Monthly Archives: November 2018

Aughton Childrens Play Area The Target For Knife Crime

Police have reported that razor blades/knife blades have been attached to the side of the childrens’ slide at the Winifred Lane Play Area in Aughton today.  We ask for everyone to be vigilant and to check equipment before your children use it. Please help the Ormskirk and Burscough Police if you have any information about the culprits. Do not let these morons damage our children. Call 101 if you have information, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

A comment has been made “Sleepy Aughton now under attack, gobsmackingly surreal, what next , why, why ? why?”. Well, it’s happening everywhere else, and it will keep on happening because there are no Police to speak of. At a recent Aughton Parish Council meeting we watched drug dealing taking place on the car park and the Police Chief Inspector went outside to deal with it!

Update. There are now over 1,100 comments on the Ormskirk and Burscough Police Facebook. Includes “The problem here is they won’t even be bothered in the slightest if they did get caught because they know the punishment would be minimal because our justice system is an absolute joke. If they are properly punished people for things like this for example chop their hands off. Then I wonder how many people would try this sort of behaviour then? It would make you think twice before attempting to intentionally injure babies and small children that’s for sure”.

More Local Plan Litter

A bobble hatted litter lout just pushed more Tory Local Plan litter through my door . The two major political groups seem to have money to burn, with all these glossies, beseeching us to support their policies. Labour is probably outspending the Tories, and will likely retaliate once more!

Worst of all with this one, an invitation to attend their social events and political debates! Debate with Wally! Slightly less worse, explore the possibility of standing as a Conservative candidate in local elections. Well, you won’t get Aughton or Parbold, but you could be the paper candidate in any Skelmersdale ward!

Can’t they all just leave it to the residents who are affected by the Local Plan to have their say if they want to? 

WLBC Recruiting A Principal Land Legal Eagle

 Job Vacancy. Principal Solicitor. Location: 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, L39 2DF. Salary: £41,846 to £44,697 per annum (Scale PO4) Full Time.

Published: Thursday 22 November 2018. Closing Date: 23.59 hours GMT on Monday 10 December 2018.

An opportunity has arisen for a Principal Solicitor within our small, but forward-thinking in-house legal team at West Lancashire Borough Council. The Council is ambitious for our Economy and Environment and the Health and Wellbeing of local people and we strive to deliver the best possible services for all our residents and stakeholders.

West Lancashire has a diverse economy with market towns, small villages and thriving commercial areas nestled alongside rural countryside. The Borough offers a wide contrast between open farmland and small picturesque villages together with the larger vibrant market towns of Burscough and Ormskirk. Our largest town Skelmersdale is a hive of urban activity with a number of thriving employment estates, busy shopping centres and exciting plans, as this artist’s impression shows, for the Town Centre.

You will be the Council’s principal land and property specialist taking responsibility for major regeneration, economic development, infrastructure and asset management matters.

Adopting a commercial outlook and ideally with experience of advising local authorities you will make a significant contribution to the Council’s major projects. You will be an accomplished team player with excellent verbal and written communication skills. You also will have a supervisory role and will liaise at all levels, including with senior officers, councillors and external organisations.

Please note this post is “Politically Restricted”, so no links to the political tribes are allowed!

We Will Be Able To Negotiate Access To Our Waters

What a strange claim for the Prime Minister of the UK to make. “Our deal means we become an independent costal state”, but now read on, Prime Ministers’ Questions Wednesday 28 November.

Q4. Douglas Ross  (Moray) (Con): As the PrimeMinister heads to Scotland, what guarantees can she give to those who have concerns about the future of the fishing industry under this deal, and also our precious Union?

The Prime Minister : My hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise the issue of the fishing industry and our precious Union. I am a committed Unionist, as he is, and as indeed are all my colleagues on the Conservative Benches. Our deal in relation to fisheries means that we will become an independent coastal state. That means that we will be able to negotiate access to our waters. We will be ensuring that our fishing communities get a fairer share of our waters. We will be determining that issue of access to our waters, and we firmly rejected a link of access to our waters and access to markets. I have to say also that we are very clear, as I made clear in my statement on Monday, that we will not be trading off a fisheries agreement against anything else in this future relationship; and I am confident that my hon. Friend will have seen the support for the deal, which has been recognised by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation”.

Odd, that she did not mention the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations , do they support it? “Whatever their other differences, there is cross-party consensus that the UK fishing industry has been appallingly treated by the Common Fisheries Policy, and that leaving the EU opens the prospect of doing something different – the one area in which the UK has an unambiguously strong hand to play. The fishing issue will not diminish in significance whilst these political dynamics are in play and whilst the UK fishing industry and its allies seek justice”.

So, as readers might imagine, the Prime Minister seems to have sold out the UK fishing industry to perpetuate what the wretched Edward Heath did to buy our entry into what we thought was a common market. “A fairer share of our waters” means little compared with the intention of the French. “The European Council will demonstrate particular vigilance as regards safeguarding the rights and interests of citizens, the necessity to maintain ambitious level playing field conditions, and to protect fishing enterprises and coastal communities. Several EU leaders highlighted fishing as a particularly sensitive issue. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said talks on fisheries were “undoubtedly going to be an area where negotiations are going to be tough”, and the bluntest warning came from French President Macron, who suggested that if the UK was unwilling to compromise in negotiations on fishing, which would need to make rapid progress, then talks on a wider trade deal would be slow. “We as 27 have a clear position on fair competition, on fish, and on the subject of the EU’s regulatory autonomy, and that forms part of our position for the future relationship talks” he said.

Wacky Races On Long Lane Aughton

Who can ever forget the Wacky Races from back in 1968ish? People who live on Long Lane in Aughton can remember them, and now some recent newcomers refer to it in a campaign to ensure residents record their road safety concerns for the authorities to act on .

They assumed the area to be a nice, quiet, safe part of the village of Aughton. But within a year they describe the lane as “Wacky Races, perilous, polluted stretch of asphalt that functions as a veritable hazardous driving-free-for-all used extensively from pushy impatient mothers eager to transport their kids to and from school to farmers who hurtle their rambunctious machines along to and from the fields at astonishing speed. Oh, then, of course, HGVs who think nothing (observed this) of mounting pavements in a choreographed act of “professional driving” when required to pass one another-being unwilling to impede even in the slightest their progress despite almost wiping out an elderly resident’s tiny car reversing off their tiny driveway”.

Oh yes, they write, we’ve seen it all and suffered haven’t we? And in the year they have resided upon this “Lane” they have had two hit and run incidents. In a combined 40 years of driving they had full no claims and a low risk for insurance claims. Haha well not now!!

So, in their quest to determine why, on God’s good earth this Lane has no traffic calming in place already, they contacted Lancashire County Council Highways. In short, they have been told there have been many highway complaints from Long Lane over an extended period but they only log reported incidents and since not everyone formally report incidents the list is short, and the key criteria for placing road calming measures is the number of “incidents”.

So, Long Lane residents have received a circular from an address at “Dangerous Wacky-Races Lane, Aughton, Wild West Lancashire” . Residents already know how reticent the Aughton Parish Council, loaded up with £117,857 in readies, plus its £320,809 fixed term assets, plus its £20,000ish unspent CIL, is to spend on road safety. SPIDs are in the offing, apparently, if someone can find the key to the APC safe! And good luck with that!


Readers will be familiar with our regular reports on the landfill ripoff at the Beacon Park Golf Course, as the destination of all the landfill royalty payments remains “Commercial in Confidence”…or “find it if you can”!

But time has caught up with WLBC and the companies that desecrated the course, Serco Leisure Operating Limited and Oakland Golf and Leisure Limited, and their excessive dumping now requires correction.

Ecological Surveys Ltd has been asked to provide an arboricultural survey, 44 pages of tree related information . “ASR_Golf Course_Beacon Park Golf Centre_October_2018”. Such reports are expensive, but need to be accurate to comply with planning obligations.

So it has come as a surprise to us that this entry is made within the document, page 13, “It should be noted that the tree dimensions are estimated as the golf course was being used during the survey and the risk of being struck by a golf ball was considered high, so time spent standing on the fairway was limited”.

There is no truth in the rumour that Senior Golfers at BPGC asked the Serco Management Team to accompany the tree surveyors on the fairways while ESL assessed the required tree data.

Rosie Cooper MP Leads PM Questions

Rosie Cooper MP  Q1. If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 28 November. [907883]

The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May) ; I am sure that the whole House will join me in paying tribute to Baroness Trumpington, who sadly passed away yesterday. From her time at Bletchley Park as a codebreaker during the second world war, through to her time in government and public service, she led an extraordinary life. She will be sorely missed.

This morning, I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall have further such meetings later today.

Rosie Cooper; I am sure the whole House would want to be associated with the Prime Minister’s remarks. The misery inflicted on my constituents by Northern rail continues unabated: long waits for already full trains; trains that do not arrive on time; whole-day cancellations; and even the cancellation of last trains, leaving people stranded. There can be no more excuses. This latest Northern rail fiasco began in May, with timetabling and communications issues. Is it not time to get the communications right, and timetable the end of the Northern franchise?

The Prime Minister; First of all, we are clear as a Government that the performance in the north and the disruption that was caused to rail passengers following the timetable changes that took place on 20 May were unacceptable. It is clear that we saw a combination of delayed Network Rail infrastructure works and reduced time to plan a modified timetable, which meant that the new timetable was finalised too late. We know that passengers are currently not getting the service they deserve, although there are more Northern rail services now than there were earlier this year; but much more needs to be done. We are working alongside Transport for the North, Northern, TransPennine Express and Network Rail on improving services and punctuality. We have asked Richard George to review the performance of the region’s rail network and to make recommendations to improve reliability, and where operators are found to be at fault, we will take action.

Don’t Be Fooled By All The Scare Stories And False Views

Another Champion letter , from new Labour Cllr Ron Cooper  of Tanhouse, expresses surprise at seeing an OWL political party story in the Champion. Really, a politician claiming it to be well known that ex-Tory, Cllr Adrian Owens’ main objective is to undermine the good work that the Labour party is doing for the borough! OWL is an opposition party, which might not agree with what Labour is doing for the borough, in case you missed the obvious?

He adds “The Tories and OWL (Tory splinter group) [Howls of derision from OWLs] are putting out scare stories and false views about the new Local Plan…dismayed to hear the disdain in which the Tories hold the people of Skelmersdale…they made it clear they don’t want an invasion of “undesirables” from Liverpool”.

“Many residents of Aughton have come from working class background from Liverpool. We need affordable housing in the borough and planned developments, not a free-for-all and massive “executive homes” that only benefit the developers’ bank balances.

“The new Local Plan shows that our Labour-controlled council can be ambitious for our borough and is safeguarding the green belt”. Well, pardon me, but an admission of Labour reducing the Green belt by a “mere” 1.7% is an admission Labour didn’t safeguard that green belt! And, those fields are shovel-ready, even more profits for the big developers!

“This new plan takes advantage of economic growth in neighbouring regions and allows West Lancashire to be part of those new business opportunities” which doesn’t explain why so called Duty to Co-Operate is only with metropolitan, massively central government funded councils, and is a one way street!

Cllr Cooper wants us to read the plan documents and don’t be fooled by the scare stories. Shouldn’t the tenant farmers and farm workers of Bickerstaffe be scared then?

Labour Proposed New Local Plan Gets A Public Kicking

The Champion Letters  section is awash with bitter opposition to the Local Plan Review. Headlines include “…leaflet should have been labelled Fake News” from a Bickerstaffe Pensioner who declares it to be “A desperate and feeble attempt by the planners/Labour to try to sell their preferred options to us, in much the same way as selling Christmas to turkeys”. And “Well done Labour and planners-the only thing your brochure achieved was to convince us not to vote Labour”…seat to be contested in May 2019!

“Consultation is just a tick-box exercise” from Patrick Bell who quotes Shakespeare’s Hamlet “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” and who disputes, with some force, the stated need for houses for Sefton and others within the Liverpool City Region. He also wants to see the minutes of the Local Plan Working Group, the authors of the document under consideration.

 The “Misguided and unrealistic scheme should be rejected” from Michael Richmond of Aughton who attended a consultation meeting addressed by Cllr John Hodson, during which doubts began to appear, one of which relates to Cllr Hodson’s claim of “affordable” housing in Aughton would be available at £64,000 per unit”. Incredulity!

“Make your views known” from Concerned, Tarleton, is what it says on the tin! “Relief that 15,000 or so new houses previously presented by the Tarleton parish council/Lilford Estates reduced to a far smaller number in the draft 30-year plan”.

Setting The Record Straight

In our article on 22 October we reported that “Cllr Owens Showed Razor Sharp Reactions” by ensuring it was he who seconded Labour Cllr Yates’ motion to reduce the total number of WLBC Councillors at a full Council Meeting. It was a natural reaction from Cllr Owens because OWL had produced an election commitment to the policy .

We specifically asked “So who DID second the Motion? The official minutes will clear the matter. We wait for the claims and counter claims from the contestants!” which drew forth the written Labour claim that “The motion to review councillor numbers, which was seconded by Cllr Yates’s fellow Knowsley Ward councillor, Cllr Gareth Dowling is in response to this review…”

Not being satisfied with the matter, WLR has patiently awaited a view of it that cannot be disputed. In local authority dispute resolution members of the public have rights to ask for disclosure, for example using the Freedom of Information Act 2000. And we can now say without doubt that official notes record that Councillor Adrian Owens seconded the Motion at item 16c, Review of the Political Management Restructure, which was agreed.

All parties to this matter should be happy that an OWL policy in May 2018, copied by Labour in October 2018, is to be resolved for the ultimate benefit of council tax payers, which is as it should be.