Monthly Archives: July 2021

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Report highway faults

Lancashire County Council’s highways maintenance service are working hard to improve your roads but they need your help. Last year, the team fixed almost 40,000 potholes and repaired 3,300 faults on street lights that have caused a light to be out. But with 4,600 miles of highways and 5,300 miles of footways to check and maintain, it’s vital for people to let them know if they spot any problems between their inspections.

Members of the public can report a highway fault online including potholes, street lights, traffic lights and broken signs. It’s quick and easy to do just visit lancashire.gov.uk/report

Alternatively, you can call Lancashire County Council highways on 0300 123 6780, or for out of hours highways emergency call 101.

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Police and Crime Commissioner seeks your views

The new Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Andrew Snowden, would like to hear your views on crime and policing to shape his Police and Crime Plan for the county.

He is asking for the public’s views about police and crime priorities across Lancashire in order to understand the issues that matter most to people in each area of the county. The information will be used to shape priorities and direct resources to where they are needed most.

Please share your views to help shape the future of policing in Lancashire. The survey will close on Monday 6th September, a link to the survey is shown below:

Lancashire PCC Consultation (snapsurveys.com)

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Mural at Heatons Bridge? Have your say.

Scarisbrick Parish Council is being consulted on a proposal to paint a canal-side mural on the supports of a local bridge and would be interested in the views of residents of the parish.

Lancashire County Council have received an enquiry from a local artist to paint a mural on the supports of the bridge which carries the B5242 (Heatons Bridge Road) over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal (see map below). LCC are now consulting on the proposal and have received support from the Canal and Rivers Trust.

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The artist is a Burscough resident who is offering his services free of charge. He is an urban artist of 25 years experience with a passion for transforming urban spaces with images of nature and wildlife. He has identified the walls of the bridge supports along the canal towpath (and opposite) for his project. One of the walls is currently covered in graffiti (see below).

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The artist has submitted two examples of the type of work which he hopes to gain permission to create. These are shown below.

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The artist will cover the costs for the entire project and will use water-based eco-friendly paint which is free from solvents. Minimal space is required to carry out the work and the canal towpath will not be closed. The artist is confident, based on previous experience, that once completed the mural will be well-received and a long lasting feature.

Scarisbrick Parish Council will be considering its response to the consultation at the next meeting of the council (September). Any feedback/comments that you might like to offer would be welcome. Please  comment by Monday 30th August using the council’s email address (scarisbrickpc@outlook.com) or the comments page on this website which can be found here. Please submit your postcode with your comments – it would be useful to have your name and address but this is not essential.

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Green Homes Grant Scheme

The Green Homes Grant is a Government backed scheme delivered by Local Authorities to improve the energy efficiency of eligible homes, improving warmth and comfort levels whilst reducing energy bills, carbon emissions and fuel poverty.

West Lancashire Borough Council is working with the Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL) partnership, to deliver free energy efficiency measures to homes that meet the following criteria:

  • Have an energy performance certificate rating of D, E, F or G (This can be checked here.  If an EPC doesn’t currently exist, one can be undertaken as part of the scheme)
  • The household receives qualifying benefits or has an income of less than £30,000.

The measures can include anything from a simple loft insulation top up to new heating measures and renewable technologies.  The funding contribution can be up to £10,000 per property, however a contribution is required from landlords.

For more information and to apply for inclusion in the scheme, please go to the CHiL website www.chil.uk.com/green-homes-grant-scheme where you will also find the on-line application form. An information leaflet can be found here.

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Community Engagement Brief from West Lancashire Borough Council

West Lancashire Borough Council (WLBC) issued the following Community Engagement Brief on 19th July 2021.

Data extracted shows that the total number of confirmed cases for the last 7 days in West Lancashire is 487 and we have the seventh highest rate across the 14 local authorities in Lancashire. The age group most affected are 25-34’s The wards most affected are:

  • UPHOLLAND
  • SCOTT
  • SKELMERSDALE SOUTH

From Monday 19th July:

  • There will be no limits on social contact and social distancing rules will be removed, except in some settings such as ports of entry and medical settings.
  • Nightclubs can reopen; there will be no capacity limits and bar service can resume.
  • There will be no limits on people attending concerts, theatres, or sports events.
  • There will be no limits on numbers at weddings and funerals and no restrictions on communal worship, singing and dancing.
  • There will be no legal requirement for face covering, but their use will still be strongly advised in hospitals, healthcare settings and enclosed, crowded public spaces.

Whilst we learn to live with Covid-19 it is important to look out for each other by:

  • Getting vaccinated.
  • Testing regularly.
  • Choosing to be careful.

It is extremely important that residents get their second dose of the vaccine to ensure the majority protection is received.

As an area of Enhanced COVID-19 Support and due to an increase in demand for PCR tests for those without symptoms, our symptom-free sites will offer both Lateral Flow tests and PCR tests from Monday 19th July. Locations/times/days of sites for symptom-free PCR, LFT & Home
Test Collect are:

  • The Interchange, Burscough Mon & Thurs 12pm – 6pm.
  • Concourse, Skelmersdale – Weds & Fri 10am – 4pm.

You must not attend these sites if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms, please book a test by clicking here.

There are still regular walk-in vaccination clinics where you don’t need an appointment – see West Lancashire CCG Facebook page for updates.

There is financial help available for people who need to self-isolate and cannot work and for parents/guardians who need to stay off work to look after children who have been told to self-isolate. Further information is available here.

 

 Important news from previous briefings is included below:

  • The government has published an information leaflet for people who have had their first coronavirus vaccination. It can be downloaded by clicking here.
  • NHS Test and Trace have partnered with Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to improve home testing service for people with visual impairments. A new video-call support service with specially trained NHS Test and Trace staff will assist people with vision impairments to test at home.

 

Please be alert to the many scams that are appearing and offer vaccines for payment. Criminals are using the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to target the public by tricking them into handing over cash or financial details. They are sending convincing looking text messages letting people know they are eligible for the vaccine or phoning people directly pretending to be from the NHS, or local pharmacy. The NHS will:

  • NEVER ask for payment – the vaccine is free.
  • NEVER ask for your bank details.
  • NEVER arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
  • NEVER ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport.

For further information regarding vaccination fraud please see a government information poster which can be accessed by clicking here.

The latest information, guidance, and support regarding coronavirus is available from the GOV.UK website and can be accessed by clicking here.

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Parish Councillor Vacancy

Notice of casual vacancy to be filled by co-option

Scarisbrick Parish Council currently has a vacancy for a Parish Councillor. If you are interested in joining a team of 10 councillors looking after the Parish, then please contact the Parish Clerk at scarisbrickpc@outlook.com  for further details and to request an application form.

Scarisbrick Parish Council is very active and over the next year is keen to progress new projects that help to benefit the lives of residents of the Parish. These will include tree planting, flooding, traffic management, and speeding. The Parish Council also comments on planning applications and has particular interest in the protection of the greenbelt that surrounds us.

We need local residents who understand Scarisbrick to join us. There is plenty for everyone to get involved in.

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Scheduled Road Closures

 

Bescar Lane, Scarisbrick

There will be a temporary overnight road closure on Bescar Lane, Scarisbrick from Saturday 21st August 2021 (23:59) until Sunday 22nd August 2021 (07:00) to enable the lifting of the level crossing to allow an inspection of the rails to be undertaken by Centurion Site Services on behalf of Network Rail. Further details can be found here.

An alternative route for vehicular traffic affected by the closure is not possible owing to this being a no through road.

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Bescar Lane, Scarisbrick 

There will be a temporary overnight road closure on Bescar Lane, Scarisbrick from Sunday 22nd August 2021 (23:30) until Monday 23rd August 2021 (07:00) to enable the lifting of the level crossing to allow an inspection of the rails to be undertaken by Centurion Site Services on behalf of Network Rail. Further details can be found here.

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Wyke Road, Scarisbrick

There will be a temporary overnight road closure on Wyke Road, Scarisbrick on Tuesday 14th September 2021 (00:05 to 05:30 only) to enable the annual service of the level crossing to be carried out by Centurion Site Services on behalf of Network Rail. Further details can be found here.

An alternative route for vehicular traffic affected by the closure is via:-
C136 Wyke Road, Scarisbrick – C136 Wyke Cop Road, Scarisbrick – C136 Snape Green, Scarisbrick – A570 Southport Road, Scarisbrick – C131 Pool Hey Lane, Scarisbrick – C136 Wyke Road, Scarisbrick and vice versa.

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You can also find details of any other planned works via LCC’s Highways Bulletin website which links to all planned works in Lancashire. Please click here and select the area that you are interested in.

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COVID-19 Local Information Update (9th July 2021)

As part of the new Community Champions scheme, West Lancs CVS is working alongside West Lancashire Borough Council to get accurate local COVID-19 information to West Lancashire residents and voluntary sector organisations.

Please help us get the word out by passing on this weekly update.

Local situation

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The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in West Lancashire is continuing to climb. 

Find out the case rate in your area with this interactive map.

Vaccinations

Last few dates for pop-up vaccination clinics.

Vaccinations are continuing apace in West Lancashire with the recent pop-up vaccination sites proving very popular.

  • The clinics are offering both first and second doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines (second doses need to be at least 8 weeks after the first).
  • Vaccines at the pop-up sites or vaccine bus are available to anyone who is 18 or over and there is no need to book.
  • The vaccine clinic at Edge Hill university will continue but the last few pop-ups are this weekend!

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Book an appointment at a regular clinic

If the above dates don’t suit, you can still book an appointment at the ongoing regular West Lancashire vaccination clinics by:

Local vaccine rates

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So far, 82% of people in West Lancashire have had their first dose and 68.6% have had their second. Many thanks to all those working hard to make this happen.

Do the double, be a COVID champion

The NHS is stressing the importance of getting the second vaccine dose to get the best defence against COVID-19. Second doses give strengthened, longer-lasting protection.

Local testing

Local COVID-19 testing

Anyone in West Lancashire without COVID symptoms is eligible to two free, rapid coronavirus tests for themselves and their families.

Twice-weekly testing is still crucial to keeping cases down.

You can either:

  • Take the test at a symptom free testing site
  • Collect tests from a symptom free testing site to use at home later
  • Order home testing kits online if you cannot attend a testing site

For information on all testing sites across West Lancashire or how to order a test online, go to: westlancs.gov.uk/symptom-freetesting

If you would like a stock of home testing kits to share with the community at community centres, group meetings, church halls, voluntary groups etc, please contact CustomerEngagement@westlancs.gov.uk

COVID-19 testing for people with symptoms

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you will need to self-isolate and get a test here.
  • If you have a positive test, you should immediately self-isolate and if eligible, can apply for financial support here.

Community Champions grants

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New funding scheme now open

The new Community Champion grant scheme for voluntary sector groups is now open for applications.

Grants ranging from £1,000 – £25,000 are available to West Lancashire voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise organisations, to support the work they’re doing in helping communities impacted by COVID-19.

West Lancs CVS has worked in partnership with West Lancashire Borough Council to bring investment into local voluntary sector and is launching the £200,000 grant fund, as part of the wider Community Champions scheme.

Funding focus

The grant scheme is focused on supporting individuals and communities affected by the pandemic, especially those in vulnerable groups, and the main priority areas for this grant scheme are to:

  • Help people and communities to recover from the impact that COVID-19 has had on their life
  • Improve health and wellbeing – such as helping people to be active
  • Support the delivery of important and positive COVID-19 messages
  • Reduce isolation
  • Support the commitment to a greener West Lancashire

Applications can be for new project ideas or to support existing activities.

Don’t delay, closing dates are from end of July!

For full details, application forms and guidance go to the Community Champions microsite:

www.wlcvs.org/community…

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Volunteering – can you help?

Many thanks to all those who have already volunteered to join our Community Champions project.  If you would like to join them to:

  • Help us get accurate information about COVID-19 into communities. We’ll provide the information, we just need you to be a ‘hero from home’ and send it on (email, text, WhatsApp, social media) to your family, friends and social networks.
  • Give help to others in your neighbourhood – through practical tasks or helping out with a local organisation.

Do get in touch with us at West Lancs CVS: phone 01695-733737, email: enquiries@wlcvs.org

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Consumer Alerts from Lancashire County Council

Scam Covid Passport Email

Neighbourhood Watch are alerting people to an email claiming to be from the NHS offering a digital passport for you to be able to ‘travel safely and freely around the world without having to self-isolate’  The scam email asks you to click the button below to ‘get digital passport ‘ and takes you to a convincing NHS website but asks for personal and payment details.

It is understood that this specific website has been taken down, but other similar scams may follow.  Your vaccination status is obtained free through the NHS App, website or by calling the NHS on 119.

Scam emails can be forwarded to the suspicious email reporting service (SERS) at report@phishing.gov.uk

 

Post Office Scam Text

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is warning of a new Post Office scam that claims that the recipient’s parcel delivery failed and returned to a Post Office depot.

The text contains a link to a fake website created to look exactly like an official Post Office platform. The website asks the target to enter their postcode and personal details supposedly to identify their closest depot and reorganise the delivery. The information requested includes the full name, address, date of birth and phone number. Whilst payment is not asked for directly, the information provided is sent directly to scammers who might use the information to commit many different kinds of identity fraud.

 

Mobile Phone Upgrade Scam

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau  are aware of an ongoing scam where consumers are being cold called by individuals impersonating employees of legitimate mobile network operators and suppliers.

Victims are offered early handset upgrades, or new contracts, at significant discounts. Once customers have been convinced that the deals are genuine and agree to proceed, suspects then ask for their online mobile account credentials, including log-ins, address and bank account details.

Suspects then place orders with genuine companies on behalf of victims, however select a different handset to that requested and have it shipped to the customer’s address.

Upon receipt, suspects assure victims that this has been an error and instruct them to ‘return’ the handset to a different address not affiliated to the mobile company. These addresses are usually residential.

Upon intercepting the ‘returned’ handsets, the suspects cease contact and victims find themselves stuck with no phone and liable for the entirety of a new contract taken out in their name.

Only contact your mobile network provider on a number you know to be correct. If you receive a device that you did not order or expect, contact the genuine sender immediately, be suspicious if asked to return to a residential address.

 

Cold Caller Scams

In Lancaster a householder hired cold callers offering to jet wash and seal the driveway.  The job escalated to include guttering  and roof repairs, the trader then left, having only completed part of the driveway work.  The next day, the trader advised the job couldn’t proceed due to bad weather but was very persistent in requiring payment upfront for materials.  The householder paid the bulk of the required amount of nearly £1000, the trader has since not returned.

In South Ribble a resident hired a cold caller, who claimed to be carrying out work in the area, and agreed for them to do some building repair work for nearly £3000.  The traders persuaded the householder to pay upfront, claiming it was a discounted price only available that day, the traders will now not return, no work has been carried out.

In Wyre a resident was door knocked after receiving a flyer through the door, gardening and paving work were agreed for £2000, at the end of the job the trader stated the price had increased  to over 4 times this amount as extra work had had to be carried out.

Cold callers have been reported in the Ribble Valley offering driveway work.  One resident agreed to work for nearly £5000, then carried out some checks online and realised the company they were supposedly dealing with had recently dissolved, so luckily cancelled the job.

Best advice is to always use known reputable traders, get 3 quotes and make sure you have the full name and address details of the trader. Do your research, and never feel pressured into making a hurried decision to agree to work. It is a legal requirement for all business paperwork to contain the name and address details of who you are dealing with.

Reputable traders will never ask you to pay the full amount upfront for the work and will never pressurise you for payment.

Trading Standards advice is to always say no to cold callers.  The Safetrader scheme can help you find a trader in your area, contact 0303 333 1111 or go to www.safetrader.org.uk

Scams can be reported to Action Fraud,
contact 0300 123 2040 or go to
www.actionfraud.police.uk

Contact the Trading Standards Service
via the Citizens Advice Consumer
Helpline on 0808 223 1133