This week’s letters: 05/09/13


Terry takes me back: The article by Terry Ainsworth (Bill Parkinson, a man of many amazing talents, August 22) brought back memories of the early 60s.

There were weekends spent at either the Floral Hall or the Central Pier but the start of the evening was meeting friends at the Tivoli bar at which many pints of beer were imbibed and a few games of snooker and darts before moving on – mostly to the Central Pier in the days of the Alvin Atkins Band and many famous names of those days, followed at 2am with a late supper at a chippie on Peddar Street and ultimately by a long, unsteady walk home.

I waited-on at the Tivoli when Mel Dean and Bill Parkinson were the attractions, playing to a packed upstairs room every weekend.

My most vivid memory of the Tivoli is that is where I met my future wife Trish on Friday, November 22, 1963, which was the day of JFK’s assassination, and was the second most important event of that day.

After a shaky start I quickly realised that here was the girl I wanted, and had finally found my soulmate, so on March 26, 1964, I whisked her down the aisle at the register office, then in Dalton Square, followed by a wedding reception at my parents’ home and followed later by drinks at the Park Hotel.

Now, we are still together today, having extended our clan with three sons, one daughter, and 12 grandchildren

So, on March 26, 2014, we will have been together for 50 years and regardless of some married couples saying they have never had an argument, I believe that a good bicker to clear the air – but no sulking – is one of the reasons why our marriage has endured.

Over the years we have attempted to locate our best man Mr Jim Williams, who lived in Westfield Village, Lancaster, but we’ve had no luck.

Mr Roy Hodgson


Drivers can change too

The number of cyclists killed and seriously injured round here is a shock. (Safety first plea as bike accidents rise, Lancaster Guardian, August 22.)

But maybe it shouldn’t be: if the amount of cycling has risen so much then there’s likely to be more cycling casualties.

Of course, that makes it no less of a shock for those directly affected, but at least this increase in cycling is good for the whole country. Isn’t it? Less pollution and congestion.

And a real contribution to slowing the tsunami of obesity-related health care costs currently headed our way.

So if we all benefit from more cycling, why is the ‘safety first plea’ directed only at cyclists?

Why should the cyclist be expected to get toshed out in fluorescent bibs and put a bowl on his or her head?

Cycling will not reach levels that will really make a difference until it’s OK just to get on your bike without any special dressing up.

Maybe cycle safety campaigns should focus on trying to change the attitudes of other road users towards cyclists. After all, if the whole community benefits.....

More cyclists on the roads is generally acknowledged to be the single factor which most effectively increases cyclists’ safety.

Perhaps it takes a while, and some encouragement, for drivers to change their attitudes.

For everyone’s sake.

Brian Kennedy

Lancaster Cycling Club

Flypast was a great joy

Well done to Morecambe and Lancaster RAF Association.

I attended the fly past and watched on from the Ashton Memorial, one of my favourite locations and a monumental monument in Lancaster.

The trio of iconic planes made a great sight as they lumbered over towards Lancaster from Morecambe.

What better place to see the magnificent Lancaster aircraft over the magnificent historic city of Lancaster and its historic castle than from one of Lancaster’s finest buildings, the Ashton Memorial.

Congratulations to all involved. You did us proud.

Paul (Woodie) Woodruff


Alternative for parents

We are very sad indeed to learn that the Westbourne Road day nursery is closing. It has an excellent reputation and is very much appreciated by those families using the facility.

Those families who now find themselves without high quality local day care provision might like to consider the Steiner School on Willow Lane. The school has vacancies for children aged three upwards, and vouchers are accepted. We would urge anyone interested to get in touch with us to see whether we can meet their child care needs.

Andrew Taylor


Answers to homes move

Regards the Coastal Road Planning Application for houses, first of all, the failed application by the developer was made on a site at Coastal Road, Bolton-le-Sands and the application number is 13/00029/FUL (the pictures in The Visitor and the Lancaster Guardian were taken on Slyne Road).

The full detail of the Coastal Road application can be found on the Lancaster City Council planning website.

The developer made four observations:

1 That councillors were swayed by a vocal minority.

As a group we have kept the residents of Bolton-le-Sands informed about the application, in this regard we had organised a very well attended meeting at the BLS Community Centre. In addition, we collected a 1,000 name petition against the application – we are only aware of perhaps two residents in favour of the application.

2 We are naturally very disappointed that the council rejected plans for the development by such a narrow margin, because an appeal will inevitably involve both parties in a great deal of expense and delay the start of building on the site.

The vote was narrow because yet again Labour councillors voted en-block with the planners’ decision to approve the application. It is understood that the CEO has disapproved of voting on party lines, in fact the decisions are supposed to be non-political and based upon planning principles, as are the objections.

Regarding the costs of an appeal, we have a note, received after the original application for outline planning permission, from the head of governance explaining that if planning councillors had been minded to reject the original outline application 10/00830/OUT then an appeal by the developer would not incur costs to the council because the application had been made on a greenfield site.

3 Lancaster faced extreme challenges in developing new homes – and council officials said the new housing would help address the wider districts long term shortfall in land supply.

It has been shown that there is not a need for new housing in Bolton-le-Sands, and currently there are approximately 4,000 homes planned to build on brownfield sites.

In the Lancaster district there are 900 empty houses which require refurbishment to make them ready for occupation.

There is not a waiting list for affordable houses, but there is a waiting list of 2,000 families who are in need of social/council houses.

The council keep referring to the need to build houses as they had not kept up with meeting their targets of 400 per year in the past.

We cannot see how they arrive at this figure as it seems arbitrary when the housing needs of the area seem to be met. Targets for housing construction have been eliminated.

We pointed out that nearly 1,000 houses are for sale in the area, and around 200 are available for rent. Added to this there are developments which have not been started: Daffodil Homes in Bolton-le-Sands, developments which are proving slow to sell eg Halton Mills and other developments which have planning permission and are only just starting ie the Moor Hospital site, or have not started, Carnforth.

4 We’re confident we presented a very strong case.

As stated by objectors at the planning meeting, the National Planning Policy Framework does not allow unsustainable development.

It was shown that, contrary to Mr Andrew Drummonds statement that the site was sustainable, which he claimed but did not substantiate, the development did not meet the three elements of sustainability contained in the NPPF.

To conclude, we also had concerns about: drainage, canal leakage, the high water table inhibiting the efficiency of the drainage system and maintenance costs having 
to be borne by householders.

There is also concern about increased insurance premiums for householders, traffic and piecemeal development.

Traffic has increased, no major work has been carried out on the canal banking and the developer was talking in terms of further building, in other words, piecemeal 

By the way, we started our addresses at the meeting on August 19 by referring to the noble intentions stated in 1987 Local Plan to stop the merging of the villages in the 
LCC area.

Peter Griffin

Coastal Road Action Group