Saturday, 14 May 2011

Lancaster Guardian offices to close?

(with thanks to Sue Parish): Media web site HoldtheFrontPage reports Johnston Press is proposing to close the Lancaster Guardian’s office in Common Garden Street with the loss of three jobs - and move editorial staff to work at the base of the Morecambe Visitor, five miles away.

The newspaper's owners say the move has been put forward because of a ‘significant reduction in footfall’ for its front counter and is proposing to cut two receptionist roles and a cleaner - but the announcement comes after the company revealed advertising sales were down 11 per cent largely because of Government spending cuts and was seeking to make more cuts in its activities.

The Daily Telegraph reports the company says that nationally, advertising was down 10.6 per cent with employment adverts, a major part of its income, falling 30.7 per cent. The period covered 18 weeks to 7th May.

Johnston has also been hit by rises in the cost of news print, all or which means it is seeking economies of around £5 million this year.

The proposals come as the Guardian prepares to switch to a tabloid size on 19 May after 174 years as a broadsheet, putting it in line with the Morecambe Visitor. (We do have to wonder how long it will be before both papers are merged once this happens, although we must stress are not aware of any plans for this).

“Following a detailed review of activity at the front counter, showing the significant reduction in footfall through the front counter, it is proposed to close this branch office,“ said Darren Russell, managing director of Lancaster and Morecambe Newspapers Ltd in a statement. "As a result of this proposal there would be a reduction of two front counter roles, one cleaner and the relocation of the editorial team to Morecambe.

“Prior to any implementation, we will consult extensively. During this consultation process we will explain the procedure, consider all alternatives, examine ways of mitigating the effects of this proposal, determine redundancy terms and address any other issues that may arise.

“We anticipate that this consultation process will be complete by end May 2011.

“In the event this proposal goes ahead, the company will endeavour to minimise the impact of the proposal through re-deployment into alternative positions within the company and the group.”

This seems a very sad moment for our local press and reaction has been savage. "Johnstons could at least let the reporters work from home, sparing them the ordeal of the trudge to and from Morecambe in traffic which is never less than horrendous," commented former Guardian reporter Tom Henry. "For a city like Lancaster not to have local journalists working on the patch is appalling.

"A sad day indeed, and let’s hope the ‘consultation process’ involves the whole community, not just a couple of rubber-stamping suits."

Update, 1 June 2011: Almost as soon as news broke of the possible closure, Johnston Press announced the offices would be closing on 3rd June 2011. A sad day for local journalism.

County Council to run consultations on M6 Link changes

Artist's Impression: How the new bypass will look.

Lancashire County Council will be holding additional public consultations on design changes to the Heysham-M6 Link.

The latest consultations will update local people on changes to the scheme, provide more information about the plans and explain the future process.

These latest steps follow the government's 'green light' on changes to the £137m plus Heysham-M6 Link, which also provides a firm offer of government funding. Design changes were made after the Department for Transport asked the county council to reduce the overall cost.

Before the scheme goes to examination stage next year the Infrastructure Planning Commission requires the County Council to do more consultation and seek the views of local people - something the council has been unwilling to do so far. The council has interpreted this somewhat differently however. Last month, the Campaign for Better Transport noted that the Council's newsletter stated that they won't be consulting on "the need for the road or its location" but "how it will look". So it seems local people won't be allowed to comment on the fundamental issue of the road itself, merely the colour of the lamp posts, If, of course, they haven't already been scrapped due to cost cutting.

Taking place between June and July, the consultation will include public exhibitions at various locations in the area.

Steve McCreesh, project manager, said: "It’s very important that we make sure that people know and understand what the Heysham – M6 Link will deliver and how it will be constructed.

"People will be able to come along to the consultation events and have their say on the proposed changes to the design of the road and because the scheme is now a lot further developed, we can show and explain what the road will really look like, in a way they can easily relate to."

Localised consultation is ongoing with residents affected by the changes. The county council is currently completing design work, taking into account residents' comments. We are aiming to consult again with further proposals in early April.

An amended planning application will need to be submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Commission and the decision will be made by the Secretary of State.

The application to the IPC will be made in the summer following the consultation.

The IPC is an independent public body responsible for the assessment and approval of nationally significant infrastructure projects. It is likely that the Heysham-M6 link will be the first road scheme progressed through this new process.

The new planning process will mean construction is now estimated to begin Spring 2013.

The consultations will take place as follows:

- Thursday 9th June - 2.30 - 7.30pm, Memorial Hall, Hanging Green Lane, Slyne with Hest
- Friday 10th June - 2.30 - 7.30pm,Lune Parks Children's Centre, Ryelands Park, Lancaster
- Monday 13th June - 11.30am - 4.30pm, The Atlantic Room, Cannon Hygiene, Northgate, White Lund Industrial Estate
- Tuesday 14th June - 2.30 - 7.30pm, The Centre@Halton, Low Road, Halton
- Wednesday 15th June - 2.30 - 7.30pm, Torrisholme Methodist Church Hall, Norwood Drive

Music and poetry, please: Spotlight Club line up announced

Ann Wilson, aka Ann the Poet. Photo: Richard Davis (
This month's Spotlight Club - a regular eclectic feast of poetry, performance and music - features South Cumbrian-based poet Ann Wilson and Lancaster musician Mikey Kenney.

Here's a rundown of the main performers next Friday at the Storey.

Ann Wilson - (aka Ann the Poet) is a South Cumbria based poet performs and delivers writing and performance workshops. She’s also the host of the Spoken Word Open Mic at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal.

Ann, who won a Tough Guy’s Music Award for Best Solo Act in 2009, is currently working with Whitewood and Fleming in the role of Looked After Children's Projects co-ordinator; and leading creative writing workshops for MIND in Ulverston and one off workshops for various organisations.

Jim Turner's poems appeared last year in An Elastic Sky, published by Flax. "My poems may seem to go out of their way to avoid human concerns," he admits. "Often they describe remote landscapes or encounters with animals. Indeed many of the ideas first occur to me when I’m out walking in such places. They are not, however, escapist poetry; their primary concern is to reveal very human themes such as jealousy, power, sexual desire, loneliness and mutability."

Mike de Tore started writing poems three years ago. "I try to keep them simple and hopefully lyrical. I seem to write about landscape, memory and love."

Beth Cortese will be performing a short play entitled On the Verge of Discovery which was inspired by the fall in Paradise Lost and parodies village life.

Mikey Kenney, one of Lancaster's finest songwriters and a virtuoso musician, rounds off the evening, which also includes the usual 'Open Mic' session, in which almost anything can happen!

Compered by Simon Baker the event kicks off from 8.00pm.

• Spotlight Club Friday May 20th, The Storey Auditorium, Meeting House Lane. Lancaster. Doors will be open from 8.00 pm;  Open Mic 8.30 - 9pm. Admission £4 / £2 (conc.). Web: Lancaster Spotlight is funded by Arts Council England and works in close association with litfest.

Friday, 13 May 2011

New Booths Approved for Scotforth

Lancaster City Council’s planning committee approved a new Booths supermarket development application on 3 May, to be built on Lawson's Bridge field in Scotforth. It was considered alongside another bid by CEP for a second much larger superstore, hotel, pub and petrol station which was turned down. The second, failed bid was widely thought to be for a new Tesco store.

Local traders in Lancaster have already complained about severe damage to trade from the new Tesco Metro store that has opened on King Street. Plans to redevelop the Market to incorporate a food retailers have been dealt a fatal blow by the new store, leaving the council pondering over how to recoup the expenses of their appallingly badly negotiated tenancy agreement for the building.

Emily Heath, Green Party Councillor for Scotforth West ward at that time, spoke at the planning meeting objecting to the CEP application. After the meeting she commented:

“I would have much preferred the whole of Lawson’s Bridge to remain as open countryside, but at least the new Booths store has been well designed to minimize its impact on the landscape. However I am concerned that it will lead to further development of the surrounding fields, and I think the Council should have thought more carefully about that before putting its land up for sale.

"I'm delighted that the CEP superstore was refused permission. It would have been far too big and dominating, causing traffic gridlock in Scotforth and undermining the viability of Lancaster City Centre and local shops.”

The Booths application was approved with a long list of conditions, including a condition that the existing Booths store must be retained as a foodstore. It is likely that a discount operator will take over the store once Booths has relocated to Lawson’s Bridge. There will also be changes to the road layout at Hala Road, and a new signalized junction at Lawson’s Bridge.

Previous stories:
•  Scotforth supermarket plans set for inspection
Every little hurts? Tesco's tactics to get their way revealed

Taxi Drivers claim 'Browbeating' by Local Authority during holiday

All 109 Hackney cabs in the Lancaster Council area received a letter before Easter requiring them to report to the Council's Vehicle Maintenance Unit in Morecambe for inspection on Thursday 21 April, between 10am and 2.30pm, despite the holiday season being one of their busiest times. The National Private Hire Association advised the drivers that they weren't legally obliged to respond - but drivers claim they were afraid that the council might retaliate by withdrawing their licences and their livelihoods over the busy Easter weekend. The inspections were called to check for roof light switches - normally the illuminated sign on a taxi roof is connected to the meter and switched off when a fare is on board. 101 vehicles were inspected. No defective switches were found.

Andy Kay, chairman of the Lancaster City Hackney Cabs Proprietors Association, quoted in the Morecambe Visitor, said “The city council are applying the rules and regulations to suit their needs, rather than as they are intended.
"We're being browbeaten by the local authority with a whole host of rules and regulation changes, making it very difficult for us."

The Procurement Zone

This Virtual-Lancaster reporter notes that Shoe Zone, the shoeshop in Marketgate, is selling very high heeled (2"+) fashion shoes in sizes for little girls aged 6 and upwards in their children's section. For an adult sized foot this is roughly the equivalent of a 6"+ heel. The assistant in the shop clearly hadn't thought about it much, was pretty embarassed when asked about it and didn't want to be named or quoted.

It's not rocket science to see the permanent damage shoes like that can do to little growing feet, as even wearing high heels regularly for a few years in one's twenties can initiate a progression to crippling twisted toes and bunions in later life as well as damage to joints and tendons. 'Little girls want this stuff', is the endless excuse for this sexploitative marketing, which has also been used in recent years to justify the ubiquitously nauseating aisles of uniform sugary pink, that anyone with a healthy digestive system has to look away from, in so many high street stores.

It's the parents' money that finances this tottie-market though. Little boys want to live on burgers, crisps and doughnuts, teenagers want to stay in bed all day and a great many adults would like to walk out of work into the nearest pub and drown there. Fortunately most of us have people who care enough to keep us from crossing lines that will totally mess us up. And who refuse to enable / finance us into permanent self-harm.

Shoe Zone have clearly worked out that this just isn't happening for a lot of little girls though. There's money to be made from sexing them up.
Of course there always has been, as any vice squad officer can tell you. Just please don't claim that 'they want it' (Eeugh). Like every child, all they want is approval and belonging. It's up to the adults around them to decide just how self-destructive they have to be to get it.
Tell Shoe Zone what you think of their self-harming shoes for little girls.
Email:, telephone: 0116 222 3113
or write to Shoe Zone Ltd, Humberstone Road, Leicester, LE1 2LH.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Heysham Link will make our traffic problems worse, Professor warns

Former city councillor John Whitelegg, a Professor of Sustainable Transport, has hit out angrily at claims from the construction company, Costain, that the proposed M6 Link will improve the economic health of the Lancaster area.

His comments came after Costain, who won the bid to build the Link Road last April, issued a newsletter making the claim, echoing previous comments from Lancashire County Council's project manager for the scheme, Steve McCreesh.

"Amongst other things the completed scheme will promote regeneration in the area by improving access and reducing congestion," Mr McCreesh argued last year.  "... the regeneration will start once work gets underway."

"The HM6L will not contribute to the economic health and vitality of the area covered by Lancaster City Council," counters Professor Whitelegg, who is also a member of the Green Party as well as being a Professor of Sustainable Transport at Liverpool John Moores University and a Professor of Sustainable Development at the Stockholm Environment Institute.

"The estimate of the number of jobs that will be created or protected is based on a very shaky methodology and cannot be substantiated by reference to standard scientific criteria.  At the public inquiry into the road the number was more than halved by the promoter.  The Standing Advisory Committee Trunk Road Assessment report “Transport and the Economy”, which is the gold standard on this subject and published by the UK government, is very clear that new roads are just as likely to suck jobs out of the local economy as bring them in.

 "The HM6L will not solve traffic congestion and air quality problems in the Lancaster district," he added, noting also that the complementary measures associated with the HM6L (e.g. park and ride) are capable of delivering benefits as stand alone projects.

"The HM6L is a project at odds with the definition of sustainable development," Professor Whitelegg argues. "It will add to newly generated traffic levels. It will add to the CO2 inventory at a time when we are striving to produce an 80 per cent reduction in these greenhouse gases and it destroys a large swathe of attractive countryside, green belt, trees and hedgerows."

The professor points out that there is now a considerable body of expert knowledge on how to design and deliver sustainable transport solutions to urban areas like the area covered by Lancaster City Council (some covered in Resilient Cities: Responding to peak oil and climate change by Peter Newman).

"The HM6L is contra-indicated and will make our transport problems worse," he feels. "It is fundamentally non-sustainable."

"The freight needs of the port of Heysham can be addressed through a rail freight initiative," he suggests, "and there are best practice examples in several EU ports showing how it is possible, desirable and cost effective to develop these solutions.  They also reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality."

The proposed Link Road has been given the green light by Government but is again going through a new planning approval stage follow changes to the scheme to bring down the multimillion pound price tag.

Lancashire County Council says the Heysham to M6 Link scheme, which will cost an estimated £137 million, will provide the long awaited connection from the M6 at Junction 34 to the Port of Heysham and the surrounding areas.

In its final deposition for funding to the government, made in January (PDF Link), the Council says that once completed,  the dual carriageway will provide improved access for the businesses currently located in Heysham and Morecambe including the port and the nuclear power stations, open up large areas for regeneration and reduce bottlenecks and congestion currently experienced within the City of Lancaster caused by traffic trying to access these areas.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Interview: Jo Gillot

Not long ago now Jo Gillot quietly self released her second EP of songs, The Lido.

Named after the Ruislip waterhole which inspired it, the seven track EP takes the best of 2009’s Songs To Say I Sung and works them up with new dimension. Featuring collaborations with multi-instrumentalist Cameron T Crook, The Lido bookends complete singer/songwriter compositions with lovingly recorded instrumental reprise; allowing Jo to send several sometimes soothing, sometimes wrenching postcards from London to the world.

On Friday 13 May Jo will be curating an arts show at Arteria Gallery shop on Brock Street, Lancaster. In this tiny-but-dynamic takeover, Jo curates the work of 4 local creative people, Alex Watson, Paul McGhee, Simon Nixon and Kriss Foster. In 'Static Pages Static Books' they have responded to, and challenged, the traditional book. Displayed in the window of the shop, and therefore visible only from the street outside, the art works are both playful and intriguing.

Interviewed by Tom Bramhall for Virtual-Lancaster in the leadup to the show Jo discussed her travels up and down the country, writing and recording the new songs and her response to being called ‘an astonishing new voice’ by BBC radio DJ Steve Lamacq.

Tom: ‘The Lido’ was recorded here in Lancashire, but it took you the duration of your stay in London to create - what was happening for you down there?

Jo: Well I went down there mainly to work, save money etc. It was great fun, catching up with family and old friends, but there were aspects of London living that made me feel pretty lonely; commuting and the like. I was gigging a lot, which was great, but wasn’t able to record all the new material to my liking, on account of limited funds (and my stubbornness in wanting to record it all by myself with borrowed recording gear that I wasn't familiar with).

It was a great year in a lot of ways. I learnt a lot, but I just felt unsettled.
All the songs from The Lido were written whilst I was living in Ruislip - it's a nice suburb in Greater London, and Ruislip Lido itself is a strange place, quiet and a little artificial. I used to walk over there a lot.

My hope for the EP was that it would sound varied in its style and feeling, to reflect what a mixed bag that year was..

The EP sounds more varied than 'Songs to Say I sung', broader in scope. It's like hearing you interrogating the earlier songs and hone certain aspects of them up - would that be fair to say?

Yep, it's fair to say. I wanted to be quite critical of Songs to Say..., not that it didn’t turn out well, I just hadn’t really thought through any kind of journey with that. It was more of a compilation of what I'd been doing (at the time), and I wanted to develop more thought behind the song choices and their positioning around each other.

With regards to the songs themselves, I'm always trying to learn new ways of writing and playing without losing sight of the original aspects that were always important to me, so I guess interrogating the earlier stuff is crucial to that. I would never want people to get bored

So when did you start putting the EP together?

It was stopped and started so many times from December last year up until now. I changed location, song choices, instrumentation, full orchestra to no accompaniment at all.

Recording at home in Ruislip, there just wasn’t the time, space or know-how to do it properly. There had been many points at which I thought 'bugger it, I'll just release what I've got' but I had a vague idea of what I wanted, which became clearer with every attempt, so I'm glad I held off until I'd moved back up here.

Did you set about it by yourself?

Yes, initially I wanted it to be a completely solo project. It was just such a personal concept. I wanted the EP to sound how the songs were made: by one person in a room. I'm also just a bit stubborn towards the final stages of recording. Once I know in my head exactly how I want things to sound, if there are to be chance improv/mistakes, I prefer them to be my own mistakes!

Over time I started to learn that it's really important to have a bit of help, if only to get second opinions on things and to broaden ideas. I wasn't just making the EP for me, it always had everyone else in mind and it became the only way to send personal ideas out into a bigger audience. That and I just didn’t have all the technical know-how to carry out all my ideas alone.

Who helped you?

Help came mainly from Cameron Crook, who did most of the producing. He's far better with a laptop than me, and has a good ear for things like intonation (although with a lot of my music, that's a bit of a lost cause anyway!).

Cam also plays trombone and extra guitar on one of the tracks. There's some fab’ trumpet-playing from Bradley Crook on another, and my brother Seb and I play a piano duet right at the end of the track. Was nice to have a bit of help in the end, really helped shine it up.

Rob Daniels (Electric Free Time Machine/Moll Baxter Band) was a bit of a lifesaver right at the end too- he provided some invaluable advice and equipment for the recording, I cant thank him enough really.
When I'd finished the odd song or reprise I would send it to a friend or relative, just to get an idea what was working, but it really was intended to be a solo project.

Saying that, the record does have a Cameron Crook stamp on it too, particularly in the reprisals, but I see that as a positive because it shows how we've been influencing each other's music along the way.

The 'reprise' tracks are really effective; a neat idea - how did you decide on including these?

The reprisals were always intended, right from the start. Cam and I had been working on a collaborative album (still in the making) and we were going for a soundtrack feel, influenced by motion picture soundtracks and the Cinematic Orchestra, etc.

Since The Lido was born out of a situation, location, whatever, it seemed fitting to enhance that with snippets of theme and sound that bring you back to the songs. I've always found themes that return throughout an album to be a strong and effective feature. Knock-Shouldered, for example, is about the London commute into work, and the Knock-Shouldered reprise has sound pieces from the Underground trains, (the) glock is meant to sound a bit like an announcement tune, that sort of thing. (I) wasn’t trying to be too clever or anything, simply attempting to tie it all in so that it made sense to listen to.

Knock-Shouldered’ is a great exposition-song, I think. 'The Lido' sounds like a love to poem to London, if a broken hearted one?

I think you sort of hit the nail on the head about The Lido being like a love poem- I could never hate the city, and it always draws me back- I have family and friends there, for starters. But the second I'm there I'm drawn straight back to the north again (family and friends there too, as it happens). I find different kinds of happiness and inspiration in both places. I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up living back down there again at some point and, if I did, I'd hope that any contentious experiences would supply with as much writing material as the last time! It's that familiarity thing, and I get it with any place I return to: "it's all just the same, just as I remember- what a comfort" as well as "nothing has changed at all! I'm going mad here!" A tad melodramatic, but you get my drift...

How different is it - if at all, playing music in London to playing here in Lancashire?

It's really quite different. The further into central London you go, the more dispersed it all feels. Networking isn’t quite as fun, I've found. I'm never bothered about making cash really, but it's nice to cover some travel costs if you're using the Underground to get to venues all the time, and yet a lot of venues and promoters in central London seem hell-bent on booking only those who can get hoards of people through the door. I never really found problems with meeting the quotas, but felt a little cruel in pushing and pushing people to travel across London and pay over and above the odds to hear songs they'd heard two weeks before. Didn’t seem fair to them, considering their support.

Saying that, I can't knock the chap who ran the Camden Barfly acoustic gigs- they were free entry and he was a fantastic supporter of emerging and DIY artists. Top bloke. You could tell he was doing it for the right reasons.

I still say yes to London gigs, but I have really enjoyed moving back up and collaborating with musicians round here. It's great fun, open, and very inspiring.

What was it like having Steve Lamacq call you an 'astonishing new voice'?

Argh! Haha, it was a learning curve, that's for sure.

I sent him a demo because my friend suggested I should. I expected nothing at all, and the next thing I know his producer is on the phone, asking me to come play a song live in the studio, and to do an interview. I went down there, met Steve, attempted to absorb as much wisdom as possible. Only thing is, I didn’t really have a plan. I didn’t plug it, hadn’t released anything beyond a demo, and Steve was telling me the do's and don’ts of dealing with managers.

The response from friends and family was great, and it really helped me get lots of gigs, so it has only been a positive thing. I get the feeling that others thought that I was going to be very successful from thereon, which is something that I had never entertained. So it's funny really. It was like they were all talking about someone else really.

Also, I wanted to ask if you'd been for a swim in the Ruislip Lido!?

Nope. You can't swim in it, I think you can have a paddle, but it's undergoing a refurb’, so might be suitable for swimming soon. There were stories that someone died in the water, but I don’t know how true that is. It might just be because there are lots of swans there, and they get quite angry.

So what's happening next?

Well, I am curating a small show in the window of Arteria in Lancaster from 13th -27th May. I'm concentrating on my MA at the moment, so I'm trying to put together (some) projects for that. I'm also working on a website which I'm hoping will merge all mine and Cam Crook's creative projects, both solo and collaborative, as well as our academic stuff, writing, blogs, music, crafts, and all the rest of it.

My next project involves a visual interpretation of The Lido, with film-makers picking a track and having a play around with the ideas, then making a short film to accompany it. Three young film-makers are in on it so far...

Just trying to centralise all the different things I've got going on currently. I'm always starting new projects, so I know whatever happens it'll be slightly chaotic but mostly exciting!


Jo Gillot's The Lido is currently available for digital purchase via

Her show at the Arteria/Gallery 23 in Lancaster will run between 23th-27th May 2011 .
More information can be sourced from

Tom Bramhall writes for po)))nies

Police appeal after Lancaster Co-op theft

Police are appealing for information after money was stolen from the Co-op on Chapel Street last month.

At around 5:24pm on the 19th April, three men entered the Co-operative food store on Chapel Street in Lancaster and while the till was unsupervised, they opened the cash drawer and stole approximately £250 before leaving the store.

Police have issued CCTV of three men they would like to speak to in connection with the offence in the hope that someone will recognise them and come forward to contact police.

The first man is described as white, of medium build, clean shaven and with short, shaven ginger hair. He was wearing a dark coloured polo shirt and dark trousers.

The second man is described as white, medium build, clean shaven with short black hair. He was wearing grey jogging bottoms with a black t-shirt.
The third man is also described as white, medium build and clean shaven and he had short light brown hair and was wearing a white t-shirt and green cargo shorts.

~ Anyone with any information can contact police on 08451 25 35 45 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Monday, 9 May 2011

iPhone thieves sought

Lancaster Police have issued CCTV images of two men they want to speak with after an iPhone 4 was stolen from the Orange shop in Lancaster on Thursday 28th April 2011.

The theft took place at 4.50pm at the shop on Lancaster Gate, when two men have entered the shop as prospective customers and removed the mobile phone from its mounting bracket, leaving the back plastic still attached and sticking a dummy phone in its place.

The first man is described as white, aged in his late 20s, stocky build with cropped dark brown hair and a beard. He was wearing a black baseball cap and a dark coloured hooded top over a light blue top with black stripes. He was also wearing blue jeans with grey trainers.

The second man is also white, in his early 20s, slim build with collar length, dark brown hair. He was wearing a shiny zipped up black hooded jacket, blue jeans and black trainers.

City Centre Community Beat Manager PC Emma Gornall said: “I would appeal to anybody that recognises these two men to contact police.

“These types of thefts are happening more and more regularly and I would ask the public to come forward if they have any information.”

• Anyone with any information should contact police on 01524 63333 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Appeal for witnesses after Good Friday fight on Millennium Bridge

Lancaster are appealing for witnesses to come forward following a fight on Millennium Bridge in Lancaster on Good Friday. (22nd April 2011)

At 2.30pm police received reports of up to six men fighting on the bridge behind Sainsbury’s in Lancaster city centre.

An 18-year-old man from Padiham and a 20-year-old man from Lancaster have both been arrested on suspicion of affray and are on police bail until 19 May, whilst an investigation continues.

“There would have been hundreds of people in and around Lancaster town centre on Good Friday and I am confident that many people would have witnessed some form of fight or altercation on Millennium Bridge and the adjacent cycle track," says PC Mark Ryan from Lancaster Police.

“An investigation is underway and I would be very keen to speak with anybody that saw anything to contact me as they could have vital information.”

• Anyone with any information should contact PC3802 Mark Ryan on 01524 63333 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.