Saturday, April 14, 2007

Village school gets a new sports area

A new sports area is to be built at a Barrowford school - but residents are unhappy at losing their parking spaces for the development.

Lancashire County Council has granted itself planning permission for the fenced-off pitch next to Barrowford Primary School, Rushton Street.

The multi-use games area (MUGA) is planned for a patch of unmarked land next to the school used as car parking space at the moment, and only pupils will be able to use it.

Pendle Council and Barrowford Parish Council fear that as well as removing the public parking space, the fences will look out of place in the architectural conservation area.

Some 18 residents wrote to the county council to object to the proposal. They said parking was already at a premium in the village, and that losing public spaces would force even more cars into parking on the main road.

Pendle representatives also told councillors that children could be put at risk by using the area as they would have to go out of the school grounds to get to it, along a busy road. Speaking after the meeting Coun Linda Crossley, chairman of Pendle Council's Barrowford and Western Parishes Committee, said she was disappointed the plans had been approved despite people's concerns.

She said: "I don't think that's the right place for the games area. A lot of residents have pointed out that there is another quite large area of land at the back of the school which would be an excellent place for the children to play, though perhaps not ideal for a fenced-off MUGA.

"We were annoyed they decided to go ahead with it because the parish council objected strongly to it, residents objected and Pendle Council voiced its objection but we were all just completely overridden.

"It is very frustrating when local opinions are just not taken any notice of. I'm not sure I would like a child of mine playing there. There will be fumes from the road, and there is always the risk, no matter how well supervised they are, that a child could run out."

County Coun Tim Ormerod supported the proposal, saying that the land had been earmarked as a play area for years, and that the MUGA would help the school meet the government's new requirements for PE.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Search for crash driver

Police are trying to trace the owner of an Audi A4 which was left smashed into a farm wall.

Officers were called to Barrowford Road shortly after midnight on Sunday.

A police spokesman said: "Whoever was driving ran off from the scene before officers arrived.

"We therefore do not know if the car was being driven by its owner, or if it was stolen. Our inquiries will continue until we trace the keeper, a man from Nelson."

The collision caused significant damage to the car.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Junction 13 traffic headache

As the start of development works on two major schemes within yards of an already busy traffic junction looms, we ask - what action, if any, is proposed to ease the concerns of local people?

The centralisation of Nelson and Colne College on the main Reedyford site and the development of the Barrowford Business Park on the opposite side of Pendle Water by Peel Holdings have fuelled fear of major traffic problems around the motorway interchange and bypass junction.

There is already heavy congestion at peak periods, causing queues to stretch up the M65 slip road and back up the motorway towards Brierfield at busy times. There are similar problems in the other direction with traffic tailbacks through Barrowford.

Yet in spite of repeated requests, Lancashire County Council has refused to hold meetings with Pendle Council to talk about it – and the blunt message from County Hall this week was: It's your problem, you sort it out.

Pendle councillors raised the matter for the third time in five months at its meeting on Thursday night, when it was revealed no reply had been received to a request for a meeting with County Coun. Tony Martin, Cabinet member for sustainable development, and Environment Director Graham Harding made in October.

And this week, it was revealed in a reply to Coun. Tony Beckett and Pendle Council leader Coun. Alan Davies that the county felt there was no merit in such a meeting as the matter was being handled by Colin Badminton, a former Pendle highways officer who now works for Lancashire Highways.

But County Coun. Martin said this week: "Any questions concerning traffic problems should have been raised before planning permission for the two developments was granted by Pendle Council.

"It's Pendle Council's problem and they should sort it out."

Lancashire's motorway police have promised to keep an eye on the situation around the junction.

Insp. Phil Cottam said that while there had been a number of shunt-type accidents at peak periods, there had been no serious incidents.

"Unlike many busy interchanges, there are no automatic signs or signals at Reedyford and these are expensive to introduce. Many drivers who use the junction regularly know of the problems there. The M65 has brought a lot of business to the area and some of the junctions are working to capacity. The position at Reedyford is something we will be keeping an eye on," he said.


Speed calming for busy road?

Traffic calming and speed reduction measures could be brought in on Barrowford Road if funding is secured from Lancashire County Council's Local Safety Schemes programme for 2007/8.

Whether or not the location, leading out of Colne towards Barrowford, receives funding will depend on the recent injury accident record and competing demands for funding from elsewhere.

If the location is successful in attracting funding, then a comprehensive design scheme for traffic calming and speed reduction measures would be prepared, and a safety audit process undertaken.

In the meantime, there are certain actions which are being considered using existing budgets.

These include high visibility signage, "Slow" markings and rumble areas on the eastbound approach to the bend near the Nelson and Colne College annexe.


Friday, April 06, 2007

In memory of Anthony

A Nelson firm has donated £10,000 to the North West Air Ambulance in memory of a colleague.

Former Barnfield Construction employee Anthony Birchall died in a climbing accident in September, 2004.

A keen climber, Mr Birchall, of Ann Street in Barrowford, was leading a walk up a mountain on the Isle of Skye when he fell to his death.

The firm, based at Lomeshaye Industrial Estate, decided to donate money raised at its 30th anniversary charity ball and auction in January to the air ambulance. More than 300 employees, associates and friends of the company enjoyed an evening of entertainment at a Skipton hotel at the event.

The company thanked numerous local businesses who supported the event by donating prizes for the auction including DVD recorders, iPods and cash.

Barnfield director Sheila Webber presented the cheque to air ambulance chief executive Lynda Brislin.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Opening win for Barrowford ace

Barrowford's Ian Parkington started the defence of his North West Formula Ford Championship title in fine style, as he won his first race of the year.

Cheshire's Oulton Park was the venue, although his season will also take in the newly revised circuit on the Isle of Anglesey. Competing in the pre-90 class, Ian qualified fourth overall, but was first in class and, considering that the cars in front were built more recently than his, he was delighted with his performance.

He said: "Practice on Friday was very wet, but Saturday's qualifying was nice and dry and I managed to get in a good lap, which put me at the sharp end of the grid. I got a very good start in the race and picked off two cars in front before the first corner.

"I managed to hold station behind the leader fairly comfortably, but on lap nine we encountered a backmarker. The leader got through, but he closed the door on me and forced me onto the grass. I spun but managed to rejoin in sixth.

"I did get back into fifth by the end of the race, which was enough to give me the class victory. The main thing was to score points in the class, but it would have been nice to have made it onto the podium against the newer cars.

"We have totally rebuilt the car from the ground up over the winter, tried a couple of harder suspension set ups and they seem to have worked straight out of the box which is pleasing."

The championship also takes in the Ty Croes circuit on Anglesey, which has had a major face lift and Ian revealed he is "very excited" about racing there.

"It's now a top class venue, a new layout, totally resurfaced and widened and I am really looking forward to racing there, our first event at the circuit is a two day event in May" he said.

Ian receives backing from Hambling Construction of Accrington and Ball Park Engineering of Barrowford and his next outing will be at Oulton Park on April 14.


Pendle Borough Council election looming

Voters in Pendle go to the polls next month in elections that could change the political landscape.

In Pendle the Liberal Democrats are trying to keep control. They currently enjoy majority of eight with their 28 seats. The Tories have 13 seats, Labour five, the BNP one and there are two independents.

The Liberals are defending ten seats, the Conservatives, six, and Marlene Hill Crane, independent for Craven, hopes to keep her place.

The BNP are fielding candidates in six seats, the Green Party three, UKIP two and there are four independents running.

LibDem members of the executive board hoping to keep their seats are John David, member for environment, and Sonia Robinson, member for urban renewal.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Mum is wheelie going for it...

A skateboarding mum-of-two has hit on a wheelie great idea to raise money for a cancer charity.

Architect Laura Powell will be jamming with a group of 30-something skateboarders at a fundraising evening on June 2nd.

The 33-year old, of Lupton Drive, Barrowford, organised the over 21s skateboarding jam to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support after losing her grandfather to the illness in 2005. Mrs Powell, who has been skating for just under 20 years, said: "There's a big demand from older people, people who are over 30.

"Usually there's a lot of skaters who are 17-years-old and this can be quite intimidating, so we have the 21 and over age restriction. It will attract more older people."

She got the idea after she read a message on a skateboarding website aimed at middle-aged skateboarders. A chatroom member posted a message about losing his mother to cancer and the 30 responses to his message made her realise how many people were affected by the illness, she added.

Mrs Powell, who has just finished a seven year training course to qualify as an architect, became interested in skating when she was given a board by a friend at school.

She said: "When I was 14 or 15 I was with a friend's who had a skateboard but was not that bothered about skating.

"We spent all day skating and I have never really stopped except forwhen I had the children."

Mrs Powell, who skates with her husband Mark Nutter, is hoping to raise a thousand pounds from the evening. She said: "Hopefully we will get a lot of people turning up to skate and have fun."

The evening, at Interact Skate Park, Burnley, from 8pm to midnight, will also include a raffle with prizes donated by Vans and Girl, two specialists in skateboarding gear. Tickets cost £10 and all proceeds go to the charity.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Car crime gang targets Vauxhalls

Police believe a single gang of criminals is behind three thefts of Vauxhall cars at the weekend. They also suspect the same group of targeting another three cars, also Vauxhalls.

On Friday night, a white Astra, registration S134 ACP, was taken from Rupert Street, Nelson, and a red Corsa, registration number P399 MKV, was stolen from St Paul's Road, also in Nelson.

On the same night, another red Corsa went from Taylor Street, Brierfield, but the car was later found abandoned in Anne Street.

Also on Friday night, a Play Station Portable worth £100 was stolen from a Corsa in Mansfield Crescent, Brierfield, and in Park Drive, Nelson, two men ran from a gold Corsa when they were disturbed as they tried to force open a door.

And on Saturday, between noon and 8pm, registration plates R574 ACK were stolen from a silver Corsa in Barrowford, and later used to disguise a car which drove off without paying from a petrol station in Kelbrook.

Insp Russ Proctor, of Nelson police, said: "We are linking all of these offences because they all target the same make of car and all happened in a similar area at a similar time.

"We would like anyone who knows anything about these incidents, or has seen anyone acting suspiciously around Vauxhall cars, to contact us."


Sunday, April 01, 2007