Autumn Statement: Health and Social Care Cuts Continue

Nurse in aged care for the elderlyPublic health and social care are two of the most pressing issues facing our country today. Both are in need of new thinking and new funding if we are to maintain vital services helping our friends, families and neighbours every single day.

Public health responsibilities include preventive measures that routinely save thousands of lives and billions of pounds in health spending – from stopping smoking to nutritional information and physical exercise. Local government has taken responsibility for ‘public health and wellbeing’ in recent years, and is now facing a drastic reduction in its ability to fund these services. Continue reading

Woone Lane – One Way – at last?

Since about 2008 I have been calling for the top section of Woone Lane (from Eshton Terrace to the Brown Cow) to be made one way.

Back in 2009 we launched a petition on this website.

And the online petition site is still going strong with people still signing it.

Over the years friends and residents have continually said: “Allan, when are they going to make Woone Lane, one way?”

For my part, whenever I have had the chance, I have brought this issue up with the various powers that be (and have been – it has taken that long) and probably got a bit of a reputation for being obsessed about the issue.

Responses from Lancashire Highways have varied over time. Continue reading

Don’t Lose Your Vote!

This year’s Euro Elections on May 22nd are set to be the most fiercely contested ever.

Many Clitheroe residents have been telling Allan Knox and the Lib Dem team that they are worried that if Britain left the EU then their job or their family’s jobs would be under threat .

Because of this they are backing the Lib Dems on May 22.

They also know that in Lib Dem Euro MEP Chris Davies they have someone, who fights for local people be it by ensuring the scrapping of roaming charges on mobile phones, making sure e-cigarettes are freely available to everyone (not just those who can get a doctor’s prescription ) and has ensured fish stocks will remain plentiful.

To ensure you don’t miss your vote – get a postal vote by downloading a form from here

Good Friday Bins

I am being asked, by Clitheroe residents if bins and white paper sacks are due to be collected today because it’s Good Friday.

The simple answer is yes. In the land of Ribble Valley refuse collection both Good Friday and Easter Monday are normal days.

The only issue residents face is if your bins are missed accidentally, you will not be able to phone up the council offices and say: “What about my bins?” because the offices are shut.

As a rule of thumb the only time refuse collections alter in Ribble Valley is over the Christmas Period.

Mountain Rescue VAT Campaign

Our local member of the European Parliament Chris Davies MEP is campaigning to persuade the Government to make our mountain rescue services exempt from paying VAT.

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 06.09.08

Tim Farron MP and Chris Davies MEP

Mountain rescue services provide an invaluable service to many people who find themselves in need on our nearby hills and mountains. At present they have to pay VAT on supplies. Chris Davies is calling on the Government to support the service by taking the small step of exempting the service from VAT.

You can sign the petition here.

Lib Dem plan for a Greener, Fairer and Stronger Lancashire is Passed

The Liberal Democrats and Labour Group on Lancashire County Council have come to an agreement on how the County Council should be run after no one party was given overall control of the authority in the recent elections.

Both parties have signed up to a document in which they say that:

The Liberal Democrat and Labour groups acknowledge that no party has overall control of the county council. Both groups are fully committed to ensure we provide the people of Lancashire with services in an open and democratic way, and ensure the county council has a strong, stable and open leadership. This is an agreement to support the Labour Party to form a minority administration on the basis of supporting their nomination for Leader of the county council.

The Liberal Democrats describe the document as being a route map for a Greener, Fairer and Stronger Economy for Lancashire. Key policy proposals include:

Children and Young People

  • Expansion of available classroom capacity to accommodate increased school intakes as appropriate.
  • Explore ways to resource the extension of 15 hours of free early years education to cover out of term time weeks.
  • Youth and Community Centres – no charge for use by voluntary and community groups; moratorium on further closures;


  • A commitment to the provision of the resources to help create economic growth and jobs across Lancashire, particularly East Lancashire.
  • We will drive forward the Enterprise Zones and the Preston City Deal with partners and will strongly promote the development of a National Aerospace Supply Chain Centre and Skill City support more apprenticeships.
  • Eliminate duplication in service provision.

Transport and Highways

  • County wide sustainable transport planning to support the development of the county economy.
  • Find mechanisms to reinstate bus routes and community bus services in areas of deprivation and rural areas around the county and approach central government for financial support reinstatement of illuminated bus timetables where applicable.
  • Highway services to be reviewed to improve practice and repairs.
  • Review winter gritting routes to provide better service to residential areas in hilly areas.
  • Review grit bin provision with a view to providing additional bins in areas of need.
  • Continued support for 20mph limits residential areas with additional engineered solutions where necessary.
  • Visible enforcement of 20mph limits in residential areas using portable SpIDs.

Social Care

  • Social care to provide early warning of individual difficulties with particular reference to dementia care.
  • Support for carers by respite enhancement.


  • A green energy plan to develop green industries worth about £5m over two years from 2014 to 2016.
  • A priority for both parties is an urgent review of the provision of HWRCs throughout Lancashire
  • Feasibility study for the use of county owned sites for green energy generation.


  • Introduce the Living Wage for Council employees

Cllr Allan Knox said: “At the outset of the negotiations the Liberal Democrats discussed the same priorities with both the Conservatives and Labour Group and suggested a Rainbow Coalition of all parties, I find it astonishing that the leader of the Conservative group has called these ‘irresponsible demands’ 
– to me they are what the people of Clitheroe and Lancashire have told me they are crying out for.”

The full details of the agreement can be found here.


Provisional Agreement Reached At Lancashire County Council

An agreement has been reached by negotiators from the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups on Lancashire County Council under which the Liberal Democrats would support the Labour Party in a minority administration.

The agreement will be put to meetings of the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups before today’s Annual Meeting of Full Council.

Full details of the agreement will follow ratification later today.

The county council held its elections on 2 May 2013 at which point no party had gained the 43 seats necessary to take control of the council. The full results were:

Labour 39
Conservatives 35
Liberal Democrats 6
Independent 3
Green Party 1