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Subject: Proposed Housing Development.

Dear Sirs,
Could I, through your letters page in the Colne Times, thank every one who braved the elements on Wednesday 22nd February to attend the Public Meeting that I called to oppose the proposed housing development on the land adjacent to Knotts Mount in Colne.  Despite the atrocious weather, over 30 people turned out to voice their views.  It was decided to form an action group to oppose the development once planning permission is applied for and I will be in touch with all residents again when this happens.  Thank you all for your contribution on the night.  Why build 200 new houses in Colne when there are so many existing properties lying empty due to absentee landlords?
Yours sincerely,
 Ian Graham.


Lancashire Telegraph have started asking questions about the elusive Mike Calvert. He says that he is living at a relative's address in East Lancashire and also his holiday home in Silverdale, Cumbria. However, he won't disclose his address as "it's nothing to do with anyone" yet he is still claiming travelling expenses to County Hall from Trawden.......

I have said that the people of Colne are suffering from the lack of Calvert and Askew not being in Colne to deal with issues and they both need to reconsider their positions..... watch this space


Local residents in Reedley are expressing their concerns to Cllr Robert Allen regarding the issues caused by inconsiderate parents parking across private drives. This pressure will increase with Reedley School expansion. The school governors have also expressed concerns and will confront the guilty ones. The consultation on school expansion plans will end on 27th Jan - local residents still have time to submit comments.  


It is good to learn that many people in the North West have received recognition through the honours system for the contribution they have made to the community. It is always good to hear that people are recognised for service rather than their contribution to a political party’s fund.
Not so good is the news that the hard core hawks of the Thatcher government were prepared to abandon Liverpool and its environs to “managed decline”.
Senior ministers warned her that it might be a waste to pour money into the “stony ground” of Merseyside — the county encompassing Liverpool and several other urban areas — after the decline of its heavy industry led to high unemployment and social unrest.
It would be unfair not to recognise that Michael Heseltine, from the left of the Conservative party, did make a stand for Liverpool by attempting to encourage private sector investment to regenerate the area.

Another piece of bad news is that full time workers resident in the North West have suffered the worst drop in living standards in the 12 regions of the UK. The real value of our average gross earnings has fallen by 9.1% between April 2007 and November 2011, due to the ‘bankers’ recession’ and stalled recovery.

Our Conservative MP applauds David Cameron for isolating us in Europe to protect the financial sector, whilst failing to recognise the small contribution that the finance sector makes to Pendle’s economy and that it could be bad news for Pendle, because in percentage terms we have one of the UK’s highest concentrations in manufacturing.

Those of us who have more years under our belts than we feel comfortable with will recall how during the 1950s the local Textiles Trades Federation had campaigned for the Conservative government of the day to explore the possibilities of balanced East–West trade and to encourage new industries to be based in Lancashire.

The Government remained undisturbed and flatly refused to take part in discussions between the Hong Kong Textile Employers and the Cotton Board.

The Government finally showed its hand when the President of the Board of Trade presented to Parliament a Bill for the “Reorganisation of the Cotton Industry”. This turned out to be a loom scrappage and compensation scheme. Best estimates at the time were that the Mill Owners would receive in total £560,000 for scrapping the looms, whilst the textile workers who were to be flung on to the ‘scrapheap’ would receive a total of some £90,000.

Quite clearly (and with the odd notable exception) the Conservative Party’s commitment to sustaining economic development in the North West is not good. Although I do recall one of Thatcher’s ministers advising us to get on our bikes and look for work.

Time and time again the people of the North West have shown that they are adaptable to the changing patterns and the advancing technology of manufacturing and developing industries.

The New Years Honours underlines that we have ordinary people committed to our community.

We need a Government that is equally committed to the economic development of the North West; the present Government’s record is not good, but I would welcome a viable economic ‘blueprint’ for the North West from any political party, rather than for us to be left by this government to “wither on the vine”.


On Saturday a group of us from Pendle CLP went to Colne Market with our petition to save Pendle Community Hospital.
People were shocked and upset that the beds, wards and services at the Community Hospital are under threat and we took 291 signatures in just one day!
People told us personal stories of themselves or family members that have used the Hospital; they think it's disgusting that its services are threatened.
I met an Irishman called Denis who not only signed the petition but bought me some red and white flowers from the market stall too!
Sheryl Waterhouse
Labour Candidate for Vivary Bridge 2012


Pendle Council’s Development Management Committee has dismayed Barrowford Parish Council with its recent decision to refuse permission for the change of use of a shop on Gisburn Road, Barrowford from a Travel Agent to a Café.
The recently opened Tea Time café at 99 Gisburn Road was an attractive addition to the main shopping area of Barrowford, but has been forced to close because of the recent planning committee’s decision.
The reasons for the refusal are given as “… the proposal would result in the proportion of non-shopping uses along this designated Primary Shopping Frontage being above 25%.” Planning Policy 26 encourages retail centres by aiming to limit non-retail space to 25%.
John Pope, Chair of Barrowford Parish Council said “The fact is that changing the former Travel Agent into a café would have increased the non-retail space on the west side of Gisburn Road from 26% to 36%. But if you take into account both sides of the road the overall proportion is only 18% with the new café included.
“To make the decision even more questionable is the fact that Barnoldswick already has a stretch of primary shops where 33% are non-retail.
“The Parish Council discussed the issue at last Wednesday’s meeting and were left wondering, who is pulling the strings. In these difficult economic times it seems any business that is willing to try something new and innovative should be encouraged, especially as Barrowford is putting effort into encouraging visitors to the village and persuading locals to ‘shop local’.”
It appears that the decision by the Development Management Committee was proposed by Lib Dem Cllr John David and seconded by the council leader, Tory Mike Blomeley. It was passed by 4 votes to 3. It just happens that Cllr David is one of Pendle Council’s representatives on the Heritage Trust for the North West’s board, which runs the Pendle Heritage Centre and its café!
The question being raised with this ‘storm in a tea shop’ is, are the elected councillors being allowed to use their ‘common sense’ to arrive at decisions that are best for the community of Pendle, or, are they being persuaded to implement policy based on rigid percentages, by the council’s officers?


"The Lords should be affronted by the slipshod way our health system is being blown apart before they can even debate it".

Can we count on Lord Greaves to defend Pendle's NHS by voting to support proper scrutiny of the Health Bill this week, and not just to toe his Party line again?

Polly Toynbee's article on Saturday must surely have given him pause for thought.

And after all, he did call for proper debate in his motion to Pendle Council in April,


Gossip around 'Colne in Bloom' is that Lib Dem Councillor Dorothy Lord seems set to turn Tory when the Lib Dem Party finally fizzles out.  Dorothy, as part of her ambition to see Colne win the National 'In Bloom' competition, asked various businesses to display hanging baskets of flowers, but one Colne bank refused saying that in these times of austerity cuts they could not afford such luxuries or run the risk of being sued under health and safety law if someone was injured by the basket.  Ever resourceful Dorothy appealed to our Conservative MP, Andrew Stephenson, for help and he went higher up the food chain at the bank in question and got the local staff over-ruled.  Joy!


For the Attention of Jo Turton
Executive Director Environment Directorate
Lancashire County Council
Waste Management Group
PO Box 78

19 July 2011

Dear Jo Turton


Pendle Labour Party wish to register a strong objection to the proposal to close the Household Waste Recycling Centre at Colne.  We are opposed to the closure proposals because:-

  1. Pendle tax payers should not have to suffer a further and unnecessary cut to their  services when there is plenty of money in reserves at County Hall gathering very  little interest.
  2. The County Council cannot hope to meet its 2011/12 priority target of reducing the   amount of waste sent to landfill to  nil by making recycling more difficult.
  3. 64% of the households in Pendle are closest to Colne HWRC and only 17% are closest   to the Burnley one. This means that the vast majority of Colne and Nelson residents  will have to travel further to reach a Centre if Colne is closed. The extra   financial cost in fuel will discourage people from recycling and has to be added to  the increased environmental cost.
  4. The proposed closure will lead to an increase in fly-tipping, the costs of which   will have to be carried by Pendle Council and not the County Council, creating a   further unfair burden.
  5. The jobs of well trained, helpful local staff will be put at risk. Pendle Labour   opposes any such redundancies caused by this poorly conceived proposal.
  6. The County Council should be negotiating with SITA to protect the future use of the  Centre, instead of acting as if it is going to cease to be available.

Pendle Labour Party is gathering a petition against the closures and this will be sent in prior to the end of the public consultation period in early September.

We are encouraging all Pendle residents to register their opposition to the closures and pages of the petition are available for people to complete on request from our offices.

Yours truly

David Foat
Pendle CLP Secretary


Sue Nike standing outside Holmfield House in BarrowfordLast Thursday’s (23rd June) Pendle Executive meeting threw up an interesting pattern in the latest Lib Dem scheming. Barrowford Parish Council have been in negotiation with Pendle Council to acquire Holmefield House as a community centre. A feasible price and conditions have been agreed in outline, the Executive had to agree the details of the sale.

All was progressing smoothly with the Tory led executive discussions when up pops Lib Dem Councillors David Whipp and John David to stick their particular oars in! They suggested that Holmefield House should be transferred free of charge to Barrowford Parish Council because 20 years ago Barnoldswick Council had been offered Barnoldswick Town Hall free of charge. It turns out this generous offer was turned down because the costs of making the town hall useable were prohibitive (apparently in excess of 6 figures).

Now why would the Lib Dems want the Tory led Pendle council to give a valuable asset like Holmefield House away for free? If we wind forward a bit we learn that Pendle Leisure is vacating Bank House on Albert Road in Colne, opposite the Wallace Hartley memorial, to move into Colne town hall. Is it possible that Colne Town Council would like to acquire a very attractive public building from where to run its affairs? Needless to say, the Lib Dems dominate Colne Town Council.

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