated in Booths store, Hesketh Bank, for use by any member of the local community.

Funds for the defibrillator were raised by the family and friends of Mr John Thomas Breakell, who passed away 4th November 2011. They would like to thank Sue Rigby and other volunteer Community First Responders who attended John on emergency call outs, for all they have done.

Sue, who is also a volunteer Heartstart Instructor for the British Heart Foundation/North West Ambulance Service, suggested the money go towards an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for the village, which anyone can use in the case of cardiac arrest to help save a life.

Sue is offering FREE two hour training sessions in Emergency Life Saving skills and instruction on how to use an AED. Certificates will be given.

Booths have kindly offered the use of their training room to allow members of the public to be trained in simple life saving skills. Tarleton Bowling Club has also offered the use of their function room for Heartstart sessions.

Sessions are by appointment only and any age group is welcome. To book a session, call 07754 203 701 or email

A presentation will take place at Booths on Friday 9th March 3pm, when the defibrillator and plaque will be officially placed in the store in loving memory of John Breakell.

Sue would like to personally thank John’s family and friends, Booths Manager Matt Welsh and his staff and Gary Rimmer at Tarleton Bowling Club for their support and help in making this venture possible.

22nd February 2012
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Hello Everyone,

A very sad update for you.

The demolition of The Becconsall Hotel, sadly, is about to start.

Though we have all known for some time that The Becconsall building would be demolished, the reality is now here. It is D Day for The Bec. Given the sad state of the building, which was neglected for years, has been broken into several times now and is in a sorry state of repair, it is probably better that this happens now, we can say goodbye forever and it is over soon.

The developers, Hollins Strategic Land had to wait for the last piece of paper from the planning department in order to progress their project. They got this just before Christmas and had planned to demolish in the autumn.

It has now been possible for the builders to move things forward earlier than expected.

Hollins Strategic Land have gone into partnership with Rowlands, a local reputable builders to complete The Becconsall project. Hollins have also been approached by big National Building companies to buy the site and develop it. They have refused.

Hollins want to honour their commitment to the Hesketh Bank community via Save The Bec campaign, to deliver a quality development of housing, which also meets some local social needs, pays respect to The Bec architecture and delivers their plans as shown and made available to all the community early in 2011. These plans were passed by the planning committee later last year. Rather than sell out to Nationals, Hollins want to work with local reputable builders. They have partnered with Rowlands of Chorley.

Unfortunately, there has been an error on the part of Rowlands the builders in communicating with Hollins and the community as to the dates set to demolish The Becconsall. Andrew Brown of Rowlands has apologised that he did not communicate the correct dates to Hollins and to the community.

It is as it is.

At present, there is a team of demolition men employed by Rowlands Builders of Chorley who have now started to rip out the once beautiful solid oak interior of The Bec. Even the demolition man was impressed by the quality of the oak bar. This interior removal will continue this week with the building demolition to follow.

The demolition people will give me a schedule for the ongoing stages of what to expect tomorrow and I will update you when I have this information.

I have not been able to stop thinking about my Dad today. I am so glad that he is not alive to witness this destruction and that my Mum is not sitting here now watching this happen either. It is the end of an era for this village and a very sad end to The Becconsall Hotel. This once beautiful building was the beating heart of Hesketh Bank and it is the building the village grew up around. It has hosted a lifetime of so many happy memories for so many local people and beyond. Nothing can demolish our happy memories. Time to move on...

We wish you all well.

Cheers! And... very sad,

Mrs Mc, Sean, Beryl, Úna and Save The Bec  Action Team

21st February 2012
Four charged over BOOTHs raid
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Four men have appeared in court charged with an attempted burglary at Booths.

Stephen Bosanko, 31, of Elliott Close, Preston; Jamie Maxwell, 20, of no fixed address; Nicholas Maxwell, 26, of Royal Drive, Fulwood, and John Horn, 20, also of no fixed address, have all been charged with attempted burglary at Booths, in Station Road, Hesketh Bank, near Preston, on Saturday.

They appeared before Ormskirk Magistrates’ Court yesterday where they were remanded in custody.

Click here for the full Lancashire Evening Post Article

14th February 2012
Bank Hall given restoration funding boost
Source: BBC News

The 17th Century Bank Hall is to receive £1.69m for a restoration project.

Bank Hall, in Bretherton, has been awarded the Heritage Lottery Fund money after a 16-year campaign to save it.

The building will be converted for residential use with the entrance hall and Prospect Tower opening up for public exhibitions and tours.

The Grade II-listed country house was built by the Bankes family in 1608 but has been empty since the 1960s.

Bank Hall Action Group Chairwoman Janet Edwards, who has been leading the campaign to save the building, said: "We are thrilled that we have the money and can proceed with the process.

"It is in a pretty perilous state. The external walls are sound but the fabric of the building has collapsed form the top downwards.

"This definitely is our lifeline that is desperately needed."

The hall was a runner up in the North West heat of the BBC Two Restoration programme in 2003, losing out to Victoria Baths in Manchester.

It was vacated in 1962 and has gradually fallen into disrepair. It is now in the highest risk category on English Heritage's Buildings at Risk register.

Hannah Barker from Heritage Lottery Fund in the North West said: "The last time I visited the building was just before Christmas and it really was on its last legs and I said 'this is the last chance for this building'.

"If we hadn't been able to sort something out and start work on the building this year I think it would have just collapsed into rubble.

"Its a beautiful historic building and its really important to the local community."

10th February 2012
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Lorraine Fullbrook, Member of Parliament for South Ribble, has joined over 100 Parliamentary colleagues in signing an open letter to the Prime Minister urging a reduction in the amount of subsidy given to onshore wind power.

The joint letter also asks for amendments to be made to the National Planning Policy Framework to help protect the rural landscape and heritage sites across the country.

In the letter, Lorraine along with the other MPs are asking for the Planning Inspectorate to be told that these factors, as well as the views of local residents, are given more weight in planning decisions.

Lorraine recently helped local residents in their successful fight against wind turbines being built on green belt land between Little Hoole and Midge Hall. Lorraine’s efforts with the ‘Protect Little Hoole’ residents group resulted in the planning application being withdrawn.

Lorraine said: “I am delighted to have helped the local residents and to have added my name to this campaign. I’m keen to see the amount of money available in subsidy for onshore wind reduced, and spread equally across other renewable energy types.”

“Recent wind turbine applications in our local area, such as in Little Hoole, have received a very hostile response from local residents and I believe that it is important that the new planning regime ensures that local people’s views are taken fully into account.”

6th February 2012
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Councillor Robert Latham's presentation key comemmorating the installation of electricity to Tarleton and Hesketh BankIn the unlikely event that you are ever asked 'when did mains electric come to Tarleton?' the answer is 1st November 1930.

Councillor Robert Lathom JP was Chairman of the "Tarleton & Hesketh Electricity Committe" at the time and was presented with this ceremonial key celebrating the Inaugoration of Electricity to the villages.

Electricity comes to Tarleton, November 1930

Great Grandson Peter Lathom is the present keeper of the key and is interested in gathering up any more information people may have about this event or indeed his Great Grandfather (see local history & Genealogy) letters pages).

Please contact Peter (or the editor) if you can contribute.

More Local History

2nd February 2012
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Executive Recruitment Consultant James Iddon took a break from his job in Sydney, Australia to help with the Taylor's Cottage picture (below).

James wrote in highlighting the following picture of Hesketh Lane taken from the junction of Church Road from the "Old Photos" section of the website:

Taylor's Cottage on Hesketh Lane, Tarleton circa 1900

James concludes that Taylor's Cottage must have been located opposite what is now Tarleton Fire Station. For the record, a photo of the same view was taken this morning....

Hesketh Lane, Tarleton

31st January 2012
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Anne West has written in requesting any information on a painting she has in her possession:

Taylor's Cottage, Hesketh Lane, Tarleton

The back of the painting has the notes "Taylor's Cottage, Hesketh Lane, Tarleton Circa 1900's" written on.

If anyone has any information at all about the property; location, occupants, etc please email the

27th January 2012
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Clarke & Pulman Fendt Dealers, BurscoughLocal Plant Hire & Contractor Paul Taylor has been challenged to drive a new tractor from the Fendt Factory in Germany to Derian House Children's Hospice on a single tank full of diesel.

The challenge was set by Burscough Fendt dealer Clarke & Pulman and it is hoped that the event will raise a massive £7,000 for the Derian House Wish List which is used to buy much needed items that help make a difference to the lives of the children at Derian.

Paul will begin the 1437km tractor trek on the 14th April, leaving Marktoberdorg, Germany on a brand new Fendt 700 Vario Tractor worth £175,000 and will hopefully complete the challenge the following day by arriving at Derian House Children's Hospice, Chorley at around 2.00pm.

Sponsors are urgently required (just £100 will get a sticker on the tractor) and a Just Giving account has been set up to receive donations.

For more information and updates see

26th January 2012
Source: Southport Visiter

A budding badminton star is setting his sights on future Olympic glory after taking the local game by storm.

Since taking up the sport just 18 months ago Tom Usher has won a series of trophies and represented his county.

With the Olympics looming in the summer the schoolboy will be watching on hoping one day he will be playing on the world’s biggest stage.

At just 11-years-old, the London Olympics will be too early for Tom, but after a whirlwind beginning to his badminton career, the future is looking bright.

Click here to read the complete Southport Visiter article

26th January 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Hesketh Bank Village Hall will hold its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 23rd February 2012, 8pm in the front hall on Station Road.  All local residents are welcome to attend.

The meeting will see the official adoption of a new name for the village hall to Hesketh with Becconsall Village Centre.  “We feel this new name reflects the parish we are in and the range of facilities available,” said Peter Watkinson, Chair, “For example, we have Happy Days Nursery, Grace Church, Hesketh Bank Silver Band and the Multi Use Games Area, which opened in 2010, plus lots more activities going on throughout the year making this site a key focus for villagers of all ages.”

Details of development work on the site, including the work currently being done on the front garden, driveway and signage in partnership with Hesketh with Becconsall Parish Council, will be available at the meeting.

23rd January 2012
Source: Formby Times

Businesswoman Úna McBride will host the first Pink Shoe Club gathering outside of London.

Pink Shoe Club is a dynamic network of high-level women, with Home Secretary Theresa May and Olympic gold medallist Tessa Sanderson CBE as its patrons. With close links to Parliament, Pink Shoe women of all backgrounds and professions regularly meet in exclusive venues to network, exchange ideas and do business together.

Úna said: “I’m delighted Pink Shoe Club has chosen my home city of Liverpool to Launch in the North West."

Click here to read the complete Formby Times article

22nd January 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

Cuadrilla have just installed a network of 21 'GasClams' to monitor their current exploration sites and are the world’s first company to use it as part automated early warning system.

If the instrument detects an increase in gas concentrations it automatically alerts an engineer allowing a rapid response.

The monitoring device will collect background gas levels and compare them between before, during and after our operations, according to Mark Miller, CEO of Cuadrilla.

Mr Miller anticipates that the data from the monitoring equipment will be made available to local communities via the Cuadrilla website.

GasClam was developed by Salamander, a University of Manchester spin out company and is a previous winner of the North West Innovation Environment Technology prize.

Dr Pete Morris, from Ion Science, the global distributor of the technology, said: “As gas occurs naturally from a range of sources, GasClam will provide reliable information to Cuadrilla and the surrounding community to show the level of gas and its origin.”

17th January 2012
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

In Lancashire, the numbers of house fires and injuries from fires are at their lowest recorded levels ever. Despite this, six people have tragically died in their homes over the last month. As part of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service's response, the Service will hold a high profile Smoke Alarm Fire Education Roadshow (SAFER) at every Fire Station in Lancashire on Saturday 21st January 2012 between 11am and 5pm.

The campaign will see all fire stations open to the public who are invited to come along to collect a free 10 year smoke alarm and fire safety guidance, as well as having the opportunity to book a free Home Fire Safety Check.

Whilst the smoke alarms are being distributed, firefighters and community fire safety will be demonstrating how to install and clean the alarms. The videos will be placed on social networking sites, such as YouTube and the Service's new Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Many fire related deaths are caused by people being overcome by smoke and fumes, not just burns. Therefore, a working smoke alarm is essential. It provides vital early warning and extra time to escape if there is a fire. Every home should have at least one working smoke alarm.

When a smoke alarm has been fitted it is vital that it is regularly tested to ensure it works properly at least once a week using the test button. Every six months, the alarms need to be cleaned by opening the case and gently vacuuming the inside to remove dust from the sensor. If the smoke alarm doesn't open, vacuum through the holes.

Peter Holland, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service's Chief Fire Officer says; "Every single member of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is devastated about the loss of life in recent weeks, especially when it is so needless. We are urging everybody to get a working smoke alarm and test it every week."

"This Saturday every available member of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will be on the streets making sure everyone gets the message; Get a working smoke alarm and test it."

"If you can not attend any of the fire stations on Saturday and you still wish to get a free smoke alarm, call us on 0800 1691125 or visit the website to book a free Home Fire Safety Check."

11th January 2012
Source: Ellesmere Port Pioneer

TWO men have appeared in court charged with conspiracy to steal three tankers worth more than £300,000 from an Ellesmere Port industrial estate.

Timothy Edwards, 53, of the Marshes, Tarleton, Lancashire, and John Downes, 23, of Moss Lane, Lydiate, Liverpool, appeared before magistrates in Chester on Wednesday, January 4.

The men were arrested last May after three Scania articulated tanker lorries were taken from an industrial unit on North Road, Ellesmere Port.

The vehicles were stolen between 6.15pm on Tuesday, May 3, and 1.45am on Wednesday, May 4. Each was loaded with £45,000 worth of diesel, bound for various locations throughout the UK. Two of the tankers – minus their tractor units – were recovered by police the following morning at Mere Brow, Preston.

Enquiries by officers from Ellesmere Port CID subsequently led to the recovery of the three tractor units and third tanker in Skelmersdale, Warrington and Widnes.

All the vehicles have been returned to their owners.

Edwards and Downes will appear in Chester Crown Court on January 30.

5th January 2012
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

A medical student has won a prestigious award for her outstanding knowledge of arthritis.

Jessica Ball, 23, of Blackgate Lane, Tarleton, has been awarded a student prize in rheumatology by medical research charity Arthritis Research UK.

Jessica, a fourth year medical student at the University of Manchester medical school and based at Manchester Royal Infirmary, is among only a handful of medical students in the UK to be awarded the prize.

It was awarded to her for demonstrating “an outstanding aptitude and knowledge” of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions.

She has been awarded an engraved silver medal and certificate and also presented with £250.

Click here to read the complete Lancashire Evening Post article

5th January 2012
Source: West Lancashire Borough Council

The West Lancashire Local Plan Preferred Options Paper will be available for consultation from Thursday 5th January to Friday 17th February 2012.  

The West Lancashire Local Plan takes over from the Local Development Framework, and will eventually replace the current Replacement Local Plan as the planning framework for the Borough.  This change-over is reflective of national guidance to try and make the planning process easier for people to understand and get involved with.  As well as the planning policies, the Local Plan now also contains information about the specific sites we will allocate for future development, and new policies that will be used to help make decisions on planning applications.  All these policies and proposals are set out in the Local Plan Preferred Options paper.

The Preferred Options Paper sets out the policies that will guide development until 2027 and covers important topics such as housing, employment, transport, local services, Gypsy and Traveller sites and Edge Hill University.  The Local Plan also sets out the preferred option for Green Belt release in Burscough, with some additional Green Belt release in the north of Ormskirk.  Further sites of Green Belt will also be released but safeguarded from development unless a ‘Plan B scenario’ dictates they should be used to help meet Borough targets.

The Preferred Options Paper and accompanying documents will be available from 5th January in local libraries, Post Offices, the Council offices (52 Derby St , Ormskirk and the Contact Centre in the Concourse, Skelmersdale) and on the Council’s website (  The Champion papers’ cover pages will explain the proposed policies and plans and how to comment on them. Homes in rural areas that do not receive the Champion should receive their information through the post.  We are also holding a number of events including drop-in exhibitions and evening forums to which we would like you to attend.  Details of times and venues for these events are given below.  Places for the evening forums must be booked. You can also receive updates and news on our consultation events by joining our Facebook page – “Your West Lancashire 2027”.

The Borough Council would welcome your comments on the content and nature of the Preferred Options paper.  Comments can be made on the Preferred Options Paper, and accompanying documents such as the Sustainability Appraisal, via the Borough Council website at Comments must be received by 5pm on Friday 17th February 2012.

10th December 2011
£9.2m bill for 20mph zone PROJECT
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on Facebook

The Lancashire County Council proposal to implement 20mph schemes in residential areas and outside of all schools in Lancashire is budgeted to cost £9.2 million pounds.

The cost of maintaining the new signage is budgeted to add another £136,000 to the annual highway maintenance costs.

The target date for the completion of the project is 31st December 2013.


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