Meeting held 17th February 2014
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 10th Forum meeting.
Attendees: Approximately 120 members of the public plus Wyre Councillors David Bannister, Barry Birch, Simon Bridge, Ramesh Gandhi, Peter Gibson, Lesley McKay, Pete Murphy, Roger Berry, David Henderson and Poulton’s Lancashire County Councillor, Alf Clempson.
Apologies for absence received from some members of the public and from Wyre Councillors James Hargreaves, May Gandhi, and Graeme Cocker.
(Sadly we have just been informed that Cllr Cocker has passed away – our sympathies go out to his family)
There is approximately £201 in the Association’s bank account. As the Church had been made available as a venue at no cost, there would be no request for donations.
3. Day in the life of a Magistrate
Bob Hutchinson and Brian Nicholson gave a background to the role of a Magistrate. The system started 650 years ago and has evolved to the present day Bench of 3 with the first lady Magistrate being appointed in the 1900s. Anyone can now apply to be a Magistrate. The majority vote is the decision. There are 20,000 Magistrates in the United Kingdom and around 200 sitting in the Fleetwood and Blackpool Courts, Fylde Coast. Blackpool is one of the busiest Courts in the Country and has 6 Courts.
Magistrates start sitting in an adult court and then can move on to train to be a Youth or Family Court Magistrate. This is a voluntary role with no pay, only reimbursement for travel expenses and subsistence. It’s about putting something back into the community. Bob and Brian (and others) both go to forums like ours and also give presentations in schools etc as part of the Magistrates in the Community Initiative. The minimum requirement for Magistrates to sit is 13 full days or 26 half days per year. They have to administer the law as it stands and have guidelines to follow. If they deviate from those guidelines there must be a valid reason. All cases start in the Magistrates Court, apart from cases of Treason and 95% of cases are fully dealt with by Magistrates.
The maximum sentence a Magistrate can give to an adult is 6 months custody. If a sentence is to be more than that, it is sent to Crown Court. Youth Courts are for 10 -17 year olds and (if over 12) they can be sent to a detention centre (amongst other options) for up to 2 years. The longer sentences are to try and help change them, change their mindsets /behaviours and they receive education whilst detained.
When a person is given a conditional discharge of from 12 to 24 months, if they re-offend and re-appear in court the Magistrates can re-sentence for the original offence. Magistrates can also give fines/financial penalties, community orders with supervision, unpaid work and custody. They consider bail/remand and whilst doing so have to look at the safety of the public. They consider whether the defendant has committed previous serious offences, previously absconded or previously interfered with witnesses. If a defendant fails to appear in court the court can go ahead and make a decision in their absence unless there is good reason for the person not attending.
4. Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Governors
– Peter Askew, Lynden Walthew and Ramesh Ghandi
What is a Foundation Trust
NHS foundation trusts provide health care inline with the Core NHS principles: that care should be free and based on need, not ability to pay. Foundation trusts were created in the Health and Social Care Act 2003 and are free from central government control. They have the freedom to make decisions for themselves, including whether to make and invest surpluses. They are subject to statutory requirements and all have a duty to exercise their functions effectively, efficiently and economically. The concept of a foundation trust rests on local accountability, which governors perform a pivotal role in providing. Governors include elected and appointed individuals who represent members and other stakeholder organisations on a council of governors.
Benefits of being a Member
Our members enjoy the following benefits:
• Remain up-to-date with news, developments and events taking place at our hospitals
• Receive invitations to attend exclusive members only events, including our monthly seminars on health-related topics
• Have the opportunity to have their say regarding our hospital services and future developments
• Vote for who they want as their local Governor, whose responsibility it is to represent our members and our local community, or they may stand as a Governor themselves
• Enjoy various discounts from local retailers
• Membership is free
There is currently a recruitment drive for members, leaflets were given out at the meeting or you can fill in the form online at www.bfwh.nhs.uk/members
Council of Governors
The trust has 33 Governors in total and they provide advice and support, and are able to influence decisions about how we develop services for the people of Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre, Lancashire and South Cumbria and the North of England. They act as a link between the Trust and Members.
Statutory duties for governors
• Appoint and, if appropriate, remove the chair
• Appoint and, if appropriate, remove the other non-executive directors;
• Decide the remuneration and allowances and other terms and conditions of office of the chair and the other non-executive directors;
• Approve the appointment of the chief executive;
• Appoint and, if appropriate, remove the NHS foundation trust’s auditor;
• Receive the Trust’s annual accounts, any auditor’s reports and the annual report
Governors also make ward visits, talk with patients and staff to make sure they are looked after with care and dignity and work with Governors from other trusts.
5. Wyre Budget for 2014/15 - Councillor Peter Gibson
Wyre Council is freezing council tax for the 4th consecutive year. Lancashire County Council has announced an increase though and the Police Commissioner has announced a 1.99% increase. Overall therefore, there will be an increase.
6. St Chads Church Hall – Helen Kay
Following the “Party at the Church Hall” and the subsequent closure of the church hall at the end of October 2013, a group of people came together with the aim of taking on the running of the Church Hall.
Since then the group have been meeting on a regular basis; the group is now formalised and have agreed on the name “Vicarage Park Community Centre”.
In November last year, the PCC (Parochial Church Council) agreed the Church Hall could be moved into a Trust, supported by Blackburn Diocese. At the PCC’s January meeting, they formally approved an application be submitted to the Charity Commission for an Albermarle Scheme. It is the responsibility of the PCC to make the application and it is then for the Charity Commission to approve or refuse this application.
Helen thanked everyone on the group and businesses (inc the Farmers Markets) in the local community for the work and support they have given. If you are interested in getting involved with the group, please email Nick Bamber on email@example.com
7. Carleton Memorial Hall
A meeting was held on 10 January as more people were needed to help with the running of the Hall, which is well used. Otherwise there was a danger it would close. Around 40 local residents attended and 8 volunteered to help. They will have their quarterly meeting on 6 March 2014 when hopefully further progress will be made.
8. Gas Storage - Cllr Peter Gibson
The Secretary of State refused the Halite application some time ago. A Judicial Review was heard and a decision made to go back to the Secretary of State.
There are now 3 options – they can accept the judgement and the whole application is re-opened and the process starts again, they can re-open the application only looking at matters of geology or appeal the judgement under the judicial review.
Issues on Fracking were raised which it was alleged might negate the need for gas storage.
9. Sports Centre - Peter Gibson
Planning permission for revamps for both Poulton and Thornton sports centres have been passed, work starts next month and should be finished by Oct/Nov this year. £5 million pounds is being invested into them to provide better facilities including a spa.
10. Updates from forum on 18th November
10.1. Alf Clempson reported that
i) LCC proposed cuts to subsidised buses have been shelved. Hardhorn Rd and Hardhorn Village will be re-instated on the 75 bus route on 23 February 2014.
ii) Reports of potholes on Moorland Road, Chester Avenue and Carr Head Lane. Must fit criteria of 40mm otherwise will not get filled.
iii) Resident’s complaints of train users parking in roads around the station -Alf will submit suggestions to LCC.
iv) The speed signs (smiley faces) are currently on Longhouse Lane and Hardhorn Road. Alf has applied for ones to be erected on Moorland Road and Highcross Road. They stay for 6 weeks then get moved on. Any hotspots please let Alf know.
v) Double yellow lines requested for the Tithebarn Bridge have not yet been installed but should be by the end of March.
vi) Reminder - Alf is at his informal surgery at the Cosy Corner Cafe between 10 and 12 on Saturdays, email Alf.Clempson@lancashire.gov.uk, Mobile: 07983 335630
11. Any Other Business
11.1. Concerns raised about vans parked on the side of the Elk pub. Alf advised if anyone sees anything causing an obstruction to report it to the police immediately.
11.2 The travellers at Hardhorn – their appeal was refused by the High Court.
11.3. The fish Slabs: The broken piece of the Grade 2 listed fish slabs is now with LCC and will be put back in place. A stone support placed underneath them has been accepted as the best way forward to support them for the future. Potential works to the Market Cross have also been identified and pointing will be required soon. The Historical society would like to thank Rob Clewes, Sim Lane-Dixon from LCC and LCC Councillor Alf Clempson for their concern and pro-activeness.
11.4. Friends of JSVP (Poulton Park): The next meeting of JSVP is 4 March 2014 at 7pm at the Civic Centre- anyone wanting to become a member please come along. Their next event is on 13 April 2014, a Spring Fun day 11am – 3pm. If anyone would like to help, come to their next meeting or visit the facebook page, Friends of Jean Stansfield Park.
11.5. Concerns were raised about the state of the cobbles and paving in the Market Square. WC has put aside £10,000 to deal with this.
11.6. Concerns mentioned about the paving in Chapel Walks. Letters have been sent to the business owners in Chapel Walks to request that they get the work done. Alf will also investigate who is responsible for the upkeep of the wall on the edge of the Church here which is looking as though it needs remedial work.
11.7 The United Benefice of Poulton, Carleton and Singleton: They are organising a town quiz on 24 March 2014 at St Chads School, Hardhorn Road at 7.30. Teams of four can join and the cost will be £10.00 per team with a light supper being provided. You can bring your own refreshments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
11.8 Booths/Teanlowe redevelopment -the last Forum minutes gave details of the timings. The hoarding by the entrance to the Church side also details them.
11.9. Concerns from the owner of Londis about the proposed Bargain Booze opening around the corner .If residents want to comment on the application they must do so to the Civic Centre Planning Dept by 7 March 2014.
12. Date of Next Meeting
Lesley thanked the Vicar and PCC for use of the Church and confirmed that the next meeting will be at 7pm on 12th May 2014 in St Chads Church.
Notes of previous meetings and local events are on www.visitpoulton-le-fylde.co.uk
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