Author Archives: westlancashirerecord

About westlancashirerecord

I am a pensioner. I was a strong supporter of the rights of elderly and disabled residents of West Lancashire to receive equal treatment from the old Tory WLBC that unfortunately did not agree, leading to the social exclusion of some immobile disabled residents. My personal suggestion of honouring the County Regiment led to us having probably the proudest day ever in West Lancashire, with the help of Cllr Adrian Owens who wrote "You will be pleased to learn that this evening the motion passed unanimously. Colonel Amlot from the Regiment was accorded a standing ovation and we look forward to a parade and march through Ormskirk next year. Thank you". After the Parade I wrote to Cllr Owens "I was reading through the emails we exchanged after I made the suggestion to honour our County Regiment. As you said today, we got there in the end, and what an end? This celebration of our Regiment was quite simply, as my original mail said, the greatest honour of all. To see all these young people who risk their lives for us was so moving. Little did I know what Council could do and how our residents would react to it all. Well, we should all be so proud of this great day. I know I am".

West Lancashire Coronavirus Infections Continue Surge To Over 1,000 Cases

West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals reported 26 new coronavirus infections today, that takes the cumulative total to 1,002, that’s 876.6 infections per 100,000 of the population.

The county reported 414 new infections. The Office for National Statistics stated the number of people with active coronavirus cases in England almost doubled in a week.

No deaths from coronavirus have been reported in Lancashire today.

Not Coming Our Way Soon?

Readers who are unaware that there is a WLBC litter bin policy may read the conclusion of the official ‘Litter Bin Policy’ review with interest.

A review of the ‘Litter Bin Policy’ was carried between 2018 and 2019. The work was undertaken by the Corporate and Environmental Overview and Scrutiny Committee and concluded in October 2019. Below is the bog standard litter bin.

“Apart from what seems to be routine replacement of litter bins depending on condition there was a policy to “Undertake a 4-6 week trial pilot of compaction bins in identified locations”. Below is a compaction bin.


“Trial of compaction bins would be in areas of high footfall such as town centres. Due to the reduction in footfall across town centres nationally and the closure of businesses within West Lancashire, discussions were undertaken with the contractor who advised that data gathered during the COVID-19 situation could not be relied upon to deliver meaningful comparisons to pre-COVID footfall and therefore the recommendation was made to postpone the trial until Spring 2021.

“Targeted educational campaigns will be delivered and embedded as business as usual with an annual calendar of engagement being produced by the Clean & Green Operations Manager who takes up the post in October 2020 and shared with Members”.

For the “costonomists” among us, these compaction bins might be solar powered and cost £4,400 each. They send alerts when they’re full. The old bins cost around £400 each and don’t send messages, they just overflow!

Stark Warning As Coronavirus Surge Returns In West Lancashire

A stark warning about the coronavirus surge was given today. The West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospital reported 21 new coronavirus infections today, bringing the total to 976, that’s 853.8 infections per 100,000 of the population.

A further 249 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been registered across Lancashire today. No coronavirus deaths were recorded.

Professor Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, said the rise in new cases provides a “clear” signal and insisted people must follow the stricter measures announced this week in order to help control the virus. She said “This, 6,634 lab-confirmed cases, is the highest number recorded and a stark warning for us all. The signals are clear”.

The Flood Hub Flood Resilience Awareness Week Campaign

Are you aware of the Flood Hub? You should be, it’s full of bullshittery about making us all aware that floods can be devastating! As though we don’t know that from local flooding, Burscough, Crabtree Lane, anyone?

From Monday 21st – Friday 25th September 2020, we are running a Flood Resilience Awareness Week from our social media accounts.

This website has been funded by the North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and is a joint initiative developed by the Environment Agency, United Utilities, Newground, and the Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire Strategic Flood Partnerships. Yes, there they are, United Utilities, always there to pontificate, or provide bullshit, on flooding issues!

Millions of people and properties are at risk of flooding across the UK and the impacts can be devastating. We’re holding this campaign to increase awareness of the many ways that people can increase their resilience to flooding, and to encourage more people to take action and make themselves more prepared!

We’d greatly appreciate your support with this campaign on social media by tagging @TheFloodHub and by sharing with any relevant contacts via email or word of mouth.

This campaign also ties in with the #30days30waysUK September Preparedness Month campaign. More information about this can be found on the campaign website.

We didn’t predict that all this public money would be spent on telling people who’ve been flooded how devastating flooding can be. We must be more careful in future to make people aware that when it rains, blocked drains, always blocked due to negligence,  tend to cause floods! And we must always remember that United Utilities could spend its bullshittery statement publicity on just investing in 2020 drainage systems!

West Lancashire Extends Flu Vaccination Programme

GP surgeries and pharmacies across West Lancashire are starting to vaccinate thousands of people against flu, whilst ensuring that coronavirus social distancing measures are followed. This year will be the most comprehensive flu programme in UK history, with more people eligible for the free NHS vaccine than ever. If you are eligible, please do not call your practice, your GP practice will be in touch to let you know the plans for you to get your vaccine.

Those eligible for a free flu vaccination this year are: people who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household; all school year groups up to and including year 7; people aged over 65; pregnant women; those with pre-existing conditions including at-risk under-2-year olds.

Later this year, dependent on supply, people aged 50 to 64 will also be invited to get the flu vaccination. If you are in this age group, please wait for your invitation and do not call for an appointment. Meanwhile, we must get used to protecting each other.

NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) states “Flu should not be underestimated. It is a serious illness and can even be deadly for the most vulnerable of our population. The flu vaccination is the best defence we have against the virus. It is vital that those eligible have the vaccine every year as it protects against different strains of flu which can change and evolve each year.

“Having the vaccine is the single best way to protect against flu and will be an important step in preventing not only you, but your family, friends, and colleagues from getting the virus”.

Wildlife Crime Update PC Paddy Stewart Needs Help

West Lancashire Wildlife Crime Update – “Folks to keep you in the loop, 2 x coursing jobs yesterday, please keep eyes out for a silver Honda CRV Reg SV55XO linked to previous jobs. Vehicle was on that Reg previously but that is a cloned plate from a different vehicle.

If seen contact police. Also a blue Volvo Estate around Tarleton/Banks/ Hesketh Bank/Rufford has been used by dog men (no Reg known). Any issues I’m on duty all week.

Pc 169 Paddy Stewart

NB Update “FROM ONE OF MY RELIABLE CONTACTS, REG ON THE VOLVO IS KB53BC0″

Nine Days Of Silence

“WLBC invited Burscough Flooding Group for a meeting and then organised it without us being there. Their competence shines through yet again”.

Have you seen these people?

They are wanted by the Burscough Flooding Group. They flit around promising meetings and then disappear up their own backsides. But we pay them!

“Well, the ongoing farce into WLBC’s handling of flooding continues. In an attempt to have the many unanswered questions finally answered by WLBC in a meeting, Burscough Flooding Group were proposing to meet with them in August. The finer detail needed to be agreed because WLBC, just like the Local Lead Flood Authority, are reluctant to have meetings voice recorded. The reason, my best guess is they just don’t want any evidence left for them to be held to account at a later date.

“A date for the meeting was to be arranged in the week commencing 10th August. At 2.00am on the 11th August, my home was subjected to yet another flood with filthy black muddy water filling my entire home to a depth of 6”. At 7.10 am I was live on Radio Lancashire to Graham Liver who was kind enough to give me some air time. I am advised WLBC were contacted for comment, and though they had little to say about my home being devastated once more, they did go on to defend their Planning and Development Policy at length.

“In the near 5 weeks since then, although an assistant has made contact, none of the Upper Echelon have deemed my situation serious enough to make personal contact or even acknowledge my home has been flooded. Too busy having Leave again. In view of the fact that other Residents had expressed concerns, it was unclear whether a meeting would now be with, Burscough Flooding Group, the Residents, or just myself and so I sought clarity;

“Firstly, could you tell me what is the meeting related to, is it as previously discussed, issues to be resolved with Burscough Flooding Group, is it related to problems in Crabtree Lane or is it for some other purpose. Whilst I will be working every day trying to put my home back in a habitable, clean and healthy place to live, resolving the flooding issues must take priority. I will make time for anyone who is genuinely prepared to move things forward and help the Residents here.”

So here is the answer, NONE OF US!!!
“Dear Mr Webster, I have now arranged a meeting involving Mr Ian Gill, representatives from Lancashire County Council as the lead local flood authority, and representatives from United Utilities to discuss flooding in Burscough, especially on Crabtree Lane. This meeting is taking place on Monday 14 September and Mr Gill will come back to you following this meeting to advise you of what was discussed and the proposed way forward. Kind regards”.

“So, it would appear that WLBC, United Utilities and Lancashire County Council have no need of any eye witness accounts, or any ideas from anyone else who has put in time and research into the problem, nor do they ask about what measures are already being taken, they learned all they need to know from the comfort of an office desk. The sad thing is, and believe me it is sad for all the Residents here, they intend to come to some conclusions without having made any attempt to gather all the relevant facts, just like they did with the Jacobs’ Report. Could it be, they are running scared of meeting an old age pensioner armed with the truth, some relevant facts and some difficult questions”.

You can make your own minds. Posted for Bernie Webster, flooded in Crabtree Lane!


Seven Years And Counting

Holding West Lancashire Borough Council to account for a new 9 hole par 3 course and junior facilities at Beacon Park Golf Course. Landfill started on it in 2013. And soon it looked like this, picture courtesy of Google Earth.

But now in 2020 it looks like this, just last week, pictures on the ground.

       

So I asked “There are some leisure matters I wish to pursue, specifically relating to the Beacon Park Golf Course, which I visit as often as I can to keep abreast of the appalling state of the course and the out of control “developments” as they are described, on the land-filled former driving range and the supposed 9 Hole par 3 course and junior facilities.

“You will know the West Lancashire Borough Council Leisure Strategy 2015 – 2025 included a commitment for “plans to develop the leisure offer at the site and these include a new 9 hole par 3 course and junior facilities”. So will you confirm that commitment remains, and provide a timetable for completion of it, because it is currently sealed off by steel cage fencing with an instruction to keep out!

“As for the “state” of the 18 hole course itself my most recent visit to walk it was curtailed by the unusually poor state of the fairways and rough areas that were clearly neglected. Can you please confirm the current course maintenance staffing levels employed by Serco Leisure Operating Limited?

The Head of Wellbeing & Leisure Services, West Lancashire Borough Council writes “The West Lancashire Community Leisure Trust item on the Agenda of Corporate and Environmental Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 17th September 2020 was delivered in the form of a presentation rather than a report.

“The work to develop the 9 hole par 3 course and the junior facilities was initially delayed by poor weather in 2019 and, more recently, by the impact of the COVID19 pandemic. The target completion date for the work and the associated breach of condition notice is currently late summer 2021 [Taking us to 8 years and counting].

“There are currently two green-keepers who are employed to maintain the Golf Course. The Golf Course currently has 160 members”.

The follow-up to WLBC? “When was the proposed 9 Hole junior course last inspected by WLBC, by whom from WLBC, and is any such inspection report available to the public? Or is your reply to me based on Serco Leisure and or the Leisure Trust reporting to you?”

Coronavirus Infections Slow Down In West Lancashire

The West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals recorded 3 coronavirus infections today, bringing the total to 955, that’s 835.5 infections per 100,000 of the population.

218 people have tested positive for coronavirus across Lancashire during the last 24 hours, lower by almost 100 since yesterday. No new coronavirus deaths were recorded at hospital trusts in Lancashire in today’s figures from the NHS.

Outrageous Act Of Environmental Vandalism?

Mention “landfill” and Beacon Park Golf Course comes to mind. And mention “outrageous act of environmental vandalism” and BPGC remains in your mind!

A West Lancashire landfill plan was declared to be an “outrageous act of environmental vandalism” after a decision over whether to permit the controversial plan to build up a former landfill site, Parbold Hill Quarry, close to the famous West Lancashire beauty spot, was deferred after councillors demanded that they should see the location first-hand to judge the impact that it could have on the landscape.

Lancashire County Council’s development control committee was considering a proposal to import 200,000 tonnes of inert material into the Parbold Hill Quarry, which was land-filled more than 30 years ago.

Members were told that the site owner wanted to “reprofile” the plot, because of concerns that the way in which the land has settled over the past three decades was causing rainwater to “leach” through the buried household and commercial waste, and potentially pollute groundwater. Well, reprofiling with landfill equals landfill royalties! Think BPGC!

The meeting heard that the landfill design meant that run-off water was not being sufficiently captured, in spite of an element of pumping being deployed to dispose of it. However, the concerns of a total of 15 objectors, the maximum number of oral representations allowed, were read out to the committee, raising issues including safety, ecological impact and the vista from a viewing area on the A5209 looking out across the Douglas Valley and West Lancashire plain towards Liverpool.

A Mr. Sloan said that “to tip seven metres [of material] in the foreground is entirely unnecessary and an outrageous act of environmental vandalism”. And objector Dell Ellis added that “bulldozers will be moving around, buzzers bleeping where buzzards [once] hunted”.

Principal planning officer Jonathan Haine accepted that views would be affected for the 18-month duration of the works, which would generate 40 HGV movements every day. However, he said that there would be a maximum six-metre increase in height above current ground levels at the greenbelt site, which would limit the permanent impact on the outlook. The final landform would not obscure the existing long-distance views. You would probably lose some of the views across the Douglas Valley, but given the higher elevation of the viewpoint itself, the more extensive views towards North Wales and Merseyside would probably be retained” Mr Haine suggested.

Other objectors questioned the need for the work, with Mark Bolton, a local resident who happens to work in the landfill industry, describing as “highly irregular” the fact that all of the information submitted to the county council had been provided by the applicant, Maybrook Investments Limited, without any “final validation of the proposals from the Environment Agency”.

Another resident living in the shadow of the landfill also questioned how an existing crack in the structure would be affected by the addition of the new material. However, after almost two hours of presentations and just as the committee was poised to debate the merits of the proposal members suggested that they could only reach a decision if they visited the area in person.

County Hall’s head of planning Andrew Mullaney said that he did not feel that the lack of a site visit would result in members’ decision-making being in “any way prejudiced”. But West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper had written to the committee to state that taking a “desk-based decision would be unfair on [you] and the residents of Lancashire”.

Members agreed by a majority to request a site visit, which will have to take place on an individual, socially-distanced basis, with each member allocated a timeslot during which they will be walked around the location by a council officer. In normal times, site visits are undertaken by all members travelling to the area in question in a minibus and examining a location collectively.

Advice to residents, think Beacon Park Golf Course, think royalties, read about the Beacon Park Golf Course landfill on this website, and keep saying NO!