Booths supermarket in Lytham to gain private residents entrance from retirement complex next door

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A Lytham supermarket has been given planning permission to create a private entrance for residents at a retirement complex which is being built next to its store.

 

The Sidings development will open in Spring next year

The Sidings development will open in Spring next year

Booths, off Haven Road in the town, submitted the proposals last month to Fylde Council for a residents pedestrian link between the former Axa Data Centre Site at Wharf Street, which was originally built as a sports centre in the early 1980s.

The complex is currently under construction for the Sidings development of retirement homes by Adlington Retirement Living, which was granted back in 2018.

Now that plans have been approved by Fylde Council’s planning officers, a private footbridge with an access gate to the supermarket’s car park will be built.

The Booths supermarket in Lytham will be given a new private entrance for residents from a retirement complex being built next door to the storeThe Booths supermarket in Lytham will be given a new private entrance for residents from a retirement complex being built next door to the store

The Sidings development will comprise of 65 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for the over 55s, and it the first residents will move into their homes in Spring next year. Only residents at the site will have access to the footbridge and gate.

When plans were submitted for the development back in 2017, the planning statement referenced that a new pedestrian access to the supermarket was possible but it was subject to agreement with Booths.

The statement from Adlington at the time said: “There may be an opportunity to provide a pedestrian access to the supermarket adjacent, significantly improving ease of movement around and through the site.”

According to the plans two car park spaces will make way for the footbridge.

The former Axa building was closed in 2013 and the building was demolished in 2017.

Booths and Adlington were approached for comment.

 

A level Results Day 2021: The Blackpool Sixth Form College celebrates success

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Sixth-formers in the resort are celebrating their A-level results in the wake of a turbulent year of Covid lockdowns and home learning.

 

At The Blackpool Sixth Form College in Blackpool Old Road, students on 59 courses achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, with the college’s overall pass rate standing at 99.6 per cent.

The percentage of students achieving the highest grade possible also increased for the third consecutive year, despite the disruptions to learning Covid has brought over the last 18 months.

Jill Gray, Blackpool Sixth Principal, said: “We are delighted with these wonderful results and are extremely proud of our students. We cannot underestimate the significant effort that they have shown in achieving these exceptional outcomes.

Students jump for joy as they celebrate outstanding A-level results. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI MediaStudents jump for joy as they celebrate outstanding A-level results. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media

“The results truly reflect the hard work, adaptability,resilience and determination that students have shown during such an unsettling time in their education. We are also incredibly grateful for the invaluable support and understanding of our parents and carers.

“Of course, none of this would have been possible without the passion, dedication and professionalism of our amazing staff, who continually give their all and inspire our students to thrive and succeed.

“We wish our students every success and happiness as they move onto the next stage of their education or career.”

Across the UK the proportion of top grades handed out to students increased to 45 per cent this year.

Blackpook Sixth students and principal Jill Gray celebrate their grades and overall pass rate of 99.6 per cent. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI MediaBlackpook Sixth students and principal Jill Gray celebrate their grades and overall pass rate of 99.6 per cent. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media

The record-breaking results saw 37 per cent of all A-level students in England get three As or better – which is more than double the 17.9 per cent in 2019, the last year exams were held.

Students and staff faced myriad challenges while adapting to home learning during the pandemic, but their determination and dedication cemented thousands of university places nationwide.

Formal exams were cancelled this year for the second year running, after education settings were closed in January due to Covid.

Grades were set by teachers this year instead, which were then quality-assured by exam boards via an evidence-checking process – but fewer than one per cent of grades were amended.

Maisie Green will choose an apprenticeship with her grades, to pursue a career in financial services and investment banking. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI MediaMaisie Green will choose an apprenticeship with her grades, to pursue a career in financial services and investment banking. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media

Bruno Eaves, 18, from Wrea Green, came to Blackpool Sixth from AKS Lytham and achieved four A*s in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.

Bruno is heading to University College London to study for a maths degree, which he hoped would open doors to a variety of potential careers.

He said: “I haven’t really decided what career path I want to go down yet, but I really enjoy maths so I chose to study that at university as a more general subject.

“There are so many things I could do with maths such as teaching or accounting, and I’m hoping to do drama in my spare time as well.

Bruno Eaves is heading to UCL to study maths. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI MediaBruno Eaves is heading to UCL to study maths. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media

Maisie Green, 18, from Hambleton, achieved two A*s in economics and geography and an A in business studies.

Instead of going to university, Maisie has chosen to undertake an apprenticeship in a bid to pursue a career in financial services and investment banking.

And she already has three apprenticeship options to choose from – with offers from Ernst and Young, J.P Morgan and RSM.

Maisie, who came to Blackpool Sixth from St Aidan’s High School, said: “To be honest, the lockdown was absolutely fine. We felt like we were with our teachers anyway while we working at home, and that got us through it.”

Lewis Melville, 18, achieved three distinction stars for BTECs in travel and tourism and musical theatre.

Lewis hoped his grades – which he will be taking to Manchester Metropolitan University to study international tourism management – will allow him to jet-set around the world with his sights set on America first.

Andrew Speight is going to work for Blackpool Council after achieving three A*s in modern history, psychology and sociology. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI MediaAndrew Speight is going to work for Blackpool Council after achieving three A*s in modern history, psychology and sociology. Pic: Daniel Martino, JPI Media

He said: “I’m really excited about moving to Manchester, I really love it there. I’m hoping to do a placement overseas and of course America is the first place in mind, but I’d be happy anywhere.”

Hannah Doyle, 18, from Staining, collected her results with her Nan Heather Perkins, who said she was “extremely proud” of her granddaughter’s success.

Hannah achieved two A grades for music and music technology and a B in photography, which has secured her place at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to study sound technology.

Hannah, a former Hodgson Academy pupil, said: “I did BTEC music first and on our course there was only four of us, so when I was in lower sixth we had to join up with upper sixth. I think there are fewer people taking music at A-Level because there aren’t as many taking it at GCSE anymore.

“I’m hoping to go into either live sound or studio recording in the future.”

Andrew Speight, 18, from South Shore, is pursuing a different path in life after sixth form – and has secured a new role as a youth advisor for Blackpool Council.

Andrew said he is passionate about encouraging young people to stay in the resort to build their careers, and will be advising the council on their strategy for youngsters who are not in education, training or employment.

He said: “I’m serving at the moment as member of youth parliament and the chairman of Blackpool youth council. So I have experience in the voices of young people already and I gave a speech in the House of Commons in 2019.

“I didn’t want to go to university, so I’ve had experience of job-hunting myself, and I’ve realised how hard it actually is of not having experience when all the jobs are asking for it.

“So I want to work on making sure there are opportunities for young people in the town, and help to create employment for young people, so they don’t need to move out of the area.”

 

Entertainment revs up atmosphere at St Annes bikers’ evenings

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An exciting new feature has been added to what has become a well-established regular event in St Annes.

 

The St Annes Enterprise Partnership (STEP) has introduced entertainment to the Monday bikers’ nights which, for more than a decade now, have seen hundreds of motorcyclists gather in St Annes Square to chat, share tips about their machines and enjoy refreshments.

The nights are as busy as ever again following the pandemic and STEP chairman Colin Ballard said a guitarist and saxophonist to entertain the 40 or so bikers who gathered last week proved such a big hit, it is set to become regular feature.

“The bikers and their machines have become a familiar sight on early Monday evenings in The Square and we thought some entertainment would add to their pleasure,” said Colin.

A bikers' evening in St Annes SquareA bikers’ evening in St Annes Square

“It’s good to see them enjoying St Annes and he aim is for the entertainment to feature on the first Monday of every month.

“The Partnership has also invited retailers to join a voucher scheme which means members of the public showing a voucher can obtain a ‘deal’ with the retailer – look for the window stickers and come down to receive the free vouchers.”

Fresh cafe in St Annes Square has made a special point for many years of opening on Monday evenings to serve the bikers refreshments and proprietor Adele Chapman said: “It was good to see the entertainment laid on and great to hear that it is to be repeated.

“The bikers have become a very familiar sight in The Square on Monday and love coming to St Annes.

The entertainment is to become a regular monthly featureThe entertainment is to become a regular monthly feature

“The entertainment added greatly to what is already a very good atmosphere and the holiday makers who were around also appreciated the performances.”

 

Lytham man killed in tragic car crash was ‘highly intoxicated’ and walking in middle of dark rural road

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A Lytham dad was ‘highly intoxicated’, wearing black, and walking in the middle of a dark, rural road when he was struck and killed by a car travelling between 40 and 50mph.

 

Brendan Kiely, 54, was wandering in the middle of Ballam Road, dressed in a black suit, after three days of heavy drinking when he was hit at around 9pm on April 1 – just a few moments after another vehicle swerved to avoid him.

The dad suffered serious injuries and died at the scene.

At his inquest today, police and witnesses told the court that driver Paul Kennedy could not have avoided crashing into Mr Kiely as he drove from Lytham to Blackpool – with one specialist officer calling the tragedy ‘inevitable’.

An investigation found a driver could not have avoided crashing into Mr Kiely on the night of April 1 2021An investigation found a driver could not have avoided crashing into Mr Kiely on the night of April 1 2021

Mr Kennedy said: “As I passed the oncoming vehicle there was a huge bang and I knew I had hit something because me window was shattered on the left hand side. I slammed on my brakes and the air bags went off. It all happened so fast. I smelled burning.

“As I got out of my car I saw a body in the middle of the road… about 20 yards away.”

Mr Kiely, a property developer, had a history of alcohol abuse and had been seeking help from Inspire, a regional drug and alcohol service, the court heard. He had been prescribed medication for his addiction by his GP, whom he had last seen in February, when he told her he was happy with his progress.

On the night of April 1, he was taken by taxi from Blackburn to Ballam Road, where he lived. He was heavily intoxicated, and began walking in the middle of the unlit carriageway, which has a national speed limit, in the Blackpool direction opposite his house

Mr Kiely, 54, was a property developer who lived in LythamMr Kiely, 54, was a property developer who lived in Lytham

One witness, Simon Wallace, who was driving on Ballam Road, said: “I was almost 500 yards from the golf club when a car swerved in front of me and within seconds I saw why. There was a man walking in the middle of the road, dressed smartly in a black suit, tie and white shirt. As I passed him at around 10mph I wound down my window and shouted ‘get off the road, you idiot’. He turned and grinned at us. He seemed drunk.”

Seconds later, Mr Kiely was struck by the Ford car driven by Mr Kennedy at a speed between 40 and 50mph just outside Pembertons Farm Shop.

Police and ambulance services were called to the scene, and Mr Kiely was pronounced dead at 9.50pm.

Mr Kennedy was tested for drugs and alcohol, both of which came back negative. His phone was seized and showed no evidence of being in use at the time of of crash. His car was found to be in working condition, and there were no faults in the road.

CCTV footage of the incident showed Mr Kiely walking in the middle of the road, ‘very unsteady on his feet’ and swaying.

Sergeant Martin Wilcox, the chief investigating officer, said: “The visibility for the driver who collided with Mr Kiely would have been impaired by the lights of the vehicle coming in the opposite direction, and having not expected to see a pedestrian in the middle of the carriageway, the driver would not have seen Mr Kiely… Mr Kiely was wearing a business suit with a black jacket and this would not have helped his visibility on the dark road.”

PC Martin Ward, investigating the crash, added: “The major factor of the collision was the pedestrian walking in the middle of the carriageway in dark clothing, making the collision inevitable. The driver could not have avoided the collision.”

A post mortem carried out on Mr Kiely revealed “very high” levels of alcohol in his system – 405mg, more than eight times the legal driving limit.

Dr Weerasinghe, of Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said: “There were multiple injuries which were compatible with a road traffic collision.

“There were multiple internal injuries. There was a fracture of the skull bones there was also fracturing of the ribs on the left side. There was also fracturing of the pelvic area. There was bleeding within the abdominal cavity.

“Additionally there was complete breakage in the chest area and the brain stem area. These were very significant injuries.”

He added: “If someone is a chronic drinker, the effects of alcohol will be less than in someone who drinks less frequently. In some people, this level of alcohol may cause impaired consciousness and a lack of reflexes. In people not used to drinking, this level of alcohol could even cause coma.”

Handing down a conclusion of death by road traffic collision, coroner Louise Rae said: “Mr Kiely had a history of binge drinking. He had been referred to substance misuse programmes locally and had been prescribed drugs to treat alcohol dependence.

“In February he told his GP he had not had a drink since January 5… Sadly his abstinence does not appear to have continued. He had 405mg perecentage of alcohol in his blood and was highly intoxicated at the time of the collision.

“Mr Kiely would not have been seen in the road given his clothing, a black suit, and his back was towards the vehicle that collided with him.”

 

Thames Primary Academy latest to adopt ‘school buddy’ road safety signs in Blackpool

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A further set of school buddy road signs are to be installed at  Blackpool school in a bid to encourage parents and motorists to drive and park safely around pupils.

 

Thames Primary Academy and Nursery on Severn Road in South Shore is the latest school in the resort to be given a set of the six signs.

The signs, which match the schools’ uniforms, will hopefully help tackle the issues of inconsiderate and dangerous parking as well as speeding motorists..

The school buddies, inset, have been donated to the academy Coun Derek Robertson, who represents the Waterloo ward.

School buddy signs will soon be installed at Thames Primary Academy and NurserySchool buddy signs will soon be installed at Thames Primary Academy and Nursery

He requested £892.23 as part of his annual ward councillor funding.

Coun Robertson said: “They are something that is needed at our school to protect our pupils, parents and teachers. It is a great idea that I have seen at other school and Thames Academy approached me about it and I was happy to donate the funds.”

Gateway Academy and Unity Academy received signs back in May and they were paid for by the West Lancashire Freemasons Charity.

Westcliff Primary Academy was also given six signs in March following a ward grant donation from councillors Don Clapham and Paul Wilshaw.

 

Why a lifeboat has been on St Annes beach for the last 24 hours

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An unusual view of the Lytham St Annes lifeboat has been on offer to beachgoers since a mechanical hitch brought an unexpected end to a successful early morning rescue.

 

The RNLI station’s relief all-weather lifeboat Reg 13-07 was on its way back to base after towing a stranded yacht to safety when the winch cable on the SLRS combined tractor and carriage which takes it into the boathouse failed.

The lifeboat, on duty because the station’s regular craft the Barbara Anne was away for routine maintenance, was unable to be recovered onto the SLRS carriage and instead was towed by it to a safe section of beach opposite Fairhaven Road.

It was was left there at about 3am on Sunday and spent all that day and Monday morning in full view of walkers and beach visitors awaiting a replacement relief SLRS tractor unit so the Shannon relief craft can be re-carriaged and returned to the boathouse.

The Lytham St Annes relief all-weather lifeboat on the beach following the rescue and tractor winch failureThe Lytham St Annes relief all-weather lifeboat on the beach following the rescue and tractor winch failure

Lytham St Annes RNLI spokesman David Forshaw stressed that the lifeboat has not been “stranded”, but its unusual refuge was carefully chosen to allow it to be kept safe until it could be re-carriaged and that it would be available to be towed back out to see if another call came in the meantime.

The SLRS unit has been at the St Annes boathouse since arriving with the Barbara Anne in February 2018 and is in need of a replacement winch.

The unusual end to the rescue, which saw the volunteer crew free to return to their homes at about 3.45am on Sunday, followed a call from the Coastguard at Holyhead that a 30 foot long yacht with two people on board was in danger four miles out into the Irish Sea.

The yacht’s engine had failed and her foresail was unable to be set in challenging conditions which were forcing the vessel ever closer to being wrecked on the sand banks at the mouth of the estuary

The relief Reg 13-09 lifeboat being launched by the SLRS tractor unitThe relief Reg 13-09 lifeboat being launched by the SLRS tractor unit

Reg 13-07 was launched with station Coxswain Tom Stuart in command, and found the casualty in wind conditions which varied between force 5 and 6, with gusts up to gale force 8.

The confused sea conditions were on top of a four-metre swell and with heavy rain driving at times almost horizontally, made the approach to the yacht difficult.

The exhausted yacht crew were unable to connect a tow line and so the Llfeboat had to be brought alongside to allow lifeboat mechanic Chris Penrice to leap aboard. Chris then connected a tow line and the lifeboat brought the vessel into the safety of the River Ribble.

With no safe mooring available at Lytham in the poor conditions the two boats had to carry on upriver to the safety of Preston Dock. The Lytham St Annes tation’s Inshore Lifeboat, with helm Ben McGarry in command, was launched and the two Lifeboats safely moored the yacht up and after checking the two sailors were recovered sufficiently and happy to be left aboard their vessel, headed out down river to return to their respective boathouses.

Reg 13-07 was being recovered at the 11.5 mile perch in the river when the winch cable on the SLRS failed and instead of being returned to boathouse was towed to its place of safety on the beach.

Richard Freeman, the duty launching authority, said: “It was an excellent service rescuing two people in very challenging weather conditions.

“The chances of them surviving had the yacht hit the sands were slight. The only thing to mar the entire service was the failure of the SLRS cable after the rescue was over.”

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Playbarn at Blackpool Zoo remains closed for now but WILL reopen soon

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Blackpool Zoo’s indoor play centre, Playbarn, remains closed but WILL reopen soon, bosses at the attraction said this morning (Monday, August 9).

 

The popular indoor play centre at Blackpool Zoo remains closed as it is still being used as a breakroom for the zoo's workers so they can socially distance. Pic: Playbarn

The popular indoor play centre at Blackpool Zoo remains closed as it is still being used as a breakroom for the zoo’s workers so they can socially distance. Pic: Playbarn

The popular venue is still being used as a breakroom for the zoo’s workers so they can socially distance, whilst its toilets are also being used by zoo visitors.

It means the Playbarn, unlike other indoor play centres, is unable to reopen just yet.

But Blackpool Zoo has reassured visitors that the attraction will reopen, though no date has been given.

The play centre has been shut since last March, when Covid restrictions were first brought in.

Staff employed at the play centre have been kept busy with other roles at the zoo.

Della Belk, marketing and PR manager at Blackpool Zoo said: “In the meantime, all the staff from our Playbarn are now part of our fantastic, dedicated visitor services team, who are doing an amazing job at the zoo.

“From queue management to answering any questions and queries and much more, they’re there to ensure everyone enjoys a safe and fun visit during this temporary new normal.

“Once we do re-open we will automatically extend all Playbarn Memberships to reflect the duration of the closure and time left on membership.”