This site is easier to read in landscape format on mobiles.

January 2012

Pão Pão: New Coffee Shop for King Street corner

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 17:54: Cafe chainPão Pão will be opening its new Lancaster coffee shop on Thursday in the ground floor units of the new Travelodge development on the corner of King Street and Spring Gardens.

Hawk returned after Morecambe drugs raid

Monday, January 30, 2012 - 15:39: Police have returned a stolen Harris Hawk to its owner after finding the bird during a drugs raid in Morecambe. Officers became aware that a stolen bird may have been brought into North Lancashire after a car was stopped in Lancaster last week and a bird of prey hood, reported stolen from a falconry centre in Settle, Yorkshire, was found inside.

Join the Big Bird Watch at Williamson Park

Friday, January 27, 2012 - 08:30: Blackbird image courtesy gallery.nen.gov.uk There's an opportunity for Lancaster bird lovers to join the world’s biggest wildlife survey alongside local volunteers who are participating in the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch in Williamson Park.

I LIke It! Gerry and the Pacemakers come to Morecambe

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 13:30: A unique journey of music, song and chat reliving the Swinging Sixties comes to the Platform in Morecambe on Saturday 18th February, with Gerry Marsden and the Pacemakers. Gerry The Pacemakers topped the UK and US charts for much of the 1960s. This show will hear Gerry talk about his early beginnings in Liverpool, those heady days of that decade and up to the present.

Popular Lancaster Greengrocers to close

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 11:59: (via Transtion City Lancaster): There's more bad news on Lancaster's independent retail front with word that The Greengrocers in Common Garden Street is closing on 4th February. Workers for the business reportedly got 11 days notice of the shock closure, which came after the building went up for sale for £250,000 - and staff have lost their jobs, even though some have worked there for years.

Students turn Superstars to help bring sport to all

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 14:00: Andrew Ashworth teaching young childrenUniversity of Cumbria students have been given valuable employment experience through a sports company set up by a former graduate. Steven Watson, a former sports studies student at the university’s Lancaster St. Martins campus, graduated more than seven years ago and set up Superstars Coaching soon afterwards.

Shhh! There's a new play on at Lancaster Library!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 13:30: Amy Jo Clough, who plays Penny in Ssh! at Lancaster LibraryToday sees Shhh! opening in Lancaster - "a play about a library, performed at the library". Tom Bramhall reports... Put together by The Dukes’ Senior Youth Theatre, Shhh!

Council joins Post Office pilot that could make it a ‘Front Office for Government’

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 10:58: Lancaster City Council has joined a national pilot to identify opportunities for Post Offices to deliver a wider range of public sector services - and hopefully prevent any further rounds of unpopular post office closures.

Monster Fun for Half Term at The Dukes

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 10:27: Young people wil be able to enjoy a monster half-term treat at The Dukes next month, with its cinema and creative learning department hosting an exciting monster moviemaking workshop inspired by classic b-movies like Godzilla. How to Make a Monster Movie in Five Days is a crash course in filmmaking for 11 to 14-year-olds which takes place from 13-17th February.

Arson attack endangers Lancaster family

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 23:05: Police are appealing for information following an arson attack on a house inLancaster which could have ended badly for the family living there - but smoke alarms probably saved their lives.The incident happened on High Street at around 3.00am on Saturday 21stJanuary, when a wheelie bin was set on fire,very close to the front door of a house.A family of six managed to escape the blaze which was put...

Scotforth superstore: new plan for March Public Inquiry

Monday, January 23, 2012 - 18:49: New layout masterplan for the amended superstore proposalCommercial Estates Projects (CEP), who in 2011 were refused planning permission for a giant supermarket, petrol station and hotel / restaurant complex on a greenfield site in Scotforth, adjacent to the site where Booths already have planning permission to build a new supermarket, have told Virtual Lancaster that they will be offering an...

Rise in shopliftng prompts police crackdown

Friday, January 20, 2012 - 18:00: Prolific shoplifters in Lancaster and Morecambe are being targeted by police in a clamp down, following a recent rise in offences - perhaps in part due to shops reducing staffing numbers in the face of the economic downturn.

Count the stars to help map light pollution in Lancaster

Friday, January 20, 2012 - 13:30: Organisers of Star Count are asking people to count stars within the constellation of Orion in the south-western night sky. More: www.cpre.org.uk/starcount Campaigners and scientists are looking to recruit Lancaster's amateur stargazers to help them map light pollution during national Star Count Week starting today, Friday 20th January.

Freeman's Wood under development threat?

Friday, January 20, 2012 - 07:42: Lancastrians have reacted angrily to the news that Freeman's Wood - long open to the public and popular with walkers, bikers and bird watchers - is being fenced off by landowners The Property Trust, a Bermuda-based company headed by a Hong Kong businessman.

Remembering the Holocaust

Friday, January 20, 2012 - 01:25: The theme of Holocaust Memorial Day 2012 is 'Speak Up, Speak Out'. We are asked to consider what we see and hear around us, and to use our voices to speak up against hatred and discrimination.HMD 2012 falls on Friday 27 January and in Lancaster it will be marked by a series of events at Lancaster Priory Church and Lancaster Town Hall.

'The Owl who’s afraid of the Dark’ flies in at the Platform

Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 05:30: Classic children’s story The Owl who’s afraid of the Dark will be flying in at the Platform on Wednesday 15th February. Join Plop, the baby barn owl as he journeys into the night-time world of camp fires, fireworks, starry nights and moonlit adventures. It’s going to be a hoot!

Man sought after Swank bar assault

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 18:27: Lancaster police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a 31 year old man was assaulted in a town centre bar. The offence took place at Swank bar on Penny Street on 4th December 2011 when the victim was verbally abused on the dance floor by an unknown man. A short time later he visited the toilet where he was assaulted from behind and knocked unconscious.

Drink driving continues to fall in Lancashire

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 07:30: Thenumber of people caught drink driving inLancashirehas fallen again according to the results of the Constabulary’s Christmas drink drive campaign. Between 1st December and 1st January, 13,249 tests were administered with just 168 – or 1.3 per cent – of people testing positive or refusing to provide a specimen.

A New Broom for the Lune: sewer work plans announced

Monday, January 16, 2012 - 14:23: United Utilities engineers will be carrying out exploratory work in Lancaster city centre from next week, as part of a major scheme to clean up the River Lune. United Utilities is increasing the size of the local sewer network, to protect the river from sewer spillages. The £9 million project will protect local wildlife, and ensure cleaner bathing waters at nearby Heysham and Morecambe.

Not in my Frack Yard: Cuadrilla lambasted by protestors

Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 13:00: (via SchNews): Executives ofCaudrilla Resources, the company engaged in 'fracking' in Lancashire to extract resources, a tecnhnology causing plenty of controversy, were left quaking in their boots after angry fracking meetings in the US and the UK last week. Campaigners have called for a moratorium on fracking in the UK in the face of theearthquakes and amid fears it...

Seriously ill man robbed in Carnforth home

Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 12:59: Detectives are appealing for information after a seriously ill man was subjected to a terrifying armed robbery in his own home in Carnforth on Friday (13th January).

Hannah Frank exhibition opens at Lancaster's Gallery 23

Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 09:42: The work of the late Glasgow Jewish artist Hannah Frank is forms the first exhibition at Lancaster’s Gallery 23 for 2012, running until 25th March.

PACT Meeting changes for Morecambe West End residents

Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 09:00: Changes to Morecambe’s West End PACT meetings will enable more residents to have their say on policing in their local area.PACT meetings are held on a monthly basis and allow residents to tell their neighbourhood policing team what issues are concerning them. After discussion, a smaller group called a PACT panel decides on the top three policing priorities for the month.

Police warn on purchase protection insurance fraudsters

Friday, January 13, 2012 - 01:00: Lancashire residents are being warned to be on their guard against fraudsters claiming to be able to recover cash spent on Payment Protection Insurance. A number of reports have been made to Lancashire Constabulary over the past few weeks from people who have been conned out of money by cold callers contacting them by phone or email and claiming to work for financial recovery teams.

Morecambe Golf Club theft appeal

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 12:49: Police are appealing for information after theft from Morecambe Golf Club earlier this month which saw a variety of items worth over £500, including golf clubs, stolen. At some time between 3.00 and 6.00pm on New Years Day, a locker in the men’s changing rooms was broken into and a set of golf clubs and some golf clothing were stolen from inside.

"Listening To Youth" Spotlight project announced

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 19:00: Lancaster’s long-running monthly literary cabaret, ‘Spotlight’ are organising a youth project in conjunction with Lancaster City Council and Arts Council England to give young people a big chance to perform their work on stage.

New Year, new number for non-emergency calls

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 10:14: Lancasire Constabulary is using the New Year to remind local residents that there is a new number to contact the police to talk about non-urgent issues. Introduced last month, 101 is the new number to ring to report non-emergency crimes or incidents, to discuss anti-social behaviour or to speak to the police about a general enquiry.

howdenjones 'Beautiful Music' tour to launch at the Dukes

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 10:05: Local muscians Kate Howden and Paul Jones kick off their 2012 season at The Dukes, Lancaster on Saturday 4th February. They are joined by Laurence Canty on bass and Trevor Wagstaff on drums. he date starts launches the band's "Beautiful Music in Beaitful Places" tour, which will see them playing venues across the country.

Heysham M6 Link Road moves to next phase

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 11:03: The government's new planning authority has pushed the proposed Heysham M6 Link Road forward another stage, and a further round of consultation with those affected by the scheme will soon begin. Lancashire County Council submitted the application for the Heysham M6 Link Road to the Infrastructure Planning Commission on 6th December 2011.

Occupy 'Lancaster 4' released without charge

Monday, January 9, 2012 - 18:59: The four people arrested last night at the Railton Hotel on Station Road in Lancaster were released from Lancaster Police Station at 4.50pm today without having been charged with any offence. See previous story 'Occupy Lancaster: 4 arrested as Police raid Railton Hotel Squat'.

High Hopes for Highfield

Monday, January 9, 2012 - 15:58: Photo: Highfield Regeneration ProjectThe community group working to regenerate Lancaster's Highfield recreation area received a welcome funding boost at the end of 2011.

CCTV appeal after local charity box thefts

Monday, January 9, 2012 - 14:55: Police have issued CCTV images of a man they are keen to identify after a series of charity boxes were stolen from shops in Morecambe, Scorton, Preston and Poulton. The first offence took place at Harris Pantry on White Lund Industrial estate in Morecambe at 9.00am on 22nd November 2011, when a man entered the bakery and stolen a Mencap charity box from a side table.

Protest over 'Occupy Lancaster' police arrests

Monday, January 9, 2012 - 10:35: Photo: Occupy LancasterSupporters of Occupy Lancaster have been demonstrating outside Lancaster Police Station this morning, at what they describe as the illegal arerst and eviction of activists who had entered Lancaster's derelict Railton Hotel.

Occupy Lancaster: 4 arrested as Police raid Railton Hotel Squat

Monday, January 9, 2012 - 01:00: Police raided the derelict Railton Hotel near Lancaster Railway station this evening.

Universities key to high tech future, says Minister

Saturday, January 7, 2012 - 09:14: In a speech at Policy Exchange this week, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts argued that that our greatest national assets - our universities, our science facilities and researchers - are the best single hope for making our way in the high-tech world of the future, creating jobs and opportunities and boosting high tech economic growth.

Funding cuts prompt Council look at ways to protect key services

Friday, January 6, 2012 - 16:18: Lancaster City Council’s Cabinet will consider a number of items related to its 2012 budget on Tuesday 17th January - and it looks like car parking fees may rise as well as charges for using some services. Provisional figures show that the council is facing a year on year reduction in Government support of 11.6%, or £1.5million, in the next financial year.

Co-op looks to the future as Movement regains strength

Friday, January 6, 2012 - 10:44: A talk on the future of the Co-op Movement by a local author takes place next week, organsed by Lancaster Green Party.

Council gets back to work on Market Square improvements

Friday, January 6, 2012 - 10:13: Lancaster City Council will restart work on its Square Routes initiative next week, an innovative project aimed at revitalising Lancaster's City Centre. Work on Lancaster’s Market Square, the first stage of the project, will begin on Monday witth the completion of resurfacing work. New lighting columns will also be installed at the centre of the square.

Police appeal following huge coal theft

Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 18:19: Police are appealing for information after over a large quantity of coal was stolen from a Lancaster industrial estate. The incident took place over the New Year weekend, between Saturday 31st December and Tuesday 3rd January. The offender approached the unit belonging to E S Fuels on the Lune Industrial Estate and stole over 200 bags of coal that were on pallets worth over £1,000.

NHS fears drop in blood donations through 2012 sports events and holidays

Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 16:47: NHS Blood and Transplant is warning that a ‘perfect storm’ could be created by this year’s bumper sporting calendar and extra bank holiday, severely affecting blood donation levels in the North West in 2012. In addition to the Olympics and Paralympics, 2012 will bring Euro 2012 and a double Spring bank holiday in June for the royal jubilee.

Police lock up bikes to cut down on theft

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 17:30: Police are locking up bikes that have been left insecure as part of a drive to reduce cycle thefts in Lancaster, Lancashire's Cycling Town. The city has seen an increase in the number of thefts of pedal cycles, with bikes being taken after they have been left insecure outside shops, homes or in unlocked sheds.

Stand Up For Celebrity Mastermind winner Andi Osho at The Dukes

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 11:58: Award- winning stand-up comedian Andi Osho will bring her straight talking wit to The Dukes next month. Fresh from her sold-out national tour and sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Andi presents her latest solo show – All The Single Ladies – in Lancaster on 1st February 2012.

National Protest on rail fares today

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 10:16: Yesterday, rail passengers faced inflation-busing fare rises in the UK. Today is a national day of passenger protest organised by the Campaign for Better Transport, who are urging commuters not to pass up the opportunity to voice your views on rip-off fares.

Workplace deaths on the rise in Lancashire

Monday, January 2, 2012 - 08:40: Eight people lost their lives while at work in Lancashire last year and 661 suffered a major injury, according to the latest statistics - including two in the Lancaster and Morecambe area. The Health and Safety Executive - Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety.