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January 2011

Locals unite to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Saturday, January 29, 2011 - 21:45: Over the last 10 years, the National Coalition Building Institute have organised a Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in the Memorial Gardens by Lancaster Town Hall, with appropriate community events, displays, food and more in the Town Hall itself.

Green Councillor leaves City Council Cabinet

Friday, January 28, 2011 - 12:30: Green Party councillor Jane Fletcher has stepped down from her position on the City Council's cabinet and a new member, again from the Greens, will be elected at a full Council meeting next week.

20mph Speed Limit on roads across Lancashire announced

Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 21:07: After years of campaigning for lower speed limits by the Green Party and health professionals, and, more recently, by a local 20s Plenty group, the County Council has implemented a blanket 20mph limit on residential roads across Lancashire.

County's bypass cost cutting flaws exposed

Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 20:43: Two Green Party County Councillors have voiced serious concerns about the way that Lancashire County Council is proceeding with the vexed issue of the Heysham-M6 Link Road, arguing proposed cost cutting measures have changed the approved scheme to such an extent that it could go to yet another costly public inquiry to gain approval.

Lancaster Employability Event announced

Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 16:40: Help Direct, a service designed to provide local people with practical support, is running an Employability Event in Lancaster next week. If you are you out of work, facing redundancy or fancy a career change, Help Direct's 50 Forward team is holding a free employment event for all ages in The Borough on Dalton Square, in response to increasing numbers of redundancies in the area.

Consultation on future of Lunesdale East development announced

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 13:07: Lancaster City Council is asking residents living in and around the Luneside East area of Lancaster for their views on how the site should be redeveloped.

Suspected heroin and crack cocaine seized in Lancaster

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 13:01: Police have seized over £1,000 worth of suspected heroin and crack cocaine after stopping a car in Lancaster. The car was stopped on Caton Road by officers from Lancaster’s neighbourhood police team and road policing unit last Thursday morning. A 39-year-old man from Liverpool was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

Morecambe’s Festival Market extends its opening hours due to popular demand

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 10:02: Due to popular demand, Morecambe’s Festival Market has extended its winter closing time from 4 to 4.30pm. The Festival Market which is managed by Lancaster City Council is a traditional covered market with over 100 stalls and shops including two cafes.

Morecambe MP backs woodland sell off

Monday, January 24, 2011 - 16:41: Art: Smuzz (Updated 27th January 2011) Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris is backing the government on its plans to sell off England's public woodlands for some £250 million, despite an opinion poll published this week, suggesting some three quarters of the public are opposed to the plans and Liberal Democrat MPs threat to rebel against any vote.

Drink and drug driving continues to fall in Lancashire

Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 11:50: The number of people caught drink and drug driving in Lancashire has fallen again following the Constabulary’s annual county-wide drink drive campaign. Between 1st December and 1st January, 10,006 tests were administered with just two per cent of people testing positive or refusing to provide a specimen. This compares to 2.2 per cent for the 2009 campaign.

Students launch new technology help service in Lancaster

Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 11:46: Christmas time has been and gone for another year and sitting in its box is a new phone, camera or even laptop, given by well meaning relatives. Little do they know you can’t even find the power button! It's hardly a surprise, especially as technology advances at such a pace that it seems to take over every aspect of daily life.

One Voice moves to new offices

Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 11:35: Local support group One Voice Disability Services is moving to new offices next month, which means it will cease its full services at The Cornerstone in Sulyard Street on 28th January. "From Monday 31st January we will be operating a skeletal service (mainly answering phones) and moving into our new premises," says Disability Access Coordinator Wayne Clinton.

Bikeability Gives Kids (And Parents) Cycling Confidence

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 21:59: Bikeability, the modern equivalent of cycling proficiency, has been hailed a resounding success. Over 2000 children in the Lancaster district have taken part, and a national survey into the scheme has revealed that children who participate are cycling more and have more confidence in cycling than those who don’t. And their parents feel more confident in them too.

Lancaster City Council invites you to become a planner for an evening

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 16:55: Lancaster City Council is inviting residents and other interested people to become a planner for an evening by taking part in a series of events. At the events, participants will be asked to decide how they would meet and manage the district's future housing requirements.

Question mark over Link road as Dublin ferries sail away

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 12:20: A local transport campaign group is again questioning the County Council's determination to push through the Heysham link road, despite the bad news for workers that more ferries will now no longer operate at the ports.

Last chance to find Lancashire’s Young Citizen of the Year

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 11:14: The last call is being made for entries for the High Sheriff’s Lancashire Young Citizen of the Year award. The awards take place each year and involve the search for a young person, aged up to 21, who has helped either their local neighbourhood, an individual, family member or local organisation.

Community Pools saved from cuts by joint Council deal

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 11:09: Lancaster City Council will continue to run three community pools following the outcome of successful talks with Lancashire County Council. As we reported last week, the decision comes after positive discussions between the two councils over the last year about ways they can share a number of services. This has released enough funds to allow the city council to continue running the pools.

Work begins on demolishing Morecambe's Dome

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 15:41: Following its closure in March last year, work has started on demolishing the Dome in Morecambe. The decision in December 2008 to close the building was taken after considering its age and the potential future redevelopment of the central promenade, which would mean its demolition in any event.

Big canal clean up in Bulk ward

Monday, January 17, 2011 - 11:22: 25 volunteers turned up and gave Lancaster Canal a thorough clean up between the Moor Lane bridge and the Ridge Lane bridge this weekend. Organised by Green Party Councillor Andrew Kay, the clean up came after concerns that the canal has been looking very bad indeed over the past few months, with large amounts of litter on the tow path, grass verges and in the water itself.

Appeal after 14 year old boy is assaulted in Lancaster

Monday, January 17, 2011 - 11:01: Lancaster police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a 14-year-old boy was assaulted in in the city centre on Christmas Eve. The incident took place around 3.30am on 24th December when the boy was stood outside Subway on Church Street.

Police warn drivers and horse riders on road safety after accidents

Monday, January 17, 2011 - 11:00: Local motorists are being urged to take extra care on the roads when passing horses and their riders to avoid potential accidents, after two serious accidents involving horse riders in the north of the county in the last five months. Riders are also being advised to consider their own safety, and that of their animals, when out on country roads where visibility may be poor.

What do you think about local culture?

Monday, January 17, 2011 - 10:00: Lancaster City Council is inviting comments from members of the public and businesses on its draft Cultural Heritage Strategy. The strategy is a guide to investment in the district’s cultural heritage over the next ten years, and is accompanied by an assessment of the economic impact that investment in our heritage could achieve.

Married to the Sea and FTSE 100 head for Yorkshire House

Monday, January 17, 2011 - 07:00: Three bands gig organisers say will appeal to fans of Weezer, Pixies and Pavement are playing the Yorkshire House this Friday (21st). Married to the Sea, who've opened for bands likeRa Ra Riot, the Futureheads and The Thrills, formed in 2006 and are based in Liverpool. Having played together in various bands, the members set out to create rowdy pop that people could dance to.

Green councillors urge Lancaster prison closure rethink

Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 08:00: Green councillors have reacted angrily to the announcement last week that Lancaster prison is to close. The government announced that the Category C mens' prison at Lancaster Castle would close on cost grounds in March on Friday (see new story), although the final closure might come later in the year. Staff will be reallocated to nearby prisons and prisoners transferred.

Upcoming Free Reed Band ceilidh to raise money for Kenyan children's charity

Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 22:00: Lancaster's Free Reed Band will present a ceilidh at the Cathedral Social Centre in St Peter’s Road on Saturday 29th January to raise money for the Double Joy Children’s Farm in Kenya. Free Reed Band has been providing lively, danceable traditional music for ceilidhs in the Lancaster area since 1980.

Lancaster drug dealer ordered to pay £44,000

Friday, January 14, 2011 - 18:44: Francis Hackett, a convicted drug dealer has been ordered to pay £44,005 under a Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation order. Hackett, 48, of Albion Street, Lancaster, was convicted of possession with intent to supply heroin and money laundering in May last year. He was jailed for three years as a result.

Man assaulted in own home in Torrisholme

Friday, January 14, 2011 - 14:56: Police are appealing for information after a man was assaulted in his own home in Torrisholme, near Morecambe late last month. Sometime between 9.30pm and 10pm on Wednesday 29th December 2010, a group of six or possibly seven men, one armed with a machete, entered a flat on Lancaster Road. Once inside, the group threatened a man inside the property.

Local Disability Access Guide goes online - and mobile

Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 13:03: Lancaster-based disability charity One Voice Disability Services released The Good Access Guide for the Lancaster area last year, compiled by a team dedicated to access for disabled people. Now, they're offering even wider access to the guide through the Internet.

Castle prison to close in March, says Clarke

Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 10:43: Inside Lancaster Castle. Photo: Dave Clark (, from his book A Little English City: Add a Caption Save CaptionCancel Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has confirmed Lancaster Castle prison, which employs 300 staff, will close in March.

Repair works at Lancaster Town Hall

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 13:30: Work is due to start on a wide ranging programme of building repair works at Lancaster Town Hall, part of a wider refurbishment of council property which is already seeing work done on the Assembly Rooms in King Street. Lasting approximately six months, the works will involve extensive scaffolding to the building with a hoist for materials and a builders’ compound on the private roadway.

Community pools saved at last?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 11:00: January's Lancaster City Council's Cabinet meeting next week is expected to decide to save the District's community swimming pools at Carnforth, Heysham and Hornby, currently operated by the City Council in a partnership agreement with the County Council.

Arts worth "millions" to local Lancaster economy

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 08:49: Economic Value of Arts Activity in the District of Lancaster - a video by Adam York Gregory on Vimeo. Lancaster’s arts sector is taking centrestage in the local economy, boosting it by £50 million annually, a new report reveals.

Driver killed in Hornby accident

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 11:18: A driver was killed in an accident near Hornby this morning. Police were called to the A683 near Hornby around 8.40am this morning, following a report of a collision involving a Renault Trafic van and a Ford Focus. Ambulance and fire crews also attended the scene. The driver of the Ford Focus was taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Fron Male Voice Choir Sing for Lancaster's CancerCare

Monday, January 10, 2011 - 17:10: The Fron Male Voice Choir in Yeovil last year. Photo: The Fron Male Voice Choir web site For one night only, the world famous Fron Male Voice Choir is coming to Lancaster Town Hall to perform a concert in aid of CancerCare. Supported by soloist Margaret Pattison accompanied by Ian Pattinson, the evening promises to be a fantastic event.

Warning: Beauty Pageants May be Damaging Your Health

Monday, January 10, 2011 - 14:00: Lancaster Feminists, were, undertandably, disappointed to hear that the Lancaster Grand Theatre has been booked for the Miss Morecambe 2011 regional heat for the Miss England competition. Disappointment turned to disgust when they saw that the eating disorder charity B-Eat was featured as a partner on the competition website.

Made in Lancaster launched to boost local arts

Monday, January 10, 2011 - 13:48: Made in Lancaster is a new networking group offering support, feedback and development opportunities to local arts practitioners wanting to produce new work - and a showcase event is now in the works.

Teenagers in court on burglary charges

Monday, January 10, 2011 - 10:51: A 17-year-old boy from Lancaster has been charged with burglary in a dwelling and theft and is due to appear at Lancaster Magistrates Court this morning. The charge relates to a burglary at an address on Eastham Street, Lancaster on Saturday 8th January, during which a TV, watch and disability scooter were stolen.

Bin Men bring Boiler rescue to senior Jean

Monday, January 10, 2011 - 10:37: Steve Peel with Jean Oldham outside her homeAn elderly resident is singing the praises of two Lancaster City Council refuse collectors after being found without heating and lighting at her Yealand Redmayne home. 84-year-old Jean Oldham was struggling with a broken boiler and no lights during the freeze before Christmas when the knights in a shining bin truck came to her rescue.

'Big Howard' back at Borough for Comedy Club

Friday, January 7, 2011 - 18:43: Howard Read is returning to Lancaster's Comedy Club. Photo: Alan Moyles aka photobatAlways ones with an eye for a great deal, those nice folk down at The Lancaster Comedy Club have put together a rather special deal for those who enjoy a good guffaw and gourmet grub!

Phone use warning to motorists - and pedestrians

Friday, January 7, 2011 - 18:12: Lancashire Constabulary is warning drivers of the dangers of using their mobile phones whilst driving as they launch a month-long crackdown. Throughout January, road policing officers across the county will be targeting those who use their mobile phones when behind the wheel.

Thieves raid Garstang industrial park

Friday, January 7, 2011 - 17:57: Garstang police are appealing for people to come forward with information after rolls of fencing and barbwire were stolen from an industrial park in Garstang last weekend. The offence took place between 6.30 and 8.15pm on Sunday 2nd January at the industrial park on Green Lane West, Garstang.

Council seeks views on air quality in Galgate

Friday, January 7, 2011 - 11:09: With a near constant stream of traffic pouring through the village along the A6, Galgate residents may be pleased to hear that Lancaster City Council is inviting comments from members of the public on the issues raised by its Further Assessment of air quality in the Galgate Air Quality Management Area.

Yet another supermarket for Lancaster?

Friday, January 7, 2011 - 09:23: The Lancaster Guardian reports that plans for a new 24-hour supermarket off the A6 in Lancaster are being opposed by rival developers Centros and Booths.

Bay inspires artists at The Dukes

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 12:43: Five local artists inspired by the landscape of Morecambe Bay exhibit their work at The Dukes gallery from 10th January. Quicksands is an exhibition of contemporary mixed media artwork taking its inspiration from Morecambe Bay, its stories, histories and secrets.

Dukes hits the big 4-0 in 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - 23:17: Lancaster's The Dukes arts venue will be celebrating a silver anniversary and milestone birthday in 2011. This year will see The Dukes mark the 25th anniversary of its shows in Williamson Park during the summer and the 40th birthday of the Lancaster theatre as a whole.

Police look to trace owner of stash of suspected stolen clothing

Saturday, January 1, 2011 - 11:11: Police are urging market stall holders and shop owners to check their stock after a stash of suspected stolen sports clothing was handed to officers. The clothing, estimated to be worthy between £600 - £1,000, was found by a member of the public in Lancaster on Thursday 30th December. It is not known who the clothing belongs to, but officers believe it may have been stolen from a local trader.