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24th December 2014
Reported by: Hospital Alcohol Liaison Team

The Hospital Alcohol Liaison Team (HALT) at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust are encouraging staff and patients alike to take part in Dry January.

Dry January is an initiative by the charity Alcohol Concern that encourages people to take a month off from alcohol following the excess of the festive period. HALT will be hosting a stand at Southport hospital in the first week of January explaining the benefits of going dry for January.

Research has shown that, after completing Dry January:

  • 72% of participants had sustained reduced levels of harmful drinking six months later
  • The 23% of people who had “harmful” alcohol consumption when they started Dry January are now in the “low risk” category
  • 4% of participants were still dry six months on

Mandy Smith, Lead Alcohol Specialist Nurse, said: “People who have taken part in Dry January have reported feeling healthier, losing weight, having more money and taking up new hobbies. There are great benefits to be had from taking part, even if it is just for the month!”

The HALT team also works in partnership with Lifeline Sefton and DISCOVER West Lancashire to provide support for those with alcohol dependency.

For more information on Dry January you can visit the HALT team at Southport hospital, outside the restaurant on the first floor, during the first week of January. You can also 

7th December 2014
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I. met on Thursday for their annual Christmas Party, our theme was 1940's and members were asked to make their own newspaper hat, we had some fantastic ones, we have a very talanted membership, after our lovely buffet we did a new twist on pass the parcel were a bag of various items of clothing was passed around and when the music stopped you took an item out of the bag and put it on, everyone joined in and had a laugh.

With a mixture of quizes and carols the evening ended with Auld Lang Syne. We have lots to look forward to in 2015, it is the Centenery of the Women's Institute and their annual meeting is at the Royal Albert Hall in June, we will no doubt be doing our own celebration for this so expect an update in the new year.

Best Wishes to everyone for a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year


15th November 2014
Source: West Lancashire Borough Council

West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership is supporting a campaign which calls on men to take a stand against domestic violence.

The White Ribbon Campaign is an international campaign to ensure men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women. Organisers say that men need to join women and women's organisations in taking action to end the problem.

Over the last 12 months, 154 cases of domestic abuse in West Lancashire have been taken to court.

The Liberty Centre – formerly known as the Domestic Violence Support Services (West Lancashire) – helped 637 women and families between April and September 2014. Many of these were referred there by the police or other agencies, while others came themselves.  More than a third of them were deemed to be at a medium or high risk of domestic violence, and the centre is currently supporting 159 families.

The Liberty Centre offers a number of services to support victims of domestic violence, including a refuge for emergency accommodation, outreach services in the community, counselling, early intervention for young people whose mothers have been the victims of domestic violence, legal and welfare benefits advice and groups sessions to help victims move on. The centre’s helpline is Helpline number is 0808 100 3062.

White ribbons will be on available for a small donation from the Liberty Information Centre, Park Road, Ormskirk.

Click here to read the complete WLBC article

For more information on the White Ribbon Campaign please visit

12th November 2014
New 'Health Walks' in Banks
Source: West Lancashire Borough Council

Dig out those winter woollies, be bold and embrace the cold by joining a new Health Walk in Banks. 

West Lancashire Borough Council is delighted to be able to offer the new health walk in Banks which is in addition to similar successful walks in Ormskirk and Burscough (see health walks for more information). 

The Council’s GP Referral Officer Craig Baxter will lead the Banks walk every Thursday, from 10-11am, starting and finishing at Banks Leisure Centre, Greaves Hall Avenue, Banks, PR4 8BL. 

The walks will continue throughout the year. These walks are ‘open to all’, suitable for beginners and those returning to exercise! So come along for an enjoyable, sociable walk in your local area and then feel free to stay for a cup of tea at the end. 

Councillor David Sudworth, portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “A warm welcome awaits you, so let your feet hit the street and come and join the walkers on Thursday mornings. No need to book – just turn up!” 

Please wear suitable footwear and clothing for the weather. People are requested to arrive 10 minutes before the walk starts the first time they join in so they can complete a short medical questionnaire. 

8th November 2014
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I.'s November meeting was our Annual Meeting and Carol was voted in as our President for another twelve months.

Two teams have been to a Halloween Quiz at Rufford W.I. we found it very hard but tried out best to put the right answers down. Also this month one of our members attended the first of a two day patchwork course which she enjoyed and three members went to a talk about 'Slavery in Lancashire' did you know that the slave trade was directly responsible for the growth of the city of Lancaster and for many of its fine buildings and shipyards.

Our next meeting will be our Christmas party night, we're having a 1940's dress theme with lots of party games and lively music. It doesn't seem long since our summer outing and now Christmas is just around the corner.


31st October 2014
Reported by: Stuart Atkinson

On Wednesday, 22nd October, North Meols Sports Club (the Nifty 50’s) celebrated 10 years of Keep Fit and Social Activities at the Leisure Centre in Banks.

In attendance on the day were the Deputy Mayor of West Lancashire Mrs. Rosemary Evans, County Councillors Nikki Hennessy, Malcom Barron and Terry Aldridge, the Champion for Older People.

Banks Nifty Fifties celebrate their 10th anniversary

In 2003, through Government Initiative, West Lancashire Council instigated the formation of a General Practitioner Referral Scheme for the continuity of physiotherapy and exercise for patents after operation and illness.    A Grant was made available and it was agreed by the Council to fund it for a year.

After consultation with Nikki Hennessy during 2004 a committee was formed together with a Constitution and Aims and Objectives.   The initial membership worked together to promote the activities within the Sports Centre and after 12 months the membership had doubled.    The Club now became know as North Meols Sports Club Nifty 50’s.

Each visitor was shown the different exercises at the centre including Aerobics, Gymnasium, Yoga and Badminton.  In his welcome address, Chairman Bill Southwell,  pointed out the other activities which take place outside the centre and these include Golf, Coach Trips, Bowls, Walking etc.

Deputy Mayor Rosemary Evans was asked to cut the celebration cake and she addressed the Club Members telling of her  delight at seeing the activities and the enthusiasm that the club promoted. Now with 120 members and a full waiting list she hoped this would continue for another 10 years.

Each of the County Councillors responded and were amazed at the spread of activities. Nikki Hennessy was very proud of the continuation of her initial involvement and could not believe how many of the original members were present and still taking a very active part and their enthusiasm in the club.

Each County Councillor went away wishing to share the groups approach to fitness and social friendship and wished the Nifty 50’s all the best for the next 10 years.

6th October 2014
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I. met on Thursday Cotober 3rd, a number of members had attended the County Show at Garstang, the standard of work was very good but the judges critisism was a bit harsh.

We had a lovely day out calling at Barton Grange on our way home. Our competition was a Harvest Basket and as you can imagine they were filled to the brim and very hard to pick a winner.

Our speaker this evening was a lady talking about 'The Dick Kerr Ladies football Team' it was a facinating tale starting in 1917 when a group of ladies who worked on munitions in dirty and dangerous conditions at a factory in Preston (The Dick Kerr factory) were asked to play football for charity, this was christmas 1917, their first match attracted 10,000 spectators and they raised £600.

They went from strenth to strength playing all over the world raising lots more money for charity and doing this while working full time. A facinating story showing the early days of womens football.

The harvest baskets were auctioned off at the end of the evening and Alison treated us too her very own music quiz.


22nd September 2014
Becconsall U3A Recruits 100th Member
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Following on from its successful launch last May and the Inuagural Meeting in July, the Becconsall U3A Group, serving Banks, Hesketh Bank and Tarleton, has maintained a steady increase in membership and was delighted to sign up its 100th member at the Hesketh Bank Village Show on Saturday 20th September.

U3A sign up their 100th memberThe University of the Third Age is a national movement which encourages retired or semi retired people to lead a full and active life by joining together in all manner of activities that they choose to follow - or lead, from Art to Zumba.

Already there are more than a dozen activities on offer within the Becconsall Group. These include:

Sports - Badminton, Golf and Table Tennis,
Leisure and Recreation - Art, Backgammon, Bridge, Crafts, Gardening and Walking.
Educational - French, IPad for Beginners and Italian for Beginners

In addition, a number of outings and social activities have been organised such as a Luncheon Club, Christmas Party, Theatre Trip and Coach Trip to a Christmas Fair.

If you think you might be interested in joining or know someone else who might benefit, a warm welcome awaits at the weekly Coffee Mornings at Hesketh with Becconsall Village Community Hall from 10.00 - 12.00 every Thursday.

You can also visit the website at

17th September 2014
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Mark Goulder was this afternoon awarded the Gold Medal for the mens singles badminton at the 2014 Special Olympics being held in Belgium.

15th September 2014
One cyclist a day is killed or injured on Lancashire’s roads
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

The risks to cyclists have been laid bare in new figures on the rate of accidents they suffer on county roads.

Latest police statistics reveal 105 cyclists were killed or seriously hurt after collisions on the county’s roads last year.

And following a Freedom of Information request by the Lancashire Evening Post, it was revealed that overall 461 cyclists were injured due to accidents involving vehicles across Lancashire in 2013.

Read the complete LEP article

6th September 2014
Reported by: Lynda Richards

WI Little Black Dress CompetitionInstead of our August meeting Banks W.I. spent a lovely day in Derbyshire. Our first stop was Bakewell for a dose of shopping and coffee, we then travelled on to Bradwell were it was their Well Dressing Weekend. When Well Dressing started is unclear but records show that it was done during the 14th century in the period of the black death when wells were dressed to give thanks to God for clean water.

Our next stop was 'The Old Hall' in the Hope Valley for a lovely lunch and then on to Buxton for the remainder of the day.

I think everyone enjoyed the day.

Septembers speaker was Gillian Brown and 4 friends from Aspull and Haigh W.I. They had entered a W.I. competition 3 years ago entitled 'The Little Black Dress' and the idea was to make a little black dress from recycled clothes, the dress they completed was stunning, they had incorporated zips into the design which meant that you could change the length, style and sleeves, they came 2nd in their catagory but in our eyes they were definitely the best.


21st August 2014
Source: BBC

Using official data recorded by police the BBC have mapped every death on every road in Great Britain 1999-2010.

The map shows 73 people died on the roads of West Lancashire during this period.

Road fatalities in West Lancashire from 1999 to 2010

For more information on this and other areas please Click Here

20th August 2014
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

A new 18 hole golf course has been given permission to open at Leisure Lakes in Mere Brow.

It is the latest in a series of plans to redevelop the recreational site, which will also see 50 chalets built in woodland, and a new central amenity building.

The complex already has a nine hole golf course and 18 bay driving range, which currently operates as Southport Golf Academy.

But bosses say the additional 18-hole course is necessary to stop young talent leaving the area.

Leisure Lakes owner Philip Whitter said: “The academy is superb, the best in the area, and we get 350-400 new golfers coming through it every year.

“The nine-hole course is fantastic to practice on, but when you get better, it’s too easy.

“We lose a tremendous amount of players to other courses, so we’re very pleased that this will allow us to attract more people into Leisure Lakes, boosting the local economy.

To read the complete LEP article click here

13th August 2014
QUAD BIKES AND MORE AT Southport Town & Country Fair
Source: Garden Festivals Company

The ‘Adrenaline Tour’ quad-bike show: four-times more fun at the Ex-world championship motocross rider Jason Smythe will be wowing the crowds with his amazing ‘Adrenaline Tour’ at this year’s Southport Town & Country Fair at The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, on Bank Holiday Monday, August 25.

Jason performs some of his display on motorcycles but is most famous for his unique quad- bike stunts and routines – including quad freestyle, rarely seen in the UK – featuring huge jumps over ramps.

As if simply hurling himself and his machines more than 30 feet into the air, Jason somewhere manages to provide a running commentary via a helmet-mike and is able to catch items of memorabilia while airborne . . . which he later presents to the spectator who gives him the loudest cheer !

“I think I have pretty much performed all around the world,” said Jason, “But this is my first time in Southport and I am really looking forward to giving the crowd something to cheer

The three-day show runs from August 23 – 25 but Jason is only appearing on the final day – although he will be giving two performances. And when he’s not in the air spectators are encouraged to visit the ‘Adrenaline Tour’ stand to meet Jason and the team.

While organiser Kelvin Pye added: “Our move to the Leisure Lakes last year was really successful and gave us the opportunity to enlarge our Main Arena . . . and we are certainly going to need the extra space this time around.”

Building on last year’s successful formula there will be a number of themed areas within the overall site, such as:

Dog arena: fun dog shows (Sunday only 13.00), Flyball and Scurry (Sunday & Monday) plus a Siberian Husky Parade on all three days.

Creature House: ever-popular favourites include the North West Reptile Society, ‘Bug House’, Banks Homing Pigeon society, ferrets and, new-for-2014 the Amphibian and Reptile Group of South Lancashire.

There’s a veritable A – Z of Country Pursuits to be found throughout the site: alpacas (Sunday only), carriage-driving (Saturday), donkeys (Saturday and Sunday); gundog demos and scurry courtesy of the local Mere Brow Gundogs, pig racing and Indian Running Ducks racing, sidesaddle riding demonstrations (Sunday) and stickmaking.

Other attractions range from Jema Leopold’s Performing Horses and Ponies to a display of Ford side-valve vintage cars (Monday only), and from aerobic gymnastics (Sunday) to stamp collecting and air-rifle shooting.

26th July 2014
10k VIP Charity Walk Fundraiser

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On Sunday 7th September at 11am, staff and volunteers of Villages in Partnership are undertaking 3 separate 10k sponsored walks to raise funds and will all meet up at Croston Sports Club, Westhead road.

Walks will start from our shops in Longton, Eccleston and Burscough.

We would like to invite other individuals & groups to join us.

Entry fee is £5.00 per person, which enables you to join the walk and raise money for your chosen group or charity.

For more details and an entry form, contact the shop manager, email: or telephone 01257 452698

24th July 2014

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John and Elizabeth Caunce will open their beautiful Wild flower Gardens for the first time ever under a Charitable garden scheme and one of its beneficiaries will be the Clatterbridge Cancer Care Charity.

The event in partnership with The National Garden Scheme known as NGS Open Gardens will be open from 1030 to 5-30pm on Saturday and Sunday 26th and 27th of July

All proceeds from the opening will go to the NGS and Clatterbridge

NGS Becconsall, Holmes, Tarleton, LancashireThe one acre private gardens called Becconsall in Holmes,Tarleton features wild flowers, a fountain, with beautiful herbaceous borders and raised vegetable beds along with a Rill.

The wild flower gardens are this year dedicated to WW1 and its forgotten heroes.

The event will feature entertainment over both days from 2pm with Tarleton & District Brass Band on the Saturday and climaxing with Holmes Brass Ensemble on the Sunday.

John Caunce who is also Secretary of the local Mere Brow Village Hall stated” Over the years we have raised over £5000 for various good causes by hosting smaller events in our garden but this year with the generous support of the public we aim to raise substantial funds for Clatterbridge.

We hope you enjoy our “Hidden Gem” and look forward to meeting you all”

There will be delicious refreshments of teas, cakes and wine and there will be plenty of seating inside a large marquee and outside ,and the green fingered hosts cordially invite visitors to bring chairs and rugs to sit on the lawn as well.

A resident plant and herb stall will be offering plant sales. There is ample free parking and entry is only £3-00 per adult with children free. Disabled parking is also available.

Look out for the NGS Yellow signs from the A565 – the open garden is situated on Hunters Lane, Tarleton, PR4 6JL

For further details contact Elizabeth on 07739 297 248

18th July 2014
Reported by: Banks St.Stephens Sports & Social Bowling Section

During the summer months pupils from Banks St Stephens CE Primary School have been enjoying the game of Crown Green Bowls with Members of Banks St Stephens Sports & Social Club Bowls Section.

Will Wareing - winner of the inaugral junior crown green bowling competition at St Stephens, BanksThis was largely brought about by a grant awarded by Skipton Building Society’s ‘Grass Roots Giving Scheme’ enabling the Bowls Section to purchase  a number of sets of junior sized crown green bowls.

The Bowls Section organised a competition to see how the children had progressed with the game over the ensuing weeks. Will Wareing scored the most points during the games, and was declared the inaugural winner. All pupils received a medal from the Chairman of the Bowls Section, Stuart Atkinson, and will be presented with Certificates of Participation.

The Chairman said that it had been a great privilege for members of the Bowls Section to help the children appreciate the game of Crown Green Bowls, and it was to be hoped that this would provide the initiative for the pupils to take up the game later in life.

The next event on the calendar for the Bowls Section is for the Grand Open Day to be held at the Club in Hoole Lane on Sunday 17th August, when it is hoped members will be joined by novices and experienced bowlers to try their hand at Bowling.  The event will run from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. and will include a raffle together with refreshments. All will be made welcome.

14th July 2014
all-new Country Fair Race Day !
Source: The Garden Festivals Company

And the winner by a short-head, snout, bill, nose, long-horn, antennae and even snail-shell is . . . the all-new Country Fair Race Day at the The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, on Sunday July 20, 2014.

Because ALL of them are to be found on competitors of different size and species in this fun-filled and action-packed family event.

Doors open at 10.30 and there will races at approximately 20 minutes intervals throughout the day until they close again at 19.00. There will be an on-course ‘bookie’ available for those who like a flutter – with a donation made from profits to a local charity.

On the ‘Cards’ for the day are Shetland Pony Racing, National Hunt Pig Racing – over mini-hurdles – Indian Runner Duck Racing – on the flat naturally – sheep and goat racing, ferret racing, ‘Flyball’ (team dog events over hurdles) and even Formula 5nail racing, for those who don’t like life in the fast –lane.

The show is the brainchild of local businessman Kelvin Pye, who runs the very successful Southport Country Fair and Town & Country Fairs – both of which moved to the The Leisure Lakes in 2013.

“We had pig-racing at an event I used to run in Preston several years back and it very entertaining and a real crowd-pleaser,” said Kelvin, “But as far as I am aware no one has done all these things in a single day before, so it’s a bit of an Animal Olympics. I can’t pretend Formula 5nail is the fastest or most exciting thing I have ever seen . . . but usually you can go for a cup of tea and a bit of a walk round, come back and still not have missed the finish.

In addition to the various races throughout the day there will many other displays and attractions. These will include a horse and pony ‘Liberty’ performance by circus-trained, Jema Leopold, who has been running her own display team since 2006, Stanley High School’s very own Animal Farm, Gun Dog Demo and Scurry by the Mere Brow Gun Dogs and an air-rifle shooting range.

The show is extremely dog-friendly so feel free to bring along the family’s best friend for a Fun Dog Show and have-a-go agility test – starting at 13.30 after the Fun Dog Show.

Adult tickets are £4.00, (or £3.50 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734), OAPs £3.50, and children (over three years) £1.00 or just £10.00 for a Family Ticket covering two adults and up to three children.

11th July 2014
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I. met on thursday 3rd July at Meols Court Lounge our speaker was June Corner, i say speaker but she was'nt the stand up and talk kind of speaker but the everyone join in speaker, she had brought with her a selection of old household and work environment items and it was our job to find out what they were.

There were items used in farming for weaning calves,a pocket sized heater for hair curlers, a cash carrier which was used in good clothing shops when there was one cashier and the carrier zipped along above our heads to pay for our goods, it was a fun evening.

Jean Walker from Tarleton W.I. had attended this years A.G.M. in Leeds and came along to tell us all about it, it sounded a very enjoyable day with Bill Turnbull as the main speaker.

Our Coffee morning on Tuesday 8th July was a huge success the donations of cakes, veg, plants and good bric a brac were greatly appreciated and David's pies were snapped up in no time, some of the money raised will be used to help with the restoration of the war Memorial.

We have no meeting next month but will be going on a trip to Bakewell and Buxton so fingers crossed for a sunny day.


3rd July 2014
Hospital chuffed with £19,500 steam fair gift
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Organisers of a steam and vintage fair have donated £19,500 to help patients who use the Medical Day Unit (MDU) at Southport and Formby District General Hospital.

A cheque for the money was presented to Chief Executive Jonathan Parry and unit manager Sister Julie Marshall by three of the event organisers, William Hunter, John Johnson and George Harrison.

“This is a very generous gift and will be put to good use in what I know is very highly valued unit,” said Jonathan.

The Riverside Steam and Vintage Fair is held annually in April at Banks, near Southport, and all the money raised goes to local charities and good causes. This year £37,500 was raised and altogether the fair has raised £206,885 over the past six years.

The medical day unit provides therapies and treatments, including chemotherapy, to patients across Southport, Formby and West Lancashire.

10th June 2014
Reported by: Lynda Richards

A 'Mystery Evening' was the theme at our June meeting. We were entertained all evening by a couple of ladies who had brought song sheets and their own Karaoke machine, it was more a sing along than a get up and sing night but we all enjoyed it, some members did get up and dance especially when the 'locomotion' was played.

On July 8th we are holding a Memorial Coffee Morning at Meols Court Lounge which will celebrate the centenery of the 1st world war, we are hoping to have an international theme, we will also be promoting Banks W.I. who at the moment have room for new members, we are looking for members from all different age groups to take our W.I forward, next year is the Centenery of the Women's Institute and we would like to think that Banks W.I. will still be thriving for many years to come.


31st May 2014
Source: Southport Visiter

Work will take place next weekend to repair Bank Bridge on the A59 near Tarleton after it was hit by a car in March.  

Bank Bridge carries the main A59 Liverpool Road over the River Douglas. It was badly damaged when struck by a car, resulting in a length of the parapet wall being demolished.  

Lancashire County Council recovered the fallen stonework earlier this year and is now ready to reconstruct the wall.  

The road will need to be restricted to one-way traffic controlled by temporary lights while the repairs take place, but engineers will be working overnight to minimise disruption and complete the job as quickly as possible, while keeping the bridge open during the day.  

Work will start at midnight on Saturday June 7, with the road being reopened at 9.00am on Sunday June 8. Work will then begin again at midnight on Sunday June 8, with the road being reopened at 5.00am on Monday June 9.  

Click here for the full Southport Visiter article

29th May 2014
Reported by: Mark & Barbara

We would like to introduce the community of Banks village to your new local Grocery store, Farm & Coffee shop opening in June.

The Village Pantry is based at the site of the old Nat West Bank on Hoole Lane.

We will be primarily selling fresh fruit and vegetables from the surrounding farms, and the majority of our produce will be locally sourced.

There will be a small butchery selling quality meats, and a deli counter showcasing a variety of cheeses and cold meats, and homemade produce. On a daily basis we will be cooking and baking, from cakes to quiches,  freshly baked breads, hot and cold meals,  for those who would like to sit and eat in with a pot of tea or freshly made coffee, or for those busier people who'd like to enjoy a homemade dish to take away.

We have fully disabled access, Wifi, and outdoor catering service.

We are pleased to be in such a great location in the heart of the community, and we both look forward to seeing you all soon were we will hope to cater for your every need.

Kind regards, 
Mark & Barbara.

26th May 2014
Source: BBC

Party Votes % MEPs change+/-
Labour 594,063 33.86(+13.46) 3 +1
UK Independence Party 481,932 27.47(+11.62) 3 +2
Conservative 351,985 20.06 (-5.56) 2 -1
Green 123,075 7.01 (-0.68) 0 0
Liberal Democrat 105,487 6.01 (-8.25) 0 -1
British National Party 32,826 1.87 (-6.13) 0 -1
An Independence From Europe 26,731 1.52 (0.00) 0 0
English Democrats 19,522 1.11 (-1.31) 0 0
Pirate Party 8,597 0.49 (0.00) 0 0
NO2EU 5,402 0.31 (-1.12) 0 0
Socialist Equality Party 5,067 0.29 (0.00) 0 0

  • CON Jacqueline Foster
  • CON Sajjad Karim
  • LAB Theresa Griffin
  • LAB Afzal Khan
  • LAB Julie Ward
  • UKIP Louise Bours
  • UKIP Paul Nuttall
  • UKIP Steven Woolfe

24th May 2014
Freestyle Motocross Feature at Country Fair
Source: Garden & Countryside Festivals

Freestyle Motocross has become a leading spectator attraction since it took-off just a few years ago and is now one of the country’s leading crowd-pullers.

And anyone unfamiliar with it need look no further than the new-look Southport Country Fair at the Leisure Lakes, The Gravel, Mere Brow, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 30 - June 1, 2014.

Broke FMX freestyle motocross show at Mere BrowThe Broke FMX team will be giving three, breath-taking, displays on the Sunday of the show and with the riders performing acrobatic stunts: at up to 35 feet above the ground, or around the rooftop height of an average house and over ground distances in excess of 100 feet; they will literally be impossible to miss!

And just in case you don’t believe what you are seeing the riders even provide an on-board commentary while performing some of their hair-raising stunts.  While between displays show-goers can visit the Broke FMX interactive stand, meet the riders and a get a close-up of both them and their machines.

Leader of the team, John Pearson, commented: “We have spent around ten years traveling the world, pushing the boundaries of FMX and setting new, high, standards for other motorcycle display teams to follow.

“This is our first time at Southport and we are really looking forward to putting on a show that people will remember for years to come.”

While organiser Kelvin Pye added: “Our move to the Leisure Lakes last year was really successful and gave us the opportunity to enlarge our Main Arena . . . and we are certainly going to need the extra space this time around.”

There will be a packed programme of events over all three days including: alpacas (on Sunday), bug house, Donkey Show competition and rides, ferret racing gun dog display, (Saturday and Sunday), homing pigeons, honey bees (Sunday), North West Reptile Society, Parade of Hounds courtesy of the Holcombe Hunt (Friday), rabbits, sheepdog demonstrations (Friday and Saturday), Side Saddle Association and competition, ‘Steve Woofs Beginning Dog Agility and a Dog Show and Flyball demonstration by Dogs Fun Zone (Friday).

8th Southport Country Fair - 10.00 - 17.30, Friday, May 30, Saturday and Sunday, June 1 - 2, 2014, The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, PR4 6JX.  Friday tickets just £4.00 for adults and children (over three years) FREE.  Saturday and Sunday tickets: £6.00 for adults - or just £5.00 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734 – OAPs £5.00, children just £2.00 until 12.00 on Saturday.

23rd Mayl 2014
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Candidate Party Votes
BARRON Malcolm Robert
Conservative 439
DRAPER Joan Elaine Labour 277
WILSON Stuart UKIP 364

Eligable Voters 3285 - Turnout 1080 - Percentage 32.9 - Spoiled Papers 0

11th May 2014
Reported by: David Worrall

Banks St Stephens Primary School try a game of Crown Green BowlsPupils from Banks St.Stephens CE Primary School joined members of the Bowls Section of St Stephens Sports & Social Club to enjoy the game of Crown Green Bowls.

This opportunity was created with the support of a grant from Skipton Building Society’s ‘Grass Roots Giving Scheme’ to celebrate their 160 years anniversary by providing a noteworthy service to the community at large.

Chairman of the Bowls Section, Stuart Atkinson said that the offer from Skipton Building Society had enabled the Committee to fulfil one of its aims and objectives with the purchase of a number of Junior size Crown Green Bowls.

He continued that ‘the cooperation with the local schools has been very positive, and those pupils attending the initial session showed a great aptitude towards the game. It augers well for the future of Bowls in our area’

This session is one of several scheduled over the coming weeks to introduce younger children to the fun and enjoyment of playing Bowls, and it is hoped that the appeal of the game will reach a younger wider audience.

11th May 2014
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Six members of Banks W.I. attended a A.C.W.W. afternoon tea at the Global Renewable Centre at Leyland, they were treated to a lovely selection of sandwiches and cakes and a Hat Making demonstration.

Stella Holt was our speaker at this months meeting, her theme was 'God will Provide' told us of her time in Sri Lanka, she was a qualified nurse and midwife when she went out there and that definately helped when she was asked to help inprove the health and living conditions of the people living in Petteh, Columbia. Stella also spent some of her time working along side Mother Teresa which was a humbling experiece, I think we all enjoyed listening to her experience's and the way she went about raising money and breaking down barriers was powerful.

We have lots to look forward to in the next few months, our summer outing is to Buxton and Bakewell, and a trip to the County Show at Garstang so keep watching this space.


30th April 2014
Source: Malcolm Barron


I feel proud to have been selected to stand as the Conservative candidate for Borough Councillor for Banks (North Meols) I have a long association with Banks having been employed in there by Roberts and Hewitt and later by Barry Bryan Agricultural merchants supplying Farmers and Growers in the area and as a County Councillor representing Banks for nearly 9 years
As County Councillor I very closely with Paul Blane our Borough Councillor and have been impressed by the community spirit that exists in Banks as shown by the Banks Carnival which was started by my colleague Paul and in which I was proud to participate. I have helped Banks Brass Band and Banks Bowling club. I feel we have a good team working together at County and Borough level and   feel we can now strengthen this further if I am elected to the Borough.
I was educated a local   Primary School and later at Hutton Grammar and then The Lancashire Institute of Agriculture I have two children both who attended local schools I have spent most of my life in the Agricultural supply industry as well as running my own glasshouse Business
As a County Councillor I have worked hard on local issues in an area where the main industry is Agriculture but which also contains many small businesses and is home to many commuters. One problem is the high number of HGV,s in the area and to alleviate this problem I have obtained funding for the Green Lane Link on which preliminary work has started and completion will be in2016 this will provide a relief road which will help to keep HGV's out of the village.
I object to large scale residential development and feel that what Banks needs are more shops and the proposals by the Conservative Council to help small shops and small businesses by cutting £1000 of their business rates for two years should help in this regard.
Fracking has been an issue in Banks but their latest application is for 12 months of tests and then they promise to return the site to its original state.
I have succeeded in having two motions passed at full Council with all party consent regarding the dangers involved to property and livestock by flying lanterns and also a motion calling on the police to continue marshalling tradition parades and processions I am willing to work with all parties for the good of my residents. 
I promise to be available to residents as always who can ring me on  01772 811302 or email

28th April 2014
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

The nominations for the West Lancashire Borough Council elections for the North Meols Ward have been published (although candidates may still withdraw their nomination). The election is for one councillor only and the ballot will be held on Thursday 22 May 2014.

Candidate Party
BARRON Malcolm Robert
DRAPER Joan Elaine Labour

All candidates are invited to submit an election statement for publication on this website.

12th April 2014
Bowling Green overhaul by Seddon's
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Ladies bowling at St Stephens, BanksSeddon Construction Ltd are upholding their vision of working closely with their local communities by supporting the Bowls Section at St Stephens Club in Banks through a total replacement and refurbishment of the board surrounds to the Bowling Green.

Chairman of the Bowls Section, Stuart Atkinson, commented “ it is good to see a company such as Seddon’s, currently engaged in the construction of the new Sutton Grange Home in Greaves Hall Avenue, Banks, providing the opportunity to improve the surrounds to the Bowling Green.

The Committee is extremely grateful for the support and commitment shown by Seddon’s, and look forward to working closely with them on other projects”.

The Bowling Green opened for the summer recently, and will be hosting a County Ladies match on Sunday, 15th June 2014.

Bowlers new to the game, and existing bowlers, are welcome to come along, join the Club, located in Hoole Lane, become a member of the Bowls Section, and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.

Seddon Construction Ltd Community Projects

7th April 2014
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I. met on thursday April 3rd our speaker was Mr Wade who's talk was about Thora Herd a favourite with many of our members, he had brought along pictures of Thora in her early theatrical days and he read excerps from one of her many books.

Banks WI - Patchwork QuiltOne of our members Anne Moule had brought along a patchwork quilt, she had made it for an exhibition which would have been this summer but the exhibition has been cancelled, the quilt was made mostly with Amy Butler fabrics and was very bright and pretty, Anne is also a beader and would like everyone to have a go!!

Three of our members were presented with 40 year member certificates at the Spring Council Meeting they are Margaret Mayer, Margaret Wright and Jean Johnson, Well Done.

Next year is the Womens Institute Centenery and to celebrate this we are hoping to complete a Centenery Heirloom so watch this space.


21st March 2014
Cuadrilla announceMENT FOR Becconsall site
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

Cuadrilla will be applying for an extension to the current planning permission in order to allow time to carry out measurement of the pressure of the gas in the shale rock at its Becconsall well, near Banks.

The well will not be hydraulically fractured. Following the pressure measurement programme it is planned that the well will be sealed and the site returned to its former condition next year.

Andrew Quarles, Cuadrilla’s Technical Director, said:

“A week’s work at the site is required, during which a small rig will install pressure gauges and isolate a section of the well for measurement.  The rig will then be removed and the gauges will be left in place, recording pressure for approximately 12 months. We then plan to seal and return the site to its former condition.”

The planning application for the work will be submitted to Lancashire County Council.

7th March 2014
Queenscourt Hospice 'MAKE A Will Month'
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Solicitors in Southport and West Lancashire have teamed up with Queenscourt and are giving their time to write a standard Will or amend an existing one in return for a donation to the Hospice.

Have you been putting off making or updating your Will? It’s a fact that over 70% of the UK population don’t have a Will, even though it may be one of the most important documents you’ll ever write.

‘Make a Will Month’ is an invaluable opportunity to help protect your family’s future. All you have to do is make an appointment with one of the participating solicitors any time between the 1st and 30th of April. The solicitor will not charge you for their time but will invite you to make a suggested donation to Queenscourt of £90 for a basic single Will or £135 for a joint Will or £40 if you require an existing Will changing.

Carolyn Lowry, Fundraiser at Queenscourt Hospice said “We are delighted to have the support of so many local solicitors for this campaign. Having a Will professionally written is such an important thing to do and the only way to make sure that your wishes are carried out after you die. This is a great opportunity and anyone taking part in Make a Will Month will enjoy the added feel-good factor of knowing they have also helped their local hospice.”

Solicitors taking part in the campaign include Breens, Brighouse Wolff, Brown Turner Ross, Cockshott Peck Lewis, Cook and Talbot, Ellen Fay, Hodge Halsall, J O’Neill & Co, Kirwans, Richard Jacklin & Co and Steve Davies Solicitors.

Ensure those you love and care about are provided for and help Queenscourt to plan for the future.

For full details please either call fundraising on 01704 417420 or visit our website

17th February 2014
Source: Lancashire Trading Standards

Lancashire Trading Standards Service is warning Lancashire traders and consumers about counterfeit money-off coupons.

A large quantity of fake coupons for money off well known brands has recently been discovered in Lancashire. The coupons appear to be copies of genuine coupons and were purchased by a Lancashire consumer over the internet. The consumer used the coupons in a supermarket to buy groceries but when the supermarket discovered the fakes, the Police were called and the consumer's groceries had to be returned to the store.

Consumers are being warned that coupons available to buy on the internet may be fakes. If they are purchased and used to buy products in shops or supermarkets, consumers may find that they are trading an illegal product and may lose money.

Retailers are asked to be vigilant when accepting money-off coupons in exchange for products as they may not be redeemable if they are found to be counterfeit, causing a loss to the business.

13th February 2014
CHARITY SEEKs NEW members for Board of Trustees
Source: Villages In Partnership

Villages in Partnership is the trading name of the Rural Community Partnership Trust, Charity Number 1111237, which is based in Eccleston. We work in the rural communities within the Borough of Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancashire. The aim of the Charity is to improve the Social, Environmental, Health and Economic Quality of Life for the residents of villages within these areas.

      • Banks, Bispham, Bretherton, Burscough
      • Charnock Richard, Coppull, Croston
      • Eccleston, Euxton
      • Hilldale, Hesketh Bank, Heskin, Hutton
      • Longton, New Longton, Mawdesley, Much Hoole
      • Parbold, Rufford, Scarisbrick
      • Tarleton, Ulnes Walton
      • Walmer Bridge, Wrightington

We also run Three Charity Shops to support the organisation.

The Villages in Partnership Board of Trustees are a group of people who are there to govern and oversee the charity’s activities to ensure we are compliant with charity law. They are also responsible for setting our short and long term strategic aims and objectives.

Our board is made up of individuals with a broad range of experience and knowledge, personally and professionally. We appreciate our board’s dedication and admire their compassionate approach to the role, which they do on a voluntary basis.

Trustee duties and responsibilities:
The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the charity and is ultimately responsible for everything the charity does. The Trustees’ fundamental role is to determine:

      • the overall direction of the charity
      • provide leadership
      • uphold the charity’s fiduciary responsibilities

Villages in Partnership would like to add more Trustees to their board. By becoming a trustee you will be joining the charity at a time of growth and development. We are looking for an individual with the skills, energy and passion to assist with continuing the boards’ work in taking the charity forward. This role requires attendance at the monthly meeting of the trustees, which are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month.

Trusteeship is a serious responsibility and should not be taken lightly. You must be prepared to give the necessary time for reading board papers, attending meetings, keeping yourself informed about the charity’s activities, and keeping up to date with regulations including charity law and company law.

For further information and details of how to apply, please contact or telephone 01257 452698.

7th February 2014
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Banks W.I. met at Meols Court Lounge on Thursday 6th February, we had plenty of members renewing their membership and two ladies visiting, they were made very welcome and we hope they will come again. We always look forward to meeting new people and hope they like what our W.I. has to offer and decide to join us on a regular basis.

We had an excellent speaker this month, former detective superintendant Mike Gradwell, the theme was 'The Morecombe Bay Tragedy' it was very apt being 10 years to the day that he was contacted and asked to be the senior investigating officer.

He explained the chaotic events that unfolded over the following days and weeks, how difficult identification was and how as this tragedy was unfolding the gangleaders were shredding documents and making their way down south to London and Norfolk to set up all over again, not caring about their former employees.

It took eighteen months to bring the chinese gangleaders to justice.

It was just a tiny look into what goes on under our noses, very thought provoking.

We ending the evening with a true or false quiz to lighten the mood, when I write next month it will be nearly spring, what a lovely thought.


7th February 2014
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

West Lancashire Borough Council are now receiving applications for their West Lancs Winter Warm Scheme which includes free gas fire servicing, boiler servicing and free boiler replacement. The scheme runs from 20 January 2014 to 31 March 2014.

The scheme is targeted at owner-occupiers living in West Lancashire who have not had their boiler serviced in the last 12 months and who do not have a plan covering service and repair (for example British Gas Boiler Cover).

Applicants must also be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Based ESA
  • Guarantee Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit (with an income of less than £15,860)

If you are not in receipt of one of the benefits listed above but are on a low income and have a long-term illness that is affected by the cold, you may still be considered for the scheme.

For more details and an application form, please visit West Lancs Winter Warm or telephone Help Direct on 0303 333 1111 quoting 'West Lancs Winter Warm Scheme'

28th January 2014
Grassroots Giving AWARD FOR St Stephens
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

To celebrate 160 years of existence the Skipton Building Society made 160 awards on a national basis to organisations looking to support or provide a good cause facility in their neighbourhood.

St.Stephens Social Club Bowls Section in Banks were fortunate enough to be given an award of £500 towards developing a scheme to encourage young children to take up the sport of Crown Green Bowls.

The Award was made specifically for the introduction and development of young children to the sport of Crown Green Bowls.  To do this we have engaged with local schools, and it is intended to have a series of instructional events in which a small number of pupils, accompanied by teaching staff, join regular Bowlers in an attempt to kindle an interest in Crown Green Bowls with a longer term goal of these pupils becoming Bowlers in their own right in the future.

St Stephens Bowls receive cash award from the Skipton Building Society

Carol Galvin, Branch manager of the Skipton Building Society in Southport made the presentation to the Clubs Bowing Section.

27th January 2014
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

A Lancashire councillor fears traditional village parades across Lancashire are in jeopardy owing to police cuts.

Now Coun Malcolm Barron has tabled a motion to the next full meeting of Lancashire County Council on February 27.

He is responding to complaints from churches and other organisation that police may no longer marshall parades and walking days owing to economic and staffing cuts.

Lancashire police says each case is considered on its own merits.

Coun Barron, whose area covers Hesketh Bank, Tarleton and Banks, said he had been approached by a number of concerned organisations.

Coun Barron’s motion reads: “Lancashire County Council regrets reports that the Lancashire Constabulary will no longer marshal traditional parades and walking days which contribute so much to the traditions and life of the county.” He asks “the Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner to reconsider this action and requests that in future they will continue to marshal these parades.”

Coun Barron said: “These are important local events and a great public relations opportunity for the police to be seen mingling with the community.

“If they refuse to marshall these events it will be a real shame. I hope to get all party support.”

A spokesperson for Lancashire Constabulary said: “Due to the significant resourcing implications in attending the numerous events and parades held across the area on an annual basis it has become necessary for us to review all occasions where we provide policing services.

“We understand that there has always been a perception and expectation that it is the police’s role to provide resources and manage the events, however this is not the case and it is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure the safety of those attending and to undertake all stewarding and traffic management requirements. We are more than happy to continue our engagement with events organisers who require guidance on their responsibilities when organising a community event or parade.”

18th January 2014
Fracking: Community Consultation ~ Theory vs Reality
Source: REAF

Ribble Estuary Against Fracking are back in 2014 to continue raising awareness locally and nationally on the negative impacts to communities resulting from the commercial development of High Volume High Pressure Slick Water Hydraulic Fracturing aka FRACKING.

The next information event will be held on Sunday the 26th of January at the following venue :- Mere Brow Village Hall 65 The Gravel Mere Brow Preston PR4 6JX

Start time is 1pm and the event will run until 5pm. There will be members of REAF on hand to answer questions as well as a variety of media available.

There will also be a presentation entitled Community Consultation: Theory vs Reality at 3pm by REAF Member Eve McNamara, followed by an open Q & A - so be there just before 3pm if you can (Refreshments available!)

If you cannot make the meeting you can still share your views by filling in the groups online survey. For more information contact or phone 07582 809722

17th January 2014
Reported by: Hubmaker MediaFollow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust hospital trust Board is going on the road to bring greater transparency to its decision-making processes.

The directors of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust will meet at the Salvation Army’s new building at 65, Shakespeare Street, Southport, PR8 5AJ at 9am on Wednesday 29th January.

Graham Slee, acting-chairman of the Board, said: “We know more and more people want to attend our board meetings. So, we intend to hold some future meetings at community venues where we can accommodate more members of the public and bring the business of the Trust closer to local people.”

The agenda will be available on the Trust website in advance of the meeting. Supporting papers will be available on the day.

Members of the public are welcome to attend. Anyone with a special requirement should contact the Trust in advance on 01704 704714.

13th January 2014
Cuadrilla launches community benefit piloT SCHEME
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

Cuadrilla Resources has today announced an agreement with the Community Foundation for Lancashire under which the Community Foundation will run a pilot scheme managing community benefit funds at upcoming Cuadrilla shale gas exploration sites in Lancashire.

The pilot will be run independently by the Community Foundation, which is part of the network of UK Community Foundations. The organisation is an independent registered charity experienced in engaging and consulting with communities in Lancashire, receiving and administering funding applications and evaluating their success. Since 2003, the Community Foundation has distributed funds of £9 million to over 1,900 community groups, charities and social businesses across Lancashire working in partnership with donors, funders and philanthropists.

A community benefit of £100,000 will be paid by Cuadrilla for each exploration wellhead where hydraulic fracturing takes place. This payment will be made into the community fund as drilling operations commence on each well that we intend to hydraulically fracture. The Community Foundation will be responsible for coordinating a consultation into how local residents and community groups would like to see that funding distributed for public benefit and will administer the scheme to ensure a transparent process that delivers benefit to the community.

The pilot is part of a scheme announced today by the industry’s representative body, the United Kingdom Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG) working in partnership with the UK Community Foundation.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said: “Cuadrilla is delighted to be able to make this announcement today. The Community Foundation for Lancashire is an excellent partner with a strong track record of working with communities to help identify appropriate causes and means of disseminating these community funds.

“We are committed to being a good neighbour and it will be for local people to decide for themselves - with the help of the Community Foundation for Lancashire - how this money will be spent.”

Cathy Elliott, chief executive of the Community Foundation for Lancashire, said: “Community Foundation for Lancashire is an impartial and independent charity and will manage the funds independently of Cuadrilla and entirely for the benefit of the local communities for whom each fund is intended, within Charity Commission guidelines.

“Work on any fund will commence after the full planning and regulatory approval process has been completed and all necessary approvals have been given.

“We will work with and for local communities in a robust, effective and fully transparent process, supporting local people to define local priorities, including the appointment of a community panel to decide how the money will be spent. We will ensure that funds are effectively managed to deliver the greatest possible social benefit. ”

10th January 2014
Reported by: Lynda Richards

Our first meeting of 2014 was held at Meols Court Lounge, the evening was a cold one but not as bad as some January meeting have been in the past.

Our Spring Council Meeting is March 13th at Southport Theatre, we have some interesting speakers, one being Adam Henson from Countryfile so plenty of interest there.

Coming up in the next month we have the federation quiz on the 27th and our annual games evening on February 13th were visitors are welcome. This evenings speaker was Gordon Bartley 'A Cornish Journey' Gordon entertained us with a slide show showing views around the cornish coast with views of picturesque harbours on sundrenched days, it made us all long for the summer.

Our next meeting is Thursday February 6th, 7.30pm when our speaker will be Mick Gradwell 'The Morecombe Bay Tragedy' it has the makings of a very interesting evening, visitors are welcome.

Well Christmas has gone and a new year started, we can look forward to spring.


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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