January 31, 2015

Children quick on the draw for Waterstones colouring competition



Rebecca from Ormskirk Waterstones is pictured with the handsome amount of entries for its Mother's Day drawing competition.

It's had a fantastic response to the competition, receiving very nearly 100 entries, each of them Mums, Nans, Grandmas or Aunties drawn and coloured by local budding artists aged 10 and under.

The winner will receive a 20 voucher and the winning picture will be used on Mother's Day window posters in Waterstones across the country.

Said Waterstones manager Donna Ashall: "Thank you to all who entered, we are really hoping someone from our region will win, that would be amazing!"

Good luck everyone!

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January 31, 2015

Ten Units Broken Into Russell Road Industrial Estate.



Ten of the units on the Russell Road industrial estate were broken into overnight on Thursday 29th 2015.

All the padlocks were cut with bolt cutters and other locks forced and some doors had panels kicked out to gain access.

It doesn't appear that much has been taken, just small tools etc, although not every business has completed reporting details.

This comes off the back of Howdens joinery on Crowland street being broken into on Sunday night 18th January.

Anyone with information is asked to call Merseyside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

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January 31, 2015

Beswick confesses all to QLocal



Shock jock Allan Beswick's been getting some negative feedback since QLocal posted his article on his memories of Ormskirk of the past.

Thanks to the vagaries of wi fi, QLocal didnt tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, with Beswick contacting reporter Roger Blaxall to apologise that not all of his text was sent to the news desk from his mobile device.

Setting the record straight, he said this morning: Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.

I wrote the article on the train and sent it in pieces via on-board wi fi.

It was then cut and pasted into an e-mail by somebody on the production team. Now that I have checked, they missed a bit which I have sent below; whether it was the fault of Virgin Trains, me or a production assistant is irrelevant, but it was done in my name (quite possibly by me) and is therefore my fault entirely.

I apologise wholeheartedly.

For the record, here is the missing middle paragraph its now been added to the original story, too.

"But what I remember most about Ormskirk are the people.

I played rugby with a cracking set of blokes, carried the chattiest of passengers on my bus, and people in shops talk to you rather than just grunt and take your money.

And what about the market twice a week?

Dozens of stalls put up overnight so that local traders can sell everything under the sun; the kind of market that tourist brochures rave about in France and Italy but Ormskirk had its own.

And I'll never forget the cinema in Moorgate where the lady who ran it sold tea and coffee at half time.

Ormskirk people are rightly proud of their town and in my experience rarely miss a chance to share its history; how many dont get a special glow as they tell you their version of the explanation for the tower and the steeple on the parish church - blimey, there was even a restaurant named after it for a year or two.

I had my first sauna in Ormskirk when they opened the swimming pool in Coronation Park and my first game of squash.

Ormskirk is a cracking town and has left a huge mark on me for which I am grateful and like I said it gave me the second most interesting job Ive ever had.

Thanks for setting the record straight Allan...

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January 31, 2015

So sorry, Queenscourt!



Sorry!

In our report on rumours that Ormskirk might be getting its 13th charity shop, reporter Roger Blaxall neglected to mention we already have 13...

And one QLocal readers been in touch to say just that

Said Jay: It's a shame you didn't mention another charity in Ormskirk, the Queenscourt Hospice charity shop opposite Court Leet Wetherspoons.

I suppose you wouldn't be able to use (un)lucky 13 if you mentioned this very local and worthwhile charity.

Quite right, and I apologise, said QLocal reporter Blaxall whos happy to set the record straight.

So Ormskirk might soon have 14 charity shops.

Hmmmmm....

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January 31, 2015

WLBC attends meeting of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

West Lancashire Borough Council is working with neighbouring authorities to improve economic prosperity.



The West Lancashire economy is performing well when compared to the UK and the North West, and this is expected to continue, given its excellent strategic location, amongst other factors. The Council has recently joined the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) as an Associate Member to help put West Lancashire in an even better position to take advantage of opportunities for economic growth, skills development and the creation of new jobs.



Councillor David Westley, Leader of the Borough Council and portfolio holder for Regeneration, attended the LCRCA meeting on Friday 23 January 2015, along with Kim Webber, the Councils Managing Director (Transformation).



The packed agenda looked at a number of issues of importance to businesses in West Lancashire, including the development of a long term freight strategy. Many West Lancashire businesses are involved in logistics so how freight will be moved in the future into and around the City Region, whether it be through the port or by road or rail, will be of interest to them.



Inward investment into the region and investment in skills were other important agenda items with relevance for West Lancashire.



Councillor Westley said: Our involvement with the LCRCA enables us to have a say on emerging strategies aimed at boosting the local economy with benefits for West Lancashire and the Liverpool City Region. This helps make jobs more secure and creates new ones, which benefits us all.



It was a very interesting meeting and we have learned a lot already. I am sure our membership will help West Lancashire prosper well into the future.



Councillor Phil Davies, Chairman of the LCRCA, said: I was delighted to welcome Cllr David Westley as an associate member to our recent meeting. I am sure he could see the real benefits we are delivering here in the City Region on strategic priority areas such as transport and economic growth. We are making fantastic progress and its great that West Lancashire can be involved in this work.



Taking up associate membership of the LCRCA, which is free to the Council, will enable it to build on its good relationships with neighbouring authorities in Liverpool City Region. Maintaining and improving these links is of vital importance to the local economy, as shown by the recent West Lancashire Economy Study.



West Lancashire Borough Council is also a Corporate Member of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), working together to promote key sites such as the G-Park sites in Skelmersdale as part of the Superport initiative, and continues to play an active role in Lancashire.



For more information on the West Lancashire economy please visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/localeconomy

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January 31, 2015

WLBC attends meeting of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

West Lancashire Borough Council is working with neighbouring authorities to improve economic prosperity.



The West Lancashire economy is performing well when compared to the UK and the North West, and this is expected to continue, given its excellent strategic location, amongst other factors. The Council has recently joined the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) as an Associate Member to help put West Lancashire in an even better position to take advantage of opportunities for economic growth, skills development and the creation of new jobs.



Councillor David Westley, Leader of the Borough Council and portfolio holder for Regeneration, attended the LCRCA meeting on Friday 23 January 2015, along with Kim Webber, the Councils Managing Director (Transformation).



The packed agenda looked at a number of issues of importance to businesses in West Lancashire, including the development of a long term freight strategy. Many West Lancashire businesses are involved in logistics so how freight will be moved in the future into and around the City Region, whether it be through the port or by road or rail, will be of interest to them.



Inward investment into the region and investment in skills were other important agenda items with relevance for West Lancashire.



Councillor Westley said: Our involvement with the LCRCA enables us to have a say on emerging strategies aimed at boosting the local economy with benefits for West Lancashire and the Liverpool City Region. This helps make jobs more secure and creates new ones, which benefits us all.



It was a very interesting meeting and we have learned a lot already. I am sure our membership will help West Lancashire prosper well into the future.



Councillor Phil Davies, Chairman of the LCRCA, said: I was delighted to welcome Cllr David Westley as an associate member to our recent meeting. I am sure he could see the real benefits we are delivering here in the City Region on strategic priority areas such as transport and economic growth. We are making fantastic progress and its great that West Lancashire can be involved in this work.



Taking up associate membership of the LCRCA, which is free to the Council, will enable it to build on its good relationships with neighbouring authorities in Liverpool City Region. Maintaining and improving these links is of vital importance to the local economy, as shown by the recent West Lancashire Economy Study.



West Lancashire Borough Council is also a Corporate Member of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), working together to promote key sites such as the G-Park sites in Skelmersdale as part of the Superport initiative, and continues to play an active role in Lancashire.



For more information on the West Lancashire economy please visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/localeconomy

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January 30, 2015

Scott estate bus services safe – for the next fortnight



Jane Thompson, a prospective candidate for new Independent group, 'Our West Lancashire' has welcomed news that Scott wards bus service to Ormskirk town centre is safe - for now.

She recently organised a petition of local residents with regard to suggested cuts from Lancashire County Council which was threatening to stop funding the local bus service between Scott Estate and Ormskirk Town Centre, stop repairs of uneven pavements below 25mm, and dim street lights by half to save money in the budget.

She told QLocal: I am delighted that because of pressure from YOU, the residents of Scott ward, the funding for the local bus service will continue.

Thank you to all who signed or returned the petition. The county council also seem to be shifting its position on dimming street lights in the ward. However, it still plans cuts and I will work hard to help give local residents a voice.

She concluded, 'Our West Lancashire is a new group of independents working hard to represent residents. Things need to change. West Lancashire is for residents after all and we aim to be a voice for people ignored and neglected by the main parties.

Responding, Mike Kirby, Director of Transport and Environment thanked her for the petition, saying: With regards to bus services, Lancashire County Council is under severe financial pressure as a result of unprecedented funding cuts by central government, at the same time as costs and demand for services continue to rise. This means that we have to find a further 216m in savings from the council's annual expenditure by April 2018, by which time its overall budget for local services is expected to have reduced to 664m.

In November 2014, Lancashire County Council's cabinet was presented with a series of options, suggested by the Management Team, which could help to deliver those savings. Supported bus services were just one of the many services provided by Lancashire County Council that were being considered as part of the budget options, about which we invited feedback before County Councillor Members decided how to make further savings from the council's budget.

Following the feedback received, the cabinet reconsidered all of the options and have determined that the level of subsidy would not be withdrawn from supported bus services, in presenting its budget proposals.

Final decisions will be made when the Full Council sets its budget at its meeting on 12 February 2015.

In respect to Street Lighting, Lancashire County Council has a programme to install energy saving measures to streetlights which began in 2009 by fitting LED lamps to streetlights and fitting controls which allow them to be turned down or dimmed. In relation to Scott Ward street lighting, there are no immediate plans to implement the 50% dimming regime, as this area has not been investigated for suitability and we do have some longer-term solutions if an area is found unsuitable such as LED's.

As the local highway authority in Lancashire we have a responsibility to maintain the public highway to a safe standard. All roads and pavements in Lancashire are inspected on a frequency dependent upon their classification which relates to their use and during those inspections we note and undertake any safety repairs as required. We also respond to reports made by members of the public either noting the conditions for consideration in assembling future programmes of work or carrying out repairs where we believe this to be warranted due to their scale and nature. This means that not all reported defects will be treated in the short to medium term.

As you have appreciated the county council currently faces financially challenging times as by 2017-18, we have to find 300 million of savings in the council's annual budget compared to 2013-14. To meet this challenge the county council is going through significant transformation however our new organisation will be committed to serving our communities by supporting and creating prosperity, health and wellbeing and having a safe road network with good public transportation is integral to achieving this end.

I can assure you that all changes are being carried out with due care, consideration and extensive consultation with all stakeholders including county councillors, the public and employees. The final budget decisions will be made by the Full Council following receipt of all feedback from all stakeholders.

"I trust this clarifies the current position, he concluded.

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January 30, 2015

Preston Firm Fined After Southport Man Falls To His Death

Preston solar panel firm sentenced over roof fall death

A Preston-based company, which installs solar panels, has been fined 45,000 following the death of a worker who fell through a barn roof.

Gregorz Sobko had been working on the roof of a cowshed when one of the clear plastic panels, designed to let in light, gave way. The 34-year-old from Southport fell five metres to the concrete floor below and died in hospital ten days later.



Eco Generation Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at Tower View Farm in Hutton on 15 November 2011 after an investigation found the company had failed to provide vital safety equipment.



Preston Crown Court heard today (30 January 2015) that the company had been hired to fit solar panels to the flat roof on the cowshed, which was about 20 metres wide by 60 metres long.





Each worker had only been given two wooden planks, known as youngmans boards, to stand on while they worked, despite there being dozens of fragile plastic panels on the roof.



Mr Sobko had been fitting a solar panel just over a metre away from one of the fragile roof panels when he accidentally stepped on it and fell through the roof.



The court was told there were several measures Eco Generation could have taken to protect workers, such installing netting under the panels, placing protective covers over them or putting up barriers.



The HSE investigation found the company had installed netting under some of the panels but not under the one the worker fell through.



Eco Generation Ltd, of Watkin Lane in Lostock Hall, was fined 45,000 and ordered to pay 20,515 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.



Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Chris Smith said:



Gregorz tragically lost his life because his employer failed to make sure basic safety measures were in place to protect workers.


The risk of people falling through fragile roofs in well known, and the fact that Eco Generation installed netting under a small part of the roof shows the company was aware of the dangers. However, this didnt even come close to what was needed to protect the workers.



The youngmans boards provided were entirely unsuitable and instead a proper working platform or safety barriers should have been erected on the roof.



It is vital firms carrying out work on roofs take the risks seriously and put measures in place to protect their employees, otherwise we will continue to see the needless deaths of workers like Gregorz.



Information on preventing falls from height is available at www.hse.gov.uk/falls .

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January 30, 2015

How every little (one) helped at Ormskirk’s Tesco Metro!



Children from one of Ormskirks leading nurseries played shop for real - thanks to Ormskirks Tesco Metro.





Toddlers from the Ruff Lane Day Nursery were invited along by manager Claire Zenko for an insight into the Church St store.



And there was no trouble in store as they spent an enjoyable Thursday morning up
and down the aisles sizing up the fruit and veg. - before scanning it at the till - feeling the chill in the freezer cabinets and then enjoying drinks and snacks in the staff canteen.

Said nursery owner Charlotte Thomas: We had a brilliant time and the children learnt such a lot from their visit.



Claire was lovely and they really took to her, asking lots of interesting questions about her job.

Children left the store complete with some Christmas hats to end a memorable visit.



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