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January 2008

Balfour Beatty Prosecuted

Big business is not immune from local planning enforcement. Lancaster City Council has successfully prosecuted one of the country’s largest companies for failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice during work in Halton.

Lancashire Post Offices Closure Plans Announced

This is the full list of Lancashire Post Offices that may face closure in the latest round of cuts announced today by the so-called "People's Post Office". Lancaster and Morecambe has already suffered massive cuts to its sub post office network in recent years, but complaints were met with a "use it or lose it" response from then sitting MP Hilton Dawson.

John Otway back at the Platform

John Otway and his band will be performing at The Platform in Morecambe on Friday 8 February. John became notorious back in 1977, after an appearance on the the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test with his former partner, Wild Willy Barrett. He had leapt astride Wild Willy's amplifier and lost his footing.

Council Could do More for Cycling

Welcoming news of new government funding for cycling, local transport expert and local councillor John Whitelegg says there are things that could easily be done to encourage more cycling in what is already a Cycling Town – but local politicians lack the will to implement them.

Speed limits unchanged one year on

Despite supporting the introduction of a district-wide speed limit on residential roads early last year, little seems to have been done to implement it by local politicians.

Lancaster in (Tourist) Demand

Lancaster City Council is preparing to launch its tourism brochures for 2008 and judging by requests made for them via its tourism website, they’re already in great demand.

Lawson's Field Update

The City Council’s cabinet will be voting on whether to go ahead with selling off fields at Lawson’s Bridge (view a PDF map; view an aerial photo) on Tuesday 22 January at 10.00am in Morecambe Town Hall.

Heysham Nukes Still Out of Action, Repair Costs Escalate

Two of of Heysham's four nuclear reactors are still out of action - and are likely to remain that way until the end of the year. In a press statement, nuclear power firm British Energy has confirmed four of its reactors at two UK stations are likely to remain out of action until the end of the year and may perhaps not be in action again until 2009.

Post Office Plans Srutinised

The future of the district’s Post Offices will be discussed at the next meeting of Lancaster City Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee at 6.00pm in Morecambe Town Hall on 30 January, and locals are invited to attend.

Ever Wanted to Keep Bees?

Lancaster Beekeepers are running a one day course on bee keeping next month, so if you have ever thought of owning a colony of honey bees but have been deterred by not knowing exactly what is involved, or are simply curious, then this one day course is for you!

Arts Council savaged on cuts

The Financial Times reported earlier this week that Nicholas Hytner, the director of the National Theatre, has launched a scathing attack on Arts Council England for its handling of this year’s grant allocation, which saw almost 200 institutions have their funding withdrawn, including local arts organisations in the Lancaster area.The plans were announced just before Christmas, with organisations...

Hamlet Takes Over the Castle

Lancaster’s ancient working castle is to make a perfect stand in for the palace of Elsinore as one of the country’s most exciting site-specific professional theatre companies prepares to present its indoor promenade production of the Bard’s famous (and most quoted) drama, Hamlet, next month. Rehearsals have already begun at the castle for the new production.

Field of Dreams?

(Republished from the main VL site and this week's newsletter): The Tender Brief for the sale of the land at Lawson's Field in Scotforth was considered by the Council’s Overview Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 17 January.

Food Guide seeks local input

A Climate Change project is seeking food producers and businesses in North Lancashire and South Cumbria to appear in a new free guide to local food. The guide will be the first of its kind to help north Lancashire shoppers reduce their carbon footprint and support local food businesses by buying local food.

Stepping Stones' petition call

A locally-based organisation helping children in Africa is urging people to try to protect them from abuse and cruelty by signing an international petition for action to stop a monstrous modern day witch hunt. The call from Thurnham-based Stepping Stones comes in response to the recent Observer newspaper article on the plight of the children that the organisation work with in Nigeria.

Holocaust Remembered

Various events will take place in Lancaster to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, the annual commemoration of the Holocaust - the mass murder of Jews, gays, gypsies trade unionists and Communists by the Nazis in the last century - on 27 January.

Tourism numbers increase

Lancaster continues to prove appealing to overseas visitors, with the Tourist Information Centre's visitors book indicating that the historic city remains ever popular with visitors from all four corners of the globe.

Midge Ure returns to the Platform

One of the UK’s finest vocalists, Midge Ure, will make a welcome return to Morecambe next month. Midge will be playing at the Platform in Morecambe, on Thursday 7 February as part of his European tour, performing a solo acoustic show. Midge has scooped both an Ivor Novello and a Grammy award amid a glittering career of achievements as a writer, singer and record producer.

Top of the class with new gift packs

School children and teachers in Lancaster can now buy visiting students the ideal gift pack to remember their time in the district. Lancaster Tourist Information Centre (TIC) has launched the new gift pack after regularly receiving requests from local schools for gift ideas to give to exchange students and retiring staff.

Basil of the Caribbean!

Everyone's favourite fox, Basil Brush will be taking to the high seas when he returns to Lancaster City Council`s Morecambe Dome on Friday 22nd February. Basil and his friends will go on a swashbuckling boom-tastic adventure on the deserted tropical island of Coco-Loco to search for the precious lost treasure 'The Golden Jelly Baby'.