North Meols - The community website for the village of Banks andf Crossens near Southport
Local village news from Banks, Southport
Events in and around Banks, Southport
Local serices and businesses serving Banks, Southport
Local History, Family History and Genealogy
Banks Fracking News


Service Provider Hubmaker
© 2001-2017
All rights reserved

Privacy Policy

North Meols 2004 News Archive
Tribute to Cllr Robert Hodge

Source West Lancs District Council 17/12/04:

It is with great regret and sadness that we have to announce the sudden death of one of the North West's longest serving elected members, Cllr Robert Hodge.

Robert gave a lifetime of dedicated public service, serving on West Lancashire District Council, Lancashire County Council and also as a long-serving member of Tarleton Parish Council.

Robert was first elected to the District Council in 1973. He quickly rose through the ranks becoming leader of the Conservative Group and District Council, with a similar distinction as leader of the Conservative Group on Lancashire County Council.

Politically, Robert had many interests but his greatest passion was housing. One of his greatest achievements was the unparalleled range of sheltered housing accommodation provided for the elderly in West Lancashire, which was directly as a result of Robert's leadership. Robert's interest in this field was also inspired by his time spent in steering Skelmersdale through its early years when he was a senior member of the Skelmersdale Development Corporation Board.

Robert's record of public service also saw him serve many years as a Magistrate and as Chairman of the Chorley Bench. He was also a member of the old Health Authority.

His long service was recognised when he was elected Chairman of the Council. He was indeed "the father of the Council" and was often fondly thought of as "Mr West Lancashire".

While Robert's community achievements were many, he will be best remembered for his sheer humanity and friendship he displayed towards people. He was also a very committed Christian and he was a well-known preacher on the Methodist circuits.

Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this very sad time.

Cllr Geoff M. Roberts, Leader of the Council, said: "Robert's passing away is an immense loss to the District Council. He was a guiding light for so many years. One of his unique gifts was not only to know what was the right thing to do but to do it in the right way. "

"He leaves a gap which will never be fully filled."

SCHOOLS REPORT - Could do better?

The controversial annual school "league" tables for England have been published, showing how well pupils did in their national curriculum tests.

The first table below shows how our local secondary schools compared to all the 93 schools that fall within the Lancashire Education Authority area.

Our second table shows the points attained by our local primary schools. Primary schools are ranked on their "aggregate" scores - the total out of 300 across all three test subjects. The average score for Lancashire was 243 with the national average being 237.

Click on the School name to go to a comprehensive breakdown of the results provided by the BBC.

Local Secondary Schools
Complete list LEA Secondary Schools
Rating (Out of 93)
Hutton Church of England Grammar School
All Hallows Catholic High School
Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Language College
Penwortham Girls' High School
Tarleton High School
Balshaw's Church of England High School
Priory Technology College, Penwortham
Burscough Priory High School
Glenburn High School
Worden High School

Combined Score
(LEA Av 243)
Little Hoole Primary School
Tarleton Holy Trinity CofE Primary School
Tarleton Community Primary School
Mere Brow Church of England Primary School
Rufford CofE School

Are you aged between 12 and 18, live in the Parish of North Meols or in the Meols area of Southport and attend Tarleton High School?

Do you fancy going on an adventure holiday with 40 other young people?

Banks Piv Posse is a newly formed group who have obtained funding from Awards for All Northwest to go on an adventure holiday.

The group holiday to Normandy will take place 29th July to 5th August 2005 and there are only a few places left, so act quickly if you are interested.

The holiday is organised through a company, Acorn Adventure, who are experienced in running programmes for schools and youth groups. The company offer a range of activities, which are aimed at developing the personal skills of young people, which they have been operating since 1982.

All volunteers going on the holiday will be CRB checked and Acorn staff are recruited in the UK and are also CRB checked.

The total cost of the adventure holiday is £320. The cost to young people will be £120 this will include travel by coach to Portsmouth for a channel crossing to Cherbourg and onward travel to the Acorn Village at Hauteville Sur Mer. The accommodation is in a tented village, the tents have beds and wooden floors, with a central marquee for meals and the appropriate shower/toilet facilities.

If you would like any further details please email email BPP or ring Nadine Ashcroft on 01772 811552.


Lancashire Constabulary’s Southern and Central Divisions have joined forces to open Lancashire’s second Public Protection Unit (PPU) as part of the Constabulary’s drive to protect people from dangerous offenders.

The Public Protection Unit will open on Monday 22 November and will operate initially from two sites one in Ormskirk serving the people of South Ribble, Chorley and West Lancs (Southern Division) and the second site from HQ serving the people of Preston (Central Division).

Following on from recommendations in the Victoria Climbie Inquiry Report and after a successful pilot in Accrington, the Constabulary, after an in depth evaluation is in the process of establishing a number of Public Protection Units. These units will bring together various disciplines including family protection, domestic violence and dangerous offender teams.

Approximately 26 officers from Southern, Central and Force Headquarters will work from the re-furbished accommodation at Ormskirk and HQ. The main aim of the unit is to protect the most vulnerable members of the community and to reduce the risk of abuse by those who present a significant threat.

For Detective Chief Inspector Graham Gardner and Detective Inspector Graham Herrmann the opening of the unit will play a crucial role in improving the exchange of information between officers working with vulnerable children and adults, victims of Domestic Violence and Dangerous Offenders. The new unit will also provide other agencies with a ‘one-stop’ point of contact in all three areas, which will aim to break down communication barriers and enhance information sharing.

DCI Gardner commented: “People who suffer these types of awful crimes are often the most vulnerable in our communities. Anything we can do to improve our service to them should be seized upon. The creation of a Public Protection Unit is the start point to closer working with other agencies and voluntary groups. We will continue to improve our efforts to arrest and imprison criminals intent on attacking those least able to defend themselves”

Detective Inspector Graham Herrmann said; “ The PPU will allow the Constabulary to have a better platform for implementing the recently introduced Crime and Victims Bill. The units over-arching principle will be to protect the most vulnerable members of the communities of the Southern and Central divisional areas and to prevent their abuse by those who present a significant risk or threat.”

Members of the public are advised that with effect from Monday 22 November they will be able to contact officers from the Domestic Violence Team, Dangerous Offenders Team and Family Protection Unit on the following telephone numbers:-

Southern Division
(Covering South Ribble, Chorley and West Lancashire)
01695 566321

Central Division
(Covering Preston)
01772 416232
Do You Fancy Helping in Your Community?

A youth group has been set up in Banks to help the young people have a place to go and to socialise in a safe environment.

Volunteers are needed to help open a facility at least once a week and to help with trips and activities.

This is a rewarding opportunity to work with young people and help provide them with the means to move forward successfully in as their lives develop.

Without help from volunteers Youth Groups like Banks Piv Posse cannot survive. Ideally we would ask no more than 2 hours per month from volunteers, training and support will be given.

If you require more information please contact Rod Sears, Clerk to North Meols Parish Council, on 01704 533281 or Nadine Ashcroft, Youth Liaison North Meols Parish Council, on 01772 811552.

£80 Fines For Firework Misuse
Police in West Lancashire will be launching Operation Cascade this week to target and reduce juvenile nuisance and anti-social behaviour throughout the Halloween and Bonfire season.

Using new legislation that came into effect last week, the police are warning that the misuse of fireworks can not only be damaging to your health but to your pockets too, since officers can now fine youngsters under the Fixed Penalty Notices for Disorder (PND’s) scheme.

The scheme introduced in April 2004, takes account of the new firework legislation and means that £80 fines could be issued to anyone committing the following offences:-

• Throwing Fireworks
• Breaching a fireworks curfew
• Being in possession of a category 4 firework (a display type firework) either in a public place or not
• Being under 18 and in possession of an adult firework in a public place

Inspector for Skelmersdale, James Lee commented,” Police will be using this new legislation and those people found to be committing these offences can expect to receive a fine for £80. We want people to be able to enjoy Bonfire Night in safety and this is why any anti-social behaviour and juvenile nuisance will be dealt with appropriately.”

As well as enforcing this new legislation, Police will be working in partnership with local Fire Chiefs, Local Authorities and Trading Standards Officers to reduce the nuisance caused by fireworks and the number of offences committed. This will involve all retail shops licensed to sell fireworks in the West Lancs area being jointly visited by police and Trading Standards. Details of the initiative will be provided along with the enforcement of the legislation in relation to the storage and sale of fireworks. Any shops found to be selling fireworks to persons under the age of 18 will be referred to Trading Standards for investigation and possible prosecution.

Information regarding unauthorised “bonfire sites” will be forwarded to the relevant agencies who will attend and assess the bonfire.

Letters will be sent to schools informing them of Operation Cascade as well as advising on firework law and safety. The Emergency Services Community Support Officer will also visit some primary schools to talk to the children about Firework safety.

The police will also be using their Ringmaster messaging system to send messages to Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators giving details of the initiative and requesting the assistance of neighbours in the identification of apparent breaches of firework legislation and bonfire sites.

Inspector Phil Melling, Geographic Inspector for Ormskirk and Burscough commented, “Police officers, Special Constables, CBM’s and PCSO’s will be working together and conducting extra high visibility patrols of areas that have been indentified as “hotspots” in relation to incidents of nuisance and disorder. Fireworks will be seized from those people under the age of 18 who are in possession of a firework in a public place. Relevant details will be obtained for the juvenile referral scheme and where appropriate fixed penalty notices will be issued.”

Getting back to work
Dear Editor

I work for Shaw Trust as a Personal Adviser covering the West Lancashire area.

Shaw Trust is a national charity established over 21 years ago. Our aim is to support people with disabilities or health issues into training/employment.

As you may or may not be aware, these people face many barriers when trying to find work, not only from employers and other organizations, but also due to a lack of confidence, work experience or low self-esteem.

We at Shaw Trust are committed to supporting these people in every way we can so they can gain, not only employment and income, but independence and self-worth and a chance to live their lives as an integrated part of society.

If a person is in receipt of any of the following benefits then they are eligible to get one on one support from Shaw Trust Employment.

• Incapacity Benefit
• Severe Disablement Allowance
• Income Support with a Disability Premium
• Housing or Council Tax with a Disability Premium
• War pension with an Un-employability Supplement
• Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit with an Unemployment Supplement
• Disability Living Allowance

Shaw Trust Employment can support individuals with any of the following steps:

Access between £20 - £200 when the client starts work.
Identifying a career or education path to pursue.
Financial support for training, clothing for work, equipment and travel to and from interviews.
One to one support in completing application forms, writing letters of application and creating an updated CV.
Liaising with benefit providers to protect benefit payments once the client starts work.
Service of an Occupational Psychologist
Permitted work extension from the normal 26 weeks to 52 weeks
Ongoing support for up to 6 months when in employment plus a sustainability award

Anybody wishing for further information can call freephone 0800 085 1001 or check our website.You can also find out more about our services via your Disability Employment Adviser at your local JobCentrePlus office.

Janet Gaskin
Shaw Trust

Kerbside Recycling Collections To Increase

West Lancashire district council is about to send out leaflets to residents flagging up a new multi-material kerbside recycling service that will be provided for three quarters of the district from October.

The council has used a £300,000 Defra grant to purchase two new kerbsider vehicles and 40,000 blue-and-yellow boxes for households to deposit cans, glass bottles and jars and plastic bottles each fortnight.

Announcing the new service, the council's environment portfolio holder, Cllr John Baldock said: "Recent public consultation confirmed that the people of West Lancashire are concerned about their environment and want to be able to recycle their waste.

"This initiative shows that we are committed to providing even more opportunities for residents to help preserve the environment."

The council already collects green garden waste from about 10,000 homes in the Rufford, Aughton, Banks, Tarleton and Hesketh Bank areas each fortnight, providing residents with wheeled bins. Fortnightly blue bag collections for paper were extended and re-launched for 38,000 homes in 2002, with a special mobile service for parts of Skelmersdale that were unsuitable for the collection service.

The council recycled about 8.5% of its household waste in 2002/03, and said it is "well on the way" to achieving a 27% target rate by 2005/06.

Listen Radio Lancashire on t'internet

Radio Lancashire is the latest local radio station to go live as part of the BBC putting all local radio stations available over the internet. So expat bonksers can Click here, wait few seconds for it to load and then listen to Radio Lancashire live over t'internet. If you do experience any problems getting BBC radio over the internet please click here for help.

BBC Radio Lancashire - live local radio over the internet

Bevan Boys, American Forces and Land Girls sought

Dear Editor,

I am the Chairman of SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Families Association - Forces Help) Lancashire. I am on the Blackpool organising Committee for the 60th Anniversary of the end of the War that will be held on 10 July 2005. The intention, at the moment, is that there will be a parade something similar to the one held on Horse Guards Parade in London in November of each year.

I am trying to contact local "Bevan Boys", "Land Girls" and any members of the American Forces who were stationed in the North West to see if they would like to either attend or take part in the Parade.

Do you know of any and if so can you please ask them to contact me either on this e mail address or by phone, at home, 01772 863707 or the SSAFA Lancashire Office on 01772 260462.

Many Thanks,

John Kiely


North Meols Parish Plan will be launched on Sunday 4th July at 1pm at North Meols Community and Leisure Centre, Greaves Hall Avenue, Banks.

The launch is being combined with an Open Day for the North Meols Community & Leisure Centre and will include a demonstration by the Nifty Fifties, free use of sports facilities (excluding fitness suite), face painting and refreshments. The centre will be open from 12pm until 4pm.

During the Community Audit carried out last year many needs were identified by the community of North Meols and the Parish Plan funded by The Countryside Agency and North Meols Parish Council includes a comprehensive Action Plan that will be used to address these needs.

Each household will receive a summary of the Parish Plan that includes an aerial view of the parish of North Meols and the Action Plan.

Areas identified in the Action Plan include members of the communities wishes to see a reduction in the speeding cars and HGV traffic, more facilities for the young, open spaces to be retained and many other items covering a variety of issues.

All members of the community are invited to attend the launch and if any one needs a lift to the launch they should call 01704 213136.

Take the time to come along and find out more about what has been happening in North Meols to get to this momentous occasion of launching this most important document.

Latest Parish headcount information

The count of all people and households in the ONS-2001 Census key statistics.

North Meols

Latest Planning Applications

Planning Applications received between 05/05/04 to 11/05/04 are now posted on the West Lancs District Council website - click here to view.

Latest Planning Applications

Application No.: 8/2004/0571
Location: 9, Church Road, Banks
Proposal: Two storey side extension
Applicant: Mr S Roebuck, 9 Church Road, Banks

Application No.: 8/2004/0572
Location: 4, Glebe Lane, Banks
Proposal: First floor rear extension
Applicant: Mr & Mrs A Dodgson, 4 Glebe Lane, Banks

Application No.: 8/2004/0574
Location: 6,Fleetwood Drive,Banks
Proposal: Single storey extension and conservatory at rear. Detached double garage.
Applicant: Mr J Gearie, 6 Fleetwood Drive, Banks

Latest Planning Applications

Application No.: 8/2004/0491
Location: Land rear of 17, Church Road, Banks
Proposal: Conversion of outbuildings into two self contained accommodation units to let and
two garages.
Applicant: Mr & Mrs J Broadley, 4 Shore Road, Hesketh Bank, Preston, PR4 6RB

Application No.:8/2004/0495
Location: 57, New Lane, Banks
Proposal: Conversion of existing outbuilding to form granny flat
Applicant: Mr & Mrs J Caunce, 57 New Lane, Banks

Application No.: 8/2004/0509
Location: 68, Guinea Hall Lane, Banks
Proposal: Single storey extension to side and rear
Applicant: Mr T Murphy, 68 Guinea Hall Lane, Banks

Application No.: 8/2004/0512
Location: 32, Hoole Lane, Banks
Proposal: Variation of Condition No. 2 imposed on planning permission 8/2002/0648 to allow opening on Sundays & bank holidays 5pm until 10pm & extend the opening hours on Friday & Saturday until 11pm.
Applicant: Ms M F Greenall, 32 Hoole Lane, Banks

"Home Front" News now available on the Internet

Mere Brow Local History Society’s team of volunteers recently completed over 2 years of intensive work transcribing each of the 310 “Rector’s Weekly” World War II newsletters in order to make them accessible to everybody over the internet.

The much acclaimed newsletters were originally sent by the Rector of Tarleton, Reverend L.N. Forse, to all the local men and women serving with the forces during World War II. The newsletter provided regular updates of events “back home” in the villages of Tarleton, Hesketh Bank, Mere Brow, Sollom, Rufford, Bretherton, Hoole and Banks and also provided a conduit by which contact with family and friends also serving their country could be maintained.

Recognition of the work of the Rector and the significance of the newsletter to its recipients was widespread and similar initiatives were later introduced in many more villages across England. Over 78,000 copies of the Tarleton Rector’s weekly newsletters were posted out between 1940 and 1946. These important historical documents which captured the events, thoughts and emotions of a rural Lancashire village as the war unfolded are now available for all to read at

A handful of the newsletters remain elusive and the History Society is hoping that the raised awareness of the project may well flush out the few missing issues and, probably for the first time ever, allow a complete set of the Newsletters to be available for reading.

Plant Your Pumpkin

Late April to early May is the time for potential giant pumpkin growers to start nurturing their prize winning pumpkins if they hope to compete at the Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition in October.

To encourage more novice pumpkin growers to take part in the competition two new categories were introduced last year; one for local pumpkin growers and one for juniors. These have been retained and so the 10th Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin event will again have the three separate competitions with prizes for the winner and runners up:

Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition - October 2004

The All England Shield - Open to Anyone
The Mere Brow & District Shield - 10 mile radius of Mere Brow
Junior Shield Open to under 14s

A very warm welcome is extended to our regular contestants and novice pumpkin growers alike and it is hoped to see more of the local schools joining in the friendly rivalry this year.

For more information on the competition weigh-in event, the competition rules, advice on growing giant pumpkins and some photos of previous winners please visit the website:

Latest Planning News

Application No.: 8/2004/0403
Location: 99, Gravel Lane, Banks
Proposal: Installation of security shutters to front elevation windows and doors
Applicant: Mr I Bapu, 99 Gravel Lane, Banks

Internet bombarded by new Netsky.D virus wave

A WAVE of new computer worms and viruses has been sweeping cyberspace over the past few days, and has now reached "epidemic proportions worldwide". MX Logic, a security firm based in Denver, Colorado, said the Netsky.D worm "has reached a critical threat level, with one in every 71 emails infected by the worm". The British firm mi2g called the latest outbreak a "tsunami" of malicious computer code, or malware, saying it is "overwhelming both its victim organisations as well as anti-virus toolkit companies and security professionals across the world."

"The first two months of this year have been marked by an unrelenting onslaught of mass mailing worms and their variants, including Mydoom, Mydoom.F, Bagle and Netsky.D. We are convinced that the frequency and potency of mass mailing worms and their variants is likely to increase - making it critical that email users take every precaution to protect their inboxes," said Scott Chasin, chief technology officer, MX Logic.

Over the past days, virus fighters have battled a number of new releases of the Bagle and Netsky internet worm families, and Tuesday afternoon some 10 per cent of all emails in Europe were contaminated by bugs, statistics showed. In contrast to most other viruses, Netsky.D does not have an expiration date, and it will therefore remain a menace for some time to come, experts pointed out.

Two Storey Extension Requested

Application No.: 8/2004/0232
Location: 65, New Lane Pace, Banks
Proposal: Two storey rear extension
Applicant: Mr & Mrs Iddon, 65 New Lane Pace, Banks

Riverside Planning Permission Sought

Application No.:8/2004/0205
Location: Riverside Caravan Park, Southport New Road, Banks
Proposal: Certificate of Lawfulness - Use of land as caravan site for the stationing of up to 450 static caravans.
Applicant: Riverside Touring & Holiday Home Park, Southport New Road, Banks

Boundary Deadline Looms

Are things alright as they are or is it time for a change? Would joining Sefton really be the end of the world or would South Ribble be the best? Will any of it make a difference or will Banks be ignored by whoever is in charge?

Judgement Day nears for West Lancs District Council with only two weeks remaining in which you can submit YOUR views and feedback to the Boundary Committee on their much publicised proposed changes. Enter your feedback here.

Room with a View

Application No.: 8/2004/0079
Location: 17,Guinea Hall Mews, Banks
Proposal: Conservatory at rear
Applicant: Mr & Mrs Wilson
17 Guinea Hall Mews, Banks
Date Valid: 22/01/2004

Ooh Matron!

Application No.:8/2004/0001
Location: Land adjacent, 5 Gravel Lane,Banks
Proposal: Extensions and change of use of matrons lodge to dwelling.
Applicant: Mr T Blaine,
5 Gravel Lane, Banks.
Date Valid: 02/01/2004

Paying over the odds for your gas and electric?
Get an independent comparison of energy prices for North Meols and see just how much you could save by changing suppliers. No commitment, hassle or doorstep sales so nothing to lose!
Click Here for free independent energy price comparison
If you have anything to report in or around Banks and Crossens let us know!
Please email us with your news, events or articles.

2015 News Archive | 2014 News Archive | 2013 News Archive

2012 News | 2011 NEWS | 2010 NEWS | 2009 News | 2008 News | 2007 News | 2006 News | 2005 News | 2004 News | 2003 News