Banging drum for live music

Balkanics playing to a packed Robert Gillow.
Balkanics playing to a packed Robert Gillow.
Share this article

I would like to make known my disappointment and disgust over the Lancaster Music festival and how the drumming group Batala had their second performance cut short on Saturday, October 12, due to complaints from stall holders that they were making too much noise.

They were booked for two performances on the Saturday, one at 1pm and the other at 3pm.

The one at 1pm pulled in a large crowd in the small area they had to perform. The crowd were enjoying the performance and a huge round of applause commenced on the performance ending. When calls came for an encore they informed the crowd they would be performing again at 3pm.

At 3pm quite a large crowd gathered in anticipation for Batala. They started but within 15 minutes we noticed that the leader was being spoken to and shortly after the performance was cut short.

We were told that this was because there had been complaints from the stallholders because of the noise.

The group were obviously disappointed as were the crowd who asked for an encore. The leader of Batala queried whether they could perform elsewhere but were told no. There were boos and the crowd were very disappointed.

Batala left and in the corner near the library on a tiny stage a group of dancers were performing. A very small crowd had gathered to watch but soon left. The atmosphere had turned and people left the area.

It was truly a shame. The group Batala had pulled in the crowd and this could only have been to the benefit of the stallholders.

I have no words to describe how angry and disappointed I was at the stallholders. The music festival should embrace everyone and the stallholders should have known what to expect. If this was encroaching on their area then a stage or another area should have been made available to all the acts so as not to inconvenience the stallholders.

A drumming group are going to be loud. They were booked. They should not have been made to stop.

Very disgusted Lancastrian

Name and address supplied

Road is needed and deserved

Like most other sensible people I know the M6 to Heysham link road is vital to the future prosperity of the Lancaster district.

I find it amazing that the TSLM group are persisting in their objections.

I wholeheartedly support the right to object and have alternative views aired but enough is enough.

Which other country would allow such nimbyism to stop such an important infrastructure project which will bring 3,000 jobs into the local economy? Lancaster District is the largest district in Lancashire for Council Tax Band D and has the largest population but we don’t have the economic benefits that districts further south in Lancashire enjoy.

The objectors have tried to argue that the road isn’t needed and isn’t strategically important.

What could be more important than having a 24-hour gateway to and from Northern Ireland that links with the major road systems in the UK and Europe?

Much of the freight going to and from Northern Ireland currently drives north to Stranraer because the facilities and road access make that more viable than using Heysham.

How much does this cost in diesel, carbon emissions, etc?

Think what would happen if Scotland gained independence. Hauliers would have to cross customs at the Scottish border and again to go back into the UK in Northern Ireland.

As for the few NIMBYs still objecting; if they owned their properties before 1948 they should have been aware of the proposed road from Heysham Port to the A6 which was the precursor of the present link road.

If they bought their properties more recently the proposed route should have appeared on the land searches. If it didn’t they should be questioning their lawyers.

The people of all parts of Lancaster District, whether they live in Morecambe, Heysham, Lancaster, Carnforth or the villages need and deserve this road.

It’s time everyone stood together and promoted Lancaster District and what it can offer in jobs, lifestyle, environment and quality of life.

This road will be the catalyst for the regeneration we need.

Sarah Fishwick

Vice-chairman Lancashire 
and Cumbria Region 
Federation of Small Businesses 
Emesgate Lane


New times cause buses mayhem

Thought you might be interested in the problems the new bus timetables have caused in my ward of Scotforth West and Bowerham.

We were advised in good time, and it was detailed in the Lancaster Guardian for some time in advance, that from September 29 new bus timetables were being introduced. Fair enough. Residents then had the opportunity to question Stagecoach if they thought it might cause some difficulties for some of them. So along comes September 29 and the majority of the students return from vacation. This is when the mayhem starts.

The No 2 service is taken from Bowerham and placed in the ward of Scotforth Greaves, up to the university, thus leaving the two universities on the Bowerham route with only one bus to service them on a less regular service. So now the local residents tell me they cannot get on as they are full of students. Please don’t get us wrong, we welcome the enormous imput they bring to our city, but locals at times feel they are considered secondary.

So I have been receiving emails, phone calls, visitors to my home, concerns expressed on the buses, the shops and in town, of course as part of my work as a local councillor as this is what I do, it’s my role. I regard this as my walking surgery. It’s no problem, as I like to help everyone if I can.

I then contacted Stagecoach offices and I was informed there would be some Stagecoach management officers on the Lancaster Bus Station on Friday from 7.30am to 10am to catch the footfall of concerned travellers.

I went down with some of my residents to discuss the problems being caused by the changeover. I did notice there were no other local councillors there to help deal with the situation; maybe they had not checked residents concerns out with Stagecoach?

I spoke to the MD Nigel. I said I believed they had not done a public consultation before making all these alterations. This should have been a priority of the first degree, but he said that the situation would be reviewed. I also spoke with the guy who does the new timetables which I found were also quite perplexing. He also agreed to look at this concern.

I sincerely don’t believe this was done deliberately, but it has caused a lot of concern and upset for many public travellers in the district who rely on public transport. Of course I can only speak for my local residents. Each councillor must deal with any complaints if there are any, in their own areas.

I found all the management staff very polite and apologetic for all the mix-up and I said it must be a nightmare for the drivers who have to tolerate the sometimes irate travellers. But I found most of them were very considerate as I use public transport daily not being a driver of a vehicle myself.

So now the No 2 double decker bus will be returned to the normal journey as before, which is good news for all concerned.

Also I understand there will be more No 3 buses doing extra journeys to accommodate the extra students and local residents along the Greaves Scotforth route to Lancaster University.

Coun Sheila E Denwood

Lancaster Scotforth West 
city councillor

Tell us about your events

The Friends of Real Lancashire are currently compiling their annual list of Lancashire Day activities from all over the County Palatine and beyond. We would like to hear of any organisations or individuals who have planned an event to take place on the day or during that week. As well as showing loyalty to our red rose county, Lancashire Day is an opportunity to raise money for charity and for businesses to promote Lancashire produce.

At the beginning of November, events are posted on our website (, and details are sent to the press and also to our members so they may support an event in their locality.

Events usually include Lancashire Day proclamations, Lancashire nights with the traditional hot pot supper and entertainment, lunches, afternoon teas, shops with Lancashire produce, restaurants with a special menu, exhibitions, heritage walks, quiz nights and reading of Lancashire dialect.

Please email your events with full details to before October 19. Please ensure that you include a contact telephone number.

Philip Walsh


Friends of Real Lancashire

Local feeling has been ignored

Despite strong local opposition, the developers McCarthy and Stone have won their appeal against Lancaster City Council’s refusal of planning permission for retirement flats on the site of the Greaves Hotel and adjacent carpark.

There were a record number of objections to this development on the A6 corridor, which the council turned down on the grounds of its poor design, overbearing scale and inadequate parking.

Yet now the Planning Inspectorate has overruled local feeling and given the go-ahead following an appeal hearing at Morecambe Town Hall where several local councillors – Andrew Kay, Paul Woodruff, Sheila Denwood, Roger Dennison and Tony Johnson – spoke up in support of local residents. Coun Josh Bancroft also lent his support to our campaign.

But what point is there in objecting if we are ignored? Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ Localism Bill is designed to give more power to re Let us knowsidents over planning but there is little evidence of this. Instead, the Planning Inspectorate is prioritising “sustainable development” over the views of local people.

What use is the democratic decision of the council to refuse this at local level if this can be overturned by a single planning inspector from Bristol?

The Government pays 
lip service to localism but is deaf to the views of ordinary people.

Greaves residents opposed to the development

Andrew Neal, Mike and 
Teresa Abramson, David Bennett, Gary Rycroft, 
Gillian Whitworth 
(all Belle Vue Terrace)

Karen Mills (Ash Grove)