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May 2013

RLI ward closures planned; NHS Trust budget cut by 13%

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMB) has circulated a consultation document to staff outlining proposals to save the Trust £30 million from its annual turnover of £250 million. (You can see a scanned PDF copy of the consultation document here.) Changes proposed include a reduction of 200 front line clinical and nursing staff and 40 clinical admin support staff.

Summer drink driving crackdown gets underway across Lancashire

Lancashire Constabulary’s summer drink driving campaign will be launched tomorrow (Saturday 1st June). The crackdown will see high-profile enforcement activity take place across the county throughout the month of June with a focus on under 25s and daytime drinkers. There will be checkpoints at key locations where officers will administer drink and drugs tests.

Garstang indecent exposure driver sought by police

Police are appealing for information after a naked man repeatedly exposed himself to several women across Garstang and Wyre on Wednesday night (29th May). Officers are currently investigating five separate reports between 4.45pm and 8.00pm whereby a man, described as being white and aged between 40 and 60 years old, has indecently exposed himself to passing members of the public.

Housebound pensioners terrorized by walk-in burglar

Police are appealing for information after an elderly couple were confronted by a burglar at their home in Morecambe, stealing over £2000 in cash. The offence took place at around 5.35pm on Saturday 18th May at an address on Charles Street. The victims were sat in their lounge watching television when a man walked in through an insecure front door.

Fishy Business: thieves steal angling equipment from Lancaster home

Police are appealing for information after thousands of pounds worth of fishing equipment was stolen in Lancaster.

Yes, we do love to be beside the seaside: Morecambe wins top beach award

Lancaster City Council has scooped a top award that places two of Morecambe’s beaches among the best in the UK. Seaside Awards recognise and award beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management.

Tory County Councillor condemns minority alliance politics

County Cllr. Alycia JamesConservative County Councillor Alycia James (Lancaster Rural North) is calling for changes to be made to the way Lancashire County Council is run after Labour negotiated a minority administration last week. The format is strangely reminiscent of the last general election election. Except that the roles of Labour and the Conservatives are reversed.

Critical Mass Bicycle Ride this Friday pays tribute to road accident victim.

Critical Mass Bicycle RideLancaster cyclists have announced that they will be holding a 'Critical Mass' bicycle ride in Lancaster this Friday 31 May. Cyclists are invited to assemble at Dalton Square in Lancaster at 6pm to ride en masse at a sedate pace around the Lancaster one-way city centre ring road.

City Council asks County to purchase Viking "Silverdale Hoard"

Part of the Silverdale HoardLancaster City Council’s Cabinet has agreed to ask Lancashire County Council to secure an important collection of Viking treasure for the county. Known as the Silverdale Hoard, the collection of coins and jewellery was found near to Silverdale in September 2011 by a metal detector enthusiast and has been valued at £109,815.

City Cabinet defers decision on Chancery Lane closure

Lancaster City Council's cabinet has voted to defer a decision on the possible closure of Chancery Lane between Market Square and Church Street (see news story), after virtual-lancaster highlighted the proposal within the Lancaster Square Routes plan.

NuBlue backs Lancaster BARTER Research Project, seeks local support

(with thanks to by Sita Bridglal): NuBlue, a local business based in InfoLab21, has lent its support to the BARTER research project, as part ofLancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications.

Endangered eels rescued from Luneside West tanks

A European Eel. Image: WikipediaForty eels - a critically endangered species - have been rescued from tanks destined for burial on Luneside West and released into the River Lune this week. Their rescue from two large tanks came after local councillor Jon Barry raised concerns about their fate as work progresses apace on the development of the site.

Fairfield Association's "Promises" auction set to raise funds for new nature reserve

Lancaster's Fairfield Association will be holding an Auction of Promises and Gifts on Saturday June 8 - offers that have been generously donated by members, sponsors and supporters.

80-year-old cyclist dies after Lancaster road collision

(Updated, 15:11): We're sorry to report that the 80 year old pedal cyclist involved in a serious road traffic collision with a Citroen Berlingo on Cable Street in Lancaster on 16th May, died of his injuries yesterday. Police have named him as as George Mitchell from Lancaster. The driver of the car involved, a 32 year old man from Morecambe, is helping police with their enquiries.

In Pictures: Lancaster Castle opens its gates to the public

Lancaster Castle opened its gates to the public for the first time on a regular basis this weekend and local photographer Alan Phillips was on hand to record the day. 2013 marks the first time the Castle has opened daily top the public, officially marking its transition from former prison to major tourist attraction.

Council sneeks proposal to close Chancery Lane to pedestrians into Square Route plans

While the latest news on Lancaster City Council's Square Root plans to revamp Lancaster city centre are great news for the town, supporting local business and other community efforts to boost it, there's a sting in the tail to the current plans to be discussed next week - the proposed closure of Chancery Lane, a centuries-old right of way between Market Square and Church Street.

Lancaster Paper Mill fined £10,000 after worker's accident

If you needed any reminding about the reasons trade unions and others have fought for the health and safety regulations the current government is trying to dismantle, then the story of a local worker who could have been killed when metal grating gave way under his feet at a tissue factory might give you pause for thought.

Police launch appeal after assault near Bull Hotel, Morecambe

Police are appealing for witnesses following an assault in Morecambe last month. The incident took place on Sunday 21st April at around 10.30pm outside the Bull Hotel on Lines Street. A disturbance took place outside the pub and the victim, a 31-year-old man from the local area, received a punch to the face causing a fractured jaw that required hospital treatment.

Bay Blue Art goes on display in the Williamson Park's Pavilion Café

Oyster Catchers by Steve Smith‘Bay Blue’ is a new collection of images including photographs and paintings from around Morecambe Bay by local artist Steve Smith, now on display at the Pavilion Café in Lancaster's Williamson Park.

Liberals, Labour agree power-sharing deal for County Council

An agreement has been reached by negotiators from the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups on Lancashire County Council under which the Liberal Democrats would support the Labour Party in a minority administration. The agreement will be put to meetings of the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups before tomorrow's Annual Meeting of Full Council.