Police appeal for CCTV in Cleveleys after criminal damage in high street

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Flowers planted by community volunteers in Cleveleys high street have been ripped out and damaged, sparking a police appeal for CCTV footage to find the culprits.

 

Lancashire Police asked traders in Victoria Road West to submit CCTV footage by email if they captured “four white females, aged mid-to-late teens” ripping up and damaging plants and flowers.

The criminal damage happened at around 9.15pm on Monday (August 30), police said.

Gardening efforts along the high street and around the town centre are carried out by community volunteer group Cleveleys Coastal Community Team, and the plants are paid for with public donations or from the pockets of helpers.

Flowers planted by community volunteers in Victoria Road West have been ripped out and damaged, sparking a police appeal for CCTV footage to find the culprits. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI MediaFlowers planted by community volunteers in Victoria Road West have been ripped out and damaged, sparking a police appeal for CCTV footage to find the culprits. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “We have been made aware of an incident of criminal damage at around 9.15pm on the evening of August 30 at Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, whereby plants and flowers that community volunteers have planted have been ripped out and damaged.

“We understand that shop owners may have CCTV of the suspects. They’ve been described as four white females aged mid to late teens.

“If you do have footage, please email it to forcecontrolroom@lancashire.police.uk and quote log number LC-20210830-1670.

“The footage will be collated and checked in an attempt to identify the suspects. While this may appear to be a minor incident to some, volunteers work hard to make your high street look as amazing as it does.

The planters in Victoria Road West are maintained by community volunteers. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI MediaThe planters in Victoria Road West are maintained by community volunteers. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

“Victoria Road West is covered with CCTV cameras, so if you do decide to commit offences on that street, chances are you will be seen. We will not tolerate this behaviour and are working towards identifying those involved.”

Age and poverty main risk factors in Blackpool during Covid pandemic says new report

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Up to 40 per cent of deaths in Blackpool were Covid 19 related during the worst of the pandemic, a new report has revealed.

 

At the height of the death toll, the council’s Bereavement Service was holding 16 funerals a day over six days of the week.

The biggest risk factor was age, with those living in the most deprived areas of the resort also most likely to be seriously ill.

The data is set out in the latest Public Health Annual Report for Blackpool, covering March 2020 to March 2021. During that time there were 473 Covid related deaths among residents of the town.

But in his report the town’s director of public health Dr Arif Rajpura also highlights the way the town responded to the challenge, and the success of the vaccination programme.

He says the pandemic has “been an enormously difficult time for the people of Blackpool and the country as a whole.

“Loved ones have been lost to Covid 19, people have experienced serious illness and many are now living with the effects of long Covid.”

But he adds many people had worked “exceptionally hard” to support the town’s response to the crisis.

Dr Rajpura says: “Everybody has had their life impacted due to the restrictions imposed during this unprecedented year and the people of Blackpool have risen to these many challenges and pulled together to support one another.”

The report shows in the weeks with the highest mortality, Covid related deaths accounted for up to 25 per cent to 40 per cent of all deaths occurring among Blackpool residents.

These peaks were in April and October 2020, and January and February this year.

The report says the disease “has not impacted all communities and demographic cohorts equally.

“The most important risk factor, in terms of severity of disease, risk of hospital admission and death, is age.

“If infected with Covid 19, the risk of mortality in those aged over 75 is estimated to be over 1,000 times higher than those aged 15-24, for example.”

Overall there were 129 Covid related deaths in Blackpool care homes up to the end of March 2021, just over a quarter (27 per cent ) of all deaths from Covid.

The report says: “Sadly care homes have experienced many deaths in their residents and care staff have faced extremely difficult times.”

Other risk factors show higher rates of hospital admission and mortality have occurred in males and also in more deprived communities.

At the peak of the first wave in April 2020, 144 hospital beds at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust were occupied by Covid patients and more than 100 new cases were reported in a one week period.

The number of beds occupied by Covid patients reached a peak of 205 on October 25 2020.

But the report says schools coped “extremely well” during the pandemic and “largely remained open throughout the whole of this period, with isolated instances of closure, mostly in primary schools.”

Minimising transmission was the priority with the formation of pupil ‘bubbles’ and provision of extensive testing.

As the vaccine began to be rolled out, take-up was strong with more than 90 per cent of over 50s having had at least one dose.

But those living in deprived areas are less likely to have had the vaccine, with a take up rate of just over 86 per cent compared to nearly 92 per cent among the town’s most affluent residents.

The report warns: “Lower vaccine uptake is heavily concentrated in the centre of the town and is associated with existing disadvantage, such as the concentration of houses in multiple occupation and social isolation.

“Analysis has also identified lower uptake in males than females and although Blackpool has relatively very small BAME populations, the uptake is lower in Black and Asian ethnic categories.

“Vaccine uptake also drops consistently in younger ages.

“Through the second half of 2021, Blackpool Council and the NHS will encourage vaccination uptake through campaigns, recall, working with employers and community engagement, to increase vaccination uptake as much as possible and reduce inequality in vaccination uptake between different communities.”

Ahead of the coming winter steps will also be taken to encourage people to have Covid boosters and get a flu vaccination.

Enforcement teams have also played a role in controlling the virus with 11 improvement notices served on non-compliant businesses with barbers, arcades, smaller retailers and a number of licensed premises among the culprits.

A massage parlour was also served with a prohibition notice for Covid breaches.

Problems in general “included a lack of social distancing, staff and customers not wearing masks, insufficient cleaning and disinfection of premises, a lack of contact tracing information, and bigger group sizes than permitted.”

Man wanted after several people assaulted on tram and moped stolen in two Blackpool incidents

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A man is wanted by police after several people were assaulted on a tram and a moped was stolen in Blackpool.

 

Patrick Ronan, 24, is wanted in connection with two incidents which occurred in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday, September 1).

The first assault occurred when a man, woman and girl assaulted several strangers on a tram in the Norbreck Castle area at around 12.20am.

A short time later, a man, woman and girl stole a man’s moped after they approached him and threatened him in Anchorsholme Park.

A woman and girl, aged 23 and 13, both from Birmingham, were later arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm, criminal damage to a vehicle and taking a motor vehicle.

Officers now want to speak to Ronan as part of their enquiries and are asking anybody who has seen him, or knows where he may be, to get in touch.

Det Insp Abi Finch-Hall, of Blackpool Police, said: “We would also ask anybody who witnessed either incident to contact us.

“Perhaps you caught some of it on your mobile phone, or maybe you saw all or part of what happened.
Patrick Ronan (pictured) is described as being around 5ft 9in tall, of slim build, with short brown hair. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Patrick Ronan (pictured) is described as being around 5ft 9in tall, of slim build, with short brown hair. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

“Whatever you know, please let us know.”

Police appeal for CCTV in Cleveleys after criminal damage in high street

Patrick is described as being around 5ft 9in tall, of slim build, with short brown hair.

He has a tattoo on the right side of his neck and speaks with a Birmingham accent, police said.

The 24-year-old has links to the West Midlands area.

Anybody with information can contact police on 101, quoting log number 0015 of September 1.

You can also report it online by clicking HERE.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

New bar planned for site in Blackpool town centre

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A former Blackpool clothes store could be set for a new lease of life as a cocktail bar.

 

Town hall planners will consider the application

Town hall planners will consider the application

Plans have been submitted to the council to convert a store on Victoria Street in the town centre into licensed premises aiming to serve cocktails, specialist gins and craft ale.

Blackburn-based Angeline Richardson, who has lodged the proposals for the unit previously occupied by the Stawberry Moon fashion store, says she wants to create a venue aimed at the over 25s.

In a planning statement accompanying the application, she says: “We have found that customers over 30 struggle to find a good place to go out that is not full of younger people because of drink promotions etc.

Angeline and her husband, who already operate three bars including in and around Lancashire, hope to sell locally produced gins and ales.

She adds: “We know that Blackpool already has several party bars that cater for hen and stags but this is not the market we are going for.

“We have visited a lot of bars and clubs in the area and feel that there is a gap in the market for something a bit more upmarket where people can sit, relax have a drink and chat with friends.”

The family run business hopes to recruit up to 10 members of staff if the venture gets the go ahead.

The application will now go before town hall planners at a future date for consideration.

 

Blackpool in top ten as poll shows staycations are here to stay

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As Blackpool settles into the Illuminations season, the resort has been tipped as one of the top ten targets for staycations next year.

 

A new survey predicts that appetite for holidays in the UK in 2022 will remain high due to coronaviurs overseas travel uncertainty, with six in ten people re-booking a destination they have been to before.

The research, done for online business platform Square, placed Blackpool at number eight in the hot-spots list, with Cornwall, the Lake District and Scotland as the top three.

It added that 45 per cent of UK holidaymakers planned to continue staycations through 2022, or until the pandemic was over.

Blackpool is number eight in a new list of hot-spots for UK holidays

Blackpool is number eight in a new list of hot-spots for UK holidays

In contrast, only 1 in 20 plan to holiday outside of Europe in the near future.

Nick Harris, Head of UK Partnerships at Square, says, “Brits choosing to ‘staycate’ in the UK is presenting a much needed opportunity for businesses to engage with holiday-makers at home.

“Getting UK business back-on-track after such a tough couple of years is critical and we’re seeing consumers supporting locals now more than ever.

“With staycations on the rise this summer and into next year, it will provide a much-needed boost for businesses across the UK.”

Blackpool set for new community garden to replace vacant land

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“It will also be used for fun days for the community to enjoy.”

 

The land in question off Bloomfield Road
The land in question off Bloomfield Road

Youngsters in Blackpool will soon be able to grow their own fruit and veg in a community garden.

Blackpool Council has been granted permission to convert a vacant plot of land into a community garden in a bid to prevent it from becoming a target for antisocial behaviour.

The land, off Bloomfield Road near to the football ground, will be surrounded by a 1.8m galvanised fence and used “for fun days for the community to enjoy”.

The plans state: “The land is a vacant plot of land with overgrown shrubs and bushes which could be a target for anti-social behaviour. The proposed new fence will be erected to create a community garden.

“The garden will be used in partnership with local community groups and will be utilised for children’s education where they can plant trees, plants and flowers.

“It will also be used for fun days for the community to enjoy.”

In approving the plans, a report by council planning officer Bethany Thornton states: “Considering the proposed use and the typical level of activity in the general area, it is not anticipated that the use of the land as a community garden would generate an unacceptable amount of noise disturbance so as to significantly harm amenity.

“There are no windows on the side elevations of the dwellings facing the site and there is an existing solid boundary treatment separating the properties for the site.”

 

Two people on inflatable rings drifted out to sea in Blackpool

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Lytham Coastguard has issued a warning, saying ‘keep inflatables for the pool, not open water.’

 

Upon arrival on shore, the two people were passed into the care of paramedics
Upon arrival on shore, the two people were passed into the care of paramedics

A rescue was launched after two inflatables drifted out to sea in Blackpool.

Emergency services were called to the incident at around 7.09pm on Monday (August 30).

It was reported that people on dinghies were drifting out to sea.

Lytham Coastguard attended and discovered that it was two inflatable rings with one person on each.

Fortunately, RNLI Blackpool arrived on scene shortly after and recovered them to shore.

Upon arrival on shore, the two people were passed into the care of paramedics at North West Ambulance Service to be checked over.

The coastguard is now warning people about the dangers of using inflatables in open water.

A spokesperson for Lytham Coastguard said: “We were called out at 19.09 to reports of persons on dinghies drifting out to sea, we quickly arrived on scene and discovered it was two inflatable rings with one person on each, RNLI Blackpool arrived on scene shortly after and recovered them to shore.

“Our volunteers then relocated to the boathouse and assisted with medical care until the arrival of North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

“Once they arrived, both casualties were passed into the paramedics care to be checked over.

“Inflatables are NOT for the sea!

“Keep Inflatables for the pool, not open water!”

Driver flees scene after hitting girl with car in Blackpool

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The car, possibly a Mercedes, failed to stop at the scene

 

A generic street view image of Queen’s Promenade, at the junction of Red Bank Road
A generic street view image of Queen’s Promenade, at the junction of Red Bank Road

A teenage girl was left needing surgery after being hit by a car while crossing the road in Blackpool.

The incident took place on Queen’s Promenade, close to the junction of Red Bank Road, at around 10.30pm on August 21.

A black vehicle, possibly a Mercedes, was travelling in the direction of Cleveleys when it collided with a 16-year-old girl as she was crossing the road.

The teenager was taken to hospital where it was confirmed she had suffered a serious break to her ankle, which required surgery.

The vehicle made off from the scene in the direction of Cleveleys.

Lancashire Police are investigating the incident and are appealing to the public for information.

PC Mark Rees, of Fleetwood Police, said: “This was a nasty collision which left a teenager with serious injuries, and enquiries are ongoing to establish exactly what occurred and who was driving the car.

“An investigation has been underway since the incident but we are at a point where we need to ask the public for help. Did you see all or part of this incident? Or were you in the area at around the same time and have CCTV or dashcam footage? If you do, please get in touch straight away.

“We would also appeal to the driver, if he or she sees this appeal, to do the right thing and contact us.”

Anybody with information should call 101, quoting log 1647 of August 21st.

Awareness walk and fundraiser for bench in Fleetwood in memory of those lost to suicide

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A group walk and fundraiser is being staged in Fleetwood to raise awareness of suicide issues and create a special bench for loved ones of those lost to suicide.

The event in Fleetwood will raise awareness of mental health issues

The event in Fleetwood will raise awareness of mental health issues

The event has been organised by Liz Loftus of mental health charity Inspired Minds, who has also set up a crowdfunding page and is hoping to raise £500 for the special bench.

The walk will take place on Friday September 10, starting at 7pm from opposite the Sea Cadet Base then along the Esplanade following the Fleetwood Wellbeing Way.

Participants in the walk, which takes place on World Suicide Prevention Day, will arrive at Marine Hall for an illuminated service of remembrance.

Liz said: “Weʼre raising £500 to to place a ‘hope bench’ on Fleetwood promenade, a place to remember our loved ones, and to find comfort and support from others.

“We have lost far too many of our loved ones to suicide over the years in Fleetwood and there are so many people struggling with their mental health right now, who feel isolated, uncomfortable talking about it and feel they have nowhere to turn.

“By us all coming together, raising awareness and breaking down the stigma attached to suicide, we can hopefully help to stop the suicide numbers increasing and let people know its OK to talk about it.

“The ‘hope bench’ will be a place to remember our loved ones and a safe place to find comfort and support from others when you are seated there.

“If we reach our target, the additional funds raised will be donated to Mens’ Shed Fleetwood to support the great work they do in the local community.”

Stanley Park lake funding bid fails but still hope for alternative solutions

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A bid for up to £1m towards dredging Stanley Park Lake has been unsuccessful but hopes remain of finding a long term solution to eradicate the algae which affects the water feature.

 

The council had applied for funding from the Innovative Flood Resilience Fund in partnership with the Wyre Rivers Trust for the work to be carried out.

A town hall spokesperson said: “The bid for funding at the lake was unsuccessful but the team continues to look for other funding sources.”

Algae and pond weed has spread across the surface of the lake in recent years and a feasability study was carried out in 2019 to look at ways of managing the problem.

A boat removing pond weed at the lake earlier this yearA boat removing pond weed at the lake earlier this year

Dredging the lake would make it deeper and reduce exposure of the algae and pond weed to sunlight thus controlling its spread naturally.

Lisa Arnold, leisure services manager at Blackpool Council, told a meeting of the Scrutiny Leadership Board earlier this year that cutting back the pond weed each year was “a costly and labour intensive process.”

It also caused the weed to “grow more vigorously the following year so it just perpetuates the issue.”

Ms Arnold said work to dredge the lake and remove sludge from the bottom would help reduce flooding and added “if we can deepen it the algae and weed do not reach the sunlight”, therefore restricting their spread naturally.

Some work was done In April to control the problem when specialist operators were brought into remove the surface weed by Hagop Tchobanian, who operates concessions at the park including the pleasure boats.

He took action because the weed had been getting tangled up in the boats’ motors and oars, preventing them from being able to operate properly on the lake.