Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 25, 2016

Have Your Say

…in Council’s Private Sector Housing Strategy consultation.

Residents are being given the chance to comment on the Council’s draft Private Sector Housing Strategy 2017-2020. While the Council has its own social housing stock of more than 6,000 homes, it also has a private housing strategy which sets out a vision and an action plan to enable residents to live in decent homes which are in good repair and are safe, secure and warm.

The Council arranged for a stock condition assessment of all privately owned and privately rented homes in the Borough to be carried out. The report was published in April 2016 and its findings have been used to create the new draft strategy which will replace the council’s existing strategy. The Council wants residents, private landlords and other stakeholders to give their views as part of the development of the new strategy and is doing a public consultation exercise to get people’s opinions. Closing date for comments is 18 November 2016.

Councillor Kevin Wright kevcouncil whose portfolio includes responsibility for the strategy, said “Please take part in the consultation as this strategy is very important to the Council and we want to ensure it reflects the requirements of local people”.

Key objectives in the draft strategy include:Continue to raise the quality of existing private sector housing: Make the best use of existing housing stock: Achieve the right supply of new homes including maximising affordable housing: Encourage investment to meet specialist housing requirements. Some Regenda Homes in Burscough seen here regendahomes

The strategy reflects the Council’s corporate priorities in the Council Plan which are being ambitious for the economy, environment and for local people’s health and wellbeing.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 25, 2016

Moongate Picture Gallery

addicted moonmusic hokeypic3 bad-moon-rising-drum-sheet-music-1 shineon hellinahandcart

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 24, 2016

Neighbourhood Watch Shock

Without the courtesy of an announcement by the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner grunsh we have learned today we are to lose the Watch Liaison Officer who is vital to the role we play. Not one word of consultation or discussion about a change!

Our Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer has been in the role since December 2011. She has been informed that her role is to be disestablished and therefore abolished as part of the Lancashire Constabulary’s change process.

She has been assured that police support for Neighbourhood Watch nhw will continue although, at this time, there is no information as to how this will look in the future.

Similarly, we now have no information as to who will become the Single Point Of Contact within the Constabulary or indeed whether there will be such a S.P.O.C. We don’t know who will be responsible for the ‘In The Know’ (ITK) message broadcasts that we receive and pass on in relation to local crime, threats and updates.

The NHLO tells us she has thoroughly enjoyed working with such dedicated and caring community volunteers as ourselves and she thanks us, personally, for our hard work, dedication and commitment to community safety and the care of vulnerable individuals.

She envisages that she will still be around until sometime in early 2017 when the process will be completed.

She tells us “If you have any concerns regarding these changes I would advise that you contact Mr Clive Grunshaw, the Police and Crime Commissioner. You can at least have your say on how you would like to see what Neighbourhood Watch looks like going forward.

“You can contact Mr Grunshaw at and click on ‘contact us’. (I am reliably informed that the best way to elicit a response is to use his Facebook and/or Twitter pages if you have such access)”. But why should WE have to ask Clive Grunshaw about changes?

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 24, 2016

Tory Executive Council Meeting

Meeting tonight starts at 7.30pm. Matters for discussion as shown.roundtable [click to enlarge]

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 24, 2016

Westleconomics Latest

The well known local economic guru Cllr David Wally Westley has poured scorn on the budget cuts  at the Labour run Borough Council. And he’s taking a highly critical stance of moves approved at last week’s Council Meeting. This morning, the Tory opposition have claimed the measures are poorly thought out, represent unnecessary cuts in important frontline services, and the new charges mean residents will be paying more for less. Well, that’s Tory Government austerity for you.

Strangely enough, while this has been published, the selection and installation of the poop scoop doggy bag dogbags throwing Tory Cllr Paul Moon as a double hatter borough councillor has gone ignored. Also ignored is the appalling record of the Westley budget that cut an entire front line service for the most vulnerable socially excluded elderly and disabled residents of West Lancashire by removing the travel concession, replacing it with bus passes, and watching while rural bus services disappeared. That’s westleconomics for you.

He refers to new £30 pa charge for Green Waste Collection. Has he asked Cllr Moon to do the Hokey Cokey again inout, depending on which Council, Wyre or WLBC, he’s living in on a given day?

Wally, writing on the party website I regularly correct for its errors of fact, says “This is the same old Labour Party that can never do anything but slash frontline services and charge more. I appreciate that Labour are distracted by their internal party squabbling over Corbyn’s leadership but it is inexcusable that they have failed to come up with any ideas or initiatives to improve the efficiency of the Council”. Not to mention the internal local Tory party LCC candidature squabble fight between Wally himself and Cllr Greenall. But more surprising is the appalling selection of Wyre Cllr Moon. Where else next for Wally to find candidates? Sefton, Liverpool, Wigan?

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 24, 2016

Moon Skewered By OWL

A fascinating and revealing series of emails between Cllr Paul Moon and Cllr Adrian Owens emerged last night and ended a day of exposures of how and why the Wyre Tory Cllr Paul Moon came to the West Lancashire Council chamber to represent Hesketh-with- Becconsall Ward. As you will see, Moon uses a series of terminal inexactitudes to explain his stance.

adrianow Email – 22nd October 2016 from Cllr Adrian Owens to Cllr Moon
Dear Paul

I am writing to you for an explanation of the fact – revealed by this blog post (link below) on the site West Lancashire Record run by an Aughton resident – that you are a councillor on both Wyre Borough and West Lancashire Borough councils.

I knew you had moved to West Lancashire shortly before May’s elections when you were first elected, but to learn that you had been and still remain a councillor in Wyre was a shock. How can you represent residents adequately in both Boroughs? Did you make the electors of Hesketh with Becconsall aware that you were a Wyre councillor when you stood for election in May and that you intended to continue to remain as one? As the next local elections in Wyre are not due until May 2019, should you not resign from your position there, so that the electors of Hesketh-with-Becconsall can have your undivided attention?

I look forward to your explanation and response to my questions.

Regards, Cllr Adrian Owens, Our West Lancashire Councillor

1st Email response – 22nd October 2016 from Cllr Moon to Cllr Owens
Dear Adrian

As an explanation to you as what I hope will be a friendly correspondence it is as follows.
Yes your [sic] right I am a councillor on Wyre council and have been a very effective one since 2003. At the last election for Wyre I was resident there in my house on Park Lane. Since then I have moved to Hesketh Bank which has allowed me to apply for the council at West Lancashire. I also have a property in Preesall which I rent out from which I supplement my pension as a retired firefighter.

When the opportunity to apply for West Lancashire came available I asked the question if I could stand. I asked Gary Payne the CEO and legal department at Wyre, the conservative association and Kim Webber kim at West Lancashire who all said the circumstances although unusual they are in order. I haven’t heard anyone complain or question the legality of the situation and is it not very similar to a councillor being both borough and county.

I hope this is a suitable explanation but please feel free to chat with me anytime. You can reach me on 07763930989. As for meeting attendance the only ones I’ve not attended are for holidays that were booked prior to the election in May.

As for my political view point I am a conservative as you know and the more people that are opposing labour the better as far as I’m concerned.

Kind regards Paul

2nd Email response – 22nd October 2016 from Cllr Moon to Cllr Owens
Dear Adrian

Sorry I accidentally missed answering your questions. 1 I do and will continue represent the electorate to a very high standard on both councils, [even when wearing underpants on my head]. 2 This wasn’t a requirement of the election process. 3 When the elections are due in Wyre in 2019 I will assess the situation and the election protocol at that time, however I will be giving my best effort to every resident I represent, wherever they are.

Kind regards Paul


Email – Evening of 23rd October 2016 from Cllr Adrian Owens to Cllr Moon
Dear Paul,

Thank you for your two responses. I have reflected on your response and consulted with the Our West Lancashire committee. I have also corresponded with a few Hesketh Bank residents.

It seems untenable for you to be simultaneously a borough councillor in both West Lancashire and Wyre. There are numerous conflicts of interest, not least in the allocation of resources. If Lancashire county council releases more money for road repairs, do you lobby for Hesketh Bank or for your ward in Wyre? When Government announces rate support grant to local authorities who are you focused upon – West Lancashire or Wyre?
Then there are the internal contradictions. Wyre Council Conservative group are against a Lancashire Combined Authority while West Lancashire Council Conservative group are in favour of the Combined Authority. On 3 March 2016, you voted at Wyre Council for the council budget and IN FAVOUR of a £30 charge for green waste collection. On 19 October 2016, you voted at West Lancashire Borough Council AGAINST the introduction of a £30 charge for green waste collection! Exactly where do you stand on these issues and how can the electors of Hesketh with Becconsall have confidence in what you say on these issues at any moment in time?

Then there are the diary clashes: On 12th May 2016 there were full council meetings in both West Lancashire and Wyre. How could you possibly be in both places simultaneously? On 30 June 2016 you had another clash – an Executive Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting in West Lancashire and a Licensing Committee meeting in Wyre – on this occasion you attended in West Lancashire and gave apologies in Wyre. On 29 September 2016 you had another clash – an Executive Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting in West Lancashire and a Licensing Committee meeting in Wyre – on this occasion you attended in Wyre and gave apologies in West Lancashire.

This will likely happen many times more up to May 2019 and is surely unsustainable. There is also the fact that there may be times when you should be representing your Hesketh Bank residents as ward councillor at West Lancashire Planning Committee meetings and yet your duties at Wyre will prevent this. Already a meeting you had to attend in Wyre on 28th July 2016 clashed with West Lancashire’s planning committee.

Of most significance though is your complete lack of transparency over this matter. You confirmed in your response to me that you did not make residents of Hesketh with Becconsall aware that you were a member of Wyre Borough Council when you stood for election in May. Nor did you make them aware that you intend (as you confirm in your reply to me) to continue to be a councillor in Wyre until at least 2019.

This lack of transparency means that the electors of Hesketh Bank were not able to weigh up in their own minds the conflicts of interest and internal contradictions I describe above, nor reflect on your ability to represent two different areas in different parts of Lancashire at the same time, BEFORE they cast their vote in May’s elections. One Hesketh Bank elector has described your actions to me as “dishonest – we feel deceived by this underhand act.” Another, Mr Max Gilbert (@mgilberties) has tweeted “My thoughts are what a conflict of interest and how misleading not to disclose this to anybody.”

This does not relate to any narrow legal point; but to your judgement and the high standards in which a councillor should be held. Residents have wrongly been kept in the dark on an important and relevant matter. In all the circumstances, I believe that as you have said you will remain a councillor in Wyre, that you should resign as a West Lancashire Borough Councillor with immediate effect.

Yours sincerely, Cllr Adrian Owens, Our West Lancashire

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 23, 2016

Poop Scoop Bag And Underpants!

In January 2011 the Garstang Courier garcourier reported that a prominent Wyre councillor, Paul Moon, quit Wyre Council’s ruling cabinet after throwing a dog ‘poop scoop’ bag at a member of the public, following a council chamber debate on dog control orders. The bag which was being used a ‘visual prop’ during the debate, and contained bread shapes to resemble canine faeces hit dog-lover Mrs Irene Horner, a pensioner, who had taken part in a question and answer session along with other dog owners concerned about the impact of the orders.

The poop scoop bag incident was witnessed by several councillors and some of the 45 members of the public, mainly dog owners, who attended last Monday’s meeting of Wyre cabinet. Mrs Horner had moved to the microphone to thank councillors for listening to the dog lovers’ views when she was struck on the chest by the bag, thrown by Conservative Cllr Paul Moon, who represents Preesall and Knott End.

A shocked Mrs Horner said the public had been annoyed earlier in the meeting, when Moon and other councillors had been playing ‘catch’ with the poop scoop bag. Talking exclusively to The Courier she said “This is disgraceful behaviour from a cabinet councillor, which only serves to bring the council into disrepute. Can you imagine the outrage if someone in the public gallery had thrown something at a councillor?” When news of the incident became public the following day, a council statement was issued, saying “A ‘poop and scoop’ bag was used as a visual aid to highlight the problem and the impact which irresponsible dog fouling has across the borough.”

But as details of the incident spread among councillors, parish councillors, the wider public and press, Cllr Moon decided to step down from his £8,000 a year post as cabinet member with responsibility for ‘Street Scene’ matters. Moon commented “Unfortunately the use of the visual aid backfired quite horrendously, completely innocently, and it caused acute embarrassment to fellow councillors and it offended members of the public. I apologised to the members of the public, and to try and alleviate the problem I resigned from the role of street scene portfolio holder. I cannot say or give any more apology or any further explanation”.

Council leader Coun Peter Gibson said Moon “had been quick to take personal responsibility for his actions as he recognises that this was an error of judgement on his part.”

It is not the first time Cllr Moon’s activities in the council chamber have raised eyebrows. Two years ago, he put a pair of underpants on his head during a mayoral meeting, prompting quizzical looks and leading one Tory colleague to describe his actions as “out of the school of Michael Bentine mikebent, and not appropriate in a council chamber”. Moon, a former chairman of the council’s planning committee, became a cabinet member last year. He will continue in his role as a Wyre councillor for Preesall and Knott End, and as town councillor for Preesall South ward. After details of Moon’s resignation appeared on Wyre’s website, and after receiving a written apology, Mrs Horner said she had withdrawn her complaint. Roll on the pantomime season in the WLBC Chamber!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 23, 2016

The Half Moon

As we learn more about the “Half Moon” saga it’s time to record and praise the performance of the other half of the Hesketh-with-Becconsall membership duo, Cllr Iain Ashcroft

Cllr Ashcroft portfolio holder for street scene grounds maintenance, street cleansing, liaison with utility companies and highway authority, whose impeccable service shows “Total expected attendances: 7, Present as expected: 7, 100%”.

He serves the LSP Executive, Community Safety Partnership, North West Employers Association, Hesketh Bank Parish Council, All Saints Church Hesketh Bank –PCC, and All Saints School HB-School Governor.

What a comparison half ?

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 23, 2016

Moon Gazing

While the OWLs are on the case of Cllr Paul Moon owlmoon, and heaven knows who else is on it now, we might need look no further than the WLBC Constitution?

There is a strong likelihood that under it, the Code of Conduct 10.1 Registering Interests, applies to Councillors who sit in two different Councils. (1) You must, within 28 days of your election or appointment to office as a member or co-opted member notify the Monitoring Officer in writing of your non-pecuniary interests where they fall within the following descriptions, for inclusion in the register of interests: (i) Any body of which you are a member or in a position of general control or management and to which you are appointed or nominated by your authority; (ii) Any body (a) exercising functions of a public nature; (b) directed to charitable purposes; or (c) one of whose principal purposes includes theinfluence of public opinion or policy (including any political party or trade union), of which you are a member or in a position of general control or management. moondec-001 [click to enlarge]

Perhaps the Standards Committee of WLBC should examine the case before us? Or is it a simple enough case for the Monitoring Officer to intervene and give a ruling?

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 23, 2016

OWLs Are On The Moon Case

This morning the OWLs owllogo have published an article about Cllr Paul Moon. They state “Local West Lancashire councillor is also a councillor in Wyre. A local blog site, West Lancashire Record has revealed that Hesketh Bank councillor Paul Moon is also a sitting councillor for Wyre. Our West Lancashire have written to Cllr Moon for his explanation. We have asked him: How can you represent residents adequately in both Boroughs? Did you make the electors of Hesketh with Becconsall aware that you were a Wyre councillor when you stood for election in May and that you intended to continue to remain as one? As the next local elections in Wyre are not due until May 2019, should you not resign from your position there, so that the electors of Hesketh-with-Becconsall can have your undivided attention?

“At this stage it is difficult to see how Cllr Moon paul%20moon can effectively represent both areas. We will update this piece in the near future as more information comes to light”.

Did you know that “Being a member of West Lancashire Conservatives means that you have joined the most open and democratic political party in Britain. After the first three months of your membership, you will be entitled to a vote in Party ballots. You will also have a chance to influence Party policy by letting us know your views. Full membership is £25, in your first year you can join for just £10”.

So how did this “most open and democratic party” openly and democratically select Paul Moon for Hesketh with Becconsall? By local party ballot? Or perhaps behind closed doors by a committee of “chums”? Or even “chumps”?

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