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Ring out the old....
Stage Wrong?
Two Fracking Views
Q'way Inquiry2 Due Soon
Shale Gas Inquiry
Melton Grove at Council
Melton Grove Scrutinised
Cockle Bed Ban
A Shocking State
Ballam Road 2 Refused
Q'way Pre Inquiry 2
Obituary: David Mitchell
Planning Update
Obituary: George Bamber
Free-ride for Kensington?
Planning Protest Grows
Talking Rubbish?
Travellers Rejected
Ballam Road Mk2
Change of Plan?
Snippets August 2011
Pool Audit Report
Council: 25 July 2011
Extra Ordinary Meeting
Heroes and Villains
Con Group Meeting
Abandon Hope
Q'way Inquiry to re-open
Melton: New Depths
Pressing Audit?
Fylde's Tyranny
Premature Ejaculation?
Humbling Experience
Localism 3rd Reading
Call For Help
Election: Analysis
Election Results 2011
Election: The Final Lap
Melton Grove: Claims
Runners & Riders 2011
Road Block
Still a Shambles
Melton Grove Call-In
Post Cabinet 3.11
Short Sighted Vision
What a Waste
Funding Call Lytham Hall
Cabinet Misc March 2011
Rolling in it?
Political Capital?
Melton Grove Meetings
Melton Grove Scandal
Melton Grove Mess
Traveller Inquiry
Snippets Feb 2011
Select Evidence
Future Vision
Budget Prep: 2011
Tax Con: Cabinet's View
Tax Con: Parish Views
Gas Exploration
Tax Con: About Turn?










The Archive: 2011

Ring out the old: Ring in the NewRing 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?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....

Two views of a Shale Gas Meeting in St AnnesTwo 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.....

Queensway Second Inquiry Due SoonQueensway 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 InquiryShale 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)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 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....

Melton Grove at ScrutinyMelton Grove 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 BanCockle 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 StateA 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.......

Ballam Road Mk2 - Appeal RefusedBallam Road 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?...

Queensway: Pre Public Inquiry Mk2Queensway: Pre 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...

Obituary: David MitchellObituary: David 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 UpdatePlanning 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 BamberObituary: 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?Exclusive.  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....

National Planning Protest GrowsNational Planning 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?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....

Travellers Appeal Rejected by St EricTravellers 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 Mk 2Ballam 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?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 2011Snippets 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 ReportExclusive. 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....

Council Meeting 25 July 2011Council Meeting 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....

Extra Ordinary Council MeetingExtra-Ordinary 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 VillainsHeroes 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....

Conservative Group MeetingConservative Group 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 EnterAbandon 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?....

Queensway Inquiry to re-openQueensway Inquiry 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....

Melton Grove: Plumbing New Depths.Melton Grove: 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 AuditPressing 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 TrrannyFylde'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' .

Premature Ejaculation?Exclusive. Premature 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 ExperienceA 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 ReadingLocalism 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 GroveCall 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.....

Election Analysis 2011 FyldeElection Analysis 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....

Election Results 2011 FyldeElection Results 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 LapElection: 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....

Pre-Election Review: Runners and Riders 2011Melton 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....

Pre-Election Review: Runners and Riders 2011Pre-Election 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 time....

Road BlockRoad Block   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 ShamblesStill 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 InMelton 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

Post Cabinet Report: March 2011Post Cabinet 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 answered properly.

Short Sighted VisionShort 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.'

What a WasteWhat a 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.

Capital Funding Request - Lytham HallCapital 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 people....

Cabinet Misc. March 2011Cabinet 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?Rolling in it?   10 March 2011
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....

Political Capital?Political 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 MeetingsExclusive.  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 ScandalExclusive.  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....

Melton Grove MessMelton 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?....

Traveller InquiryTraveller 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....

Snippets February 2011Snippets 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 EvicenceSelect Evidence   3 February 2011
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 .....

Future VisionFuture Vision  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 .....

Budget Preparation: 2011Budget Preparation: 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 SpeaksTax 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 SpeakTax 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 ExplorationGas Exploration  9 January 2011
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? or Cock-Up?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?.....

Dated:  31 December 2011

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