Category Archives: Local

Fire crews called to a road traffic collision in Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The incident happened yesterday at around 3 pm.

The incident took place on Devonshire Road yesterday afternoon. Image: Karl Bonney

The incident took place on Devonshire Road yesterday afternoon. Image: Karl Bonney

Fire crews from Blackpool and South Shore Fire Stations responded to a road traffic collision on Devonshire Road in Bispham, Blackpool yesterday which occurred shortly after 3 pm.

On arrival at the scene, firefighters found the incident involved a car on its roof on the pavement, however the driver was able to get themselves out and was then assessed by a doctor who was passing by.

Fire crews then made the vehicle safe by isolating the cars battery.

The driver of the car, a woman, has since been checked over at a hospital and was given the all clear.



Garstang Library closes for environmentally-friendly energy efficient upgrade

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Garstang library will close from today (Tuesday October 12) until next year as work is carried out to make the building more planet-friendly.


Renovation work at the library in Windsor Road is set to reduce CO2 emissions by eight tonnes per year.

Lights will also be upgraded to LED bulbs, an air source heat pump will be installed to replace dated electric heating, and solar panels will be fitted to the roof.

Lancashire County Council said the library would not be reopening until “early January 2022,” but books can be returned to any other Lancashire Library, renewed in person, by phone, or online while it is closed.

Garstang Library will be closed until January 2022 as work begins to make the building more environmentally-friendly.

Garstang Library will be closed until January 2022 as work begins to make the building more environmentally-friendly.

Book-lovers will need to travel to either Poulton library in Blackpool Old Road or Lancaster library in Market Street if they want to check out books in person.

Fines for overdue loans from Garstang library will be waived while the buildings are shut, and all books are being renewed automatically until January 17.

County Coun Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but these are major improvements and the work can only be done safely while the buildings are closed to the public.

“People can use our excellent online library services, or a nearby alternative, while the work is completed. This Government-funded scheme will help us to improve Garstang and other libraries and make them more environmentally friendly. ”

Garstang Library

Garstang Library

County Coun Shaun Turner, cabinet member for environment and climate change, added: “Reducing our carbon footprint is absolutely crucial. We’re working hard to do all we can to reduce energy usage in our buildings and projects like the Garstang Library improvements are a key part of our plans.

“Making investments like this in our existing buildings and ensuring any future ones are greener will really have a positive impact on climate change as well as helping us to achieve carbon net zero.”

How to renew your books

– In person at any Lancashire County Council library

– By phone via a 24-hour automated service 0300 123 6704 (library card number and PIN required).

– By calling the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 6703.



“Absolute joke”: Your views on the scrapping of Taco Bell and the Norcross retail development

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The prospect of the county’s first Taco Bell is no more.


The huge Norcross retail and leisure redevelopment has been scrapped and replaced with new housing proposals.

The former DWP site in Norcross Lane was set to become a 72,000sq ft retail and leisure development – a deal struck by agent Kier Property – hosting some of the country’s most well-renowned brands.

Farewell Taco Bell: Ambitious Norcross retail redevelopment plans scrapped

No more Taco Bell: The huge Norcross retail and leisure redevelopment has been scrapped

No more Taco Bell: The huge Norcross retail and leisure redevelopment has been scrapped

But a spokesman for Wyre Council said that the retail permission for the site had expired, and as nothing had been implemented since it was given the go-ahead, an application for 93 houses has since replaced it.

After we reported the news on Thursday, here’s a selection of your comments:

More flippin’ cars clogging up the roads

Kath Roe

This happens all over the country and has done for decades.

Adam Patchett

Why not invest in Fleetwood? Everything seems to be other places and we always get put on the back burner . We used to be a bustling town please bring it back to its former glory!!!

Brian N Florence Allinson

Absolute joke. Would have been much more useful and not to mention the job opportunities that would have come with it.

Lianne Alexi Thomson

Will WBC now invest in Cleveleys??, you need too urgently would be nice to have a response and action plan to support Cleveleys

Annette Dunkerley

We have more than enough housing in the fylde coast that just needs developing and proper maintenance to be able to be put either on the market, up for rent or marked for council properties. Derelict flats in almost every town, properties for private sale that the council could easily take on. Fylde and wyre desperately needs industry funding, when we had the fishing industry there were job opportunities for anyone who wants it. Now the only opportunities other than supermarkets are to work for small local businesses which will never supply enough jobs. We desperately need retail and corporate development in the area, especially in Fleetwood as it sits right on a peninsular, and most people have to travel over an hour out of town every day for work. This would have literally employed hundreds of people in this area and been amazing for the local economy.

Debbie Jane

M&S hopefully will now stay on Victoria road.They have had many customers saying Norcross was not suitable

Valerie Wall

Now there’s a shock… housing housing housing. And not affordable

Dan Walker



Blackpool teenager slapped with fine for parking at cinema to watch Marvel film

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

Eliska’s car had been in the car park 29 minutes longer than the stay duration of three hours.


19-year-old Eliska Opiolova was fined for staying longer than three hour stay duration at Blackpool Odeon cinema
19-year-old Eliska Opiolova was fined for staying longer than three hour stay duration at Blackpool Odeon cinema (Image: Eliska Opiolova)

A teenager has been fined after parking her car in a cinema car park too long whilst watching the new Marvel film.

19-year-old Eliska Opiolova, who is a bartender and also studying Equine Care, went to visit Blackpool’s Odeon cinema on Monday September 27 to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

The film lasts two hours and twelve minutes not taking into account time to buy tickets and the preceding trailers.

Eliska didn’t think twice about parking as every time she has been to the cinema before, parking as free.

She told LancsLive: “I parked directly in front of the cinema where there is free parking. I’ve been to that cinema multiple times and never had a charge until that day.

“I didn’t know there was a limit, after all it’s a cinema and the films can be pretty long so it’s confusing that there’s a parking limit.”

Yesterday (October 6) she received a letter instructing her to pay the amount of £60 because she had exceeded the maximum stay limit of three hours.

Eliska’s car had been in the car park 29 minutes longer than the stay duration.

The letter Eliska Opiolova received yesterday (October 6) informing her that if she doesn't pay in 14 days, the fine will go up to £100
The letter Eliska Opiolova received yesterday (October 6) informing her that if she doesn’t pay in 14 days, the fine will go up to £100 (Image: Eliska Opiolova)

The student must now pay the fine promptly, within 14 days of October 4, otherwise the amount will go up to £100.

The letter also stated that the signage on the private land is clearly set out.

After Eliska posted on social media to ask help, some Facebook users had also been caught out by the rules whilst others were already aware.

One person posted: “I went to see the new James Bond Film which is 2 hours 43 minutes long at the Odeon, Rigby Road and had not noticed about the parking charges but the cinema attendant was nice enough to point out I had to register my car and he asked all the other people who were around us at the time if they had registered their cars.”

Blackpool Odeon Cinema on Rigby Road
Blackpool Odeon Cinema on Rigby Road (Image: Rigby Road)

Another said: “I contacted the cinema for the same issue and they said because there’s signs up then its not their problem. Felt a little bit like the Odeon and the parking company might have been working together.”

One visitor was already aware however and added: “There is a machine inside the cinema where you can enter your registration which gives you up to 5 hours . It is near ice cream, I know this does not help you but may help others and you in the future.”

Eliska has now appealed and sent off a photo of her bank statement.

She added: “I think it’s time it was addressed because so many people replied to my post and said it happened to them.”

Odeon Cinemas has clarified that is it not responsible for any of the car parking charges as this is on private land.

LancsLive has approached car park management services Care Parking for comment but they did not respond in time for publication.



Outbuilding goes up in flames in Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Firefighters rushed to extinguish an outbuilding that went up in flames in Blackpool.


An outbuilding caught fire in Elaine Avenue at around 6am on Thursday, October 8.

Two fire crews from South Shore and Blackpool used breathing apparatus and two hose reels to extinguish the flames.

They also used a fan to clear the smoke as well as lighting equipment.

Firefighters rushed to extinguish an outbuilding that went up in flames in Elaine Avenue, Blackpool.

Firefighters rushed to extinguish an outbuilding that went up in flames in Elaine Avenue, Blackpool.

Firefighters remained at the scene this morning to check for hot spots.




Lytham Windmill repair awaiting a sail

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A sail on Lytham windmill which snapped in two has been completely removed as contractors working on behalf of Fylde Council source timber for its replacement.


The landmark windmill was cordoned off after the damage last Friday and it is not known yet when it will be fully restored or how much the repair will cost.

A Fylde Council spokesman said: “The sail (which snapped) has been taken down and found to be rotten inside which is most likely the reason it broke.

“The next steps are to source a piece of timber big enough to replace the sail, and we will continue to update our social media channels with the information as and when we receive it.” Timing and costings were still awaited, added the spokesman.

Lytham Windmill with its damaged sail now removed.

Lytham Windmill with its damaged sail now removed.

Next step awaited for repair to Lytham windmill

The Fylde Council spokesman added: “This (Canada) was where the wood was sourced for a previous broken sail, however we’ve had no confirmation just yet that this is where this wood will need to come from.”

The council’s chief executive Allan Oldfield pledged following the damage: “I can promise the team at Fylde will have this repaired by the best specialists, it will not be reliant on funds raised.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “The windmill is one of the best known and most loved sights of the Fylde and an important part of Lytham’s heritage. It is a symbol of the town and of the borough. I am sorry to see this damage to such an important Fylde landmark and hope the windmill can be repaired as soon as possible.”

The broken sail

The broken sail

Plans for 44 new homes off Broadway in Fleetwood refused

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Proposals to build 44 homes on land that forms part of a school playing in Fleetwood have been thrown out by Wyre planners.


Plans for new houses on this site in Fleetwood have been refused by Wyre planners

Plans for new houses on this site in Fleetwood have been refused by Wyre planners

Applicants Adactus Housing Association intended to build the homes on an open grassed field off Broadway, with the understanding that adjoining land would still be used as school playing fields by St Wulstan’s And St Edmund’s RC Primary School.

But Wyre’s planning committee, meeting on Wednesday (October 6) unanimously rejected the application for a raft of reasons.

Councillors expressed concern that although the land was allocated for housing, the minimum recommended number of homes was 25, almost half of those proposed, meaning the new homes would be relatively cramped on the site in question.

No provision had been made for green infrastructure on the actual site, such as a children’s play-area, with the applicant attempting to rectify this by making funding provision for new equipment or sports development in the Memorial Park – almost half a mile away from the proposed homes.

There were also concerns that proposals to raise the land further would lead to drainage problems for nearby homes.

A number of speakers addressed the planning meeting, including a representative of the applicant, and residents raising concerns about the plans.

The application had been recommended for approval by the panning officer.

After the meeting, Coun Paul Moon, planning committee chairman, said: “Large planning applications have many facets and this one brought with it a number of concerns.

“The main reason for refusal was the lack of onsite green infrastructure, with no provision for a children’s play area.

“The developer had suggested making contributions to the Memorial Park, but the committee felt that was some distance away and young children shouldn’t be expected to travel to enjoy such amenities.

“There were also concerns about the number of homes and the potential risk of flooding.”

Coun Cheryl Raynor, who represents Fleetwood’s Rossall ward for Labour, said: “I would love to have voted for this application, we need social housing.

“But there were too many factors against it.

“Those houses would have been too cramped on that site and if there were families, there would be nowhere near for them to play.

“The developers also wanted to raise the land by one metre, which would raise genuine concerns about the water running off.

“We see this time and again – developers have good intentions to introduce a draining system but too often they just don’t work – and by then the development is already built.”

The plans included a new access road off Broadway and consisted of 26 two-bedroom houses, 14 three-bedroom houses and four houses with four bedrooms, with a row of the new homes fronting towards Broadway.

Although there were no objections from statutory bodies such as Lancashire Council Council highways, there were 29 letters of objections from local residents raising a range of concerns, including overlooking and flooding worries.



Dim view of Blackpool street lighting

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool may be famous for its Illuminations display – but lighting in some of its side streets has come under fire for being too dim.

£5m investment in street lighting

£5m investment in street lighting

Now calls have been made for brighter street lighting as part of a £5m upgrade of the system.

Coun Gary Coleman told a meeting of the tourism, economy and communities scrutiny committee: “One of the main comments I hear is how dim the street lighting is in Blackpool.

“With the cost savings that are coming in with this system, can we turn the lights up? Better lit streets will lead to less crime.”

Coun Gerard Walsh added: “I believe the lights on bus routes are at a high level, but on the side streets they are turned down.”

But Coun Paula Burdess warned against turning street lights up too much in residential areas when people are trying to sleep.

She said: “We do need to be mindful of crime, but at the same time there are domestic properties where people do want to sleep at night, and get night after day so that it’s not always continually light.

“So I do think there is a balance we need to strike and I hope we are able to do that with this new lighting.”

Coun Neal Brookes, cabinet member for highways and transport, said the new system would give the council more control over the brightness of the street lighting.

The council will borrow £4.8m for the scheme, which will be met from savings which are expected to be £688,000 a year.

This will enable the current sodium lights to be switched to LEDs in street lights, illuminated traffic signals and bollards, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.

The transition, which will begin in 2022/23 and take around two years to complete, will create energy savings in one year “equivalent to turning the Illuminations off for 34 years”, according to a council report.

It will also help the council in its drive to become carbon neutral by 2030 by reducing carbon emissions by eight per cent.

The council could see savings of more than £6m over the 20-year lifespan of the LEDs.



Appeal for help with funds for Lytham’s big festive switch-on

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Organisers behind Lytham’s Christmas Lights Switch-On are appealing to the public to help them raise £15,000 to ensure the event makes its comeback in style.


The switch-on, which has traditionally attracted thousands of spectators, was last staged physically in 2019, before the pandemic caused a switch to virtual last year.

It costs around £18,000 to stage the official switch-on event with an additional £9,000 needed to keep the festive lights shining.

In past years, the Lytham Christmas Lights committee, with support from Lytham Business Partnership, has successfully fundraised throughout the year while also receiving generous donations from businesses and individuals.

Lytham Christmas switch-ons have traditionally attracted thousands of spectators

Lytham Christmas switch-ons have traditionally attracted thousands of spectators

Meanwhile, a grant for £8,000 from Fylde Council goes towards the installation and upkeep of the lights as well as covering the cost of a Christmas tree.

A look back on previous Lytham Christmas lights switch-on events

But restrictions on social gatherings have resulted in a gap in fundraising and with the Switch-On held as a virtual online event last year, there has been little opportunity for people to dig deep into their pockets to help out.

Lytham Christmas has launched a Go Fund Me page in the hope it will encourage people to financially support the free event in November, along with the extended lights season.
Entertainment galore at a Lytham Christmas switch-on

Entertainment galore at a Lytham Christmas switch-on

The target is £15,000 and Lytham Christmas spokesman Coun Brenda Blackshaw said: “By setting up a Go Fund Me page we hope we can encourage more people to support our event which is not only a lovely way to mark the start of the festive season, but is also a huge boost to businesses throughout Lytham as it attracts such a large crowd.

“Every donation, however small, will make a difference and ensure we can kick off the festive season in style.”

The switch-on is planned for Saturday, November 20, starting at 2pm. To contribute go to

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Hundreds of Blackpool pupils team up with Royal Ballet School for creative workshops

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Hundreds of resort pupils gathered at the Pleasure Beach to learn more about ballet from some of the country’s most talented dancers and teachers.


The Royal Ballet School’s visit to the Globe Theatre at the Pleasure Beach was met with amazement by 350 Year Three pupils across the resort, from schools including Anchorsholme and Revoe Academies, and Bispham Endowed C of E, Boundary, and Layton Primary Schools.

Teachers, musicians and final-year students from the prestigious dance school held creative workshops for the youngsters, and will spend five weeks working with them in a bid to inspire the next generation of dancers.

It came as part of the Primary Steps Programme, a partnership between the Royal Ballet School and Blackpool Sixth, which has been running in the resort for 16 years.

350 Year Three pupils from five schools across the resort took part in a ballet workshop with the Royal Ballet School. Pic: John Topping/FCAT

350 Year Three pupils from five schools across the resort took part in a ballet workshop with the Royal Ballet School. Pic: John Topping/FCAT

Victoria Collinson, Primary Steps partnership manager, said: “After a year off due to the pandemic we were very excited to welcome Year Three pupils from five Blackpool primary schools in the Globe Theatre at the Pleasure Beach.

“These pupils were given a rare opportunity to see first hand the athleticism and artistry of ballet students.”

At the end of the five-week course, 26 of the pupils will be invited to enhance their knowledge and skills by joining weekly Primary Steps classes, hosted by Blackpool Sixth for up to four years.

Youngsters taking part will receive training from teachers specially approved by The Royal Ballet School, and after the four years, aspiring dancers will be given tips on how to continue their dance training.

And if some pupils decide to continue ballet dancing in future, they could be invited to audition for The Royal Ballet School’s Junior Associate programme.

John Topping from Fylde Coast Academy Trust said: “This creative partnership began some 16 years ago when our superb dance facilities at Bispham High School Arts College became the home for Royal Ballet School Primary Steps with our local family of schools.

“Throughout the years I have been extremely grateful to Amanda Thompson, MD of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, for her commitment and passion in ensuring that this annual Royal Ballet School lecture demonstration is held within the superb Globe Theatre on Pleasure Beach.

“I know that the Year Three youngsters over these years have enjoyed their afternoon out to the Pleasure Beach to witness the highest quality ballet performances from so many talented dance students. I hope we can continue to develop Royal Ballet School Primary Steps within Blackpool primary schools.”