Lancashire County Council elections 2009: Preston candidates

On June 4th 2009 the people of Preston will go to the polls to elect the people who will represent them at Lancashire County Council.

The list of candidates standing in Preston covers the following County Council wards: Preston Central North, Preston Central South, Preston City, Preston East, Preston North, Preston North East, Preston North West, Preston Rural, Preston South East, Preston West.

To me those ward names mean nothing, so here’s the areas that are included in those wards:

Preston Central North – College, Moor Park and Deepdale

Preston Central South – Tulketh, University campus and St Georges

Preston City – Riversway (includes the docks, Broadgate and Christchurch Street area) and Town Centre (it’s weird how it’s the city ward but the County Council refer to it as the town centre, should this be updated?)

Preston East – Brookfield and Ribbleton

Preston North – Cadley and Greyfriars

Preston North East – Garrison and Sharoe Green

Preston North West – Larches and Ashton

Preston Rural – Grimsagh, Haighton, Broughton, Woodplumpton, Barton, Whittingham and Goosnargh

Preston South East – St Matthews and Fishwick

Preston West – Ingol and Lea

Polling stations are open from 7 AM to 10 PM on the day. You can register to receive the results by email.

If you have any questions about the elections, you can contact Preston’s elections officer on 01772 906 115 or s.e.harrison@preston.gov.uk or visit About My Vote.

Chance to give blood in Preston

The National Blood Service will be at Preston’s Guild Hall on Saturday 23rd May 2009.

Two donation sessions are due to be held in the Avenham Suite. The first from 10 AM to 12.30 PM. The second from 2.15 PM to 3.45 PM.

If you’ve never given blood before, have a read of when I went along to give blood for the first time and you can search for donation sessions in Preston and the surrounding area.

New drainage system to deal with heavy rain in Preston

The new tunnel is expected to bring significant environmental improvements to the Fylde coast and the Ribble Estuary

The new tunnel is expected to bring significant environmental improvements to the Fylde coast and the Ribble Estuary

Got a leaflet through the door today about a project that United Utilities are putting in place to deal with sewers overflowing in Preston when there is heavy rainfall.

The leaflet states:

At present when Preston experiences heavy rainfall the sewers in Fishergate Hill, Marsh Lane, Watery Lane and near Penwortham pumping station become overwhelmed, resulting in storm water overflowing into the River Ribble.

Our proposed new £114 million project will reduce the number of spills into the River Ribble.”

Map showing the proposed route for the flood tunnel

Map showing the proposed route for the flood tunnel

The work will cause disruption to Preston City Centre. The work is expected to be completed by 2012 and will begin in Spring 2009. Work within the city centre is hoped to be completed by Christmas 2011.

You can find out more on the United Utilities website and download a copy of their Environmental Improvement Scheme flyer.

I’m waiting on a comment from Save The Ribble about the scheme.

Priory College leaflet from Penwortham Leisure Centre public meeting

A leaflet written by the Priory Sports and Technology College was available to all those who attended the meeting. I’ve snapped a shot of the front and back, it helps give you their side of the story. Click either of the images to view a larger version.

Front of the leaflet given out by Priory Sport & Technology College

Front of the leaflet given out by Priory Sport & Technology College

Back of leaflet given out by Priory Sports and Technology College

Back of leaflet given out by Priory Sports and Technology College

Public meeting called over under threat Penwortham Leisure Centre

The Leisure Centre in Penwortham could be set to close after a dual-use agreement between a local school and the local authority could be withdrawn.

The headteacher and governers of Priory Sports and Technology College no longer feel it is safe for pupils.

South Ribble Borough Council has been trying to reach an agreement with the College or seek an alternative but has so far been unsuccessful.

The Council has called a public meeting on the matter for 7 PM on Thursday 23rd April 2009 at St Mary’s Church Hall, Cop Lane, Penwortham. At the meeting will beCouncillor David Suthers, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure and culture will be there along with Councillor Stephen Robinson, chairman of the Penwortham Area Committee, and other Penwortham ward councillors.

The council has also invited representatives of South Ribble Community Leisure, which runs the council’s leisure centres; and the head teacher and school governors from Priory Sports and Technology College.

Residents can also have their say on a discussion forum on the Council website and there has been dismay from residents about the proposals with 18 residents already voicing their opinion.

One resident, Jayne Yates, said:

We also wonder how many incidents of possible danger to pupils have occured in the last 35 years? We should be encouraging people to use these facilities and get fit and healthy for life, encourage our children to take part in all the activities offered and keep them occupied, safe and away from dangerous situations created by boredom. We do not live locally to Penwortham Leisure Centre, yet travel around 8 miles each way at least twice per week to use the centre the reason for this is that we have found this centre offers the best activities and swimming lessons for our children, the friendliest staff who are always happy to help and advise. As a family we have used the facilities for over 15 years we have 4 children 18, 17, 6 and 7 months, the eldest 2 learnt to swim securely and confidently here prompting us to enroll our nervous 6 year old into swimming lessons, who now swims confidentally after the fantastic nurturing he was given by his instructor, Sarah, if the centre stays open i will be joining water babies and hopefully we will have 4 strong swimmers.

Another Neil Jones said:

Exactly what are these ‘perceived risks to the pupils’? This appears to be a result of an over-zealous risk-assessment that is desperately trying to cover every possible angle. The school will have succeeded in their blinkered approach by shutting off the leisure centre. However, if this line of crazy over-the-top thinking is extended, surely the school will have to ban all interactions between pupils and staff (in case of inappropriate relationships), ban travelling to and from school (in case of accidents), ban any eating at school (in case of choking), etc, etc. It is not possible to eliminate ALL risks and the school must maintain a BALANCED approach to risk assessing. The huge damage caused by the closure of such an excellent community facility far outweighs any potential negligible benefits to pupil safety.

Priory Sports and Technology College have released a statement on their website explaining why they want to end the dual use agreement and giving more background information in support of their decision.

It states:

Discussions have been ongoing with South Ribble Borough Council and the Local Authority for over 3 years to update the last officially recognised Dual Use Agreement (DUA), which dates from 1993.

That agreement does not reflect the present situation on the site nor is it appropriate in the present social climate surrounding children. The issue of Safeguarding of Children on a Dual Use site has always been the primary concern of the School and Governors.

It’s all set to be a rather stormy public meeting, and Preston Blog will be down there to cover what happens and all the reaction from residents, the council and the school.

Map of St Mary’s Church Hall, Penwortham:

Wiki started for Preston Guild 2012 ideas

After the success of Preston Tweetup, I’ve set up a quick wiki where all the ideas from the night can be jotted down, edited and evolved.

Take a moment to read through them all and then sign up and add your voice to the ideas. We’ll be using this wiki as a base to build on over the coming weeks.

Hartington Courts in Broadgate under threat?

The Broadgate is Great blog is reporting that Hartington Courts in Broadgate could be under threat by a new ‘super surgery’.

The plan appears to be to combine the Fishergate Hill surgery and Ashton Doclands Medical Centre together in a site that is currently the Hartington Courts recreation area – including a bowling green, basketball and a footie kick a around.

Broadgate is Great say:

There will be another opportunity for local people to discuss this issue on Wednesday (March 4th 2009), at the PACT meeting which will take place at 6.30pm at the Gujurati Hindu Society on South Meadow Lane. If you have a view to express, make sure you get there!