Bargain retailer B&M Stores finally confirms it will open next to new Bispham Aldi supermarket

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Discount retailer B&M Stores confirmed it would be opening a new store in Bispham, despite previously saying was “not on their list.”

 

Work is progressing at a new Aldi supermarket unit in Holyoake Avenue, Bispham, which is set to open sometime in Autumn, according to the retailer.

But plans submitted to Blackpool Council also showed the 20,000sq ft retail space, formerly a Poundstretcher store, would be divided into two separate units with rumours circulating that one would be occupied by discount store B&M Stores.

The Gazette asked B&M whether it had earmarked the unit for a new store, but it denied the rumours in February – and then again in March – saying “it was not on their list.”

Discount retailer B&M Stores has confirmed it will be opening a unit in Bispham next to a new Aldi supermarket, which is currently under construction.Discount retailer B&M Stores has confirmed it will be opening a unit in Bispham next to a new Aldi supermarket, which is currently under construction.

However, the retailer has now confirmed the second unit will in fact become a new B&M store, although an opening date is yet to be confirmed.

A spokesman for B&M said: “We can confirm that we are due to open a store in Blackpool on Holyoake Avenue.

“We don’t have a confirmed opening date yet, however we expect this to be before Christmas.”

Last year, Aldi developers moved forward with their plans for Holyoake Avenue after they agreed to pay £30,000 to improve the busy junction with Bispham Road, Plymouth Road, and Warbreck Hill Road.

The car park is being overhauled to make it safer for pedestrians, and traffic would only be allowed to drive out from the farthest exit from the junction, documents revealed.

 

Jubilee Gardens wall that was repaired after vandal attack is knocked down again

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A wall in Jubilee Gardens that was patched up by Blackpool Council just a few months ago after it was destroyed by vandals has been knocked down yet again.

 

The recently repaired wall has been wrecked again

The recently repaired wall has been wrecked again

The council stepped in to repair the wall at the North Shore gardens back in April after it emerged that the Friends of Jubilee Gardens group, which usually takes care of the area, had ‘no money left in the pot’ to fix the damage inflicted a month before.

Michael Higgins, chairman of the Friends group, said the wall would have to ‘stay as it is’ due to dwindling funds and a lack of volunteers.

Now the walls lie in ruins once more, with large slabs of brick knocked onto the surrounding grass and footpath.

The wall was previously vandalised in MarchThe wall was previously vandalised in March

It is the fourth section of the wall to be damaged in the last two years.

Blackpool police were at the scene this morning taking pictures of the damage.

Warbreck ward councillor Michele Scott said: “Regarding the damage, words fail me. Why anyone would think it is acceptable to cause such destruction is beyond my comprehension. I hope the people who caused the damage are caught and made to pay for repairs.”

Blackpool Council has been approached for comment.

Police swoop on Blackpool home following 2 hour stand-off with ‘armed’ man’

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool man who told police he was armed with a gun has been arrested after a stand-off with officers last night (Tuesday, August 10).

 

Armed police swooped on the home in Raikes Parade at 11.50pm after a man suspected of assaulting a neighbor refused to leave his home and warned police that he was armed with a shotgun.

But the man failed to cooperate and the situation escalated when he told police he was armed.

The investigating officers then requested support from their Tact Ops colleagues whose armed patrols rushed to the scene.

Armed police swooped on the home in Raikes Parade, Blackpool last night (Tuesday, August 10) after a man suspected of assaulting a neighbor refused to leave his home and warned police that he was armed with a shotgunArmed police swooped on the home in Raikes Parade, Blackpool last night (Tuesday, August 10) after a man suspected of assaulting a neighbor refused to leave his home and warned police that he was armed with a shotgun

Efforts were made to get the man to surrender, but after a two-hour stand-off, police gained entry and the man was arrested and taken into custody.

Officers searched the home but no firearm was found. The man has been arrested on suspicion of assault and affray.

A police spokesman said: “We were called around 11.50pm yesterday (Tuesday, August 10) to an address in Raikes Parade, Blackpool.

“Officers attended the scene with a man reporting he had been assaulted suffering an arm injury.

“Following enquiries police attended a neighbouring address to speak to a man in connection with the offence.

“The man refused to leave the property and told officers he had a firearm.

“Armed police attended and a short time later a 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and affray. No firearm was recovered.”

 

Reckless pranksters endanger St Annes wildlife by pouring washing up liquid into Promenade Gardens waterfall

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A lake in St Annes’ Promenade Gardens had to be drained and refilled with fresh water after pranksters poured washing up liquid into a waterfall.

 

The lake at the Promenade Gardens in St Annes had to be drained and refilled with fresh water after reckless pranksters poured washing up liquid into the waterfall

The lake at the Promenade Gardens in St Annes had to be drained and refilled with fresh water after reckless pranksters poured washing up liquid into the waterfall

The lake was deliberately polluted on Monday (August 9) when washing up liquid was poured into the waterfall causing it to bubble and foam.

Similar incidents have been reported in other towns and cities in the UK recently, including Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester.

It is believed to be a “prank” which has circulated on social media, but the damage to the lake and local wildlife is very real, say Lancashire’s wildlife experts.

And the Council say it is not the first time the waterfall and lake in the Promenade Gardens has been targeted.

A spokesman for Fylde Council said: “We’re aware someone has put washing up liquid into the Promenade Gardens lake. This has happened before and we don’t know who is doing it.

“The gardeners have flushed out the lake system this morning by safely dropping water levels and refilled with fresh water.

“We will do it again if need be. We have not observed any issues with fish or water birds, but will closely monitor the situation.”

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire said it was shocked to learn that “selfish pranksters” are recklessly endangering local wildlife.

Alan Wright, from the The Wildlife Trust said: “I presume whoever did this didn’t read the label on most washing up liquids that says “Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects”?

“Putting washing up liquid into any water course is adding chemicals to the water table. It would have an immediate effect on fish, probably causing irritation and would probably harm the invertebrates that the fish and birds eat, making them pretty nasty tasting too, I would think.

“It would also put harmful chemicals into the digestive systems of those predators.

“So, for a time, it will affect the circle of life around the Promenade Gardens, and it might be a while before it goes back to normal.

“It’s a bit like the selfish people who set fire to our moors.

“We have spent millions of pounds in the UK improving our lakes, rivers and streams after decades of horrible chemicals were dumped into them by industry.

“It is all down to people not thinking or not caring about the damage they are doing to our wildlife and the environment.

“It’s quite sad that, at a time when the environment is so high on the agenda, “pranksters” are ignoring this message and doing their own damage to our amazing wildlife.”

 

Giant footprints message aims to stamp out beach litter

Home | Blackpool Gazette

‘Leave nothing but your footprints’ is the inspiration behind a series of 10-metre-long footprints spectacularly created on a Fylde beach.

 

A total of 15 footprints were raked into the sand at St Annes as part of Fylde Council’s awareness campaign to encourage people to dispose of their litter responsibly.

They are part of the council’s ‘Take it, Don’t Leave It’ programme throughout the summer to tackle litter on the coast and in rural areas.

It took artist Richard Shilling and his team approximately six hours to create the stunning artwork located just west of St Annes Pier during low tide.

The giant footprints on the beach at St AnnesThe giant footprints on the beach at St Annes

Hundreds help declare zero tolerance to rubbish on Fylde beaches

Coun Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Council, was joined by the lead co-ordinator for local litter volunteers, Tracey Hope, to see the artwork in progress.

Coun Buckley said: “We wanted to make a bold and dramatic statement about the importance of keeping Fylde tidy because with the warm summer weather and fewer people travelling abroad for holidays this year, Fylde is receiving more visitors than ever.

“We took inspiration from the quote ‘leave nothing but your footprints’ to symbolise the importance of leaving our beautiful beach and coastal areas just as you find them, free of litter.

Artist Richard Shilling (centre) with (from left) Tracey Hope, lead co-ordinator for Fylde litter picking volunteers; ,land artists Julia Brooklyn and Justin Lindsey-Noble and Fylde Council leader Karen BuckleyArtist Richard Shilling (centre) with (from left) Tracey Hope, lead co-ordinator for Fylde litter picking volunteers; ,land artists Julia Brooklyn and Justin Lindsey-Noble and Fylde Council leader Karen Buckley

“The drone footage really captures the dramatic impact of the giant footprints and also the beauty of our magnificent coastline.

“We hope the message resonates with everyone and we can stop littering on the coast and in Fylde’s beautiful rural areas.”

Tracey, a marine biologist and medic, co-ordinates the army of volunteers who give up their free time to clear litter.

She said: “Watching the sea take the footprints without the any litter, brings to life our ‘leave nothing but your footprints’ message.

“It looks amazing and I hope it will inspire everyone to look after their local environment whether that’s in the streets where they live or out and about in the wider community.

“I’m passionate about protecting the environment and while most people pick up after themselves, there’s a minority who leave their rubbish behind.

“We all have a role to play and we can all do our bit to protect the environment and wildlife.”

 

Blackpool photographers help resort youngsters capture creativity though camera lenses during library workshops

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Two Blackpool photographers joined forces to present resort children with opportunities to express their creativity during photography workshops.

 

Jill Reidy and Claire Griffiths have run Whipper Snappers photography workshops for the past seven years, and were overjoyed to have been able to bring photography back into little ones’ lives after lockdown.

Working with Blackpool libraries, the women were able to teach youngsters how to bring out their creativity through a camera lens, with sessions at Anchorsholme, Layton and Central libraries.

Whipper Snappers aims to equip children with the knowledge and passion to capture moments in new ways.

Claire said: “For me, and I think Jill would agree, taking photographs is a creative act so to be able to inspire young folks to take images in a new way feels really powerful.

“With a camera you can be brave, tell your own story and have an adventure. It is a visual language so sharing our love of photography with young folks in the town is amazing.

“Blackpool can be photographed in a disparaging way, so seeing the world through a child’s eyes is refreshing and somehow tells a different story.

“It was wonderful to see how excited the children were when we handed them DSLR cameras. Photography can be expensive so the chance to use a “real” camera can be really different to phone photography or use of iPads.”

An image produced by participants of the Whipper Snappers photography workshop run by Claire Griffiths and Jill Reidy. Pic: Whipper SnappersAn image produced by participants of the Whipper Snappers photography workshop run by Claire Griffiths and Jill Reidy. Pic: Whipper Snappers

Jill added: “We let the children experiment a bit, but we also set them certain activities. We asked them to find things beginning with different letters, taking portraits of people in different ways, and using different perspectives to capture things.

“It was really good fun, the kids enjoyed it. We’re arranging for different exhibitions for their photos at each library too.”

And both photographers also have their own exhibitions on show in the resort at the moment – capturing life at the seaside.

Jill has her exhibition, When the chairs went up, at Cafe No 5 in Cedar Square, which portrays myriad reflections on lockdown in Blackpool.

An image produced by participants of the Whipper Snappers photography workshop run by Claire Griffiths and Jill Reidy. Pic: Whipper SnappersAn image produced by participants of the Whipper Snappers photography workshop run by Claire Griffiths and Jill Reidy. Pic: Whipper Snappers

Claire’s work is also being showcased in the Seaside: Photographed exhibition in the forecourt of the Grundy Art Gallery in Queen Street, a national exhibition looking at the relationship between photography and the British seaside from the 1850s to the present.

 

This is how much Blackpool homeowners had to reduce their house prices by for a sale, and which areas the biggest reductions were found

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Professional we buy any house firm Property Solvers has revealed the areas in Blackpool where home sellers have been reducing their prices the most.

 

Tracking 685 property transactions between August 2020 and August 2021, the monthly updated asking vs. sold price difference tool shows the average differences between asking prices on Rightmove and their actual sold prices lodged at the HM Land Registry.

The data effectively monitors the entire house sale process from initial listing, viewings, negotiation, offers, agreement through to the survey process, conveyancing, exchange and finally completion.

The biggest price discounts in Blackpool were seen in the FY8 (Lytham St. Annes) postcode.

Professional we buy any house firm Property Solvers has revealed the areas in Blackpool where home sellers have been reducing their prices the most.Professional we buy any house firm Property Solvers has revealed the areas in Blackpool where home sellers have been reducing their prices the most.

Across this region, 151 sellers were knocking off an average of £-8,737 (or -2.97%) from the initial asking price in the 12 months to August 2021.

Lytham decorators chasing another national award

Over the same period, the lowest hits on price were seen in FY2 (Blackpool), where 64 home sellers reduced their properties by an average of £-3,966 (or -2.74%) to get the sale going.

Property Solvers co-founder Ruban Selvanayagam) said: “Despite what has been a very active market, homebuyers are still, by and large, able to negotiate down on prices.

“There is also wider evidence of surveyors down valuing properties that are misaligned with the realities.

“This means that properties end up selling for lower than the original estate agent price estimation.

“It’s relative as a more expensive property is likely to see a wider price difference.

“Nonetheless, when buying, it’s worth checking how much prices are being reduced in your area using our tool.

“For sellers, before listing, we always suggest looking at the widely available free data from HM Land Registry which tracks the prices properties are sold for and not what they are advertised for.

“On Rightmove, for example, you can often see previous listings to see how yours compares.”

Selvanayagam concludes: “This tool will be updated on a monthly basis so sellers can see how realistically homes are being priced in their own postcode.”

 

Barrister and author Keith Rankin in Blackpool court over child porn pictures

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A criminal barrister became a criminal barrister after admitting making more than 300 indecent images of children.

 

Keith Rankin, 61, who also co-wrote three crime novels, pleaded guilty to three charges while appearing at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court, inset, yesterday.

Rankin practised at the Bar in the north east, where he committed the offences between 2016 and 2020.

Some of the images were rated as the worst possible.

Blackpool Magistrates CourtBlackpool Magistrates Court

He was sent for sentencing at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday, September 7 and told by District Judge Jane Goodwin: “These matters are outside this court’s sentencing powers.”

Rankin, of Blue Anchor Court, Newcastle, and formerly of Dower House, Castle Eden, Durham, was placed on the Sex Offender’s Register, which means he must report to his local police station within the next three days.

He must hand over his passport and give police his National Insurance number – and tell officers if anyone under 18 stays with him.

Rankin has co-written four novels: Hung Jury; The Right to Silence; Abuse of Process; and The Oath. One online biography said Rankin was “recently described as the ‘enfant terrible’ of the Newcastle legal fraternity”.