Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 11, 2016

What’s 900 Missing Houses Between Friends?

The excellent QLocal website q_local_banner_logo is carrying the story of a spat between the Champion and a letter writer.

“You’re writing a story about a missing nought?” Champion reporter Danielle Thompson sounded incredulous when quizzed by QLocal’s Journalist Roger Blaxall rogerb [centre in his pic] over a blunder in last week’s paper. Burscough’s George Clandon had written in about the 1,000 new homes which are planned for the village on the Yew Tree Farm development; a cock up in the editorial department saw 1,000 homes reduced to a mere 100…

Said Mr Clandon in an email to QLocal “I entered in the letters page of the Champion paper, in this weeks edition, regarding the Parrs Lane building development in Aughton, of 150 houses. There is a mistake in the article which mentions 100 houses on The Yew Tree Farm development here in Burscough. It should read 1000 houses. The Champion have killed the story with one number. If that paper wasn’t free it wouldn’t be allowed through my letter box”. That’s a change from making use of the Champion to publicise his complaint?

We may as well not mention the real Parrs Lane building development intention is for 400 houses, not the 150 in the letter, but we will. The real story is not 100 or 1,000 new homes but the attack on Aughton simply because WLBC is appealing against a decision by the Secretary of State to confirm a Planning Inquiry victory by developers. When developers produce an array of QCs and corporate funds to claim a Local Plan is not achieving its aims but WLBC thinks it is on course to achieve them in the term of the Local Plan, that’s the basis of local democracy. If real local democracy had applied back in 2013 there would be a Local Plan that included homes being built on Altys Lane as well as in Burscough and Aughton. Political expediency decided otherwise. That’s been a real story for three years!


  1. The Chumpion seems no stranger to making oops-a-daisy mistakes. When the Burscough Action Group provided a press release regarding its forthcoming parish Poll, the release mentioned that residents didn’t need polling cards in order to vote.

    Somehow, the Chumpion managed to print the story such that Polling Cards WOULD be issued, and many conversations on the day of the Poll revealed huge confusion amongst residents, many of whom stated they weren’t going to go out and vote because they thought they couldn’t, having not received the fabled polling cards. Complaints received a pitbull type response.

    I’m surprised the chump has won the awards that it has, because when it comes to printing simple facts and figures, they appear to have a knack of making school boy ‘errors’.

    Tut tut, Chump.

    • Good point about the Burscough Poll, they were an embarrassment to journalism then. But it didn’t have the possible effect it could have done.

  2. We’ll never know the true figure of people who didn’t vote that night because they thought they’d need a Polling Card.

    The one thing we DO know is that despite the Parish Poll result, the compelling evidence of the poorly-prepared and highly questionable Local Plan provided by the Burscough Action Group, massive level of objection by local residents and the 4,600+ name petition of objection by Burscough residents, the Tory WLBC made NO alteration to the Plan except to REDUCE the amount of Skelmersdale proposed development and INCREASE Burscoughs.

    And that’s not to mention the fact that virtually every YTF objection sign being damaged or stolen, and banners being criminally damaged.

    We’ve weathered many dark days for democracy in our little, but growing, area over the last 5 years.

    • All of that is true, the other outstanding memories I have of that time were the incidents of threats made to Polling Station staff and the sight of placards lying on land having been smashed by tractors. All in the name of housing development!

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