Alcohol licence battle for Blackpool Food Plus store described as on ‘par with Aldi and Lidl’

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A European style foodstore planned for Blackpool town centre will not survive without an alcohol licence, a town hall hearing was told.


Radoslaw Barwinski wants to open a branch of the Polish chain Food Plus@Polon in the empty former Bright House premises on Abingdon Street.

A town hall licensing panel heard an alcohol licence was vital if the business – which was likened to Aldi and Lidl – was to succeed.

Licensing consultant June Clarke, representing Mr Barwinski, said: “The store is what they refer to as high end, it’s on a very similar par to Aldis and Lidls in its style, layout, food products and standards.”

The former Bright House store earmarked to become Food PlusThe former Bright House store earmarked to become Food Plus

She added: “Just like Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Tesco it needs the benefit of an alcohol licence to secure survival.”

Mr Barwinski told the panel made up of councillors: “We want to sell specialist products such as cake, bread and vegetables but we really need an alcohol licence because without it my shop will not survive.”

Mrs Clarke, said the shop which is due to open in two weeks time, would store all alcohol behind the counter, not sell single cans and stock specialist foreign beers.

But the police and council licensing department objected to the application for a licence to sell alcohol between 8am and 8pm, saying it contravened the council’s saturation policy designed to control the number of licences granted in the town centre.

PC Guy Harrison, of Blackpool Police, warned the area already attracted drinkers who caused anti-social behaviour due to the existing number of places to buy booze.

He told the hearing, held online: “It’s about the fact Blackpool, and this part of the town centre, has a preponderance of street drinkers and alcohol related problems.”

He said this led to anti-social behaviour including during the day when the resort was busy with shoppers and holidaymakers.

Lee Petrak, licensing and trading standards manager at the council, said the location was “metres away from similar licensed premises” including the Co-op, News and Booze and Home Bargains.

He added: “The decision for the panel is, do we want another one?”

The panel is expected to publish its decision next week (from July 26).


Blackpool FC await court ruling on appeal over abuse damages

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Blackpool Football Club bosses are waiting for a ruling on an appeal after being ordered to pay £19,000 in damages to a man abused by a former “scout” as a youth footballer.


The man, now in his 40s, was abused when he was 13 by paedophile Frank Roper during a youth football tour to New Zealand in the summer of 1987, judges have heard.

He sued Blackpool and argued that the club was “vicariously liable”.

Mr Justice Griffiths ruled in his favour and ordered Blackpool to pay more than £19,000 after a High Court hearing in March 2020.

Blackpool FC is arguing Frank Roper was the equivalent to a "contractor".Blackpool FC is arguing Frank Roper was the equivalent to a “contractor”.

Lawyers representing Blackpool asked three appeal judges to overturn the ruling, arguing Roper was not a “quasi employee”.

Lady Justice Macur, Lord Justice Stuart-Smith and Sir Stephen Richards finished considering arguments at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Thursday (July 22).

They said they would deliver a ruling on a date to be fixed.

Judges have ruled that the man cannot be identified in media reports of the case.

Fighting for justice for Blackpool residents denied access to the law

Roper, a former businessman who died in 2005, had convictions for indecent assaults on boys dating back to the 1960s, judges heard.

He had been a Blackpool fan, ran a youth team in Stockport, Great Manchester, and owned a sports shop in Blackpool.

Mr Justice Griffiths concluded that Roper had been a “Blackpool scout” and decided that his Nova Juniors side was a “Blackpool feeder team”.

He concluded that the relationship between Roper and Blackpool was one “capable of giving rise to vicarious liability”.

The man had told Mr Justice Griffiths how he had met Mr Roper when 11.

He said Roper had been a well-known local football scout who had scouted him to play for the Blackpool school of excellence.

Mr Justice Griffiths said he accepted the man’s account of the abuse he had suffered on the New Zealand trip.

Michael Kent QC, who is leading Blackpool’s legal team, argued that the club had not controlled Roper.

He told appeal judges that Roper had been a “completely free agent” and the equivalent of an “independent contractor”.

Judges heard that Roper had brought Paul Stewart and David Bardsley, who both played for England, to Blackpool when they were schoolboys.


Two men taken to hospital after taking high purity ecstasy in Blackpool

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Police are warning Blackpool clubgoers about a batch of high purity ecstasy being sold in the resort after two men were taken to hospital after apparently taking the drug.


This is a generic stock picture of ecstasy pills and are not the drugs believed to be causing illness in Blackpool clubgoers

This is a generic stock picture of ecstasy pills and are not the drugs believed to be causing illness in Blackpool clubgoers

A number of reports have been received by police about individuals suddenly becoming unwell after taking the pills, which are believed to contain a high level of MDMA.

One of the men remains in hospital this morning (Monday, July 26) and Lancashire Police are urging anyone who bought ecstasy over the weekend not to take the drug, but to dispose of it in a safe manner.

Insp Abi Finch-Hall, of Blackpool Police, said: “We are issuing this warning to people after two men were taken ill in the Blackpool area on Saturday night (July 24) in separate incidents where we suspect drugs may have been consumed.

“Both were admitted to hospital where one still remains receiving treatment.

“We are unable to confirm exactly what drugs the males may have taken at this stage but they are thought to contain a high level of MDMA.

“We would urge anyone who may have purchased drugs over the weekend to dispose of them accordingly and not to consume them.

“Our advice would be for users to seek immediate medical attention if they notice any different symptoms or start to feel unwell.

“There is no safe way of taking drugs, and no way of knowing exactly what you are putting into your body and whether it is safe.”

Man charged with attempted murder after car strikes pedestrians on Blackpool Pro…

Insp Finch-Hall added: “Lancashire Constabulary takes a proactive response into tackling the issue of drugs in the county.

“We would urge people who have information about illegal drug related activity to come forward and contact us on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”


Resort coroner to write to Government about lightning risks after Jordan Banks death

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A request to the Government to remind the public about the risks of lightning will be put forward by Blackpool’s coroner following the tragic death of Jordan Banks.


The inquest for Jordan Banks, nine, was held at Blackpool Town Hall yesterday (Wednesday July 21).

Coroner Alan Wilson recorded a narrative conclusion, and said Jordan had died as a result of cardiac arrest following one lightning strike.

Jordan, of Newhouse Road, was a Stanley Primary School pupil, avid Liverpool FC fan and player for Clifton Rangers JFC.

Blackpool's coroner is writing to the Government about lightning risks after Jordan Banks (pictured) died when he was struck by lightning while at a football coaching session.Blackpool’s coroner is writing to the Government about lightning risks after Jordan Banks (pictured) died when he was struck by lightning while at a football coaching session.

He died on May 11 just minutes before the end of a one-to-one football coaching session when he was struck by lightning.

Mr Wilson told the court he was planning to write to the Government’s department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in a bid to encourage the circulation of lightning risk reminders, which he hoped would prevent the tragedy from happening again.

He said: “I will be writing to the Minister for sport within the Culture department to bring this matter to his attention.

“If a reminder can avoid this happening again, then that would be a positive and avoid another family having to go through this again.”

Mr Wilson told the court yesterday there appeared to be “no obvious reason” why Jordan was hit by lightning, and that it was an “extremely rare occurrence.”

His family did not attend the hearing but his step-dad Daniel Begg, who was waiting in his car with his two-year-son for Jordan to finish, said in a written statement he saw the youngster collapse.

A report from the national forecaster, the Met Office, was read in court and suggested that, although thunder and lightning was reported between 3-6pm on the day of Jordan’s death, the conditions were not thought to be bad enough to warrant a severe weather warning.

Det Insp Abi Finch-Hall from Lancashire Police and who led the investigation into Jordan’s death said that, while there were no obvious signs of a lightning strike, it was “clear from the outset” what had happened.

Man suffers ‘serious head injury’ after being punched outside Blackpool bar

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A man was rushed to hospital with a suspected bleed on the brain after he was punched during a fight in Blackpool.


The incident occurred after an altercation outside the Walkabout pub in Queen Street at around 4.10am today (July 23).

The victim – a man who police believe is in his 20s and from Scotland – was punched in the head, causing him to land on the floor.

He was taken to hospital to be treated for a suspected bleed on the brain. Officers said he remains there in a serious but stable condition.

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Det Insp Abi Finch-Hall, from Blackpool Police, said: “This was a truly shocking assault and goes to show the potential dangers and consequences of just one punch.

“We need anyone who recognises the men in the CCTV to speak to us.

“Similarly, if you know anything about what happened, please get in contact with us as soon as possible.”
Do you recognise these men? Police want to speak to them after a man suffered a "serious head injury" after being punched in Blackpool. (Credit: Lancashire Police)
Do you recognise these men? Police want to speak to them after a man suffered a “serious head injury” after being punched in Blackpool. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

If you have any information which may help police, call 101 quoting log 275 of July 23.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at

Bispham couple’s 20-mile dementia fundraiser walk may include their 14-month-old daughter joining them on their backs

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A Bispham couple say they will complete a 20-mile charity trek with their 14 month old daughter on their backs if they have to


Kyle Booth, 25, and fiancé Hannah Shaw, 26, set up the challenge to walk the Fylde coast at the end of the month to raise funds for Dementia UK.

The couple, who live off Warbreck Hill Road, may have to do the walk with their daughter Grace because they may not have a babysitter to hand, with lots of family and friends joining them on the fundraiser.

All funds raised from the walk will go to help those who suffer from dementia, which has impacted Kyle’s family as well as some of the other walkers in the group.

Kyle Booth, Hannah Shaw and 14-month-old GraceKyle Booth, Hannah Shaw and 14-month-old Grace

Kyle, a data analyst, said: “I wanted to do this to raise awareness of this horrific disease. Not just for the people who suffer from it daily, but also the families who have to watch their loved ones slowly fade away. Until you’ve experienced someone so close to you forgetting your name or even who you are, you won’t realise just how heart breaking this disease is.”

Hannah, a customer experience coordinator at Slater and Gordon in Blackpool, said: “It seems that most people have been affected by dementia. Kyle lost his paternal grandfather to the disease in 2019 and when his maternal grandfather was diagnosed earlier this year he wanted to do something to raise awareness of the disease.

“He wanted to do something to push our limits and justify us asking for money from people. However, I have a dodgy ankle and we possibly won’t have a babysitter for our daughter so we might end up doing the trek with our daughter in a pram or on our backs.”

“Supporting Kyle with this is the least I could do though as he helped me through some very difficult days in pregnancy. I suffered with Hyperemesis gravidarum and could barely make it off the couch some days.”

The group are hoping to raise £500 and have already received funds of £360.

Hannah added: “We walked two miles around the block yesterday to try and get our daughter to sleep, does that count as training?

“We will hopefully be able to get out on some more walks before the big day though. Family and friends will be completing it with us as well. One of the participants is an RAF reserve. To make the walk even more of a challenge he will be doing it with his heavy kit bag as well. I may well have the same weight on my back, just in the form of a 14 month old child.”


Cleveleys councillor under council investigation for Facebook comment made during antisocial behaviour discussion

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A Cleveleys councillor is being investigated by Wyre Council after he made a comment online in response to increasing concern about antisocial behaviour in the town.


Jubilee ward councillor David Walmsley, 76, sparked a council investigation with a comment he made in response to alleged antisocial behaviour by teens in Anchorsholme.

In a Facebook thread discussing smashed glass on the football pitches at Anchorsholme Park, which the poster said was done by “teenagers,” Coun Walmsley replied: “Club them.”

Wyre Council has since launched an investigation into Coun Walmsley’s comment, which it said was an “alleged breach of the code of conduct.”

Coun David Walmsley is being investigated by Wyre Council for a comment he made on Facebook while participating in a discussion about antisocial behaviour.

Coun David Walmsley is being investigated by Wyre Council for a comment he made on Facebook while participating in a discussion about antisocial behaviour.

He said since making the comment he has also been suspended from using Facebook by the social media platform, but has received an outpouring of support from residents.

Jane Littlewood, founder of Care for Cleveleys, said she and the rest of the team were supporting Coun Walmsley as “critically, he didn’t make the post in any official capacity as a councillor.”

Coun Walmsley said: “My temporary suspension from Facebook has yet to expire so a big thank you to all those people who have supported me during this ‘clubbing’ hiatus. It has been very much appreciated.

“In my previous life I was awarded two commendations from the police for supporting officers in ‘difficult’ situations and like everyone else in Cleveleys and Anchorsholme I have zero tolerance for knife carrying thuggery and criminal damage.

“Indeed, I have literally lost count of the times I have attended Fleetwood police station this year to report criminal damage to property here in Cleveleys. I am not in the business of threatening anyone, although I’m no different from other people in that self-defence is my constitutional right under the Criminal Law Act 1967. This is my personal view as a citizen of this country and has nothing to do with my Council duties.”

A spokesman for Wyre Council added: “We can confirm that we have launched an investigation into the alleged breach of the code of conduct in accordance with our Councillor’s code of conduct policy.”


Five children not wearing seat belts found in van in Blackpool after crash

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Police pursuing a van which failed to stop after an accident got a suprise when they caught up with it.


The van was seized

The van was seized

They found five children in the back – all not wearing seat belts.

Lancs Road Police tweeted on Saturday night: “Fail to stop RTC in Blackpool. #HZ33 spotted the vehicle and called for support.

“The driver failed to stop because they had 5 unrestrained children in the back.

“The driver also had no insurance. Reported for both offences and vehicle seized.”

One commentator said on social media: “Great work. You may well have saved those childrens’ lives.”

Shocked Blackpool residents mourn death of neighbour after stabbing

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Stunned neighbours were horrified today to find their quiet Lancashire street at the centre of a murder investigation.


The name of the man who died in the fatal stabbing in Carsluith Avenue, Marton, Blackpool, has not yet been released.

But the victim is believed to be a family man in his 50s.

It is understood the man and an 18-year-old in custody suspected of his murder were known to each other.

Carsluith Avenue, MartonCarsluith Avenue, Marton

Police had been called on Friday night to a report of a stabbing.

The victim was taken to hospital with multiple stab wounds but later died.

Today officers were still at the scene.

The terraced house at the centre of the investigation and a VW van were taped off and an officer was on duty outside the premises.

Some residents were unaware of the full circumstances as news of the man’s death was slowly sinking in.

One neighbour, who asked not be named, said the victim was a family man who would often stop for a chat.

He said: “I became aware on Friday night that something was happening.

“I saw a police car rushing up the road and I wondered what was going on.

“More of them came, and an ambulance.

“I saw them bring somebody out and they appeared to be giving him CPR.”

He added: “I knew there had been a stabbing – I didn’t know until just now that he had died.

“What a terrible shame. He seemed a nice guy.”

Another neighbour said: “We don’t know any facts – just rumours.

“Until the police turned up we weren’t aware of anything.”

Another resident said “We are all shocked. It’s very sad.”

Blackpool man’s healthy food business aims to create a buzz with vegan version of honey

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A Blackpool man with a background in health and fitness has launched a healthy foods company which has produced its own vegan version of honey.


Jack Berry, which has premises at the Sycamore Trading Estate in Blackpool offers a range of healthy Gluten-Free, Organic and Vegan Flours and other food products.

It was founded by registered nurse and former personal trainer Jack Bieniek who said his background inspired an interest in healthy food and diets.

Jack said: “While researching health and medical information for my nursing career, I discovered lots of interesting facts associated with the diet of our ancestors and the diet and lifestyle of the present day.

Jack Bieniek whose firm Jack Berry has launched No Bee Vegan HoneeJack Bieniek whose firm Jack Berry has launched No Bee Vegan Honee

“I came up with the slogan: Let’s get back to basics – such as home cooking and baking, eating more raw foods and sourcing additive and preservative free quality food products.

“During the past few years I have been researching the health benefits of speciality flours, traditional flours, ancient grain flours and the impact of using them in our diets.

“We have developed a gluten free range of flours and bread mixes, aimed specifically at customers who require a GF option such as Coeliacs. Now we have local suppliers, bakers and more people joining ‘our family’.

Jack Berry's No Bee Vegan Honee

Jack Berry’s No Bee Vegan Honee

“Our products are verified or certified by different regulatory bodies. I, personally, visit the farms where the goods originate from to maintain the highest quality of the raw ingredients and ensure that our code of ethics is not compromised.”

The firm, as well as selling regular natural honey, has developed ,No Bee Vegan Honee a honey-like alternative for vegans who do not agree with the exploitation of bees and the potential damage to hives which may occur with some unethical producers or unethical, commercial practices.

He said: “It gives vegans an alternative to bee honey, it resembles the taste, scent, and liquidity of regular honey without compromising the bee population.”

“Our raw natural honeys originate from secluded mountainous regions, which, ensures the quality and purity of the pollen collected. The beekeepers are involved in replanting and preservation schemes and the regions are not over-farmed or industrialised.