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December 2015

After the Floods: Greens Question Lancaster Flood Gate Closure Delays

Lancaster's Quay during the floods caused by Storm Desmond Green Councillor for Castle Ward Nick Wilkinsonhas written to Sir Phillip Dilley at the Environment Agency asking for an explanation as to why the flood gates along St. George's Quay, Lancaster, were not closed on the Saturday evening of the floods.

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 30th December 2015 to 7th January 2016

For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day listings of what's showing on local screens every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews. We have just two new releases over the New Year period. There is transexual drama in The Danish Girl (15) and comedy drama with Joy (12A).

Police Warning over Loyn Bridge road closure notice "tampering"

Lancaster Police have received several reports of people "tampering" with the road closures at the Loyn Bridge between Hornby and Gressingham. Drivers are being reminded the closures are there for safety reasons, and moving the signs is putting the safety of local residents at risk. Engineers are assessing the damage again today, after the north facing buttress collapsed.

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 23rd to 31st December 2015

For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day listings of what's showing on local screens every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews. There are two new releases in this pre-Christmas period, the comedy Daddy's Home (12A) and the action/drama In the Heart of the Sea (12A).

Trio wanted after Lancaster robbery on Wyresdale Road

Stolen: a red cornet during a mugging on Wyresdale RoadPolice are appealing for information after a teenager was robbed by three men in Lancaster. Around 12.40am on Friday 18th December, a 17-year-old male was walking on Wyresdale Road when he was approached by three men. One of them demanded the teenager hand over his bag while a second man tried to grab the teenager from behind.

Lancaster "blighted" by inaction on Canal Corridor site, says Lancaster Vision

Disused Mitchell's Brewery building Image courtesy British LandWith no news on its development in sight, many fear Lancaster's centre is blighted by the vacant Canal Corridor North site. Now, Lancaster Vision is arguing for a high-quality mixed development on the site: retail, housing and cultural buildings.

Lancaster University Ebola expert helps the World Health Organisation

Dr Derek Gatherer, an expert in Ebola from Lancaster University has hailed “a major step forward” in the diagnosis of the disease after working with the World Health Organisation. The WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardisation organised an international study to produce a standard test for Ebola virus infection.

Cumbria University staff donate to Lancashire flood fund

Staff at the University of Cumbria have donated £1488.54 to the Lancashire Community Foundation flood recovery appeal to support individuals and families and vital community organisations and resident groups affected by Storm Desmond. The funds were collected at staff Christmas lunches which took place on Tuesday 15, Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 December.

Woman attacked in Lancaster assault

Detectives are appealing for information after a woman was assaulted in Lancaster. Around 8.00pm on Friday 18th December, a 42-year-old woman was walking on Regent Street when a man approached her, grabbed her and attempted to drag her into an alleyway towards Portland Street and Lindow Square. The woman was pushed to the floor and kicked by the man before he ran back down the passageway.

Flood Recovery Grants Now Available

Central government has announced that local authorities will be provided with Community Grants as part of the Communities and Business Recovery Scheme. This will be equivalent to over £500 per household to help with recovery costs, such as provision of temporary accommodation.

Morecambe MP Welcomes Government Funding confirmed to help all who have been affected by flooding

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark MP has announced measures to ensure that all who have been affected by flooding are supported in the recovery process.

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 16th to 24th December 2015

For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day listings of what's showing on local screens every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews. Only one new film has been released this period, the long awaited science fiction adventure sequel Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12A).

Market Square Trees Decision to go before full Council Cabinet early next year

Lancaster Market Square. Photo: John FreemanAfter outcry over a proposal to remove the trees from Lancaster's Market Square - and the possibility that the decision would be made by just one councillor - it seems there has been a change of heart, at least as far as the decision making goes.

United Utilities bill amnesty for flooded customers

Water bills will be suspended for customers who have been forced from their homes due to storm Desmond, United Utilities confirmed last week. The North West company will suspend all charges for those who have to move out of flood hit properties, until customers are able to move back in.

The Really Heavy Greatcoat Review of the Year 2015

The Really Heavy Greatcoatby Virtual-lancaster's John Freeman and Lancaster-based artistNick Millerwas published fairly regularly for about 20 years in alternative Lancaster print titles such asOn The BeatandOff the Beatand online on

Spotlight Club Celebrates 20th Anniversary Tonight - And Renewed Arts Council Funding

Steeve the Poet at Spotlight back in 2008. Photo: John FreemanIt’s Open Mic night at tonight’s 20th Anniversary Spotlight Club at The Storey, which has just received the great news that it has successfully been granted two years funding from Arts Council England.

ENW's Goodwill Payment Scheme - and why power cut residents should claim it

If you lost power for more than 24 hours (which a lot of us in the Lancaster and Morecambe did) you can claim a one off payment from Electricity North West of £70. You need to fill in a claim form called a goodwill payment from here.

Work to switch customers back to the power grid begins tomorrow

Work to switch around 23,000 customers in Lancaster and surrounding areas back to the power grid tomorrow (Friday 11th December) - but there will be short power cuts in the process. More than 70 generators have been providing power to customers in the area since the River Lune burst its banks and flooded the main substation.

St Michael's Residents Meeting Tonight after flooding disaster

Flood defences at St. Michaels. Photo: Environment Agency North West via Twitter There will be a residents’ meeting held at The Grapes public house in St Michael's village centre at 6pm this evening (Thursday 10th December).