First World War memorial installed

Scarisbrick’s memorial to the Fallen of the First World War has now been installed at the Village Hall. Dedicated to the memory of sixty-four men from the parish who lost their lives during the conflict, the memorial is constructed of eye-catching polished black granite with white enamelled lettering and is set amongst natural sandstone paving.


In addition to carrying the names of the Fallen the monument includes a frieze depicting a horse drawn plough together with poppies entwined with sheaves of corn. This highlights the link between the agricultural heritage of the parish and the sacrifice of its men, many of whom had strong connections with the land prior to the conflict. One such man was John Halewood, a former pupil of St Mark’s School who worked as a horseman at a local farm on Hurlston Green. This year marks the centenary of his death during the Somme offensive, one of the bloodiest battles of the war which eventually took the lives of over a million men. In his last letter he poignantly writes of home. In so doing he describes the nature of the sacrifice made by the Fallen, and emphasises why it should not be forgotten:

I do not know if I shall see either of these places again, but their memory only serves to help me on through these trying times, and make me all the more determined to do my duty, so that my friends and relations may never have cause to be ashamed of me”.


The project was launched in 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the conflict. A community working group was formed and had its first meeting at the end of April. The plan was to establish a new memorial to the Fallen within the parish and to create memorial books to be held in local churches and schools. The monument at the Village Hall marks the completion of the first phase and has added about thirty names to those remembered in local churches. Many local names are represented on the monument with families still residing in Scarisbrick and surrounding areas. It is hoped that the memorial will help to provide closure for these families, given that circumstances often dictated that remains were not returned home.


The second phase is underway and should be completed by the end of the centenary. The books will also contain details of local men who served and returned home – a cohort that is often forgotten. It is estimated that the stories of about 200 men will be included and the working group would be pleased to hear from anyone willing to help in the compilation of the books. This website will also carry short biographies of each of the men which will link to the memorial by means of a QR code. The collection of biographies will increase as work is completed and it is hoped that names remembered on the memorial will appear soon.

A number of events have been staged over the last couple of years to raise funds for the project. Fundraising was launched with an exhibition at Scarisbrick Hall School and has since been supported by events organised by local schools, churches and groups such as the WI. There have been significant individual donations and an important financial contribution from the West Lancashire Heritage Association. Local firms have been involved in the construction of the memorial with stonemasonry being supplied by Ormsby of Scarisbrick and groundwork by Dave Finney Landscapes. The invaluable support of the management committee at Scarisbrick Village Hall is acknowledged in providing the site for the memorial. An ecumenical Service of Dedication is being planned for Armistice Day. This will include the Calling of the Names and reading of extracts regarding the lives of the Fallen by local schoolchildren.

Location of the monument at Scarisbrick Village Hall.

Location of the monument at Scarisbrick Village Hall.

Scarisbrick Parish Council has formally adopted the memorial, taking responsibility for its maintenance and insurance. The Council takes this opportunity to express its gratitude to all those who continue to contribute to the working group and who ensured that plans came to fruition.

The project aims to provide a touchstone between past and present. It affords a source of civic pride whilst reiterating the human cost of warfare, underlining the extra-ordinary sacrifice of a previous generation of Scarisbrick men.


Pumping Stations – notice of closure


Readers may be aware of plans to withdraw funding for drainage operations in the Alt-Crossens catchment and the potential effects that this will have on the region and Scarisbrick in particular.

The land in Alt-Crossens is low lying with a good proportion sitting below sea level. Water is taken off the land via a network of drainage ditches and raised watercourses. A series of satellite pumping stations propels the water to major pumping stations at Altmouth and Crossens where it is pumped to sea. The system of pumping stations, drains and watercourses maintains Alt-Crossens in its mainly dry state and prevents flooding.

The Environment Agency has had its budget cut and been instructed by DEFRA to invest its resources into the protection of residential and commercial property and to cease land drainage benefits. As a result, notice is about to be served on satellite pumping stations within the catchment.

These stations and watercourses are important to us because they remove water from the large agricultural area that comprises our Parish and on to Crossens. Across West Lancashire about 40,000 acres of grade 1 and 2 agricultural land will potentially be put at risk. This land currently brings about £230 million into our local economy, income the area can ill-afford to lose. The extent to which the infrastructure of the area will be affected is unknown with the effect on roads, railways and utility supplies being a major concern. There is also a degree of uncertainty regarding the extent of land that may potentially be affected.

The matter is now starting to come to a head. The Environment Agency will serve notice on five pumping stations by the end of July 2015. These include Rufford Causeway, Clay Brow, Boundary Brook, Kew and Banks Marsh. Others will follow. There will then be a period of 24 months prior to closure of pumping operations, a period in which a solution must be found.

Further updates and notices of events will be published on this website where there will also be a series of articles exploring the situation in more depth over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency is to hold a series of engagement days for those most likely to be affected. The first event is aimed at local farmers and landowners who are hereby invited to attend. The event will be held at 7.00pm on Thursday 2nd July 2015 in the local NFU offices (1 Moss Lane View, Skelmersdale, WN8 9TL).


Scarisbrick Parish Council – Meetings 2015/16

Members of the public are welcome to attend and will have the opportunity to address the Council if they wish.
Meetings will be held at 8.00pm in the Village Hall on the following dates (unless otherwise stated):

  • Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council                        Monday 7th April 2015
  • Annual Parish Meeting                                                     Monday 11th May 2015
  • Annual Meeting of the Parish Council                           Monday 11th May 2015
  • Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council                        Monday 1st June 2015
  • Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council                        Monday 6th July 2015
  • Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council                        Monday 3rd August 2015
  • Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council                        Monday 7th September 2015
  • Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council                        Monday 5th October 2015
  • Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council                        Monday 2nd November 2015
  • Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council                        Monday 7th December 2015
  • Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council                        Monday 4th January 2016
  • Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council                        Monday 1st February 2016
  • Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council                        Monday 7th March 2016

Share Your Memories

We’ve added a new feature to the website where people in the community are able to share memories of the lives in Scarisbrick.  Please head over the Memories page to read what other Scarisbrick residents and to leave your own memory on the timeline.

Superfast Broadband has arrived in Scarisbrick.

Superfast Broadband

Scarisbrick Village Matters have recently reported that superfast broadband has arrived at telephone exchanges servicing parts of Scarisbrick, with a sticker being spotted on the BT box near St Mark’s Church. This comes hot on the heals of a local 4G mobile network rollout, meaning that Scarisbrick finally seems to be catching up with other towns and cities in the North West of England.

But what does this mean to Scarisbrick and its residents? One of the first things people think of when they hear “superfast broadband” is their improved personal use of the internet, such as using social media, streaming films and music, watching catch up TV and online gaming.

Businesses can also take advantage of high internet speeds, allowing their employees to work remotely outside the office and use cloud computing to reduce costs. A local business would also be able to improve their communication with clients and customers, with the new technology allowing more efficient transfer of files as well as the opportunity to use the internet to make phone and video calls.

On a global and national scale, fast internet speeds are supporting the advent of the “Internet of Things” (IoT). This is a term describing the connection of devices to each other via the internet and it already has practical uses in the home, for example, turning on the lights automatically when someone gets home. In the future, IoT could allow for real time transfer of health data to our hospitals without the need to visit a GP. Of local interest, it could allow farmers to track cattle movements on their mobile phone via tags on the animals or allow the farmer to use online tools to check soil quality to increase crop yield.

What does the arrival of superfast internet mean to you – the residents of Scarisbrick? Are slow speeds holding you or your business back, or is the internet simply something you could do without? What would be your vision for a faster, more connected Scarisbrick? Please share your thoughts using the Comments form below or by sending us a message from the “Contact Us” page, or tweet us @Scarisbrick2day.


Meeting Minutes – October 2014

Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held at 8.00pm in the Village Hall on Monday 6th October 2014.


  • Councillor M. Forshaw (in the Chair)
  • Councillor Mrs J. Marshall
  • Councillor D. Oakes
  • Councillor A. Williams
  • Councillor H. Ascroft
  • Councillor J. Hankin
  • Councillor P. Packwood
  • Councillor C. Marshall
  • Councillor Mrs M. Edwards
  • Councillor I. Tinsley
  • Mr J. Herbert (Clerk – in attendance)
  • County Councillor C. Dereli
  • Sixteen members of the public were also present.


14/190   APOLOGIES.

There were none.



Councillor H. Ascroft declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in agenda item 14/197(a).

Councillor C. Marshall declared a personal interest in agenda item 14/197(a).



It was resolved that the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on Monday 1st September  2014 were a true record and should be signed by the Chairman.



Prizes for this year’s Garden Competition were presented by the Chairman.

A resident enquired as to progress regarding the provision of a new bus stop on Gorsuch Lane (the Clerk responded as outlined in Item 14/206 of these minutes). He also expressed concern regarding the non-publication of Scarisbrick Village Matters.

A resident expressed concern regarding the state of various public footpaths in the Parish. County Councillor Dereli said that she was investigating public footpath complaints.

A resident stated that WLBC had refused to allocate her son and daughter-in-law an affordable home within the Parish as they did not yet have a family.

A local landowner expressed his dismay that LCC had made an Order to add a claimed public footpath to the Definitive Map. The route crosses his land and he outlined his objections.


14/194   PLANNING.

The following applications were considered and the decisions taken as shown.

  1. 2014/0838/FUL – 163 Bescar Lane, Scarisbrick, L40 9QR. – No objection.
  2. 2014/0922/COU – Jacksons Common Farm, Harridge Lane, Scarisbrick. – No objection.
  3. 2014/0943/FUL – 19 – 21 Southport Road, Scarisbrick, PR8 5JF. – No objection.
  4. 2014/1023/FUL – 32 Snape Green, Scarisbrick, Lancashire. PR8 5LN. – No objection.
  5. 2014/0980/FUL – Land Adjacent To 1 To 7 Hillock Close, Scarisbrick. – No objection (Councillor Mrs J. Marshall abstained). 


14/195   FINANCE.

  1. It was resolved that the invoice for the replacement bus shelters (insurance claim) should be paid prospectively as requested by the contractor. It was further resolved that our insurers’ offer to pay a £1,825 initial contribution be accepted, with the balance (£2,225) to be paid by this Council and recouped from the insurers at a later date.
  2. It was resolved that the following accounts be passed for payment:

* Includes:

  • Mobile phone monthly tariff and credit agreement @ £34.05
  • Travelling (55 miles @ 45p/mile)
  • Printer ink cartridge @ £21.00
  • Stationery and stamps @ £15.49
  • Website (hosting and domain name registration for 2 years) @ £118.31
  • Companies House research (re. Mercuri) @ £1.00

N.B.   Cheques for Garden Competition prizes were signed prior to this meeting, as resolved at the Council meeting of 1st September 2014 (minuted at Item14/186c). Expenditure under provisions of LGA 1972, s.137 (benefit to community is environment/well-being/health).



It was resolved to proceed with the Working Group’s recommendations to replace two bus shelters (New Hall Drive and Carr Cross), arrange repairs as listed (within the stated budget), and authorise Councillor Mrs. Marshall to arrange disposal of shelters at New Hall Drive, Carr Cross, and St Mark’s School in the sum of £80 per shelter.



Councillor H. Ascroft left the room (having declared a disclosable pecuniary interest). Members expressed concern regarding LCC’s Definitive Map Modification Order (Bescar Brow Lane to footpath 14A), citing the plethora of footpaths within the Parish (which LCC struggle to maintain) and drainage maintenance issues relating to Sandy Brook.

It was resolved that Councillors Oakes, Marshall and the Clerk should draft and submit an objection on behalf of this Council.

Councillor H. Ascroft was then recalled and resumed his place at the meeting.

The poor condition of some public footpaths within the Parish was discussed. The Clerk reported that obstruction was LCC’s priority; complaints about routine maintenance were placed on a long waiting list. He outlined proposals for transferring maintenance to Parish Councils, which will be placed on a future agenda pending further information from LCC.

It was resolved that the Clerk be informed of maintenance issues to pass on to LCC.



It was the recollection of members that the notice board is the property of this Council.

It was resolved to authorise repairs to the Perspex window.



The Clerk reported that he and Councillor Oakes will be putting forward a motion for consideration at the LALC AGM on the 8th November.

He reported on a meeting with shadow minister Barry Gardiner MP. Inequity in funding of IDBs was highlighted. Existing Boards attract substantial Government funding, new Boards will not. Mr Gardiner said that he would take this issue back to Westminster. Concern was also expressed regarding a failure of local funding, with a WLBC spokesman reported as saying that the majority of the Borough would not obtain benefit from the expenditure.

Members made the point that the current lack of an accurate modelling exercise did not help the situation. It was reported that Dan Rogerson MP will no longer be visiting the catchment.

It was resolved keep the issue in the public domain and lobby Mr Rogerson’s replacement (Liz Truss MP) and the chief executive of LCC.



Resignations and vacancies have left a significant void within the management group of Scarisbrick Newsletter Association with lack of publication of Scarisbrick Village Matters.

It was resolved that the chairman would discuss with the chairman of the Association.


14/201   WW1 WORKING GROUP. 

The Clerk reported on progress, the Group’s concerns regarding funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the desirability to find alternative funding streams (including the precept).

It was resolved to revisit the issue of funding once costs had been clearly determined.



It was resolved to support the Parish clergy’s initiative for such a service. 



The Clerk reported that the budget heading for bus shelters is expected to be overspent by about £5,400 due to the purchase of new bus shelters. This expenditure was not included in the budget, it being previously resolved to meet the cost from reserves. Expenditure under the remaining budget headings is currently predicted to come within budget.   



It was resolved to defer this item to the next meeting.



It was resolved to approve amended standing order 3L and adopt the revised document.


14/206   CLERK’S REPORT.

The following items were noted: 

  1. WLBC – (a) Received an email containing background information regarding the Community Infrastructure Levy (circulated); (b) Received notification of Code of Conduct training sessions. Members should inform the Clerk if they wish to attend.
  2. LCC – LCC are currently in consultation with the police regarding new bus stops on Gorsuch and Jacksmere Lanes. They will respond to this Council’s enquiry shortly.
  3. LALC– Received notification of Freedom of Information/data protection courses (circulated). Members should inform the Clerk if they wish to register.
  4. LBKV – Scarisbrick Marina and Master McGraths Restaurant were both highly commended in the Certificate of Merit entries.
  5. North West Ambulance Service – Received a reply from correspondence (circulated).
  6. Department of Transport – Received a reply from correspondence (circulated).
  7. Friends of Bescar Lane Station – Received a letter of thanks (circulated).
  8. Website – Webhosting and domain name ( have been purchased for two years. The site is currently undergoing some modifications and off-line testing.
  9. 3-Parishes Meeting – There was discussion around public footpaths, forthcoming changes to public transport provision with emphasis on community transport initiatives, and how Parishes may have input into public health improvement schemes. Details will be circulated and issues discussed through future agendas.
  10. Policing – Last month’s crime figures will be circulated to members when available.



Councillor Tinsley reported that a meeting of the Peter Lathom Charity will take place shortly. Councillor Mrs Marshall reported that the defibrillator is now installed and operational in Master McGraths restaurant.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 10.24pm.

Non-Domestic Garden Winner Heatons Bridge Pub

Garden Competition 2014

Prizes were awarded to winners of Scarisbrick’s annual garden competition at the recent Parish Council meeting. There had been a good level of entries for the competition which was judged in August, with twenty-five entrants across seven categories.

The competition was once again judged by Messrs Alan Foxall and Peter Scanlan, two local horticultural experts who have supported the competition for many years. Mrs Pamela Weir, a previous competition winner, was a guest judge for this year’s competition. Their job proved to be particularly difficult due to the high standard of the entries but after much deliberation the winners were declared to be:

Front garden

  1. Mr and Mrs R. Guy (Scarisbrick Nurseries Trophy).
  2. Mr P. Sourbutts.
  3. Mr and Mrs F. Musgrove.

Highly Commended – Richards Family; Mrs S. Grimshaw.

Rear garden

  1. Mrs K. Smith (Alan Foxall Trophy).
  2. Mr and Mrs F. Musgrove.
  3. Mr and Mrs R. Guy.

Highly Commended – Mrs R. Burrill.

Hanging baskets/ window boxes/ containers

  1. Mr P. Sourbutts (Scarisbrick Parish Council Trophy).
  2. Mr J. Halsall.
  3. Mr and Mrs R. Sumner.

Highly Commended – Mr and Mrs F. Musgrove.

Best entry from a non- prize winner in previous years

Friends of Bescar Lane Station (Dennis Halsall Trophy).

Water feature/ garden pond

  1. Mrs S. Grimshaw & Family (Holgate Maintenance Trophy).  
  2. Mr J. Halsall.
  3. Mr and Mrs F. Musgrove.

Highly Commended – Mr and Mrs R. Sumner.

Non-domestic premises (note – joint winners)

  1. Heatons Bridge Inn (Turfland Trophy).
  2. Master McGraths Restaurant (Turfland Trophy).
  3. Friends of Bescar Lane Station.

Mobile home garden

  1. Mr A. Davitt (Hurlston Hall Country Caravan Park Trophy).
  2. Mrs Southworth.

Best overall entry:

Mr P. Sourbutts (Bill Scarisbrick Memorial Trophy).

Of particular note are the Friends of Bescar Lane Station, winners of the Dennis Halsall Trophy for the best entry from a non-prize winner in previous years. This team of green-fingered volunteers have dedicated themselves to adorning the station with flowers and plants to brighten up the journeys of local commuters. The fruits of their labours are for all to see and they are well deserved winners.

Special mention also goes to Master McGraths Restaurant and Scarisbrick Marina who were both highly commended in this year’s Lancashire’s Best Kept Village Competition. Master McGraths also enjoyed success in the garden competition, coming into joint top spot with Heatons Bridge Inn in the non-domestic premises category.

Scarisbrick Parish Council is particularly grateful for the ongoing support given by sponsors of the garden competition. Their contribution underlines commitment to the community of Scarisbrick in difficult economic times and ensures the event is possible. The Council would like to acknowledge the generosity of:

  • Turfland Farms Ltd.
  • Hurlston Hall Golf and Country Club.
  • Cathay Garden Chinese Restaurant.
  • Heatons Bridge Inn.
  • The Elephant Restaurant.
  • Lea’s Traditional Butchery.
  • Flavourfresh Solfresh Group.


The Environment Agency’s plans to disinvest in flood control measures on Martin Mere remain high on the Council’s agenda. It is apparent that no-one is quite sure what the extent of flooding will be once the local pumping stations are switched off. This remains a matter of great concern to the Parish Council and indeed our colleagues in Burscough, Rufford, Halsall and Downholland. This is undoubtedly a situation where public pressure can count and the Parish Council encourages you to make your voice heard. Please let your concerns be known to your local councillors and MP. This is not only about farmland; it has the potential to affect infrastructure such as roads, railways and utilities. It is possible that the full extent of the repercussions will not be known until the land is allowed to flood, by which time it may well be too late. The people of the Somerset Levels are still feeling the effects after the floods have subsided. We don’t want to see a similar situation in Scarisbrick.

Bus Shelters

Scarisbrick’s timber bus-shelters have been a familiar and distinctive aspect of the local street scene for many years. Many of you will have noticed that the storms earlier in the year damaged a number of the shelters. The Diglake shelter was blown over and the shelter opposite Bullens Lane was literally torn apart by the winds. Insurance claims have been processed and both are to be replaced in the near future.

Other shelters incurred minor damage but it is also clear that age is beginning to take its toll. I am told that some of the shelters are over forty years old and annual maintenance costs are becoming quite high. It is for these reasons that the Parish Council has recently committed to a rolling programme of replacement.

The Council has recently inspected the shelters and now has an idea of the scale of the problem and where priorities lie. The Parish has nineteen bus-shelters. It is clear that costs can be contained if some shelters are simply taken down and not replaced as they become unserviceable. Please contact the Council if you are a user and have strong views on which bus stops should keep their shelters.

Timber bus-shelters have been a distinctive feature of the Parish for many years and there is a school of thought that these are aesthetically more in keeping with our rural setting. An alternative view favours the modern metal frame and perspex shelters. These are more utilitarian in appearance but are cheaper to purchase and maintain; they are therefore more in keeping with every local authority’s responsibility to obtain value for money. The Council will be looking at the alternatives over the next few months and we will hopefully be seeing some new shelters within the Parish in the near future.

Crime and Policing

Rural crime has been something of a growth industry across the country over the past few years. Scarisbrick is susceptible to this type of crime because its location invites cross-border criminality from adjacent conurbations. The police cannot be everywhere and often the price of continued safety is vigilance, for which we all have a responsibility.

Technology undoubtedly helps, particularly as we have experienced cuts in front-line policing. The opportunity recently arose for the Parish Council to enter into partnership with West Lancashire Borough Council to provide two additional CCTV cameras for the Parish. This was considered to be a particularly good deal as the Borough Council would assume the running costs for the cameras. However, we have since been overtaken by events and I am pleased to report that the Borough Council will now take on the total cost of supplying and running the cameras. The precise locations for the new cameras are yet to be confirmed. It is likely that they will be at strategic sites on the A570, monitoring routes into the Parish from Sefton and Merseyside.