Hosted by Poulton & Carleton Residents’ Association
Meeting held 12th May 2015
Summary of main points discussed, decisions and actions agreed
1. Welcome and Introductions
Lesley Middleton introduced herself and Bill Waller (Residents’ Association Chair and Vice-Chair respectively) and welcomed those present to the 15th Forum meeting.
Attendees: Approximately 110 members of the public plus Wyre Councillors Roger Berry, Barry Birch, Colette Birch, Simon Bridge, Peter Gibson, and Poulton’s Lancashire County Councillor, Alf Clempson. Apologies for absence received from some members of the public and from Wyre Councillors David Henderson, Ron Greenhough and Lesley McKay.
There is approximately £154 in the Association’s bank account and donations would therefore not be sought at this meeting. The Lytham Coastguard team and the Methodist Church will be given donations of £30 and £20 respectively.
3. The Local Coastguard Team
Paul Little, Station Officer for the Lytham Coastguard Rescue Team, gave a presentation on their work. The Coastguard service was originally formed in 1822 and its rescue teams are staffed by volunteers just like the RNLI but, unlike the latter which is a charity, the Coastguards are taxpayer funded. Nationally the service has approximately 3500 volunteers and 700 employees. Paul has a team of 11 and last year they received 229 callouts; the lifeboat received 70. The Lytham team covers an area of approximately 40 miles along the Fylde coast running north from The Ribble. The Coastguard service is accessed by ringing 999 with calls then routed to a control centre. That centre contacts the relevant station officer who coordinates the resources needed e.g. lifeboat, helicopter, search parties etc. Where necessary Paul liaises with other teams based in Fleetwood and Knott End to the north and Southport to the south. Paul described the types of equipment the service uses – including 5 different types of lifejacket (totalling 17) – and also highlighted some of the incidents they have attended in recent years. (See www.lytham-coastguard.co.uk for contact information.)
4. Dementia Friends
Ann Dobson, a volunteer from the Alzheimer’s Society, delivered an information session on that organisation’s ‘Dementia Friends’ initiative. The aim of this initiative is to change the way people think, talk and act about dementia. It seeks to make the perception of living with dementia more positive, help people appreciate what it is like to live with dementia and thus help to create dementia-friendly communities. Ann described some of the causes, symptoms and effects of dementia – itself a generic term for a range of conditions. Dementia is not a natural part of aging – healthy living helps with prevention – but approximately one in fourteen people over the age of 65 live with dementia. It is caused by diseases of the brain and is progressive but the rate of change varies considerably. At this time there is no cure but there is medication which can help manage the progression. Memory loss is a common symptom and Ann described the effect that loosing different types of memory – e.g. factual memories and emotional memories – can have. Loosing short term memory is usually an early symptom of Alzheimer’s and it is important to discuss these changes with a GP. Dementia can also affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks but it is possible to live well with the condition. A ‘Dementia Friend’ will recognise that there is more to a person than their dementia and will provide the help and support that will allow people with dementia to take an active role in life. (See www.alzheimers.org.uk or phone 0300 222 1122 for more information about dementia or www.dementiafriends.org.uk for more information about ‘Dementia Friends’.)
5. Planning Updates
5.1. Peter Gibson prefaced his remarks by observing that, although the Forum was in no sense a political meeting, he wished to take the opportunity to thank voters for their support in the recent election. He also thanked Lesley, Bill and Pat for their work in running Forum meetings. Finally, he wished to say thank you and farewell to the recently retired owners of The Cosy Corner Cafe.
5.2. Carr Head Lane: Peter confirmed that after the planning application for this development had been turned down by the Planning Committee, the developers Redrow sought a public enquiry. The Planning Inspector upheld Wyre Council’s objection to this and will instead hold an Informal Hearing at the Civic Centre on 9th (and possibly 10th) of June. This hearing is open to the public. Steve Davies reported that Carr Head Lane Residents’ Association had put in a submission and this should be available to read in the planning section of the Wyre Council website. Steve expressed thanks to Peter, Simon Bridge and Alf Clempson for their time and help.
5.3. Former Moorland Motors site: following public consultation, Lidl are expected to submit a planning application to open a store on this site.
5.4. Garstang Road East: An application has been received to build 519 dwellings. This land has been designated for housing but Peter’s view is that the proposed number is far too large; a view that local schools and GP surgeries share. Residents who wish to object to this development can do so in writing to Wyre Council at the Civic Centre or by email to email@example.com quoting application reference 15/00298/LMAJ. Technically there is a 22nd May deadline for objections but Peter confirmed that objections can be made up to the date of the committee meeting.
5.5. Blackpool Old Road: an application is expected to build two houses behind Number 61.
6. Poulton Gala
Roger Critchley reported that this year’s Gala will take place on Saturday 6th June with entertainment in the Market Place between 10.00 and 4.30 (approximately) and the parade departing the Civic Centre at 12.00 and travelling along Station Road, Higher Green, Chapel Street, Breck Road, Victoria Road, Vicarage Road, Ball Street, Queensway and Blackpool Old Road to reach the Market Place by 1.00pm. The organisers are still looking for volunteers to be marshals on the parade route. There will be a fun fair in Cottam Hall playing fields on Friday (6pm-9.30pm), Saturday (1pm – 9.30pm) and Sunday (1pm-5.30pm). (See www.poultongala.org.uk for more information.)
7. Updates since Forum on 9th February
7.1. Street/Road/Transport-related issues
Alf Clempson reported that
i) He had spoken to the police about taxi over-ranking on Ball Street but it is a licensing issue and therefore for Wyre Council to address;
ii) He is awaiting a reply to his letter to Northern Rail about the condition of local trains and has involved Ben Wallace in this matter;
iii) Loose slabs are being fixed in the Market Place and there are ongoing efforts to fix the problems caused by water retention – report any further problems to Alf;
iv) Implementation of the lorry ban on Moorland Road is still awaited but meanwhile painting some double yellow lines has helped ease parking problems. Unfortunately, that in turn has led to speeding problems which he has discussed with the Police and they will have a speed gun exercise; residents are urged to stick to the 20mph limit;
v) Work on the new Hardhorn car park road is expected to start after Gala day. No changes are planned to traffic routes on Ball Street or Higher/Lower Green. New pedestrian crossings are planned by The New Penny/Golden Ball on Ball Street and between The Stocks and NatWest Bank on Blackpool Old Road. Alf is going to do a survey to identify challenges for disabled and elderly people trying to navigate round Poulton and would welcome input;
vi) Bids have been submitted for long term fixes for pavements e.g. to replace slabs with tarmac but any short term fixes that are needed should be reported to him.
Alf’s contact details remain: email firstname.lastname@example.org , Mobile – 07983 335630, but his informal surgery is now held in the New Penny Cafe between 10.00 and 12.00 on Saturday.
8. Any Other Business
8.1. Poulton in Bloom
Carol Woolley reported that it had been decided not to enter the RHS competition this year but a number of beds, including some new ones and containers will be planted. The various sponsors supporting this were thanked for their generosity. The group will consider entering the Wyre in Bloom competition next year when the Booths development is complete.
8.2. The Big Gig
Organisers of the Big Gig in the Park, to be held on 12 July are still looking for volunteers to help. Names to Lesley please.
8.3. Jean Stansfield/Vicarage Park
Friends of the Park are still looking for votes to support their bid for funds to build a play area. Please cast your votes at www.aviva.co.uk/community by 30th May.
8.4. Spa Open Weekend
The new spa at Poulton YMCA is hosting an open weekend on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May. The weekend will combine tours of The Spa on the Breck with free taster classes in the Poulton YMCA studio. Classes will run from 9.00am to 1.45pm with 45 minute taster sessions of the class programme offered at the YMCA. Spa on the Breck will be open from 10.00am to 6.00pm. For more information or to book a class call 01253 891629. Also see www.ymcayactive.org
8.5. Under-age Drinking
Councillor Simon Bridge confirmed that he is aware of the recent press report that 5 out of 10 licensed premises in Poulton were selling alcohol to under-age drinkers. Now that the election is finished he is working with the new Licensing Officer to take necessary action.
9. Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be on TUES 18th August 2015 in St Martin’s & St Hilda’s Church Hall at Carlton.