Lancashire nostalgia in 1999: Labour party defectors, hospital traffic chaos and unfaithful lotharios

Liberal Democrats leader Bill Chadwick who claims more Labour councillors may defect
Liberal Democrats leader Bill Chadwick who claims more Labour councillors may defect

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1999:

Leader warns Labour to expect desertions

More political defections could be on the way at Preston town hall, it was claimed.

Liberal Democrat leader Bill Chadwick said two more Labour councillors were on the verge of switching sides.

But the claim was ridiculed by council leader Peter Rankin, who accused him of playing “silly games”.

The prospect of more politicians crossing the floor of the council chamber would represent yet another extraordinary twist.

If Coun Chadwick’s claims became reality, Labour would lose its position as the controlling group and produce a hung council for the second time in recent months.

Labour’s 20-year-long rule came to a brief end when firstly John Monk and then Tony Jones quit the party for the Liberal Democrats.

However, just two days after Coun Jones changed his political colours, Labour sensationally re-established control by tempting across Liberal Democrats firebrand Mick Moulding.

The balance of power is so precarious that three main parties compromised on the size of Preston Council’s council tax increase when two Labour members were absent earlier this year.

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1999 here

Car park opens to ease hospital chaos

A new 120-space car park has opened at the Royal Preston Hospital putting an end to months of parking misery for staff, patients and visitors.

At the hospital’s busiest times when all the car parks are full drivers have been forced to park on double yellow lines around the hospital or in the surrounding streets.

After receiving a number of complaints about the problems, estate bosses drew up proposals to tackle the issue.

And after weeks of work, they have opened the car park on spare land behind the Avondale Unit which will be monitored by CCTV security equipment.

The new car park will be used by staff - freeing up more spaces on car parks at the front of the hospital for patients and visitors.

It is hoped the spaces will put an end to the parking chaos.

Lusty Lotharios can now cover all tracks

Cheating love rats can now cover their tracks thanks to a new tailor made alibi service.

For an initial fee of £20 - those who like to play away can rely on a perfectly woven web of deceit from phoney phone calls to bogus memos.

Every conceivable way to cover up an affair has been thought out by two Lancashire businessmen who have set up the appropriately named Alibi Agency.

From its base in Lytham St Annes, the company offers a wide range of services which include details of bogus conferences, golf tournaments, lectures, seminars and business re-training courses sent through the post.

Agency boss Joe Taylor and partner Ron Brock boast they can cover up any tricky situation with help from headed business note paper, made-up memos and confirmation of travel details.

They say the aim of the service is to keep the deceit going to save as much heartache as possible by preventing partners from finding out about an affair.

Joe said: “We’re not advising men have affairs, we’re just here to make sure their partners don’t find out.”

Partner Brock believes they could actually keep families together.