Saturday, 20 April 2013

Ullswater 'Steamers' Launch Summer Cruise And Electric Bike Tour Packages

Ullswater Steamers

If you're considering a 'Staycation' this summer, then perhaps a short trip to the Lakes, right on our doorstep, is an option. If so, then you might be interested in some new pleasure and pedal packages from lake cruise company Ullswater ‘Steamers’.

New Electric Bike Cruise Explorer Tours combine a lake cruise on England’s most beautiful lake, Ullswater, with a guided electric bike tour led by an experienced and inspirational Blue Badge Guide – a mine of information and interesting facts and figures.

Two different options are available. Tour 1, running on 16th June, is a Lowther-themed tour that also has strong daffodil connections built into its itinerary. The tour starts at 9.30am at Pooley Bridge Pier House at the top of Ullswater for a 9.45am sailing to Howtown. The group disembark to mount their electric bikes, which will be the wind beneath their wings for the rest of the day.

The guided cycle tour includes visiting Gowbarrow, where William Wordsworth saw the daffodils (Lenten Lilies) that inspired his most famous poem. The itinerary then takes the cyclists to Eusemere, Barton Church, Askham village and Lowther Castle, for a tour of the castle and gardens.

En route, the party enjoy a light lunch at the Queen’s Head, Tirril, consisting of home-produced cold meat pie, bread and butter and chutney, with a bowl of chips to share. This tour ends at Pooley Bridge at approximately 5.00pm.

Tour 2 runs on 5th May and 26th July with a Dacre theme. The day starts at Pooley Bridge Pier at the top of the lake at 9.30am for the 9.45am sailing to Howtown. Once everyone is in the saddle of their electric bike, the group will depart for Howtown village, Sharrow Bay and Eusemere, taking in Dacre Church (home to the megalithic stone Dacre Bears and ancient crosses), Dacre Castle and a rare breeds farm at Stoddah famed for its venison and beef (Deer ‘n’ Dexter).

Great views and lots of wildlife sightings are assured and the group can purchase items for their saddlebag from Deer ‘n’ Dexter, if they wish.

This tour enjoys a light lunch at the Horse & Farrier in Dacre, consisting of soup and bread and butter and ends at Pooley Bridge at around 4.30pm.

Both of these tour experiences are available to adults and children aged 14 and above (the legal age required for the riding of an electric bike on the road). With electric power behind them, the cyclists should all be able to tackle the routes with ease, allowing the electric power to take the strain of any hills and rises and kick in when the legs need some help.

• The Lowther tour costs £45 per person and the Dacre tour £40 per person. Book at www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk or call 017684 82229.

 

Friday, 19 April 2013

Man charged with two counts of murder, Bolton-Le-Sands


Today, the Crown Prosecution Service have authorised Lancashire Constabulary to charge a 34 year old man with two counts of murder. Paul Chadwick, 34, of Lowlands Road in Bolton le Sands, is charged with murdering 40 year old Lisa Clay and 6 year old Joseph Chadwick.

Police discovered the bodies of Lisa and Joseph at their home address on Tuesday 9th April. A home office post mortem examination revealed that both died from multiple stab wounds.
Chadwick has been remanded to appear before Preston Magistrates on 20/04/13.

See previous story:
Mother and son found dead in Bolton-le-Sands named

Calling all Community Groups

Transition City Lancaster has asked us to post the following invitation
http://www.transitioncitylancaster.org/

To all Community Groups, Charities, CICs, Co-ops:
A call to support each other and possibly share assets 


In the present financial climate everybody is struggling to survive and there is a real possibility that some groups essential to the future of the Lancaster and Morecambe area will not make it through. The existence of many groups who aspire to make a sustainable and resilient future is threatened by both local and international financial conditions which leave them teetering on the edge of existence.

Often we are bidding for funds to buy the same equipment and often we're chasing the same pot of funds.  Funds are not the only thing we need to keep our heads above water - we need a bigger community involvement and client/user groups to support us, and we need to buy and renew various bits of essential equipment - whether that is a wheelbarrow, a poly-tunnel or a vehicle, office equipment, or something else.

It is possible that our thriving may depend on our ability to think laterally and use our willingness to try alternative ways of working and pooling our many and varied assets. Our end goal is the same so perhaps there are new ways we need to work together.

On Wednesday 1 May there will be a short meeting from 7-9pm upstairs at the Robert Gillow, Lancaster, to discuss assets that could possibly be shared and state needs that could possibly be jointly funded. If we all share this as widely as possible in the next few weeks it will give everyone time to pinpoint precisely how this could be of use to them.  

If you are able to attend please contact

Viv Preece, email:  whitetaraAThotmail.co.uk
Incredible Edible Lancaster
Transition City Lancaster

or Wendy Haslam, email: winschild4ATgmail.com
Transition City Lancaster

Education: Tots, Teens & In-Betweens

As we hear plans for longer school hours, shorter school holidays and an increase in the school leaving age, and we look forward to hearing plans for extra staffing to deal with it, local parents will be relieved to hear that Lancashire's schools are ahead of the game when it comes to quality, according to new statistics.

Figures just released by Ofsted, the government's schools watchdog, show the inspection results of maintained schools across the country - including percentages of schools in each local authority which are rated as Good or Outstanding. On that score, types of schools in Lancashire - nurseries, and primary, secondary and special schools - are all above the national average. (Read more about it here).

Raising the Participation Age (RPA)
Graham Jones, MP for Haslingdon & Hyndburn is concerned about the quantity however. He told us: '"This September every 16 year old will have to stay on in education and training. It's a significant change with every child 'staying on' including those troubled or vulnerable children who would have previously dropped out at 16 or those that dropped out before reaching the age of 18."

He is deeply worried that young people and education and training establishments are not prepared for the changes and that young people may end up being pushed into course choices that are not in their best interests. He said 'I spoke to some of the schools and they did not recognise the numbers at all that were quoted. I spoke with senior staff at the college and they were concerned that no contact had been made with them - the primary providers of 16-18 education." Read more at:
http://hhgrahamjones.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/raising-particpation-age-lancashires.html

New funding for pre-school care
New funding of nearly £27m over two years means that up to 20% of all two-year-olds will get around 10 hours per week early education and childcare this September, and that figure will double in September 2014. Lancashire County Council has supported a small but growing number of funded places for two-year-olds since 2009, and positive outcomes have been reported for both parents and children.

Now the government has brought in the scheme nationally, which means local authorities must ensure there are places for disadvantaged two-year-olds. In Lancashire, this could be up to 2,600 children this September, rising to 6,700 a year later. (Read more about this).

Eligible children can get up to 570 free hours of childcare per year, up to a maximum of 15 hours a week, over at least 38 weeks per year. Children from families receiving one of the following would be eligible:

- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seekers' Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- If you have an annual income of less than £16,190 and get Child Tax Credit, provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

“Small Business Saturday” idea debated by Council

Local councillors voiced their support for a Small Business Saturday at yesterday's City Council meeting, hoping to get backing for a day that would put small business in the spotlight and encourage people to support them.

Councillor Margaret Pattison served the Notice of Motion championing “Small Business Saturdays”, seconded by Councillor Terrie Metcalfe and supported by various other councillors.

The motion - which is being debated by councils across the length and breadth of England - called on the Council to back the idea of a Small Business Saturday to celebrate and encourage residents and tourists to shop at small local shops on a designated date in the year.

Councillor Pattison, who had led the local campaign in Lancaster and Morecambe said “This is an idea whose time has come.  I’d like to see local councils, trade associations and business organisations showcasing their small businesses through national, regional, local and online media. 

"These businesses are the life blood of our economy," she argues, "playing a hugely important role in our communities and contributing greatly to the local character and uniqueness of our district”. 

Councillor Pattison revealed that she had spoken in person and on the phone to around eighty different and varied operations and had received universal support. 

“They are all so friendly and so keen to add the personal touch," she said, "which they believe makes them different and better to many of their high street competitors.”

Councillor Terrie Metcalfe seconded the motion declaring that she had worked for many years in retailing but that she had seen significant changes over that time. 

“When I first moved in to my present neighbourhood we had two newsagents, a butchers, a bakers, two corner shops and a post office," she noted. "Today, they have all disappeared. 

"The big names have a part to play, but local businesses put their money back into local businesses.”

Councillor David Whittaker said that like many others he had seen more and more supermarkets move into the area and consequently there were many empty boarded up shops where there used to be flourishing business. 

“I know that this campaign is taking off in places like Manchester, Birmingham and London," he noted. "Now we can bring the campaign to our area. Let’s work with the council to give a shot in the arm to small local businesses”.

New Canal Corridor Public Consultation launched by British Land

Disused Mitchell's Brewery building
Image courtesy British Land

New owners of the Canal Corridor development site British Land tell us today that to begin their engagement with the local community, they will be posting an introductory leaflet to every home and business in the Lancaster City Council area next week. (You can download a PDF copy of the leaflet here).

A project website – www.canalcorridor.info – has also been established and their aim is to make this a constant source of up-to-date information on the scheme as it evolves over the coming months.

British Land aims to bring the development forward through working in partnership with Lancaster City Council and in close liaison with English Heritage, other key stakeholders and the local community.

The company will be seeking everyone’s suggestions and comments about the proposed development and the website features an online feedback form for people to submit their views. An email address – feedback@canalcorridor.info – has also been provided and for those who prefer to submit their comments by post or do not have internet access, a Freepost address ‘FREEPOST CANAL CORRIDOR’ has also been set up.

Community Consultation Day in Market Square

To begin to meet and get to know local people, British Land will be holding a ‘Community Day’ on Tuesday 14th May – when people will be able to meet members of the British Land team and discuss ideas for the development in a mobile exhibition trailer to be parked in Lancaster’s Market Square.

Richard Wise, Head of UK Retail Asset Management and Development for British Land said: “Our aim is to deliver a scheme that complements the site’s historic setting and we look forward to creating a retail and leisure destination to serve local people and attract significant numbers of visitors to the city.”

The British Land development team has already started to engage with both English Heritage and key local stakeholders such as the two theatres. They tell us that a comprehensive engagement programme to consult the public and local interest groups will follow over the coming months, and the feedback received will be used to help inform the development of the scheme.

British Land note in their leaflet that they are taking steps to ensure that the listed malthouse and brewery tower are made safe and that they will be undertaking the repairs in close liaison with English Heritage and Lancaster City Council.

The leaflet also notes that 'more and more local people have taken to travelling to Preston, Manchester, Blackpool and even Carlisle to buy the things they want.' VL has today asked BL public relations man Steve Bryson for any data source that might throw more light on this and we will update you with the result.

It is anticipated that conceptual ideas for the development will be ready before the end of the summer and, depending upon how soon planning permission can be secured, construction could start as early as 2015 and the development completed in 2017.

It's Our City

Billy Pye, a member of local residents' group It's Our City (www.itsourcity.org.uk) commented: "We are looking forward to seeing British Land's plans for the site. We would remind people that Centros are still involved as the Development Manager. Given that this is the case, we hope that they have learned from before, and we hope that they carry out meaningful consultations and that that will result in a plan based on what the community actually wants and needs."

Fresh Mix on the Development Team?

British Land, the project’s investor and developer, appointed city centre regeneration specialist, Centros, to manage the development through the planning and construction processes. BL has now appointed an architectural team consisting of retail masterplanners and architects, Chapman Taylor, and historic building specialists, Richard Griffiths Architects.

The current BL development team includes:

• Development manager:  Centros
• Masterplanner and lead architect:  Chapman Taylor
• Historic buildings architect: Richard  Griffiths Architects
• Planning consultant:  GL Hearn
• Transport consultant:  Mayer Brown
• Structural engineer and environmental consultant:  Waterman Group
• Quantity Surveyor:  Gleeds
• Letting agent:  Jones Lang LaSalle
• Valuation surveyor:  Hitchcock Wright
• Lawyer:  Lawrence Graham

• You can find extensive background on the above Canal Corridor development story by searching this blog for 'Canal Corridor', Centros' and 'British Land'. The history prior to October 2008 can be searched at www.virtual-lancaster.net.

Teen assaulted at Morecambe bus stop

(Updated, 22/4/13: Police incorrectly advised on date of assault, corrected): Detectives are appealing for information after a 14 year old boy was assaulted at a bus stop in Morecambe.

The teenager was punched by another male in an unprovoked attack as he was waiting for a bus on Westminster Road at 3.10pm on Thursday 28th March.

He then picked up a piece of slate and struck the 14 year old in the face causing a severe injury to his right eye.

The teenager was treated at Royal Lancaster Infirmary and was later discharged but he is continuing to undergo treatment.

Detective Constable Tris Hardwick said: “This was a nasty and unprovoked assault which has left the teenager with a serious injury to his eye, the full extent of which is still unknown.

“If anybody has any information about this assault or knows who is responsible please contact police.”

A 16 year old boy from Morecambe has been arrested on suspicion of section 20 wounding and has been released on bail pending further enquiries.

• Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Unemployment up in Lancaster

Figures from the Labour Market Survey released today reveal that unemployment in Lancashire has gone up again, with Burnley, Lancaster and Fleetwood and Preston suffering the most.

Across the UK, the figures also indicated the employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 71.4%, virtually unchanged from September to November 2012 but up 0.9 percentage points from a year earlier. There were 29.70 million people in employment aged 16 and over, down 2,000 from September to November 2012 but up 488,000 from a year earlier.

There were 2.56 million unemployed people, up 70,000 from September to November 2012 but down 71,000 from a year earlier. The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 22.2% (the lowest since 1991), down 0.2 percentage points from September to November 2012 and down 0.7 from a year earlier.

Across the UK the employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 for the three months to February 2013 compared to the three months to November 2012, showed very few large changes.
The largest increase was for Scotland which increased by 1.0 percentage point. 

Meanwhile the largest decrease in employment was for the North East which decreased by 1.1 percentage points.  Again it is unclear whether this is the start of a period of decreases, with the employment rate having generally risen for the North East over the previous year.

Across the country the underlying picture appears to be quite flat for most regions, with only the West Midlands and London having shown any sustained pattern of increase in employment rates.

Employment rates remain higher in the South East and East of England, both at 74.8%, and the South West at 74.5% than the rest of the UK.

Regional figures for the unemployment rate are quite volatile, which needs to be allowed for when considering the pattern of change over time.
"Once again Lancashire has been let down by this Tory-led Government," commented Jennifer Mein, Lancashire Labour's Group Leader. "David Cameron and George Osborne refuse to see that they’ve got it wrong on the economy – so 17,400 people in Lancashire have lost their jobs since they took office.

"This year alone, 7,000 people in Lancashire have lost their jobs. We need growth and jobs and that’s what Labour’s pushing for.

"Labour is calling for a compulsory jobs guarantee, so all people unemployed for more than two years, or for young people more than one, will get a job which they have to accept.

"Lancashire Labour has pledged to invest more in local apprenticeships to give young people the opportunities they’re currently being denied."

• Get all the Labour Market Survey tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .

R.I.P.



Spotlight storms the Storey with poems, prose and music

Spotlight will be sparking up a storm at the Story on Friday (19th April), with its usual mix of performing poets, writers and musicians and their ever unpredictable "open mic" openeing session.

The Literary Line-Up: 

Jim Turner - Poetry 

Lancaster poet Jim Turner 'is likely to 'lead us up a mountain or two. Many of his poems take inspiration and setting from trips to the far north of Scotland, but whilst maintaining a descriptive integrity he achieves the happy knack of humanizing the landscape. So wild terrain echoes emotion, each metaphorically commenting on the other without obvious contrivance.'

Xenia Schiller - Prose 

Xenia Schiller is currently living in Scotland, where she is a postgraduate in the Universityof Glasgow's Creative Writing Programme. She will be reading a piece about the unique challenges of growing up as an identical triplet with an unstable single mother in Hollywood and the Bible Belt.

Helen Price - Poetry 

Helen is fairly new to writing. All her life she thought she couldn’t write and certainly didn’t want to. Nor did anyone ever suggest that it might be fun. But four years ago she tried it when a friend persuaded her to join a writing class. She will be reading short poems, maybe a light-hearted sonnet or two.

Ros Ballinger - Poetry 

"I'm an English and Creative Writing graduate who's edging into the world of performance poetry," she says. "I write about people and events vastly different from my own life (I often seem to focus on lives that are cut short, such as Trayvon Martin, Rosemary Kennedy, Steven Milligan and Cameron Todd Willingham), to make up for the fact that my own life isn't particularly exciting!

Jordan Hurst - Music

"I'm a third year maths student at Lancaster University," says Jordan. "My music is heavily influenced by modern day country music and lyrics that I hope everyone who is listening can relate to. I performed at Spotlight as part of the 'Listening To Youth' project in 2012, and went on to perform at Larks In The Park on the acoustic stage.'

More info:
http://www.mp3unsigned.com/JordanHurst
https://soundcloud.com/jlhurst

Mikey Kenny - Music

Mikey will be no stranger to Spotlight regulars or anyone who follows the local music scene. He is a consumate musician, singer and songwriter from Liverpool, plays numerous instruments but is known primarily to perform whilst singing with a fiddle or a guitar.
Ottersgear is the name of Mikey's musical folk/pop/art project which consists of numerous installments, the first of which Ottersgear: The Quest for Rest was released on the Sotones label in 2012.

Compered by Simon Baker, Spotlight is at The Storey, Lancaster Doors Open 8.00pm Open Mic 8.30 - 9pm (£4 / £2 students/unwaged/concessions). Web: www.spotlightlancaster.co.uk

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Signposts charity to close as need increases



Due to funding cuts Signposts (http://www.signposts.org.uk/), the charity which runs the Multi Agency Resource Centre (MARC) on Regent Road in Morecambe,  is to close its operations on Friday 26 April. The Signposts Board has issued the following statement:

"It is with great regret that the Signposts Board has had to take the difficult decision to cease operation after almost twenty years of providing support to the West End of Morecambe and Lancaster District and ten years in Preston.

"The Chair of the Board, Phil Wilkinson said that the impact of the financial climate on Signposts has been profound and although significant progress has been made towards sustainability through restructuring, cost savings and work to secure new funding, it has become financially impossible to maintain Signposts at a viable level.

"John Heath, Chief Executive said that the staff team are now working with the many committed volunteers who support Signposts to help them and the communities they work with deal with the significant impact of the loss of these vital services. The timing, given the changes within the benefits system, could not be worse and the added pressure that the closure of Signposts will place on other services is likely to be significant if they are to prevent the people Signposts worked for falling through the cracks.

"We’re working with our commissioners to ensure that as many of the services Signposts delivers can be sustained into the future and where possible elements of our work will transfer to other providers.

"Sharon Calverley, Director of Operations and Development has been at Signposts from very early in its history and is herself a product of the success of Signposts. She came to deliver an eight week training crèche just after the service opened and has grown and developed within the organisation and her experience and commitment to the team and the very ethos of signposts has been pivotal to our successes.

"Sharon is keen to celebrate the work of the volunteers within the service who have worked tirelessly to support the communities in which they work. She said 'Our volunteers have a huge range of skills and abilities which I hope will be able to be used within the community – they are immensely disappointed that the service is closing but have shown immense resilience and are keen to ensure our clients continue to receive the best possible service within the current circumstances.

'Apart from the significant achievements of Signposts over the last two decades our volunteers are our biggest asset and deserve total respect for their passion, commitment and dedication to the work.'"


John Heath added: 'Signposts will close on Friday 26th April – this gives the team time to share information with our service users and to help them to engage with other services.  On a personal note, I am keen to thank the Board, our partners, funders and particularly the team for their support during the last 12 months in my role as Chief Executive – without their efforts Signposts could not have achieved so much during its final year of operation.'"

Update 19/4/13: A facebook group, 'Save Our Service', for volunteers has been set up, sending out an S.O.S  to the local Morecambe community to help set up a new volunteer lead organisation.

Man assaulted in Lancaster


Calkeld Lane, Lancaster


Police are appealing for witnesses after a man suffered a broken nose when he was assaulted in Lancaster.

Between 12.15am and 1.30am on Sunday 14th April, a 29 year old man was punched in an unprovoked attack on Church Street at the junction of the Calkeld Lane alleyway, which runs alongside Bella Italia.

Unfortunately, the man wasn’t able to get a description of the offender, but it is believed there may have been someone nearby who witnessed this incident.

PC Ben Hanley said: “If anybody has any information about this incident or knows who was responsible then I would urge them to contact police.

“In particular, we believe somebody directly witnessed this incident, if this was you please come forward.”

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Lancashire residents wise-up to scams

Lancashire residents have saved themselves over £400,000 by handing in mail attempting to rip them off during this year's Scamnesty campaign.

Almost 500 new scams were handed in by the public during February's Scamnesty which saw Lancashire County Council's Trading Standards service and Lancashire Police encourage residents to deposit any scams they received at collection points throughout the county.

The intelligence received through Scamnesty, now in its fourth year, has been invaluable in helping to warn people how to avoid specific scams.

Reports of fraud are also up by eight per cent for the year to 673 complaints which represents progress against studies which show just five per cent of victims report their experience.

Lee Ormandy, from Lancashire County Council Trading Standards, said: "If people had actually fallen for the hundreds of scams which were handed in during Scamnesty we estimate it would have cost them over £400,000.

"National research shows that very few people are willing to report they've been ripped off, whether through lack of knowledge, fear, embarrassment, or because they would sooner forget their bad experience.

"This leads us to believe that the 600 to 700 fraud complaints we receive each year represent a small fraction of the total problem, with studies estimating that in fact around 76,000 people in Lancashire lose money to a scam every year.

"While on the face of it a rise in fraud may appear to be a bad thing, we believe the small number of extra cases reported this year is evidence that the Scamnesty campaign may be helping to turn the corner, ensuring people are better informed and encouraging more people to report problems."

Detective Constable Mark Aldridge, Lancashire Constabulary’s fraud evaluation & liaison officer, said: "We are delighted to have supported Trading Standards in this important campaign, which has effectively prevented fraudsters from scamming hundreds of thousands of pounds from Lancashire residents.

"Being scammed in this way can not only be hugely inconvenient and embarrassing for the victim but it can cause a great deal of distress and financial upset.

"Predominantly the criminals behind these types of scams are based outside the UK making investigation extremely difficult, so always remember if it looks too good to be true it probably is.

"We work closely with the county council and other agencies tackle fraud and I urge all members of the public to continue to be wary of any company asking them to transfer money to bank accounts that are held in individuals’ names. Anyone who is unsure about a company that is looking to do business with them could consider checking them out via Consumer Direct."

In 2013, the Scamnesty campaign identified the following four rip-offs to be the most prolific in the county:

• Prize Draws (56%) – a scam claiming you have won a guaranteed prize. However you must pay a fee, order a product, or call a premium rate phone number before the prize can be claimed. On the rare occasion a prize actually exists it is usually of far less value than the money paid to received it.

• Psychics (23%) – a scam making predictions and promises of good fortune, but only on the condition you send money or pay a fee – the supposed psychic can be aggressive, threatening terrible misfortune for not complying.

• Lotteries (13%) – a scam claiming you have won a large sum, but requiring money and/or personal information to be sent before bogus winnings can be claimed.

• Data 'phishing' (6%) – a scam designed to trick you into revealing personal information by asking you to update, validate or confirm your details.

Consumer Direct can be contacted on 08454 040506. If you think you may have been a victim of fraud then visit www.actionfraud.org.uk or call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. You can sign up to receive updates on scams in Lancashire at www.facebook.com/stanleydards or search for Scambuster Stan on Facebook.

Handmade & Vintage Summer Market calls for Artists, Makers and traders


The organiser of the Handmade & Vintage Summer Market - offering locally made goods side by side with "how to" talks and more - is inviting applications from artists, makers, designers and vintage traders who are interested in taking a stall.

The Handmade & Vintage Market is organised by Suzy Jones, an independent curator and  maker based in Lancaster.

Taking place in the Storey, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster on 22nd June 2013 the summer market follows on the success of a festive market Suzy says has become very successful with approximately 1000 visitors and a bunch of very happy sellers.

"To build on this success we are delivering our first summer market supported by a professional development programme," she says, "including a masterclass by the organisers of the award winning Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair.

"As usual this will be a curated fair ensuring high quality and a broad offer to our visitors, and a chance for stall holders to meet like minded people, learn new things and share knowledge.

Stalls cost £38 each.

You can also take this opportunity to apply early for the Handmade & Vintage Festive Market which this year will take place over two days Saturday 7 and Sunday 8th December.

The stall fee is £75 for the two days (which includes a six foot table and one chair). Please tick the appropriate box on the application form to be considered for both the summer and festive event.

To apply you will need to complete an application form and send five images of your work. Here is a link to the online application form: http://iamsuzy.form2go.com/81449.html

The deadline for applications is 5.00pm, Friday 3rd May. For more details please contact Suzy Jones by emailing jonesquared@gmail.com

Lancashire Burglary campaign hailed a success

A crackdown on burglary in Lancashire has been hailed a success after police arrested over 320 people.

The campaign codenamed Operation Julius - which was launched last month, has seen officers seize almost £44k of stolen property and visited numerous burglary suspects.

Police have executed 32 search warrants, spoken to over 500 burglary suspects, seized 54 vehicles and visited more than 247 second hand shops.

Despite the operation being over, police are warning that the fight against burglary will go on.

Superintendent Damian Darcy said: “I am pleased with the results of the operation which show we have been working hard to reduce the number of people affected by this intrusive crime.

“Despite the success this is just the start and we will continue to focus our efforts on those who persistently commit burglaries.

“Residents have an important part to play in locking out thieves and I urge people to make sure they keep their homes and vehicles locked and secure.

“Burglary levels in Lancashire are already at unprecedented lows but as part of our determination to keep it that way the operation is aimed at further reducing the number of crimes and at targeting known offenders.”

Action during Operation Julius included identifying Lancashire’s top burglary offenders, and executing warrants and providing high visibility police patrols in burglary hot spot areas.

Officers used a range of overt and covert tactics to tackle suspected offenders, some of which involved filming them to prevent burglaries, and issuing warning letters designed to warn burglars against committing crime.