Saturday, 28 March 2009

Lunecy Review Launched

If you're fan of local arts - theatre, writing, music, poetry, art - then check out new web site The Lunecy Review, who are keen to attract more writers for the project.

The brainchild of Kev McVeigh (pictured), it's dedicated to covering the arts in the Lancaster and South Lakes areas. Covering local artists and those from afar who visit the area, The Lunecy Review aims to support, encourage and promote the huge numbers of talented musicians, writers, artists and performers of all kinds that make this area such a cultural highspot.

"After just a few weeks, the site is attracting attention from many sectors of the local artistic community," says Kev. "Now we want more, more readers (obviously), more contributors, and more news of events in the area that we, or our readership want to learn about.

"Lancaster, Kendal, Ulverston, The Lakes, Morecambe and in between offer so much in the Arts that so few people are always aware of," he continues. "From the L*A*W*M* nights at The Yorkshire House, to Poem & A Pint in Ulverston, featuring award-winning local talent such as novelist Sarah Hall and rising stars such as photographic team PRSquared and musicians Ottersgear and Jo Gillot, via the established events like Spotlight Club and the new ventures such as Vivid Arts, we at The Lunecy Review truly believe in the artistic community around the Bay and into The Lakes.

"We also believe that a thriving community needs its critical component, which we hope we can be part of," he entuses.

"For that, we need readers and contributors, and of course that vital element, publicity!"

• Check out The Lunecy Review at:

Friday, 27 March 2009

Local Girl Wins national 'Bike It' Prize

Amaranta Williams, a pupil from Dallas Road Primary School, recently beat pupils from other Sustrans Bike It schools across the North with her colourful bike flag design and won a brand new Islabike.

Six other pupils from the school, along with pupils from other local Bike It schools were chosen to have their flag designs made into real flags for their bikes.

To enter the Sustrans ‘Bike It Flag It’ competition, children from Bike It schools all over the country designed flags for their bikes. 350 pupils from seven Lancaster and Morecambe Bike It schools entered the competition as did thousands of pupils from Bike It schools across the country.

“It’s brilliant that the winner of the North is from the Lancaster district," commented Sustrans Bike It Officer Kathy Bashford. "The quality of the designs was really high, showing lots of children in Bike It schools have enthusiasm for and an awareness of the benefits of cycling.”

The Bike It project works directly with pupils, parents and staff in over 400 schools and over 60,000 children and young people across England and Wales to help them overcome whatever it is that is preventing them from cycling to school. This includes organising cycle training, helping to install new bike sheds, contributing to classroom work and providing information about safe routes to schools.

Participating schools across England have seen levels of cycling treble within a year – bucking the trend in declining numbers of children cycling to school.

Dallas Road Primary School is one of 23 Sustrans Bike It Schools in Lancaster and Morecambe, where the project is supported by the Lancaster City Council Cycle Demonstration Town project. Bike It is a nationwide scheme, managed by sustainable transport charity Sustrans. Nationally the project is funded by Cycling England, and the cycle industry through the Bike Hub.

Staff, parents and teachers who are interested in promoting cycling and walking in their school are encouraged to call the Sustrans School Travel Team on 0117 915 0100 for free information and advice.

• Further information about Sustrans and Bike It, including other news releases, is available at For local Bike It info please click here

Amnesty's Good Friday Gig

The Lancaster Group of Amnesty International are hosting a fundraising gig at The Gregson on Good Friday (10th April) with an eclectic mix of local talent, including Al Baker & The Dole Queue, the 'astoundingly good' post-rock band from Kirkby Lonsdale The Dark Con of Man, acoustic guitarist Steph Fraser, Benni Beard, The Idol Minds and DJ SilentMark. It promises to be a night of fun, frolics and fundraising!!

• More info from or on the facebook group 'Lancaster Amnesty International'. Doors open 7.30pm, Ticket price £4 pounds on the door. Contact: Claire

Local MEP delighted by vistory for Valencian land grab victims

The European Parliament's adoption of a highly critical report into so-called 'Valencian land grabs' will send a powerful signal to the Spanish authorities to end this scandal, feels local MEP Sir Robert Atkins, Conservative petitions spokesman in Strasbourg.

Sir Robert has led the call for MEPs to speak out against the demolition of thousands of properties in Spain - many of them belonging to British expatriates - without compensation. In some cases, the authorities have even charged the property owners for the installation of local infrastructure, even after they have lost their property

A number of Conservative MEPs including Neil Parish and Roger Helmer have been active in the campaign to end the scandal, which led to the parliament adopting the report drafted by Margrete Auken, a Danish Green MEP.

"We have heard from so many British citizens who were frankly victims of a scandal sanctioned by the Spanish authorities," says Sir Robert. "The emotional and financial trauma so many home owners have suffered must be put right.

"Over the years we have been beset by British expatriates who have presented hundreds of petitions representing thousands of residents. We simply could not turn a blind eye and allow this to go on.

"The adoption of the parliament's report is an important step in securing some justice for land grab victims but our campaign will not rest until this unjust law has been overturned."

Lancaster City Council and Centros Issue Statement on Canal Corridor

Lancaster City Council and developer Centros have issued the following statement regarding the proposed Canal Corridor development, which we publish here in full:

Lancaster City Council will take a leading role at the inquiry to promote the development of the Canal Corridor North.

The purpose of the public inquiry is to enable an inspector, appointed by the Secretary of State, to advise her on how to determine this set of planning applications and associated applications for consents.

It is quite different from an inquiry into an appeal against a refusal of planning permission, which would involve the local authority defending its decision against the applicant’s proposal.

In this call-in inquiry, the planning inspector will expect both the local planning authority and the applicant to appear alongside each other to make the case in favour of the grant of permission.

Statutory bodies and third party objectors are able to be represented. They will be given opportunity to challenge the applicants and the planning authority and to put forward their own case to try and persuade the inspector that planning permission should not be granted.

The applicants promoting the Centros development will be there in support of Lancaster City Council. They remain committed to the scheme but believe the cost of having to incur further professional fees in order to repeat the arguments they have already made would be unnecessary in this case. This is not least because these extra costs would implicitly impact on the overall developments costs for the proposal and may compromise the funding available to bring about the community benefits associated with the scheme.

The city council’s decision to take a lead at the inquiry is based on a number of grounds, including the defence of its Planning Committee decision. It is not defending the applicant but is defending the council’s strategic objectives in line with national and regional planning policy for the Lancaster district. Also, whatever the outcome of the Centros application, the city council will be pursuing the comprehensive redevelopment of this site and therefore clarity from the Secretary of State is needed as to whether or not the strategic direction for this site is the right one.
The City Council has allocated £50,000 to fight the public inquiry on the side of the developer, which has been condemned by the Green Party (see news story).

It's Our City Campaign Site
Centros' Castle View Development Site
Council Regeneration Strategy documents on the council web site (PDF files)

Monday, 23 March 2009

Cycling Activities for Youngsters at Lancaster City Museum

Lancaster City Council’s Cycling Demonstration Town Team is offering free cycling activities for children as part of the ‘Get on Yer Bike’ exhibition at Lancaster City Museum.

These fun sessions will take place on Friday 17 April between 10.00am and 1.00pm when youngsters aged 5 - 11, can enjoy a mixture of craft and bike maintenance workshops.

Children aged eight and under should be accompanied by an adult.

• If you’re interested in booking a session for your child, contact the CDT Team at or call 01524 582392