16. Poulton Forum TUES 18 August 2015


Hosted by Poulton & Carleton Residents’ Association

Meeting held 18th August 2015

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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 16th Forum meeting.  

Attendees: Approximately 95 members of the public plus Wyre Councillors Roger Berry, Barry Birch, Peter Gibson, Lesley McKay, Michael Vincent, and Poulton’s Lancashire County Councillor, Alf Clempson.

Apologies for absence received from some members of the public and from Councillors Colette Birch, Simon Bridge, David Henderson and Ron Greenhough. Apologies also received from Sean Donnelly, Poulton YMCA, whose presentation would be re-scheduled

2. Finances

There is approximately £114 in the Association’s bank account and donations would therefore not be sought at this meeting.

3. Fire Safety in the Home

David Crocombe, Community Fire Safety Team Leader, gave a presentation about fire safety. The Carleton/Poulton area has not historically had a significant number of domestic fires although there have been problems with parked cars impeding fire engine access. Demographics do have an impact on the incidence of fires. Young males living in flats are more likely to have fires, though rarely fatal ones. Fatalities are more likely among the elderly, especially those with dementia.

If you see a fire the primary rule is get out, stay out and then phone the fire brigade. If there is a lot of smoke, get down to floor level and crawl out. In terms of fire safety the advice is to be sensible and follow some basic rules:

– Fit one or more smoke alarms: you have no sense of smell when asleep and three breaths of smoke are sufficient to render you unconscious. There are special alarms available for the deaf that are wirelessly linked to a strobe light to be placed by the bed and a vibrating pad for under the pillow.

– Have a fire plan: know your escape route – front door, back door or windows; Identify a fire safety room – most domestic doors will hold back a fire for about 15 minutes and this room should preferably be one with opening windows – sealed windows can be shattered by striking them in the corner with a sharp metal implement like a screw driver or special hammer; make sure visitors know what the plan is.

– Take care with electric equipment: kitchens and lounges are the rooms most likely to see an electrical fire but heated hair tongs or rollers can get left on in the bedroom; using the wrong charger e.g. for e-cigarettes, mobile phones, tablets etc is another risk; so too is leaving items charging overnight – although modern laptops have built in safety cut-out features, check that the charger is not warm to the touch or got frayed wiring; get a local electrician to do a Portable Appliance test (PAT test), especially on older, less frequently used items like an electric blanket; the standard advice has always been switch off and un-plug but many modern electrical items are designed to be left on permanently or switched on remotely using a timer – if the equipment is new and/or recently tested it should be safe but bear in mind the possibility that you may be late getting home.

Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service undertakes highly recommended Home Fire Safety Checks where they install smoke alarms if necessary and give advice on identifying hazards and planning an escape route. They can be contacted at www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk or on 0800 169 1125 or by calling into your local fire station.

4. History of Carleton

Local historian and author, Christine Storey gave a presentation on the history of Carleton starting some 13,500 years ago. Evidence of human habitation so far back and this far north comes from the skeleton of Horace the Elk, now to be found in The Harris Museum, Preston and recently immortalised in the name of Poulton’s Wetherspoon pub. Maps and photographs show how a rural area with a few small tenant farms has evolved into the current town. Residents interested in knowing more can contact the local historical society at www.poulton-le-fylde-hcs.co.uk

5. Planning and Other Updates

5.1. Christine Storey had raised concerns about a planning application that would see changes made to the front of the White House, which is a listed building in Queens Square, Poulton. Peter Gibson confirmed that he and David Henderson had called for the application to be heard by the Planning Committee, rather than just officials, so the public will have an opportunity to express their views.

5.2. Carr Head Lane: Peter confirmed that after the planning application for this development had been turned down and the developers Redrow appealed, the Planning Inspector had held an Informal Hearing and a decision is expected in October.

5.3. Garstang Road East: Highways England and LCC have lodged a holding objection on this application. There are concerns about the volume of additional traffic that would be generated and in which directions it might flow so more information has been requested from the developers. The Planning Committee is likely to re-consider in October or November.

5.4. Retail developments: the application for the Lidl store on the former Moorland Motors site is due to be heard in October and there may be some concerns raised about vehicular access at that very busy junction; a decision is also expected in October on the Aldi store – this development will involve partial demolition of the existing Booths store and the creation of an additional retail outlet fronting onto Ball Street – there is no known substance to the  rumour that this will be occupied by W H Smith; the new Booths is expected to open in early November; the Italian restaurant chain Prezzo are expected to open an outlet at the former Cosy Corner Cafe; the owners of The Ship at Elswick are taking over the site formerly occupied by Saffron Restaurant on Breck Road.

5.5. The Council’s Tree Officer is investigating the clearance of trees behind St John’s Church. There is a concern that this is a preliminary step to a building development.

5.6. Hardhorn Car Park: completion of the new road has been delayed, for example because ponds were found when excavations done, and there is no opening date yet. Peter reported that there are concerns about the apparent lack of visible activity and these views have been made known to LCC. Roger Berry added that even when the work was completed, road signs would have to be installed and he was expecting repairs to be made before the car park could re-open; residents will be kept informed of progress.

5.7. Halite: the recent successful appeal by Halite is seen as a travesty by local councillors and MPs. Wyre and LCC are investigating if there is a case for Judicial Review, though it should be noted this would only be a review of the process, not the decision. A more fruitful avenue might be through the E.U. and Ben Wallace, MP is exploring this.

5.8. Travellers’ Fair: it is understand that a Travellers’ Fair – possibly involving horses and traps and a market – is to be held on land adjacent to Garstang Road West from 20th – 23rd August. The Council and Police are liaising on this and trying to get more information.  If it is being held on private land and the owner has given permission then it will be a legitimate event. It is believed there is another Fair being held in Wakefield on 24th August so the Travellers are expected to move on. The police are on standby as for any other public event.

6. Street/Road/Transport Updates

6.1. Moorland Road weight limit: Alf Clempson reported that there have been no objections lodged following the public announcement of the 7.5 ton restriction and road signs have accordingly been ordered. Unfortunately it will be some 2-3 months before these are installed but Alf wished to thank the residents who had supported him in this matter. He added that he had also asked LCC for weight restrictions to be introduced on Station Road and elsewhere in Poulton.

6.2. Booths related road improvements: Alf advised that some of the road improvements, such as the pedestrian crossing outside The New Penny, will not be completed before the new Booths store opens. He was concerned about the possibility of a bottle-neck at the junction of Blackpool Old Road and Queensway and would also investigate the suggestion that there will be a dangerous blind corner there. His wider aim is to slow traffic along Blackpool Old Road and to stop roads such as Mossbourne Road being used as rat-runs. If the plans currently being implemented did not achieve this he would be expecting LCC to come up with other options.

6.3. Breck Road: two sets of work are being undertaken on gas pipes, both using the same road closure arrangements. The National Grid work is due to be completed by 28th August and the Redrow work by 16th September.

6.4. Lamp Posts: Two years ago LCC started to replace the lamp posts in the Market Place because the old ones were rotten and dangerous. The process entails the installation of new posts with new tops. Those tops are then cut off and the old fitments put back so that the new lamps look the same as the old ones. Only four posts remain to be done.

7. Water Supply Problems

Alf reported that he and Ben Wallace, MP have been to see United Utilities about the current problem. The system is being flushed, from source to taps using UV rigs. It has been hoped this might be complete by Monday or Tuesday but may take a few days longer. The cause of the problem is not yet known; the relevant Government department is investigating but there is no suggestion of any criminal activity and the police are not involved. United Utilities will be compensating domestic users automatically with a refund of the daily charge and a one-off payment for the inconvenience – probably to be paid by automatic deduction from a future bill.  Commercial users will need to make a claim because the impact varies according to the type of business. United Utilities will issue advice.

(Alf’s contact details are: email alf.clempson@lancashire.gov.uk , Mobile – 07983335630, and at his informal surgery in the New Penny Cafe between 10.00 and 12.00 on Saturday.)

8. Local Crime Update

Sergeant Danielle Freaney reported that figures for anti-social behaviour incidents and reported crimes for the last three months were lower than those for the comparable period last year. There is one observable pattern of behaviour at the moment – burglaries are on the increase, especially in sheds, garages and businesses. A common means of access is through open windows and police advice is therefore to close ground floor windows and those on the first floor above extensions. For advice on protecting your home visit www.lancashire.police.uk/burglary and to receive news and updates about crime in your area sign up to the free messaging service at www.stayintheknow.co.uk

9. Any Other Business

9.1. Carlton Issues

Councillor Michael Vincent gave an update on local issues that he and Councillor Greenhough had been pursuing.

  1. i) Zebra crossing at Fleetwood Rd/Arundel Drive junction: LCC Councillor John Shedwick is requesting the yellow globes be replaced and the posts repainted. He will also investigate this being made into a Pelican due to it being used predominantly by young school children.
  1. ii) Donnington Avenue: request made for the land at the end to be tided up to enable more efficient grass cutting but this is not possible at present due to the uneven ground caused by some work carried out to the footpath.
    1. iii) Play area next to St Hilda’s School: following complaints about damage the police have been asked to keep a closer eye on the area
  1. iv) Land situated near the Bus stop on Poulton Road, near The Castle Gardens: this was once maintained by local residents but that is no longer the case and it is looking very untidy. Wyre’s legal team have confirmed that it is the property of LCC. Councillor Shedwick has said that LCC will have no problem if a group of local residents wish to tidy up and maintain this area. Michael does not wish to pester LCC as they will probably be slow to act and may simply tarmac over it. Any volunteers to help should contact Michael. (Tel: 01253 895897; email Vincent@wyre.gov.uk )
  1. v) Flower bed at the corner of Wyvern Way: waiting to hear the results of a request to be placed on a regular watering schedule by the Parks department.
  1. vi) Castle Gardens car park: in response to a question, Michael advised that the car park is a private one and, although Wyre Council had rented some spaces in the past for public use the cost had increased such that this was no longer affordable. He is looking for alternative answers but there is no easy solution.


9.2. St Chads Church Hall/Vicarage Park Community Centre

Chris Gannon explained that St Chads Church Hall had been closed since January 2013 because it was unsafe. A charitable trust had been formed to take over and secure the future of the hall, re-opening it as a Community Centre. He was now able to report that the Trustees hoped to agree a lease and get the keys by the end of August. To mark this milestone and the fact that this year is the 90th Anniversary of the hall being opened as well as the first anniversary of the Trust being formed, a celebration event will be held on 31st August. This will take place at Vicarage Park between 11.00am and 4.00pm with live entertainment on a 1920s theme, food, and special Celebration Ales from the Thatched House pub’s Chapel Street Brew-house, for sale and a grand raffle being drawn. Local residents are invited to come along to the Celebration Day and to get involved in the project by helping with both fund raising and the physical work to be done to re-open the building.

9.3. Residents’ Association Communications

Lesley explained she uses an email list with in excess of 300 names to communicate information from various sources. As a result of Google tightening procedures to identify and block spammers, her bulk emails have recently been rejected. With technical help from Chris Gannon, Lesley has attempted to solve the problem by reorganising her list and creating a new email address. In future bulk emails – such as the agenda for Forum meetings – will be issued from poulton.area.forum@gmail.com. Please add this address to your contacts list so that Lesley’s emails do not get diverted to your spam box. For individual contacts with Lesley please continue to use lesleymiddleton84@gmail.com

10. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Monday 16th November in St Chads Church.

Notes of previous meetings and local events are all here on 

Poulton Forum

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