Blackpool hotels lose £25k in alleged nursing agency worker fraud

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

John Allison, also known as Jay Allison or John Kerr, has links to Blackpool, the Crook area of Durham, as well as Kilmarnock in Scotland

John Allison, also known as Jay Allison or John Kerr
John Allison, also known as Jay Allison or John Kerr

Police are hunting a nursing agency worker wanted for allegedly defrauding four hotels out of thousands of pounds.

John Allison, also known as Jay Allison or John Kerr, is wanted by police investigating alleged fraud offences in Blackpool between September 2019 and December 2019.

It was reported Allison, then working for a nursing agency, had made a number of bookings to supply accommodation for agency nurses.

It is alleged around £25,000 was taken by Allison and not passed onto the hoteliers.

An investigation was launched and despite recent attempts to speak to him, Allison has failed to come forward.

The 34-year-old is described as white, with short dark hair and speaks with a Scottish accent.

He has links to Blackpool, the Crook area of Durham, as well as Kilmarnock in Scotland.

Det Con Lucy Cross, of Blackpool CID, said: “Allison is wanted in connection with serious offences of defrauding four hoteliers in Blackpool.

“A substantial amount of money is believed to have been taken. Allison initially assisted with our inquiry but despite numerous attempts to locate him, he has not come forward and spoken to police.

“I would urge anyone who knows him, or maybe in contact with him, to get in touch and urge him to contact us immediately.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or email 4231@lancashire.police.uk quoting log 0063 of December 13, 2019

 

Popular Blackpool Egyptian-themed guesthouse on the market for £275k

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Pharoahs, queens and hieroglyphs adorn the walls of the eating area and bar lounge along with gold-leaf themed furniture and an upholstered ceiling

The outside of the Westholme Hotel on Albert Road, Blackpool

The outside of the Westholme Hotel on Albert Road, Blackpool (Image: Right Move)

A unique and well-established hotel in the heart of Blackpool centre is currently on the market for £275,000.

The Westholme Hotel on Albert Road has a colourful Ancient Egyptian-themed interior with guests on TripAdvisor particularly remarking on its “stunning” dining room.

Pharoahs, queens and hieroglyphs adorn the walls of the eating area and bar lounge along with gold-leaf themed furniture and an unusual upholstered ceiling as opposed to artex.

The cosy accommodation that sits close to the promenade near Blackpool Winter gardens comprises of 13 bedrooms in total with 11 rooms having en suite bathrooms.

All rooms have HD TVs, tea and coffee making facilities, central heating and free high-speed WiFi.

The hotel also houses a private area with a lounge, bedroom, office, sitting room complete with double bedroom and bathroom.

The kitchen area is excellent with stainless steel units, worktops and full extraction.

The hotel comprises of four floors; the ground floor which contains the vestibule entrance, dining room for 32 covers, the kitchen and private accommodation with the first floor having five bedrooms; three en-suite family rooms, one en-suite double room and one standard double room with shower and WC.

Five more bedrooms can be found on the second floor with three being en-suite family rooms with one en-suite double room and one standard double room.

The top floor is quiet and has three bedrooms with one being a double en-suite room and two en-suite family rooms.

The hotel’s current owners have managed the business since 2004 and are selling due to retirement.

It is an opportunity to buy a well-established business which operates on approximately an 80% repeat custom with accounts for 2019 confirming a turnover in the region of £80,000 with substantial net profits.

The establishment currently has excellent word of mouth and benefits greatly from repeat business.

It operates as a B&B with an optional evening meal however there is excellent scope to develop the business further with the use of online booking.

A plethora of equipment is also available to use such as a griddle, dishwasher, microwave, cooker, water boiler, Fosters double stainless steel fridge freezer and more.

It’s TripAdvisor rating is excellent at 5 circles and reviews include such statements as “the hotel staff are the most welcoming and friendly people we have known, “, “the hotel is very clean and well run” and “a delightful hotel in a superb location.”

 

Blackpool’s Waterloo Music Bar wins two North West awards

Home | Blackpool Gazette

One of Blackpool’s most popular live music venues has won two awards at a prestigious regional event.

 

Ian Fletcher and the Waterloo Music Bar have been recognised in the North West Music Awards.Ian Fletcher and the Waterloo Music Bar have been recognised in the North West Music Awards.

The Waterloo Music Bar, owned and run by Ian Fletcher, won double recognition in the North West Music Awards, which celebrates different aspects of the North West’s normally lively music scene.
The awards follow on from a particularly tough time for the hospitality industry and live music because of successive Covid lockdowns.

With venues having to shut for long periods, the Waterloo almost went out of business last year and was saved by a rescue campaign which attracted major support from Blackpool residents and musicians across the country.

The Waterloo, based on the corner of Waterloo Road and Central Drive, won the much-prized accolade, Best Grassroots Venue, and Ian himself also won the “Night Time Hero” award for his unstinting efforts to support new music and also his charity work.

Ian has been a long-time supporter of the Blackpool charity Streetlife. which helps vulnerable young people, and The Waterloo has been a collecting point for tins of food to help the charity.

The awards, organised by Red Spot Events, were live-streamed online and the judges included big names in UK music, such as Peter Hook from New Order and Clint Boon, best known for his work with the band Inspiral Carpets.

Ian said: “It’s an honour to be given these awards get this kind of recognition, especially as it covers such a big area across the North West and we were up against some cracking venues in Liverpool and Manchester.

“We were watching the awards on a big screen in the bar and when we won there a huge cheer, it was like being at a football match!

“The award is for everyone who has supported us and for Blackpool – I hope this can help put the town on the map for live, grass roots music.”

The Waterloo has become a major live music draw in the past five years, supporting local bands and also playing host to nationally-known artists.

Support for the Waterloo flooded in after charity The Music Venues Trust identified the Blackpool venue as being on the ‘red’ at risk list last year and set up a crowdfunding appeal to help.

That campaign raised a magnificent £45,000.

A blooming great £26,500 boost for Fylde’s floral groups

Home | Blackpool Gazette

In Bloom groups across Fylde are being given a cash boost as Fylde Council looks to invest in planting, parks and green spaces.

A total of £26,500 is being allocated to the local groups which compete in the Britain In Bloom competition, which includes a representatives from practically every town and vilage across the borough.

The money comes from the Government’s Welcome Back Fund which aims to help local authorities create and promote a safe and welcoming environment for local trade and tourism.

Coun Tommy Threlfall, chairman of Fylde Council’s environment, health and housing committee, said: “The idea is to boost the look and feel of public areas, which can be done – in part – by investing in planting and improving communal green spaces.

An eye-catching floral display in Lytham Square

An eye-catching floral display in Lytham Square

Take a look at what these volunteers have been up to

The UK finals are organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, which says participation increases visitor numbers, strengthens the local economy, as well as creating a stronger pride of place.

The competition is organised regionally, with the North West winners traditionally announced in the autumn and progress for the most successful to the national finals. Lytham was national Champion of Champions in 2013.

Fiona Boismaison, chairman of St Annes In Bloom, said: “We have been granted £5,000 by the fund and are delighted to have our work recognised as valuable to the town.

“It means we can put out displays and not have to ask businesses to help us with the funding. So you could say we are sharing the money already with the business community and benefiting the appearance of town at the same time.”

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.

 

Fleetwood pensioner accused of causing cyclist’s death by ‘careless driving’ appears in court

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A pensioner accused of causing the death of an elderly cyclist by knocking him off his bike made his first appearance in court.

Eric Warburton, 80, of Lower Lune Street, Fleetwood, was charged after Roy Leadbetter, 86, also of Fleetwood, was hurt in a crash with a car in Dock Street last October.

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court was told Mr Leadbetter died in hospital 10 days later, after contracting Covid and pneumonia.

Warburton’s lawyer Gerry Coyle did not enter a plea on his client’s behalf and told the court this morning any future trial would have to examine Mr Leadbetter’s cause of death.

Blackpool Magistrates Court.Blackpool Magistrates Court.

Mr Coyle asked the prosecution to send him the pathologist’s report.

Warburton was granted bail ahead of a crown court appearance on June 23.

Mr Leadbetter died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Sunday, October 25, a family announcement said.

He was described as a “devoted” husband to Lyn, “much loved” dad to Mark and his partner Viv, a “loving” brother to the late Josie, and a “dear uncle” to Gail and Sandra.

“Roy will be sadly missed by all his family and friends,” his loved ones said ahead of a funeral service at Carleton on November 27.

 

‘Loving’ Blackpool woman’s tragic death just weeks before her 21st birthday

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Her 21st birthday would have been on May 31, but Lauren Bicket’s family are now tragically planning her funeral instead of her birthday celebrations

 

Lauren Bicket, 20, with her boyfriend Jordan
Lauren Bicket, 20, with her boyfriend Jordan (Image: Go Fund Me)

Two fundraisers have been set up for the family of a young Blackpool girl who took her own life just weeks before her 21st birthday.

Lauren Bicket, age 20, died on May 10 after battling severe mental health problems since turning 13.

Her 21st birthday would have been on May 31, however Lauren’s family are now planning her funeral instead of her birthday celebrations.

The tragedy has left them not only devastated but unprepared financially for the costs of a funeral. So far they have been quoted around £5,000.

Now her friends and family are rallying around to try and help with the arrangements including buying a headstone to remember Lauren.

They also wish to raise awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention with the rest of the money donated going to mental health chairty MIND.

Linsey Smith, 43, is best friend to Lauren’s mum, Kirsty Gregson, and is going to be shaving off her long hair on Saturday June 26 to raise both money and awareness.

She told LancsLive: “The event will be live streamed from my house in Blackpool from 3pm onwards and it will be Lauren’s mum who will be shaving it all off for me.

“I am nervous, I’m mostly worried about my hair growing back grey however that’s nothing compared to what this family have been through in the past few weeks.

“Lauren leaves behind her sixteen-year-old sister Lucy and her boyfriend Jordan who lived with the family.

“There are no words to describe the despair the family is going through and I want to help in anyway I can.

“So far I’ve raised over £200 however there is still a lot more to go. My fundraising page in particular is to raise money for the headstone.

“It’s very important we have a place where we can all go and speak to Lauren when we want to and to pay our respects to her.”

Lauren Bicket, 20, from Blackpool, took her own life after a seven year battle with mental health issues

(Image: Go Fund Me)

Lauren was well known around Blackpool for being ‘loving’ and ‘bubbly’ and was a keen fisher lady who was a regular visitor to Stanley Park with her boyfriend.

She was ecstatic when she once achieved her personal best and pulled out a huge carp.

Speaking on one of the GoFundMe pages, her family describe her as always smiling, laughing and joking but recognise that it is hard to tell what a person is going through inside and that they wish Lauren could have spoken to them rather than feeling alone.

The family say that if they can help at least one person with their story they will be grateful for others to never go through what they have gone through.

Linsey added: “This is very much about raising awareness too. I, myself, have mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and PTSD and had really low times.

“Last week I watched my best friend on her birthday, May 19, planning her daughter’s funeral instead of celebrating her own birthday.

“After seeing the devastation that Lauren’s death has caused I now couldn’t contemplate suicide. We want to aim to raise awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention as much as we can.”

On Lauren’s 21st birthday, May 31, 21 balloons will be released and Blackpool Tower will be lit up purple with a yellow bow in her memory.

To help the family raise money for a headstone and to sponsor Lindsey’s head shave, please visit here https://gofund.me/53fd85f0.

To donate to the funeral arrangement and mental health charity MIND, please visit https://gofund.me/b97aedf7.

 

Campaigners launch £1 million appeal to help preserve Blackpool icon

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Campaigners have launched a new appeal to raise money to keep a Lancashire icon running.

A heritage tram on Blackpool prom. Blackpool Heritage has launched an ambitious fund-raiser seeking £1 million in donations in order to build a new roof and preserve these historic vehiclesA heritage tram on Blackpool prom. Blackpool Heritage has launched an ambitious fund-raiser seeking £1 million in donations in order to build a new roof and preserve these historic vehicles

Blackpool Transport’s Heritage Trams have been running for more than 100 years, most recently as a visitor experience since 2014, led mostly by a team of volunteers. Housed and maintained at the Rigby Road bus depot, there is an urgent need for funding in order to build a new roof and preserve these historic vehicles for years to come.

Now Blackpool Heritage has launched an ambitious fund-raiser seeking £1 million in donations from people all over the world. This will enable the first, most costly, and most important part of the restoration plans to begin, which is the installation of a new roof.

The current building, which houses a fleet of more than 35 vintage trams, is in vital need of renovation. The roof must be completely replaced first in order to prevent water ingress, quickly followed by regeneration of the building to give better structural integrity and protect the trams from the torrent of Fylde coast wind and rain.

Bryan Lindop, head of heritage at Blackpool Transport said: “Replacing our roof is the first step on a journey that will secure the future for our famous trams in their rightful home, whilst underpinning our strategy to develop a long-term vision for a visitor attraction. The roof is not only the most expensive single item on our To Do List, it’s also the most essential to keep out the elements, protect the fleet and make less onerous, the remaining repairs.”

Until recent years there wasn’t a long-term intention for the transport operator to continue the running of Blackpool’s Heritage Trams. The renovation of the Blackpool Tramway and introduction of modern, light rail trams in 2012 replaced the operation of the now Heritage Trams. It is only through the dedication of a team of volunteers and collaborative working with partners across the resort, which has enabled these vehicles to continue to delight residents and visitors to Blackpool’s seafront.

Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours has served more than a quarter of a million customers over the past 7 years, playing an important part in Blackpool’s cultural, educational and heritage offering.

The famous Blackpool Illuminations also depend on the show stopping illuminated trams to bring the seasonal event to life, all of which are operated from the Rigby Road Depot.
HMS Blackpool Tram at Pleasure Beach. Blackpool Heritage has launched an ambitious fund-raiser seeking £1 million in donations in order to build a new roof and preserve these historic vehicles, which are also used during the Illuminations
HMS Blackpool Tram at Pleasure Beach.
Blackpool Heritage has launched an ambitious fund-raiser seeking £1 million in donations in order to build a new roof and preserve these historic vehicles, which are also used during the Illuminations

Mr Lindop added: “Whilst a million pounds is deceptively easy to say, I fully recognise it’s a big ask, but when all’s said and done, it’s a big roof! I have always believed in the incredible power of lots of people working collectively together for a common cause, and a lot of people making a small contribution can have a major impact on the outcome. Will you help us raise the roof?”

You can find out more about this exciting project at www.blackpooltransport.com/fundraiser.

 

Jordan Banks’ mum sends touching message of gratitude to Liverpool Football Club

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

“The tributes at Anfield and the Man U game meant so much. We know Jordan would be there watching over his team.”

Nine-year-old Jordan Banks dressed as one of his favourite Liverpool players , Mo Salah

Nine-year-old Jordan Banks dressed as one of his favourite Liverpool players , Mo Salah (Image: Danielle Begg)

The family ofJordan Banks who died after being hit by lightning in Blackpool have thanked Liverpool Football Club for their unwaivering support.

The nine-year-old football fanatic, who was well known for his kind and generous nature, was fatally injured whilst playing football at Common Edge playing fields on May 11.

Following his death there was a huge outpouring of support in the local community for Jordan, who raised thousands for Counselling in the Community in memory of his Uncle Reece who took his own life.

The young Liverpool Football Club fan went out in all weathers to complete a 30-mile run and ended up smashing his own target of £100 raising a staggering £3,000.

He was known for this kind of perseverance on the football pitch playing for the under nines Clifton Rangers youth team which earned him the nick name “mini-Milner.”

Jordan’s kindness got him noticed at the time one of his all-time footballing heroes, Liverpool vice-captain James Milner, who told him to never give up, that he’ll never walk alone and sent him some football shirts for him to keep and also to raise money for his cause.

On hearing the news of Jordan’s death, Milner wrote a private letter to the family expressing his gratitude of coming to be associated with Jordan.

Prior to Liverpool’s highly anticipated match against Manchester United on Thursday May 13 the Premier League giants wore ‘Jordan Banks 7’ special shirts during their warm-up at Old Trafford, the number worn by James Milner.

The team also Tweeted a short clip from their practice and captioned it, “Out to prepare for #MUNLIV in a special shirt tonight.”

Jordan Banks

Jordan Banks (Image: Submitted)

Their customized ‘Jordan 7’ jersey also appeared in another post in which they called Jordan “a brilliant person, as well as a passionate footballer.”

Sir Kenny Dalglish and Robbie Fowler were quick to offer tributes upon hearing the tragic news.

The club’s actions have been welcomed by Jordan’s mum, Danielle, who has spoken about how touched the family is by their tokens o support.

“Liverpool Football Club have been amazing and have contacted us regularly”, said Jordan’s mum, 38-year-old Danielle Begg.

“Fans have sent cards, flowers etc too which is so lovely. It really is a family.

“The tributes at Anfield and the Man U game meant so much. We know Jordan would be there watching over his team.”

 

Save our train – pupils’ rally against threat to future of St Annes attraction

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Pupils at a Fylde school were keen to make their feelings known when they heard a much-loved local attraction was under threat.

Plans for new sea defences at St Annes threw the future of the miniature railway on the promade into doubt, although Fylde Council has pledged it is working hard to accommodate all existing businesses when the proposals are considered after the public consultation, currently ongoing.

Youngsters from St Annes College Grammar School went along to the train, which is nicknames Harry’s Dream after it’s long-time owner Harry Leeming, to add their voices – and placard messages – to the backing of more than 2,000 people who have signed an online petition in support of the train, which has been on the prom since 1948.

The school’s vice-principal Abigail Welsby said: “The ‘little train’ on St Annes promenade is not only a favourite attraction for visitors but has long been a treasured and important landmark for residents, young and old.

Pupils from St Annes College Grammar School show their support for the mini-train attractionPupils from St Annes College Grammar School show their support for the mini-train attraction

Miniature train owners’ delight at public support over seawall fears

“Pupils from from our Grammar and Junior School were keen to show their support for a ride that evokes treasured memories over several generations.

“The children all have their own memories of the fun and excitement of steaming through the dark tunnel and waving at passers-by – their voices shouting ‘save the train’ were loud and proud.

“Several staff members remember riding the train as children, either with their parents or grandparents, and said they hoped to do the same with their children and grandchildren.
Pupils from St Annes College Grammar School show their support for the mini-train attraction
Pupils from St Annes College Grammar School show their support for the mini-train attraction

“We all have our fingers crossed that it can stay.”

A decision on the format of the sea defence plans is due next month.

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.

 

Students sent home from Lytham St Annes High School after positive Covid-19 cases

Home | Blackpool Gazette

An Ansdell school is sending pupils home following positive Covid-19 cases.

Lytham St Annes High School, on Worsley Rd, has announced it will move students in years 7, 8, 9 and 10 to remote learning for the remaining three days before half term.

This means that the school, the largest in the Fylde borough with around 1,500 pupils, will be closed to all children, except for those in year 11.

It comes during exams at the school, however pupil assessments will continue as usual due to the way in which the exams can be socially distanced.

Pupils have been sent home for Lytham St Annes High SchoolPupils have been sent home for Lytham St Annes High School

In a letter to parents, headteacher Ray Baker said: “Having not had to make a decision like this since the start of the pandemic, a recent increase in asymptomatic, positive cases has caused us to take this difficult decision.

“This weekend has seen a number of cases reported, each causing us to inform families of contacts of the need to isolate for ten days.

“We have spoken to the Public Health team at Lancashire, and they support our decision in order to break the transmission locally.

“Therefore, we will move to remote learning, via TEAMS for Tuesday 25, Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 May.”

Mr Baker said the school will follow the usual timetable including lesson times, breaks and lunches. He said lessons will be ‘live’ for some part of the lesson time, but teachers will ‘set and manage’ the learning as best suits the students.

He added: “We will expect lessons to last around 50 minutes to allow students to pack away and get set for their next lesson.

“Whilst we know that face to face teaching is the best form, we will use our experience of the last lockdown to minimise disruption to learning.

“While we are not currently seeing the health effects of COVID in school and are trying to run as normal an experience as possible, the track and trace obligations make it impossible to operate normally.”

The school hopes that breaking the transmission now will reduce the number of families impacted by the need to follow government advice and isolate for the entire half term break.

Mr Baker said: “It is clearly a challenge to manage the health and safety of staff and students, especially during a time when we see the rest of the country easing restrictions and “opening up” and I understand the anxiety and anger a decision like this can cause, but would thank parents for their incredible support over the last week, testing, isolating and supporting local approach to managing Covid.”

With the children being sent home today, the school will be offering Covid test kits and parents who are participating are being asked to test their children on Saturday 5 or Sunday 6 June in preparation for the full return to school.

Mr Baker added that the school will establish an ‘onsite critical worker provision’ for Wednesday and Thursday and we will contact parents directly.

The school was contacted for further comment.