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21st December 2013
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Villages In Partnership has opened up applications for small grants from community groups within its catchment area.

For further information please email The deadline for applications is noon, Thursday 6th February 2014.

The charity also helps organisations look for other areas of funding and will assist in the search for funding and completion of any grant bid and can be contacted if you require support in this area.

8th December 2013
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I. met on Thursday December 5th, it was our Christmad Party night and members had brought along a selection of food for our Jacobs Join.

After the notices were read we tucked in to a lovely buffet. Our fancy dress compertition this year was around T.V. Soap/Sitcom characters. Carol was the winner with her 'Compo' costume, not many took part but the one's that did had taken time to prepare really good costumes and I think everyone appreciated it.

The evening was full of entertainment finnishing with the committee's rendition of 'Right said Fred' we may have remembered all the words but not necessarily in the right order!!

Six members are going to Chester on Tuesday for 'Putting on the Ritz' we'll be dressed to the nine's in 1920's dress, Christmas lunch and shopping.

We have lots to look forward to in the new year, a trip to Oswaldtwistle Mill in February and the Spring Council meeting in March.

Best Wishes to everyone for Christmas and 2014.

2nd December 2013
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Have your say on the future of transport in West Lancashire... Click Here

18th November 2013
Source: Trading Standards

Lancashire Trading Standards Service are warning of a telephone caller purporting to be representing Lancashire County Council and offering energy surveys.

They seem to be targeting the elderly.

The caller asks for personal information such as if they own their own property and which energy provider they are currently with. The Government is currently launching a scheme called the Green Deal where independent traders may seek information such as whether you own your own property and if you are claiming benefits – however, none of these traders are working with or on behalf of Lancashire County Council.

For more information about Green Deal visit or call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.

Trading Standards strongly suspects this is a scam call and residents should not give any information out to the caller. Trading Standards advice generally is not to do business with cold callers, be they on the doorstep or by telephone.

Contact the Trading Standards Service via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06

8th November 2013
Reported by: Lynda Richards

This months W.I. meeting was our Annual Meeting, Carol Griffiths was re-elected to serve as our president for another year, Sheila Johnson and Doris Griffith stepped down as committee members after many years helping and taking part in numerous events, they were presented with a floral display.

We welcomed two new members to our committee. November was our Christmas stall month and members didn't let us down with the variety of gift brought. When all the formalities were over the stall was opened and gifts from homemade jam's and Christmas cake to tree decorations were snapped up in next to no time.

Three teams attended Rufford W.I.'s birthday quiz night we had fun racking our brains trying to get closer to the top score than the bottom, I think we probably managed it.

We have a busy month coming up with our Christmas meal at Briars Hall and our Christmas party night, the theme this year is T.V.soap/sitcom characters, look out for some funny pictures next month.

23rd October 2013
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Ever wondered where all the big pumpkins go after the Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Competition? Well a couple have ended up as part of a quest to break maritime records!

Artist Dmitri Galitzine ( bought two whoppers from the competition winner Mark O'Hanlon and immediatly whisked them off the Portsmouth where he has turned the giant pumpkins into sea-going craft as part of a world record quest.

Saturday 19th October
Mark O'Hanlon winning the 2013 Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Show

Tuesday 22nd October
Pumpkin boat

One, weighing 800lb, has been covered in plywood, had the seeds scooped out and an engine fitted so the 27-year-old artist can attempt to cross from Gosport to the Isle of Wight.

The other 600lb pumpkin will attempt to set a Guiness World record for the fastest time to paddle a pumpkin over 100 meters.

Click here for the full Daily Mail article

If you want to buy a giant pumpkin for sailing or carving there a still a few left! Visit

22nd October 2013
Vote for Gymzkool For Community Fund Award
Source: Gymzkool

Lloyds Community Fund - Vote For Us!Gymzkool has been selected out of the whole of West Lancashire to be in the top 4 groups to receive a Community Fund Award from Lloyds Bank.  

These 4 groups are now reliant on a Public Vote where the top two will receive £3000 and the remaining two will receive £300.

Gymzkool delivers gymnastics classes in Banks, Holmeswood, Mere Brow and Tarleton to school aged children and pre-school children. We would now like to offer classes to children in our area who have disabilities or special needs which don’t allow them to take part in our regular classes.

The award would enable us to pay for essential training and purchase suitable equipment which would benefit all of our members. We have full backing from British Gymnastics. The Award will allow us to involve more children in the fantastic sport of gymnastics. Children are encouraged work towards the British Gymnastics Proficiency Awards and their participation in gymnastics will help them adopt a fit and healthy lifestyle and make new friends in a safe and friendly environment.

Children can join us as soon as they are walking in age appropriate classes on a weekly basis, they will achieve badges and certificates and can progress onto our new Young Leaders Programme and will have the opportunity to continue to achieve coaching qualifications.

You can find out more about the Community Fund and Gymzkool and cast your vote by visiting the Lloyds Bank Community Fund website at:

Community Fund 2013 voting is now open until 1 November 2013

19th October 2013
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A happy pumpkin!After twenty years running the Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Show, Trevor Wilson announced that the 2013 event would be the last.

Trevor thanked the sponsors of the show, the helpers and volunteers and his long suffering family for their support over the years.

Over the years, the giant pumpkin show has raised many thousands of pounds for local charities; predominantly for the North West Air Ambulance.

For the fourth year running the show was won by Mark O'Hanlon.

Click here for the full list of the Mere Brow Giant Pumpkin Show 'weigh off' results and here for more photos from the event.

9th October 2013
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Local environmental group Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) are running a series of informal information events around West Lancashire this autumn starting with Banks Village on Sunday 13th October between 12 and 5pm at the St Stephens Institute & Club on Hoole Lane.

Residents are invited to drop-in at any time for an update and discussion on Shale Gas Fracking and how full scale commercial development might affect the area should it go ahead.

There will be multi-media presentations and information packs to take away as well as group members on hand to answer your queries. Free refreshments are also provided.

REAF are also conducting a survey of local views on fracking; you can still share your views by filling in the groups online survey at

For more information contact or phone 07582 809722

6th October 2013
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I. met on Thursday October 3rd, it was our Mystery Evening. The committee had to put their heads together to present an evening of laughter and entertainment. We started with a game of Pictionary, which was hilarious, having to guess the answer from a picture drawn by a member of your group, this was dependent on how good a drawer you had in your group and how your little grey cells were working.

Following that we had a quiz based around Colours, our break for tea and biscuits was a welcome rest from all that thinking. The highlight of the evening was our Human Fruit Machine, roll up! roll up! for 50p you have three chances to win a fantastic prize, all proceed will be donated to A.C.W.W. this proved very popular and no one went away without a gift. We had a lovely evening.

29th September 2013
REAF Fracking Survey
Source: REAF

It is likely that many of us will have witnessed recent news reports on the anti-fracking protests in the village of Balcombe, West Sussex. Balcombe's villagers protested, and continue to protest, overwhelmingly against energy company Cuadrilla's plans with reports suggesting figures as high as 85% against fracking.

The similarities between the Balcombe situation and that facing Hesketh Bank and Banks are striking. Both are village communities and both are proposed fracking sites by Cuadrilla.

The response to this in Balcombe is now well-recognised and documented; the views of Hesketh Bank, Banks, and Tarleton residents are very much less so. This survey is your opportunity to express your views in a format that will allow independent recognition of local attitudes to the activities that Cuadrilla proposes in our villages. If local opinion matters in Balcombe then surely it matters just as much in our vilages!

We are looking for a survey sample of 1,000 and the results will be published via the Village Websites and reported on the REAF Website.

REAF are a residence group who are opposed to the commercial production of Shale Gas in our area and are working hard in seeking transparency on proposed regulation, planing and environmental issues.

7th September 2013
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I. have had a very busy time during the lovely summer break.

Our summer outing was a success visiting Pendle Heritage Centre were 12 members did the tour learning about the Bannister family history, it was a sunny day and the gardens were in full bloom and the selection of cakes in the café meant there was something for everyone. A buffet lunch was arranged at Waddow Hall and although we were a little late getting there the food was excellent, we ended our day in Clitheroe with time for a little shopping.

Banks WI trip to Pendle Heritage Centre

Banks WI Bowls TeamWe have two bowls teams through to finals day at Wood Plumpton on September 22nd, good luck to them.

'The Saggy Bottom Girls' entertained us at our September meeting with humour and songs, 'your never to old to canoodle' to songs about baby boomers and Botox, had us in stitches. They transformed George Formby's 'When I'm cleaning windows' to 'When installing Window's' as in computer Microsoft windows, they where very funny.

Last but not least our president Carol was nominated seller of the month in August on Ebay, well done Carol keep packing those sachets!

7th August 2013
Source: West Lancashire Borough Council

You can use pedal power to see the sights of West Lancashire thanks to a new cycle hire scheme in the area.

Cycle hire docking stations have been installed in locations across the borough to encourage visitors and residents to get out on bikes and enjoy attractions in West Lancashire and Sefton. 

Bikes can be hired for £1 an hour (although a minimum 6hr initial purchase is required).

VISIT Sefton and West Lancashire - a partnership between Sefton and West Lancs Borough Councils- has set up the scheme to promote the visitor economy in both boroughs.

The new docking stations in West Lancashire are at the following sites:

  • Park Pool (Ormskirk),
  • Burscough Wharf and Burscough Leisure Centre (Burscough)
  • The Ship Public House (Lathom)
  • Riverside Caravan Park (Banks)

VISIT Sefton and West Lancashire are looking at additional locations which may be suitable and are currently developing themed family-friendly cycle routes which will start and finish at the docking stations. 

Cllr Martin Forshaw, the portfolio holder for Planning and Development who sits on the VISIT board, said: ”We are pleased to be introducing the cycle hire docking stations in West Lancashire.  These facilities link with attractions and transport interchanges and we hope residents and visitors will take advantage of the facilities and visit the many attractions available in West Lancashire and Sefton.

Visit Sefton & West Lancashire website

5th August 2013
Local Macmillan committee UPDATE
Reported by: Macmillan Committee

Macmillan Cancer Support local committee updateMacmillan Cancer Support are a national organisation which improves the lives of people affected by cancer. There is a Macmillan committee for Hesketh Bank, Tarleton, and Banks. The committee comprise Kate and David Maughan, Sandra Johnson, Angela Jenkins, Lyndsay Howard, Jean Ross, Anne Leadbetter, Anne White, Georgie Dagnall and Izzie Iddon. New committee members are always welcome and anyone interested please contact Kate or David on 01772 811662

The local committee organise about four fund raising events per year in this area. These consist of;

  • a January Burns Night Supper (held in the Wellington Lodge venue in Leyland),
  • an event in the Spring (fashion show, flower arranging, bingo),
  • a late Summer Hog Roast or similar
  • an Autumn event of some description

The aforementioned events are in addition to the annual ‘Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning’ (which tend to be privately organised local get togethers, albeit very lucrative for our deserving cause)

Wellington Lodge has already been booked for Burns Night on 25 January 2014. All those who went last year will no doubt try to get there again so availability of tickets will be at a premium as numbers are limited by the size of the room – first come first served. If you are a business, why not consider taking a table – great entertainment idea and the bonus is it is allowable against profits to offset tax!! Win/Win and tax efficient.

As far as the Coffee morning is concerned, Sandra Johnson normally holds one in Hesketh Bank, Jean Ross has one in Tarleton and there are normally another one or two held elsewhere in the area.

This year, Macmillan have issued a challenge!! And they call it ‘The £100 Challenge’

Imagine a grid 10 x 10 with a volunteer in each box who will raise £100 from an event within next 12m – will raise £10,000 in total

  • Event could be sponsored ‘whatever’ – swim, run, walk, give up drink, give up smoking, etc.
  • Or as simple as ‘Evening In’ where you feed someone and they pay for their meal

Are you up for it? If so, contact Kate or David on 01772 811662 and get your name in one of the 100 boxes on the grid – first come first served!!!

We trust this update has been useful, get the date in your diary or on your calendar and we look forward to seeing you all at upcoming events in the future. Many thanks for all your support

The Committee

1st August 2013
Source: Liverpool Echo

Lord Howell mixes North East with North West in fracking debacle. The peer who suggested that fracking be carried out in the “desolate” North East actually meant Lancashire

The peer who offended an entire region by suggesting that fracking should be carried out in the “desolate” North East of England today admitted he made a mistake – he actually meant Lancashire.

Lord Howell, George Osborne’s father-in-law, caused outrage when he described the North East as “desolate” and “uninhabited” when saying it was better suited to shale gas drilling than other “beautiful” areas.

But it appears he may have mixed up his North East and North West.

In response to a letter from Northumberland  MP Ian Lavery, the Conservative peer said: “It was wrong of me to mention a specific region, although actually I had Lancashire, not the North East, in mind.”

Today Mr Lavery said he did not believe the well-educated Lord Howell had made such a mistake, claiming the former minister was simply trying to undo the damage his comments caused.In his letter, Mr Lavery said the peer’s initial speech appeared to be based on ignorance rather than science.

“Doesn’t the pirate digging for buried treasure normally have a map to indicate it is there?” asked Mr Lavery.

“The British Geological Society has completed an estimate of shale gas that stops completely short of the North East.”

Fracking company Cuadrilla Resources have already applied to Lancashire County Council  to perform tests at a site in Banks, near Southport.

Click here to read the full Liverpool Article

29th July 2013
Hospital welcomes Portuguese nurses
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Ten Portuguese nurses are joining the staff at Southport hospital to help care for local people.

The eight women and two men, who come from across Portugal, were recruited in its second city, Porto, by deputy director of nursing Angela Kelly and assistant matron for education Nicky Williams in May.

“We have 20 home-grown and newly-qualified nurses in training with the Trust, and more in the pipeline, but there is a national shortage of qualified nursing staff with experience,” said Angela.

“Each of the nurses joining us from Portugal has at least 12 months’ nursing experience. We were very particular about who was recruited and the successful candidates were whittled down from a shortlist of 20. They all have excellent English which was a pre-condition of interview.”

Seven of the nurses, two of whom have previously worked in the UK in Yorkshire, started work this week. The remaining three will take up their posts in September.

Sara Costa, one of the new recruits, said: "There are many nurses without work in Portugal so moving to Southport is a great opportunity to develop my career."

29th July 2013
Source: The Telegraph

Lord Howell, a Government energy adviser and father-in-law to George Osborne, has described parts of the North East of England as “desolate” and suggested controversial fracking should be concentrated away from the south.

The Conservative peer, who advises William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, on energy and resource security, called for fracking to be concentrated in the North East because it has “large, desolate and uninhabited areas”.

He claimed that it could be a “mistake” to discuss shale gas drilling – known as fracking – in terms “of the whole United Kingdom in one go”.

In comments sure to cause controversy, he seemed to suggest that there are not “beautiful” areas in the North East and that it would be ripe for shale gas exploration.

“There are obviously in beautiful rural areas, worries not just about the drilling and the fracking, which I think are exaggerated, but about the trucks, the delivery and the roads and the disturbance,” Lord Howell said. “And those are quite justified worries.”

Click here to read the complete Telegraph article

25th July 2013
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Village CHATT is back with summer holiday activities in Holmeswood, Banks and Hesketh Bank.

Village CHATT is a non-incorporated voluntary group aiming to provide school holiday fun for FAMILIES with children aged 0-11. This summer CHATT are offering :

  • Fighting Fit Marital arts based exercise and action classes.
  • Funky Fit street and popular dance activities.
  • Junior Gym learning basic gymnastic moves and exercise to music.
  • Arts and Crafts with lots of things to make and take home.
  • Crafty Cooks come and bake and make all kinds of tasty dishes.
  • All our activities are just £2 per child per session.

We have linked with Tarleton Academy who offer CHATT members discounted swim sessions and with local activity centre to offer discounted admission prices.

This year we are hosting a Summer Showcase Finale on Wednesday 28th August 3-6pm at the Christian Centre Moss Lane Hesketh Bank. There you see the children dance and move; they can have a go on the bouncy castle and join in the games.

See what we have been up to over summer and meet the CHATT team as well as some friendly characters that are popping in to meet the children. This event is free to CHATT members and there will be a Hog Roast and food and drinks on sale a tombola, lucky dip and prizes.

Click here to download a CHATT Summer 2013 Booklet

Call the CHATT line on 0785437964 or Children's Centre 01772 815021 for more information or visit village CHATT on facebook.

24th July 2013
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The local pressure group 'Stop Fylde Fracking' have reported that a resident has been advised by her insurance broker that damage to buildings as a result of fracking is now an ‘Excluded Peril’ on all buildings insurance throughout the United Kingdom.

The group has suggested that all concerned residents should contact their MP about this development. View the full article and the sample letter go to the Stop Fylde Fracking Website

Coincidentally, Banks resident Doreeen Stopforth yesterday released a short animated film "Don't Frack Our Future - Doreen's Story".

Click here for all the News and Views about the Banks / Hesketh Bank Fracking site

11th July 2013
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Tarleton fresh produce grower, Huntapac, has diversified into the snacks category for the first time with the launch of their own brand ‘Roots’ Hand Cooked Vegetable Crisps.

Made from Huntapac’s own carrots, parsnips and beetroot, the crisps are an extension of the company’s existing Roots range of vegetables and salads.

Two years after the idea was first raised, the product is now being sold exclusively through branches of national wholesaler Booker in boxes of individual bags or in tubs for foodservice operators.

Warren Hunter, managing director of Huntapac, said the move was “adding value” to the business.

He said: “We we wanted to see what other avenues our produce could take us and veg crisps seemed to be the winner.

“Buying statistics show that they are a treat item and do particularly well around Christmas time but we wanted to create smaller retail packets so that pubs may stock them or stores could sell them alongside individual bags, as the majority of veg crisps are mainly in a sharing size bag.”

The family business, which was set up in 1942, currently employs 480 people across commercial, transport, harvesting and production.

The company grows and harvests carrots and parsnips, salads and brassicas across the country, which are then washed and packed on site in Tarleton.

Mr Hunter added: “We’ve created some fantastic packaging that will really help our new vegetable crisps stand out on the shelf in the snacks aisle.

“Roots Vegetable Crisps are also backed by the Huntapac story and heritage, which we believe will resonate with consumers, who are keener than ever to know how and where their food is produced.”

8th July 2013
Popular Beer & Wine Festival Returns to Farmers Market
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Following the mouth-watering success of the pint-sized Beer and Wine Festival at Mere Brow & Holmeswood Farmers’ Market in July and October last year, a Mini Beer & Wine Festival will be a major part of the next market on Saturday, July 13th

And with the sizzling hot weather predicted to stay,Farmers Market organiser Kelvin Pye said "If the current hot weather holds,the farmers market and mini Beer Festival will be very popular,so I advise people to get there early to stock up with beers and summer food for the BBQ"

Opening hours at the market held at Homestead Farm are from 10.00 – 1430 and it will feature Medieval Raptors and regular Farmers Market stalls …. washed down with beers from local microbreweries plus a continental lager or two.

On the bitter front, sees the return of National Hero and the Famous Golden Sands of Southport Brewery who will be competing with established favourites such as: Temptress and Victorian Oyster Stout from Prestons Hart Brewery and ales from Blackburns Three B'S Micro Brewery and even organic lagers,pale ale and cider from Samuel Smiths Brewery in Tadcaster.

There will be fruit wines,and ciders from Yorkshire’s Orchard Fruit Wines, and Dove Syke cider and even non-alcoholic herbal Sarsaparilla with “mocktails” like Thriller In Vanilla and Beetle Juice from the Infamous Temperance Bar of Botany Bay.

While for the more sober-minded, Homestead Farms licensed tea-room will also be supplying nonalcoholic, refreshments including home made cakes and lunches

The event has the enthusiastic support of the local Southport and West Lancashire branch of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) who will be manning an awareness and membership stand.

While for the more adventurous – or thirsty - a Home Brew beer stand showing visitors how to brew-it-themselves.

Young families can be entertained by Formby's very own S & R Birds of Prey, with a display of Falcons,Hawks and Owls.

The Festival is free and also offers free car parking. Most of the Stalls are undercover.

7th July 2013
Reported by: Lynda Richards

WI ChocolateOur July meeting was a beautiful evening a welcome start to the month. Our speaker was from Josie's Chocolates and she demonstrated the process the cacao pods go through, the beans are dried, crushed and pressed to make cocoa butter which of course is the main ingredient of chocolate.

She had brought some Belgium chocolate along which she melted in a microwave, the temperature is very precise too hot and the chocolate splits, the smell was delicious and by the end of the demonstration she had made chocolate frogs, shown us how to make chocolates ready for fillings and chocolates with decorations on, she had also brought along a selection of her home made chocolates for purchase.

At the end of June three of our members had been to a talk about 'Women in Prison' the talk was given by two prison officers and two ladies who where nearing the end of their sentence they showed us the procedures they follow when someone first goes to prison, the size of the cell and what clothes and toiletries they are allowed, it was a very interesting talk making you want to know more. We don't have a meeting next month as its our summer trip out I will let you know how it goes.

Happy Summer.
Lynda Richards

27th June 2013
Shale gas plan to reward communities
Source: BBC

The BBC understands that communities that host fracking sites will receive 1% of any revenues generated by the well over its lifetime.

The package is expected to be set out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change later.

BBC industry correspondent John Moylan says gas flow rates from "fracked" wells tend to deteriorate significantly over their lifetime, so it is likely that much of the cash communities would receive would be in the early years of the well's operation.

The communities would decide how any cash was spent.

Click here for the complete BBC News report. Have your say on fracking.

27th June 2013
Source: Ormskirk Advertiser

ERRORS made to the Green Belt boundaries in the West Lancashire Local Plan were submitted to the government inspector.

A total of nine inconsistencies were identified by officers ahead of the council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday, June 18.

The council’s errors occurred when officers prepared the new Policies Map for the new Local Plan and based this on the 2006 electronic version of the Proposal Map, which carried a number of inconsistencies between the paper map and electronic map.

Click here to read the complete Ormskirk Advertiser article

24th June 2013
Call for volunteers to support older people in hospital
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Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and Royal Voluntary Services are working in partnership to develop a service at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals aimed at improving the well-being of older patients during their stay.

This integrated approach between health and social care will focus on the needs of older patients with long-term conditions including dementia.

To provide this service, we are looking for volunteers who will be part of the on-ward team complimenting patient care at the hospital.

The help and support provided by volunteers will include befriending, diversion therapy, companionship, reading and techniques to stimulate the patient’s appetite, and improve social activity.

Liz Yates, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “We are thrilled the Royal Voluntary Service has chosen to support patients in this way and I know there will be many local people who want to get involved. This is an opportunity for anyone who wants to make a difference to the lives of people in need while enjoying the personal satisfaction and reward volunteering can bring.”

Volunteers will be needed over a seven day period between 10am and 9pm, and are asked to give a minimum of two hours on the day they attend.

Everyone will receive full NHS mandatory training alongside specific dementia training and successful applicants will be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.

For further information about this opportunity, please contact Erika O’Shea on 01704 705 156. or visit

14th June 2013
Arup appointed for Environmental Impact Assessments
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla appoints Arup to conduct independent Environmental Impact Assessments as part of Lancashire planning applications.

Today, Cuadrilla announced the appointment of Arup, the engineering and design consultancy, as independent provider of Environmental Impact Assessments to be conducted as part of planning applications to explore for natural gas from shale in Lancashire.

The process will start this summer, and is expected to run into the first quarter of 2014.

Arup’s work on the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) will include environment risk assessment, public and stakeholder consultation and planning application support.

“These EIAs are being carried out as part of a robust process of developing informed consent for the ongoing exploration of the very significant natural gas resources in Lancashire’s Bowland shale", said Francis Egan.

Founded in 1946, Arup is a leader in consulting to industry and governments around the world. "Arup's experience in technical and public consultation was perfectly suited to the issues and opportunities in Lancashire, where there is a mix of technical and public issues,” said Egan.

Des Correia, project director, Arup, said “Shale gas exploration is an emerging area in the UK and Arup understands the full range of environmental issues. However, the vital element in this work will be using that knowledge to ensure we fully assess, explain and, as appropriate, mitigate any implications for the local environment or communities. We are pleased to have the opportunity to assess these issues in more detail and to support Cuadrilla in its commitment to the highest environmental standards on this project.”

One of the first steps of the project will be to agree a stakeholder and public consultation plan. Discussions are already underway with Lancashire County Council.

“Shale gas exploration is a process which necessitates that communities have confidence that all material risks have been properly identified and assessed, and the appropriate control steps agreed," said Correia. “We will be working closely with Lancashire County Council, a range of technical experts, and local communities to provide the necessary analysis and consultation.

Arup has always believed in high quality community consultation, and there will be a number of opportunities for communities to be part of the process.”

Click here for more news and views on the Cuadrilla fracking site at Banks

13th June 2013
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla welcomes Centrica as new investment partner in Lancashire

Centrica plc has today become a 25 per cent investment partner in the Cuadrilla Resources operated Lancashire Bowland shale gas exploration licence area.

The ownership of the joint venture before the transaction was 75per cent Cuadrilla and 25 per cent A J Lucas.
Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s CEO, said: "Today’s announcement represents a significant step in our on-going exploration programme for natural gas within the Lancashire Bowland Basin. Centrica, Cuadrilla and A J Lucas recognise the exciting gas potential that lies within the shale rock in Lancashire."

"Natural gas from UK shale can create thousands of jobs, generate significant tax revenues, reduce our ever increasing reliance on imported coal and gas and make a positive contribution to the country’s balance of payments."

"Centrica will bring to the Cuadrilla operated joint venture deep experience of all aspects of natural gas exploration, extraction and transportation and share the commitment of Cuadrilla and A J Lucas to explore for and develop this resource in a safe and environmentally responsible manner."

Mark Hanafin, Managing Director of Centrica’s International Upstream business, said: "With North Sea gas reserves declining and the UK becoming more dependent on imported gas supplies, it is important that we look for opportunities to develop domestic gas resources, to provide affordable sources of gas to our customers, and to deliver broader economic benefits to the UK"

"This transaction presents an attractive opportunity for Centrica to explore the potential and commercial viability of natural gas from shale in the UK, while utilising its expertise as a responsible operator and developer of UK gas resources."

Cuadrilla will keep the local community, politicians and the media informed of future developments. Centrica has paid £40 million in cash and committed to fund £60 million of expenditure on the Bowland joint venture from the transaction, effective date of 1 January 2013. A further contingent payment of £60m will be paid by Centrica subject to certain operational milestones having been reached.

Today’s news will not affect Cuadrilla’s other business operations in the UK and overseas.

Click here for more news and views on the Cuadrilla fracking site at Banks

9th June 2013
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I. met on Thursday June 6th, members were asked to bring along an item of craft work. We where amazed at the variety of items all hand made which were brought along. Included were knitted jumpers, embroidery, stained glass and mosaic pots, painted slate board and tin, crocheted items, what a talented group we are.

One of our members Ann Moulle had brought along a number of Patchwork Quilts most of them she had made herself but she had a special one she had bought in Canada. Ann told us about her love of patchwork and her obsession with patchwork materials, she has also turned her talent to beading and brought along a selection of her work.

Carnival Day was a success and many thanks went out to all the members who helped on the day.

On July 10th we are supporting a Marie Curie afternoon tea, this will be held at Meols Court Lounge at 2pm, Tickets are on sale for £5, come along and enjoy yourself while supporting a good cause.

6th June 2013
Source: Press Release

Conservative MP Lorraine Fullbrook campaigns against wind turbine projects in South Ribble ConstituencyLorraine Fullbrook, Member of Parliament for the South Ribble Constituency, who has been campaigning on behalf of local residents against wind turbines, has warmly welcomed the Government announcement today outlining changes to planning law that mean local residents in South Ribble, will have more say in whether wind turbines are sited in or near their communities.

This dramatic development comes after Lorraine joined local residents in fighting unsuitable onshore wind turbine developments in South Ribble and joined colleagues last year in signing a letter to the Prime Minister outlining strong opposition to wind turbines.  The letter called for the views of local residents, to be given more weight in planning decisions.

Current planning decisions on onshore wind are not always reflecting a locally-led planning system.  Under the new planning guidance, the Department for Communities and Local Government will make clear that the need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protections and the planning concerns of local communities. It will also give greater weight to landscape and visual impact concerns.

Welcoming the announcement, Lorraine said: “This is fantastic news for residents in South Ribble who do not want wind turbines blighting our local landscape.   It is absolutely right that local residents should have greater say in whether or not wind turbines are on their doorstep.”

“Let’s hope this marks the beginning of the end of unwanted wind turbines in South Ribble!”

30th May 2013
Southport Country Fair in Mere Brow this weekend
Source: Southport Visiter

Three days of stunt shows, alpacas, bug house, busking band, donkey show, falconry & ferrets plus much more at the Southport Country Fair in Mere Brow this weekend

May 30 2013 by Andrew Brown, Southport Visiter

ONE of the country’s top stunt teams will be wowing the crowds at this weekend’s Southport Country Fair with a death-defying mixture of car, motorbike, fire, escapology and high-fall stunts.

The popular show, now in its seventh year, has moved to a new home at the Leisure Lakes, The Gravel, Mere Brow, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 31, June 1 and 2.

Organiser Kelvin Pye has enlarged the main arena and hopes the new dates, at the end of the school half-term, will bring better weather for the crowds.

Appearing on Sunday only, the Stannage Stunt Team is a family affair consisting of Mark, his 18 year old son Aaron and even wife Jannine gets in on the act.

Mark’s 29-year career has taken him all over the world and he has performed stunts in numerous TV shows and films.

Aaron is one of the country’s youngest stuntmen with thousands of performances under his belt, specialising in spectacular and dangerous motorbike jumps and high-fall stunts.

Mark said: “We are really looking forward to the show and can promise some really breath-taking action including motorcycle jumps, fire stunts and our famous 50ft Tower of Death Jump – not to be missed.”

On Friday only in the main arena is a Parade of Hounds, featuring horses, huntsmen and bugle, courtesy of the Holcombe Hunt.

There will be a packed programme of events over all three days including alpacas, bug house, busking band, Donkey Show, competition and rides, falconry and ferrets walking displays plus a falconry village, Guinea Pig house (with open show on Sunday), gun dog display, H&M Dog Display Team (Saturday), homing pigeons, honey bees, Lurcher and Terrier Racing (Sunday), North West Reptile Society, rabbits, sheepdog demonstrations, Siberian Huskies, Side Saddle Association, dog agility and daily dog shows.

The event is open 10am to 5.30pm Friday, May 31, Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2. Friday tickets £2.50 for adults and children (over three) free. Saturday and Sunday tickets – £5 adults or £4.50 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734 – OAPs £4.50, children £1.50 until midday Saturday.

23rd May 2013
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have reached an agreement that sees Labour form a minority administration, with the support of the Liberal Democrats. 

Under the agreement, the Liberal Democrats supported a proposal for Jennifer Mein, Leader of the Labour Group, to become Leader of Lancashire County Council. 

The proposal was passed at today's Annual Meeting of Full Council and County Councillor Mein was duly elected as Leader of the county council. 

County Councillor Mein formed a minority administration, with a cabinet made up of Labour councillors, namely: 

CC David Borrow, deputy leader 
CC Matthew Tomlinson 
CC Azhar Ali 
CC Tony Martin 
CC Janice Hanson 
CC John Fillis 
CC Marcus Johnstone 

The cabinet members' portfolio areas have yet to be allocated. 

12th May 2013
Reported by: Lynda Richards

At our April meeting we handed out our first Newsletter which contains upcoming events and contact numbers it went down well with all the members present.

We are busy preparing for carnival day June 1st when members will be serving Tea/Coffee/scones and cakes in Meols Court Lounge on the day, it will be a chance for people to take the weight of their feet while tucking in to our delicious treats. We are also planning a Marie Curie afternoon tea on July 10th at 2pm.

Our speaker was Mathew from Tiger Muffin home made soaps. He demonstrated how to make a bath bomb, fancy soaps and shower gel, stopping in between to tell us the history of soap which goes back at least to the Egyptians.

Before the next meeting is carnival day, I will be missing that day as I'm in Cardiff for the W.I. annual general meeting so there should be plenty to write about next month.

11th May 2013
Anti-fracking protest Camp set up AT MERE BROW
Source: BBC News

About 300 people are taking part in a weekend-long protest against fracking in West Lancashire. The campaigners, have set up camp in Mere Brow near Tarleton.

Organisers said Camp Frack was a weekend designed to highlight the dangers of fracking and promote environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Click here to see the complete BBC News article

9th May 2013
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Child and Family Connect is a small regional charity that provides safe premises, friendly and neutral place where children of seperated families can spend time with with one or both parents and, sometimes, grandparents or siblings.

The charity is looking for a room for the use as a central office. Two people work from the office and require space for desks and filing cabinets in addition to a telephone point (although the cost of fitting would be bourne by the charity).

The working hours for the staff are 9am - 4pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.

If you can help please contact Child and Family Connect on 0151 922 5330 or email

9th May 2013
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Two protesters convicted of storming a drilling site in protest against fracking have lost their appeal against their sentences.

Lauren Pepperell and Edward Lloyd-Davis, both university graduates, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday to appeal against their convictions for aggravated trespass.

But following out-of-court negotiations, they dropped that appeal, but then sought to object to the sentences imposed by Preston Magistrates Court last July.

Pepperell, 27, and Lloyd-Davis, a 39-year-old unemployed astro-physicist, had both been convicted of two offences of aggravated trespass after they climbed 45 metres up to a drilling platform at the Cuadrilla Resources site in Bonny Barn Lane, Banks, near Southport, on November 2, 2011, in protest at the shale gas extraction technology being used at the site.

Lloyd-Davis was also convicted of assaulting a security guard who tried to stop them but today, after the prosecution agreed to offer no evidence on that charge, a not guilty verdict was recorded and his appeal against the conviction abandoned.

The couple, both of Rugby Place, Brighton, had both been given a two-year conditional discharge, and each ordered to pay £750 towards the £4,000 prosecution costs after the five-day case.

After hearing their appeal, along with two magistrates, Judge Heather Lloyd upheld the sentences and also ordered them to pay £100 each towards the costs of the appeal hearing.

Click here to read the complete LEP article

8th May 2013
Source: Frack Off Press Release

Two activists are appealing their convictions last year for disrupting "lawful activity" at a shale gas drilling site where they occupied a fracking rig in November 2011. 

On the 2nd November 2011, 5 people occupied the Cuadrilla Resources drilling rig at Banks to draw attention to growing threat posed by the spread of unconventional gas extraction to the British Isles.

This protest was timed to coincide with an industry sponsored “Shale Gas Environmental Summit” in London, as well as the release of a report in which Cuadrilla admitted that the fracking of its first well had caused several earthquakes.

The appeal in Liverpool Crown Court begins on Wednesday 8th May and is scheduled to last three days. Two protesters who were convicted of aggravated trespass last year are appealing; asserting stopping fracking is necessary in the context of run-away climate change and the damage it will cause the environment and local communities. The defendants will also be challenging the lawfulness of the destructive process.

On Friday, Camp Frack 2 begins at Mere Brow in Lancashire, a short distance from where the Cuadrilla fracking site in Banks where the November 2011 action took place. The three day camp, which is expected to attract thousands of people, will bring together activists and local communities fighting fracking from around the country. Since fracking has come to the UK there have been a groundswell of local resistance, with numerous community groups forming to oppose it.

19th April 2013
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Bird scarers and deterrents are an essential tool to protect many crops from damage. However, if used thoughtlessly they can seriously disturb neighbours unnesecarily.

The NFU has recently reminded all members that just a few inconsiderate actions could threaten the ability of all growers to protect their crops in future and provided the Code of Practice as a download.

Click here to download a copy of the NFU Bird Scarers Code of Practice

16th April 2013
Question Time comes to Tarleton
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Friends of the Earth have invited your local County Council candidates (West Lancashire Northward), from across all political parties, to answer your questions and give their views and policies on Fracking.

Lancashire is at the forefront of the UK's fledgling shale gas industry. Shale gas is being promoted as a safe, clean energy source that can help cut energy bills and create much-needed new jobs for Lancashire. Its advocates claim it has transformed the US energy system and that the same could happen in the UK.

But what is the cost to our communities, environment and local economy? And what can we learn from the Fracking Industry elsewhere? Hear from Dr Mariann Lloyd Smith, Senior Advisor to Australia's National Toxics Network, a former UN advisor on chemicals and the environment, and co-author of a report on the chemical impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the Australian shale and coal seam gas industry.

Decisions on shale gas in the next few months and years will change the West Lancashire villages forever. Come along to this event to ask YOUR questions to your local County Council candidates.

Wednesday 24 April 2013 7 - 9pm, Our Lady's Catholic Hall, 152 Hesketh Lane, Tarleton, PR4 6AS.

Click here for more local events

15th April 2013
Cuadrilla wins gold in 2013 Health & Safety Awards
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla wins gold in 2013 RoSPA Occupational Health & Safety Awards

Leon Jennings - Cuadrilla HSSE DirectorCUADRILLA has been awarded the Gold Award for Occupational Health and Safety by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). The RoSPA Awards scheme, dating back 57 years, is the largest and longest-running programme of its kind in the UK.

It recognises commitment to accident and ill health prevention and is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas. The scheme not only looks at accident records, but also entrants’ overarching health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

Cuadrilla will be presented with the award at a special presentation ceremony, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, on Tuesday May 14.

Leon Jennings, Cuadrilla’s Health, Safety, Security & Environment Director, said: “I’m delighted that RoSPA have recognised Cuadrilla’s achievement and commitment to raising the standards of health and safety management. “This gold award is a great recognition of all the efforts Cuadrilla staff and our partners have made in the last 12 months as we continue to explore for shale gas in a safe and responsible manner.”

David Rawlins, RoSPA’s awards manager, said: “RoSPA firmly believes that organisations that demonstrate commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention deserve recognition. “Cuadrilla has shown that it is committed to striving for such continuous improvement and we are delighted to honour it through the presentation of an award.”

10th April 2013
NEW Neptune HOME & GARDEN Centre OPENING in Mere Brow
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Neptune Furniture Store at Mere BrowJoe and Kate Webster are delighted to unveil their new showroom the Neptune Design Centre this month at Southport New Road, Mere Brow, Tarleton.

Kate Webster comments “We are delighted to have regenerated a local building into something so fantastic and we are looking forward to offering everyone the full Neptune Home and Garden experience at the grand opening on 26th -28th April.

This stunning new home store is one of a handful of showrooms that offer the full range of Neptune handcrafted furniture and accessories for the whole home. Kitchens, bathrooms, living and dining furniture will all be available and shown in the sympathetically restored building with over 6,600ft of beautiful room sets.

Right from the very start, Neptune has had a clear set of goals; to create the finest quality furniture, with outstanding design, and all at a price that need not cost the earth.

As the seventh Neptune Design Centre to open in the UK and Europe it makes excellent and affordable designs more accessible to everyone. With a friendly team of experts, headed up by the owner’s Joe and Kate, the showroom will offer the full range of Neptune Kitchens and Interiors with the best in-house design service available.

10th April 2013
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I. met on Thursday April 4th. Our Spring Council Meeting was well attended, it was held at Southport Theatre on March 19th.

Dr Janet Gray MBE told us about her amazing life from losing her sight at 21yrs old, learning to water ski and winning numerous medals, she then had a near fatal accident and spent 4 years regaining her health and her mobility, she went on to compete and win at top level before retiring, she now trains disabled athletes in water skiing, she was very inspirational.

Paul Cook a former Chief Constable gave us the story of Opium, where it came from, how it was processed and why it is hard to control.

Our last speaker was Jenni Murray from Radio 4's Woman's Hour she gave us a brief history of radio over the years, her family life, and some of the people she has enjoyed interviewing and others that were not so good, she was very interesting to listen too and I think most members had an enjoyable day.

At our April Meeting our speaker was Betsy the Scullery Maid who it seems was on the look out for someone to take over her job so she could be promoted, she set about telling us how we should behave and what our tasks would be if we should apply, sadly non of us came up as suitable for the post so she left still looking for her replacement.

Lynda Richards

9th April 2013
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

The nominees have been published for the Lancashire County Council elections on Thursday 2 May 2013. The following candidates are standing for the West Lancashire North seat:

BARRON Malcolm, The Conservative Party
HODSON John, The Labour Party Candidate
HORNSBY Barry, UK Independence Party (UKIP)

Candidates have until noon on Wednesday 10 April (tomorrow) to withdraw their nomination.

8th April 2013
Meet your local NHS
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

The new leaders of your local NHS from West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are to host several open public events in West Lancashire to meet with the local community.

Anyone is welcome to come along and meet some of the GPs and management team that are running the local NHS commissioning organisation.

All the events are one hour and will include a short introduction and a chance to ask questions directly to the GPs. NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) takes over the responsibility of commissioning local healthcare services from NHS Central Lancashire from 1 April 2013.

Come and meet your local NHS at Tarleton on Wednesday 10 April 5 - 6pm The Sports Pavilion, Carr Lane, Tarleton, PR4 6BT

10th March 2013
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Our meeting 0n Thursday March 7th had a buz in the air, whether it was the lighter evenings and the feeling that spring was on the way or the antisipation of our speaker for the evening i'm not sure. We have a great trip to look forward to in August, Pendle Heritage Centre taking in a meal at Waddow Hall and some shopping in Clitheroe, 5 members have been invited to lunch by Tarleton W.I. later this month and March 19th is our Spring Council Meeting at Southport Theatre.

Our speaker was Pat Ashcroft who told us all about her walk along the Great Wall of China. Pat painted a wonderful picture of the highs and lows of her experience. Being in her seventies her first problem was getting insurance the first firm she contacted told her that she was to old for that kind of thing she took a long walk and found herself outside an age concern shop which was advertising insurance, problem sorted. On her travels she had a helper called Leah who she became fond of she learned about her family and her life which was totally different from the life we lead. The walk took six and a half days walking 8/9 hours a day and parts of the wall are like giant steps it was Leah's job to help her up these steps and carry her ruksak. The accomodation was sparse and the food unrecognisable but Pat took it all in her stride. She was wonderful to listen to and told her story with a great sence of humour we were all in stitches. We had laughs but we also understood more of the sad plight of women in China only allowed one child and knowing that if it was a girl it would be unwanted. We are so lucky.

Lynda Richards

6th March 2013
Submitted by: Cllr Malcolm Barron

I am delighted to announce that the County has agreed in the Budget that the Green Lane Link which will take HGV's out of the villages of Tarleton, Hesketh Bank and Banks has been allocated £100,000 for years 2013/14 and £1,150 mil for 2014/15.

1st March 2013
Growing Farmers Market Re Rooted
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Mere Brow Farmers Market is re launching on Saturday 9th March with a move to a new farm home, that commercially grows root crops.

The market previous held at Mere Brow Village Hall for the last 12 months has outgrown this venue and has been resowed to a nearby working farm, Homestead Farm in Holmeswood. Seddon & Sons Produce Ltd operate from the farm, producing Leeks and the on site Farm Shop attraction specialises in Food Made in Lancashire.

Organiser Kelvin Pye who also runs the successful Southport Country Fairs stated “On many occasions we would run out of car parking and the market could not grow any more because car parking was replacing room for food producers.” He added “We have moved locally to Homestead Farm, a popular farm shop and tea rooms and with it being a working root crop farm, it adds value to our farmers market”.

Mr Pye stated that the new venue has enough capacity for car parking and more area to expand the market. He went on to say “ I would like to thank the committee of Mere Brow Village Hall as they had always backed the market and had been very supportive, helping with the parking, but you cannot get better than a farmers market being held on a working farm.”

The market will be held on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10am to 2.30pm. Homestead Farm Shop and its tearoom will be open for Lancashire food, teas, coffee, cakes and even a farmers hearty meal. The farmers market will include fresh meats, poultry, game, vegetables, cheeses, seafood, cakes, pies, bread, chutneys, plants, flowers and much more.

Homestead Farm will be operating a BBQ food outlet cooking local bacon and sausage for hungry visitors.

The first market at Homestead Farm is Saturday 9th March which is the day before Mothers Day so there is plenty of opportunity to visit the market and and treat Mum.

Homestead Farm is situated on Wiggins Lane, Holmeswood L40 1UJ. Admission and car parking is free.

21st February 2013
Plans for 140 homes and business estate submitted
Source: Southport Visiter

PLANS for a development of 140 homes and a business estate at the site of a former hospital in Banks have been submitted to West Lancs council.

In December, the Ormskirk Advertiser revealed WS Lamm & Co was set to apply for outline permission for a mixed use development on a 5.6 hectares brownfield site at the East end of Greaves Hall Avenue.

The applicant has already secured planning permission for a 70-bedroom care home complete with a doctor’s surgery and pharmacy on land to the West of Greaves Hall Avenue.

A consultation exercise was undertaken with residents last month ahead of the submission of the new proposals, with 100 letters handed out to nearby homes and businesses, but the firm said no written responses were received.

The revised application site covers a 10.26 hectare plot including sections of both Greaves Hall Avenue and Aveling Drive.

It includes 3.26 hectares of land designated as public open space.

Following discussions with the council the mix of the employment land has been revised and now provides more than 2,500sq m of internal floorspace across six units.

In a design and access statement submitted with the plans, the agent states the indicative proposals would include 140 homes, including some affordable housing.

It estimates the employment land, which would include 96 parking spaces, could create around 101 new jobs.

Click here for the full Southport Visiter article

12th February 2013
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Village C.H.A.T.T. are looking for volunteers and committee members to be part of the planning, organising and delivery of holiday activities and events in the local villages.

Village C.H.A.T.T. is a "not for profit" voluntary organisation that organises school holiday activities and events for the villages of Rufford, Tarleton, Hesketh Bank, Mere Brow, Holmeswood and Banks. All activities are family focused and parents and carers stay with the children and join in the fun!

Karen Cookson said "Last year we were successful in securing funding to run CHATT Summer 2012 scheme and we had over 180 children attend our events and activities. This year we hope to do the same, but we need help. If you are looking for volunteer activities to enhance your CV, enjoy working with children and families, and you want to be part of something in your local community then please contact us for more information."

"To make sure all our activities are safe for families and children, all of our volunteers and committee members are subject to our CHATT policies and procedures and have an enhanced CRB clearance."

Village CHATT meets at Hesketh Bank Childrens Centre, Shore Road, on the second Tuesday of the Month from 1-3pm. For more information call Karen on the CHATT line 07858437964 or Anne at the Children's Centre on 01772 815021

10th February 2013
Reported by: Lynda Richards

In January we held a Scrabble afternoon, three teams of four with dictionaries at the ready tried to assemble acceptable words which include the highest points letters of course, it was very taxing on the brain so a stop for tea and cakes was essential. Our Federation Quiz was also last month and two teams attended Scarsbrick Village Hall on the evening of 28th January, the questions came fast and furious but we kept our head above water, we didnt win any prizes but enjoyed an eventful evening.

This months meeting was held at Meols Court Lounge on February 7th. Our speakers were Colin and Carol Wareing who entertained us with 'Woolly wanderings on the Waterways'. They can sometimes be found moored at Burscough Warf their barge is known as the 'Wool Boat'. Over the last eight years they have travelled to many places along the canals of Britian, one year they travelled to Llangollen it took them three months travelling 3-4 knotts they took in the Telford Auquaduct which Carol was quick to point out was very high above ground, they also travelled down to London one year mooring at Little Venice in central London. What a facinating way to see England. While travelling along the canals they met many people and attended many events and it was at one of these events that Carol noticed that many barges were selling produce and hand made goods, she decided to give it a try always being a knitter and it took off, Colin showed us pictures he had taken on their travels. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening.

Lynda Richards

4th February 2013
Source: WLDC

Examination hearings about West Lancashire Borough Council’s blueprint for future development will start on Tuesday 19 February.

The West Lancashire Local Plan 2012-2027 Development Plan Document (DPD) will guide development in the borough over the next 15 years. It covers everything from new homes and jobs to retail and leisure facilities, transport and local services and energy and the environment.

Certain specific sites are allocated within the West Lancashire Local Plan where the Council would expect the more significant developments to take place. The plan has to make sure development is located in the most sustainable parts of the Borough and can be supported by infrastructure and services.

Further information is available at the  West Lancs 2027 web pages 

29th January 2013
Southport man jailed for series of farm raids
Source: Southport Visiter

A 27-YEAR-OLD man who carried out more than a dozen farm burglaries in West Lancashire has been put behind bars.

But a judge was only able to sentence Christopher Taylor to a maximum of six months imprisonment for the raids because his case had been committed to Liverpool Crown Court under the wrong legislation.

Judge Brian Lewis told Taylor, of Crescent Road, Southport, that his hands were tied but if they had been unfettered the sentence would have been much longer.

He imposed five months for a break-in at a Tarleton farm and activated eight months of a suspended sentence for wounding which had been hanging over Taylor at the time making a total of 13 months.

Geoffrey Lowe, prosecuting, said that Taylor struck at Johnsons Meanygate Farm in Tarleton on September 28 last year and broke into an outhouse and stole various items.

Click here to read the full Southport Visiter article

25th January 2013
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Cuadrilla have recently commissioned two telephone surveys of 500 adults in three local authority areas in Lancashire. Selective highlights of the surveys have previously been issued via press release but the full survey results have now been made available. Click Here

24th January 2013
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Interview with Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan and Mark Linder, Director of Public Affairs.

Q.Will my house fall down?
A. Goodness, no! Even the larger of the two events in 2011 was well below the threshold of structural damage. Going forward, the fracturing process will be managed using an established system from other seismically sensitive operations. This includes arrays of sensors and a Traffic Light system which requires us to stop when seismic activity reaches a magnitude of 0.5ML on the Richter scale; a level of activity which will not be felt at the surface. There are many such surface movements at this level occurring every hour in Lancashire, primarily from human activity (traffic, aviation etc). This is many orders of magnitude below the level at which damage to property would be expected to begin to occur. DECC and Cuadrilla will have real-time access to the data gathered from the sensors installed around the village.

Q. Will there be any benefits to local people?
A. Yes, assuming we successfully fracture and flow test wells, and assuming we are approved for development. In operation, there will be around 75 people employed at and in support of each "resource hub" of which the majority will be operations-related staff. Figures from the US suggest that there is a "multiplier" effect of three times the number of jobs created as a result of the direct jobs. Cuadrilla has hired a number of local people, and prefers to do so going forward, but there are specialist skills required which may necessitate hiring non-local people. As a long term local employer, we envisage providing real opportunities for youngsters. Next week, for example, we are engaging with year 9 pupils to explain the potential career opportunities.

We are also actively considering other ways in which we contribute to the local area beyond employment opportunities.

Q. Why is your Corporate Structure so fragmented?
We actually believe the Cuadrilla organisation is a clear picture of accountability. We have operating units in each country reporting into one Cuadrilla entity at the top of our structure which reflects the accountability we have as operator across all countries. For legal and tax reasons, like all companies in this sector, we maintain operating subsidiaries for each of our license areas -- in the UK, Holland and Poland.

The structure reflects the way in which Government licences are granted and operated, and where taxable income is measured. We do draw on many consultancies and sub contractors but Cuadrilla is always accountable for the whole operation, including subcontractor performance. Unusually, we own our own rig and fracturing equipment. It is our brand on that rig because it is our rig, and we take accountability as operator.

Q. How will you communicate the ongoing operational activities?
A. We do recognise that what is happening at the Becconsall site is of interest to many locals and we are working on ways to make information available in a timely manner and are considering setting up a website for the Becconsall Pad to let everyone know what is going on.

23rd January 2013
Cuadrilla bids to resume WESTBY and Banks fracking
Source: BBC News

A company carrying out shale gas extraction in Lancashire is hoping to resume fracking on the Fylde coast.

Cuadrilla is to submit a planning application to Lancashire County Council to hydraulically-fracture a well at its Anna's Road site in Westby.

Managers are to meet residents in February to explain more about what is involved in the extraction process.

Cuadrilla staff will also meet residents of Banks near Southport later today over plans to drill for gas there.

Protesters say fracking could have "enormous implications" for the local area.

Tony Young, of Ribble Estuary Against Fracking, said: "We're missing out on unlimited supplies of renewable energy. "This is just distracting us from that."

Cuadrilla Resources chief executive Francis Egan said: "It's about exploiting our natural resource - we're running out of it.

He said there was "nothing wrong" with renewable energy "but it's not going to be enough".

Fracking is a controversial process that involves pumping water and chemicals into shale rock at high pressure to extract gas.

It was temporarily banned in the UK after it was blamed for two earth tremors in Blackpool in 2011. A government review has now concluded that fracking is safe if adequately monitored.

7th January 2013
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I. held there January meeting at Meols court lounge on January 2nd, there was lots to talk about since our last meeting.

During December we had been invited to the Mothers Union Carol Service at St Stephens church, there was a good turn out from members and a lovely buffet was prepared at the institute afterwards.

Some members also went to a Carol service at Tarleton Academy and thoroughly enjoyed it. Our christmas meal was at L'EAU-T-CUISINE in Chester. when we arrive we were escorted to a Canal Cruise Adventure which was moored at the back of the restaurant, we enjoyed a three course meal while the cruiser gently putted up and down the locks, the food was lovely and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

At our January meeting our speaker was Sue Rigby who is a volunteer for 'First Responders' who are attached to North West Ambulance Service. The service has been around 12 years and exist only through fundraising. Sue explained that when a person becomes seriously ill the first few minutes are vital and clear information given to the emergency services is one of the most important things in the 'chain of survival'. Sue does organise Heart Start courses showing people how to use defibrillators and quite a few of our members where interested.

The evening ended with Peggy Rimmer winning our Grandma's remedies competition and a quick quiz from Alyson.

5th January 2013
Viewpoints: Fracking's risks and benefits
Source: BBC News

The UK government recently lifted its moratorium on the controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The technique involves pumping fluids into a well to recover natural gas from shale rock.

However, fracking has been linked to some minor earthquakes, and there are concerns about its possible environmental impact. So what benefits could hydraulic fracturing bring, and how concerned should we be? Click here for the full BBC Artcile


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