Monthly Archives: October 2020

WLBC Council Plan, Our Vision

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West Lancashire together; the place of choice to live, work, visit and invest.

Create empowered, engaged and inclusive communities


We want:
• Healthy resilient and engaged communities that work together to improve the places they live and work
• Everyone to have the same opportunities
• Thriving voluntary and community groups that support innovation and collaboration
• To work with partners for the good of local people
• Our citizens to access the benefits of being digitally engaged
• Councillors that are active and knowledgeable and support change at a local level
• To improve customer satisfaction

We will:
• Build on and develop strengths within local communities
• Engage with communities when making key decisions
• Use community networks to gain views from hard to reach groups
• Create innovative ways to listen to different community views
• Use Councillors’ existing reach and influence to provide community feedback to shape decision making
• Work with partners to develop a meaningful offer to support citizens to become digitally included
• Adopt a best practice model of consultation
• Listen and provide feedback to customers about how their views have improved services
• Develop neighbourhood plans with key partnerships committed to meeting the needs of our communities.


These partners for the good of local people? Are they LCC, United Utilities, Serco Leisure Operating Ltd, Network Rail, land developers? Will residents homes still be flooded? These active and knowledgeable councillors, will they still be allowed to absent themselves for six months and receive legal support to stay and be paid? Or leave to live and work in London while being paid? With empowerment, can we sack them?

Don’t Do As We Do, Do As We Say

If you were dreaming you might read that “West Lancashire Borough Labour Council is considering options to support a backdated challenge to itself over the Tory Council’s 2011 approval for the landfill at Beacon Park Golf Course”. And you might ask “When did Labour councillors turn up to photo shoots at Beacon Park Golf Course?”

The application for the Beacon Park Golf Course landfill development was approved by West Lancashire’s Planning Officers after a deal was agreed between Leisure Officers and rogue companies promised the benefits from royalties while destroying the value and beauty of the popular golf course.


Prior to the BPGC application being heard, the Tory West Lancashire Borough Council never submitted formal comments or objections to the application. And in our dream “But now we have the Parbold landfill outrage and it’s concentrated our minds on our past history. Just think, we might be seen as hypocrites”.

In Parbold “The Council’s cabinet has agreed to consider what options are available to work alongside campaign groups and residents to examine the approval, and whether there were any flaws in the process or withholding or misinterpretation of information presented”. In Beacon Park Golf Course “The Council’s cabinet has agreed nothing other than to deny the existence of a problem”.

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Portfolio Holders for Planning and Communities and Community Safety said “At every stage of the process we have worked with officers and councillors at West Lancashire Borough Council in putting forward our strong objections to the planning application for Parbold Hill Landfill. We share the frustration and anger of residents across West Lancashire at the disregard shown to this Lancashire beauty spot and the hundreds and hundreds of resident objections”.

“West Lancashire cannot be and must not be seen as the dumping ground of the North West. We have already had Whitemoss expanded and extended despite strong local objection, and here we see it again. Working with local campaigners, we will now consider how we can support any legal challenge and what grounds there may be. We fought hard against Whitemoss and we must do the same for Parbold Hill and protect West Lancashire from this destruction”.


What is this really all about? Parbold Hill is rather better known than Elmers Green Lane. Labour has apparently identified “the frustration and anger of residents across West Lancashire for Parbold Hill” while Labour has never identified “the frustration and anger of residents across West Lancashire for Beacon Park Golf Course”. It just discriminates against its senior golf clubbers.

It’s not a dream it’s a nightmare. Because it’s the Tory County Council that’s screwing Parbold Hill and it’s the Labour Borough Council that’s kept on screwing the Beacon Park Golf Course relentlessly since 2015 without intervention against the rogue developers.
You’ve got to wonder why?

Rosie Cooper Challenges Council On Yew Tree Farm Flooding

Rosie Cooper MP
                   Working Hard For West Lancashire

It’s reported that “Rosie Cooper has written to the Borough Council challenging their decision on Yew Tree Farm following recent flooding at the new development site”.

Despite only being barely populated, photographs supplied to Rosie show a surcharging manhole and flooding impacting on Higgins Lane and Truscott Road.

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Rosie said “After promises and assurances from WLBC, EA and other agencies that there would be adequate drainage on the Yew Tree Farm development, it is appalling that we already see flooding.


“With only a handful of houses built and occupied, this shows that Burscough residents’ fears of increased flooding may be becoming a reality.

“I have written to the Director at West Lancashire Borough Council asking whether they are still satisfied that the correct decision was made, and that the development is not contributing to flooding in the area and what can be done about it.

“I have also queried what monitoring they are undertaking to ensure all flood risk reduction conditions are being adhered to by the developers.

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“Residents of Burscough were clear at the time of the Local Plan in 2012, that they did not want these houses built because of their impact on the local drainage system, and it appears that their reasons were justified”.


West Lancashire Performance Management

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From WLBC “Performance management is not just collecting facts and figures. It’s about making sure that what is supposed to be done gets done.

“The council produces a number of strategies and plans directed at achieving our vision and priorities. These plans and strategies contain numerous tasks and targets which, when completed successfully, are the building blocks of our success. The authority’s principle strategy is its Council Plan. Progress against the Council Plan was reported in the Council Plan Annual Report 2019-20 (PDF 3.6MB).

“The council uses this framework of strategies and plans to effectively and efficiently manage the council’s performance in an open and transparent way. If we have not achieved something we have set out to do then we tackle it. Taking action in response to actual performance can help make outcomes better than they would otherwise be is performance management.

“Although performance management includes monitoring performance indicators, just as importantly it includes the monitoring of strategies and service development tasks, as well as any recommendations and action plans from inspections and reviews. We then assess and monitor our performance against our own previous achievements, and, where appropriate, the performance of other councils”.

The Council Plan will be the subject of intense scrutiny, coming soon.

The Astonishing Hypocrisy Of The WLBC Landfill Objectors

It’s reported that West Lancashire Borough Council may support attempts to overturn the controversial decision to allow landfill works which will block views across Parbold Hill. This is the same WLBC that allowed unlimited and unlawful landfill for vast private profits by Serco et al at the council owned Beacon Park Golf Course!

Apparently WLBC was among multiple local authorities to formally oppose the plan but Lancashire County Council’s Development Control Committee last week approved it by a vote of six to five.

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“West Lancashire Borough Council’s cabinet has agreed to consider what options are available to work alongside campaign groups and residents to examine the approval, and whether there were any flaws in the process or withholding or misinterpretation of information presented.

In a joint statement, portfolio holders Cllr Dave Evans (planning) and Cllr Gareth Dowling (communities and community safety) said “At every stage of the process we have worked with officers and councillors at West Lancashire Borough Council in putting forward our objections to the planning application for Parbold Hill Landfill.

“We share the frustration and anger of residents across West Lancashire at the disregard shown to this Lancashire beauty spot and the hundreds and hundreds of resident objections. West Lancashire cannot be and must not be seen as the dumping ground of the North West.

“We have already had Whitemoss expanded and extended despite local objection, and here we see it again. Working with campaigners, we will now consider how we can support any legal challenge and what grounds there may be. We fought hard against Whitemoss and we must do the same for Parbold Hill and protect West Lancashire from this destruction”.


How is that for political grandstanding! We didn’t notice any support for legal challenges against the Beacon Park Golf Course landfill. In fact the opposite, what WLBC calls “regularisation” of breached planning consents, has now become official policy.

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Let’s face it, when a WLBC leisure facility enjoyed by a huge golf club of elderly, senior, golfers is ruined, there hasn’t been a murmur of support for them nor a voice of dissent from this council. That it created wealth for the developers, Serco Leisure Operating Limited, Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd, corrupt companies approved by WLBC officers without simple company checks for taxes and VAT corruption, tells us all how much this WLBC really cares.

This claim that “West Lancashire cannot be and must not be seen as the dumping ground of the North West” is bullshit! Just take a walk over to the Beacon Park Golf Course and see what a 2011 planning consent has created and not finished in 2020 as THE dumping ground of the north west! Wasn’t the Beacon Park Golf Course a beauty spot?

And while you are there look for any of the once vibrant senior golf club membership. You won’t see many, if any. You’ll have to go out of the borough to the Berrington Hall Golf Club in Rainford to find them. That’s what the Beacon Park landfill fraud and corruption did while the political deadbeats did their “see nowt, hear nowt, say nowt”, act.

NB It’s now reported that “The Development Control Committee passed this application, made up of Councillors from Lancaster, Fleetwood, Rossendale, Cleveleys, Fylde, Preston, Accrington and Morecambe. Do they know anything of our area? Not one Councillor on this Committee represents an area south of Preston and yet are responsible for decisions on waste management in this area!

 Voted for the landfill – Cllr Yates; Cllr Clarke; Cllr Eaton; Cllr Kay; Cllr Rigby; Cllr Towneley;  Abstained – Cllr Foxcroft;  Voted against the landfill – Cllr Crompton; Cllr Dad; Cllr Ellard; Cllr Hayhurst: Cllr Patterson.

Update on Flood Risk in Cumbria and Lancashire

Following the LCC flood warning published earlier, the Environment Agency and Rosie Cooper wish you to know “You may be aware that the Met Office has issued a yellow warning for heavy rain for Cumbria and Lancashire from 9.00am tomorrow (Thursday 29 October) until midnight this Friday evening. We are also expecting another band of heavy persistent rain during Saturday and then further rain on Sunday morning. At this stage it is too early to tell which areas will be affected the most.

We have issued a yellow flood warning for Cumbria and Lancashire from Thursday up to and including Sunday. We are currently forecasting a low chance of both flooding to property and impacts on transport. This may change as the weather pattern evolves.

Based on the current forecast we are expecting to issue several flood alerts and possible flood warnings for Cumbria and Lancashire from tomorrow and over the weekend.
The rain will be sweeping over the two counties in a series of 3 bands. We currently believe that river levels should have a chance to drop in between breaks in the rain.

We are prepared and ready to install temporary barriers and we are expecting to operate our flood basins. Our teams are on 24 hour standby and ready to respond
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We continue to monitor coastal and river levels closely and are working with local authorities and partners to reduce the risk of flooding. Our teams are out on the ground working 24/7 clearing grids, checking defences and making sure our pumping stations are working. We are ready and prepared to respond to any flooding incidents in a socially distanced way.

We urge people in your constituency to check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgencyNW and #floodaware on Twitter. Please feel free to highlight these information sources via your own social media.

We also advise people to take care on coastal paths, stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.

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For any queries out of office hours, please ring the Floodline number on 0345 988 1188.



Open Letter To The Local Lead Flood Authority AKA Lancashire County Council

“Trenching without appropriate consents”, a primer for public officers uneducated in the custom and practice of digging drainage ditches.

“Dear Stephen Young

“Thank you for your email. The ditch referred to in your letter is a drainage ditch 200 yards away from the nearest house. Residents believe it has had no noticeable effect on the flooding on Crabtree Lane. Whereas BFG firmly believe that the cause of the railway line’s partial collapse is the increased flow of surface water from the new housing developments in Burscough. Each flood causes water to flow horizontally through the embankment resulting in cumulative damage until we arrived at the point where the embankment collapsed.

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“BFG first reported problems with the inadequacy of the rail culvert and floodwater build up against the railway embankment to the LLFA, when it met with it in 2016. The meeting was voice recorded and included Borough Councillor Andrew Pritchard, County Councillor Cynthia Dereli, Rachel Crompton Senior Flood Risk Manager, and Paul Baguley LLFA Officer. We have recently learnt that the LLFA in the four years since they were first being told about the problem have never warned Network Rail! Does the LLFA perceive as we do that this could be viewed as negligence?

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“Luckily no trains were derailed and nobody was hurt. Flooding could have been reduced or eliminated at any time, in the last 10+ years had: • LLFA warned network rail and, in turn, they had cleared its blocked culverts; • United Utilities (UU) increased the network capacity of their sewers to adequate rather than third world; • UU cleared their section of the boathouse sluice • LLFA addressed the general lack of capacity of the local water courses and the sewer network • The Environment Agency (EA) forced UU to clear the boathouse sluice as UU are the riparian owner.

“Yet none of them did anything! Instead LLFA have chosen to divert attention from the near rail disaster, due to the collective failure of the Flood Risk Management Authorities (FRMA), by falsely drawing negative attention to the action of the farmers. The farmers have removed a restrictive culvert and dug a new ditch to drain their own land simultaneously improving downstream drainage for Burscough.

“You don’t need permission to plough your land, dig drainage ditches, plant a hedgerow or create a shelter belt.” https://www.buyaplan.co.uk/…/53-how-do-planning-rules-affec…

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“Finally, as you must be aware, because I wrote to the LLFA at the commencement asking for technical assistance, BFG together with the Wilson family, Burscough Town Council and Bernard Webster have come up with a low cost fully funded solution to the flooding on Crabtree Lane using the Town Councils CIL money. The LLFA ignored the email!

“Now unfortunately a number of persons have made what we perceive as purely politically motivated objections and that has delayed our purchase of materials and stopped the project as of the 26th October. We note an alternative solution which was promoted by the LLFA on the 14th September, didn’t come into existence until after BFG’s solution had come to fruition. It is surprisingly similar but doesn’t have agreement amongst the FRMA, permission from the landowners, a cost (which is estimated to be 3 x more) or funding and will no doubt take four years more than our scheme.

“Due to weather and the needs of the farmer, there may only be a short window of time available to install our drainage scheme on farmland this year. Please can you reassure us that you will write to us within a week to formally tell what exactly is meant by “consent issues”? We don’t believe we need any more permissions than those we already have from the Environment Agency and the receiving landowner, however, if we do need any other consents, then will you assist us in obtaining them so that this delay in protecting residents who have suffered severe flooding doesn’t continue? Or will the LLFA ignore this email?”.

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Gavin Rattray – Secretary Burscough Flooding Group


The Relentless Rise Of Coronavirus In West Lancashire Continues

The West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport Hospital NHS Trust has reported 102 coronavirus infections today, the total is now 3,116 and the infection rate is 2,726 cases per 100,000 of the population.

Sadly, NHS England has today reported two more coronavirus deaths, recorded by Ormskirk & Southport Hospitals NHS Trust, on October 27th. The shocking total is now 191 deaths.

They are included in thirteen more people dying in hospitals across Lancashire after testing positive for coronavirus.

LCC Recommends DIY For Leaf Clearance Of Blocked Drains

Try removing leaves to prevent blocked drains ahead of stormy weather. Lancashire County Council is asking more people to help in the constant battle to clear leaves from the top of drains, ahead of heavy rain forecast later this week.

It is estimated that up to 80% of reports received about problems with drains during the autumn are due to leaves sitting over the top of grates, rather than a more serious maintenance issue. Highways staff are grateful that many people already help by clearing debris away and allowing water to enter the drains, and is encouraging others to do the same if it is safe to do so.

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The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for rain affecting Lancashire from midday on Thursday and throughout Friday, and are alerting people to possible flooding to properties and disruption to travel in the worst affected areas. The county council maintains over 300,000 roadside drains with those most at risk of becoming blocked being checked most often.

County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said “We will respond whenever we receive a report of flooding, and try to help however we can, whatever the source of the problem. Problems with highway drainage systems are very rarely the cause of flooding to properties, but often cause roads and pavements to become flooded if they have become blocked. At this time of year we have a lot of leaves on the ground, and with the heavy rain forecast for later this week, there is a likelihood that drains could become plugged by leaves.

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“During the autumn we very often find the cause of blocked drains is simply leaves lying on top of the grate which act like a plug and stop the water flowing down. The grates are designed to trap leaves and other debris to prevent them causing blockages further down the piped systems, which would be more difficult to deal with. If people are concerned that a highway drain is not flowing this may well be the cause, and if it’s safe to do so I’d ask people to consider brushing the leaves one side to see if that works, and if possible to clear the leaves away.

“However, please only do this if it’s safe as we would never want anyone to put themselves at risk. We do of course respond to all reports that we receive, but particularly during heavy rain when we have to prioritise the most serious flooding issues, it’s worth people knowing that most blocked drains can be easily cleared. If people could help by clearing leaves from drains during the autumn it helps to ensure they’re fully working when it rains heavily, and mean that highways staff are free to prioritise the most urgent flooding issues”.


Highways staff are this week checking locations which are vulnerable to flooding to ensure that highway drains and trash screens are clear in advance of the heavy rain forecast. If you can’t clear a blocked drain yourself, or the problem doesn’t appear to be caused by leaves, it can be reported at http://www.lancashire.gov.uk or by calling 0300 123 6701 and highways staff will attend as soon as they can. You can also find advice about what to do before, during and after a flood at lancashire.gov.uk/flooding.