Hosted by Poulton & Carleton Residents’ Association on 18th November 2013
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 9th Forum meeting.
Attendees: Approximately 145 members of the public plus Wyre Councillors David Bannister, Barry Birch, Simon Bridge, Ramesh Gandhi, Peter Gibson, Lesley McKay, Pete Murphy, and Poulton’s Lancashire County Councillor, Alf Clempson.
Apologies for absence received from some members of the public and from Wyre Councillors Roger Berry, May Gandhi, and David Henderson.
There is approximately £245 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. Booths Teanlowe Development
Mike Thompson, Booths’ Facilities Director, and Robert Pinkus, from Pinkus & Co., gave an update on the Booths development. There are information displays in the current store and in the Pop-Up shop in the Teanlowe Centre.
The project timetable is as follows: underway now: roof repairs; Feb/Mar 2014: refurbishment of parts of centre, including a new entrance at the Church end; July/Aug 2014: transfer current tenants into refurbished units; Sept 2014: Co-op closes; Oct 2014: demolition starts of 70% of existing centre; Jan 2015: construction of Booths new store begins. Typically, a new store build takes 12 months but Booths is looking to see if the store might be open for Christmas 2015.
In response to questions, the following points were made.
Booths is working with Lancashire County Council (LCC) and Wyre Council (WC) on the revised road schemes which include a link road across the current Hardhorn Road car park. The aim is to re-plan traffic routes to make it quicker to get into the Teanlowe, reduce pollution on Chapel Street and provide a better route to Carleton. Concerns about the impact of large lorries on traffic flow and the safety in particular of school children making their way to the Primary School have been raised with Councillor Clempson and will be addressed in LCC’s designs for roads, pavements and crossing points which will reflect the latest Regulations. In the completed scheme, shelters will be provided for passengers queuing for buses but during the construction phase there will sometimes be temporary bus stops with no access to shelter.
The happy accident of surplus space in the new Lytham store allowed Booths to include The Fylde Gallery. Unfortunately, there is no provision for a similar initiative in Poulton. The Post Office is not affected by the development but the public space in front of it will be upgraded. There is no space in the Teanlowe for W. H. Smith. The company has declined an offer to occupy part of the existing Booths store but efforts continue to find another option. There will be a restaurant on the first floor of the new store with a likely capacity of 60-70 covers. Once the new Booths opens, the existing Booths store is very likely to be occupied by a well known discount food retailer.
4. Neighbourhood Watch/Crime Prevention
Andy Denton, Northern Division Watch Liaison Officer, gave a brief presentation about Neighbourhood Watch (NHW). He outlined the history, the main aims of the scheme and its benefits. As well as preventing and reducing crime, NHW engenders neighbourliness and good citizenship, and can generally improve quality of life. The initiative to set up a NHW scheme must come from the community. A group of say 15-20 residents of a street decide to form a scheme and elect one of their number as Co-ordinator. That person becomes the point of contact for two-way communication with the Watch Liaison Officer. Anyone interested in setting up a scheme can contact Andy on 01524 596610; email: Andrew.Denton@lancashire.pnn.police.uk
Andy then gave brief details of Lancashire Constabulary’s “Bah Humbug” publicity campaign for crime prevention in the Christmas period. He gave some tips on personal security – shop with a card rather than cash, keep wallets in an inside pocket, wear shoulder bag straps across the body and with the flap towards you, if you are jostled check your bag immediately, and don’t leave shopping visible in an unattended car. On home security, as well as locking doors and windows, he suggested – position blinds so a passerby cannot see in, use timer switches on lights and a radio during late afternoons when at work as well as when on holiday, a lit Christmas Tree allows burglars to see in and a pile of presents under the tree will attract them. Finally, on the first bin-day after Christmas, large boxes are a clear advert of the expensive goodies Santa brought – cut them up and put in the bin.
5. Crime Update
Community PC Dave Key gave an update on the latest crime statistics. In the last three months there had been a slight reduction in crime levels overall (down from 164 to 148) but a slight increase in burglaries. These are most likely to be of garages and sheds rather than houses, with power tools and bicycles stolen. Residents should property mark their goods with a UV pen (available from good stationers) and take photographs of distinctive items. Year-to-date figures also show a fall, from 680 in 2012 to 667 this year; 192 of the latter had either been successfully detected or dealt with in other positive ways. PC Key then passed on some information received from Trading Standards about a new scam operating in the area. This relates to cold calls (phone and door-step) about energy saving surveys. There is a Government Green Deal scheme but these cold calls are not connected with that. Anyone with concerns should contact Trading Standards (email@example.com ).
On a related matter, a resident reported that he had recently been subjected to a scam where a person claiming to be from Microsoft phoned and attempted to get information and money. Microsoft does not make such calls and the phone should be put down immediately. (Trading Standards officer Andy Cooke attended the Forum meeting on 18/2/2013 and a summary of his advice on scams etc can be found in the notes of that meeting at www.visitpoulton-le-fylde.co.uk )
6. Taking Pride in Your Community
Councillor Pete Murphy gave an overview of the “Gimme5” initiative – the idea that each Borough resident could give 5 minutes of their time to do something to contribute to the upkeep of their local area by taking pride in their own property and beyond. Examples of things residents might do include reporting dog fouling, fly tipping or a full bin, picking up litter, joining a voluntary group, being neighbourly, and weeding in front of your house. The council is encouraging residents to report what they have done using forms available on their website wyre.gov.uk
7. St Chads Church Hall
Councillor Peter Gibson and John Bailey gave reports on events surrounding the Church Hall which has been closed since 31st October because its condition is such that the insurance company would not renew the Public Liability insurance cover.
Following a public meeting, a further meeting had been held involving residents, Councillors and representatives of the Parochial Church Council (PCC). This had been very positive with all sides clear that a continuing community facility was the desired outcome and that all options should be considered.
It was agreed to explore the possibility of setting up a Trust; a step the Diocese has agreed in principle. This complex process will entail applying to The Charities Commission to set up an Albemarle Scheme, creating a Village Hall Charity, creating a Village Hall Charity Trust, and preparing and executing a lease between the Church and the Trust.
It is intended to establish a 12 to 15 strong Organising Committee which will support a 4-member Trustee Board. The initial aim will be to explore restoration and the priority is to secure funding grants and other financial aid. The scope to get grants is reduced by the fact of the Hall being closed and this, plus the fact that as a condition of the ongoing building insurance, power and water supplies have been switched off, brings a degree of urgency.
The Vicar, Revd. Martin Keighley, confirmed that the Church would support the Trust with an initial grant to help secure insurance cover. An embryonic Steering Committee has been established to take matters forward and residents are welcome to attend its meeting on Monday 25th November at 7.30pm in Staining Village Hall. The committee has not yet set up a dedicated website but information is currently being made available at poulton-crop.com
8. Updates from forum on 19th August
8.1. Street/Road/Transport-related issues
Alf Clempson reported that
i) He has requested double yellow lines for the Tithebarn Bridge – LCC legal services are taking this forward with consultation expected in December and implementation in January. In the meantime, the police have been ticketing cars causing an obstruction;
ii) Work is in progress to get the footpath by the side of the railway line improved.
iii) Problems in Carleton with speeding on Blackpool Road and Fleetwood Road have been reported to Councillor Shedwick;
iv) £10k has been made available to repair gutters, drains and flags in Market Place; work should begin in March. And a sign about parking is to be put up;
v) The problem of HGVs cracking flags on Avenue Road, Normoss has been fixed;
vi) A number of other problems, including at the Rydale Avenue/Blackpool Old Road junction are being taken forward. Residents should continue to report highway-related problems to Alf (including at his informal surgery at the Cosy Corner Cafe between 10 and 12 on Saturdays).
8.2. Planning-related issues
Peter Gibson confirmed that
i) Home Bargains will open on Saturday 23rd November with the Mayor and Mayoress in attendance between 8.30 and 9.00a.m.
ii) Wetherspoons will open on 17th December
iii) Negotiations continue over the Lockwood Avenue surgery where the current lease expires in July 2016.
8.3. Britain in Bloom
Peter Gibson reported that the results of the RHS North West in Bloom competition had seen Poulton awarded a Gold Medal in the Best Town category and Poulton Station given a special award for Best Station in the North West.
The town had also received two Outstanding Neighbourhood awards and St. Johns Primary School was one of only six to win an award for its garden. Carleton was awarded a Silver Medal in the Best Small Town category. Peter conveyed congratulations and thanks to all who had helped with these achievements.
9. Any Other Business
9.1. Councillor Lesley McKay advised that the Christmas Market would take place between 9.00 and 6.00 on Friday 6th December and promised to be bigger than ever, with stalls, music and Father Christmas.
9.2. Lesley introduced the elected Public Governors from Blackpool’s NHS Trust and advised that a representative would attend the next meeting to explain their role.
9.3. John Bailie advised that the Town Crier of the Manor of Lytham & St. Annes would be in the Market Place at 10.30am on Wednesday 27th November to read out the County Proclamation.
10. 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 Monday 17th February 2014 – venue to be advised.
Notes of previous meetings and local events are on