News

Cyber Protection

Following the ransomware cyber attack on Friday 12 May which affected the NHS and is believed to have affected other organisations globally, the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has issued an alert urging both individuals and businesses to follow protection advice immediately and in the coming days.   Ransomware is a form of malicious software (Malware) that enables cyber criminals to remotely lock down files on your computer or mobile device. Criminals will use ransomware to extort money from you (a ransom), before they restore access to your files. There are many ways that ransomware can infect your device, whether it be a link to a malicious website in an unsolicited email, or through a security vulnerability in a piece of software you use.   Key Protect messages for businesses to protect themselves from ransomware:
  • Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
  • Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to a device that isn’t left connected to your network as any malware infection could spread to that too.
The National Cyber Security Centre’s technical guidance includes specific software patches to use that will prevent uninfected computers on your network from becoming infected with the “WannaCry” Ransomware: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/ransomware-latest-ncsc-guidance   For additional in-depth technical guidance on how to protect your organisation from ransomware, details can be found here: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-your-organisation-ransomware   Key Protect advice for individuals:
  • Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
  • Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to a device (such as an external hard drive or memory stick) that isn’t left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.
  • Only install apps from official app stores, such as Google’s Play Store, or Apple’s App Store as they offer better levels of protection than some 3rd party  stores. Jailbreaking, rooting, or disabling any of the default security features of your device will make it more susceptible to malware infections.
Phishing/smishing Fraudsters may exploit this high profile incident and use it as part of phishing/smishing campaigns. We urge people to be cautious if they receive any unsolicited communications from the NHS. The protect advice for that is the following:
  • An email address can be spoofed. Don’t open attachments or click on the links within any unsolicited emails you receive, and never respond to emails that ask for your personal or financial details.
  • The sender’s name and number in a text message can be spoofed, so even if the message appears to be from an organisation you know of, you should still exercise caution, particularly if the texts are asking you to click on a link or call a number.
Don’t disclose your personal or financial details during a cold call, and remember that the police and banks will never ring you and ask you to verify your PIN, withdraw your cash, or transfer your money to another “safe” account.   If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Average Speed Update

At the beginning of the year it was announced by the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership that eight routes across Lancashire would be installed with average speed cameras in a bid to reduce road casualties. One of the average speed routes, the A6 London Road in Preston, went live in March and a further three routes (A657 in Belmont, A565 Southport New Road and A588 Head Dyke Lane) are nearing completion but no firm enforcement dates have been set. Work is yet to begin on the remaining four routes (B6232 Grane Road, A682 Gisburn Road, A59 Brockholes Brow and A583 Preston New Road) but all are expected to be completed by the end of 2017. Whilst work has progressed this year, some changes to the initial plans for two of the routes have been reviewed and will now be carried out. Due to a temporary speed restriction implemented by Lancashire County Council on a section of the A583 Preston New Road, the camera locations have been revised and changes will be made to shorten the route. Cameras will now cover the A583 Preston New Road (3 miles) between Wrea Green roundabout, through Kirkham bypass to Newton-with-Scales, west of Clifton. Due to the reduction on the A583 route and a review of casualty data and feedback from local residents, the A565 Southport New Road average speed camera scheme will be extended. The additional cameras will be installed in the coming weeks, extending the route from Mere Brow through Holmes to the Tarleton crossroads. The route will now cover 3.7 miles. More information about the average speed cameras can be found on the constabulary website: www.lancashire.police.uk/help-advice/road-safety/average-speed-cameras/ For more information from the Partnership you can visit: www.safe2travel.co.uk/speed

Citezens Advice Outreach

Fylde Citizens Advice to run outreach sessions from the Town Hall in St Annes Fylde Citizens Advice, who are funded by Fylde Council, has a long history of providing independent advice to all Fylde residents.  Both partners are committed to providing Fylde residents with the advice they need for the problems they face in day-to-day life.  The range of advice is broad and covers a wide range of issues that people may require support with. Representatives provide free, confidential and impartial advice on welfare benefits, consumer, housing, relationship, debt and money, immigration and employment issues. They can assist clients to claim what they are entitled to and to know their rights and responsibilities; increasing their wellbeing and improving the Fylde economy.  Advisors have completed full Citizens Advice training and are audited to ensure they comply with both the AQS quality mark and FCA guidance. From Tuesday the 18th of April, Citizens Advice will be running outreach sessions from the Town Hall's new customer area on Tuesdays between 9am and 1.30pm, and from 3rd of May the service will also be available on Wednesdays. This will double the current outreach provision in St Annes and builds on their permanent core service which is based at their offices in Kirkham. Councillor Ben Aitken, Chairman of the Environment, Health and Housing Committee commented: “The Council is delighted to support the Fylde Citizens Advice Bureau to expand its outreach services to cover the Lytham St Annes area.  This will mean that the service can be more easily accessed by residents in these areas which has been something that the council has been keen to bring about in partnership with the CAB”. The initial vision is for the Tuesday session to cover pre-booked appointments with the Wednesday session being a drop in service. Appointments for the outreach by calling 0300 330 1166.

Average Speed Cameras on A6

Average speed cameras to be enforced – A6 London Road    New average speed cameras will be enforced from Thursday 23 March on the A6 London Road, Preston, it has been confirmed.  Following their installation and a successful period of testing, the cameras will now go live for enforcement along the 0.7mile stretch between the Capitol Centre (Winery Lane) and Albyn Street East.   This is the first of eight routes across the county to be enforced, while installation is on-going or yet to begin on the remaining roads throughout Lancashire.   The Lancashire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP) gave the go ahead for the scheme last year and in January announced the chosen routes where 13 people lost their lives in collisions in almost six years and 62 people suffered serious or life changing injuries.   The Partnership decided to adopt the system using average speed cameras as safety and motorist compliance has consistently improved on a variety of road types using the system in other parts of the UK.   The cameras will use number plate recognition technology to detect vehicles and calculate their average speed by measuring the time taken to travel between fixed points of a known distance apart. Average speed check signage will be used to inform drivers that they are entering an average speed control zone.   The introduction of the system is intended to positively influence driver behaviour and ensure that motorists comply with the set limits on roads, resulting in a safer environment for all road users.   Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques, Chair of the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership, said: “As I said earlier this year when we announced plans for the average speed scheme, we simply don’t want to catch motorists speeding.   “These routes all have a significant record of collisions resulting in both death and serious injury. It is our aim to reduce these numbers and for all drivers to adhere to the safe speed limits on our roads.   “With the first route now set to go live, we want road users to comply with the limit and play their role in making our roads safer for everyone. We know that during our test phase over the past few weeks, an average of 100 motorists a day would have been detected speeding by the cameras.   “We are striving for a Lancashire where we prevent all collisions that result in death or serious injury and I am confident that using this type of enforcement will play a vital role as part of this vision.”   Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said: "In the last five years 13 families have lost loved ones in accidents on these roads and 62 people have experienced life changing injuries. The road safety partnership had to act to make sure motorists slow down and reduce the risk of death and injury and ensuring the speed limit on these roads is effectively enforced."   County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said:  "Adopting new safety measures has been key in helping to make our roads safer over many decades, and I'm glad that average speed cameras are now another tool we can use.

77 Drivers Stopped

A total of 77 drivers were stopped and handed tough new penalties as part of a week of action to catch motorists using mobile phones behind the wheel. Amongst those now facing increased fines and penalty points was a driver who stated he didn’t know how to work his built in hands free kit and a HGV driver caught texting. The HGV driver will also be reported to the North West Traffic Commissioner who has responsibility for issuing operating licences for HGV companies. In addition, a tradesman who already had 8 points on his licence now faces the prospect of being disqualified at court for exceeding the 12 point maximum. During the week long operation, 1-7 March, officers targeted major trunk roads and areas where concerns had previously been raised by local communities, to enforce the law, prevent offending and educate those who continue to disregard the safety of other road users. Marked and un-marked police vehicles were used to identify possible offenders, checkpoints were implemented across the county and officers responded to complaints about persistent offenders. Targeting this type of unacceptable behaviour on Lancashire’s roads was part of a wider national campaign to clamp down on mobile phone use whilst driving. It also coincided with the implementation of increased penalties for the offence, which are now set at six points and a £200 fine. For new drivers (within two years of passing their test) this means automatically losing their licence and having to re-apply for a provisional and re-take their theory and driving test. As well as the 77 caught using their phones, a further 53 people were caught travelling without wearing a seatbelt including a driver with two young children in the car. A total of 52 vehicles were seized from the roadside for a range of reasons including no insurance or no diving licence. Officers along with our Mobile Camera Van Technicians also detected over 200 speeding offences across the county. Chief Inspector Damian Kitchen said: “We engaged widely with the public last week, through local radio, social media and check sites. The overwhelming feedback is that the public are extremely supportive of the increased penalties and focus on this offence. Indeed a large number advocated bigger fines and penalties. “The detection of not only so many phone offences, but other offences such as seatbelts and speed offences shows that we still have work to do. The Lancashire Road Safety Partnership is committed through education, engagement and if needed enforcement to drive down casualties ‘towards zero’ on our roads. “Some of the people caught now face not only increased insurance premiums, but in some cases the potential of losing their jobs. I would rather we catch nobody and see this offence become a thing of the past. This is not about fines and points, it’s about stopping people getting injured on our roads.” Research shows that when talking on a mobile phone, a driver’s reaction time is nearly 50 per cent slower than under normal driving conditions and you are four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone when driving. Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “These figures show that there are still too many people on Lancashire's roads willing to put themselves and others at risk by using a device at the wheel. However, they also show that the police are taking action and using the tougher powers they have available to them. “When I talk to members of the public about roads policing, people using phones at the wheel is their main complaint. To those taking unacceptable risks the message is clear, the police have the powers to tackle this and will take action against you. Don't risk people's lives or losing your licence.” In support of the tougher national stance, the constabulary will no longer offer education courses to drivers caught using their phone as an alternative to a fine and points. Those caught will automatically be issued with a penalty notice or be reported to court, depending on the circumstances of the offence. It is hoped that the tougher penalties will act as a deterrent and encourage people to think before they pick up a phone whilst driving, realising the dangers and potential life changing consequences. Activity will continue throughout the year to target motorists and to raise awareness through on-going social media campaigns. More information can be found on the Lancashire Constabulary website:  https://www.lancashire.police.uk/campaigns/distracted-driving-mobile-phones/

New Western Division Police HQ

We wanted to update you on the new West Division Police Headquarters, which is being built on Clifton Road in Blackpool. Construction work started on the site in December and the steel framework is currently being erected. A computer-generated, virtual video of the new headquarters is now available to view here. The footage shows the outside of the building as well as the public enquiry desk. The new headquarters will replace Bonny Street Police Station when it is complete in 2018. It will be the headquarters for Lancashire Constabulary’s West Division, which covers Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster and Morecambe. Close to the M55, the building will provide a base for some of the local policing and immediate response teams as well as a public enquiry desk, investigations hub and 42 custody cells. It will also house a range of specialist teams serving the whole of the division. You can view images and find out more about the new headquarters on our website. Kind regards Lancashire Constabulary

Fracking Protest Arrests

Message sent by
Andrew Hill (Police, Sgt, WEST - Fylde)
We thought you’d appreciate an update after the four arrests made yesterday at the fracking site on A583 Preston New Road:   Jared Dunne, 22 of Manchester Road, Warrington; Edward Thornton, 33, of, Pickering, North Yorkshire and Joseph Boyd, 43, of Blyth Hey, Bootle were charged with a breach of a Section 14 Public Order Act notice and are due to appear before Blackpool Magistrates Court on March 3.   Louise Hammond, 53, of Cedar Avenue, Scunthorpe was charged with a breach of a Section 14 Public Order Act notice and breach of bail. She was remanded to appear before Blackpool Magistrates Court this morning where she was further bailed.   These arrests were made in addition to 2 arrests on Friday for Obstruction of the Highway.   We fully understand people’s right to peaceful and legal protest and will continue to facilitate this as we have done from day 1.  However, we have to balance this with the rights of people and local companies to go about their daily business.   We are also aware concerns have been raised around the traffic management plan but it would be best to direct these to Lancashire County Council who are the lead agency in this area.  Police Liaison Officers are in attendance daily at the site and are there to engage with you – say hello – we don’t bite J   We will continue to work with campaigners, local businesses and the local community.

Help CAPOW Reject Further Housing

As you will have seen, we have two planning applications in Bryning Lane currently. In support of local residents and the Village as a whole it would be of great assistance if you would email your objections to FBC Planning Department. To assist we have provided a list of planning reasons for refusal of each site below. Please do NOT use this list as it is written and use your own wording, adding any additional/removing matters as you see fit. FBC do regard repeat standardised letters as inferior objections! Some of you will already have objected and if so please ignore that part of this missive. I am afraid you will be asked to do the same for the pending application west of The Brooklands in due course. The email address to use is shown on all recent CAPOW Updates. 16/1028 Land behind Bryning Lane, entrance by 38 Bryning Lane – 41 houses OBJECTION CLOSE DATE - 27 JANUARY Reasons for refusal 1 - Contrary to the Emerging Local Plan. Unnecessary use of a greenfield site. 2 - Unsustainable and will overwhelm limited Village facilities and the Village infrastructure. 3 - Unsafe egress and inability to provide the required visibility splays. 4 - Will be visible from much of the Conservation Area. 5 - Like to cause additional flooding either in Moss Side Lane or Bryning Lane and has no ACTUAL plan for handling surface water. 6 - Ghettoisation of the smaller houses at the northern edge and inconsistent number of houses applied for, some documents show 38 and others 41. Most houses are of a type not required by the Community. 17/0005 Land adjacent to 53 Bryning Lane – 20 large detached houses OBJECTION CLOSE DATE – 4 FEBRUARY 1 - Contrary to the Emerging Local Plan. Unnecessary use of a greenfield site. 2 - Unsustainable and will overwhelm limited Village facilities and the Village infrastructure. 3 - Refused twice by FBC and once by an Appeal Inspector due to the change in character of this part of the Village, from the southern approach. 4 - Unsafe egress and potential inability to provide the required visibility splays. Questionable if a public footpath to the Village Centre on the east side of Bryning Lane can be provided and traffic calming measures are required. 5 - Likely to add to sewage problems in this part of Bryning Lane. 6 - No indication of any required balancing ponds on diagrams. 7 – No indication of support for any affordable houses. The houses proposed are NOT of a size or type required by the Community.  

Twinning News

WREA GREEN TWINNING GROUP   After the successful visit of our St Bris friends to Wrea Green in 2016, this year, it's our turn to visit St Bris.   If you're planning to join the fun in St Bris between 28th April and 1st May 2017 (Bank Holiday Monday) you should email Mike Parker using the address below.   I don't know what our French friends will arrange, but the weekend will be filled with interesting activities, good food, lovely wine and convivial company.  You'll be surprised how easy it is to communicate, even if you don't speak French.   We will be met at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on 28th April and transport will be arranged for the return flight too.  St Bris is about 2 hours drive from Paris.  We will arrange transport for the following flights:   1.    Manchester - Paris; Fly Be, BE3127 leaving Manchester 11.35 on Friday 28 April 2017 (Please note the recent time change) 2.    Paris - Manchester; Fly Be, BE3132 leaving CDG at 20:55 on Monday 1st May 2017.   We will arrange transfers for these flights only.  You will be asked to pay a share of the airport transfers, but the rest of the weekend will be free.  Of course, if you join us, you are committing to inviting someone into your home in 2018.   You can arrange your own travel if you like, and if you do, we look forward to seeing you in St Bris at around 5pm on Friday 28th April.  Please let me know so I can make sure you've somewhere to stay.   Burgundy is so lovely in the Spring that you may want to extend your visit.  You don't have to take the transfers both ways.  Some of us will travel by car and others may fly out on the planned flight and stay in France after the visit to St Bris.   IMPORTANT Please email Mike Parker NOW on deeandmike@btinternet.com to confirm that you're coming.  Please tell me everyone's name and the ages of those under 18, together with your method of transport.  I shall let St Bris know the list of those attending on Tuesday 31st January.   I'm looking forward to a great trip!

Mike Parker

LCC Road Safety Initiative

Eight routes where 13 people have lost their lives in collisions in almost six years (01/01/2011 to 01/10/2016) are being targeted in a bid to cut down on the number of casualties. The routes across Lancashire have seen a total of 406 casualties with 62 people suffering serious or life changing injuries since 2011.   Now the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership has given the go ahead for new average speed enforcement camera systems on the routes, with the hope of reducing the death toll and making the roads safer for all to use.   The routes are (cameras will cover traffic flow in both directions):
  • A565 Southport Road (1.2m) between B5246 at Mere Brow and the Gravel Lane roundabout at Banks.
  • A583 Preston New Road (7.5m) between M55 Junction 3 (Peel Road, Peel Hill), through Kirkham bypass, and Blackpool Road at Preston Old Road, Clifton.
  • A588 Head Dyke Lane, Pilling (2m) between Fold House Caravan Park and Bourbles Lane.
  • A59 Brockholes Brow, Preston (0.5m) between M6 junction 31 and Glenluce Drive.
  • A6 London Road, Preston (0.7m) between Capitol Centre (Winery Lane) and Albyn Street East.
  • A675 in Belmont (8.5m) between M65 junction 3, through Abbey Village and Belmont to Scout Road.
  • A682 Gisburn Road, Pendle (5.2m) between A59 at Gisburn and Whittycroft Avenue (between Barrowford and Blacko).
  • B6232 Grane Road, Haslingden (4.7m) between A56 through Haslingden Grane to A6177 Elton Road junction with Sough Lane.
Alongside Lancashire Constabulary the Partnership, which includes representatives from Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Highways England and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, has decided to adopt the system using average speed cameras as safety and motorist compliance has consistently improved on a variety of road types using the system in other parts of the UK.   The cameras will use number plate recognition technology to detect vehicles and calculate their average speed by measuring the time taken to travel between fixed points of a known distance apart. Average Speed Check signage will be used to inform drivers that they are entering an average speed control zone.   The introduction of the system is intended to positively influence driver behaviour and ensure that motorists comply with the set limits on roads, resulting in a safer environment for all road users.   Installation work will begin today, Monday 9 January on the first route, the A6 London Road, Preston, between the Capitol Centre (Winery Road) and Albyn Street East, with enforcement likely to begin around March. The other routes will have a staggered installation period with all cameras in force by the end of 2017.    Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques, Chair of the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership, said: “We don’t want to catch you speeding. Our primary aim is for all drivers to adhere to the safe speed limits on our roads, and these particular roads are proven to be amongst some of our most dangerous.   “It is well researched and documented that speeding can kill, but we know that a combination of education, engineering and enforcement can change behaviours and save lives. This is particularly important where there are recurring problems.     “The Partnership vision, ‘Towards Zero’, is that we work towards preventing all collisions that result in death or serious injury. Using clearly signed average speed cameras will play a vital role as part of this vision.”   Research by the RAC Foundation showed that the numbers of fatal and serious collisions decreases by around a third after average speed cameras are introduced. As part of the LRSP’s average speed project, research will be conducted to review speed data, traffic flow and casualty information on all of the routes.    The proposed routes chosen by the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership have been based on the following criteria:
  • There is a history of collisions and casualties within the routes.
  • Speed surveys indicate that speeding vehicles is an issue.
  • Some of the routes have been identified as needing action around speed and road safety issues, but there aren’t any other realistic or appropriate enforcement options.
There will be sanctions for anyone detected breaching the speed limits, where eligible they will be given the opportunity to attend a speed awareness course to learn about the dangers of speeding, accept a conditional offer of a fixed penalty or for higher speeds the matter may be referred to court.   More information about the average speed cameras can be found on the Partnership website: www.safe2travel.co.uk/speed