Saturday, 1 January 2011

Police look to trace owner of stash of suspected stolen clothing

Police are urging market stall holders and shop owners to check their stock after a stash of suspected stolen sports clothing was handed to officers.

The clothing, estimated to be worthy between £600 - £1,000, was found by a member of the public in Lancaster on Thursday 30th December.

It is not known who the clothing belongs to, but officers believe it may have been stolen from a local trader.

PC Phil Salliss, Lancaster police, said: “The clothing is wrapped and appears to be stock rather than someone’s personal belongings. I would ask local market stall traders and shop owners who may have shut down over Christmas to check their lock ups and other storage places to see if anything is missing.

"The clothing is distinctive and the rightful owner will be able to provide a description of it.”

• Contact PC Salliss on 01524 63333 quoting log ref LC-20101230-0449

Friday, 31 December 2010

Love Morecambe Bay? Tell the Dukes why...

What do you love about Morecambe Bay?

The Dukes is asking locals and visitors to share their love for the beautiful bay to coincide with the opening of Quicksand, a new play inspired by its landscape.

Do you have stories about growing up on the bay or just love the inspiring landscape and Lakeland views?

Perhaps you fell in love while watching the sun set over the sands or remember taking part in a cross bay walk, fishing in its waters, or travelling around the bay on what must be one of the country’s most scenic train routes?

Whatever the reason for loving Morecambe Bay, The Dukes wants to hear from you. Special postcards where you can jot down your memories are available from the Moor Lane theatre in Lancaster.

Alternatively, you can email your comments or photos to or visit the Quicksand blog at

Memories and photos received will be displayed at The Dukes during the run of Quicksand and will be available to read on the theatre’s website.

Dukes director, Joe Sumsion, has already got the ball rolling with his particularly romantic memory of Morecambe Bay.

He said: “For me the bay is beautiful, inspiring and very romantic – and I have a lot to thank it for.

“In 1994 when I was out to impress Jilly, my new girlfriend, I brought her to Morecambe for the weekend. The sunset that Saturday, viewed from the Midland Hotel was wonderful.

"It must have been good – we soon moved to the seaside and were married three years later”.

Joe will be directing the world premiere of Quicksand, a story of forbidden love set on Morecambe Bay.

This co-production opens at The Dukes on 27th January and runs until 12th February before transferring to Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake from 16th - 26th February.

• For tickets priced £5-16, call The Dukes Box Office on 01524 598500 or

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Litter offenders pick up hefty fines

Three people have been fined for dropping cigarette butts in Morecambe Town Centre and ordered to pay a total of £510 by a court.

As part of a crackdown in June by Lancaster City Council, 75 people were issued with £80 fixed penalty notices for dropping cigarette butts and litter in the Lancaster district.

Melissa Tubbs, of Redruth Drive, Carnforth, failed to pay the fine. She did not appear in court and the case was heard in her absence. Tubbs was ordered to pay a £175 fine, £60 costs, and £15 victim surcharge.

Anthony Hellier of Palatine Avenue, Lancaster was also fined £75 and ordered to pay £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge after failing to appear in court.

Joanne Thorpe of Poulton Road, Morecambe pleaded guilty to littering and failing to provide her name and address, and was given a conditional discharge for six months and ordered to pay £70 costs.

Coun Jon Barry, Cabinet member with responsibility for the environment, said: “One of Lancaster City Council's key priorities is to make our district a cleaner and healthier place to live.

"We hope these cases show that we are more than willing to pursue litter offenders through the courts in order to keep our district clean and tidy.”

Anyone who drops litter is liable to an £80 on the spot fine if caught by a member of council staff, a Police Community Support Officer, or even a member of the public.

• Anybody who witnesses someone dropping litter should contact the city council’s customer service centre on 01524 582491.

Warm Up for Winter with LESS

People in Lancaster and Morecambe now have access to a new independent energy advice service to help them stay warm this winter, thanks to the Home Energy Service, a community project run by local sustainability organisation LESS.

The service offers free energy advice on insulating your home, accessing grants, feed in tariffs, local suppliers and home renewable energy options and aims to help people save energy, reduce their fuel bills and cut carbon emissions through a team of local volunteers who will come and visit you in your home and go through a survey on your energy use.

This information is then passed on to a qualified energy officer, who produces a personal report for the household with specific recommendations for saving energy.

The service depends on volunteers, and offers training, support and regular get togethers. If you would like a survey, are interested in training to be one of the volunteers, or have any other queries relating to energy, contact LESS on, or telephone 01524 66100 and ask for Peter or Kathy.

Peter Wiltshire, the Energy Officer for the service has lots of low cost energy saving tips for people, to help them stay warm and save energy this winter. His reports also contain lists of local suppliers and the services they provide, as well as potential carbon savings from implementing his recommendations. He is also on hand to provide advice more generally on specific energy issues within the home, and to discuss introducing renewable technology and its benefits- both financial and environmental.

Kathy New, the project coordinator explained "The project has so many benefits- we can help people to stay warm, save money on their fuel bills and reduce their carbon emissions all at the same time.

"Lancaster district has a higher than average number of people living in fuel poverty - that is people who spend more than 10% of their income on energy, and has also had a high number of people dying from cold in recent winters.

"Our project aims to help those people by encouraging them to take positive steps to insulate their homes and reduce their energy use.

"Walking round after a frosty night, you can really see which homes aren’t properly insulated, and all that energy - and money- is being wasted. Our volunteers know their local communities, and they can really help people on a 1-1 basis."

"So far I have attended three training sessions, all of which have been interesting," says Steve Clarke of his experiences as a volunteer, "and have carried out four household surveys, all with people I know well, which is a great confidence booster.

"In a few weeks’ time I expect to move on to survey the homes of people I don’t know.

"I think that the service has a great potential for good, both in helping financially the less well off in the district and in suggesting ways in which people can reduce their carbon footprint."

Next month (January), LESS will have access to a thermal imaging camera, and this will be used to pinpoint specific areas of heat loss both to the outside world and within the homes surveyed.

The Home Energy Service project is run by LESS, a community interest company aiming to promote sustainable solutions for people across the Lancaster district and is joint funded by the Energy Peoples Trust and a Charities Aid Foundation Trust. The project is modelled on a similar scheme currently running in Shropshire (see which last year recorded average savings of £380 off fuel bills and 29% off carbon per household.

• More information about the service, and other LESS projects can be found on their web site

‘Spare the hare’ and crack down on cruel sport

Police are working with farmers in Wyre to crack down on illegal hare coursing.

Officers will be presenting farmers with signs to place on their land, warning potential hare coarsers that locals will be reporting them to the police.

Hare coursing sees dogs pitted against each other while chasing a hare across rural land, with the winner being determined by its speed and agility. The sport was made illegal in 2005 with the introduction of the Hunting Bill.

The signs – which bare the slogan ‘spare the hare’ will be erected on land in Preesall, Garstang, Pilling, Nateby, Eagland Hill, Bleasdale and Caldervale.

PCSO Natalie Johnstone, Over Wyre neighbourhood police team, said: “Due to its rural setting, a lot of people come to this area to try and carry out hare coursing. Even with the permission of the landowner, this is illegal.

“Not only is hare coursing cruel and against the law," she added, "it also brings the added risk of additional crime with it – hare coursers are usually trespassing, can commit criminal damage and may also carry out opportunistic crime such as thefts or burglaries.”

Rural residents and businesses that are members of Lancashire Police’s FarmWatch scheme will also receive text messages urging them to report hare coursers.

PCSO Johnstone added: “The signs and the text messages will raise awareness of the issue. The more people that we have helping us keep an eye out, the better we can be at preventing crime in Wyre.”

• Anyone with information about hare coursing, or any other rural crime, should contact police on 0845 1 25 35 45. Dial 999 in an emergency.