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August 2010

Future plans for developing Lancaster Market

Despite its concerns about the costs of keeping Lancaster Market open, and the huge amount of research and feedback Lancaster City Council has already undertaken in their efforts to keep it going, the Council has decided it still needs to employ even more expert advisors to recommend ways in which the future of Lancaster Market can be secured.

Date set for Harbour ward council by-election

The date for a by-election to elect a new councillor for the Harbour ward of Lancaster City Council has been announced as Thursday 7th October. Anyone who is interested in standing as a candidate should telephone the elections office on 01524 582905. The closing date for nominations is noon on Friday 10th September. The vacancy has arisen following the recent sad death of Coun John Barnes.

Appeal after Lancaster clubber pulled into car

Local police are appealing for information after a young woman was pulled into a car outside a Lancaster nightclub. The 20-year-old woman, who was wearing a black top and white shorts, left Elements nightclub at around 3.30am on Monday 30th August when a small white car pulled up alongside her.

Motoerway safety goes high-tech at Galgate junction

State-of-the-art motorway message signs have been switched on by the Highways Agency along the M6 in Cumbria and are being installed near Lancaster this week, providing earlier warning of incidents and bad weather to drivers using the motorway.

County Council leader plays down evidence on CO2 emissions

Plans to reduce CO2 emissions in Lancashire appear to have disappeared into thin air, if the approach of Geoff Driver, the man charged with implementing the Climate Change Act in the County is anything to go by.

13th place for McGuinness at Cadwell

John McGuinness at the Metzeler National 1000cc Superstock Championship. Picture: Glynne LewisMorecambe motorbike star John McGuinness' run of points-scoring finishes in the Metzeler National 1000cc Superstock Championship continued on Bank Holiday Monday when the Morecambe star finished in 13th place in the latest round at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire, Phil Wain reports.

Flying with the New Hawks: an interview with local musician Dan Haywood

Last job I could walk the length of a country' - Dan Haywood on the release of Dan Haywood's New Hawks Five years in the making, Dan Haywood's New Hawks is a 32-song triple album taking folk rock and popular music in exciting new directions.

Heritage Open Days return to Lancaster

Have you ever wanted to go inside the unused offices in Lancaster Railway Station or maybe had a desire to see Lancaster city centre from the clock tower at Lancaster Town Hall? Perhaps you would like to go on a guided walk to learn all about Lancaster’s fine buildings and the city’s industrial past or take a look inside the Winter Gardens theatre, one of Morecambe’s most impressive buildings.

Competition Seeks Illustrator to Bring Cleveleys’ ‘Mythic Coastline’ to Life

Ever fancied seeing your artwork in a published book, or brought to life by a sculptor? Then grab your pens – or your computer mouse – because the hunt is on to find a talented illustrator for a brand new children’s book exploring the history, landscape and folklore of the Cleveleys coast.

Thief robs charity money for Pakistan from Lancaster nuns

The Ursuline Convent in Lancaster, which was robbed by opportunist thieves. Image: Google MapsCharity money intended for the victims of the dreadful Pakistan floods has been stolen - and if that wasn't bad enough, it was stolen from a local convent.

Park animals ‘taste the difference’

A weaver bird at Lancaster's Williamson Park. Image: Williamson ParkThe animals in Lancaster's Williamson Park will be getting their weekly food shop from Sainsbury's from now on thanks to a new partnership with Lancaster City Council.

Come Dine With Me seeks local chefs for new series

Come Dine With Me contestants from Manchester, featured on the cooking show earlier this year.

Could your voluntary group use a cash windfall?

Voluntary groups across the Lancaster district are invited to apply for funding from Lancaster City Council’s welfare grant scheme. The city council has money available now and is asking for bids to allocate the welfare grant budget. Welfare grants are for voluntary organisations whose activities include providing recreation, meals and special events for older people.

Gregson seeks old mobiles for charity

A group of people at Lancaster's Gregson Centre are trying to raise funds for the Community Bonfire in November this year, which will take place on Miss Whalley's field. One of the fund raising ideas is to collect old mobile phones and send them to one of the companies that buy them and then the Gregson can receive cash for them. All cash received can then go straight into the bonfire fund.

CCTV appeal after pensioner purse theft at ASDA

Police have released two CCTV images after a pensioner had her purse stolen from a Lancaster supermarket. The 82-year-old was in Asda on Ovangle Road between 2pm – 2.30pm on Monday 16th August when she was approached by two shoppers, one of whom began to ask about what products she should buy. Shortly after the encounter the victim realised her purse was missing from her bag.

CCTV released after £1000 of dresses stolen from Lancaster store

Police have released two CCTV images after dresses worth over £1,000 were stolen from a Lancaster high street store. 12 dresses, worth a total of £1,100, were taken from Monsoon on Penny Street between 1.30 – 1.40pm on Monday 9th August. Police would like to speak to the two women pictured in the CCTV images in order to eliminate them from their inquiries.

McGuinness motorcross bike stolen in Heysham

Police are appealing for information after a motorcross bike belonging to the family of TT champion rider John McGuinness was stolen from a locked garage in Heysham. Thieves targeted the home in Norton Grove between 12.30am – 8am on Friday 20th August. The Honda CRF 450R 449cc off-road trial bike, worth £5,000, was taken from an alarmed and locked garage, along with £1,100 worth of tools.

Ken Dodd's Morecambe gig is a sell out

Ken Dodd’s Happiness Show at the Platform in Morecambe on Wednesday 13th October has sold out -- just two weeks after the tickets went on sale. This is the second time the Liverpool comedy genius has performed at the Platform, the first time being at last year’s Sandcastle Festival. That show was also a sell out.

Man left with fractured cheek bone after Lancaster nightclub attack

Police are appealing for information after a man was left needing hospital treatment following a nightclub attack in Lancaster. The 20-year-old victim was standing with friends outside Lancaster’s Toast nightclub, on North Road, at around 3.35am on Saturday 14th August when he was approached by another man.

Milnthorpe nature artist Marianne Birkby honoured by leading conservation group

Milnthorpe-based artist Marianne Birkby has been chosen as one of this week's 'Artist of the Day' by the world-renowned Artists for Conservation group.   Based in Vancouver, Canada, the Artists for Conservation Foundation is a non-profit juried association of artists dedicated to celebrating and protecting our natural heritage.

Local man marches for charity, Roman style!

Preparations are nearing completion for the start of one local man’s grueling quest to help the fight against cancer with a walk along Hadrian's Wall - dressed as a Roman soldier. After six months of intensive training, 38-year-old Lancaster builder Duane Alexander is now eagerly anticipating the successful completion of ‘Alexander’s March’.

Daleks takeover Lancaster's Judges Lodgings!

There are a few Summer workshops at Lancaster's Judges Lodgings still to run which sound like great stuff for kids - especially kids that like Doctor Who! • Monday 23rd August: Join in the family fun with a Robin Hood craft and story time workshop. Booking essential - ring 01524 32808 • Wednesday 25th August: Make a Doctor Who collage.

Lead thieves target Lancaster school

Police are appealing for information after lead thieves targeted a Lancaster school over the weekend. A 30-yard section of lead and another 20-metre section of the material were taken between Friday 13th August and Monday 16th August. The school was also hit by lead thieves around two weeks ago.

Tickets still on sale for summer theatre in Williamson Park

Lancaster's Williamson Park is providing the backdrop this week for two top quality outdoor drama productions by award-winning Illyria theatre company. The plays will be an adaptation of Shakespeare’s well loved Romeo and Juliet on Friday 20th August and a production of Roald Dahl’s popular children’s story James and the Giant Peach on Saturday 21st August.

Heysham Pool launches new autumn programme

Heysham Pool is launching its new autumn programme to encourage people to get their bathers on. For people who are early risers, come along to the early bird sessions taking place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7.30 - 9.00am. The Fun and Go session on Mondays from 4 - 5.00pm are a great after school treat for children aged 8 years and over.

Lancaster pub drug dealers jailed

Three men involved in dealing drugs from a Lancaster pub have been jailed for a total of 12 years. The trio were arrested after community complaints about drug dealing in and around the now-closed Skerton Hotel pub in Lancaster led to a police investigation.

Local Labour joins national protest against VAT rise

The local Labour Party is campaigning against the proposed rise in VAT, which rises to a 20% rate in January. Labour Party members manned a stall outside Morecambe's Arndale Centre last Saturday, and many shoppers signed a petition against the coalition Government's plans to increase VAT, which the party says will hit lowest-paid earners and pensioners the hardest.

Police warn about cold-calling Alarm Company's fake claims

Local residents are being warned about an alarm company that is falsely claiming to be working with the police. The company are currently operating in the Lancaster and Morecambe areas and sales staff and are contacting householders by telephone before using high pressure tactics to make arrangements for their sales teams and installers to call at the address.

New Chief Executive for Storey Centre

Well-known North-West businessman and consultant to small and medium creative enterprises Tom Clark has been appointed as the new Chief Executive at the Storey Creative Industries Centre. For the past six months, he has served as a Board member with particular responsibility for finance.

Snorkels at the ready for Carnforth Swimming Pool reopening

Improvements to the disabled facilities at Carnforth Swimming Pool are on schedule to be completed on time ready for the reopening on Monday 23rd August.

Lancaster takeaway owner fined after copper wire found in curry

Idris Jasat, owner of IKY’s Pizza and Balti House takeaway in Lancaster, has been ordered to pay a total of £865 after pleading guilty to serving a chicken curry containing a fragment of copper wire approximately 16mm long. Jasat pleaded guilty at Lancaster Magistrates Court on Friday 6th August and was fined £350, plus costs of £500 and a £15 victim surcharge.

Ring thief apologises to pensioner

A burglar who stole a widow’s precious engagement ring and then sold it for cash has apologised to his victim at a restorative justice meeting. The 18-year-old broke in to the 76-year-old’s Lancaster home earlier this year, and stole the sentimental jewellery, along with cash and a signet ring belonging to her husband who had recently died of cancer.

Plenty to do for kids across the Lancaster district this summer

A day of fun, free activities brought hundreds of children to Williamson Park on Wednesday, as Lancaster City Council celebrated National Playday.   Children took part in den and fire building, face painting, arts and crafts and water slides. Lancaster City Council’s Play Rangers were also on hand to teach circus skills and host the brand new ‘Play schemes got Talent’ competition.

Boost for local rural tourism

September 2010 will see the official opening of a new coast to coast cycle route, The Way Of the Roses, which runs from Morecambe to Bridlington. This will bring even more cyclists through our already popular rural areas, and people will be looking for welcoming places to stop for refreshments or spend the night, as well as a secure place to store their bikes.

Morecambe MP David Morris warns of 'total blackout'

David Morris MP claims people say he 'glows in the dark' because he's pro-nuclear.Morecambe MP David Morris has been scare mongering in the Commons again, claiming Britain will face a total blackout in 10 years time if the government doesn't back a massive expansion of nuclear power.

Priory jewels mystery

Local police are trying to locate the owner of a chest of jewellery that was left in Lancaster Priory two years ago. The chest was handed to police after it was found amongst the pews at Lancaster Priory in September 2008. Inside were various plastic bags of assorted jewellery an amount of cash.

SilentMark returns to Diversity FM - Exclusive Interview

When Diversity FM presenter SilentMark Read announced he would be taking a break from the hosting the tri-weekly morning slot The SilentMark Radio Show in June, virtual-lancaster is told his fans were a bit dismayed.

Drugs raid nets cannabis and amphetamines

Police discovered cannabis and amphetamine after executing a drugs warrant at a house in Lancaster. Acting on community intelligence, officers swooped on the address in Lune Street at 8.40am on last Friday morning. Three people were arrested. A 30-year-old female and a 44-year-old male were later released without charge.

ForkFest event planned for Kirkby Lonsdale in September

The historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale in South Lakeland will be the venue for the first ever Fork Fest (4th - 5th September 2010). Fork Fest - a celebration of local food, real ale and gardening will be opened on Saturday at 11.30am by Celebrity Chef Simon Rimmer. The weekend is set to be packed with music, demos, food sampling, an ale trail and plenty of entertainment for the children.

Local university opens its doors to artists

'Insect Form' by Christine Hurford, who has benefited from an art access scheme.The University of Cumbria is offering four local artists the opportunity to make free use of its extensive woodwork, jewellery, textiles, printmaking and ceramics facilities, thanks to the Artists Access to Art Colleges (AA2A) project.

Cycle for Treasure this Sunday

The first Cycling City, Coast and Countryside Treasure Hunt takes place this Sunday - 8th August 2010 - and promises to be an exciting day for all the family. The 11-mile route is almost entirely off-road, and teams will have to pick up clues along the way to be in with a chance of winning a fantastic prize. The winner will receive a £75 voucher to be spent in a local bike shop.

Appeal after burglary at Lancaster's GB Antiques

Police are appealing for information after a burglar stole over £7,000 worth of jewellery during a break-in at a Lancaster antique shop last week. The burglar broke into GB Antiques at Lancaster Leisure Park on Wyresdale Road, at around 10.00pm on Wednesday 28th July, after smashing a window to gain access to the property.

Lancaster Bus Station Closure: Bus and Taxi Rank Information

Lancaster Bus Station will not be in use from Monday 9th August until the re¬opening at 0555 on Wednesday 18 August 2010 due to roadworks on Damside Street. During this closure, passengers should catch bus services from stops in the City Centre.

Lancaster Social Club member assaulted in robbery attempt

Police are appealing for information after a sports and social club member sustained a minor injury during an attempted robbery. The member was outside the Lansil Sports & Social Club, on Caton Road, Lancaster, at around 12.30pm on Saturday when he was approached by a man whose face was masked.

Second shop raid in Primrose area

Police are appealing for information after a shop worker was threatened in an early morning robbery at a Lancaster store - and think there may be a connection with a similar robbery in the same area last month. Two white males, in their 20s – 30s and wearing scarves over their faces, entered the Londis shop in Eastham Street, Lancaster at around 7.00am on Sunday.