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March 2013

Ridge Community School academy plans U-turned

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 23:51: Parents and teachers of pupils at Ridge Community Primary School were told by the Department of Education yesterday that plans to turn the school into an Academy, a change that was due on 1 May this year, have been abandoned, despite extensive preparation.

Affordable personal fitness sessions at Salt Ayre

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 22:33: Lancaster City Council has introduced great value personal fitness training for customers of Salt Ayre Sports Centre in Lancaster. From just £5 per session, the new service is available to anyone who is keen to get 1-2-1 support and advice on how to lose weight, tone up or build up endurance or fitness levels.

Lancaster fraudster jailed

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 16:18: Lancaster man John Stewart was sentenced to 32 months imprisonment for fraud involving £234,250 earlier today. Stewart, 61, of Broadway, Lancaster, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two charges of obtaining mortgages under a false name and false employment, to a total value of £190,000. He also pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining income support to the value of £44,250.

Lancashire's Young Carers Honoured

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 13:43: A group of young carers (children caring for someone who is sick or disabled) from across the county were guests of honour last week at a special reception at County Hall in Preston. The majority of the young people present received support from the Lancashire Young Carers Service, which is run by leading children’s charity Barnardo’s from Blackburn, and funded by Lancashire County Council.

Local People Power energy switching project takes to the road

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 09:42: There’s less than two weeks left for people to sign up to a new scheme which could help them cut their energy bills and to help residents gather more information about the ‘People Power’ scheme, Lancaster City Council is hosting information roadshows in Lancaster and Morecambe. The first takes place today in Lancaster's Market Square.

Laptops stolen in Parkfield Drive burglary

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 05:34: Police are on the hunt for a burglar who they believe may have been spotted sorting through his haul of stolen goods in broad daylight, after a burglary at a house in Lancaster last week. The burglary, which took place on Parkfield Drive, occurred at some point between 8.45am and 12.20pm on Wednesday 20th March.

CCTV released in appeal after 93 year old targeted in distraction burglary

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 16:13: Local detectives have released CCTV images and are re-appealing for information following a distraction burglary at the home of a 93-year-old man in Morecambe. Between 1.55pm and 2.20pm on Tuesday 26th February, a man called at the elderly gentleman’s home on Lichfield Avenue. The 93 year old mistook the man for someone he knew and invited him in.

Lancaster’s vintage market re-opens for business

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 12:06: The Assembly Rooms market in Lancaster has now re-opened following the completion of refurbishment works to the 18th Century building. The market is open from Tuesday to Saturday and home to a curious and interesting mix of small stalls selling everything from vintage fashion to books, comics, miniatures and collectables.

Heysham man jailed for more than two years following sexual activity with a child

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 11:03: A 19 year old man from Heysham has been sentenced to 2 years and 3 months in a youth offenders institution after admitting having sex with a 14 year old girl. Luke Birbeck of Delamere Avenue had pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child at an earlier hearing and was sentenced yesterday (Monday 25th March) at Preston Crown Court.

Charges dropped at Jamea al Kauthar Girls School after investigation

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 10:59: Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service it has been decided that none of the conduct disclosed as part of Lancashire Constabulary’s investigation into the welfare of some children at the privately run Jamea al Kauthar Islamic School for Girls in Lancaster meets the threshold for criminal prosecution.

North West MP ignores benefits claimants lack of online access

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 10:11: Warrington South MP David Mowat defends benefit changes in the absence of any comment or available spokesperson from the Department of Work and Pensions on BBC North West Tonight.As major changes to the benefits system come into place next week, further reforms such as the introduction of Universal Credit, replacing many different benefits, is also on the way, all supported by Lancaster and...

Police hunt for Lancaster mugger

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 08:05: Lancaster Police are appealing for information after a 23-year-old man was robbed in the Primrose area of Lancaster. At around 11.15pm on Thursday 21st March, the 23 year old was walking along Dale Street when he was approached from behind by a man, who demanded his property. When the victim said he didn’t have any the man said he had a knife, and the victim gave him his iPhone.

Lancashire County council teams battle the snow

Monday, March 25, 2013 - 15:32: Lancashire County Council's highways teams have been battling round the clock to keep Lancashire's roads open after freak end-of-March weather brought heavy snow coupled with high winds, a dangerous combination leading to drifts five metres high in places.

Metal detection at M6-Heysham Link Road site

Monday, March 25, 2013 - 15:27: Volunteer metal detectorists have been searching for artefacts on the proposed route of the Heysham to M6 Link Road. The team joined forces with Rubicon Heritage Services to search a site called Penny Pot Meadow on Cottam's Farm off Caton Road. The articles which were uncovered told the story of happenings at Penny Pot Meadow over at least 200 years.

Transport Solutions mystified by dubious go ahead for M6 Link

Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 22:31: Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe has now studied the full report recommending the go ahead for the M6 Link and has issued the following statement. The observations on the road plan in the report made by the Planning Inspectorate’s Peter Robottom, who described it as "inappropriate development", call into question the entire basis on which it has been given the go ahead.

Review: Tine Thing Helseth with Kathryn Stott at Live at LICA

Friday, March 22, 2013 - 19:39: Tine Thing Helseth Tine Thing Helseth with Kathryn Stott at Live at LICA Thursday, 21 March 2013 in the Great Hall, Lancaster University Reviewed by Sally Ryde The billing of this event was misleading. The word ‘with’ suggests that the inclusion of Kathryn Stott was in some sense less significant.

Lancaster schoolchildren tackle speeding

Friday, March 22, 2013 - 09:32: Caption, left to right: PC Ian Nickson the Local Community Beat Manager pictured with Pupils of St Luke's C of E Primary School in Slyne with Hest after the speed education session.Children from Slyne with Hest have been helping to slow down speeding traffic near their school.

New book celebrates local family's incredible music archive

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 18:34: The Winder family came from Wyresdale, near Lancaster, and formed the mainstay of a village band from the late 1700s up until the First World War – and a new book, edited and annotated by leading local musician Andy Hornby, celebrates their important part in keeping an almost forgotten aspect of English music alive.

Gritters ready for more snow and ice, says County Council

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 15:24: Lancashire's gritters are gearing-up to keep the county moving with current forecasts predicting a risk of snow through Thursday night into Friday and the possibility of more winter weather for the weekend. Crews will be gritting throughout the county on Thursday evening and will plough and grit as necessary through the night in east Lancashire where the worst conditions are expected.

Ready for an Eerie Evening at the Winter Gardens?

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 13:12: Morecambe's Winter Gardens It is thought lucky for a theatre to have a resident ghost and Morecambe's Winter Gardens has, if the stories are to be believed, more than just the one. There's a chance to find out if the stories are true in April, when Eerie Evenings host a Ghost Hunt at the venue.

Local teenager gets set to star in Dukes' 'Hamlet'

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 11:55: Lancaster teenager Lucas Button is following in the footsteps of Olivier, Branagh, Tennant and Law when he takes on one of Shakespeare’s most famous roles – Hamlet – at The Dukes this April. 17–year-old Lucas Button is taking all the attention in his stride, however, along with the A-Levels and BTecs he’s studying for at Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale.

Time running out to make the energy switch and save £s

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 10:26: Lancaster City Council leader Eileen Blamire: "Rising energy prices are an increasing concern"Time is running out for people to sign up to a new scheme which could help them cut their energy bills. The ‘People Power’ energy switching scheme closes at midnight on 8th April – so if you miss the deadline, you could lose the chance to take advantage of cheaper energy tariffs.

Less people killed and injured on Lancashire’s roads

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 09:27: The number of people killed and seriously injured on Lancashire’s roads in road traffic accidents has reduced again, according to latest figures. In 2012, 704 people were killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads. This compares to 795 in 2011 – 91 less or an 11.4 per cent reduction.

War Drama at The Dukes Digs Deep

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 14:59: As the centenary of World War One looms, the true story of a miner trapped in a tunnel during the conflict will be told at The Dukes this April. The Trench is an award-winning play which achieved a sell-out five star run at the Edinburgh Festival and will be on a nationwide tour when it calls into the Lancaster theatre on 23rd - 24th April.

Moped theft in Heysham

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 14:39: Police are appealing for information after a moped was stolen from outside an address in Heysham. The theft took place around 5.30pm on Tuesday 19th March when the moped was stolen from the front of a house on Banks Crescent. The moped is described as being a Generic Trigger MB in black with silver and white stickers all over the body work.

Chamber of Commerce celebrates go ahead for M6 Link

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 18:35: Jonathan Barker, President of the Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy Chamber of Commerce(Updated with Chamber of Commerce response to comment added by Chris Satori, 21/3/13) Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the announced decision by government to invest in one of the largest public sector road building projects currently in England.

Abortion Education: still failing young people?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 15:52: According to the Office for National Statistics, rates of teen pregnancies are at their lowest since 1969, with the local figure standing at 30 per 1000 young women in the under 18 age group for 2011. However a report published by Education For Choice (EFC), part of the Brook sexual health charity, finds that education about contraception and abortion in the UK is still failing young people.

Police hunt Apple Mac thief

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 15:09: Police are appealing for information after a burglary at a house in Lancaster last week. Between 10am and 3.00pm on Friday 15th March, someone broke into a house on Swan Yard by smashing the rear patio door window. Once inside they took an Apple Mac laptop and charger as well as some loose change. Police are appealing for anyone with any information about the burglary to come forward.

Greens' anger as Heysham M6 Link Road gets go ahead

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 12:23: The local Green Party has condemned the government's decision to press ahead with the Heysham M6 Link Road, arguing it will not solve Lancaster's traffic problems, will add extra traffic - not less - and is a waste of money at a time of major public spending cuts.

Link Road Decision Bad News for Area, says TSLM

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 11:31: The decision to go ahead with the Heysham M6 Link Road is bad news for the area, says Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe, the local campaign group. The Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin today announced that the £123 million scheme had been given the go-ahead, news that has been warmly welcomed by Lancashire County Council (see news story).

Green light for M6 Link Road to dismay of campaigners for alternatives

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 11:22: One of Lancashire's top priority transport projects has received the go-ahead, which Lancaster City Council claims will herald a new era for economic growth and better transport on the Morecambe and Heysham peninsula -- but will dismay campaigners who have fought long and hard against it on cost and environmental grounds.

Fairfield Association Flora Project wins lottery grant

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 09:30: FLORA: Pony Copse from the public footpath.Today, the Fairfield Association, a community-based Lancaster environmental charity, which created the popular, award-winning 16-acre FAUNA nature reserve in 2012, has heard it has been awarded a grant of £96,700 from the Heritage Lottery fund (HLF) for its FLORA nature reserve project, near Lancaster City Centre (between Aldcliffe Road and Lucy Brook /...

Cumbria Uni unites local business with graduate interns

Monday, March 18, 2013 - 17:10: Up-to-the-minute skills in online marketing and social media are increasingly necessary in today’s business environment. Local businesses have been taking advantage of a University of Cumbria scheme to help fill that knowledge gap. ‘Unite with Business’ offers small companies across the North West the opportunity to take on a graduate for 20 days at no cost to themselves until 30 June 2013.

Award-winning inclusive Triathlon comes to Lancaster

Monday, March 18, 2013 - 15:41: Andrew Richardson from COLT Triathlon Club. Sportsunday event photography Lancaster’s first large triathlon event is coming to Salt Ayre Sports Centre on Sunday 7 July 2013 and local people are being offered the chance to grab their place on the start line with free training sessions on Sunday 14 April.

Witness appeal after Lancaster cyclist injured in weekend accident, closing road

Monday, March 18, 2013 - 10:19: Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a cyclist was injured in a road traffic collision in Lancaster on Sunday (17th March). The collision took place around 8.20am on Langthwaite Road in Quernmore when a Vauxhall Combo 200 collided with the pedal cyclist travelling in the opposite direction.

Putting the Community back into Barton Road Centre

Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 13:37: Respektin' all the people For the last 26 years, Barton Road has had a Youth and Community Centre. However, when the sign on the building was changed to 'Barton Road Young People’s Centre' it left the 200 people (of all ages) who use the centre every week somewhat bemused.

Lancaster students warned: guard belongings on nights out

Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 07:07: Alfred Efosa A Blackpool man has been sentenced to nine months imprisonment this week, after stealing from female students in Lancaster when they were on a night out. At an earlier hearing, Alfred Efosa, 21, had pleaded guilty to one robbery and to five charges of theft, relating to a number of incidents at Toast nightclub on North Road and on Pitt Street, in November 2012.

Police hunt Garstang jewellery thieves

Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 06:52: Police have issued CCTV images and are appealing for information after two rings together worth £3,000 were stolen from a town centre jewellers in Garstang on Wednesday 6th March 2013. The offence took place around 1.40pm at S Carr and Son on the High Street, when a man and a woman, posing as a couple, entered the jewellers.

Bridge Work set to begin on M6 Junction

Friday, March 15, 2013 - 15:44: Bridge work will begin overnight on Thursday 21 March on the Junction 34 of the M6 near Lancaster between 8.00pm and 6.00am. During these times there will be a 50mph speed restriction on both carriageways around Junction 34, as well as closures of the southbound entry slip road. There will be a clearly signed diversion in place via Junction 35.

Almost £200,000 to support Lancashire's community groups

Friday, March 15, 2013 - 14:48: Lancashire County Council has announced more than £190,000 for their 2013/14 Local Initiative Fund scheme. Now in its third year, the LIF scheme provides grants to voluntary, community and faith groups that carry out important work to help communities across Lancashire.

Local MPs urged to buzz Environment Minister on bee vote

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 17:00: Local beekeepers and their customers are being urged to support an online campaign to urge Environment Minister Owen Paterson not to vote against protecting bees in an important European vote on pesticide control tomorrow (Friday). The proposal would enact a European-wide suspension of the pesticides being blamed for killing bees.

Work to start on Crook O' Lune bridge repairs

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 13:06: Work will start soon to repair the East cycleway Bridge at the Crook O'Lune which links Caton with the River Lune Millennium Park. Preparation works will begin on Monday 18th March, with the main work to fully restore the listed structure taking place from Monday 8th April until late October 2013.

Police confirm investigation into Islamic School

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 16:46: Local detectives have launched an investigation surrounding concerns for the welfare of a group of teenage girls at the privately run Islamic School for Girls in Lancaster.

New homes for birds at Williamson Park

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 15:24: park staff and Friends of Williamson Park prepare to install 50 new bird boxes in the Fenham Carr area of the park. Photo courtesy Lancaster City CouncilBirds at Williamson Park can look forward to feathering their nests in brand new homes this year thanks tothe 50 new bird boxes recently installed in trees at Fenham Carr.

Arrests after reports of sexual assault at local school

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 14:30: Police have arrested three men on suspicion of sexual assault and false imprisonment within the grounds of the Jamea al Kauthar School on Ashton Road, Lancaster.

Spotlight Club mixes it up with poetry, prose and music

Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 17:20: The Spotlight Club team are getting set to engage another fine audience with some equally fine poetry, readings and music this coming Friday (15th March 2013) at the Storey. On the bill is music and poetry and music from Beth Cortese, plus poetry from Miss P., Jezz Mort and Pascal Desmond. The event will round off with music from Sea Rocket.

Open Mic fund raising event planned for 'Beyond Radio'

Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 17:00: A group raising funds for Beyond Radio, a new community radio station for Lancaster and Morecambe, are planning a fund-raising Open Mic event at the Gregson Centre, Moor Lane Lancaster on 6th April 2013.

Review: Gabriela Montero at Live at LICA

Friday, March 8, 2013 - 23:08: Gabriela Montero Gabriela Montero at Live at LICA Thursday, 7 March 2013 in the Great Hall, Lancaster University Reviewed by Henry Prince There were two piano recitals on Thursday night at Live at LICA. The first one was played out by a music student on a shiny but not quite in tune and with not the best adjusted action Yamaha upright in the foyer.

Archaeology checks to start on Heysham link road route

Friday, March 8, 2013 - 13:11: Lancashire County Council is to start checking for archaeological finds along the proposed route of the Heysham to M6 Link Road - so they obviously don't think the project is likely to be buried any time soon, despite vociferous objections.

In Review: Return to the Forbidden Planet

Friday, March 8, 2013 - 10:41: Return to the Forbidden Planet Performed by students of LGGS LRGS At The Dukes, Lancaster Reviewed by Jane Sunderland Performed by students of Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Lancaster Girls' Grammar School, this production of Return to the Forbidden Planet (scripted by Bob Carlton) is fun from start to finish. It is an ambitious choice.