Go ahead for new Blackpool ambulance station

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A new ambulance station to serve the Fylde coast is a step closer after Blackpool Council granted planning permission for the scheme.


Town hall planners approved the application by North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) using their delegated powers.

Shake up will see Fylde coast ambulance stations close

It means the current outdated base on Waterloo Road in South Shore, which was built in 1980, will be demolished and replaced with a new three storey facility.

Artist's impression of the new ambulance stationArtist’s impression of the new ambulance station

It is hoped to start work this autumn, with the new station taking around a year to build.

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

The new facility would employ 263 members of staff in addition to up to 15 training staff and students on a typical day, representing an increase of 116 on current staffing levels.

But shift systems mean they would not all be present on site at the same time.

A temporary station is due to be created on the site of the former Devonshire Road Hospital for use while the new base is under construction.

Planners noted “the current ambulance station is no longer fit for purpose, it has a very dated appearance and is in need of extensive renovations.”

In a report setting out their decision they added: “NWAS have decided due to the good road and transport links to the existing site this offers the best solution for the new ambulance station, which would provide a modern response base, patient transfer unit and Make Ready suite.

“Alternative sites were considered as part of their original business case, but were discounted due to cost, traffic congestion and size.”

A Make Ready suite is where ambulances are re-equipped and cleaned in preparation for attending call-outs.

The new station will act as the main Fylde hub, with crews elsewhere on the coast operating from ‘spoke’ sites such as health centres, fire stations and police stations.

The model has already been adopted in other parts of the region after it was found ambulances are rarely at their station when they are despatched on a call.

Thrill-seekers at Blackpool Pleasure Beach rescued after Grand National rollercoaster breaks down

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About 30 people including a five-year-old boy had to be rescued from a rollercoaster in Blackpool.

Visitors are helped down from the Grand National rollercoaster ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Visitors are helped down from the Grand National rollercoaster ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

The wooden, twin-track Grand National ride, built in 1935, broke down at midday on Tuesday.

Staff at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach attraction had to climb up the ride, which stands 62 feet (19m) high, to escort nervous thrill-seekers back to the ground.

At about the same time, another rollercoaster at the same amusement park, the giant Big One, also suffered a temporary stoppage, but riders were able to remain seated and the ride continued five minutes later.

He also criticised the Pleasure Beach and said all customers were given in compensation was a bottle of water and tickets that could not be used.

An eyewitness waiting to get on the ride said his children were “devastated” as the ride was stopped while the problem was dealt with.

A spokesman for Blackpool Pleasure Beach said: “At 11.55 am on Tuesday June 1 a stoppage occurred on the lift hill of the Grand National.

“All riders were safely escorted down the lift hill, and the ride was checked and re-opened just before 1pm

“Shortly afterwards there was a very brief stoppage on the Big One lift hill, at 50ft, riders remained seated and the ride continued after five minutes.”

In April riders on the Big One had to be escorted down after the amusement attraction broke down.

The ride reopened later that day.


Woman in her 60s suffers ‘serious head injury’ after car crash on Lytham roundabout

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Detectives investigating a car crash in Lytham in which a woman was rushed to hospital are asking for any eyewitness to come forward.


The crash involved a Volvo V70 and a Peugeot 405 at the mini roundabout near the Windmill in East Beach, at the junction with Station Road, at around 10.35am yesterday (June 1).

Fire crews, ambulances, police and the air ambulance responded with the helicopter seen landing on Lytham Green.

The driver of the Peugeot – a woman in her 60s – suffered a serious head injury, as well as a suspected broken rib and a suspected broken pelvis.

The crash involved a Volvo V70 and a Peugeot 405 at the mini roundabout near the Windmill in East Beach.

The crash involved a Volvo V70 and a Peugeot 405 at the mini roundabout near the Windmill in East Beach.

Public urged to call 999 if they spot Lancashire prisoner on the run from police

Sgt Helen Parkinson, Lancashire Police’s Tactical Operations, said: “This collision has left a woman with quite serious injuries.

“We are working to establish the full circumstances of what happened and would ask any witnesses or anybody with dashcam or CCTV footage which could assist our investigation to contact police.”

Fire crews from Lytham, St Annes and South Shore used cutting equipment to free the injured woman from the Peugeot.
The air ambulance landed on Lytham Green in response to the crash.
The air ambulance landed on Lytham Green in response to the crash.

Anyone with information can email 1747@lancashire.police.uk or call 101, quoting log number 0455 of June 1, 2021.


Blackpool sea defence repairs needed amid fears high tide could flood area

Defects in the sea wall first came to light in 2015 – with concerns raised again when the £scheme was finished

Sea defences at Anchorsholme

Sea defences at Anchorsholme

Calls have been made for repair work to be completed at Anchorsholme sea defences amid fears a high tide could lead to flooding in the area.

Defects in the sea wall first came to light in 2015 – with concerns raised again in 2017 when the £27m scheme was completed by contractor Balfour Beatty.

In a report to full council in 2018, Blackpool Council’s then deputy leader Coun Gillian Campbell said Balfour Beatty had “accepted responsibility” for the defects in some parts of the wall.

But Anchorsholme councillors Tony Williams and Paul Galley say despite raising concerns “several times over the past few years, still nothing has been done.”

In a joint statement, they added: “Promises made by the council and the contractors Balfour Beatty have been broken and guaranteed deadlines have not been kept.”

The council says Balfour Beatty is working on a solution to the problem with work due to begin soon.

But Coun Williams and Coun Galley say concerns about cracks in the concrete trapping water had been raised right from the start of the project.

They said: “These concerns had been raised from the very start of the work when large concrete beds were washed away by the sea.

“Both the council and Balfour Beatty gave assurances at the time that all was well – clearly it wasn’t.

“Balfour Beatty agreed to repair all the faults that occured and they started work early last year. However they appear to have ceased all further work and the repairs are unfinished.

“In the meantime after six years of work the sea defences are still not finished and as this area around Anchorsholme is a flood risk, lots of the residents are rightly worried and annoyed.”

The councillors warned “until this is resolved it looks like the residents may have to live in fear of the next giant tide.”

John Blackledge, Blackpool Council’s director of community and environmental services, said: “Balfour Beatty accept liability for the defects and repairs, the works are still under their control, they have been designing a solution and are currently checking the long term effects of the solution through a series of extensive testing.

“Once this investigation and testing is complete we will be in a position to advise when the defect and repair works will commence.

“Despite the work that may be required it is important that we must not lose sight of the huge benefits the sea wall is providing as a barrier to potential flooding.”

A trolley full of beer, thongs and tents: The litter left on Lancashire beaches after Bank Holiday weekend

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Ladies underwear, tents, a pair of Air Max trainers and belly board were amongst the items removed from St Anne’s beach by volunteers – with similar scenes in Blackpool

The 'Don't be a tosser group' who pick up the rubbish left behind on St Anne's beach.

The ‘Don’t be a tosser group’ who pick up the rubbish left behind on St Anne’s beach.

Volunteers have slammed ‘horrific’ littering across the Fylde coast over Bank Holiday weekend after picking up more than 40 bags of waste.

‘Don’t be a tosser’, the Lytham volunteers hoping to combat littering in their hometown, have shared details on the levels of rubbish left strewn across St Anne’s beach over the three-day break.

Amongst the piles of rubbish removed from the protected sand dunes on Monday (May 31) were a parasol, several tents, a pair of Air Max Nike trainers, ladies underwear and a supermarket trolly full of beer bottles.

Tracey Hope, who runs the group and volunteers with the RNLI, says the amount of litter left on the beach brought her close to tears.

She is urging beach-goers to pick up their rubbish and not abandon it on the sands.

“You don’t realise how much rubbish there is until you walk across the beach, it’s horrific and it’s every day,” the 41-year-old told LancsLive.

“I have lived in Lytham for 15 years now and I have always loved the coast; this is our home, we live here.

“We don’t want to be walking round a dump; we live in a beautiful place and we have got to look after it.

“It’s just pure laziness, people go through the effort to take this stuff to the beach, enjoy their day, then they leave it behind.”

Some of the unsightly collection left on the Fylde coast beach.

Some of the unsightly collection left on the Fylde coast beach.

Tracey’s volunteer group, the motto of which is “don’t be a tosser,” was formed in 2020 during the first UK-wide lockdown.

The group organise regular litter picks and have recently been combing St Anne’s beach every day of the week, hoping to get through the vast amount of rubbish left behind by revellers.

The amount taken off the beach following the bank holiday weekend, when Britain experienced its hottest weather of 2021, was worse than anyone could have expected.

Tracey said: “We had 23 volunteers last night who each filled two bags within the first hour.

“We could have got more but the bags got so heavy, and we were dragging them all over the beach, so we had to stop.

“We went out at half-six this morning to pick up the things that were left.”

Shoes, flip flops, swimming costumes, footballs, tents, towels, picnic blankets, plastic buckets, bottles, hats, a belly board, a parasol and even a supermarket trolly full of beer bottles were amongst the items left out on the sands.

“We found a lot of underwear,” said Tracey. “We are not talking wet swimming costumes or kids underwear we are talking a few pairs of thongs amongst the dunes.

“I don’t know what’s going on there.”

Tracey has lauded Fylde council for continually fronting up to the littering problems in Lytham, organising their own picks, collecting up bin bags and investing in beachfront receptacles.

She says it is down to beach-goers to alleviate the litter problem which will only increase once more staycationers arrive in the Lancashire town this summer.

“It’s only going to get worse,” said Tracey. “I don’t understand it, I don’t know if the sun gets to people’s heads or what.

“They can’t leave their rubbish on the beach, the tide here comes in twice a day and it will carry the rubbish out to sea and damage our marine life.

“People need to take their rubbish home with them, it’s as simple as that.

“If we didn’t pick this all up, people would be settling down on a beach that looks like the remains of a festival right now.”

You can join the volunteer group ‘Don’t be a tosser’ by turning up at the St Anne’s RNLI, centre at 8pm, on any given day.

Tracey says everyone, including dogs and children, are more than welcome to join.

Any toys or plastic buckets and spades found on the beach are donated to charities or recycled.

The St Anne’s haul came just after similar scenes were witnessed in Blackpool.

Residents and community volunteers were left outraged after pictures taken on Sunday (May 30) showed large amounts of litter left strewn across the award-winning beach.

Rubbish left at the beach in Blackpool

Rubbish left at the beach in Blackpool (Image: BplBible/LancsLive)

The rubbish included plastic and glass bottles, food packaging and discarded buckets and spades used by families and children.

The actions of some irresponsible sunseekers near Blackpool Tower forced the resort’s local clean up squads to leap into action to remove the mess.

Blackpool residents have condemned the litter-bugs behaviour on social media and called it ‘disgraceful’ and ‘disgusting’.

One person said: “Disgusting if you come to Blackpool clean up after yourselves the council should employ people to issue on the stop fines.”

Another wrote: “The beach has been lovely and clean during lockdown. Disgusting visitor’s treat the beach like this . It’s not hard to take your rubbish with you, after all they managed to carry it to the beach in the first place.”


Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach breaks down with riders at top in baking heat

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Brief stoppage of Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach due to a suspected small technical fault

The brief stoppage on the Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

The brief stoppage on the Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Image: Submitted)

Riders of the Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach were briefly stuck at the top of the first climb in the baking heat this afternoon (June 1).

With clear blue skies and temperatures at 24C, riders briefly faced the prospect of having to climb down the 213ft from the tallest drop – as we saw happen in at the end of April.

Fortunately for those on the ride, the delay at the top of the coaster was around five minutes after staff scaled the ride themselves and were able to resolve the issue.

One witness told LancsLive: “It looked like they were going to have to head all the way down like they did a couple of months back. Fortunately two staff climbed up, flicked something and got it going again.”

The incident in April saw one person film themselves climbing down after the breakdown due to a suspect technical fault. Technical faults on rollercoasters are not an unusual occurrence. If riders are forced to get off the rollercoaster, they are escorted down by staff.

When the £12m ride, formerly known as the Pepsi Max, opened in 1994, it was the tallest and steepest roller coaster in the world.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach reopened on April 12 as part of the easing of lockdown measures.

Blackpool man named and charged after woman seriously assaulted

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Thomas Brotherton has appeared at Preston Magistrates’ Court

Preston Magistrates Court

Preston Magistrates Court (Image: Andrew Teebay)

A Blackpool man has been charged by police investigating a serious assault.

Officers were called to a report a woman was being attacked in Lytham Road at around 9.30pm on Friday (May 28).

A man was later arrested in connection with the incident.

Lancashire Constabulary today (June 1) confirmed Thomas Brotherton, of Lytham Road, Blackpool, was charged with affray, assaulting a person thereby occasioning them actual bodily harm and using threatening behaviour with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence.

He was also charged with two offences of criminal damage, possessing a knife in a public place and threatening a person with a blade in a public place.

The 21-year-old was due to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court yesterday (May 31).

Child ‘clinging onto Blackpool pier stanchions’ rescued by jet ski

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Another child was also ‘pulled from the water’ by lifeboat crews on a busy Bank Holiday for the emergency services

It was a very busy day for the coastguard in Blackpool on Bank Holiday Monday

It was a very busy day for the coastguard in Blackpool on Bank Holiday Monday

A child who was seen ‘clinging onto the stanchions on Central Pier’ in Blackpool was rescued by a jet ski before being taken to hospital.

Lifeboat crews were alerted to the incident shortly after 1pm on Bank Holiday Monday.

HM Coastguard Lytham said as they arrived at the scene they received reports the child has been brought back to shore ‘by a local on a jet ski’.

The child was checked by coastguard volunteers and the Blackpool Beach Patrol before being taken by ambulance to hospital.

No further details have been released about the age of the child or the injuries they were being treated for.

It was the first of eight emergency call outs by coastguard crews on a ‘busy day’ yesterday as thousands of sunseekers flocked to Blackpool to enjoy the hottest day of the year.

In another incident, one child was ‘pulled from the water’ after getting into difficulties close to the lifeboat station and passed into the care of North West Ambulance Service.

Emergency services were called to numerous incidents throughout the day

Emergency services were called to numerous incidents throughout the day

HM Coastguard Lytham issued a statement with details of all eight call outs and praised the local on the jet ski for their quick-thinking actions.

“Our day began at 13.02 with reports of a child clinging onto the stanchions on Central Pier, as we arrived on scene we received reports that the child had been brought back to shore by a local on a jetski, after ourselves and Blackpool Beach Patrol checked the child over, we requested an ambulance and the child was then taken to hospital.

“Our second call out came through immediately after to assist HM Coastguard Fleetwood with people cut off by the incoming tide in the Anchorsholme area, as we arrived on scene all persons were accounted for so we started returning to station.

“RNLI Blackpool were tasked to both incidents and launched their two inshore lifeboats.

“Our third emergency call out came came through soon after to reports that two children that were in difficulties, one of which had been pulled from the water by the lifeboat crew close to their station, we arrived on scene and took one of the casualty’s back to shore, both casualty’s were then passed into the care of North West Ambulance Service.

“Our fourth emergency call out came through at 14.46 to a missing child around the Queens Hotel area, fortunately as units were arriving from ourselves and HM Coastguard Fleetwood, we were made aware the child had been located. Blackpool Police were also in attendance.

“We then returned to station to debrief about the last couple of hours, two of our volunteers then went out on a local area safety patrol, as we were around the St Anne’s Pier area we were flagged down by a frantic father that his child was missing, as we started to deploy our team the child was fortunately located.

“We then carried on with the patrol and we received our sixth emergency call out at 16.56 to reports of 3 missing children on St Anne’s Beach, as our units were arriving the children were located so we were stood down and returned to station.

“As our officers were returning home, we were made aware of persons attempting to jump off Central Pier, the security prevented them from doing so and as we were making our way to the persons they made their way away from scene.

“We then stayed on scene to prevent anymore incidents.

“Our eighth job came through at 18.19 to reports of another missing child around the South Pier area, we arrived on scene and as we were requesting more units the child was located safe and well.

“We must also urge people not to block the slipways, you risk us being delayed to an emergency! You also risk your vehicle being towed away by the Council! Park responsibly.”

‘I can’t imagine life without him’: Bid to give Blackpool dad one last holiday after ‘horrendous’ diagnosis

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“Since the diagnosis I have lived each day like nothing is real”

Andy and his wife Nina, they have been together since they were 17.

Andy and his wife Nina, they have been together since they were 17.

A dad has been told he is unlikely to see 2022 after he was diagnosed with stage four cancer.

Andy Garwood, from Blackpool, went diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April, suffered a stroke two weeks later and then was told by physicians that he had six months to live.

The 49-year-old, who has been married to wife Nina Garwood for the past 30 years, was told last Friday (May 25) that his cancer has now spread to his stomach.

Nina her and Andy’s children, Jason Garwood, 27, and Rachael Garwood, 30, are taking each day as it comes and looking to make as many memories together as possible.

Nina, who a school teacher, has told LancsLive that the shock of her husband’s sudden diagnosis is incomprehensible.

“My husband is a very strong person, he has worked all his life,” said the 49-year-old.

“I just couldn’t believe the diagnosis, I didn’t think it was true, I thought they must have got it wrong.

“We were in the doctor’s office together when he was told and I had to walk out, it was just horrendous.

“They were telling him it had spread to his stomach and liver, that it was incurable, I couldn’t take it, it was awful.”

Andy and Nina with their daughter Rachael.

Andy and Nina with their daughter Rachael.

In 2019 Andy was told that he would have to undergo major heart surgery.

Doctors discovered that he has a hole in his heart which had to be closed up and an operation was scheduled for June, 2021.

Nina said: “He’s had the condition since birth but he didn’t know about it until 18 months ago.

“In April he was rushed into hospital with pain in his stomach, the doctors thought he had a hernia.

“But then they found out that he had pancreatic cancer, it’s spiralled since then.”

Still reeling from his diagnosis, Andy suffered a sudden stroke in May; a possible side effect of his heart condition.

He was once again rushed to hospital but the stroke itself caused little damage.

Nina said: “He was very lucky that it wasn’t a lot worse, physically he has not been affected by the stroke.

“It has changed his personality a bit though, he’s a lot more anxious than he was before.”

On May 25, Andy and Nina were given the worst possible news, a bigger blow than Andy’s stroke and cancer diagnosis.

Andy and his daughter Rachael.

Andy and his daughter Rachael.

The doctors explained that Andy’s cancer had spread and that the disease was incurable.

“I can’t imagine life without him, that’s all I keep thinking about,” said Nina.

“My life has been with him since I was 17, I can’t imagine life without him.

“Since the diagnosis I have lived each day like nothing is real. It’s literally been a whirlwind.”

Jason, Andy and Nina.

Jason, Andy and Nina.

Andy has had to stop work and is currently receiving palliative care and his family are trying to take each day as it comes.

Nina is currently raising money to take Andy on one final family holiday and to organise a trip to Silverstone race course in Northampton to watch Formula One.

Nina said: “Our number one aim is to take him to Formula One in July.

“We all love Formula One, it’s the number one thing we want to do. We want to make one last memory together.”

You can support Nina’s quest to take Andy for one last holiday by visiting her GoFundMe page here.

Blackpool schoolboy’s leg ‘turned blue’ after trampoline park accident

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Huge Liverpool FC fan Ellis Grime won’t be able to play football for months and mum Chelsea said a message of support from the Reds could cheer him up

Ellis Grime suffering a broken leg while playing at a trampoline park in Blackpool

Ellis Grime suffering a broken leg while playing at a trampoline park in Blackpool

A Blackpool schoolboy faces a long road to recovery after suffering a broken leg while playing at a trampoline park.

Ellis Grime was left with his leg in plaster after an accident at the Blackpool venue and has since undergone surgery.

The six-year-old is obsessed with Liverpool FC and playing football but now faces months without playing the sport he loves.

Mum Chelsea Hanson said Ellis will be devastated when he realises that he won’t be able to play football until later this year.

However she said a message from his beloved Reds might cheer her son up.

Chelsea, from Blackpool, told the ECHO: “We were at a trampoline park on Saturday and Ellis twisted his leg. His leg went blue and swollen and we knew it was bad.

“The doctors told us that he suffered a spiral fracture of the fibula, and he has undergone surgery.”

Liverpool FC fan Ellis Grime suffered a spiral fracture after an accident at a trampoline park

Liverpool FCfan Ellis Grime suffered a spiral fracture after an accident at a trampoline park

“All he wants to do is play football and watch Liverpool. His favourite players are Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk.

Chelsea said that Ellis had only been to Anfield once to see Liverpool play.

She said: “It was a charity game a couple of years. He loved it of course.

“I just feel really sorry for him right now. This is a serious injury and I can’t see him playing football again this year.”