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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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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.

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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.

 

 

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Scarisbrick Litter Group Needs New Members

PLEASE HELP KEEP OUR LOCAL ROADS AND LANES LITTER FREE

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.

Litter

If you can help please contact Mike Wilson on 07702 564654

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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.

Currency:

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.

Reliability:

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)?

Authority:

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 (.gov.uk), local government (.gov.uk), NHS (.nhs.uk), and police (.police.uk), 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.

 

Community Infrastructure Levy 2018-19

The Community Infrastructure Levy is a levy paid by developers to improve the infrastructure within the area of their developments.

Parish Councils receive a percentage of the levy to use within the Parish. Between 2015 and 2019 the Council received £5900.83 to improve the local infrastructure.

During 2019-2020 the Council allocated the levy to improve access to local transport support and to repairs at the Village Hall

The statutory report can be downloaded here:

CIL2018-19Scarisbrick

Smithy Lane (October 2019)

Scarisbrick Parish Council – Flooding Questionnaire

The questionnaire appears in the Winter 2019 edition of Scarisbrick Village Matters (SVM). An electronic version is available for download here. This can be completed on your computer, saved, and emailed as an attachment to scarisbrickpc@outlook.com

The SVM article is reproduced below.

FLOODING: REASONS, RISKS, AND RESPONSIBILITIES

News programmes have recently been as depressing as the weather. Flooding in Northwich saw the Environment Agency (EA) and United Utilities bickering about responsibility. The gloomy point was made that any flood defence would eventually be overwhelmed – a fight with nature has only one winner. Climate change apparently increases likelihood that Southport will become an island. The article ignored that this involves large areas of Scarisbrick being submerged. Then there was the potato farm in Lancashire that flooding had turned into a jet-ski resort!

How much do we know about personal flood risk, what influences it, and who is responsible for managing it? The Parish Council wants your thoughts on flooding in Scarisbrick and asks that you complete the questionnaire in this edition.

Climate change debate is controversial but Met Office records for 2019 demonstrate extremes. Unprecedented temperatures were recorded in February followed by Storms Freya and Gareth. A sunny Easter preceded Storm Hannah. A new UK maximum temperature on 25th July was followed by twice the average rainfall in many areas. Winters of 2013/14 and 2015/16 were the wettest on record with widespread impacts. Intense rainfall plays a major part in flooding and can’t be controlled, but we can influence how rainfall is managed once it hits the ground. Land use, extent of local development, drain and watercourse maintenance all play a part.

Heatons Bridge-culvert under canal overwhelmed

Heatons Bridge – culvert under canal overwhelmed with overflow into canal.

Flood classification is useful when determining areas of responsibility. Coastal and groundwater flooding are unlikely in Scarisbrick whereas surface water (pluvial) and watercourse (fluvial) flooding are commonest. Backflow from sewers is a potential cause of flooded property and in Scarisbrick is the responsibility of United Utilities.

Pluvial flooding occurs anywhere at any time. Heavy and sudden rainfall causes rapid flooding which usually subsides quickly once rain stops. In extreme cases “flash flooding” is fast-moving and dangerous. Pluvial flooding is minimised by good drainage but is commonly seen where drains are blocked or overwhelmed – flooding of roads is an example. Run-off from flooded roads and inconsiderate driving can cause flooding of gardens and inside property. Lancashire County Council (LCC) maintains roadside drains whereas West Lancashire Borough Council (WLBC) clears gutters.

Run-off from fields

Run-off from fields.

Run-off from adjacent land can be significant if the ground is hardened by compaction (agricultural practices play a role) or prolonged hot spells. Road drains are designed to take water from roads and can silt-up or are overwhelmed in these circumstances. Overdevelopment increasingly causes absorbent ground to be lost. WLBC is responsible for planning but this isn’t simply about new development – we install patios or additional car parking on our properties which contribute to the problem. In rural areas road drains discharge into ditches that may themselves be full, this brings us to another problem.

Fluvial flooding occurs when watercourses overflow. Scarisbrick has many watercourses of various sizes because we live in an agricultural area where ditches drain land, but we also lie between Ormskirk and the sea. Hurlston and Sandy Brooks run through the parish and take the surface drainage of Ormskirk from Scarth Hill downwards. This is a particular concern because 100 year floods are now considered to be 30 year floods.

Fluvial flooding from Sandy Brook (right)

Fluvial flooding from Sandy Brook.

Responsibility for watercourse maintenance depends on classification. Main rivers are the EA’s responsibility; the classification reflects significance rather than size and includes watercourses on Martin Mere. Others are “ordinary” watercourses where responsibilities lie with riparian owners and are defined by legislation. This applies to farmers but also homeowners with drainage ditches crossing or adjacent to their gardens.

Living in Scarisbrick means you are close to a geological bowl which is the pumped area of the Alt-Crossens drainage catchment. This contains some of the most fertile soil in the UK with importance to national food supply contributing £230m to our local economy. It is the lowest point of the Borough’s drainage system and water is pumped out to sea at Crossens. Pumping operations are currently threatened by government cuts. Pumping to protect agricultural resources is no longer considered viable, although no flood threat to property is anticipated. However, new data suggests flooding could be more widespread than predicted and may isolate Southport. The extent of surrounding ground saturation is difficult to determine and could also threaten infrastructure.

Alt-Crossens - pumped catchment (EA map)

Alt-Crossens – pumped catchment (Environment Agency map).

There is growing acceptance that flooding is inevitable but we need to mitigate impacts. Everyone plays a role which may be as simple as reporting blocked road drains or driving more considerately through floodwater. We should avoid covering gardens with impermeable surfaces and consider our carbon footprint. We should take riparian responsibilities seriously. We should hold local authorities to account and challenge policymakers whether this is over new development, pumping station closure, or how often gutters are cleaned. There is also emphasis on reasonable self-help such as purchasing sandbags, installing domestic flood barriers, or clearing grids outside our homes.

 

Useful resources:  

If floodwater enters your house, or is over halfway across the road, telephone:

    • 0300 123 6780 (Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm, excluding bank holidays). 
    • Otherwise telephone 101 (Police non-emergency number).
    • IF THERE IS A THREAT TO LIFE CALL 999.

 

If flooding is from sewers or burst water mains, telephone:

  • 0345 6723 723 (United Utilities)

Report blocked road drains:

https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/roads-parking-and-travel/report-it/flooding-and-drainage/

“Flooding in Lancashire” – what to do before, during, and after a flood:

https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/flooding/

Owning a watercourse – rules and responsibilities:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/owning-a-watercourse

“Know Your Flood Risk” – advice and links:

http://www.knowyourfloodrisk.co.uk/flood-advice-guidance

 

John Herbert

Scarisbrick Parish Councillor

 

Notice of Public Rights to inspect accounts

Any person who wishes to inspect the accounts may do so upon application to the Parish Clerk.

The statutory period that the accounts may be inspected will run from Monday 17th June 2019 until Friday 26th July 2019.

You are advised to read the Public Rights Notice 2019 before making any application

Public Rights Notice 2019

 

Traffic Survey B5242

The Parish Council are asking residents and users of the B5242 for their views.

A questionnaire has been delivered to residents along the road and a shortened version has been published in Scarisbrick Village Matters.

A copy is available for download here Traffic Survey B5242 .

The closing date for the survey is Sunday 8th April 2018.