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May 2011

Lancaster Street Pride 2011: Deep cleaning our streets

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 23:34: Lancaster City Council, in conjunction with Lancaster district’s Community Safety Partnership, is planning out its 2011 Street Pride programme and is looking for people to take part. Could your street benefit from a spring clean? Would you like to help make your area a better place to live? Would you like to work with others to build pride in your area?

Lancaster Unlocked: Medieval Market pleaseth ye townsfolke

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 21:47: Photos from Lancaster's Medieval Market on Saturday 28 May; part of the Lancaster Unlocked Medieval Festival weekend that saw activities and events throughout the area celebrating the City's ancient heritage.

Gillow Folk Line Up for June features Jon Harvison and Pete Morton

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 13:49: Jon Harvison plays the Robert Gillow on Thursday nightLancaster's Robert Gillow hosts another fine line up of folk music this month, with ace guitarist Jon Harvison appearing this week (Thursday 2 June). From Keighley, Jon plays guitar and sings and has an exceptionally powerful voice, acknowledged as being “one of the finest exponents of English contemporary folk song” (Folk On Tap magazine).

Free Reed Band celebrates 30 years of Folk

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 11:31: Respected Lancaster-based folk dance band Free Reed Band is to hold special celebrations to mark its 30th anniversary during 23 – 25 June 2011.

Lancaster Slutwalk Makes Herstory!

Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 17:47: A personal report: Something happened today that we haven't seen in years, and I've never seen with such strength in Lancaster. Women marching together as women against sexual violence and for justice for women.

Recycling boost for Carnforth

Friday, May 27, 2011 - 17:14: Recycling is on the up in the Lancaster district, but there are still some items that cannot be put in the kerbside collection boxes. Tetra Paks require a specialist recycling process and should be taken to special collection banks. The good news for Carnforth residents is that there is now a recycling bank for Tetra Paks at Keer Bridge recycling centre.

Still Missing: Brook

Friday, May 27, 2011 - 10:13: The owners of a Chocolate Labrador stolen from Forton in April are offering a substantial reward for his safe return.

Go Walkies for Guide Dogs!

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 18:28: Oatie the Guide DogThe local arm of Guide Dogs for the Blind is organising a "Go Walkies" fun raising event in July. Taking place on Sunday 17th July 2011, the event starts at 10.00am on Morecambe Promenade, from the Cupid and Venus statue (or Mother and Child statue as some call it) near Morecambe Golf Club. Registration starts at 10am with walk commencing 10.30am from the go walkies stand.

Appeal for information after garden thefts in Lancaster

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 18:22: Slynedales, home to Cancer Care - one of the garden theft victims. Photo: Cancer CarePolice are appealing for information after a series of thefts in Lancaster - including a summer house from the grounds of a much-loved local charity, CancerCare. Overnight on Tuesday 17th May, two aluminium greenhouse frames were stolen from the allotments on Torrisholme Road.

Drug dealer jailed for four and a half years

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 18:14: David OwenA drug dealer who was one of the main suppliers in Lancaster and Morecambe has been jailed for four and a half years. 28-year-old David Owen, from Liverpool, was behind an organised gang selling class A drugs on the streets of the two towns.

Appeal after violent Heysham robbery

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 17:58: Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward following a violent robbery at an address in Heysham on Sunday. The offence took place at approximately 11.00p on 22nd May at an address on Robin Crescent, when four men wearing dark clothing and balaclavas forced their way into a house and threatened the occupants with a weapon, described as a machete.

Conservative councillors question council tax rise

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 15:19: Council Revenue Spending Power per head, 2011-12 - Full size map (pdf, 1330 kb)(Updated 27/5/11, figures clarified): The Conservative group on Lancaster City Council has voiced their disapproval of the draft corporate plan and medium term financial strategy which includes the council's aim to keep Council Tax increases to no more than two per cent for 2012/13 and 2013/14.

Council Tenants run a fine tooth comb through new housing documents

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 14:40: Tenants of Lancaster City Council have developed a stamp of approval for all housing documents that go out to the public. All new or updated documents are scrutinised by the new Customer Services and Resident Involvement Quality Group who ensure they are tenant friendly and free of jargon before being published.

Special Schools should also be academies, says Lancaster MP

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 00:32: Schools specialising in teaching children with special educational needs should also be considered for academy status, according to Lancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw - and the government appears to agree with him, despite opposition to the sheme already. Mr Ollerenshaw made his appeal during an education debate in the House of Commons earlier this week.

Scrap Metal Swoop by police

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 17:59: Officers from Lancashire’s neighbouring police forces joined together to target criminals travelling in to the county to sell or steal scrap metal - one of the fastest growing crimes in the country.

Lancaster City Council seeks your views

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 17:44: Lancaster City Council is inviting residents to submit their ideas on which local issues should be considered by its Overview and Scrutiny Committee this year. Whether it’s a problem with a local park, a council service or an issue you feel the council should lead on and help to improve, the committee wants to hear from you.

Lancaster Slutwalk - A Rose by Any Other Name....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 23:30: This Saturday 28 May will see a 'Slutwalk' march organised by students and local women taking place in Lancaster, assembling at 1pm in The Thurnham St Carpark (note new location, across the road and a bit uphill from the Kwikfit garage) to march together through Lancaster City Centre.

Lancashire County Council face High Court challenge to care cuts

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 21:06: A legal challenge being brought against Lancashire County Council over cuts to care services will be encouraged by a High Court ruling last week that found that Birmingham City Council had acted unlawfully over a decision to cut its provision of care for disabled people (see Guardian report) The judgment, involving four severely disabled people who brought a test case against Birmingam CC, has...

City Council's Cabinet line-up announced

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 16:53: Councillor Elieen Blamire is the new leader of Lancaster City CouncilLancaster City Council has appointed Coun Eileen Blamire as its new leader for 2011/15.

Labour and Green Party join forces on City Council

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 12:37: The Labour and the Green Party have entered into a joint administrative arrangement to run the Cabinet of Lancaster City Council.

Vintage Fun This Friday at Lancaster's Assembly Rooms

Monday, May 23, 2011 - 08:36: Lancaster's Assembly Rooms - actually part of Lancaster Market's offering, but nestling between the city's famous alms houses and Crows Restaurant on the other side of King Street - is holding a Vintage Fair this Saturday (28th May).

Protests at Lancaster's Miss England Beauty Contest - Stopping the traffic?

Sunday, May 22, 2011 - 19:12: When NLP hypnotherapist Mark Darlington organised a beauty pageant for for young, single women without children in Lancaster, he picked the wrong town.

Morecambe MP accuses European Union of 'environmental vandalism'

Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 09:21: Morecambe MP David Morris has accused the European of "environmental vandalism" over its fisheries policy. His comments in the House of Commons during a recent Fisheries debate came after he revealed he had "discovered" Morecambe no longer had much of a fishing industry, in stark contrast to its busy past.

Appeal after bar man is threatened in Lancaster

Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 00:10: Police have issued CCTV images of two men they are keen to trace after a bar man was threatened after he refused to serve two drunk men in a town centre bar. The offence took place at the Mint bar on Church Street just before 1.00am on Thursday 28 April. The bar man refused to serve two men alcohol as he believed them to be intoxicated.

Win tickets for As You Like It in Williamson Park

Friday, May 20, 2011 - 12:05: Photo courtesy the Globe Theatre The world renowned Globe Theatre will be bringing to life one of Shakespeare’s greatest romantic comedies 'As You Like It' in the beautiful grounds of Williamson Park, Lancaster next month - and virtual-lancaster.net has two pairs of tickets to give away.

CCTV appeal after man assaulted in Lancaster bar

Friday, May 20, 2011 - 11:49: Lancaster Police are appealing for information after a man was verbally assaulted and had a drink poured over him in a bar in Lancaster at the weekend. At some time between 2am and 3.00am on the 9th May, the man, who was out drinking with his partner in the Revolution bar on Penny Street, was approached by a man who pushed into him, made a homophobic remark and poured his drink over the victim.

Police appeal after raid on Bowerham Chemists

Friday, May 20, 2011 - 11:41: Image via Google MapsPolice are appealing for information after a break in at SP Tanna chemists shop in Bowerham on Monday (16th May 2011). At around 2.00am on Monday morning, the alarm was activated at SP Tanna chemists on Gordon Terrace, Bowerham Road after someone smashed the glass in the front door with a large rock and went inside the shop.

Wasted Lives programme transforms young drivers attitudes, say students

Friday, May 20, 2011 - 11:30: Photo: Wasted Lives Young Driver ProgrammeA generation of Lancashire students say a hard-hitting road safety course has transformed the way they think about driving, making them safer behind the wheel. The Wasted Lives Young Driver Programme has now reached over 13,000 students since being launched in September 2008 to help cut the tragic toll of death and injury among young drivers.

Will Mary Portas save Lancaster's shops?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 12:27: Retail expert Mary Portas - regarded by many as the UK’s foremost authority on retail and brand communication - has been challenged by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to undertake an independent review on the Future of the High Street – to help ‘bring back the bustle’ to our town centres.

Picnic, Games and Balsam Bashing!

Monday, May 16, 2011 - 16:56: (with thanks to Fiona Frank): Lancaster Cohousing members and friends are celebrating the start of works on their ecological cohousing site by the river at Forge Bank Weir, Halton, by hosting a family picnic, games afternoon, and ‘balsam-bashing’ event, on Saturday 21st May. The event runs from 1.30 p.m. until 4.00 p.m.

£15,000 cannabis factory found in Knott End

Monday, May 16, 2011 - 16:22: Some of the plant seized in the Knott End raid Police have discovered a £15,000 cannabis factory after carrying out a raid in Knott End. Officers executed a drugs warrant at a bungalow in Kingston Close at around 10.30am this morning (Mon.) Inside they discovered around 35 plants, with an estimated street value of £15,000, along with cultivation equipment.

Police appeal following incident at Shrimp roundabout

Monday, May 16, 2011 - 16:14: Police are appealing for witnesses following an assault in Morecambe. The incident happened on Thursday 12th May at the Shrimp roundabout at around 4.50pm. A disagreement broke out between two drivers and a 23-year-old man was struck and suffered injuries to his lip and nose.

Appeal following fail to stop collision in Lancaster

Monday, May 16, 2011 - 14:54: Police are appealing for witnesses following a collision in Lancaster in which a car failed to stop. Around 5.25pm on Wednesday 11 May, a Honda Logo was travelling along Church Brow towards Lancaster when it was involved in a collision with a car travelling in the opposite direction. The car is described as possibly a black VW Golf or Polo and failed to stop at the scene.

This week at the Grand: Girl Traffic

Monday, May 16, 2011 - 12:08: Sneaking into the Grand Theatre this Friday is the 'local heat' of the Miss England pageant. You won't find the Miss Morecambe & Lancaster competition listed on the Grand's website. You aren't invited! This pageant is a private treat whereby a certain type of 'sponsor' can buy access to young female hopefuls.

Lancaster Guardian offices to close?

Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 08:03: (with thanks to Sue Parish): Media web site HoldtheFrontPage reports Johnston Press is proposing to close the Lancaster Guardian’s office in Common Garden Street with the loss of three jobs - and move editorial staff to work at the base of the Morecambe Visitor, five miles away.

County Council to run consultations on M6 Link changes

Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 01:43: Artist's Impression: How the new bypass will look. Lancashire County Council will be holding additional public consultations on design changes to the Heysham-M6 Link. The latest consultations will update local people on changes to the scheme, provide more information about the plans and explain the future process.

Music and poetry, please: Spotlight Club line up announced

Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 01:43: Ann Wilson, aka Ann the Poet. Photo: Richard Davis (http://www.totallywired.com)This month's Spotlight Club - a regular eclectic feast of poetry, performance and music - features South Cumbrian-based poet Ann Wilson and Lancaster musician Mikey Kenney. Here's a rundown of the main performers next Friday at the Storey.

New Booths Approved for Scotforth

Friday, May 13, 2011 - 19:25: Lancaster City Council’s planning committee approved a new Booths supermarket development application on 3 May, to be built on Lawson's Bridge field in Scotforth. It was considered alongside another bid by CEP for a second much larger superstore, hotel, pub and petrol station which was turned down. The second, failed bid was widely thought to be for a new Tesco store.

Taxi Drivers claim 'Browbeating' by Local Authority during holiday

Friday, May 13, 2011 - 19:23: All 109 Hackney cabs in the Lancaster Council area received a letter before Easter requiring them to report to the Council's Vehicle Maintenance Unit in Morecambe for inspection on Thursday 21 April, between 10am and 2.30pm, despite the holiday season being one of their busiest times.

The Procurement Zone

Friday, May 13, 2011 - 18:40: This Virtual-Lancaster reporter notes that Shoe Zone, the shoeshop in Marketgate, is selling very high heeled (2"+) fashion shoes in sizes for little girls aged 6 and upwards in their children's section. For an adult sized foot this is roughly the equivalent of a 6"+ heel.

Heysham Link will make our traffic problems worse, Professor warns

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 18:16: Former city councillor John Whitelegg, a Professor of Sustainable Transport, has hit out angrily at claims from the construction company, Costain, that the proposed M6 Link will improve the economic health of the Lancaster area.

Interview: Jo Gillot

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 14:02: Not long ago now Jo Gillot quietly self released her second EP of songs, The Lido. Named after the Ruislip waterhole which inspired it, the seven track EP takes the best of 2009’s Songs To Say I Sung and works them up with new dimension.

Police appeal after Lancaster Co-op theft

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 08:59: Police are appealing for information after money was stolen from the Co-op on Chapel Street last month. At around 5:24pm on the 19th April, three men entered the Co-operative food store on Chapel Street in Lancaster and while the till was unsupervised, they opened the cash drawer and stole approximately £250 before leaving the store.

iPhone thieves sought

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 12:25: Lancaster Police have issued CCTV images of two men they want to speak with after an iPhone 4 was stolen from the Orange shop in Lancaster on Thursday 28th April 2011.

Appeal for witnesses after Good Friday fight on Millennium Bridge

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 12:21: Lancaster are appealing for witnesses to come forward following a fight on Millennium Bridge in Lancaster on Good Friday. (22nd April 2011) At 2.30pm police received reports of up to six men fighting on the bridge behind Sainsbury’s in Lancaster city centre.

Lancaster and Morecambe Local Election Results

Friday, May 6, 2011 - 16:42: (Last Updated 07:36 7/5/11) The final result for the local elections sees the Labour Party gaining the most councillors - 23 in all - but no one party has overall control, which has been the case here since 1995. The biggest losers of the poll were the Liberal Democrats, losing all their councillors, including Council leader Stuart Langhorn.

In Review: The Price

Friday, May 6, 2011 - 12:47: At the end of his script of The Price, Arthur Miller unusually includes a Production Note: “A fine balance of sympathy should be maintained in the playing of the roles of Victor and Walter … Walter is attempting to put into action what he has learned about himself, and sympathy will be evoked for him in proportion to the openness, the depth of need, the intimations of suffering with which the...

Cars damaged in Morecambe crime spree

Friday, May 6, 2011 - 12:42: Morecambe police are appealing for information after a spate of criminal damage to cars - and have released CCTV of a man they wish to speak to in connection with the damage. There were three instances of criminal damage overnight between the 25th and 26th of March.

Comedian Omid Djalili at Morecambe's Platform in September

Friday, May 6, 2011 - 12:01: It might seem some time off, but we expect word that multi award winning stand-up television and movie star Omid Djalili will be warming up for the tour of his brand new comedy show 'Tour of Duty' at the Platform, Morecambe will see tickets sell fast A firm favourite at the Edinburgh Festival with his legendary performances, Omid’s stand-up awards include ’Time Out Award’ - for Best Stand Up,...

Alternative Vote referendum - how will you vote?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 16:33: Tomorrow, Thursday 5 May, is polling day in the UK and on the same day, you'll have the chance to vote in the Alternative Vote referendum.

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