Author Archives: John Herbert

Road closed 1

Road Closure – Bescar Lane, Scarisbrick (29/3/2021 to 11/4/2021)

Bescar Lane will be temporarily closed from Monday 29th March 2021, until Sunday 11th April 2021 to enable excavation and jointing works in relation to the replacement of plant and equipment in the Electricity Sub Station. The work is to be carried out by Network Plus on behalf of Electricity North West.  Further details can be found here.

A diversion will be in place along Drummersdale Lane (C134), Dam Wood Lane (B5242), Hall Road (B5242), Bescar Lane (C135), and vice versa. Access will be maintained whenever and wherever possible to residents within the closure area.

Diversion Bescar

If you have any comments or observations regarding the closure please email Lancashire County Council (LCC) at by Monday 25th January 2021.

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.

Covid poster 1

West Lancashire Borough Council COVID-19 Update

West Lancashire Borough Council issued the following Community Engagement Brief on 18th January 2021.

Review of the COVID-19 data from the previous week across the Borough shows that the highest number of cases are within age groups 25-34 followed by 18-24. The wards most affected are:


A mobile testing unit will be available in the car park at All Saints Church Hall in Hesketh Bank on 18th, 19th, 28th, and 29th January.

The Test and Trace Payment Programme has been extended until at least the end of March 2021.

The government has published an information leaflet for people who have had their first coronavirus vaccination. It can be downloaded by clicking here.

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.



Parish Councillor Vacancies


Would you like to become a Scarisbrick Parish Councillor? Are you interested in parish matters with the drive to contribute and represent the interests of residents? Would you like to be part of decision making on behalf of the parish, commenting on local planning applications, helping with community projects, and making Scarisbrick an even better place to live, work and visit? Scarisbrick Parish Council currently has three vacancies for councillors which it is seeking to fill by co-option.

Why not join us and make a difference?

Parish councils comprise a tier of local authority that is closest to the people they serve. They make decisions on behalf of the people in the parish electoral area and have various powers to act.  However, they are also in a position to negotiate with (and the power to influence) those other organisations that make important decisions (such as the district and county councils, health authorities, police etc.). In this respect parish councils are quite powerful, the organisations that make the final decisions know that parish councils give the best reflection of how a community feels about something and its views will be given serious consideration.

Scarisbrick Parish Council seeks to be proactive and has recently:

  • completed a rolling programme of replacing our ageing stock of timber bus shelters, aided by a successful capital grant application to West Lancashire Borough Council.
  • provided a fitting memorial to the Fallen of the Great War who hailed from Scarisbrick.
  • given financial support to local organisations such as churches, Friends of Bescar Lane Station, Scarisbrick Village Matters, and Scarisbrick Litter Group.
  • provided financial support via the Community Infrastructure Levy to Scarisbrick Village Hall towards the cost of replacement window frames.
  • provided local objection on controversial planning applications based on legitimate  planning considerations.
  • with neighbouring councils successfully opposed proposals for a new West Lancashire Local Plan that would have resulted in the loss of significant amounts of local green belt.
  • represented the interests of the parish by responding to consultations from DEFRA, Lancashire County Council, West Lancashire Borough Council, the police and others.
  • actively represented the parish on bodies such as the Peter Lathom Charity and the Lancashire Association of Local Councils.

BS1   memorial1

But there is always more to do. In the year ahead we are prioritising issues such as speeding and traffic volumes on our local roads, improving community resilience to flooding, and the issue of climate change in which we all have a role to play.

Smithy Lane (October 2019)  m4

By becoming a parish councillor the community will identify you to help, guide and support in community matters. As a member of the Council you will have the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the people of Scarisbrick.

You do not need any formal qualifications to become a councillor and training is available which is financed by the Council. To stand for election (or be co-opted) onto Scarisbrick Parish Council you must:

  • be a British citizen, or a citizen of a member country of the European Union, or a citizen of a qualifying Commonwealth country.
  • be aged 18 years or over.
  • be a registered elector in the parish of Scarisbrick or have fulfilled  one of the following for the duration of the last 12 months preceding the date of your application:
    • lived in Scarisbrick or within three miles of its boundary
    • worked in Scarisbrick (as your principal or only place of work)
    • been the owner or tenant of land within Scarisbrick

Please note that the following will disqualify you from office:

  • being the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order
  • being disqualified by order of a court from being a member of a local authority
  • being within the last five years convicted of an offence in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man which resulted in a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of three months or more without the option of a fine.

The Council is keen to fill these places at the earliest opportunity and will consider applications at its meetings on a month by month basis until they are filled. For more information and an application form please contact the parish clerk (details can be found by clicking here).


Coronavirus – the crucial role of social responsibility

As coronavirus continues to spread circumstances have become somewhat surreal and will be causing great anxiety. There is thankfully now some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of vaccination but there is still a long way to go and the situation is destined to become considerably worse before it hopefully gets better. 

Not everyone will get the disease and the majority that are affected will have a relatively mild illness. Nonetheless, the consequences for a minority will be profound and no-one knows for sure on which side of the divide they will fall (whether they be young or old). Those of us who are older and/or have “underlying medical conditions” perhaps have most reason to be anxious but the new variant appears to be less selective in terms of the age of its victims.

So what can be done to lessen the impact? There has been plenty of advice regarding personal hygiene and hand-washing. Social-distancing and face masks are the new fashion. Self-isolation is a phrase that we once associated with hermits but is now commonplace. Guidelines change quickly as matters progress and won’t be reproduced here (our article on “Coronavirus Information” provides useful links). However, I would like to mention two of the most important weapons we have in the battle against the virus and these are community-based.

The virus will thrive if it is given the opportunity to spread but the chances of containment improve if we cut off its routes of transmission, in other words we reduce its opportunities to spread from person to person. We must all avoid becoming links in a chain of infection that will inevitably lead to deaths. This aids in protecting the more vulnerable in our society but also helps spread the burden on the NHS, from which we all benefit. The human, social, and economic costs are enormous as schools, shops, pubs, restaurants, and many other facilities we take for granted all shut down.

There are also huge personal costs to be met. Vulnerable people are again being asked to self-isolate for months, cutting themselves off from family and loved ones. Yes, this can be for their own good but they are also doing their bit for the rest of us. If they get the disease they will be a particular burden on the NHS, by avoiding exposure they help conserve this limited resource which is now under unprecedented and increasing pressure. Self-isolation is also important if you become symptomatic with a new persistent cough, temperature, or breathlessness. For most the disease will be mercifully mild but this gives rise to an inherent danger. There may be a temptation to go back to work, do the shopping, meet with friends etc whilst still contagious. This keeps a door of opportunity open to the virus which it will use to transmit itself. The next people in the chain of infection may be more vulnerable, possibly even the doctors and nurses in the frontline upon whom we all depend. It is well known from previous pandemics that they are not only the most important of resources but also the most fragile due to their intense and extended exposure. I know that frontline medical and nursing staff are very anxious about what is coming their way, particular as groups of people appear to shun restrictions thereby providing huge incubators for the virus. They fear becoming cannon fodder in the forthcoming battle, but to see so many members of the public prepared to light the fuse must be terrifying. So, the first and most important weapon to which I refer is social responsibility. In fact, it is a duty with which we must all comply if we are to avoid a possible death rate measured in hundreds of thousands. Please, please, please observe rules on hand washing, social distancing, face masks and self isolation. Nothing could be more important at this time.

This brings me to the second weapon we must use – good neighbourliness. We particularly need to look after those that are self-isolating for a prolonged period and are vulnerable; this is the true measure of us as a society. They are being socially responsible in what they are doing and it comes at a cost, particularly in terms of mental health. They need to have all the support we can give. This may mean chatting over the phone or ensuring that shopping is done for them.

There is a scheme that is better than anything we as a parish council can organise and it can be got off the ground with immediate effect. The best way anyone can help is to keep in touch with each other’s immediate neighbours. This is particularly the case if they are elderly, have pre-existing medical conditions, and are self-isolating. You will know them and, more importantly, they will know you. This immediately creates trust and ensures that they are not relying on people they may never have seen before (no matter how well-intentioned those people may be). This is far better than any scheme we can devise and has a built-in method of safeguarding the vulnerable from the unscrupulous. We need an army of good neighbours and this means you. Don’t wait to be organised by the council or anyone else, it’s not necessary in order for you to look after your immediate neighbour.

We will get through this – we have no choice. We may even emerge as a better society. However, we need to get as many of us as possible through this crisis. We all have to deploy the weapons of social responsibility and good neighbourliness to push this menace back.




Pothole 2

Lancashire County Council’s Pothole Campaign 2020/21

Lancashire County Council (LCC) are running a campaign to promote the work of their highways maintenance service and encourage online participation in the NHT (National Highways and Transport) survey. The survey gives residents the opportunity to comment on the area’s roads and can be completed online here.


With a combination of wet and cold winter weather, this is the time of year when potholes tend to pop up. A video of LCC’s highways engineers answering frequently asked questions with regard to potholes can be watched below.


LCC aim to assess all reported potholes within two working days and the most serious cases should be fixed immediately, with less serious cases repaired from 5 days on major routes up to 20 days on less used routes. More information on how LCC manage potholes, including the required depths for repair, can be accessed here.

Should you wish to report a pothole this can be done online on LCC’s Report It page on their website.


South West Lancashire Independent Community Advice Network

For 40 years South West Lancashire Independent Community Advice Network (SWLICAN or ICAN for short) has continued to work as a grass roots organisation providing quality advice and support on Employment Law, Welfare Rights and Money Advice.

From our newly refurbished I.T. suite we also provide training and support in basic and advanced I.T., as well as providing CV writing assistance, job search and much more. Our services are free, accessible and client friendly and are delivered from our base at the Ecumenical Centre in Skelmersdale and at a number of outreach venues.


SWLICAN is a driver of social inclusion through the provisions of accessible resources, training and social activities for individuals and local Voluntary, Community and Faith organisations in West Lancashire.

ICAN’s basic philosophy is the empowerment of people to be active citizens who are able to help themselves, either by accessing services or volunteering and employment opportunities. We want people to be able to solve their problems themselves by providing them with the necessary life skills, confidence, resources and facilities to do so. We are currently offering a number of free courses via Zoom:

Click to find details of Money Management course.

Click  to find details of Welfare Rights course.

Click to find details of Getting the Right Care and Support course.

Visit our website by clicking here.




Adoption Lancashire & Blackpool launches #WishForAFamily campaign

The new regional adoption agency for Lancashire and Blackpool is celebrating a successful first six months despite the challenges of coronavirus with a new campaign highlighting the value of bringing a new child into your family.

Adoption Lancashire & Blackpool brings together expertise from both councils to simplify the adoption process, increase the number of adopters, improve the matching processes for children, and provide support for adoptive families. The agency has adapted the way it works to ensure permanent homes are still being found for youngsters in need of a loving home, including the use of digital technology.

Bookable telephone sessions are currently running, instead of the usual face-to-face adoption information events. The sessions are aimed at anyone interested in finding out more about adopting. They offer a chance to have an informal chat, ask questions and discuss options with one of the dedicated team members.

These sessions run every Monday, excluding Bank Holidays, at 2.30pm and each Wednesday at 6.30pm until further notice.

Telephone sessions can be booked by emailing the team at, or by calling 0300 123 6727, giving your name, telephone number and the date and time of your chosen session.

Running from Monday 21 September until Sunday 4 October, the #WishForAFamily campaign will encourage anyone wanting to start or grow their family to consider adoption.

To find out more, please visit

Alternatively get in touch on 0300 123 6727.


Scarisbrick Litter Group Needs New Members


We are a friendly group of Scarisbrick residents who meet once or twice a month to collect litter from our local roadsides and verges. All you need is a pair of gardening gloves and some good footwear and we will provide the rest. All glass, cans and plastics are sorted and re-cycled. Please get in touch and join us.


If you can help please contact Mike Wilson on 07702 564654


Coronavirus Information – reliable sources and the CRAP test.

Links to reliable sources of information are provided at the end of this article.

It is important during the coronavirus pandemic that we keep ourselves well-informed. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation circulating, particularly online and in social media. Some of this will have been posted with malicious intent but for the most part it will be the result of genuine misunderstanding or wanting to be first with the latest rumour. It is also important to remember that even genuine information will quickly change as the situation rapidly evolves.

Information must therefore be approached with common sense, certainly apply the adage “if it sounds too good to be true it usually is”. Also consider the CRAP test in evaluating information (Currency, Reliability, Authority, Purpose). The test was developed for academics and students to assess online information but can be adapted to this situation.


How current is the information? When was it posted? Has it been recently updated? Even genuine information from the most reliable sources can quickly become dated in rapidly evolving circumstances. For example, the modelling exercises on which government decisions are based involve uncertainties and assumptions. The advice changes as more becomes known.


Is the information based on someone’s personal opinion? If it is opinion is it balanced or one-sided? Does the author offer hard evidence which can be independently confirmed? Does the author stand to profit or gain in any way (not just financially)?


Who is the author? What are his/her credentials? What do you know about the author? Is the author reputable? Is the site sponsored (including advertisers), if so by whom? We British have a healthy scepticism of people in authority and during the Brexit debate experts were often vilified. However, now is the time to take notice. These are likely to be the most reliable sources of information, your hairdresser probably isn’t. Information that comes directly from central government (, local government (, NHS (, and police (, is likely to be the most reliable. There is some good advice from charities/non-profit organisations but they should be mainstream organisations with names you recognise. Some links are included below.

Purpose/Point of View:

Is the author trying to push an agenda or particular side? Are the arguments obviously biased? Is it an attempt to sell you something? Are you being asked for money or bank details?

Finally, before passing on information it is important to take a step back. Consider the reason for having been sent something and the possible consequences of passing it on. Before passing on any online rumour, take the time to verify it. This can be done by checking how recently an account has been created, keeping a close eye on information from your local authorities, and searching key words to find another source.

Sources of information (click on the links below):

Government guidance on social distancing and protecting the vulnerable.

Coronavirus advice from the NHS.

Check if you have coronavirus symptoms.

Coronavirus – Lancashire County Council response.

Coronavirus – West Lancashire Borough Council response.

Number of coronavirus cases and risk in the UK.

Coronavirus and heart or circulatory disease.

Coronavirus and lung disease.

Coronavirus and diabetes.

Coronavirus and the elderly.

Lancashire Constabulary – Coronavirus – Stay in the Know.



Coronavirus – important information from Scarisbrick Parish Council


Scarisbrick Parish Council is actively looking at ways that the vulnerable in the parish can be supported and will make funding available as appropriate. Something that is causing a significant problem at the moment is the growing number of coronavirus scams that are appearing – we want to be as sure as possible that we don’t unwittingly expose elderly residents to harm. We are working on it.

The best way anyone can help at the moment is to keep in touch with each other’s immediate neighbours. This is particularly the case if they are elderly, have pre-existing medical conditions, and are self-isolating. You will know them and, more importantly, they will know you. This immediately creates trust and ensures that they are not relying on people they may never have seen before (no matter how well-intentioned they may be). This is far better than any scheme we can devise and it can get off the ground with immediate effect.

We advise all residents not to hand over money to anyone they do not recognise (and trust) on the promise of having shopping done for them. This is, unfortunately, a scam that is gaining pace. Unscrupulous individuals are doing this whilst pretending to represent Parish Councils.

If you live within the parish, are self-isolating, and find yourself in serious and immediate need then please get in touch with the council and we will do what we can to resolve the problem. At the moment we will only be able to help with serious and immediate problems such as having run out of food or medication. Contact us by completing the form below. Give us your telephone number and a password (memorable word) of your choice. We will call you back and return the password so you know it is us. Our telephone number (mobile) is 07577240928, please only use this if absolutely necessary – we are a small parish council with limited resources.

We are not qualified to give medical advice. If you need this advice – and it’s not an emergency – you should dial the 111 telephone number.

We are starting to ramp up a flow of information on our website and Twitter accounts (@scarisbrick2day) but please bear with us – our resources are relatively small.


Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Phone Number (required)


Memorable Word

Your Message

Please enter the 4 characters below