Crash closes Progress Way and Ashworth Road in Blackpool

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Road closures have been put in place on Progress Way and Ashworth Road following a collision.

 

Police said traffic may build in the area as people attempt to exit junction 4 (Marton Interchange) of the M55 today (September 11).

Motorists have been advised to find alternative routes if possible to help emergency vehicles attend.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said : “We currently have road closures in place on Progress Way inbound from Junction 4 and Ashworth Road in Blackpool due to a road traffic collision.

“Please be aware this may cause delays when travelling into Blackpool.”

Gang who made ‘regular trips to Blackpool to collect drugs’ jailed for almost 50…
Road closures have been put in place on Progress Way and Ashworth Road following a collision.

Road closures have been put in place on Progress Way and Ashworth Road following a collision.

Motorists have been advised to find alternative routes if possible. (Credit: AA)

Motorists have been advised to find alternative routes if possible. (Credit: AA)

Fylde dozen hoping for reward in women’s business awards after battling through pandemic

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A dozen women from Fylde coast businesses are getting ready to put on their glad rags as finalists in the 2021 EVAs awards.

 

It is the 10th anniversary of the Enterprise Vision Awards, which shine the spotlight on women in business across the North West.

The awards ceremony will be held at Blackpool Winter Gardens on September 24, and the 12 Fylde businesses nominated are delighted following the changes and challenges of the pandemic lockdowns.

All are members of the Pink Link Ladies networking group.

Ten of the 12 businesswomen from the Fylde nominated for awards in this year's EVAs

Ten of the 12 businesswomen from the Fylde nominated for awards in this year’s EVAs

Mary Speakman of digital agency Code Galaxy said: “At the start of the lockdown our company and our customers were struggling, budgets disappeared, events cancelled, staff furloughed, home-schooling.

“But consumer behaviour was changing, and we found that many businesses realised that they needed to take the opportunity to transform their online presence, quickly and effectively.

“We have been part of some great business success stories in the past 12 months, so to be an EVA Internet Industry finalist is a great end to a very difficult year, not only for ourselves but for all our customers.”

Bella Kowalska from the Nail Bus, a luxury nail and beauty bar on wheels, said they were all delighted to be rewarded for their hard work over the past 18 months.

She said: “I can’t quite believe that we have made it to the EVA finals for the Beauty Industry. We are extremely proud to have come this far and to have been recognised within the beauty industry for the hard work we have put in.”

Jane Charnley of ‘A Toast in the Post’ said: “We’ve gone from running an exhibition and wedding business for more than two decades, to setting up an e- commerce website in the few months. But we are so pleased we took the plunge and turned the pandemic into something more positive. Being an EVA finalist is the icing on the cake.”

Rachel Grounds of Sassy Chic said: “To make sure I could connect with my loyal customers during lockdown I took to social media to provide weekly Facebook lives, showcasing the latest fashion accessories.

“To be an EVA finalist is amazing and I want to thank all my customers who have helped me get where I am today.”

Mandy Crossley, from MC Accounting said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded EVAS2021 finalists. Fylde Coast businesses, like other areas of the country, have faced

many challenges during the lockdown. But we have battled the storm to come through stronger than ever.

“To be finalists is fantastic but after such a tough time it’s wonderful that all the hard-working businesses and their staff have been recognised. We can’t wait to see what happens next.”

The Fylde 12 are:

Businesswoman of the Year – Gemma Walker – Helispeed

Employee of the Year – Isabel Wilkie, The Lingerie Lounge

Solo Business – Lynne Webster – Bamboo Baby and Beyond

Internet Industry – Mary Speakman – Code Galaxy

Training & Coaching – Wendy Mahoney – Fylde Tuition Centre

New Business of the Year – Jane Charnley – A Toast in the Post

Professional Services – Mandy Crossley – MC Accounting & Business Solutions

Retail Business – Sara Dewhurst – Lytham Gin

Customer Service – Trilby Beetham – Trilby The Celebrant

Beauty Industry – Bella Kowalska – The Nail Bus

Customer Service – Louise O’Toole – James Carter Homes

Customer Service – Rachel Grounds – Sassy Chic

 

 

Improved support recognised for young offenders in Blackpool

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Blackpool’s Youth Justice Service which works with young offenders has been rated good by government inspectors nearly three years after being branded inadequate.

 

Some areas have been judged ‘outstanding’ following a visit from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation in May and June.

Blackpool’s Youth Offending Team branded ‘inadequate’ following inspection

The inspector acknowledged the ‘remarkable’ improvements that had been made and praised the commitment of the ‘engaged and highly motivated’ staff.

The council's Youth Justice Service is now rated good

The council’s Youth Justice Service is now rated good

He said: “It is greatly encouraging that the service for children in Blackpool has shown such substantial improvement.

“We are confident that the foundations have been laid to maintain the quality of services, and we have provided a number of recommendations that should help to improve the service even further.”

The 2018 inspection had found ‘widespread poor practice’ while organisational changes had not been managed well and had a ‘detrimental effect on the delivery of services’ which affected staff morale.

But the most recent report highlights good leadership, skilled staff and ‘exemplary’ joint working.

Morale was said to be high with managers and social workers considered as hard-working and committed to improving children’s lives.

The council’s Blackpool Families Rock programme, launched in March 2020 to focus more on working with families, was also praised.

Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for inclusion, youth and transience said: “I’d like to thank our incredibly hard-working staff who are praised throughout the report for their commitment to our young residents.

“The service has entirely transformed since the disappointing inadequate judgement three years ago.

“This is in line with our improvements elsewhere in Children’s Services. Our Blackpool Families Rock model of practice is transforming the way we create relationships and support families and I am delighted that its success is being acknowledged.”

Supt Richard Robertshaw, Lancashire Constabulary added: “Clearly there are still significant challenges for us to overcome over the coming years in terms of ensuring we provide the best possible support vulnerable children in Blackpool.

“But this report demonstrates we are making excellent progress and heading in the right direction.”

 

Woman sexually assaulted onboard Blackpool train

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A woman was sexually assaulted onboard a train service from Blackpool to Liverpool, say police.

 

Officers are investigating the assault which took place on the journey from Blackpool North to Liverpool Lime Street on Saturday, August 21.

Shortly after 11.30pm, a man boarded the service at Wigan, sat next to the woman and began talking to her.

He then exposed himself and sexually assaulted her before he was asked to move to another seat by the train conductor.

Police believe the man in this CCTV image has information which could help their investigation into an alleged sexual assault onboard a train from Blackpool North to Liverpool Lime Street on August 21. Pic: BTP

But the man soon returned to the seat where he continued to harass his frightened victim, before leaving the train at Edge Hill station.

After reviewing CCTV footage, officers want to speak to the man in the image provided as part of their investigation.

If you know who he is, you should contact British Transport Police by sending a text to 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40, quoting reference 2100060257.

Alternative, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

 

Driver flees scene after car smashes into Blackpool letting agent

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A manhunt was launched for the driver of a car which smashed into a resort firm.

 

The motorist behind the wheel of a Nissan Micra fled after ploughing into DY Property Services, in Church Street, police said.

Firefighters were called to make sure nobody was trapped inside the wreckage, while police officers also turned up following the crash, which happened shortly after midnight on Tuesday (September 7).

Nearby workers told of turning up the next morning to find shattered glass and twisted metal strewn across the pavement.

The doorway at DY Property Services in Blackpool has been boarded after a car smashed into the building.

The doorway at DY Property Services in Blackpool has been boarded after a car smashed into the building.

One said they were “shocked to see how much damage had been caused”.

The doorway at DY Property Services, a letting agent and management firm, was boarded up this morning (September 9).

Blackpool Council says Metropole Hotel needs planning permission for asylum seek…

Nobody there was immediately available for a comment.

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said no arrests had been made, with the case being investigated as criminal damage.

There was no suggestion the firm was deliberately targeted, she added.

The force did not say when asked whether the car had been reported stolen.

But inquiries were said to be still underway this morning and anybody with information was asked to call 101, quoting log number 0012 of September 7.

Two fire engines and crews from the nearby Forest Gate station spent around 30 minutes at the building, close to the junction of Liverpool Road, a spokesman said.

 

Pilling crash: sentencing of bikers accused of role in Fleetwood man’s death delayed on what would have been his birthday

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The heartbroken family of a motorcyclist who died ‘doing what he loved’ have to wait until next month to find out the fate of the two bikers charged in connection with his death.

 

John Rhodes, 42, from Fleetwood, was thrown from his bike on Lancaster Road, Pilling, on October 20 last year and died the next day.

Motorcyclists Jamie Wilding, 39, of Goldsboro Avenue, and Martin Sweeney, 46, of Eversleigh Avenue,Thornton-Cleveleys, were accused of dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice after it was alleged they had removed a mobile telephone and camera from Mr Rhodes’ bike prior to the arrival of police.

Police name Fleetwood motorcyclist who died after accident
Crown Court

Crown Court

They should have been sentenced on Friday – which would have been Mr Rhodes birthday, but Preston Crown Court was told Wilding’s pre sentence report was not ready.

The victim’s sister and mother were in the public gallery as Judge Richard Archer adjourned the case to October 18 – three days before the first anniversary of Mr Rhodes’ death – and told his relatives: “It is a matter of profound regret we are in this position.”

(proceeding)

 

Man wanted for breaching prison licence conditions has links to Blackpool

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A man who is wanted by police for breaching his prison licence conditions has links to Blackpool.

 

Lee Spittle is wanted by police after failing to comply with the conditions of his licence.

The 46-year-old is described as being of average build, around 5ft 7in tall, with a shaved head and brown facial hair.

He has connections to Leamington Spa but is also known to have spent time in Blackpool, Birmingham and Rochdale.

Anyone who has seen Lee or has any information about his whereabouts can contact police by calling 101.
Woman sexually assaulted onboard Blackpool train
Lee Spittle (pictured) is described as being of average build, around 5ft 7in tall, with a shaved head and brown facial hair. (Credit: Warwickshire Police)

Lee Spittle (pictured) is described as being of average build, around 5ft 7in tall, with a shaved head and brown facial hair. (Credit: Warwickshire Police)

Gang who made ‘regular trips to Blackpool to collect drugs’ jailed for almost 50 years

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Members of a Leeds drug dealing gang have been given jail sentences totalling almost 50 years over a major cocaine and heroin supply conspiracy.

 

The conspiracy ‘spanned the Pennines’, with gang members making regular trips to Blackpool to collect drugs before storing them at properties in Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard the six-month conspiracy involved at least 10kg of high-purity Class A drugs before police arrested the offenders.

The court heard there was also evidence that one member of the gang, Sebastian Matande, was involved in country lines drug dealing.

Top row, left to right: Sebastian Matande, Anisha Golden, Sydney Angus. Bottom row: Jonathan Ndombasi, Darnell Anderson-Browne, Munashe Munyurwa.

Top row, left to right: Sebastian Matande, Anisha Golden, Sydney Angus. Bottom row: Jonathan Ndombasi, Darnell Anderson-Browne, Munashe Munyurwa.

Six defendants were jailed at Leeds Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Matande and another defendant, Munashe Munyurwa, were described in court as playing a leading role in the conspiracy.

Both men were also sentenced for a brutal machete attack on a 15-year-old boy in Leeds.

A judge described how the background to that attack was drug gang rivalry in the Chapeltown and Harehills areas of Leeds.

Sebastian Matande was jailed for 15 years and six months.

Sebastian Matande was jailed for 15 years and six months.

Six members of the gang were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

They were:

– Sebastian Matande, 27, of Holborn Towers, Woodhouse. Matande also pleaded guilty to further drug supply offences outside of the conspiracy and to an offence of unlawful wounding, relating to a machete attack on a 15-year-old boy. He was jailed for 15 years and six months.

– Munashe Munyurwa, 23, of St Martins Gardens, Chapel Allerton. Munyurwa also pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and further drug dealing offences. He was jailed for 12 years.

Munashe Munyurwa was jailed for 12 years.

Munashe Munyurwa was jailed for 12 years.

– Jonathan Ndombasi, 23, of Asket Drive, Seacroft. He was jailed for eight years.

– Darnell Anderson-Browne, 23, of Oatland Green, Sheepscar. He was jailed for four years.

– Sydney Angus, 24, of Lidgett Lane, Gledhow. She was jailed for four years.

– Anisha Golden, 24, of Arthington Place, Hunslet. She was jailed for four years.

Jonathan Ndombasi was jailed for eight years.

Jonathan Ndombasi was jailed for eight years.

– A seventh member of the gang, Leeham Stewart, described in court as “the chief executive officer” of the illegal operation, has also pleaded guilty to the conspiracy.

He is due to be sentenced at a later date.

Mark McKone, prosecuting, said the defendants were involved in the wholesale bulk buying of high purity heroin and cocaine during the conspiracy which took place between February and August 2019.

Mr McKone said: “The prosecution say that Leeham Stewart was the person who was in charge of this operation.

“Leeham Stewart was involved right throughout the time period. He usually got others to move drugs for him.

“He used many different cars.

Darnell Anderson-Browne was jailed for four years.

Darnell Anderson-Browne was jailed for four years.

“He features a lot in the telephone evidence, especially shortly before and shortly after drugs have been transferred.”

Pilling crash: sentencing of bikers accused of role in Fleetwood man’s death del…

The court heard the defendants are all from Leeds but a major part of the operation saw some of them making journeys to Blackpool.

Munyurwa, Matande, Ndombasi and Angus made regular trips during the conspiracy.

Police recovered empty packaging from a 1kg block of cocaine at Munyurwa’s home.

Messages recovered from Matande’s phone revealedhow he was responsible for organising a storehouse for drugs.

The court heard Sydney Angus is the girlfriend of Matande and she helped her boyfriend with his drug dealing business.

Angus drove to Blackpool to take or collect drugs and she allowed others to use her car to go there for the same purpose.

Mr McKone said Golden had a close relationship with Stewart and performed the important function of storing drugs.

She would take delivery of drugs from one defendant and then hand them on to another defendant when they were ready for sale.

This meant Stewart could avoid being caught with the drugs himself.

Sentencing the gang members, Judge Robin Mairs said: “This involved the wholesale trade of class A drugs.

“It was clear to me that this was, both in quality and quantity, not the trading of wraps to addicts on the street.

“Geographically it was widespread. It spanned the Pennines.”

Programme Precision is West Yorkshire Police’s partnership response to serious and organised crime.

It is led by Detective Superintendent Carl Galvin.

After the sentencing hearing, he said: “The aim of Programme Precision is to bring police and partners together to rid the county’s streets of those intent on causing harm and misery through serious and organised criminality.

“Thanks to the painstaking work of Programme Precision, six people are now serving a combined sentence of almost 50 years.

“They have time inside to consider the consequences of their actions.

“Through Programme Precision we will continue to work with our partners to target this type of criminality.”

Sydney Angus was jailed for four years.

Sydney Angus was jailed for four years.

Anisha Golden was jailed for four years.

Anisha Golden was jailed for four years.

Flats plan for former Poulton shops approved

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Plans to convert a former newsagents and post office in Poulton into flats have been approved.

 

25a and 25b Lower Green, Poulton, will be turned into three two-bed flats under plans approved by Wyre Council.

One half of the building was formerly a post office until it was axed by postal chiefs in 2003, and had since been used as a business premises.

The other half was Thomas’s News.

Two former shops in Lower Green, Poulton, will be converted into three flats.

Two former shops in Lower Green, Poulton, will be converted into three flats.

Documents showed each flat will contain two bedrooms, a bathroom, and an open plan living/kitchen area.

New bay windows will be installed, as well as a single storey extension to the back and bin storage areas.

In October, original plans to build four flats on the site, with a two-storey extension to the back, were refused by planners on the grounds of “loss of outlook, daylight and privacy” for neighbours.

LCC Highways said the development would “not have a detrimental impact on highway safety and capacity,” but recommended that a “secure and covered cycle storage with two cycle spaces for each property” should be included.

Concerns were raised about plans for only one off-street parking space for the flats, and the applicant was asked to consider bollards or a low wall to prevent residents from parking on the pavement.