The Archive: 2012
|Wesham Postponed 19
December 2012 |
Shocks all round as Fylde's Development Management Committee meet and decline to determine a resubmission of the same application they refused in
September. We're impressed by those who support the call not to consider the application....
|Wesham: Home Truths?
11 December 2012 |
It should be planning about Wesham tomorrow but it has been deferred for a week, and members are to get more 'training' about housing numbers.
There's a lot been going on out of sight behind the scenes. Form your own views as we relay the story. Once upon a time....
Secrecy 7 December 2012 |
an item about bringing more openness and transparency into Local Government, Fylde votes to exclude Non Cabinet members from Cabinet Briefings. The Deputy Mayor does an 'Earl
Spencer' and exposes the disgrace that decision making has become at Fylde....
|Dog-Eared Decision 22
November 2012 |
Fylde's Cabinet turns down a Civic Society request to implement dog control measures in Witchwood. It's an example of why the Cabinet system of
decision making is so awful. Our verdict: improper logic and complete incompetence. Watch the video and judge for yourself.....
and Crime Commissioner Result 21 November 2012 |
Clive Grunshaw wins, but the real story is the imposition of change on an unwilling electorate, a crushing
defeat for the principle with the lowest ever turnout in a national vote, the use of the Supplementary Vote system, and the number of rejected ballot papers....
|Police and Crime
Commissioner Vote 8 November 2012 |
We take a final look at the prelude to a vote on 15th November that will establish positions for county-wide 'Police and
Crime Commissioners' to oversee and set the budgets and priorities for policing.
|Obituary: Cllr Wilf
Callon 5 November 2012 |
We record the sad passing of Alderman and former Lytham Councillor, Wilf Callon. An able councillor, a man with genuine
and deep concern for his fellow man, and Fylde's one and only Labour Mayor.
|More Planning News 2
November 2012 |
Four articles in one - A planning appeal that went against FBC and could have far reaching implications. News of the recent Jones Homes exhibition
at Staining. Recent moves in the saga of development at Wesham, and more planning madness from Government as policies change...
|Fracking Treatment 16
October 2012 |
An update since our July article. News of a public meeting on Thursday, comment on the special meeting for councillors, Government views, court
case & lapsed planning permission, but chiefly, we break news of the process Cuadrilla want to use to dispose of the wastewater from fracking ...
12 October 2012 |
'Planning' in England is becoming an utterly hopeless mess of conflicting local and national policies. Planning should be about permanence. Its
horizon is now about three weeks. Fylde's Planning Portfolio Holder Trevor Fiddler calls it "Alice in Wonderland." We have another view...
|20 mph 4 October 2012 |
Dim Tim's 20 mph speed limit throughout the whole of Lancashire is costing £9m - and we say it's a waste of our money. It is wrong in principle. According to official figures
it hardly works, and last year the number of accidents in 20mph zones increased by 24%. What's going on....
|Homebuyer Support 30
September 2012 |
Fylde joins a mortgage indemnity scheme to offer first time buyers an easier path onto the housing ladder. It's limited to houses a bit less than
£150,000 but it will give big savings and lower deposits to young couples. There are some risks, but we think they're well worth it....
|Turning Tides? 27
September 2012 |
We report from a major conference in Blackpool about bathing water standards. Sounds like trouble on the way, with the probability of 'No
Bathing' notices being erected on the beaches; but at least we get a new strategy group....
2012 20 September 2012 |
Blue Mole's latest news from the Conservative group. Fylde's MP has been 're-shuffled'. A puzzle about Fylde's Shale Gas
Advisor (or not?). Cabinet secrecy - the row simply won't die down. Late bin delivery notices are out for 'phase 3' households. The 20mph limit is on its way....
Think of England 12 September 2012 |
To St Margaret's to hear Fylde's planners consider the latest application to build houses just outside Wesham. The stage was set for trouble, but Committee dug in their heels
and refused the application. But not before dropping some bombs....
|Taxing Decision 8
September 2012 |
There are changes afoot in the benefit for those unable to pay their Council tax. From next April the (up to now, Government) benefit is
to be cut by 10% and it will become a locally based scheme. Some people will be protected - so others will have deeper cuts...
|The Vic's Progress 6
September 2012 |
We bring readers news of the direction being followed, and of some of the progress being made, by the newly formed Victoria Hotel Community
Association who are building up to exercise their "Right to Buy" the Vic under the Localism Act....
|New Developments 30
August 2012 |
The Government has moved the planning goalposts, and it's about to make them much bigger so developers can score more easily. Middle England is
taking up arms. We look at Fylde (whose very name means: 'let the field rejoice') is under threat, as developers move in....
|Their Worst Nightmare?
27 August 2012 |
St Eric Pickles has issued Regulations and an Press Statement about making the business of Town Halls more open and transparent. There are some
changes, especially provision for "citizen reporters" who, he says, should be able to tweet and live-blog council meetings....
25 August 2012 |
We have a closer look at the fast and furious arrangements that are now being made behind the scenes to elect a Police Commissioner on
15th November. To our dismay, it's turning very party political, and our readers simply won't believe who has been selected as the Conservative candidate.....
Change 2012 5 August 2012 |
After the Melton Grove scandal, Fylde Council instructed its Audit Committee to look into eleven measures to help stop it
happening again. Last week Full Council learned how officers had buried their inquiry in a multitude of smaller changes to the Constitution. The grass is getting very
|Not Out? 29 July 2012 |
Blackpool Council's Thames School might have broken the law when it sold 'Captain of the Eleven' for £290,000 to fund building repairs. We think it probably contravened
the "County of Lancashire Act 1984" which specifically prevents works of art being disposed of for such purposes.....
|Shale Gas Panel 27
July 2012 |
Our take on the Shale Gas meeting of 25 July 2012 arranged by Mark Menzies MP to let local people question the regulators and experts about shale gas
drilling. A lively meeting but showing some worrying trends we thought. There's a lot more to run on this matter yet....
Service? 23 July 2012 |
The CPS is seeking your comments on a plan to add cost-effectiveness to the tests made before a prosecution can commence.
It's an awful idea, as is their plan to only prosecute ringleaders when a group is involved. We bring you the story and encourage everyone to have a say....
|Shale Gas: THE Meeting
20 July 2012 |
We bring readers news of what we think will become the definitive Fylde meeting (next Wednesday at 7pm) on shale gas exploration, together
with a technical analysis of some shale gas fluids and issues that is probably more accurate than the one we provided before....
|Sewage Kills Cockling
20 July 2012 |
The sewage contamination we referred to back in May has claimed it's first victim. The cockle beds off Lytham will not be re-opened as planned,
they will stay closed for the foreseeable future. Is anybody at Fylde getting a grip on pollution matters, or is no one bothered?....
|Queensway Lost 11 July
Our review and analysis following the Government's decision to allow Kensington to build 1,150 homes off Queensway despite vociferous local opposition. We
can see trouble ahead if plans stay as they are. Some folk are leaving already. What went wrong and what does it all mean?....
|State of Credit 8 July
The banking and financial systems we all use are in the news again, for all the wrong reasons. We (unusually) step outside Fylde, and offer our own
take on what went wrong, what the implications are, and what 'fixing it' really means if it's not 'more of the same'....
By-election Result 5 July 2012 |
Fylde and Heyhouses have a new councillor tonight. After a mostly clean contest with six candidates vying for the
votes of 3,700 people, the work is over and the decision is made. We bring readers the low-down on who was elected, and what it means for Fylde....
the Vic: June 2012 28 June 2012 |
Analysis of 'the Vic' decision; Tyranny abounds at FBC; Parks Asset Transfer 'U' Turn in St Annes; Invasion of
Privacy; An Old Name Resurfaces; Trouble in Newton; Trouble in Westby; Will a Heyhouses by-election be a Turning Point for Fylde? And The Day the Music Died....
By-Election: Runners and Riders 8 June 2012 |
We bring readers first sight and analysis of the candidates vying to be elected a Borough Councillor in
the Heyhouses By-Election on 5 July 2012. In all there are six candidates standing. Which will replace former Cllr Peter Wood - who left to give more time to his business ?....
|Housing Numbers 6
June 2012 |
Fylde announces the housing numbers for its new local plan. Amid controversy and secrecy about the process to arrive at the number, we cut through the
obfuscation and bring you the background; what really went on behind the scenes, and how the numbers are derived.....
|All Change (BM) 24 May 2012 |
Blue Mole writes to us again - this time with the inside track on the recent Fylde Conservative Group meeting. Who's in and who's out? Who's planning to leave? What happened to
the Corporate Governance vote? Blue Mole seems to know what took place.....
|Sewage Sea Shore 24
May 2012 |
We consider the recent beach water test failures and wonder why councillors at Fylde (unlike Wyre) don't seem to be part of the 'Fylde Peninsula Water
Management Group' and we wonder what that's up to. It's meetings have no public agenda and you can't go to them....
Shale Gas Update 19 May 2012 |
Our take on Fylde's Scrutiny Committee meeting to consider the report of their Task and Finish Group into the matter of shale gas exploration - or is it exploitation? We're not
sure. And neither are they. Good attempt, but could do better in our opinion. See what you make of it.....
|Jumping Ship 17 May 2012 |
We bring news of the Conservative Annual Meeting which sees David Eaves retain leadership of the Conservative Group and new Councillor Peter Wood decide he's had enough already
and it's time for him to leave the Council. We wonder what's been going on behind the scenes....
|Not The Wrea To Do It
16 May 2012 |
We bring readers our take on the war of words that has broken out over the proposed Greenlands Sports Village at Wrea Green, some of which
seems a bit on the strong side to us. Fylde's CE is evidently very cross about the unattributed leaflet supporting the scheme.
Vic' Public Inquiry 24 April 2012 |
We report the Public Inquiry into McCarthy and Stone's plan to demolish 'The Vic', and build apartments. We'd
like the inspector to say 'Appeal Refused' but because in planning terms, it's not protected, he's almost certain to approve. That's down to Fylde's planning policies....
|Fracking Hell 19
April 2012 |
As the Government decides to move cautiously ahead with shale gas exploration, we test the water amongst local residents at an anti-fracking
meeting and find opinion hardening against the drilling. The 'anti' case seems to be gaining poular, as well as activist, support...
|Vic Inquiry Due Soon
12 April 2012 |
We preview the forthcoming inquiry (24th Apr) that will hear McCarthy and Stone's case to demolish a much loved friend, and put up
apartments. Sadly we think the developers will win this one, and the folks who are trying to stop them will be cut to ribbons as they try to defend what Fylde believes is
|Wrea Green Sports Plan
4 April 2012 |
We report our take on the planning meeting called to consider the application by the Haythornthwaite Sports Foundation to create a 'Sports
Village' next to Wrea Green. Fylde made the meeting a 'ticket only' event because of concerns about the likely number of public attending. So what happened?...
|Ticket to Watch
30 March 2012 |
Obscuring their administrative failings by quoting 'elf n' safety' - Fylde send a panic email to councillors. Public access to the next
'Planning' meeting will be by ticket only. Wrea Green is rising up in protest at the 'Greenland Sports Village' planned on their doorstep. Will they get in?...
|St David's Road
North Depot Sale 30 March 2012 |
We wonder if FBC need a brain transplant. They're planning to sell the depot site for housing for £400, and
in order to do so they're giving the purchaser a grant of £600k. But actually, we think it's a clever wheeze to mony-launder half a million of 'affordable housing' money
into spendable receipts....
|Zero Percent? - Not on
your life. 29 February 2012 |
We pose the question - when is a zero percent Council Tax increase equal to a 4.99% or 20% or maybe even 31%
increase? And the answer is - when it's set by a council where Fylde Conservatives have a majority. Stand by for rises that aren't rises at all. What's going on? ....
|Snippets February 2012
29 February 2012 |
Our Blue Mole writes about a ban on press contact for Fylde Conservatives. We have a quick look at 'The Vic' in St Annes. We also report
an 'advert' for a new Trustee at Lowther Gardens, and wonder who'll be Lancashire's first Police Commissioner. There's also some fracking as well....
|Pontins: Ten Grand?
3 February 2012 |
We look at how the quashing of the Pontins planning application happened, Why it was quashed, and how much the mistakes might have cost
Fylde Taxpayers. We also wonder who actually knew about it, and where we go from here with the Pontins site....
|The Final Act? 2
February 2012 |
Fylde's amateur dramatics groups and Lowther Pavilion users see some welcome movement on the Lowther Gardens Trust impasse. But is it
enough? And if it is, will the plaster that's being applied to the fractured skull solve the long term problems? Sadly we don't think so....
|Melton Grove at
Audit 27 January 2012 |
Fylde's Audit Committee consider the Council's recommendations about Melton Grove. A good meeting, but officers seem to be
taking control of this item. An independent expert from Blackpool is being brought in to advise the Committee. We ask whether another whitewash is being lined up?....
|Consequences 25 January
Fylde Council meets. Cllr Mulholland and others launch an assault on a former Director of Clifton (Lytham) Housing Association to prevent her from
representing Fylde on an external organisation claiming he was "horrified" with her answers about Melton Grove....
|Tax Con: 3rd Time
Lucky 24 January 2012 |
Fylde finally approved a Tax Con at its 3rd attempt. It will see the tax we pay go up by 4.99% on last year and set
a precedent for bigger rises in the future. Yet FBC will say they're freezing Council Tax again this year, so how can that be, and which Councillors voted for the tax rise....
|Enterprise Zone 23
January 2012 |
Fylde Cabinet hears about plans for an Enterprise Zone at BAe in Warton. It will be an important development for Fylde so we have a look at
what's involved. We find there's good news and less good news, and we have a few worries about the speed it's being pushed through.....
|No Solutions 22 January
True to his word, Fylde's new Chief Executive, supported by David Eaves, has abandoned plans to create FBC Solutions Ltd, an arms length commercial
contracting company. It's an excellent decision. We bring readers the rise and fall of FBC Solutions Ltd, which is now at a sticky end.....
Puzzle 21 January 2012 |
The Northern Trust applications for homes on the former Pontins site gets into a muddle and becomes a puzzle. A mystery
planning application appears with no descriptions, legal judgement being hidden from view (and possibly hidden from councillors). We ask what's going on?....
|Queensway Inquiry Mk2
21 January 2012|
We report the first day of the second Queensway Inquiry where new evidence will be presented to try to persuade Rt Hon St Eric Pickles to change his mind and
agree the scheme. We hope he's not going to do that.....
13 January 2012 |
To Wesham again, to a public meeting to hear about Metacre's new plan to build on farmland north of the settlement. Looks a lot like Phase 1 of a
salami-slice scheme to us. We met some old friends and noted opposition to development has not diminished. Pikestaffs are being prepared....
Bombshell 11 January 2012 |
We hear of a new flood assessment that will re-classify half of Queensway as Flood Zone 3 (unsuitable for
housing). Councillors seem to have been told about the report and asked to endorse it, without actually being given a copy! It could be cock-up of course, but it sounds more
like conspiracy to us. We call on FBC to come clean....