“Measles saved our life”

Marie Townsend and Stella Kyarsgaard should have been at the school one day in August 1944 when an American Air Force bomber crashed into their classroom killing their reception classmates. But the sisters were kept home that day due to being ill with measles. AASMA DAY talks to the Lancashire twins about their miraculous escape.

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Police probe 6am hit-and-run

Police probe 6am hit-and-run

Police are appealing for information after an Audi A3 was left badly damaged in a hit and run.

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Dog walkers on Lytham Green

Have your say on new dog rules

Major changes to dog control in Fylde are on the cards – and residents are being invited to have their say.

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Generic police tape illustration

Has this man had his foot run over for telling a driver to slow down?

A man had his foot run over after he told a fellow driver to slow down, police believe.

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Lytham In Bloom chairman Carol Wildon (left) and vice-chairman Susan Evans receive the town's gold medal award from RHS judge and council member Jon Wheatley

What a blooming brilliant year for our golden area!

Fylde has celebrated a golden hat-trick at the Britain in Bloom awards.

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Britain In Bloom judges Geraldine King and Andrew Jackson in Freckleton to judge it for national best small town awards, with Sue Lee, chairman and Christine Graham, secretary

Fylde scores hat-trick of bloom golden delight

Fylde has celebrated a golden hat-trick at the Britain in Bloom awards.

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Britain In Bloom judges Geraldine King and Andrew Jackson in Freckleton to judge it for national best small town awards, with Sue Lee, chairman and Christine Graham, secretary

Blooming marvellous! Lancashire takes clutch of Britain in Bloom awards

It is official – Lancashire has some of the most beautiful spaces in the country.

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Lytham Library's gates closed on September 30

A lifeline for doomed libraries?

Central government intervention could provide a lifeline for Fylde’s doomed libraries.

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Fracking campaigner: “This Government neither listens nor can it be trusted”

Anti-fracking campaigners have blasted the government for overturning three councils’ decisions to reject fracking in Fylde.

Environment 49
Rev Jim Percival

Baby death referred to legal chief

An inquest into the death of a baby boy at a vicarage has been halted by a coroner, who referred the case to the director of public prosecutions.

Rev Jim Percival

Inquest into death of baby boy at Freckleton vicarage to begin today

The death of a baby boy at a vicarage will be probed today at the child’s inquest at a coroner’s court.

Richard Wooldridge of Harrison Pitt Architects

Fylde five star caravan park gets go-ahead

The Fylde coast is set to get a new touring caravan park after planning permission was granted by Fylde Council.

Lytham Library

Final chapter for Lytham and Freckleton libraries

It’s the final chapter for two Fylde libraries - and two others are set to follow in their present form in the coming months.

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Louise McLaren, chairman of the Friends of Ansdell Library, at a protest against it closure with Friends members (from left) Catherine Baxendale, Ian Lowe, Carmen Lowe, Graham Holroyd and Gail Norris.

Libraries axe plan up for special scrutiny

The next crucial step in the quest to save Fylde libraries takes place at County Hall this afternoon.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw

Commissioner’s new victim support role

A support service for victims of crimes is set to expand as Lancashire Police anticipate 60,000 more referrals in upcoming years.

Members of the Lytham Library Working Group, who want to re-open Lytham Library as a community base. From left: Alex OToole (Fable Arts), Christine Stringfellow (Circles of Light), Fylde Coun Ray Thomas

‘The fight for our libraries goes on’

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has pledged that the fight to save Fylde’s libraries goes on after Lancashire County Council confirmed the closure of four of the area’s five facilities in their current form.

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County councillor Fabian Craig Wilson outside St Annes Library

Tory pledge over libraries

Tory pledge over libraries

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1,000 mile journey brings cuddly Ratty Roo Roo back home to three-year-old Penny

A three-year-old girl has been reunited with her favourite cuddly toy – after a mammoth international rescue mission.

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Nine-year-old Cara Restrick presents a petition of more than 4,000 names objecting to proposals to close Lytham Library to County Coun Marcus Johnstone, watched by (from left) Fylde councillor Ray Thomas, Kate Patton, Anne McGettigan, Vivien Idell, Louise Payton and Fylde and Lancashire County councillor Tim Ashton

last-ditch bid to save libraries

Battle lines are being drawn as Fylde reels from the prospect of sweeping changes to its library services.

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Children and staff from Northfold and Manor Beach Primary Schools protest against the proposed closure of the libraries in Cleveleys and Thornton

Libraries and children’s centres to close

Seven Fylde coast libraries and 14 children’s centres have been earmarked for closure as Lancashire County Council bids to save £200m by 2020.

The bombshell recommendation were made in a 1,468-page document released by county officials at shortly before 8pm on the Friday before a Bank Holiday Weekend.

The Fylde centres earmarked for being sold off are:

Ansdell Library

Freckleton Library

Kirkham Library

Kirkham Young People’s Centre

Lower Lane Young People’s Centre

Lytham Children’s Centre

Lytham Library and Registration Office

Orchard Children’s Centre (Freckleton) (designated)

Pear Tree Children’s Centre (Kirkham) (designated)

And the Wyre centres earmarked for disposal are:

Cleveleys Library and Children’s Centre

Fleetwood Children’s Centre (designated)

Garstang Young People’s Centre

Northfleet Library

Over Wyre Children’s Centre (Hambleton satellite)

Over Wyre Children’s Centre (Preesall satellite)

Poulton-le-Fylde Children’s Centre

Preesall Young People’s Centre

Rural Wyre Children’s Centre (Garstang) (designated)

Thornton Library

Thornton Young People’s Centre

Thornton Youth Offending Team (Marsh Mill)

The county council’s cabinet will be asked to agree revised plans to save millions of pounds, by reducing the number of buildings the council owns and rents, after seeking people’s views during an extensive consultation.

Feedback from 7,700 responses has been taken into account in forming the proposals to bring services together to form a network of multi-functional buildings known as Neighbourhood Centres, which would provide a base for a range of different services in one place.

The plans, which form part of the council’s property strategy, propose changes to where some services including libraries, children’s services, children’s centres, young people’s centres, youth offending teams, older people’s daytime support services, adult disability day services and registrars are delivered in the future.

More than 100 buildings would no longer be used for county council services and the number of places at which some services are available would reduce.

The cabinet will also be asked to agree to explore proposals made by a number of community groups and other organisations to take on responsibility for running some of the affected buildings and services.

The changes are in response to Lancashire County Council’s need to save £200m by 2020/21 as a result of ongoing government cuts to its budget and rising demand for services.

The report to the council’s cabinet published late on Friday outlines changes to the original plans, following a 12-week consultation held from 18 May to 14 August, with a number of revisions to which buildings are being proposed to house future services.

County Coun David Borrow, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council and portfolio holder for finance, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the consultation – their feedback has been invaluable in helping to shape the final proposals and the Cabinet will be giving the report careful consideration.

“Our aim is to find a solution that still gives everyone in Lancashire good access to good services, despite the pressures on the council’s budget. We have done a lot of work to assess where services should be located in future, taking account of things such as geographic spread, accessibility and the needs of different communities. Some of the changes to the proposals reflect what people have told us about the way they access these services.

“We’re also keen to continue exploring the potential for other groups and organisations to take on responsibility for some of the affected buildings and services, so we’re grateful for the interest that has been shown in that possibility over the last few months. The report acknowledges that more work will be needed to assess the business cases that have been put forward.”

The report also asks councillors to agree plans to explore alternative options for the future delivery of library services, with a focus on examining whether community-run libraries could add to the statutory service provided by the county council.

A package of help is proposed to help establish any community-run library, including £5,000 to cover set-up costs, shelving, an initial supply of books from the county’s store, and advice from a dedicated community library development officer.

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