Shed catches fire in garden of home in Blackpool

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Emergency crews were called to extinguish an outbuilding which had caught fire in South Shore.

 

Two fire engines from Blackpool and South Shore attended the scene in Common Edge Road at around shortly after 3.20pm yesterday (July 21).

The incident involved a shed which had caught alight in the garden of a domestic property, the fire service said.

Firefighters used one hose reel to extinguish the flames.

Two fire engines from Blackpool and South Shore attended the scene in Common Edge Road.

Two fire engines from Blackpool and South Shore attended the scene in Common Edge Road.

Crews were at the scene for approximately 40 minutes.

No injuries were reported.

Safety concerns lead to plans for 120-space car park at Blackpool’s Whitehills Business Park

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Plans have been submitted for a 120-space car park at a Blackpool business park following safety concerns.

 

The proposals for Whitehills Business Park at Peel, have been submitted by Henco International, who own the site, which is home to dozens of firms.

The site was originally built in 2008 however after 13 years it has become more developed and occupied with businesses and their staff.

If plans are approved the car park will be accessed directly from the Olympic Court development, where Henco has its headquarters.

Whitehills Business Park in BlackpoolWhitehills Business Park in Blackpool

The planning statement accompanying the article states: “The problem relating to parking has been growing exponentially with the success of the business park. On street parking throughout the business park has become a problem and concern not only for access but is now becoming safety concern. The need for additional parking has become evident.”

Henco has bought land next to the site and plans to use 0.75 of an acre of this land to provide 120 overspill parking spaces for the whole of the Olympic Court development and the wider Whitehills estate.

Plans for the car park

Plans for the car park

Artist chosen to sculpt Lytham statue of Bobby Ball

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A lasting Fylde memorial to much-loved comedian Bobby Ball has moved a major step closer with the commission of an artist to produce the statue planned for Lowther Gardens.

 

Fylde Council has announced that London-based figurative sculptor, Ben Twiston-Davies, has been unanimously chosen to sculpt the artwork to commemorate the Fylde-based funnyman who died, aged 76, last year.

Ben was chosen from among four submissions by representatives from Bobby Ball’s family, the council and the Lowther Gardens Trust.

He has worked as a sculptor for more than 20 years and among the works he has produced was the Agatha Christie memorial close to London’s Covent Garden.

Bobby BallBobby Ball

Bobby Ball statue a key step closer as commission issued

The design will portray Bobby based on his 40th birthday appearance with a ‘twinkle in his eye’, one leg slightly forward and slightly pulling on his right brace with his right thumb.

Fylde Council leader Coun Karen Buckley said: “Bobby was a very special individual who was truly adopted by the locals of Lytham St Annes.

“His lasting legacy of kindness and joy means he will be sadly missed and this statue will ensure he can go on giving that joy to visitors and residents of the area.”

A £100,000 appeal launched by Fylde Council and the Lowther Trust to fund the statue currently stands at just over £25,000, with a host of events planned to help boost it, including a memorial concert and ball to be held in Blackpool later this year.

Details at www.justgiving.com/campaign/bobbyballstatue.

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.

 

Fighting for justice for Blackpool residents denied access to the law

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For some people, access to professional legal advice is a far off dream.

 

They fear just crossing the threshold of a solicitor’s office will trigger costly fees they cannot pay.

But such a situation leaves many people exposed to exploitation by those who will take advantage of their vulnerability.

It was for this reason the Fylde Coast Advice and Legal Centre was formed in 2017 by legal executive Ron Heywood.

Ron Heywood (far right) with members of the team at the Fylde Coast Advice and Legal CentreRon Heywood (far right) with members of the team at the Fylde Coast Advice and Legal Centre

He recognised that for many people, using the law to get what they had a right to was out of the question.

Four years on, and despite the disruptions of Covid, the centre is now operating from new offices on Church Street and casework is rising (there were 45 calls in a single day recently).

It has been boosted this year thanks to awards of £70,000 from the government’s Civil Justice Fund and around £43,000 from the National Lottery.

But while these grants have helped and the team also uses legal aid, the centre needs more financial support if it is to continue its work which includes advice on housing, benefits, employment rights and debt, as well as campaigning for social policy reform.

While the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) offers some similar support, the centre is the only specialist legal advice centre in Blackpool.

Ron said: “We could see a need due to high levels of poverty, and it wasn’t just advice that was needed but more positive legal help.

“We have been particularly concerned to help people with housing problems as it’s very common for people in the private rented sector in Blackpool not to know their rights and illegal evictions are common.

“Often people are living in very poor conditions and there are a lot of horror stories.

“We had someone who was living in accommodation where there was black mould on the walls, and they were told by the landlord it was because they were having too many baths.

“Another tenant was telephoned by his landlord at work and told, don’t come back as I’ve evicted you.

“We got an injunction to get him back in, but the landlord refused as he had already put new tenants in.”

Unfair dismissal is another area where the centre helps people fight back, and Ron says rogue employers and landlords act illegally because they know many people do not have the power to retaliate.

But he says: “We provide a gateway to justice and ensure equality of access to the law. We ensure people have a fair fight.”

Lawyer Christina Warwick joined the centre because she wanted to help vulnerable people.

She said: “Solicitors first ask ‘how can you pay’, whereas we ask ‘how can we help you’.

“I took the conscious decision of instead of helping people with the biggest pockets, helping the people in real need and it’s a refreshing change.

“Even if we don’t win per se, it’s about ensuring a fair outcome rather than seeing someone just being walked all over.”

Also helping the centre is Coun Martin Mitchell, who uses his experience as a former housing officer and provides link to the council’s enforcement services.

He said: “Some private accommodation in Blackpool is below decent standards and we vigorously pursue disrepair cases.

“We work in partnership with the council so that in the very worst cases landlords face action from housing enforcement officers and through the courts.”

But perhaps it is volunteer Amanda Williamson who witnesses the biggest difference the service is making.

She started helping out by answering phones and offering a reception service after receiving help from the team herself.

Now she says: “The biggest satisfaction is seeing someone who has walked in here in tears, walking out smiling because of how we have helped them.”

To find out more go to fyldecoastadviceandlegalcentre.org.uk

Blackpool mum’s lockdown business delivers sweets to thank carers

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A Blackpool mum who founded a business in lockdown to let people send treats to loved ones has supported a national care campaign.

 

Daniella Tierney, 26, set up Sweet Box UK in May 2020 when she realised loved ones kept apart by the coronavirus restrictions may want to send sweets to family members.

The former St Bede’s High School pupil created the online business when she was furloughed from her job at Sealife Blackpool.

Now Sweet Box UK has helped a campaign by Bluebird Care to deliver sweets to Care Assistants across the UK.

Daniella Tierney who founded treats through the post business Sweet Box UK amid the lockdownDaniella Tierney who founded treats through the post business Sweet Box UK amid the lockdown

The home care provider asked people to nominate deserving carers , professional or otherwise, to receive a box of sweets from Daniella’s firm.

Daniella, who attended Cardinal Newman College, studying Travel and Tourism, said: “I was placed on Furlough whilst expecting a baby. I took the opportunity in to do something with my spare time and created The Sweet Box UK.

“ The response was overwhelming and we received hundreds of orders within a few months.

“Now our business operates primarily through our own website as well as supplying a range of products via Amazon. Our core products provide pick n mix, retro and American style sweets in a range of packages and gifts including premium gift boxes, resealable bags and boxes.

She offers pick and mix, US and retro sweets as gifts for loved onesShe offers pick and mix, US and retro sweets as gifts for loved ones

“We cater for corporate orders on a bespoke basis and will soon cater for baby showers, events and weddings both locally on the Fylde Coast and in surrounding areas.”

For the campaign she supplied 400g boxes of treats such as jelly babies, milk bottles, fried eggs and fizzy dummies.

She added: “Our entire business is based on an ethos of gifting sweet treats to others and bringing a smile to the face of a loved one, and so supporting a special campaign such as this is a privilege.

“Our business was founded at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and we know how difficult this period has been for everybody. Spreading a little sweet cheer to just some of our national heroes is our pleasure.”

Hannah Banfield, marketing and communications director at Bluebird Care, said: “This campaign has been a fantastic opportunity to reward just some of those dedicated care assistants across the country who provide vital support to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been particularly difficult for those working in health and social care, with the virus creating increased pressures as they sought to continue delivering exceptional care.

“However, as we now cautiously look beyond this period, we hope that these Sweet Boxes will be warmly received as a gesture of appreciation and thanks to these heroes.”

Here’s where you can find Blackpool’s Abingdon Street Market traders now

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Stallholders are back up and running again after being found alternative accommodation while Blackpool’s Abingdon Street Market is closed for refurbishment.

 

Traders had hoped to move into temporary premises in April, but the relocation was delayed due to negotiations over lease agreements.

Wine bar not an obstacle for Blackpool market redevelopment

It comes as work is now due to start on the renovations after planning permission was granted with the market due to reopen next spring.

Image showing what the new Cedar Square entrance to the market will look likeImage showing what the new Cedar Square entrance to the market will look like

Thirteen stallholders have moved into the former Top Shop unit on Victoria Street, while another five have been found alternative sites in council properties in the town centre.

A number of other traders have found new premises privately, such as SMS Mobility which moved into a new shop in Abingdon Street in May.

Alan Cavill, director of communications and regeneration at Blackpool Council said: “We continue to work closely on a one-to-one basis with all the traders throughout the process, to ensure their needs and concerns are met over the coming months.

“Due to a couple of setbacks that were out of our control, we have now relocated the stallholders that wished to move into the Victoria Street property and council premises.”

Daniel Ramsay, from contractors Turley, said: “The renovations will deliver a more contemporary, attractive marketplace with new features that will encourage shoppers and visitors to stop and socialise, stay for longer and spend more, also boosting footfall and retail trade in the surrounding area.”

The planning permission is for the demolition of a single storey extension on Police Street, the external refurbishment of all facades, and the replacement of access doors and windows with new feature glazed frontages.

Internal plans include an extended food and beverage quarter with 250 seats, stalls for food produce, food and beverage, artisan stalls and flexible retail units, a coffee stall and bar area.

Stallholders relocated to 18-22 Victoria Street are:

Cards for You – cards and gifts

Cassandra Hosiery – nightwear, hats, gloves, scarves, handkerchiefs

Pam’s Hair – hair accessories, dyes, fascinators

Little Gem – fancy dress and accessories

Cosmetic World – cosmetics, toiletries, scarves

Duty Free – cosmetics, toiletries, scarves

The Bag Stall – luggage, trolleys

Mr Smart – gents fashion and accessories

Glad Rags Gents – gents fashion, sizes small to 5XL

Glad Rags Ladies – ladies fashion sizes 8 to 40

Sam’s Handbags – day, evening, party handbags

Tippy Toes – ladies, gents, children’s, work wear shoes and accessories

The Book Shack – jigsaws, books, stationery

Stallholders who have relocated into council properties in the town centre are:

McRoberts Butchers – 6-8 Abingdon Street

Trellis Café – 61 Victoria Street (former Café Fresh)

Sea Breeze Café – 29 Victoria Street (former Starbucks)

Joe Barlow Vape Shop – 37 Corporation Street

Lost Ark Jewellery shop – Unit K1 Houndshill Shopping Centre