Thornton Action Group

Chairman’s Annual Report 2016

Well - it has been quite a year with changes both in the world outside and in our own area of Thornton! I realised that a number of issues have been on going from 2015 but there have been considerable developments during the year which have kept us very busy. I must record my gratitude to the TAG Committee for their unstinting amazing efforts during the year – Howard, Audrey, Mona, Philip and Peter with Brian keeping the website going, as well as the help from loyal TAG members who attend open meetings and respond to the call when needed. WE are very pleased to have support from Councillors Kerry Jones, Lynne Walmsley, Andreas Kay, John Shedwick and Alf Clempson and our MPs Ben Wallace and Paul Maynard.

  1. The issue which occupied the Committee for the first half of 2016 was the proposed Wain Homes development for 165 houses on Lamb’s Hill, with numerous meetings liaising with SOS, and many hours spent preparing documents for the Public Inquiry which eventually took place on July 26th – 28th at the Civic Centre. TAG’s representation was led by Howard Phillips and he concentrated on the impact of additional traffic from the new homes on the bend at Silcock’s Corner and the Skippool Roundabout. Wain Homes barrister was determined to browbeat witnesses but Howard was equally determined to hold his ground. Ultimately, however, the Planning Inspector after several weeks deliberation decided that planning consent had to be granted in view of Wyre’s lack of a Local Plan (watch this space) and the need for more homes.

  2. Traffic issues have continued to affect Thornton during the year as housing developments are completed – Ashdell Nurseries site, Bourne Way and smaller areas – and add to the rush hour traffic. TAG is involved in the consultations on the planned new bypass for the congested A 585. The heavy goods traffic on Fleetwood Road North and the danger to children crossing to Sacred Heart School from selfish driving is another concern, as is speeding traffic around Thornton generally.

  3. Whist we recognise the need for new homes especially affordable housing, the downside to this is not only pressure on the roads and other services, but it also encroaches inevitably on recreational open space and this has been a primary concern for TAG since our inception in 2001. We appreciate the efforts of our Green Spaces Team at Wyre to maintain our green areas, e.g. Hawthorne Park, in spite of financial and other pressures. Branksome Field has considerable flood problems but may be seeing some improvement. King George’s Playing Fields and our proposed Community Corridor may now be receiving much needed TLC with exciting improvements, after a workshop to plan the use of Section 106 funds. This is good news for Thornton.

  4. Bad news this year came from LCC as its funding shortfall has led to the withdrawal of subsidies for bus services in our area, closure of the Library, and the mothballing of the Global Renewables recycling facility.

  5. The appalling flood problems last winter and this summer in St Michael’s and Churchtown stimulated Wyre Council to set up Flood Action Groups – and TAG is now the Thornton FAG (led by Philip) with 6 volunteer flood wardens and flood awareness routines.

  6. Marsh Mill now restored – though needing more input and TLC – is a success story for the Friends of Marsh Mill. Sadly the Mill’s stalwart and one of its original protagonists – Margaret Croker – has retired, but the Mill is a superb icon for Thornton and thanks are owed to Margaret and the Friends.

  7. Fleetwood Town Football Club are comparative newcomers to Thornton and are now firmly established at Poolfoot Farm. TAG had a guest visit from Matt Hilton who told us of the impressive record of the Charitable Arm of the Club involving Health, Education, Social Inclusion, and Community Sport and Physical Activities. We applaud these ventures but there are worrying downsides on loss of informal open space access in North Thornton, and serious parking problems.

  8. Our main efforts from September onwards concern the organisation of the Christmas Lights. TAG members led by Howard, with the involvement from Gill Finney Head Teacher of Baines School and Councillor Kerry Jones, work hard to apply for Wyre Council funding, to get contributions from local traders and residents. The lights are put up, maintained, dismantled and stored by JM Services. TAG members are on duty to report problems (there were a number this year) during the Christmas/New Year season. Shaping Your Neighbourhood funding has now runout and this means tighter controls on Wyre Council funds including the Festive Lights.

  9. Finally – in March this year, Thornton Community News produced its final issue and we have had to find new outlets to give Thornton residents news and information about our area. It is sadly missed as it was an effective means of contact. I now send a report to Thornton Cleveleys Matters and we have our web site and are on Facebook and Thornton Chat. Our Open meetings are advertised there and we welcome all Thornton residents. We do need more interest and support – and we welcome you to come to our Open meetings. We need you!