1. Welcome and introductions
Lesley Middleton (Residents’ Association Chair) welcomed all those present and the Wyre Council Councillors in attendance introduced themselves. Attendees : 80 members of the public including Councillors Roger Berry, Barry Birch, Simon Bridge, Peter Gibson, David Henderson, Lesley Mc Kay and Gordon Mc Cann.
Apologies received from: Alf Clempson (Assistant to Ben Wallace), Norman Irish (Chair of Neighbourhood Watch), Cllr Graeme Cocker and those Councillors present who had to leave early for a long standing meeting.
£134.76 was received in donations at the last forum and expenses were incurred of £125 for poster and flyer printing and hall rental leaving a balance of £9.76. A bank account has been opened and a cheque for £350 had been received from the Poulton Gala Committee in memory of Steve Rolland, with grateful thanks.
3. Updates / general
a. Lesley asked all those who had not received information about the meeting to sign in and give an address (email preferably but is appreciated not all have one) so that in future information can be sent out about meetings etc.
b. The crime maps information on the Home Office web site now includes Poulton and Carleton and information can be accessed by post code.
c. Poulton police update
Sergeant Danielle Frieney introduced herself as the neighbourhood police officer for Garstang, Over Wyre and Poulton. Her team are located at the Bungalow behind Wyre Civic Centre and she confirmed that they would be staying there but as yet she did not know where, or if, an enquiry desk would be located following the closure of the Police Station in June. She mentioned the newsletters they produce which are available in the Library, the Methodist church and the Police Station.
The crime maps information (on the Home Office website) now includes Poulton and Carleton and information is shown by postcode.
She spoke about the new 101 non – emergency contact number for local police which costs a maximum of 15p.
Two members of the public wanted to know what the police were doing about people parking on the pavements in their residential areas (Moorway andChester Avenue). The question was raised as to whether double yellow lines could be the answer. Sgt Frieney asked them to e mail her all the details and she would look into it.
d. New water treatment plant
United Utilities will be submitting a planning application for a new plant and this can be seen in an exhibition at the River Wyre hotel planned for some time in April. Details should be shown in the Gazette.
e. Poulton Market
Councillors Gibson, Mc Cann and Wyre Council Chief Exec Garry Payne recently met with the Small Businesses Association and the Traders Association about the market. Concerns were raised by the public about the location of some of the stalls, number of stalls and general tidiness but it was stressed that the situation was under constant review and it was early days yet. There had been a problem previously with access to the church when there was a funeral but this should be overcome in future by liaison between the Church and the Market Manager. George McCaffer (chairman of the Association of Poulton Traders) has had talks with the market manager, Julian Brent, expressing the traders concerns. It was agreed that consultation between all parties was the answer.
f. Teanlowe Car Park Barriers
A discussion followed about recent problems arising from the car park barriers being too low so that emergency vehicles and vehicles carrying disabled passengers could not gain access. Councillor Gibson explained that they had been installed to keep out travellers but, because of concerns expressed, they were being raised to 2.6 metres. A member of the public complained that he would still not be able to gain access in his camper van and it was pointed out that he could still park on theHardhorn Roadcar park, which didn’t have barriers in use, or Booths.
Some people had been verbally abused by delivery drivers using the Teanlowe car park. They have caused hazards, blocking in drivers and parked in the disabled bays. The delivery drivers were to be encouraged to use the service road to avoid the problems.
4. Poulton : A Personal Perspective – John Bailie and Chris Gannon
A power point presentation followed showing “The Good, the Bad and The Ugly” aspects of Poulton. There are many attractive areas still left in Poulton to be proud of and these were illustrated along with green areas / open spaces and historic buildings. Attention was drawn to some of the less attractive features of the town where there was room for some improvement and to the run down buildings on the approaches to the town – the old Moorland Motors building onGarstang Road, theRoyal Oakpub and the derelict site opposite onStation Road.
John and Chris suggested that the number and state of some of the signs around the town needed updating or consolidating as there are too many. The block of toilets on the Teanlowe car park was not the most attractive, the design of the notice boards in the square was too modern and not in keeping with the environment. Bins were shown overflowing at the back of the Market Hall and generally there was a lot of shabbiness around the town.
There are 160 + businesses in the town, (35 of which are licensed premises), and 17 empty units (8 in the Teanlowe centre). A suggestion from the audience was to use one of the empty shops as a visitor centre/ communication centre for residents and visitors alike.
John then talked about the Government Initiative resulting from the “The Mary Portas” Report to rejuvenate the high street with a fund of £1m to share between 12 towns throughout the country. To put forward a bid for a share of this money there would need to be a submission with the backing of the council. Several members of the public and the Poulton Partnership were happy to be involved and it was proposed that a small team of people and the Council should get together. The closing date is 30.3.2012. The written proposal must include aDVDpresentation and thoughts on how the money would be spent if the application was successful.
Some initial thoughts included a sense of pride in our heritage, encouragement of artisan businesses showcasing local foods, crafts, themed markets, loyalty cards for shoppers, refurbishment of the church hall, a car park initiative and removal of untidy signs.
John said that if there was a will he would give the presentation to the local Councillors.
5. Next Meetings
Monday 28th May at 7pm, St Chads Church hall.
Tuesday 21 August at7pm,St Martin’s & St Hilda’s Church Hall
Monday 19 November at 7pm, St Chads Church Hall