Friday, 5 August 2016

County Council Cuts Consultation Ends Soon

A screenshot of Lancashire County Council's interactive map identifying planned cuts to local services - as well as those that are continuing
There are just days left to have your say on Lancashire County Council's property review.

Their consultation is seeking people's views on plans to change the way frontline services are delivered and save millions of pounds by reducing the number of buildings the council owns and rents as a result of funding cuts imposed by central government.

Locally, buildings under threat It include the Balmoral Children’s Centre in Morecambe, Ryelands Young People’s Centre, and Bolton-le-Sands, Carnforth and Silverdale libraries.

Other library services may also be affected with reduced or changed services.

The consultation runs until Sunday 14th August 2016 and over 5,000 responses have been received since the launch of the public consultation on 18th May.

"The aim of the review is to make sure that we have the buildings we need to provide good access to good services, with a significantly reduced budget," insists County Councillor David Borrow, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council with responsibility for finance.

"In forming the proposals, we've considered a wide range of issues to assess where services should be located, including how easily people can get to them, and the needs of different communities.

"We would very much like people to take this opportunity to look at what is being proposed, and how they might be affected - and to help us shape the final proposals by responding to the consultation."

Under the plans, services would be brought together to form a network of multi-functional buildings known as Neighbourhood Centres, which would provide a base for a range of different services in one place.

Meanwhile many buildings would no longer be used to deliver Lancashire County Council services and the number of places at which some services are available would reduce.

Most responses so far have been received via the county council website, which also features an interactive map highlighting the proposed changes.

Hard copies of the full consultation document, along with shorter versions which detail the proposed changes for each local district, have also been made available to pick up in children's centres and libraries.

Lancashire County Council needs to save £200m by 2020/21 as a result of ongoing government cuts to its budget and rising demand for services. The proposals for buildings respond to savings agreed by Full Council in February 2016, with fewer buildings being needed to deliver reduced services.

Proposed Local Closures

Lancaster and Morecambe

  • Lancaster Balmoral Children’s Centre (Morecambe) (designated)

  • Lancaster Barton Road Young People’s Centre

  • Lancaster Bolton-le-Sands Library

  • Lancaster Carnforth Library

  • Lancaster Firbank Children’s Centre (designated)

  • Lancaster Galgate Children’s Centre (Ellel)

  • Lancaster Heysham Children’s Centre and Young People’s Centre (designated)

  • Lancaster Lancaster Registration Office

  • Lancaster Morecambe Registration Office

  • Lancaster Poulton Children’s Centre (Morecambe) (designated)

  • Lancaster Ryelands Young People’s Centre

  • Lancaster Silverdale Library


  • Wyre Cleveleys Library and Children’s Centre

  • Wyre Fleetwood Children’s Centre (designated)

  • Wyre Garstang Young People’s Centre

  • Wyre Northfleet Library

  • Wyre Over Wyre Children’s Centre (Hambleton satellite)

  • Wyre Over Wyre Children’s Centre (Preesall satellite)

  • Wyre Poulton-le-Fylde Children’s Centre

  • Wyre Preesall Young People’s Centre

  • Wyre Rural Wyre Children’s Centre (Garstang) (designated)

  • Wyre Thornton Library

  • Wyre Thornton Young People’s Centre

  • Wyre Thornton Youth Offending Team (Marsh Mill)

• There's a full list for all of Lancashire here via the Clitheroe Advertiser (heaven forfend the County Council would actually post it in an obvious position on their own web site)

Wind in the Willows at Lancaster Castle tonight

A quick reminder that The Wind in the Willows is coming to Lancaster Castle today.

After last year's sell out production of Alice in Wonderland, Attic Door will be returning to this historic building today, Friday 5th and tomorrow, Saturday 6th August, at 6.00pm and 8.00pm in a brand new family friendly promenade production.

Join Ratty, Mole, Badger and the unstoppable Mr Toad , as they take you on a fun family adventure around the wonderful world of Kenneth Grahame from the sleepy Riverside to the Chaos of Toad Hall! This band of merry friends will take you on a theatrical journey featuring songs, puppets and lots to join in and laugh along with.

Tag along for their irresistible tales of the Riverbank and learn that there's nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as messing around in boats!

Poop Poop!

• Adults £7.50, Children £4.50 & Family £20
For tickets and information call the Box Office on 01524 64998

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 3rd to 11th August 2016

For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day  listings of what's showing on local screens every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.

There are four new releases being shown this period. We have adult humour with Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (15) and Men & Chicken (15). Superhero adventure comes with Suicide Squad (15). and finally there is the documentary/drama The Hard Stop (15).

The family adventure Zootropolis has been dropped and the movies Central Intelligence and The Legend of Tarzan are coming to the end of their screening. We do however see the return of The Nice Guys.

Films scheduled for release later this month include the comedy David Brent: Life on the Road.

Family entertainment is very well represented this period with Finding Dory; Ice Age: Collision Course; Kung Fu Panda 3; The Angry Birds Movie; The BFG and The Secret Life of Pets.

Adult humour on offer includes Absolutely Fabulous: The movie; Central Intelligence; Ghostbusters; Men & Chicken and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Guests.

Adult drama is also well represented with Jason Bourne; Now You See Me 2; Star Trek Beyond; Suicide Squad; The Legend of Tarzan and The Nice Guys.

In the category of high culture there is only one entry with Glyndebourne: Beatrice et Benedict.

Finally, the Dukes are holding another of their Film Quiz evenings on Monday, 8th August.


Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Director: Mandie Fletcher
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Jennifer Saunders Joanna Lumley, Julis Sawalha, June Whitfield, Jane Horrocks
It was 1992 when Absolutely Fabulous first appeared on the TV and twenty four years later Patsie and Eddy finally make it to the big screen. The couple are blamed for a major incident involving Kate Moss at a fashionable launch party. To escape the paparazzi and poor publicity, they flee, penniless, to the French Riviera, where they concoct a plan to regain their fortune. The film retains the cast of the TV series and a number of major celebrities also make cameo appearances. This is a hilarious film, that maintains the character of the original TV series. Excellent entertainment.

Central Intelligence
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Dwayne Johnson, Kelvin Hart
Robbie Wierdicht (Johnson) was bullied at high school. On leaving, he changed his name to Bob Stone, developed an impressive physique and became a CIA operative. Calvin Joyner (Hart) was his friend at high school and had a career in accounting. At the time of their high school reunion, Bob starts to work with Calvin to stop the illegal sale of satellite codes by a mystery agent Black Badger. Calvin however is approached by the CIA and told that Bob is actually delusional. Yet Calvin continues to help his friend and the two of them face fights, gun battles and car crashes to track Black Badger. The movie is a fast paced buddy action comedy. Johnson and Hart work well together and the fast talking dialogue from Hart goes a long way to carrying the film. Expect some slapstick and a great deal of humour.

Finding Dory
Director: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Certificate: U
Cast Includes: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Hayden Rolence
Pixar's sequel to the 2003 movie 'Finding Nemo'. Dory (DeGeneres), who helped reunite Nemo (Rolence) with his father Marlin (Brooks) in the first movie, has a flashback in which she remembers her own family. She decides to look for them despite her problems with a faulty memory. Marlin and Nemo agree to help and the three swim to California to start the search. Dory is caught and held in a marine life institute aquarium for shipping to Cleveland. However with the help of Hank (O'Neill), the octopus she escapes back to the ocean and finds her parents Charlie and Jenny. Now she has to come to the aid of Marlin and Nemo who are also imprisoned in the institute aquarium. The movie is essentially the same plot as the original, but provides impressive animation and contains some emotional scenes. However this is ultimately a fun 'happy ever after' sort of film that will delight people of all ages.

Director: Paul Feig
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey
It has been thirty-five years since the original Ghostbusters movie. Now, finally there is a remake where women take the leading parts. Erin Gilbert (Wiig) and Abby Yates (McCarthy) are co-authors of a book which postulated that ghosts are real. When supernatural forces invade Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates team up with a nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon) and subway worker Patty Tolan (Jones) to combat the malicious demon Rowan (Casey) and a legion of ghouls. The movie pretty much follows the plot of the original, but the actors provide great and extremely funny performances. A terrific movie full of good hearted fun.

Ice Age: Collision Course
Director: Mike Thurmeier and Galen T Chu
Cast includes: Simon Pegg, Roy Romano, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Hohn Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Chris Wedge
A computer animation family adventure film. This is the fifth instalment in the Ice Age series and the sequel to Continental Drift. Scratt (Wedge), the sabre toothed squirrel, activates an alien UFO in his continued pursuit of the acorn. The craft propels Scratt into outer space and thence causes a planetary collision resulting in the creation of meteors that threaten to engulf the earth. Manny (Romero) the Wooly Mammoth, Sid (Leguizamo) the sloth and Diego (Leary) the sabre toothed tiger hatch a plan with the weasel Buck (Pegg) to save the earth. The plot is quite unbelievable, but the resulting mayhem is as entertaining as ever. New characters are introduced as the movie unfolds and the film a worthy addition to the franchise. Whats not to like?

Star Trek Beyond
Director: Justin Lin
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella
This is the thirteenth Star Trek movie and the third in the reboot series. Kirk (Pine) takes the Enterprise on a rescue mission to the planet Altamid. However the ship gets ambushed by a force working for the power mad Krall (Elba). The Enterprise is destroyed and much of the crew captured. It is up to Kirk, Scotty (Pegg), Spock (Quinto), Chekov (Yelchin), McCoy (Urban) and a native fighter Jaylah (Boutella) to save the day. They repair an early generation starfleet vessel that had crashed on the planet and are able to pursue Krull. This is an action packed film with impressive special effects and a good number of impressive battles. The movie harks back to the early days of Star Trek, retracing old ground. A must see film.

The Legend of Tarzan
Director: David Yates
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou, Samuel L. Jackson
The film is set about a decade after Tarzan left the jungle and became John Clayton III or Lord Greystoke to live in the UK with his wife Jane (Robbie). Meanwhile the African Congo has been divided between Belgium and the UK, and the Belgian government has sent an emissary Captain Leon Rom (Waltz) to develop the mineral wealth of the land. Rom makes a pact with Mbonga (Hounsou) a chief and Tarzan's old enemy to give him Tarzan in exchange for diamonds. Rom captures Jane and uses her to lure Tarzan to him During the film we have flashbacks of Tarzan's origins to help set the plot and the film benefits from splendid scenery, lavish special effects and grand fight sequences. However, despite solid performances from the actors, the movie has not managed to inspire the critics. An enjoyable, but ultimately average adventure film.

The Secret Life of Pets
Director: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Certificate: U
Cast Includes: Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart
A family animation film that follows the lives of pets living in a Manhattan apartment building during the time their owners leave them alone. Max (Louis) is a rather spoilt terrier who starts to find himself neglected when his owner Katie (Kemper) brings home Duke (Stonestreet), a mongrel, from a dog pound. However the two dogs must put their rivalry behind them when they are captured by Snowball (Hart) a rabbit and an army of abandoned pets who are trying to get back at all happily owned pets and their owners. This is a delightful and energetic animation movie that is inoffensive and fun for all, young and old.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

MP takes 'Chats with Cat' to villages

Cat Smith MP
Cat Smith, Member of Parliament for Lancaster and Fleetwood, is expanding her summer programme of meetings with parish councils and hosting ‘Chats with Cat’ to allow village residents to come and raise issues with her.

Ms Smith said, “I welcome the summer recess as a chance to get out and about across Lancaster and Fleetwood without the time pressures that exist when parliamentary business takes me to Westminster from Monday to Thursday.

"Last summer I hosted my first ‘Chat with Cat’ and I’m pleased that the program has expanded this year. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with each of the parish councils in the constituency, I hope this is a program that will grow year on year.”

On Monday 8th August, in conjunction with Pilling Parish Council, Cat will be hosting a Chat with Cat in the Pilling Church Hall from 3 – 5pm

On Wednesday 11th August, in conjunction with Caton Parish Council, Cat will be hosting a Chat with Cat at the Victoria Institute from 7 – 9pm

In July Cat met with Wray-with-Botton Parish Council, and in September Cat will host a Chat with Cat in Cockerham – details to follow.

Local residents are invited to come along  to these sessions to Chat with Cat about issues of concern to them.