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December 2013

The Really Heavy Greatcoat Review of the Year 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 12:24: The Really Heavy Greatcoat by myself and Lancaster-based artist Nick Miller was published fairly regularly for about 20 years in alternative Lancaster print titles such as On The Beat and Off the Beat and online on The strip's last regular appearance in print was in the now defunct Comics International.

Police investigate Morecambe match disorder

Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 07:39: Police are appealing for information after some disorder at the Morecambe vs Fleetwood derby match on Boxing Day, in which stewards were assaulted. Disorder broke out as around 15 people challenged club stewards on the Bay Radio stand, which resulted in a number of stewards being assaulted. The disorder then continued as those involved left the stand.

Appeal after meat stolen from Pilling hotel

Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 07:35: Police are appealing for information after over £700 of meat was stolen from an outbuilding at a Pilling hotel. The theft occurred sometime between 3.00 and 9.00pm on the 23rd December when someone stole a large quantity of meat from a storage freezer inside an insecure outbuilding in the grounds of Springfield House Hotel on Wheel Lane.

BBC Comedy Award winner Steve Bugeja at Lancaster Comedy Club

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 06:38: This Sunday 29th December sees the freshly crowned BBC New Comedy Award winner Steve Bugeja at The Borourgh in Dalton Square for a great Lancaster Comedy Club night out, alongside Dan Nightingale, Jonathon Elston and MC David Longley. Into the New Year, we're told tickets are selling very fast indeed for Sunday 5th January with Ivan Brackenbury's Hospital Radio Roadshow and Ian D.

Police launch appeal for missing Morecambe girl

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 13:10: Police are appealing for information about a teenage girl missing from her home in Morecambe. Alice Leigh Ryan, 14, was last seen at her home address on Euston Road around 8.15pm on Saturday 21st December. PC Jo Clement said: “Alice has been missing for a number of days now and given her age we are obviously concerned for her welfare and her family want her home for Christmas.

Moorlands Hotel set to become flats?

Monday, December 23, 2013 - 15:46: Moorlands Hotel, Freehold, Lancaster Updated: To the dismay of many (but, clearly, not enough to keep it open) the Moorlands Hotel in Lancaster's Freehold closed a few months ago and was sold to Mister Capitol Holdings by owners Mitchells. MCH plan to turn it into flats.

School Dances Into The Dukes

Monday, December 23, 2013 - 14:42: A scene from Alice Through The Looking Glass which will be performed at The Dukes on 11th January 2014.The only state school in the country thought to have tackled a full-length ballet will make its professional debut at The Dukes in January.

Evofit appeal after woman sexually assaulted in Lancaster

Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 07:26: Police have released an Evofit of an Eastern European man police need to speak with after a woman was sexually assaulted in Lancaster this week.The offence took place sometime between 2.00am and 3.00am on Monday 16thDecember when the 25-year-old victim was approached by a man as she walked home along St Peters Road after a night out.As the woman walked along the path that cuts between St Peters...

Teenage pair sentenced for two burglaries in Morecambe

Friday, December 20, 2013 - 16:13: An 18-year-old man from Morecambe and a 17-year-old boy were today sentenced for committing two burglaries on one street in Morecambe.

Consultation begins on proposed cuts to local evening and Sunday bus services

Friday, December 20, 2013 - 12:03: Eric OllerenshawLancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw has raised concerns about Lancashire County Council's proposal to make massive cuts to evening and Sunday bus services in the House of Commons.

Local MPs accused of sending seasonal message of ill-will and bad cheer

Friday, December 20, 2013 - 10:44: Councillor Chris CoatesLancaster Green Councillor Chris Coates has condemned local MPs for voting not to investigate the increased use of food banks in the UK.

Local MPs support government block on a full House of Commons Hunger Debate

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 16:29: Eric OllerenshawLocal MPs Eric Ollerenshaw and David Morris voted with the government against a proposal calling on the Government for a full Parliamentary Debate on hunger in the UK and investigate the increased use of food banks in the UK yesterday.

Crook O' Lune bridge to reopen tomorrow

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 12:59: The east pedestrian and cycleway bridge at the Crook O' Lune will reopen tomorrow (Friday 20th December) after a restoration costing around £1million was completed by Lancashire County Council.

Applications open for Lancashire Police Audit Committee positions

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 11:49: Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner and the Constabulary's Chief Constable are looking to recruit independent members for their Joint Audit Committee. A new chair for the Audit Committee was successfully recruited earlier this year, and now Clive Grunshaw and Steve Finnigan are seeking to appoint four members to serve on the committee.

Appeal after hit and run in Morecambe

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 16:46: Police are appealing for information after a collision in Morecambe yesterday (Monday 16th December) At around 4.30pm, there was a collision on Green Street where a man was hit by a car which failed to stop at the scene. The man suffered serious leg injuries and was taken through to Royal Lancaster Infirmary where he is still receiving treatment.

Lancaster City Council gets homes funding boost from government despite scheme criticisms

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 14:38: Lancaster City Council is to get £2,450,288 from government as a "New Homes Bonus", despite criticism of the schemne from Parliament's Public Accounts Committee in October. The Government estimates that 232,000 extra households will need homes each year to 2033 but in 2012 only 115,600 new homes were built in England.

Stephen Shield sentenced to 12 months for sexual offences

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 15:41: A former canon at Lancaster's Catholic Cathedral, Stephen Shield, has been sentenced to 12 months in prison after he was convicted of three historic sexual offences. He has been put on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Changes to council services and opening times this Christmas

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 13:04: There will be a number of changes to the availability of Lancaster City Council services and facilities this Christmas. Closure of public buildings Lancaster and Morecambe town halls and the council's housing office on Cable Street, Lancaster will close for Christmas at 3pm on Christmas Eve and re-open at 9.00am (until 5.00pm) on Monday 30th December.

Government confirms funding for Heysham to M6 Link Road

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 11:19: Work will begin in earnest in the New Year on the Heysham to M6 Link Road after the government confirmed funding for the scheme. The Department for Transport has finalised its £111m contribution towards the road today, a route which which will link the Heysham Peninsula to the M6 motorway, marking the start of a new era for economic growth and improved transport.

Morecambe Library

Morecambe Library. Image by Ian Taylor
Morecambe Public Library has 27 PCs connected to the People's Network and public wifi. It has an extensive stock of fiction, non-fiction, reference, video and audio material. The Library offers a regular programme of activities for all ages and has full disabled access.  

Laura's Leisure Soft Play for Under-5s.

Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall, Carnforth, LA5 9LR. Every Monday 10 - 11.30am. A full range of soft play equipment for under 5's, music, activities and a toddler bouncy castle. £2.50 per child includes juice and biscuits (£1 for siblings, under 6 months free). Tel. 0752 897 3299  

Lancaster Central Library

A Get it Loud in Libraries Concert
A bustling community hub with activities, classes and events for all ages. Meeting rooms, 34 PCs + peripherals, Wi-Fi and full disabled access. It has extensive stock of fiction, non-fiction and reference material, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs and e-books.  

The Borough

The Borough
We are a bustling Michelin-recommended pub / restaurant / hotel located in the centre of historic Lancaster, spread over two floors of a Georgian town house. The Borough has sumptuous en-suite luxury rooms perfect for any occasion. 

Skerton Community Centre

King George's Field, Lancaster, LA1 2JH. Tel: 01524 380818. Skerton Community Association offers activities and services from here to a wide range of local people across different age ranges. 

County consults on latest round of Bus Cuts; Dial-A-Ride gets boost

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 00:48: Carnforth Connect Service (withdrawn in 2012)Due to budget pressures Lancashire County Council is proposing to reduce overall support for buses to focus on maintaining services during the daytime and ensure the county's most vulnerable people can access public transport.

Local Cinema Round-up for 11th to 19 December 2013 by Peter Clarke

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 18:24: For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day listings every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, official film links and reviews. New releases this period include the much awaited second installment of Tolkien's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (12A).

Lancashire Rural Community Rallies Following B4RN Broadband Equipment Theft

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 09:49: Volunteers working to bring a high speed broadband project to rural Lancashire have rallied to keep the project on course after a robbery of vital equipment needed to lay cables. On the night pf 4th December 2013, equipment was stolen from a locked trailer belonging to the Broadband for the Rural North community broadband project.

Girl, 14, assaulted in Morecambe

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 08:37: Police are appealing for information after a 14 year old girl was assaulted and had money stolen in Morecambe. Around 9.45pm on Monday 2nd December the teenager was walking along Queen Street when she passed a group of teenagers. As she reached the Premier Shop she was pushed to the floor from behind and was then scratched and kicked before having money and her bus pass stolen.

Review: Simόn Bolívar String Quartet at Live at LICA

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 01:00: Simόn Bolívar String QuartetSimόn Bolívar String Quartet at Live at LICA Thursday, 5 December 2013 in the Great Hall, Lancaster University, Reviewed by Sally Ryde I feared these four musicians would be too young to deliver the exquisite musical experience that only a chamber music ensemble of many years standing can do.

Morecambe man imprisoned for robbery and burglaries in hometown

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 16:49: Paul MossPaul Moss, a 42-year-old man from Morecambe was today imprisoned for a total of four years and nine months for a robbery on an 84-year-old woman, trespassing with intent to steal and handling stolen goods. Moss, from Morecambe, but of no fixed address, was sentenced to three years and nine months’ imprisonment at Preston Crown Court having pleaded guilty of committing a robbery.

The Duo back in Lancaster for festive gig

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 12:18: News reaches us of a fab’n’whizzo of folk event to keep you amused and happy between Christmas and New Year. Wow, you say, what can that be? Well…. The Duo – From Folk to Floyd will be playing at the Golden Lion (Moor Lane, Lancaster) on Saturday 28th December 2013.

The Storm Surge: A Tale of Two Morecambe Bay Towns

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 10:08: Morecambe, Thursday 5th December as the westerlies pushed the surge. Image: William Oliphant Grange-over Sands, Thursday 5th December. Image: Beth Pipe (@CumbrianRambler) When the "storm surge" hit Morecambe Bay last Thursday, the media's focus was on the worst that Nature threw at the coastline and how it affected its inhabitants and property - but not every town suffered.

Junction 33 Roadworks begin this week

Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 06:50: The Highways Agency is proceeding with its project is taking place to repair bridges carrying the M6 over local roads, with work near Junction 33 starting on 9th December. The work involves routine concrete repairs and installing new safety barriers along the southbound carriageway just north of Junction 33. The work is due to be completed by Friday 20 December.

Clear up well under way after major storm hits Lancaster and Morecambe area

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 14:31: Council staff are busy cleaning up after the storm today - a full team were at work clearing leaf fall in Skerton before it blocked drains this morning Lancaster City Council staff are working hard clearing up the aftermath of Thursday’s storm. High winds caused disruption as they battered the district, bringing down trees in place like Grimshaw Lane, and causing damage to buildings.

The Great Northern Gas Gala holding out at Barton Moss

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 14:16: The Northern Gas Gala is the name given to the anti-fracking protest camp outside the newIGas drilling exploration plant at Barton Moss, near the M62 at Salford. The Camp campaign group is asking for donations to help cover campaign expenses and maximise the reach of the campaign. Please visit donate or see account details below.

Optical equipment stolen from Morecambe opticians

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 12:20: Police are appealing for information after thousands of pounds worth of equipment was stolen from an opticians’ in Morecambe. Sometime between 5.00pm on Tuesday 3rd December and 9.00am the following morning, somebody entered Moon and Coxhill Opticians on Lancaster Road, Torrisholme.

Praying Shell sculpture unveiled on Morecambe coastal path

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 12:03: 'Praying Shell' by Anthony PadgettA new sculpture has been unveiled on the coastal pathway out by Red Bank Farm(Archers Cafe) just north of Morecambe at Bolton-le-Sands.

Woman found in distressed state in Lancaster

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 23:05: Detectives are appealing for information after a woman was found in a distressed state in Lancaster. Around 3.00am on Thursday 5th December, a 22 year old woman was found by a man on Caton Road who had concerns for her welfare. The woman was taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary, although at this stage it is unclear as to exactly what has happened to her.

Government announces business rates to be frozen to boost local traders, but also raises pension age, caps welfare spending

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 15:10: The government has unveiled changes to the business rates system in its Autumn Statement today, which it claims will cut taxes, supporting the North West’s small businesses and high streets – and which might mean empty shops will see new use.

Mad Hatters Celebrate Tea Party Success

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 14:08: The Lancaster Morecambe Mad Hatters are very pleased at the warm reception their week of mental health awareness events received last week in Lancaster Morecambe.

Wild weather hits Lancaster and Morecambe

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 13:58: The River Lune earlier today as the largest storm surge in 60 years hit. Photo courtesy Michael Yates PhotographyThe largest storm surge in 60 years on the River Lune has caused some flooding today while, elsewhere, Morecambe sea front was hit by gale force winds and other storm damage caused problems across the district.

Local Cinema Round-up for 4th to 12 December 2013 by Peter Clarke

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 18:12: For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day listings every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up and reviews. New releases this period include an excellent Disney animation with Frozen (PG), and a re-release of the classic Mary Poppins (U).

Lancaster police hunt car thief after burglary on Balmoral Road

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 12:16: Police are appealing for information after a car was stolen following a sneak in burglary at a house in Lancaster last month. At some time between 8.00pm on10th November and 8.00am on 11th November, the offender entered a house on Balmoral Road through an unlocked rear door and went into the kitchen and took car keys and a mobile phone.

Meet the Makers are coming to town

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 23:03: Meet the Makers, who will be visiting Lancaster's St. Nicholas Arcades over the weekends of 13th-15th and 20th-23rd December, are a group of talented, like-minded individuals who live in the city and the surrounding towns and villages promoting handmade goods and crafts.

Lancaster's 'Three Tier Forum' opens doors to public for the first time

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 14:06: People in Lancaster district will have the chance to see local democracy at work when an innovative meeting is opened to the public for the first time. From its next meeting on Monday 9th December, Lancaster's three tier forum, which brings together county, district and parish councillors, will be open to the public.

University of Cumbria chosen by NHS to train specialist cancer staff

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 11:13: The University of Cumbria will soon be helping to ease the shortage of specialist cancer staff in the NHS after it was announced as the sole provider of a new national training course based on its Lancaster campus.

Council launches parking strategy consultation, charges to be reviewed

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 10:52: Lancaster City Council is inviting comments on its draft parking strategy for the district, which includes a potential review of parking charges and changes to regulations that mean the County Council is now in charge of maintaining (and creating) resident parking schemes. The draft strategy was approved by the council’s Cabinet in October and is now open to public consultation.

Support local businesses this Saturday

Monday, December 2, 2013 - 15:00: Businesses in the Lancaster district are gearing up for the first ever Small Business Saturday UK, a nationwide event taking place on Saturday 7th December to champion local independent businesses. Lancaster City Council is supporting the event by encouraging as many small businesses as possible to offer special promotions.

City Council continues long-running battle to recover £6 million lost in Icelandic bank collapse

Monday, December 2, 2013 - 13:30: (Updated 14:00): At a time when Lancaster City Council faces swingeing cuts in its funding from the government, it's good to learn that is is still expecting the return of the majority of the £6 million caught up in the Icelandic banking collapse back in October 2008 – although exactly when remains unclear.