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April 2010

Musicians Co-op Cleans Up its Act!

Friday, April 30, 2010 - 12:43: Miscians in Lancaster and Morecambe are joining forces on Saturday 29th May for a special clean up day to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Lancaster Musicians Co-op. Supporters of the rehearsal rooms and recording studio in Lodge Street, Lancaster, are giving the dilapidated building a spring make-over and are looking for businesses in the area to give them a helping hand.

Lancashire Economy Needs Renewables, Not Nuclear Say Campaigners

Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 23:32: Renewables are the best hope for the local economy, Cllr John Whitelegg explained to a thoughtful audience last night at the Heysham Anti-Nuclear Alliance (HANA) public meeting to discuss the government's proposals for a new wave of nuclear power stations, which include building a third reactor at Heysham.

Soul singer Ruby Turner at The Platform

Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 11:03: Ruby Turner, one of the UK's finest soul singers, will be returning to Morecambe's Platform venue on Friday 14th May.. Born in Jamaica, Ruby grew up in Montego Bay but relocated to England when she was nine. Her major break came when she was taken under the wings of Britain's own Blues legend, Alexis Korner. She joined Culture Club at the height of their stardom in the 1980s.

City Council leader keeps staff redundancy costs secret

Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 09:55: (Updated 30/4/10, Council statement added): City Council leader Stuart Langhorn - also and prospective candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood in the General Election - appears to be keeping decisions on the full cost of recent staff redundancies secret, despite accusing other parties of trying to hide discussions on costs of councillor allowances from public gaze (see earlier news story).

Lancaster cocaine dealer jailed

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 12:47: A cocaine dealer who sold Class A drugs to an undercover police officer during Operation Nimrod has been jailed for three years. 44-year-old Alistair Kennedy, of Mount Avenue, Lancaster, appeared at Preston Crown Court charged with three counts of supplying cocaine following a lengthy investigation by officers from Lancashire Police. He was jailed for three years on Tuesday.

Up the Junction: Greens call for safer road crossing

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 11:26: Bulk Ward Green councillors have asked Lancashire County Council for a pedestrian friendly re-modelling of the Ridge Lane and Bulk Road junction in Lancaster, saying it is a dangerous crossing point and raising concerns that there could be a death or serious injury if something isn't done.

Protest at deferred Election Count

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 10:27: Labour members of Lancaster City Council have protested that the General Election counts for the two constituencies that include Lancaster and Morecambe will not take place until the morning after the General Election on Thursday 6th May.

Hustings Meeting for Morecambe, Lunsdale Constituents

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 10:07: There will be a General Election hustings meeting for Parliamentary candidates for Morecambe and Lunesdale Constituency at the War Memorial Hall, Church Street, Morecambe at 3.00pm on Sunday 2nd May.

BBC: Boundary Changes Put Labour Ahead in Lancaster & Fleetwood

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 18:30: A BBC analysis of the 2005 General Election vote of the electorate in the new constituency of Lancaster and Fleetwood reveals a potential win for Labour's prospective candidate Clive Grunshaw. In 2005, the old constituency of Lancaster and Wyre was won by Conservative Ben Wallace who took 42.8% of the vote with Labour coming second with 34.8%.

Council continues talks on Shopmobility scheme

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 11:23: Lancaster City Council is in discussion with a local operator to resume the popular Shopmobility scheme in Lancaster.

Moorside Parents' Group boosted by petition

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 11:06: More than 500 people have already signed a petition backing moves by Lancaster's Moorside School governors to resist attempts to allow unregulated access to the Lancaster school’s grounds.

Wail let's hear it for the Blues - at the Gregson

Monday, April 26, 2010 - 21:19: Chicago Blues Guitarist and Singer Khalif Wailin Walter will be blowing in from America's windy city, Chicago, to perform at Lancaster's Gregson Centre on Thursday (29th April). Guaranteed to burn the house down with his electrifying live show, Khalif “Wailin’ Walter lit up the Chicago Blues music scene with his unique style of boogie Blues.

Dig in for free compost!

Monday, April 26, 2010 - 21:05: Green fingered local residents will be able to pick up some free compost from Williamson Park in Lancaster on Tuesday 4th May (2010). The compost has come from the green waste recycled in Lancashire and is available free of charge to residents who wish to pop along and fill up to two bags for their gardens/allotments.

Endangered Moth Spotted In Lancashire

Monday, April 26, 2010 - 14:51: An endangered moth species has been recorded by the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside on Warton Crag Nature Reserve, the first record for the reserve.

Lead thieves target Over Kellet church roof

Friday, April 23, 2010 - 22:46: Police are appealing for information after thieves stripped over £200 worth of lead from a church roof. Thieves targeted Over Kellet Church between 8.00pm on 20th April and 7.00pm on 21st April. Lead was taken from the boiler roof attached to the church, before the thieves climbed onto the church roof itself and took lead from the windows.

Lancashire's first Drinking Banning Order given to Lancaster man

Friday, April 23, 2010 - 20:58: A local man has been banned from entering all pubs, clubs and bars in Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham after being given the county's first Drinking Banning Order. Officers applied for the one-year civil order to be placed on 30-year-old Gareth Green of Ashbourne Drive, Lancaster, after he committed a catalogue of offences while drunk.

Which would-be MPs want to waste £140 million?

Friday, April 23, 2010 - 14:47: With the General Election on 6th May, local transport campaigners Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe asked the candidates in Morecambe and Lunesdale for their opinions on the Heysham M6 Link Road, to mixed response.

Greens hit back at 'split' claim over High Speed Rail

Friday, April 23, 2010 - 14:38: Local Liberal Democrats have chosen the wrong target in their attempt to secure votes in the upcoming General Election, after falsely accusing local Greens of a 'split' on the proposed High Speed Rail Link.

Forest cycling trip for women

Friday, April 23, 2010 - 12:01: A women only mountain bike trip to Grizedale Forest is being organised by Lancaster City Council’s Cycling Demonstration Town team. Spaces on the ‘Introduction to Mountain Biking’ courses are limited: the course costs £20 and this includes return transport from Morecambe Town Hall, mountain bike hire and tuition.

War of Words over Councillor Allowances

Friday, April 23, 2010 - 11:22: Local Liberal Democrats have condemned what they have misleadingly described as "expenses scandal" at Lancaster City Council. The debacle has led to the resignation of the Chair of the Independent Panel investigating the issue - but Conservatives, Greens and Labour councillors have hit back at the Lib Dem allegations.

All quiet on the Morecambe front during drugs crack down

Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 17:31: High profile raids last year have led to quieter streets in Morecambe, according to officers carrying out a drugs crackdown. The on-going Operation Brisk is aimed at tackling drug dealing in the town – but its success last year, combined with the high visibility Operation Nimrod activity in November and December, has led to fewer dealers operating in the town.

£1,000 stolen from Morecambe gambling machines

Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 17:02: Police are appealing for information after approximately £1,000 was stolen from gambling machines in a Morecambe leisure complex last month. Two machines in the bar of Regent Leisure Park, Westgate, were targeted on March 16, and another three in the arcade were also emptied.

Local playground future is in your hands

Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 12:14: (Updated, 23/4/10): Lancaster City Council’s Cabinet has agreed to go out to consultation on the future of a number of play areas in the district - and will spend money on two new play areas and keep one in Bulk Ward that had been earmarked for closure.

It's Our City calls Canal Corridor Conference

Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 11:46: Campaign group It’s Our City will hold a conference in Lancaster later this year, to discuss the future of the Canal Corridor North site and how it might be developed.

Vandals smash police cars

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 16:43: Police are appealing for information after five police cars were attacked by vandals in the local area – forcing valuable resources to be taken off the streets and putting community safety at risk. A liveried van had its front windscreen smashed on Monday night, as officers were dealing with the death of a pensioner on Mainway, Lancaster.

Animal Care seeks Open Day volunteers

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 14:26: Animal Care's Open Day is just around the corner and the charity really need your help. The Open Day will take place on Sunday 23rd May 2010 and will be held at the Sanctuary on Blea Tarn Road, Scotforth, between 11am to 3pm.

General Election: Local Candidates List

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 19:08: Lancaster City Council has published the final list of candidates for the General Election for the Lancaster and Fleetwood and the Morecambe and Lunesdale constituencies.

Local Play Areas Face Closure

Monday, April 19, 2010 - 17:38: Lancaster City Council’s Cabinet will meet tomorrow (Tuesday 20th April) to discuss the future of playgrounds in the district - and several are earmarked for closure. The council is currently responsible for maintaining playgrounds at 79 sites and, although the vast majority are in good repair, a small number of its low priority and older play areas require significant investment.

Local Volunteers Awards Launched

Monday, April 19, 2010 - 14:46: Lancaster District Community and Voluntary Solutions have launched the nominations stage for the Lancaster District Volunteer Achievement Awards 2010. Local people are invited to nominate individual volunteers under two categories; Volunteer of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year, as well as nominating groups of volunteers.

McGuinness fights hard to maintain top six position

Monday, April 19, 2010 - 10:47: Local man John McGuinness put in a battling performance at Thruxton on Sunday when he finished ninth in round 2 of the Metzeler National 1000cc Superstock Championship. The Padgetts Honda ace fought his way through the pack from a poor start and the ninth place and seven championship points saw him maintain his sixth place in the Championship table.

HANA Calls Public Meeting over Proposals for Heysham 3

Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 16:54: Heysham Anti-Nuclear Alliance (HANA) is hosting a public meeting about plans for the construction of a new nuclear power station at Heysham. The meeting will take place at the Gregson Community Centre at 8.00 pm on Wednesday 28th April.

Closure fears for Homeless centre

Friday, April 16, 2010 - 16:53: The Lancaster Guardian: reports that Lancaster District Homeless Action Service (LDHAS) in Edward Street could close, leaving homeless people without a vital resource. The Centre, which costs some £130,000 a year to provide services, faces a £40,000 funding shortfall after losing it City Council funding last year and a Lloyds TSB grant.

Council's potential retail partner ASCO closes Warrington store

Friday, April 16, 2010 - 16:26: (Updated 22/4/10, quote from Anne Chapman addded): ASCO Supermarket Warrington, launched to great fanfare just five months ago and owned by the company approached by Lancaster City Council to take over the Lancaster Market building, has closed.

Concerns for missing Morecambe man

Friday, April 16, 2010 - 13:36: (UPDATE: Mr Perry has been found safe and well, this reports retained for archival purposes): Police are appealing for information after a Morecambe man went missing while on his way home from work. Christopher Perry, 32, was last seen at his work place, Homemakers’ First Stop, on Euston Road, Morecambe, at around 5.10pm on Wednesday 14th April.

Green Bid to win Lancaster and Fleetwood

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 16:36: On the eve of the launch of their Election Manifesto, the Green Party has announced it is standing a record number of Green candidates to fight the General Election - and confirmed Lancaster and Fleetwood is a target seat.

Miners Strike photographer has new Lancaster exhibition

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 13:01: Influential photojournalist Don McPhee, one of the great photojournalists of the last 30 years, is the subject of a new exhibition at the University of Cumbria’s Alexandra Gallery on the Lancaster campus from Friday 23rd April until Friday 14 May (weekdays 9.30am until 4.30pm).

County Council comfort on Link bridge backfires

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - 12:17: The Environment Agency has given formal consent for the proposed new bridge over the River Lune at Halton that is part of the controversial M6 Link to Heysham - but although this has been welcomed by Lancashire County Council, campaigners against the proposed £140 million road say planners have failed to alleviate the fear of flooding for local residents.

Police close Bolton-le-Sands drugs den

Monday, April 12, 2010 - 16:28: Police have closed the doors on a drugs den in Bolton-le-Sands, after Lancaster Magistrates granted the closure order last week. Magistrates heard how residents’ lives had been made a misery by anti-social behaviour taking place in and around the property in Church Brow Close.

Transition Festival at the Gregson

Monday, April 12, 2010 - 15:26: This coming Saturday (17th April) will be a big day for community organisation Transition City Lancaster, which is hosting a big, open free festival at Lancaster's Storey centre on Meeting House Lane.

Luneside East: The Cost So Far

Saturday, April 10, 2010 - 09:54: Lancaster City Council has spent over £13 million on the stalled Luneside East development project to rejuvenate St. Georges Quay, virtual-lancaster has learned. It also faces the remote possibility that some £2.5 million might need to be refunded.

Labour top gun visits Lancaster

Saturday, April 10, 2010 - 09:16: With the General Election expected to be a close run between all major parties - and with local Greens predicting a strong vote for their candidate, Gina Dowding - it's no surprize some top politicians are visiting the area to canvas for votes.

Cross and medals stolen in raid on Lancaster Vicarage

Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 12:16: Local police are appealing for information after burglars stole a cross and medals during a raid on a Lancaster vicarage. Burglars broke into the Priory Vicarage on Priory Close, Lancaster, between 5 and 9.00pm on Sunday 28th March and stole five gold Christian medals, worth £100 in total, and a large ornate jewelled gold coloured cross on a gold chain, worth £100.

Don't miss your chance to vote

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 12:15: Lancaster City Council is reminding people who have not yet registered to vote that time is running out if they want to make their mark in this year’s General Election. The city council will be responsible for administering the election of new MPs for the Morecambe and Lunesdale and the Lancaster and Fleetwood constituencies on 6th May.

Greens Call for "Clean Campaign" as Election Called

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 10:11: With the General Election announced for 6th May, Green Party candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood Gina Dowding has joined her Party nationwide and issued a challenge to General Election candidates of other parties to sign up to a Clean Campaign Pledge.

Appeal following two fires at village school

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 16:21: Police are appealing for information after vandals started fires on twice at a village school. Vandals set fire to a blue recycling bin at Yealand Church of England Primary School overnight on 7th March, causing £200 worth of damage. A second fire was started in another bin overnight on 13th March.

Kendal gets Wired to protect Business

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 10:22: While this is an 'out of area' event, we all know how many web and technical gurus live in the Lancaster and Morecambe area, so we thought we'd highlight the first Kendal Wired City Reconnected event will be held in partnership with Cobbett’s LLP and Kendal ICT Cluster Group. (If anyone knows about similar events in our two towns we're more than happy to plug them).

Strong start to 2010 season for Morecambe's McGuinness

Monday, April 5, 2010 - 21:07: John McGuinness got his 2010 season off to a strong start at Brands Hatch on Easter Monday when he finished in sixth place in the opening round of the Metzeler National 1000cc Superstock Championship.

Strongman battle at Salt Ayre

Monday, April 5, 2010 - 01:32: A competition to find Northern England's strongest man under 105kg will take place at Lancaster City Council’s Salt Ayre Sports Centre next week. Over 20 athletes will be battling it out over six gruelling events to be crowned Northern England's Strongest Man under 105kg. The events will include the ‘Deadlift’, ‘Double Van Pull’, ‘Farmers Walk’, ‘Log Lift’, ‘Medley’ and ‘Atlas Stone Loading’.

Heysham Shell Oil Refinery - Witness Appeal

Monday, April 5, 2010 - 01:27: Paralegals Field Fisher Waterhouse are looking for people who worked at the Shell Oil Refinery in Heysham, Morecambe, from around 1945 to 1960. "We are investigating a possible claim relating to asbestos exposure for a family," they tell us. "Any help or information would be very much appreciated. "Please contact Rose on 020 78 614 624 or rose.johnston@ffw.com".

Lancaster Market Safe Until 2015

Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 15:31: Above: Market trader Peter Corker presents a copy of the huge petition protesting at the closure of the Market to the Council's Chief Executive Mark Cullinan on the steps of Lancaster Town Hall. Photo: Zoe Caldicott At a four-hour special Council meeting last night, Lancaster’s Indoor Market was saved by just five votes from closure.