Police are urging people to keep clear of the area.
Police are currently dealing with an ongoing public order incident on Nutter Road in Cleveleys, meaning that numerous roads in the area have been cordoned off.
In a statement posted to both Facebook and Twitter at 3:30 pm, Wyre Police confirmed that road closures are currently in place on Nutter Road itself and Rough Lea Road.
They added that whilst there are numerous patrols in the area, they believe here is “no risk to the wider public”.
Wyre Police confirmed that there is an ongoing police incident on Nutter Road, Cleveleys.
Speaking to the Gazette an hour later, a police spokesperson said: “We were called at 1.07pm today (January 26) to a public order incident in Nutter Road, Thornton Cleveleys. Officers remain at the scene. The public are asked to avoid the area.”
According to reports, and footage posted online, the incident involves somebody throwing furniture out of a building, and both the fire service and armed riot police are in attendance.
The hospital’s trust has been served a warning notice ordering it to significant improvements
Leaders at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been ordered to make improvements after health watchdog inspectors descended on Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) identified some improvements upon its surprise visit in September and October but assessed its urgent and emergency care as the worse possible rating of ‘inadequate’.
It also evaluated the trust’s ‘responsiveness’ as inadequate, while its leadership rating moved up from from inadequate to requires improvement. Surgical care and critical care remained rated as requires improvement, while medical care moved up from inadequate to requires improvement.
The CQC carried out the unannounced inspection of services including urgent and emergency care, medical care, critical care and surgical care due to continuing concerns about quality and safety. An inspection of the well-led domain of the trust overall was also carried out.
As a result, the trust remains rated as requires improvement overall and for being safe and effective.
The low rating for emergency care was given in part as a result of poor infection control and staff shortages.
The report states: “The design, maintenance and use of facilities, premises and equipment did not keep people safe. Staff did not always assess, monitor or manage risks to people who used the services. Opportunities to prevent or minimise harm were missed. Substantial or frequent staff shortages increased risks to people who used the service.”
It continues: “Leaders were not always visible in the department and did not always have a clear understanding of the risks, issues and challenges in the service. They did not always act in a timely manner to address them […]. Staff did not always feel respected, supported and valued.”
Due to the issues found during the inspection, the trust was issued with a warning notice requiring it to take action to ensure significant improvements are made with regards to assessing and managing risks to patients who are waiting to receive care and treatment.
It has also been order to improve its systems and processes to make sure incidents are dealt with appropriately so lessons can be learnt to prevent them happening again.
Ann Ford, CQC’s deputy chief inspector for the north, said: “When we inspected the trust, there had been a number of new appointments to the leadership team. We found planned improvements were underway, however these were not fully embedded to ensure sustained improvement.
“I recognise the enormous pressure NHS services are under across the country, especially in the urgent and emergency department, however it is vital that senior leaders are visible and have good oversight to manage and mitigate emerging challenges and risks, and we found that this visibility and oversight was lacking. Due to this, in the emergency department the trust wasn’t always aware of the risks to patients and consequently was not acting promptly to address them.
“We also found issues with waiting times in medical and surgical care, staff raised concerns that patients were coming to harm while on the waiting list for significant lengths of time, and we weren’t assured that patients’ conditions had been reviewed or prioritised appropriately.
“It was disappointing to see that not all staff felt respected or valued at such a challenging time with a lack of support relating to equality, diversity and inclusion. The trust must make it a priority to improve this to make sure it is an inclusive organisation for everyone. The trust was working towards an open culture where people could raise concerns without fear, however at the time of the inspection not all staff felt they could do this
“Additionally, it wasn’t always easy for patients to make complaints and when the trust did investigate them, learning wasn’t always shared with staff to prevent them from happening again. Although we did find concerns across the trust, we also found that the staff we met were focused on the needs of patients, and there were pockets of outstanding care.
“Following this inspection, we wrote to the trust requesting assurance about identified patient safety risks. The trust has provided an action plan to address our urgent concerns and we continue to monitor them closely and will return to check on their progress to ensure patients are receiving safe care.”
Trish Armstrong-Child, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, took up the role in September as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) arrived at Blackpool Victoria Hospital to begin their inspection of core services.
Reacting to the report, she said: “Overall, the CQC rating for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust remains as Requires Improvement. The trust recognises and acknowledges the areas highlighted for action and will work with the CQC and colleagues and stakeholders across the wider health and social care system to improve.
“The trust continues to aspire to becoming an outstanding organisation and improving our ratings across every domain, including caring which is rated good across all settings and a positive reflection of the dedication of colleagues.
“It’s clear progress has been made since the last inspection in 2019, but there is also much more to do. Over the coming days, weeks and months we will collectively focus on these issues together, as a team, for the benefit of all our patients and residents across our local communities.”
A proposed £3.2m cash injection to complete regeneration works in Kirkham town centre has been welcomed by Fylde’s MP and council leader.
Lancashire County Council’s cabinet is being asked to approve the spending when it meets on Thursday, January 20.
The funding will ensure the completion of the Kirkham Futures masterplan for the town.
More than £10m is already being spent, funded through the Future High Streets Fund and Heritage Action Zone scheme. The additional money from County Hall will take the total available for the scheme to more than £13m.
Kirkham town centre
Mr Menzies said: “I know how important it is that we deliver this project in its entirety.
“Kirkham is an historic market town with a unique high street offer.
“There are so many brilliant, independent traders in the town and this investment will help bring more people into shops, bars, cafes and restaurants.”
The funding will help ensure a number of schemes outside the town’s heritage zone – focused on the Market Square – can go ahead, including projects to improve the look of Poulton Street and to address flooding issues.
Mr Menzies said: “I know business owners were disappointed when some projects missed out on funding.
“That is why I have, alongside County Coun Stewart Jones, been pressing Lancashire County Council to stand by its promises to fund the completion of the project.
“I am looking forward to seeing the transformation of Kirkham over the coming months thanks to this commitment.”
Funding to support a project that will transform Kirkham Futures will deliver major improvements to the public realm in the town centre, the refurbishment of shop fronts and the regeneration of empty high street properties. It will also support community, health and wellbeing programmes, as well as arts and cultural activities.
County Coun Aidy Riggott, cabinet member for economic development and growth at the county council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to support projects which will provide a major investment in Kirkham, bringing a significant economic benefit while also assisting with the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’re working in partnership to make this project happen for local people and also visitors to the town.”
Fylde Council has also successfully received funding from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund and High Street Heritage Action Zone fund.
Coun Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Council, said: “Our bid to the Government’s Future High Street Fund was costed at £9.5m. We were awarded £6.3m, which was still a very good result, especially given that Fylde Council’s was the only successful bid in Lancashire.
“The gap of £3.2m being filled by Lancashire County Council puts us right back on track to deliver the Kirkham Futures scheme.
“I’m grateful to Cabinet Member, County Coun Aidy Riggott, for meeting with me and to the officers of both councils who are working together on the project.”
Oliver Sarkic has become the latest player to leave Blackpool during the January transfer window.
The 24-year-old’s contract at Bloomfield Road has been cancelled by mutual consent, freeing him up to join another club.
It comes after a similar situation with Teddy Howe, which allowed the defender to sign for National League side Barnet.Sarkic departs the Fylde coast without making a single appearance under Neil Critchley in the last 12 months.
In fact, his last cameo for the Seasiders came exactly a year ago to the day, coming on as an 88th-minute substitute during the 5-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic on January 26, 2021.
The forward, a free transfer from Burton Albion in the summer of 2020, made just 10 appearances for the club, failing to register a goal.
He spent a brief spell on loan with Mansfield Town last season, making four appearances before his stay was cut short as a result of injury.
It’s anticipated that Joe Nuttall will be the next player to head through the exit door, with a move to League Two side Scunthorpe United close to being finalised. It was expected the striker’s switch would be completed today, but we’re still awaiting official confirmation.
Sarkic failed to score a goal during his time at Bloomfield Road
Former Seasider Liam Feeney has also joined the Iron today, agreeing a permanent switch from Tranmere Rovers.
In other transfer news, Blackpool are closing to sealing the signature of Charlton Athletic winger Charlie Kirk as a replacement for Demetri Mitchell.
‘This is an important step forward and builds momentum behind Blackpool Central’
Progress has been made with Blackpool Central plans as funding has been secured for a new multi-storey car park.
Construction of the car park, which will have space for 1,306 vehicles, will start in early 2022.
It is set to take around 16 months to complete.
After gaining detailed planning consent in October 2021, the developer, Nikal, has signed up the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) to fund the delivery of car park.
As part of the deal, Blackpool Council has agreed an underlease of the MSCP and will operate the car park once built.
Nikal has also selected construction and development company, Ballast Nedam, to build the MSCP with construction expected to start in early 2022 and take around 16 months to complete.
This is the latest development in the £300m Blackpool Central leisure development.
It will see the former Central station being transformed into three indoor theme parks, a 200-room hotel plus bars, restaurants and outdoor entertainment space.
Full permission was granted to convert and upgrade buildings on Central Drive including the King Edward cinema, King Edward pub and King Edward apartments into holiday accommodation, restaurants and bars as part of a new heritage quarter.
The former Central Station closed in 1964 and has since been used as a car park. Previous attempts to develop the site, including planning applications in 2001 and 2006 had failed.
The Heritage Quarter is set to be built by spring 2024, with further phases not operational until spring or summer 2025, and the full development expected to take 10 years to complete.
Richard Fee, chief executive officer at Nikal, said: “This is an important step forward and builds momentum behind Blackpool Central.
“We look forward to breaking ground on this crucial first phase, which will kickstart one of the UK’s most important regeneration projects.”
Councillors are being asked to consider the acquisition of a site in Blackpool earmarked for a new hotel alongside the Winter Gardens.
Documents related to the proposal are being kept secret by town hall officials, but the agenda for the next meeting of the executive lists an item “acquisition of land bounded by Alfred Street, Adelaide Street and Leopold Grove”.
Planning permission was granted last June for the construction of a five storey hotel on the land which is currently used as a car park, with the site being marketed for sale with a £3m price tag.
Four different hotel schemes have been brought forward for the land since 2010, but none have progressed.
An artist’s impression of the hotel planned for land between Alfred Street, Adelaide Street and Leopold Grove
However a hotel next door to the Winter Gardens is seen as a key asset for the new £28m conference centre on Leopold Grove due to open this spring.
The hotel plans include an enclosed bridge linking the second floor with the conference centre, a cafe and bar on the ground floor and a double level car park with 94 spaces.
It would occupy half of the site, including a landscaped garden separating it from the car park opening onto Alfred Street, and it would be designed in an art deco style.
A council report at the time planning approval was granted said: “An additional large hotel on the edge of the town centre would support town centre businesses such as shops, eateries and tourism and leisure facilities, as well as providing good quality hotel accommodation opposite the new conference centre.
“The development would be one of many regeneration projects in Blackpool and will assist in re-branding the town centre, strengthening it as a cultural, leisure and business destination for residents and visitors and this weighs notably in favour of the scheme.”
A new four year strategy to support victims of domestic abuse is set to be adopted by Blackpool Council.
The action plan builds on previous work to protect people and is in response to further statutory requirements introduced by the government.
The latest proposals, which are due to be agreed by the council’s executive on Monday (January 24), include providing housing support but say the victim should not always be the one forced to leave the family home.
Partners from different agencies will work together more closely, one example being that domestic abuse can often be uncovered from the impact it has on children in schools.
Blackpool Council is set to adopt a strategy to support sufferers of domestic violence
Deprivation also plays a part in Blackpool, with sufferers sometimes unable to leave an abusive relationship due to their poor financial situation.
Coun Jo Farrell, cabinet member for adult social care and health, says in her introduction to the new strategy: “We know that we have work to do to improve our services so that people in Blackpool who are at risk of, or are being abused receive the support they require.
“We want to encourage people to ask for help and report abuse at the earliest opportunity before it escalates and causes more harm.”
She adds: “We know that we need to change the culture and attitudes that tolerate abuse in the home and in relationships.
“We will extend our education programmes in schools and colleges, train our staff to recognise and respond to early signs of harm and challenge poor attitudes that can allow abuse to continue.”
The Domestic Abuse Act, which was adopted last April, has brought in a wider ranging legal definition of offences including emotional, coercive and controlling behaviour and economic abuse as well as physical violence.
Huge and controversial plans to flatten three ‘eyesore’ hotels on South Promenade and replace them with a block of flats have been brought to Blackpool Council once again.
The multi-million pound plan to demolish the Kimberley, Waldorf and Henderson Hotels dates back all the way to 2008, and has been the subject of heated debate over the years.
Blackpool Council’s planning committee refused to approve the scheme on three separate occasions. In 2016, when developers wanted the proposed five to seven-storey flat block to contain 99 modern apartments, they ruled the proposed 84 parking spaces were not enough, and would negatively impact people living in the area.
Nearby residents repeatedly objected to the proposals, saying the height of the building would leave their properties overshadowed.
Artist’s impression of the proposed flat block submitted to Blackpool Council
However, revised plans cutting the number of apartments from 99 to 88 and increasing parking to one space per flat were unanimously approved by councillors in May 2017, bringing nine years of arguments to an apparent end.
Now the debate is set to continue, as NSP Propery Ltd has submitted a fresh planning application reducing the number of apartments further, from 88 to 63, as the larger project was deemed to be unviable.
A statement submitted to the council by Dave Shepherd of St Annes-based Shepherd Planning said: “The site is the site of the three following hotels… The Waldorf, The Henderson and The Kimberley. This site has been an eyesore for a number of years since the closure of two of the hotels, and the closure of the third is imminent. The dereliction causes visual harm to the area and to its remaining inhabitants.”
He added: “Two (of the hotels) have ceased trading a number of years ago and the third is in imminent danger of closing due to poor occupancy rates and a generally unattractive setting for hotel residents to stay in. The terrace of buildings itself has fallen into a state of dereliction and are visually detrimental to the area.”
If approved, the new block will contain 58 two-bedroom flats, four three-bedrooms, and one four-bedroom.
Accessible entrance to tbe building will be provided from the rear, and there will be lift access to the upper floors. A car park with disabled and general spaces, a cycle parking area, and electric charging points will be installed behind the building, with enough spaces to cover all apartments.
Mr Shepherd said: “The application proposal is in a sustainable and accessible location… Whilst not housing aimed at any specific group, it is suitable for elderly people and some people suffering from a disability.
“The site’s location offers a very realistic alternative to the use of the motor car. It is near to public transport routes, near to schools, shops, and other urban facilities, and would allow walking and cycling as alternatives to the use of the motor car.”
A new flood risk assessment, carried out in line with the new planning application, found the development was at a low flood risk from all flood sources except tidal, where the risk varied from low to medium.
Meanwhile, a transport statement found that the site ‘should not have a material impact in terms of highway operation and safety’, adding: “In fact, the evidence would suggest that safe and suitable access to the site can be achieved for all users.”
Scottish side Hearts are reportedly interested in a move for former Blackpool striker Ellis Simms.
Robbie Neilson’s side are in the market for a forward during the final days of the January transfer window following the recent departure of another ex-Blackpool player, Armand Gnanduillet.
The Frenchman was allowed to return to his homeland following an unsuccessful spell north of the border, joining second tier side Le Mans.
According to The Gazette’s sister paper, the Edinburgh News, Hearts are now considering a loan swoop for Everton’s Simms. Hearts have made an enquiry and talks are expected to continue over the coming days.
The 21-year-old is part of the under-23 squad at Goodison Park and it’s understood the Oldham-born man is available for a loan move this month.
The Seasiders were keen to bring Simms back to Bloomfield Road in January, but Jake Beesley’s arrival from Rochdale now means a move seems unlikely.
Neil Critchley’s side were previously confident of sealing a return for Simms during the summer, only for the striker to undergo surgery on his groin.
Simms helped fire Blackpool to promotion last season
It followed the injury he picked up on the eve of Blackpool’s play-off final win against Lincoln City back in May.
Simms enjoyed a prolific spell at Blackpool during the second half of last season, scoring 10 times in 19 starts to help fire Neil Critchley’s side to promotion.
The powerful forward made his Everton debut last month against Chelsea and is keen to play more regular first-team football.
A regular goalscorer for Everton’s academy side in Premier League 2, Simms recently signed a new long-term contract to keep him on Merseyside until 2024.
With injuries to the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, Simms has been a regular in Everton’s match day squads in the past couple of months.
Should Simms make the move to Hearts, he will link up with former Seasiders Taylor Moore and Ben Woodburn, who are currently on loan at Tyncecastle from Bristol City and Liverpool respectively.
People in Blackpool are being urged to show support on World Cancer Day for everyone affected by the disease.
Cancer Research UK is calling on the public to donate or wear one of the charity’s Unity Bands with pride on Friday, February 4 – which also marks its 20th anniversary.
Every year, around 44,900 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West.
The bands are available from the charity’s shops in Talbot Road, Blackpool; Victoria Road West, Thornton Cleveleys; The Square in St Anne’s; and Lytham’s Market Square. They are also available online at cruk.org/worldcancerday
Cancer Research UK’s Unity Bands are now for sale
Available in three different colours – pink, navy and blue – it can be worn in memory of a loved one, to celebrate people who’ve overcome cancer or in support of those going through treatment.
Marked on February 4, World Cancer Day is an international initiative, uniting people across the globe to take action against the disease.
For Cancer Research UK the awareness day takes on extra significance this year, as it celebrates its 20th birthday and pays tribute to its supporters for the part they have played in funding cutting-edge research.
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Lancashire, said: “This past year proves, more than any other, the value of investing in science and medical research. Thanks to our supporters, we’ve achieved so much. Every day we see the benefits of research we’ve previously funded being realised, helping people live longer and healthier lives. ”
Neil Critchley has explained why he wanted to give certain players the chance to redeem themselves during Blackpool’s win against Millwall.
Pool’s head coach largely named an unchanged side from Blackpool’s last outing, which was the dreadful 2-1 defeat to League Two side Hartlepool United in the FA Cup.
The only two players to drop out were James Husband and Keshi Anderson, who suffered hamstring injuries during that encounter.
It meant Critchley kept faith with the likes of Dujon Sterling, CJ Hamilton and Shayne Lavery, who were particularly poor in Blackpool’s third round tie.
But the trio repaid Critchley’s faith, all producing superb displays during Saturday’s 1-0 victory against Millwall.
Sterling was the standout performer on the day, while Hamilton was heavily involved in the winning goal which was put away by Lavery.
When asked if it was a conscious decision to keep faith with the players that struggled against Hartlepool, Critchley told The Gazette: “I felt some players at this moment in time need to feel my support and need to feel the trust of the coach.
Dujon Sterling repaid Neil Critchley’s faith with an outstanding display on Saturday
“After a defeat like that in the FA Cup, the easy thing to do would be to make wholesale changes. But I have to look at the game and the bigger picture.
“There wasn’t a lot wrong for the majority of the Hartlepool game and if you play that game another 10 times, I think we’d win quite a few of them.
“But we didn’t win the game and we didn’t deserve to win the game because of the 15 to 20 minutes where we didn’t compete.
“Some of the players got another opportunity against Millwall to put that right and they’ve gone and done that.”
While the defeat in the FA Cup will have come as a major disappointment, the Seasiders have started 2022 well with back-to-back league wins.
But Critchley, whose side head to league leaders Fulham on Saturday, knew how imperative it was to issue a response to the Hartlepool setback.
“It was vital and it was something we stressed to the players in the build-up to the game,” he added.
“We wanted to redeem ourselves (against Barnsley) last week but that was taken out of our hands. We got the chance to do it in front of our own supporters instead.
“This is a big victory for us. Any win in this division is so hard fought, it’s so tough to win games. You have to work extremely hard for anything you get and we had to do that against an established Championship team in Millwall.
“The support was fantastic and they were right behind us. It’s always a great feeling when you send our fans home happy.”