Person hospitalised after being rescued from sea near North Pier in Blackpool

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A person was given emergency first aid before being rushed to hospital after being rescued from the sea near North Pier.


Coastguard crews from Fleetwood were paged at 4.20am to reports a person had got into difficulty in the sea this morning (July 30).

An urgent search was launched near North Pier alongside crews from Lytham and RNLI Blackpool

RNLI Fleetwood and a rescue helicopter were also called to assist with the search.

A person was rushed to hospital after being rescued from the sea near North Pier. (Credit: HM Coastguard Fleetwood)A person was rushed to hospital after being rescued from the sea near North Pier. (Credit: HM Coastguard Fleetwood)

The person was rescued for the water using an inflatable life boat and was quickly given emergency first aid.

Person hospitalised after multi-vehicle crash closes Ashfield Road for three hou…

They were then handed over to the care of paramedics at the scene before “being taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital”

“Their condition is not known at this time,” a spokesman for HM Coastguard Fleetwood added.

North West Ambulance Service has been approached for comment.


Person hospitalised after multi-vehicle crash closes Ashfield Road for three hours in Bispham

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Ashfield Road was closed for three hours after a multi-vehicle collision injured two people in Bispham.


Emergency services were called to a “four-vehicle” collision in Ashfield Road at around 12.55pm yesterday (July 29), police said.

A “man and a woman suffered chest injuries” in the crash.

“One person has gone to hospital, but I’m not sure who was conveyed out of the patients assessed,” a spokesman for North West Ambulance Service said.

Emergency services were called to a "four-vehicle" collision in Ashfield Road.

Emergency services were called to a “four-vehicle” collision in Ashfield Road.

No arrests have been reported.

Ashfield Road was closed between Fairfax Avenue and Stainforth Avenue until 4.15pm while the scene was made safe.

Council refuses alcohol licence for European-style food store in Blackpool

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Licensing chiefs have refused permission for alcohol to be sold at a proposed new food store in Blackpool town centre after police warned it could fuel more anti-social behaviour.


Food Plus is set to open in the former Bright House premises

Food Plus is set to open in the former Bright House premises

A town hall licensing panel has turned down the application by Radoslaw Barwinski who wanted a licence for Polish chain Food Plus@Polon, which he is planning to open in the empty former Bright House premises on Abingdon Street.

The police and council licensing department had 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.

A decision notice published following the hearing says: “Members acknowledged the number of conditions offered by the applicant but did not feel that they sufficiently addressed the policy to rebut the presumption of refusal in an area already saturated with convenience store type premises which suffered from alcohol related violence and anti-social behaviour.

“In addition, the panel felt that insufficient information had been provided about the applicant and his experience in operating a premises licensed for the sale of alcohol.

“In the absence of such evidence the panel concluded that they would have issues managing a retail premises within such a challenging environment and therefore potentially contribute to the problems being experienced in the area.”

Mr Barwinski had told the panel he proposed to sell specialist products such as cake, bread and vegetables, but also needed an alcohol licence “because without it my shop will not survive.”

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

The applicant has 21 days in which to appeal.


Non-emergency patients putting Blackpool Vic A&E under unnecessary pressure

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Medics are urging people to only visit A&E in Blackpool if there condition is a real emergency – after ‘unprecedented’ numbers of patients swamped the department.


On one day recently A&E at Blackpool Victoria Hospital had 90 people waiting to be seen.

But doctors say a large number of those arriving at the casualty unit did not need life-saving treatment and could have gone elsewhere.

Head of Emergency Medicine at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Dr Anthony Kearns,said: “The Emergency Department (A&E) has seen unprecedented numbers over the past few weeks.

People are being urged not to go to A&E except in a genuine emergencyPeople are being urged not to go to A&E except in a genuine emergency

“Many of these are very ill people who do need our expertise. However, we are also seeing a large number of attendances that are not ’emergencies’ or life-threatening conditions and could have been treated elsewhere.”

Dr Kearns warned too many people crowding into A&E put undue pressure on staff and meant people could not safely social distance.

He added: “Crowding in A&E is not safe under the current Covid distancing regulations for both staff and patients alike.

“We need our community’s support to make the right choice.

“Help us to help you…help us to save lives – please talk before you walk and please keep us free for emergencies only.”

Dr Kearns said for many people the best place to turn to for immediate advice was their local pharmacy.

He said: “We realise the whole system is under pressure. Urgent treatment centres and GP surgeries are also very much in demand by people with community healthcare needs.

“This is why we strongly suggest that if anyone has non-emergency or chronic health concerns, that they perhaps visit their pharmacy or chemist who are highly qualified to give advice, and may then suggest a GP appointment if it is absolutely necessary.

“People can also visit where they will find a symptom checker. NHS 111 advisors can signpost patients to the most appropriate service for their needs and can even make appointments with a GP or here in the Emergency Department which will drastically reduce the patient’s wait time.

“Patients should also consider contacting their own consultant or specialist team, who already manage their pre-existing conditions.”


Blackpool cabbie punished by council for smoking in their own taxi

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A Blackpool cabbie has had their licence suspended after being caught smoking in their taxi.


The driver, who has not been named, was spotted lighting up on June 10 this year by a town hall licensing officer.

Members of the council’s public protection sub-committee heard it was the third time the cabbie had been seen smoking in their hackney cab and previous warnings had gone unheeded.

The previous transgressions had been in September 2019 when a fixed penalty notice was issued, and July 2020 when a verbal warning was given.

A Hackney driver has been punished for smoking in their cabA Hackney driver has been punished for smoking in their cab

But following the latest incident, the driver (referred to as J.S.) was hauled before the sub-committee which ruled their licence should be suspended for four weeks.

Council minutes from the meeting, setting out the decision, say “despite the previous interventions by the licensing service this had not deterred J.S. from continuing to smoke in their vehicle”.

The driver had “expressed their regret and acknowledged that such actions were unacceptable” and told councillors “they did not smoke in front of customers”.

The smoking incidents had been their only indiscretion in more than 30 years of driving.

But the sub-committee “expressed concerns over the number of occasions J.S. had been caught smoking in their licensed vehicle and noted that previous warnings from the licensing service had not been heeded.

“Whilst the remorse of the driver was noted, members considered the behaviour fell well below the standards expected of a licensed driver and therefore agreed to impose a four week suspension.”


Lancashire Police inspector pledges ‘increased patrols’ for Cleveleys and Anchorsholme amid antisocial behaviour issues

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A spate of antisocial behaviour incidents in Cleveleys and Anchorsholme has prompted police to increase the number of officers on patrol.


Residents were also urged by a top cop to report all crimes directly to police – and not just to social media.

It comes after numerous social media posts in recent weeks brought light to various antisocial behaviour (ASB) incidents in both Cleveleys and Anchorsholme, particularly on beaches and in parks.

Following a post last week complaining about broken glass strewn all over Anchorsholme Park’s football pitches – allegedly by youths – a Wyre councillor was reprimanded for his response.

Michael Reynolds, landlord at the Jubilee Park pub in Cleveleys, said yobs have targeted his windows.Michael Reynolds, landlord at the Jubilee Park pub in Cleveleys, said yobs have targeted his windows.

Coun David Walmsley is currently under investigation by Wyre Council for commenting “club them” during a discussion online about unruly youngsters.

The relaunch of the Jubilee Park pub on North Promenade in Cleveleys was also impacted by yobbery recently, as smashed windows a week before its reopening date put it in jeopardy.

The pub, which was taken over in June by former hoteliers Michael and Alison Reynolds, had been left empty since the previous tenant moved out when lockdown began.

It was due to reopen on August 3, but Michael was concerned the potential six-week wait for new glass panes could force a postponement

Youths have reportedly been gathering in Cleveleys, particularly on Jubilee Gardens where there is a park and skate park.Youths have reportedly been gathering in Cleveleys, particularly on Jubilee Gardens where there is a park and skate park.

Cleveleys councillor Rob Fail said residents had been reporting antisocial behaviour incidents to him, but did not feel issues could be “resolved overnight.”

He added that the summer holidays and a “lack of places to go” for youngsters could be a contributing factor leading to potential problems.

Coun Fail said: “A number of residents have raised concerns about the recent spate of antisocial behaviour. It may be that some of what we are seeing is a temporary ‘Covid issue’ resulting from loss of schooling and lack of places to go.

“It’s a complex issue that requires improvements in education and support for families if we are to tackle the root causes, but a decade of cuts has certainly made matters worse. Nationwide 700 youth clubs have shut, over 600 police stations closed, and crucially we’ve lost over 20,000 police officers.

Anchorsholme Park.Anchorsholme Park.

“There’s no excuse for it, but I’m not surprised we are seeing more antisocial behaviour. You reap what you sow and the 60 per cent cuts in funding of councils has unquestionably had a detrimental impact. Cuts require prioritisation of service provision and in 2013 Wyre’s Tory Council decided to take a huge risk by ceasing its part funding of 11 Police Community Support Officers across Wyre. Cuts have consequences, and one of these is that our streets are less safe.

“No one single thing will resolve this overnight. Yes, we need a police presence, but that can’t just be a one-off where resources are shifted around, thereby creating a problem elsewhere.

“We need the reintroduction of permanent community policing.”

Wyre Council was also approached for a comment.

In Anchorsholme, reports of large groups of youths gathering in Anchorsholme Park and on the beach have also been circulating on social media.

But Anchorsholme councillor Paul Galley said he was worried using platforms such as Facebook to share anecdotes of ASB could exacerbate negativity towards youngsters.

He said: “The vast majority of kids and residents of Anchorsholme are great. My concern is sometimes social media highlights the bad and not all the great things that the people of all ages are doing in our community.”

Coun Galley and Bispham councillor Paul Wilshaw have committed to a new free sports scheme with Active Blackpool, starting on Friday July 30.

It is hoped the free basketball and football lessons in both Anchorsholme and East Pines Parks would build children’s confidence, and provide them with something productive to do with their time during the summer holidays.

Lancashire Police told The Gazette the force had been receiving an increase in ASB reports in both Cleveleys and Anchorsholme, but some incidents were going unreported – except when it came to social media.

Officers urged residents to report crimes to them directly, before taking to Facebook to share their concerns.

The force said it would pledge more officers on patrol in affected areas going forward, in a bid to retain safety in communities.

Insp Martin Wyatt of Lancashire Police said: “The term ‘antisocial behaviour’ covers a range of offences including, but not limited to, vandalism, hate crime, fireworks misuse, hoax calls and alcohol or drugs being used or dealt in the street. It also includes reports of street drinking and begging.

“It can involve harm to an individual, to the wider community or to the environment, and can leave victims feeling harassed, alarmed or distressed.

“We understand this can have a profound impact on victims and how safe they feel in their neighbourhood and we are committed to tackling this type of crime.

“There has been an increase in large groups gathering in the areas of Anchorsholme Park and Cleveleys. We understand a number of incidents have been reported locally, including on social media and it is vital you tell us so we know about it. Without the report, we can’t do anything. I would urge anyone who has been the victim of a crime to call us immediately.

“Going forwards we are going to work together in putting dedicated anti-social behaviour resources into the area at key times. You should also see more police visibility, including increased patrols, in the coming days and weeks.

“We won’t tolerate criminality. We won’t hesitate to intervene if we believe any criminal offence has or is going to take place.


Update on Blackpool’s £20m Houndshill Centre extension

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Blackpool’s Tower Street car park looks set to close at the end of August to enable construction of the £20m Houndshill extension.


Artist's impression of the Houndshill extension

Artist’s impression of the Houndshill extension

Council regeneration chiefs say enabling work on the project which was announced in the spring, has begun.

A spokesperson said: “Essential utility works have been taking place on site which has enabled the car park to remain partially open to date.

“We won’t be closing the car park in full until absolutely necessary, when the main contractor fences off the site later in August.”

Deals were signed in the spring to bring a new Wilko store to the site, and an IMAX-style cinema and multi-media entertainment centre.

The phase two extension is also due to include two restaurants, although operators have not yet been revealed.

The cinema will boast 850 seats across nine digital screens including a giant PLF (Premium Large Screen Format) IMAX-ready central screen, set to be the largest in the North West, within a 40,500 sq ft unit.

Screens will be able to double up as conference venue spaces, and there will also be an e-sports cafe.

The overall scheme has been facilitated by £5m of funding from the Government’s Covid 19 Getting Building Fund, following formal approval by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in October last year.

Blackpool Council will fund the balance of the scheme through prudential borrowing.


Casualty rescued in Blackpool sea drama

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A casualty was taken to hospital today after an early morning sea drama at Blackpool.


The search at Blackpool was a team effort

The search at Blackpool was a team effort

Fleetwood Coastguard revealed the details of the rescue by inshore lifeboat on social media.

They posted on Facebook that the team was paged at 04:20 (Friday July 30) to reports of person in difficulty in the sea at Blackpool North Pier.

They said: “HM Coastguard Fleetwood , HM Coastguard Lytham and RNLI Blackpool began a search with Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 936 and RNLI Fleetwood en route to assist.

“They then received advanced care before being taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

“Their condition is not known at this time.”


Here’s where Blackpool ambulance station is set to relocate to

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Plans for a temporary ambulance station have been submitted to Blackpool Council in order to maintain emergency services while a new permanent hub for paramedics is built.


A single storey structure is set to be provided on the site of the former Devonshire Road Hospital in North Shore, and is expected to be in use until at least autumn 2022.

Go ahead for new Blackpool ambulance station

It would operate while the current outdated base on Waterloo Road in South Shore, which was built in 1980, is demolished and replaced with a new three storey facility.

The current ambulance station is due to be demolishedThe current ambulance station is due to be demolished

Planning permission for that development, which will facilitate a future ‘hub and spoke’ ambulance service, was granted in June.

Documents submitted by North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) for the temporary station say: “Hence during the demolition and construction period a temporary decant village is needed to provide emergency ambulance services.”

The temporary accommodation would contain offices, refreshment facilities, training and meeting rooms and locker and changing facilities.

The site has extensive parking for emergency and transport ambulances, rapid response vehicles and staff parking.

A one way system is proposed with vehicle access from Coleridge Road and exit from the existing access point on Devonshire Road.

Work on the new ambulance station is expected to begin this autumn and take around a year to complete.

NWAS says the ‘hub and spoke’ structure will modernise the service, but it will also mean the eventual closure of ambulance stations in Fleetwood, Thornton, Lytham and Wesham.

In the longer term the Devonshire Road site, which was bought by Blackpool Council last year, is earmarked for the relocation of the town’s courthouse to make way for the £300m Blackpool Central leisure development.