The Archive: 2011
|Ring out the
old: Ring in the New 28 December 2011|
Fylde's Chief Executive Philip Woodward retires. New broom Alan ield takes over. We review events of Mr Woodward's
reign, and look where the 'new man' is likely to take us. Oh yes, and we've another report from our friend the Blue Mole....
|Stage Wrong? 25
December 2011 |
Fylde's Scrutiny Committee excludes the public from hearing about the mess it's getting itself into with the Lowther Gardens Trust. We ask if this is a
comedy turning into a tragedy. We also examine moves 'offstage' with the Friends of Lowther Pavilion and the users of the pavilion....
Fracking Views 20 December 2011 |
Friends of the Earth held a meeting in St Annes about shale gas drilling and fracking. We publish the views of two readers who
attended the same meeting but formed different opinions. We also restate our own view that it's too soon to make a call on this issue at the moment.....
Second Inquiry Due Soon 18 December 2011 |
The second Queensway Public Inquiry starts on 10 January at Lowther Pavilion. We explain some of the issues, and highlight
some of Kensington's latest tactics which include a huge public survey that's probably going to show at least what appears to be, a lot of public support.....
|Shale Gas Inquiry 5
December 2011 |
We report the Scrutiny Committee meeting that received the interim report of their own Task and Finish Group on Shale Gas exploration in Fylde. To be honest,
it wasn't the impartial clear collation of evidence we'd hoped to see. What we did see was some of the worst bully-boy chairing Fylde has experienced.....
|Melton Grove at
Council (again) 2 December 2011 |
Council receive the Scrutiny Committee report into the sale of Melton Grove. Powerful speeches by Councillors record the
scandalous behaviour of the Council's officers, and the incompetence of both Board Members and the Cabinet. We can only agree. So what's going to happen next?....
|Curtain Up: Light
the Lights 23 November 2011 |
We shine our own spotlight on what's happening at Lowther Gardens Trust, and in particular what's happening with the Pavilion. We
find that all's not well. Few, if any have a grasp of the objects of the charity and that's the sole reason the Trust should exist. There's trouble brewing....
Scrutinised 11 November 2011 |
The Task & Finish Group report to Fylde's Community Focus Scrutiny Committee about Melton Grove. They found there was nothing
illegal, but they simply couldn't believe what an awful mess had been made by the complete lack of governance by officers. Neither will you....
|Cockle Bed Ban
7 November 2011 |
The North Western Inshore Fisheries And Conservation Authority has today closed the Cockle beds at Lytham with an emergency byelaw - supposedly to manage
cockle stocks, but really to halt the cockling gold-rush. We think this is a body that gets it wrong all the way along the line....
|A Shocking State
4 November 2011 |
The Task and Finish Group's report goes to Scrutiny on Tuesday. There are more questions than answers, and a great deal to worry about. It shows a
truly shocking state of affairs has been operating at Fylde. But it may be the last big nail in the coffin lid of Fylde's Cabinet.......
Mk2 - Appeal Refused 26 October 2011 |
Good news for many Lytham residents broke today. The appeal to build 11 new houses on countryside land outside the Lytham
settlement boundary on Ballam Road has been refused. That's two appeals on this site lost. What does it mean and why was it refused?...
Inquiry Mk2 21 October 2011 |
News of Fylde's decision to continue to oppose the Queensway scheme. It's Friday and we have news that St Eric has done it again - he does
like his Friday announcements. And we have a report of the Queensway Pre Inquiry meeting held at Lowther this morning...
Mitchell 12 October 2011 |
Former Lytham Councillor David Mitchell died on 28 September. He had been a Ratepayer councillor for many years and was one of Fylde's most
intellectual and deep thinkers- though his unassuming manner would have you believe otherwise. We're very sad to lose and old friend.....
|Planning News Update
10 October 2011 |
Fylde WILL contest the Queensway appeal. We also - belatedly and with apologies for what is our delay - bring you a reader's report on
the Wrea Green Stadium meeting, a review of the Bloor Homes exhibition in Kirkham and an update on national planning policy....
|Obituary: George Bamber
7 October 2011 |
We mourn the passing of 'Mr Wesham' Alderman, former Mayor, and previously Councillor George Bamber. An old style, polite, but forthright, advocate for his
electorate. A whiz with figures we've seen him eat officers (who couldn't add) up for breakfast. He's a great loss...
Free Ride for Kensington at Queensway? 2 October 2011 |
Fylde considers a secret report that recommends not objecting in principle to the
Queensway development in order to get the moss road. Officers are suggesting it is a price worth paying. We predict widespread anger from Fylde's residents....
Protest Grows 27 August 2011 |
We report the intensifying campaign of opposition to the Government's growth agenda for planning. Now the National Trust weighs in
with its membership and provides an online petition our readers can sign to oppose the policy change ....
|Talking Rubbish? 26
August 2011 |
Fylde's St David's Road Depot is in a sorry state, especially if you live or work around it. It has dumped asbestos and dumped fridges which, according
to FBC don't even exist (but they moved them this week). We wonder how such inaccurate statements can arise....
Rejected 24 August 2011 |
The appeal against Fylde's refusal of planning permission to traveller families on land at Hardhorn had been refused at appeal by the Rt
Hon St Eric Pickles. But to do so, he's had to squeeze through a lot of hoops that, frankly, we don't think he should have had to go through....
|Ballam Road Mk2 19
August 2011 |
We report the second Public Inquiry into plans to build on land off Ballam Road, Lytham. This time its 11 executive style houses being investigated.
But the decision will more likely be based on whether St Eric's plans for localism have been hammered by the Cala Homes legal cases....
|Change of Plan? 15
August 2011 |
Government looks set for some serious backtracking on the agenda for Planning. Out of the window goes the idea of grassroots-up planning heralded in
the Localism Bill. The new (top down) plan says 'Growth' is the new goal. There's trouble brewing....
|Snippets August 2011
8 August 2011 |
Is there trouble in the Tory camp? Will we have a politically appointed Mayor? Invasion of the Cockle Snatchers, Let
the people eat cake; Town Hall project gets under way (or will it), Melton Grove Task and Finish group makes a start....
Pool Audit Final Report 8 August 2011 |
At last, the Audit report on Fylde's handling of the pool tendering process is finally published, (with
limited circulation). Fylde will say it's in the clear, but it's not that clear cut. We'd have liked Audit to be a bit more thrusting and investigative, but they have found
things that need to change....
25 July 4 August 2011 |
Last Council before summer had Alderman appointments; Trouble with minutes; Revised Constitution; RIPA changes; New corporate
plan; Appointments to external bodies; Deputy 151 officer; and Standards Committee issues. Not a lot of excitement, but a few nuggets....
Council Meeting 18 July 2011 |
Even before the Extra-Ordinary Council meeting due on 18th July, there have been some extra ordinary events taking place in the
days leading up to it. The Mayor is charged to hold a meeting. The Conservatives are told to boycott it, St Louis the Magnificent goes to see Mr Woodward....
|Heroes and Villains 16
July 2011 |
Aided by weasel words from officers, the cowardly Directors meet in secret and remove Cllr Louis Rigby's share and thus his vote as a Director. The
exchange of contracts was effected on Friday: the last day before an Extra-Ordinary Council Meeting called to debate the matter....
Meeting 12 July 2011 |
Frenetic activity on the phone and email today as the Melton Grove story builds to aclimax. We get reports of the proceedings of the
Conservative Group Meeting on Monday night and more news about the timing of the disposal. The gloves come off - and there's the Iron Fist....
|Abandon Hope All Ye
Who Enter 10 July 2011 |
We finally give up on the higher echelons of the officer class at Fylde. It's time for renewal. In the words of one of our readers,
they are out of control. It's really sad to see what used to be a first rate little council so badly abused. So what is it that's causing the problems?....
to Re-Open 8 July 2011 |
St Eric announces the re-opening of the Queensway Inquiry and calls-in the Moss Road application. He doesn't trust Lancashire County
Council to make the right decision themselves and he will now consider both the road and the housing at one single Inquiry....
Plumbing New Depths. 5 July 2011 |
Fylde's Dim Tim's behaviour vies with Liverpool Militant's 'Degsy' Hatton as being the lowest to which an elected
councillor can sink. He is key to the plan to sack the widely respected Councillor Louis Rigby from the Board of Melton Grove - because he's holding up the sale....
|Pressing Audit? 28
June 2011 |
Fylde issues an inaccurate press release - even before their auditors have concluded the investigation. We wonder if it was issued under political
pressure to damage the election chances of one of the candidates in the Kilnhouse election.
|Fylde's Tyranny 22
June 2011 |
When you can't win by the rules - change the rules. It's Easy Peasy. The Directors of Melton Grove attempt to remove themselves from Council
control. And there are strange - remarkably rodent like - smells emanating from the process to select advisors and award the 'tender' .
Ejaculation? 29 May 2011|
Did Fylde Council suddenly and quickly issue a premature press release (about being cleared by their auditors on the pool tendering
process) in order to damage the prospects of a candidate in a recent election? They've now removed it from their website. We bring you the details....
|A Humbling Experience
26 May 2011|
We are reminded what it is about Lytham St Annes and Fylde that make this area so special - and we look at what happened over the week following our invitation
for counterbalance readers to help the residents of Melton Grove in their plight.....
|Localism Bill: Third
Reading 16 May 2011|
We review events in the Committee stage of the Bill as tomorrow at 3:30, it enters the House of Commons for its Report Stage and Third Reading.
This is a huge Bill - over 400 pages long and its whole intention is to shake up local Government in the hope that something better will emerge.....
|Call for Help:
Melton Grove 15 May 2011|
As the closing chapters in the sorry tale are written, we look at the duplicitous and Machiavellian steps taken by those running the
Council to sidestep the responsibility everyone knows they should have to Melton Grove, and exceptionally, we ask if our readers are willing to help.....
2011 12 May 2011|
We take a first look at what the election results are likely to mean for both Fylde and St Annes Town Councils. The dust is settling and
councillors are signing their acceptances of office, and finding out where they are - or where they are not, in some cases....
2011 6 May 2011|
The election results for Fylde Borough and St Annes Town Council. No great shocks - mostly more of the same. Richard Fulford-Brown has gone (to his
evident shock) and Charlie Duffy replaced him (to the delight of Melton Grove and many more Lytham residents)....
|Election: The Final Lap
1 May 2011|
We look at Fylde's political landscape in the final week of the election campaigns and assess how the candidates are doing, the main issues, what the trends are
and what sort of implications there might be for Fylde in the next four years depending on who gets voted in....
Grove: The Facts 14 April 2011|
Following a letter to the LSA Express from Cllr Patricia Fieldhouse, we received a copy of a response from the Melton Grove
Resident's Association. We have published the full text of both, so our readers can form their own views on the claims made by either side in this matter....
Review: Runners and Riders 2011 12 April 2011|
We preview the 2011 election due on May 5th and look at the runners and riders - the candidates competing
to win a place on Fylde Borough and St Annes on the Sea Town Councils. We give a personal view of their form to date, but see many new names that are unknown to us this
11 April 2011|
Lancashire County Council decide to disregard the advice of Fylde members to delay the moss road until the Queensway decision is known. They approve their own
planning application for the road, but then counterbalance's own Saint Eric Pickles steps in and puts a stop to that bit of nonsense....
|Still a Shambles
7 April 2011|
Fylde's Council considers the decision to sell Melton Grove and whether to give £300,000 of the proceeds to Lytham Hall. The meeting is an absolute shambles.
Items are mal-administered and missed from the agenda altogether. Honestly, you couldn't make it up.....
|Melton Grove Call In
27 March 2011|
Fylde's Scrutiny Committee debates the call in of the decision to sell Melton Grove. Many residents will find the background to this story incredible. The
Scrutiny Committee did a really good job of testing the decision. It was found wanting, and will now be debated at Council on Monday
Report: March 20111 24 March 2011|
Public Platform, Scrutiny Minutes, Wyre Waste, Lytham Hall / Melton Grove money matters , FBC Solutions
Ltd and other issues. We report the Cabinet's deliberation and consideration. Cllr Fiddler talks a lot of common sense and Queen Elizabeth has lots of questions that can't be
|Short Sighted Vision
20 March 2011|
Classic Resort status, and '2020 Vision' that was set to polish St Annes promenade to perfection, is abandoned for a 'more modest' scheme, and the vision
has been shortened to next year. Also, there's a scheme to do up Ansdell shops if some funds arrive 'unexpectedly.'
Waste 20 March 2011|
As we have been predicting for two years, Wyre Council have now said they won't even let Fylde onto their tender list to bid for the contract
to empty Wyre's bins again. This contract has been a disaster for both Councils. Seems to us that the problem is toward the top of the tree.
Funding Request - Lytham Hall 18 March 2011|
Surprise surprise. Just as Melton Grove is being lined up for sale, along comes a request from Lytham Hall for
£300,000 to help their lottery bid along. Will the Council give them the 'blood money' capital receipt that is so tainted it risks damaging the Hall itself in the eyes of local
Misc. March 2011 18 March 2011|
We look at some of the smaller 'giveaway' issues in the Cabinet agenda for Wednesday next, and wonder if there is an election in
the offing? We also look in a bit more depth at the tail end of the 'Tax Con 'for this year, and at 'FBC Solutions Ltd' which we think is a harbinger of trouble....
|Rolling in it? 10
The Ansdell Business Group reforms to consider how to spend £100,000 on regenerating Ansdell, or is it £22,000?, and is it coming from the sale of Melton Grove?
or the sale of the Blue Bus Co? and why has the date of the next Cabinet been moved back a week?. We're heading into trouble again....
Capital? 2 March 2011|
We ask if the Council's plan to sell off of Melton Grove will produce a 'blood money' capital receipt that is so tainted with shame that no
one will want to own up to using it. We think this scheme brings more shame to those who support it than anything Fylde Council has done before....
Melton Grove Meetings 2 March 2011|
We report two meetings held last week about FBC's plan to sell off Melton Grove. The residents had their own get-together to
form a Residents Association, and the current and potential future owners of the site met with residents to tell them what was going to happen to them....
Melton Grove Scandal 20 February 2011|
We're appalled at the way some Councillor Directors of Melton Grove have sought to abandon their duty and
responsibility toward present and future residents. The deceptions practised in this story of asset stripping have even shocked us - and we're used to incompetent behaviour....
Grove Mess 13 February 2011|
There's something fishy - or at least secretive - going on around the transactions aimed at moving Melton Grove housing out of the
public sector. Not least there's a deal of confusion about who owns it and what's going to happen to it. It's a Limited Company with Councillors as Directors. Or is it?....
Inquiry 8 February 2011|
We report on the Planning Inquiry in public that opened in St Annes on 8th Feb. The Inspector is very flexible, We have a top specialist
London Barrister batting against Fylde, but St Eric has made his task much more difficult - and it could be about to get a lot worse....
February 2011 8 February 2011|
BREAKING NEWS: Cala Homes lose their second Judicial Review, Whyndyke
Farm plans, Freedom Of The Borough, Fylde's Spending Published Online, Expensive Dog Doo, Tax Con: Cabinet Decision Called In, St Annes Library, Youth Service To Be Cut,
Queensway / Moss Road.....
|Select Evidence 3
The Fylde Civic Awareness Group gives evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee showing how Fylde people want to abandon the discredited Cabinet system and
return to a more democratic Committee system that's based on one-councillor-one-vote. Find out more .....
31 January 2011|
We're happy to report an excellent initiative from FBC. They are about to embark on a proper consultation and a community-led approach to their new local
plan. Anticipating St Eric's Localism agenda, they want everyone's view of what Fylde should be like in 20 years time. Find out more .....
2011 27 January 2011|
We report on the Scrutiny meetings held to recommend Draconian savings to FBC's Cabinet, only to find it's all a bit of
a waste of time. Members were pretty cross about the process that left them trying to make sense of figures that were 12 months out of date and £100,000 inaccurate .....
|Tax Con: The
Cabinet Speaks 20 January 2011|
Deputy Leader Susan Fazackerley chairs a Cabinet meeting to consider the Policy Scrutiny report. They're not happy bunnies. Asset
Transfers are off the agenda for a while, and the future for Strategic Assets is uncertain. Kirkham gets a kick in the teeth. We have all the story.....
|Tax Con: The
Parishes Speak 12 January 2011|
We report a meeting of Fylde's District Parish Liaison Group' called to consider Fylde's 'Asset Transfer' scheme. Fylde
officials say they won't attend the meeting. They cancelled it without consulting its Chairman. It's all going horribly wrong.....
|Gas Exploration 9
We report on a public meeting run by Fylde's Green Party to explore the plans of Cuadrilla Resources to test for gas in Fylde's shale deposits. Lots of
assertions, but light on hard facts, we found the meeting disappointing. That's not to say everything is fine and safe. As yet, no one knows.....
|Tax Con: About
Turn? 7 January 2011|
Fylde's Policy Development Scrutiny Committee considered the 'Asset Transfer' scheme and were distinctly unimpressed. One Councillor
said he would fight it all the way. The Cabinet says it has abandoned the plan - without even meeting to discuss it. What's going on? Will it cost us more?.....