Hosted by Poulton & Carleton Residents’ Association
Tuesday 8 August 2017 at 7pm
St Martin & St. Hilda’s Hall, Carleton
Summary of main points discussed, decisions and actions agreed
1. Welcome and Introductions
Lesley Middleton introduced herself and Bill Waller (Residents’ Association Chair and Vice-Chair respectively) and welcomed those present to the 24th Forum meeting.
Attendees: Approximately 75 members of the public and Wyre Councillors Roger Berry, Barry Birch, Colette Birch, Simon Bridge, Ron Greenhough, David Henderson, Lesley McKay, and Poulton’s Lancashire County Councillor, Alf Clempson. Apologies for absence had been received from some members of the public and Councillors Peter Gibson and Michael Vincent and Carleton’s LCC Councillor Alan Vincent.
There is approximately £90 in the Association’s bank account and consequently no donations were being sought to help meet administration costs. (Lesley’s erroneous statement on the night that the coffers hold £900 should be put down to wishful thinking!)
3. Duncan Byrne – Countryside Ranger
Duncan Byrne gave a presentation on his work. He is one of five Council employees who, along with a team of volunteers, work to support coastal and rural tourism in Wyre. Their main tasks include looking after the Wyre Estuary Country Park at Stanah, various community woodland and picnic areas, and Wyre’s promenades and beaches. This involves maintaining paths, improving access for all (e.g. by replacing stiles with gates), daily checks of bathing water and regular litter picks. They also provide environmental education, run rural craft sessions and events (e.g. dry stone walling and hedgerow laying competitions) and improve understanding of protected landscapes, habitat and species (e.g. through bird and bat watching walks). Wyre participates in the national ‘Walking for Health’ scheme and each year volunteers lead some 200 free walks of up to an hour’s duration. Two of the team’s volunteers have been trained to help promote biodiversity by gathering information that is fed into county and national records. On the conservation front, the team does things such as removing invasive plant species, building bat and bird boxes and planting trees. They also provide visitor centre guides at Stanah and at the Rossall Point observation tower. The team also supports the Friends of Garstang Walking Festival each May. In response to questions, Duncan confirmed that they should also be able to help with the construction of hedgehog houses and also that they, and the police, are aware of the anti-social behaviour issues at Skippool and Stanah car parks. He also advised that they will be trying to improve the condition of the very boggy path between Skippool and Stanah. However, this is a tidal path so mud can never be entirely eliminated and some of the solutions that have been suggested would require funds which would need to be sourced. The team is keen to involve the local community in all aspects of its activities and anyone wishing to volunteer should contact the Volunteer Coordinator on 01253 887504 or email email@example.com More information about activities can be found at www.discoverwyre.co.uk.
4. Wyre’s Dog Wardens
Lesley introduced Area Manager Alan Fitzpatrick and colleague Matthew Stagg who is one of 18 generic Area Officers who have a wide range of responsibilities including dog warden duties. Alan explained that there are 5 officers who have been trained to handle dogs and to identify banned breeds and who have vans that are fully equipped to collect and transport dogs. Their primary task is dealing with strays and they will respond to reports made 365 days a year but only between 8.00am and 9.00pm (summer) or 7.00pm (winter) because they have no access to kennels overnight. There were 196 stray dog events last year and 117 animals were re-united with their owners. It is now a legal requirement to have dogs over 8 weeks old micro-chipped and for all dogs to wear a collar with owner information on it when outside – there is a standard £100 fine for non-compliance. Dogs with no chip or owner details are taken to kennels and there is an initial charge of £90, which rises daily, to retrieve a dog. If the animal has not been collected after 7 days it becomes the property of Wyre Council and it will be re-homed. They do not put a dog down unless it is terminally ill or has unmanageable behavioural issues – there was only one dog euthanized last year. Of the 196 strays, 79 had no chip or owner details but 49 of them were eventually collected by their owners.
As well as dealing with strays, the Area Officers respond to reports of dog fouling and aggressive behaviour. On fouling they will investigate complaints, patrol areas where persistent fouling is reported, issue fixed penalty notices (£80 fine currently) and initiate legal proceedings which will mean the convicted owner also acquires a criminal record. Court action does require having a witness prepared to testify as to date, time, place observed but photographic proof is not necessary. Alan confirmed that Wyre is not currently trying DNA testing because latest feedback suggests this is not 100% accurate. He also confirmed that if the bag containing dog mess is then dumped that constitutes littering and can incur the same £80 fine. So far as dangerous dogs are concerned, the number of attacks is small but they do attract publicity. Council officials have a range of steps they can take to request and then direct action – such as where the animal can be walked, requiring it to be muzzled etc. Owners who do not comply can be taken to court and their dog taken away. At the moment Wyre uses Dog Control Orders but these will become redundant in October 2017 and a consultation exercise is currently underway about the planned replacement Public Space Protection Orders. Information about the consultation, about getting dogs chipped and keeping the data up to date and about reporting dog fouling can all be found on the Wyre Council website (www.wyre.gov.uk)
5. Planning Updates
Councillor Ron Greenhough reported the following:-
5.1. Royal Oak site – approval given to demolish the existing structure and build a block of twelve apartments.
5.2. Brockholes Crescent – outline application approved for 108 houses and the demolition of two existing properties to allow access. Assurances have been given that concerns about potential flooding can be resolved.
5.3. Holts Lane – outline application approved for 130 houses and assurances also given about drainage issues.
5.4. Hardhorn Road – an application has just been received to build 38 houses (near Foxes Farm) and has been referred to the Planning Committee. Residents wishing to support or oppose should contact their Ward Councillor.
5.5. Puddle House Lane – outline application approved for 9 bungalows at Fairfield Nurseries.
5.6. Berry’s Lane – an application to build 35 houses has been referred to the Planning Committee. Concerned residents should contact Councillor McKay.
5.7. Enforcement Officers are following up concerns about the destruction of a hedgerow at the Moorland Road site and also concerns about the developer’s activities in relation to drainage at the Carr Head Lane site.
6. Other Updates
LCC Councillor Alf Clempson reported the following:-
6.1. LCC is adding £5m to the highways budget and Alf is hoping to secure some of this for Poulton. Derby Road will be included in this year’s road re-surfacing programme and he is fighting to have Chester Avenue and Moorland Road included as well. Rutland Avenue is in the 2017/18 programme and Queensway is scheduled to have large-scale patching.
6.2. Alf is pursuing and campaigning about a number of issues connected with the Carr Head Lane, Brockholes Avenue and Holts Lane developments including the damage being caused by heavy lorries and the flooding/drainage problems.
6.3. LCC is to widen the corner of Blackpool Old Road to allow a better view. Alf is still chasing them on the issue of Residents’ Parking and also pursuing Booths about their plans to widen the Teanlowe car park entrance on Queensway. He has been advised of problems with highway gullies on Parry’s Way and would like residents’ feedback of any similar problems elsewhere.
6.4. Alf wished to record his thanks to Wyre Council for the re-instatement of a permanent police presence at the Civic Centre Bungalow.
6.5. Finally, Alf reported that he had been appointed Armed Forces and Veterans Champion at LCC so residents with any issues on these matters should contact him. He had also been allocated a Member’s Grant of £3,000 which he can use to help small local community groups. Anyone interested in a grant of £200-300 and advice about other potential sources of funding should get in touch.
(Alf encourages residents to contact him about their concerns at any time. His contact details are:
Mobile – 07983 335630
Informal surgery in the New Penny Cafe between 10am and 12 on Saturdays.
7. Any Other Business
7.1. Friends of Jean Stansfield Park: Thanks are due to the organisers and supporters of the Big Gig held on 26th July and where over £7000 was raised.
7.2. Vicarage Park Community Centre: Alastair Thomas gave an update on work undertaken by volunteers at the former St Chad’s Church Hall in preparation for builders being contracted to make essential structural repairs. This will allow the venue to be re-opened as a community hub for the benefit of everyone who lives and works in the area. Publicity material was distributed for the annual fund raising ‘Celebration Day’ which will take place in the park on Monday 28 August between 11.00 and 4.00. The theme for the day is Pirates and there will be free live entertainment, coffee and cakes, real ale and wine, and many different pirate-themed activities for young and old. The Hall will also be open on the day providing an opportunity to learn about its history and snap up a bargain at a ‘table-top sale’. Also, the Chaddeans will be putting on a fund raising ‘Variety Concert’ on Saturday 2 September at 7.30pm in Staining Village Hall. Tickets are £7 each and available from David on 01253 890356. Bring your own nibbles and drinks.
7.3. Network Rail: Piling will be taking place through August and possibly up to the end of September between 11.00pm and 7.00am Saturday to Thursday each week. More information is available from www.networkrail.co.uk/blackpool or by ringing 03457 114141. Also the Network Rail team will be at Poulton Civic Centre on Monday 9 October between 4.00pm and 7.00pm.
7.4. Market Place Phone Box: Councillor Greenhough reported on an unsuccessful 1hr 50 minute phone call with BT during which he suggested that failing all else, he might paint the phone box himself. Their response was that anyone so doing would be liable to prosecution.
7.5. Future Forum Meetings: Lesley noted that the Residents’ Association have been running the Forums for over six years, in February, May, August and November each year. Organising and running them is a significant task and appeals for help with this have resulted in little response.
Rather than stop them altogether, Lesley and Bill plan to reduce the frequency from 2018 to two meetings a year, in February and August. It will always be possible to set up an ad hoc meeting if a significant issue crops up and Lesley will continue to send the various updates and other information to her email distribution list.
8.Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be on Monday 13 November 2017 in St Chads Church, Poulton commencing 7.00pm.
Notes of previous meetings and local events are on