TRAFFIC is reaching ‘horrific’ speeds through the village, councillors heard at their latest meeting, on Thursday, 26th April 2012.
In her report our new local PC, Lyndsey Hooper, said the ‘Golden River’ cables which had been put temporarily in the village had recorded 3,367 vehicles travelling at average speeds of 31.1 mph northbound and 33.1 mph southbound. But the highest speeds recorded were 74.4 mph northbound one night at 11pm, and 65.8 mph southbound at 9am one Sunday.
“Speeds like these are horrific,” said Cllr Maxine Chew. “It makes me shudder to think what might happen.”
PC Hooper suspected the lower-than-expected average speed may in part have been due to the more frequent speed-traps and more frequent policing, and while these measures were helping it was obvious that when police were absent some drivers just upped their speed again. She agreed with councillors that a traffic calming meaure like a chicane would make a big difference. So, too, would individual letters or emails of complaint from residents: the police needed solid evidence to fully support Singleton’s bid for chicanes, and the more detailed the evidence the better.
It’s personal experiences and views that count most, said Cllr Chew. “People power really is power, these days. Petitions are no good as they count as just one response. Send letters or email to me or our chairman, Cllr Bob Gallagher and we’ll collate them and pass them on to the police.” She had had one experience she would be mentioning – a white van, driven at speed along Mains Lane, had been unable to negotiate the bend near her home and crashed into her hedge, but by the time her husband had sprinted to the road the van had reversed and driven off.
As part of the their traffic measures, the police were continuing to stop drivers who were using mobile phones or driving without seat-belts, added PC Hooper, and traffic issues would continue to be a PACT priority. Young farmers would be given a talk, too.
Another part of her report covered crime. There had been three crimes in March, she said. One was an altercation at the petrol station: an argument resulted in some damage to goods but the perpetrator was traced through his car registration. The other two crimes were burglaries: in separate incidents two houses had been broken into through a back window, jewellery stolen from one, and the goods stolen from the other traced to an industrial estate.
Rubbish is a problem
THREE residents from Barnfield Manor attended our meeting to complain about the rubbish dumped in the paddock leading down from the Manor to Lodge Lane. But there is little the parish council can do about it, said Cllr Maxine Chew, in the chair in Cllr Bob Gallagher’s absence. She said that before we closed off the layby it was costing Fylde Borough Council (FBC) £500 a week to keep the layby clear. Cllr Chris Bailey had seen two men removing some of it, but they were there only to assess the situation and reckoned a digger was needed.
The problem, said Cllr Chew, is that it is private land and while FBC can remove rubbish it needs to be with the owner’s permission and there would have to be charges made to the owner. FBC is currently attempting to find the owner, whose whereabouts is currently unknown. But even FBC would have to pay for dumping it.
One resident said it wasn’t fair that residents had to pay £60 for dumping rubbish. Councillors pointed out that this charge was only for commercial vehicles, although it was also for privately- rented vans. However, a resident in a car could dump a car-full and trailer-full for free three times in one day. Cllr Mick Smith added that more than a year ago he had been able to get a free day permit from FBS for taking a van-full to the tip, but he didn’t know if that were still possible.
PLEASE return village hall questionnaires
RESPONSE to the questionnaire issued by the Village Hall Committee had already been good, reaching about 50% said Cllr Chew. But more replies were needed – a return of as near 100 percent as is possible is what was needed to re-inforce the committee’s Big Lottery bid.
Open minds about fracking
THERE’S no evidence that Cuadrilla’s fracking will result in a drop in houses prices, said Cllr Chew, and residents needn’t be alarmed by the geophysical survey which Cuadrilla has nearly completed. While some residents had been frightened by the noise of one of the seismic tests, it was no worse than pile-driving and she had heard that any drilling that might happen in the future would not be as noisy as that.
Parish councillors wanted to keep open minds about the issue until there was more evidence to go on. Cllrs Mick Smith and Chris Bailey are due to visit the firm’s drilling, when it happens next.
Cllr Chew is meeting Cuadrilla executives to discuss the situation and to complain about several issues, including some incidents where the men laying survey cables had been less than friendly towards residents. She had heard that Cuadrilla was following up the Gazette’s unfavourable report by inviting a Gazette reporter to visit their operation.
A ‘must visit’ event if you care about countryside
IF YOU WANT to protect Singleton from housing development, you should attend FBC’s consultation over its new housing plan. That’s on 29th May (3-7pm) at FBC HQ. There will also be a chance to air these issues at a Fylde Plan consultation meeting, to be held at the Miller Arms’ car-park on 15th June (1-3pm).
Write to your MP
WORRIED about unwanted housing encroaching into the parish? So too is MP Mark Menzies, councillors heard. The MP has issued a plain language interpretation of new planning laws in the Locality Bill, and wants residents’ letters and email to support his campaign to save countryside from developers.
PC Hooper asked us if Singleton village should become a ‘No cold-calling’ area as the house stickers provided by the scheme help the vulnerable in particular and deter criminals. Mains Lane is already part of the scheme. We agreed she should contact trading standards.
OUR next meeting, on Thursday 24th May 2012, begins at 7.30pm, as usual, in the church vestry, and will be preceded by our annual parish meeting, starting at 7pm. All are welcome to either or both meetings.