Lancashire Politics

WATCH:  That's Lancashire reports as protestors learn their legal challenge has failed.It was grey and wet at Fylde's nearly-operational fracking site when protestors learned that they had lost a legal challenge attempting to have the process halted.  The weather matched their mood.Last month, a High Court judge heard evidence from the Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) and an individual campaigner known as Gayser Frackman, both of whom were attempting to overturn the decision by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to permit energy firm to Cu..
WATCH:  That's Lancashire's exclusive report from inside Wyre Council planning meetingPlans to build more than 600 homes along a six-mile stretch of the A6 in Wyre have been approved.   All but one of the applications put before Wyre Council's planning committee were approved.Some residents reacted angrily, with one Barton local telling councillors, "You're killing the community."Details of the applications can be seen below and tune-in next week for a special series of reports exploring either side of the debate over redevelopment.APPROVED 16/00241/OULMAJ  Land at Nateby C..
Manchester's Civil Justice Centre was the setting for what could be the last legal word on fracking in Fylde.It is almost three years since energy firm Cuadrilla applied for planning permission to carry out exploratory drilling at two sites in Little Plumpton and Roseacre Woods.   Lancashire County Council rejected the applications back in 2015, but the government overturned the Little Plumpton decision last October, after a public inquiry and a 600-page report by a Planning Inspector.   This report informed the government in its decision.   The application to frack in Roseacre ..
The last fortnight has seen councils across Lancashire setting their budgets for the year ahead. Catch up with our comprehensive coverage from across the county and your corner of it.WATCH: Lancashire County Council -… LCC leader and opposition interviews -… Blackpool and Preston -… South Ribble - Chorley - Wyre - for in-depth coverage and analysis of politics and public policy news from across Lancashire, tune in..
Buried in the crypt of Blackburn Cathedral last week, a group of local NHS leaders took another small step on the road to a redesigned health and social care system for Lancashire.   Amongst the few dozen members of the public who had gathered to observe the proceedings, there was concern that the masterplan itself was similarly hidden.Billed as "the decision-making body" [our emphasis] of the controversial Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), the pedantic could have insisted that it be prefaced instead with the indefinite article.   The committee, meeting for..
WATCH:  That's Lancashire report on opposition to combined authority planThe lone voice of opposition amongst Lancashire council leaders to a combined authority for the county has warned that the project is not yet a done deal.Cllr Peter Gibson, the Conservative leader of Wyre Borough Council, heads the only local authority not to have signed up to a shadow version of the organisation, which has been operating since last summer.With parliament expected to give the go-ahead to the formation of a fully-fledged umbrella body later this month, Cllr Gibson has claimed that his is not the only ..
The trust which runs Blackpool Victoria Hospital is yet to learn whether it will receive its full allocation a £10m government grant - a week after the money was due in its account.Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust appealed against a decision by NHS England to withhold a portion of the cash due to be paid from the Sustainability and Transformation Fund (STF).   The outcome of the appeal was due earlier this month, with any money outstanding expected to be paid by 15th December.Under the STF, trusts across England have been awarded grants which are contingent on meeting various f..
Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn says he does not expect the Lancashire Combined Authority to be able to "impose" decisions on its members. "As a leader of a local authority, I wouldn't want that.   I wouldn't want somebody in Skelmersdale or Preston telling us what to do here," he said at a meeting of the Blackpool's Tourism, Resources and Economy Scrutiny Committee. Cllr Blackburn, who chairs the umbrella organisation in its current shadow form, said member councils will need to craft a constitution which works for them.   "I cannot envisage ci..
An increase in the volume and complexity of cases dealt with by Blackpool's Children's Services department is delivering a "double whammy" to the council's budget. Director of Resources at Blackpool Council, Steve Thompson, told a committee of councillors that an increase in the average cost of a case had contributed to a near £4m projected overspend for the department during 2016-17. The Tourism, Resources and Economy Scrutiny Committee heard from council leader Simon Blackburn that there was no prospect of Children's Services recouping the money before the end of the fina..
Blackpool could consider opening "small therapeutic units" for children in care in the town. Council leader Simon Blackburn said he is unsure about "the quality of the therapeutic intervention" that some placements for so-called 'looked after children' currently provide. "We're paying four or five thousand pounds a week per young person to keep somebody somewhere," he told a meeting of the council's Tourism, Resources and Economy Scrutiny Committee.   "We're focusing on finding a bed, because that is the urgent presenting need."WATCH:  Council leader considers th..
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