Meols 2006 News Archive
FOR HUNDRED END ASSAULT
male is described as being white and aged about
40, he was 5ft 5 with dark hair with a beard wearing
in West Lancashire have released an e-fit
of a man they want to speak to in connection
with an assault.
incident took place on Wednesday 3rd January
at approx 17.20hrs when a 16-year-old
female was assaulted. A male had engaged
her in conversation whilst she was travelling
on the bus from Preston to Southport.
to the distraction of the male, the female
missed her bus stop at Marsh Road with
the junction of Hundred End Lane in Tarleton
and got off the bus 300 yards down the
road. The male followed her and grabbed
her pulling her to the ground and threatening
her. He made off when the girl offered
in connection with assault at Hundred
similar incidents have also taken place in the
Merseyside area both on Boxing Day with the
offender’s description being very similar.
Merseyside police have also released an e-fit
and description on their website and it is believed
that this is the same person.
Ed Clayton commented,” We would like to
hear from anyone that was perhaps travelling
on the same bus or may have seen the male and
female as they got off the bus. The girl was
fortunately not hurt but was very shaken up
by the incident.”
with any information is asked to contact Southern
Communications Centre on 0845 1 25 35 45 and
leave a message for DC Clayton who is investigating
DRIVE CAMPAIGN REMINDER
in remind Partygoers about Drink Drive Campaign
in run up to Christmas
people in Lancashire get ready for the Christmas
holidays and attend their Christmas parties
this week, police in Southern Division are reminding
partygoers not to drink and drive this Christmas.
the fact that figures released in Southern Division
half way through the Drink Drive campaign, would
indicate that the majority of people are taking
head of the warning, there are still a minority
that don’t. Out of the 222 breath tests
that have been carried out on drivers so far
11 of these have proved positive.
Steve Moon who is in charge of the ANPR team
that are involved in the campaign commented,”
The figures would indicate that so far people
seem to be acting responsibly and taking head
of the warning, however, with Christmas and
New Year fast approaching the probability of
a drink related accident either this week or
next is quite high.
year’s campaign is acting mainly on intelligence
received from members of the public and we would
like them to continue passing this information
on to us. If they see something happening that
would cause immediate danger i.e. someone getting
into a car to drive who is not in a fit state
to do so they should ring 999. If they have
information about a person that drinks and drives
or drive’s the morning after they should
ring this information into Southern Communications
Centre on 0845 1 25 35 45. Within a maximum
of 4 hours this information will have been input
onto police databases so it can be acted upon.
There is also the Crimestoppers number on 0800
555 111 – which people can report information
on totally anonymously.”
activity is all part of the forcewide Christmas
Campaign Operation Shepherd, a crime reduction
and community reassurance campaign that aims
to tackle and prevent alcohol related crime
and anti-social behaviour."
your Christmas but make sure it is a safe and
CRIME PREVENTION NOTICE
make all vulnerable and elderly residents aware
that there has been three incidents of bogus
officials in the Parbold and Burscough areas,
but could well occurr in any part of West Lancashire.
Offenders have targetted elderly persons living
alone, with the excuses of looking for a lost
dog and trying to gain entry into the house
by stating they where from United Utilities.
Once inside the house they have searched rooms
and stolen any cash they can find.
are described as three white males one taller
than the other two. One male is in his thirties
not further described. The taller of the three
is of stocky build and has short blonde hair,
wearing on these occassions a long sleeved pink
and red striped shirt and pale blue denim jeans.
The third male was wearing a dark coat. The
vehicle they where in was a slver Ford Transit
type vehicle with a W registration. If there
are any sightings of similar described persons
or vehicle acting suspiciously or you have information
regarding them, please contact the Police on
0845 1253545 or Crimestoppers on 0800111555.
CAR IS STOLEN AS FROSTY WEATHER BITES
was only a matter of time” this was the
comment being made by a police Sergeant today
after a careless motorist had their car stolen.
across Southern Division are warning car owners
to take more care over their car security, in
an attempt to cut down on any further incidents
of auto-crime over the winter months as the
frosty mornings set in.
incident that happened this morning took place
at approx 7.40am at Vicarage Close in Adlington
when the offender stole a black Mitsubishi warrior
valued at £20,000. The aggrieved had left
their car unattended with the engine switched
on as it was defrosting.
year the police issue advice but are disappointed
to see motorists making the same mistakes despite
their warnings. This year they are again stressing
the following messages to motorists across the
frosty mornings don’t leave insecure
cars unattended whilst defrosting. Many motorists
will start their car and leave it running
with the fan turned on to help the defrosting
process whilst they go inside. If you cannot
garage your car overnight, either stay with
it whilst the windscreen clears or cover it
with a protective sheet so that the windscreen
does not get frosted up.
the engine running whilst out of the car on
a public highway is an offence known as “quitting”
and this gives criminals the opportunity to
take the vehicle. Quite a few people do this
whilst calling into a newsagents first thing
in the morning but will also leave their keys
in a switched off vehicle when filling up
with petrol – an open invitation to
an opportunist thief.
companies request details of auto crimes from
the police to assess each individual’s
claim. These details help to establish whether
the aggrieved has been contributory to the
loss and ultimately whether the insurance
company will pay out.
the run up to Christmas do not leave valuables
on display in your car and avoid leaving bags
of presents on view. This also applies not
only to Christmas presents but other items
such as laptops and bags – if you don’t
need it don’t leave it in your car.
your car is safe, secure and properly alarmed
at all times. Leaving high powered and valuable
vehicles on driveways attracts attention and
incidents have happened where thieves have
broken into insecure properties and stolen
the keys to vehicles – these crimes
have not just happened overnight. Keep your
property secure and your car keys out of sight.
Warren Atkinson, Geographic Co-ordinator for
the Chorley area commented, “We are in
our first real cold snap of the winter and it
amazed me how many people leave their vehicles
running and unattended when they are defrosting.
It doesn’t matter whether you leave your
car for 30 seconds or 3 minutes, we have offenders
that travel over from Manchester and Liverpool
to specifically commit these crimes and they
don’t need long to do it.
don't think that they won't visit your area
- thieves travel everywhere to carry out these
types of offences and unfortunately they are
usually successful in finding what they are
looking for. It is far easier for them to steal
a vehicle with keys than without."
Prevention advice and leaflets on vehicle security
can be obtained from your local Police Station
PUMPKINS COMPETITION CLOSELY CONTESTED
BROW GIANT PUMPKINS | NFU
MUTUAL | DUNE
FM | NSPCC
up-side of a very poor growing year was
that the 2006 Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition
was one of the closest competitions ever
Turley of Dune FM compered the weigh-in
which this year was held in aid of the NSPCC.
Spectators were treated to a nail biting
contest which was left undecided until the
very last pumpkin had been on the scales.
the end it was James Houghton of Scarisbrick
beat off all the competition to win the
NFU Mutual Insurance All England Shield
and the Mere Brow and District
Shield with a 541lb whopper.
HALL TO BE DEMOLISHED
of Neglect, Arson and Vandalism, the Greaves Hall
Mansion, Banks, has lost its "Grade Two"
listed status and is to be demolished reports
Whilst Greaves Hall Mansion has been heading this
way for years now evertheless many local residents
will have worked there in various capacities and
will recall the handcrafted fireplaces, panelling,
staircases etc & have seen the "Hammer
Beam" roof & minstrels gallery in the
main hall, As well as recalling the lovingly maintained
gardens surrounding the building in its NHS "Heyday".
Though the mansion is not as old as Bank Hall
it has, sadly gone largely the same way. Does
that tell us something of "Heritage"
in 2006 Lancashire? - or perhaps the impotence
of both WLDC, English Heritage, Lancashire County
Council and our national laws to protect such
The failure to find a "Community" use
for the building and to secure its future by the
NHS on their leaving, seems to leave little credit
on a number of groups and individuals.
Despite its long service to the community, it
was cast off like an old shoe. The building [for
its epitaph] is a little over 100 years old and
was constructed by a branch of the Scarisbrick
Family when they were the "Richest Commoners"
I am not certain as to who the architect was,
however they employed Augustus Pugin [of Palace
of Westminster fame] in their other edifice in
Lancashire, "Scarisbrick Hall" the quality
of the workmanship being at least as good at Greaves
Hall. Another northwest building by him is the
R. C. Church at Cheadle.
Perhaps the best that can be hoped is
that some of the contents might be "Salvaged"
and carefully re-used elsewhere.
AVAILABLE ON ALTON TOWERS TRIP
is a trip to Alton Towers for young people aged
12 or over on Wednesday 30th August. The cost,
including transport, is £15. There are a
few remaining places but the consent forms and
money need to be in by Friday 25th August at the
latest. Transport will pick up from Banks, Hesketh
Bank and Tarleton.
Why not take the opportunity to have a fun day
out with friends the week before school starts
further details and a consent form please ring
APPEAL AFTER BURGLARIES
temperatures rise Police appeal to the Public
to keep properties secure.
across Southern Division are appealing to the
public not to become complacent about home security
during the hot weather. The warning comes after
figures revealed that over 40% of burglaries committed
this month in Southern Division are as a result
of insecure premises.
are usually entering properties via insecure doors
and windows with opportunist thief’s committing
these “sneak in “ type burglaries.
The police are strongly urging members of the
public not to be complacent with household security
especially as the hot weather continues. "Even
if you are in the house get into the habit of
locking doors behind you and make sure they are
locked at night. If you are in the garden make
sure the front of your house is secure. At night
close windows downstairs and if you have the facility
to lock windows open do so. Also keep sheds and
gates to premises locked especially at night."
MERGER FIASCO DEEPENS
Blair has today added to the ongoing police merger
fiasco by saying that police mergers are "not
off the agenda", despite the collapse on
cost grounds of the flagship Lancashire and Cumbria
the Home Office minister Tony McNulty had said
"the definitive answer" to whether there
will be mergers "is no".
Home Office's plans for police force mergers had
been opposed by many police forces with Lancashire
and Cumbria being the only two forces actively
seeking a merger.
Monday the Chair of Lancashire Police Authority,
Cllr Malcolm Doherty, said: “We feel badly
let down. We have done everything in our power
to get this merger to work. We now have to find
other ways of dealing with the problem that Government
has left us with.”
Chief Constable for Lancashire Constabulary, Steve
Finnigan, said: “Staff in both Cumbria and
Lancashire Constabularies have worked very hard
over recent months towards achieving a successful
amalgamation which would be in the interests of
both areas." "I share the Police Authority’s
extreme disappointment. We were happy to take
forward this proposal as a pathfinder and the
fact that the Home Office have been unable to
meet the conditions set by the Police Authority
is very disappointing and a real missed opportunity."
The Lancashire and Cumbria decision is a big victory
for the party's prospective parliamentary candidate
for South Ribble, Lorraine Fullbrook who has consistently
questioned the claims by local police chiefs that
the merger would have no significant impact on
council tax and that start-up costs would be manageable.
She also raised concerns about the operational
consequences of a merger fearing "a damaging
reduction in performance, a collapse in neighbourhood
policing, and a significant loss of accountability".
Lorraine said "This is a victory for commonsense.
When I first challenged the Police Authority they
said that I didn't know what I was talking about.
Yet, I was the only person to consistently and
persistently challenge all their bland and misleading
promises that the proposed merger would cost nothing
and would be good for the people I hope to represent
in Parliament after the next election."
COSTS UP AGAIN
announces price rises for all customers in spite
of £805m profit announcement less than a
weeks after ScottishPower announced a massive
39% increase in operating profits the energy giant
has become the first major supplier to announce
a second round of energy price increases in 2006.
The timing of these announcements will evoke little
sympathy or understanding from ScottishPower’s
5.25 million customers who will be hit by significant
bill increases of £90 for gas and £35
for electricity and who will see their annual
bills soar from £858 to £983.
increase in gas prices and 10% for electricity
from 10th July 2006
hike in gas prices, totalling 84% by ScottishPower
to pay an extra £125 a year for energy
bills, taking the average energy bill to £983
HATS IN THE RING
May 4th vote for West Lancashire District Concil
North Meols Ward is set to be hotly contested as
four people have been nominated for election.
John Baldock (Conservative Party), Portfolio holder
for Recycling, has put himself forward for re-election
with Joan Draper (independent) of Schwarzman Drive
Banks, Sarah Keegan (Labour Party) of Skemersdale
and Nicholas Kemp (Green Party) of Hesketh Bank
all contesting the position.
Lancashire District Council
CHALLENGE FOR CHILDREN
competition to beat the record for the heaviest
pumpkin was officially launched today at Tarleton
from the High School and Tarleton Holy Trinity
Primary School planted their pumpkin seeds
under the watchful eye of competition organiser
Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition has become an
institution in the North West with competitors from
the small agricultural village and its surrounds
using fair means - and occasionally foul - to attempt
to grow the heaviest pumpkin.
year's winning pumpkin was a massive 702lbs and
the year before the winner was a staggering 912lbs
which shattered the UK heaviest pumpkin record.
This year the competition organisers are joining
forces with the NSPCC and throwing down the gauntlet
to children across the country, challenging youngsters
to get involved and raise money for the children's
charity at the same time.
Wilson of Mere Brow, said: " This is the twelfth
annual Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition and it
promises to be the most competitive yet as we have
decided to this year include prize money to the
living within a ten mile radius of Mere Brow can
compete for the Mere Brow & District Shield,
but anyone can enter the All England Shield competition.
variety of pumpkin we encourage people to grow are
'Atlantic Giants' and they grow so fast you can
virtually watch it happening. Some people take the
competition very seriously and keep the location
of their pumpkin a closely guarded secret. Giant
Pumpkin growers will often try all sorts of weird
and wonderful techniques to get an edge over their
fellow competitors - last year one competitor fed
his pumpkin just Guinness directly from the barrel.
It didn't win but it grew well!"
year we wanted to get more children involved; it
is fantastic for children because the pumpkins grow
so fast it holds their interest and the rate of
growth can be almost magical. We contacted the NSPCC
because we wanted children to benefit all ways round"
Russel, Community Appeals Manager for the NSPCC
in Lancashire, said "We are really grateful
that the competition organisers thought of the NSPCC.
The proceeds will make a real difference to the
lives of vulnerable children."
details of how to enter the competition and tips
on growing your pumpkin log on to the competition
website at www.merebrowgiantpumpkins.com
Brow Giant Pumpkins | NSPCC
– groups of friends at breaking point for
new television programme.
Friends Like These…
4 is currently looking for people to take
part in a brand new primetime series.
one of your friends or work colleagues just a little
too assertive, too opinionated and too controlling?
Is this person making you and your other friends’
lives a misery? Do you often find yourself saying,
“I can’t believe she just said that
/ did that!” Are you at breaking point?
new programme will take this individual, put them
through their paces and show them how their over-domineering
traits can be turned into an asset – hopefully
making your group a happier place for everyone.
can nominate someone individually or as a group
and will be as much a part of the programme as the
find out more, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 020 7307 2720. All emails and calls are
confidential and no commitment is necessary at this
POLICE CHIEF TAKES OVER
Superintendent Irene Curtis has taken over
as the new Divisional Commander for Southern
Division of Lancashire Constabulary. Chief
Superintendent Chris Weigh who held the position
prior to Mrs Curtis has now moved to HQ at
Hutton where he will lead the team in charge
of the amalgamation of Cumbria and Lancashire
her arrival within the Division Chief Superintendent
Curtis commented, “I
am delighted to have been appointed to this
position and I am thoroughly looking forward
to working in this division. Mr Weigh leaves
the Division in excellent shape and I am determined
to build upon his considerable successes.”
GAS ADD TO ENERGY MISERY
price rise makes the average household energy bills
for British Gas customers leap 66% from £606
to £1005 since start of 2004.
Gas has today announced a record price hike since
privatisation - its fourth price rise since 2004,
and its second in six months. It has increased gas
prices by 22% and electricity prices by 22% for
its customers. The increases will add £1.08
billion to UK domestic gas bills, taking the average
household energy bill past the £1000 mark
for the first time ever.
The announcement comes as no surprise as Centrica,
British Gas’ parent company, had already stated
that its pricing policy for 2006 would be to pass
on the full cost of wholesale increases to its customers.
However, like all major energy suppliers, British
Gas’ trading policy on the wholesale gas market
should have insulated them from the worst of the
effects of the drastic price increases seen this
The continuing cost of loyalty for the average British
Gas customer is now a staggering £374. In
spite of the fact that prior to this announcement
the company had already raised its gas prices by
36% since 2004, half of all UK households still
haven’t switched to another supplier, according
to independent comparison and switching service
Alan Tattersall, Director of Home Services at uSwitch.com,
comments: “This is one of the biggest social
scandals in recent memory. It is misleading for
British Gas to hide behind wholesale gas prices
as the reason for these latest increases. Even before
this latest round of energy price rise announcements
British Gas charged their customers on average 12.5%
more for gas than their main competitors. The volatility
of the wholesale gas market affects all other gas
and electricity suppliers, and yet British Gas is
now 25% more expensive than other suppliers’
standard tariffs, and 37% more expensive than the
average cheapest tariff.
“The alarming fact is that there are still
over 11 million gas customers who are prepared to
pay the premium rates now being charged by British
Gas. We would urge consumers to shop around for
the best deals.”
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MERGER CONSULTATION "FLAWED"
Fullbrook, who hopes to represent Rufford, Banks,
Tarleton, Hesketh Bank, Mawdesley and Eccleston
at Westminster for the South Ribble constituency
after the next general election, has challenged
The Lancashire Police Authority to re-run it’s
recent consultation on the merger of Lancashire
Police with other forces, which she believes is
Mrs Fullbrook believes that the merger is being
pushed through without local people being given
a say on retaining Lancashire as a stand-alone force.
She also believes that the impact of a merger is
not being properly explained to local residents.
In particular the impact a merger may have on local
jobs, council tax and the future of the Lancashire
Police Head Quarters at Hutton.
In a letter to the Chairman of the Lancashire Police
Authority Lorraine says..
RE: PROPOSED POLICE MERGER
I am writing to ask that you re-run the so-called
consultation that your authority has recently
undertaken in relation to the possible merging
of Lancashire Police with other forces. You
claim to be seeking the views of the people
of Lancashire and yet your consultation is
Whilst many other forces and Police Authorities
are opposing any merger as not in the best
interests of local policing and local peoples
needs, your survey fails to offer the status
quo as an option. Is it any wonder that those
asked overwhelming backed the least worst
option you offered them i.e. a merger with
Merging is not a definite outcome of the process
that is currently underway. Yet you seem to
have pre-determined the outcome by deciding
to deprive local people of the chance of supporting
Lancashire as a stand-alone force.
Like many people, I believe that merging would
be an expensive exercise costing millions
of pounds, and yet the Government has said
it will not be making any additional funding
available so the burden is likely to fall
to the council tax payer, and start up costs
being met from existing police budgets.
What is more, implementing a merger will no
doubt distract police officers and staff from
their day job of delivering a quality policing
service for the residents Lancashire. The
result will be a bigger force with less local
You seem determined to ignore these concerns,
along with the obvious threat that a merger
poses to the future of Hutton as the location
of a merged force Headquarters. As you will
understand this is a matter of particular
concern to me, both regarding jobs that may
be lost and the future use the site may be
Lancashire is one of the country’s top
performing forces and its officers do a tremendous
job, however your determination to merge and
by doing so to put jobs and resources at risk
does the police officers and civilian staff
If you really wanted to know the views of
local people, you would re-contact those who
answered your consultation and ask them one
“The Government wishes to merge Lancashire
Police into a Regional Police Force –
this puts the future of Hutton in question;
will require cuts in police jobs and service
and will see the police precept of your council
tax rise by around 12% - are you for or against
such a merger?”
I would be grateful if you could consider
this, and let me know as soon as possible
if you are prepared to do so.
Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for the
South Ribble Constituency
missing since Christmas |
the cat went missing from the Charnleys lane
area of Banks on or around Xmas eve 2005.
The cat is a grey female, of small build with
all grey no markings. She was not wearing
After an extensive local search, it still
has not been possible to locate her. Local
authorities and vets have been informed and
leaflets have been distributed to local houses.
Resisdents of the Banks and surrrounding areas
are asked to pass on any information about
this much loved pet by contacting Peter Crompton
on 01704 509887
OF STATE ASKED TO SAVE HOSPITAL
Conservative Spokesman Lorraine Fullbrook
has taken the Ormskirk Advertisers' campaign
against local hospital Trust mergers to the
has called on Patricia Hewitt the Secretary
of State for Health to intervene to ensure
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust is not
swallowed up in a merger with Merseyside Trusts.
a letter she had hand delivered to the Secretary
of State on Monday, Lorraine said;
Secretary of State,
Re: Safeguarding the Southport and Ormskirk
the Conservative Parliamentary Spokesmen for
the South Ribble constituency, I am writing
to draw your attention to the campaign currently
being run against the possible merger of Southport
and Ormskirk Hospital Trust with hospital
Trusts on Merseyside.
The Campaign is being run by the Ormskirk
Advertiser Newspaper and has cross Party support
from many local people including, myself,
my Conservative colleague Mark Bigley and
both Rosie Cooper MP and John Pugh MP.
It is clear that an overwhelming majority
of local people share my concern that this
proposed merger is nothing other than a cost
saving measure, and will do nothing to enhance
the service provided to local people. I would
be grateful if you could look closely at this
issue, which matters greatly to the people
living in villages such Tarleton, Banks, Hesketh
Banks, Rufford, Eccleston and Mawdesley, all
of whom will be directly and I believe adversely
affected by any merger of their local Hospital
Trust with Trusts in Liverpool.
I am saddened that you could even consider
merging our local Southport and Ormskirk Hospital
Trust with those in Liverpool. I realise your
Government seems hell bent on merging everything
from our Police Force to our Councils and
now our Hospital Trusts.
This is not in the best interests of local
people and I urge you to make it clear that
you will use the powers at your disposal to
ensure the survival of our local Trust delivering
health services in our local area.
Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for South
FOUND AND CAUGHT
the 6 year old brown and white Leonberger x Bernese
Mountain cross breed was today reunited with his
extensive poster campain and media coverage (2005
News Archive 29/12/05) has led to many people
reporting sightings and allowed the search party
to track his movements throughout the villages of
telephone call this morning pin-pointed him in a
field and a team of 15 people were mustered to close
the net and catch him. After over 7 weeks of being
"on the run" he was described as being
fit and well.
NUMBER PLATE RECOGNITION EQUIPMENT
Division’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition
(ANPR) Team have taken delivery of five new motorbikes
in their fight against crime.
ANPR team, which consists of one Police Sergeant
and six Police Constables will now be using the
latest BMW RS 120cc sports motorcycles to police
the highways of the division. The team also use
a covert vehicle and high performance Vauxhall Vectra
with all officers trained to the highest level of
police advanced driving techniques.
ANPR system identifies suspect vehicles that may
have been stolen and may be driven by offenders.
When a vehicle is identified officers stop the vehicle
and speak to the driver and occupants. The information
contained about the vehicle on the intelligence
system provides the officers with the necessary
edge that allows them to deal with suspects more
efficiently. The device is able to monitor traffic
flows on even the busiest roads and even in the
heaviest of traffic, can read every passing registration
plate to pick out those worthy of police attention.
Steve Moon who is in charge of the ANPR team commented,”
In the last year the team have been responsible
for the arrest of 212 persons for crime and kindred
offences. They have recovered numerous stolen vehicles
and property and large quantities of class ‘A’
drugs. The use of this technology provides us with
a really efficient method of policing the Division’s
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