LiveLancashire LIVE: High school shuts due to 'unsustainable number of Covid cases' | Couple surrounded by dolphins whilst jet skiing in Blackpool

Keep track of what is happening in and around Lancashire today.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 8:00 am

We’ll be bringing you regular news updates, as well as the latest coronavirus news from around the region and across the UK.

We’ll be bringing you regular news updates, as well as the latest coronavirus news from around the region and across the UK.

Lancashire Live: All the latest news from across the county on Friday, June 18, 2021

Last updated: Friday, 18 June, 2021, 11:00

'Drink driver' arrested after crashing into petrol station at Charnock Richard Services

A suspected drink driver has been arrested after crashing into a petrol station at the M6 services in Charnock Richard.

The crash happened just before midnight when a car ploughed into a tanker filling point at the fuel station between southbound junctions 27 and 28.

Whilst emergency services rushed to the scene, the driver fled on foot over nearby fields, according to a tweet by Lancashire Police.

Officers gave chase and the driver was detained and arrested. The suspect remains in custody at Preston Police Station.

The petrol station at Charnock Richard Services has been closed overnight whilst fire crews made the scene safe.

A fire service spokesman said: “We attended an incident at Charnock Richard Services at around 11.55pm after a call from Lancashire Police.

“We sent one fire engine from Bamber Bridge and there was one from Manchester there too.

“On arrival they found a car had collided with a tanker filling point.

“Crews assisted in making the scene safe and isolating the pumps. They were there for around 30 minutes.”

In a tweet at 1.20am, a spokesperson for the force said: “We are currently dealing with an incident at the Charnock Richard Services on the M6 Southbound.

“The filling station at Charnock Richard Services is being closed for the next few hours.

“We will provide an update once it is reopen. Thank you for your patience.”

Shortly before 6am, the force said a suspected “drink driver almost wiped out the fuel station south bound on the M6 at Charnock Richard services, then ran off”.

Following a “foot chase over fields”, an arrest was made, said the police tweet.

More than 100 homes hit by power cut in Chorley

A power cut has hit homes and businesses in Chorley this morning (Friday, June 18), with more than 100 properties affected.

Electricity North West said the power cut has been caused by an “unexpected incident” with a high voltage cable near Cowling Brow, which was first reported at 7.30am.

A total of 101 customers in the area are without supply, with the following postcode areas affected:

PR6 0LZ, PR6 0QD, PR6 0QE, PR6 0QF, PR6 0QG, PR6 0QH.

The company said engineers have been deployed to Chorley to fix the issue but have not yet arrived on site.

It said power should be restored by 11am at the latest.

Electricity North West has also been responding to power cuts in Preston and Lytham this morning.

Casualty given oxygen therapy after cooking fire in Chorley

Chorley fire crews were called out to tackle a kitchen fire at a home off Pall Mall last night (Thursday, June 17).

The 999 call was made after food being cooked at a home in Richmond Court caught fire at 11.18pm.

The fire service said the cooking had been left unattended and led to the home being filled with smoke.

Firefighters gave oxygen therapy to a casualty suffering from smoke inhalation, but the person declined further treatment at hospital.

A fire service spokesman said: “Two fire crews, including one from Chorley and one from Greater Manchester, tackled a fire at a domestic property in Chorley.

“The fire involved some cooking that had been left unattended and firefighters made the scene safe and cleared the property of smoke using a fan.

“Crews also gave oxygen therapy to one person who was suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation, although they declined further medical treatment.

“Firefighters were in attendance for around thirty five minutes.”

These were Tuesday’s headlines...

Parklands High School in Chorley shuts due to "unsustainable number of Covid cases"

A high school in Chorley has shut its doors until next week due to an "unsustainable" number of Covid cases among its pupils.

Parklands High School told parents that the closure is needed to “protect the rest of the students and staff” after a significant number of pupils tested positive in recent days.

In a message to parents yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, June 15), headteacher Steve Mitchell said the school will stay closed until Monday, June 21 and will undergo a deep clean.

He said: “The governing body and I have taken the difficult decision to close school for the remainder of the week, in order to have a deep clean of the school.

“This is due to the number of positive cases we are currently experiencing. School will reopen on Monday, June 21.

“Unfortunately, the number of cases we have is unsustainable. We feel that this is a suitable intervention at this present time to try and protect the rest of the students and staff.

“The school has been in contact with the Lancashire County Council Public Health Team who have agreed with our course of action.

“We will move to blended learning for ALL students. We fully understand that this is far from ideal, but we have consistently followed the guidance from the Department of Education and Lancashire County Council.”

Parklands said a “large number” of those pupils with Covid had not been tested at home as instructed, and this had contributed to a school-wide outbreak.

Mr Mitchell said: “We have had a large number of positive cases where the child has told us that they have not been taking the tests at home.

“This has resulted in asymptomatic pupils being in school and infecting others, who then go to develop symptoms.

“This means we have had to identify a very large number of close contacts, who have had to self-isolate.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is that your child takes twice weekly lateral flow tests.”

The school said it has provided all students with a PCR test for pupils to take on Sunday, June 20 before returning to class.

Parklands did not reply to a request for comment and Lancashire County Council said it was unable to comment due to the school having academy status.

Couple surrounded by dolphins whilst jet skiing in Blackpool

A couple riding a jet ski have shared footage of their incredible close encounter with dolphins off the coast of Blackpool.

Adam Kluj and Vicky Hopkinson said they were four miles off the coast, around Starr Gate, when they were surrounded by the pod of bottlenose dolphins last Sunday (June 13).

The 41-year-olds, from Bury, said they first became aware of ‘something’ following them in the wake of their jet ski, just below the surface of the water.

The couple cut their motor and were left spellbound when a dolphin suddenly leaped out of the water just metres away.

Moments later, more dolphins appeared and began playfully lunging in and out of the water before their eyes.

You can watch Adam and Vicky’s footage here. Keep your eyes peeled at 1 minute 5 seconds for a close up of a dolphin leaping out of the water!

“It was just like something you’d see at SeaWorld. It was magical”, said Adam.

“The first one came out of nowhere. It just shot straight up into the air like a rocket and crashed back into the sea.

“I think it was checking us out, seeing what we were up to. Then the others began jumping out of the water from all directions.

“I was a bit nervous at first because I’ve never experienced anything like it. They were getting quite close and we were miles from land.

“We didn’t know which direction they were coming from sometimes. They were bursting out of the water every few minutes.

“It looked like they were trying to get a peek at us when they came up. They seemed curious about us. I think they were attracted by the engine and the wake it was making.

“It felt surreal watching these majestic creatures splashing around us, just off the coast of Blackpool..It took our breath away.”

Adam and Vicky are experienced jet skiers but it had been the couple’s first ride out along the Fylde Coast since joining Blackpool Light Craft Club, based at Starr Gate.

“We’d heard about the dolphins from other members of the club,” said Adam, ”but we never expected to see them ourselves. It never even entered our mind.

“We usually take the jet ski around Colwyn Bay and North Wales and we’ve seen puffins and otters, and even giant jellyfish.

“But this was something else. It was a complete surprise and such an honour.”

Adam says anyone thinking of venturing out to sea to catch a glimpse of the dolphins should seek advice from those with experience first.

He said: “The sea can be very dangerous. It’s a different world out there. So it’s really important to know exactly where it is safe to take a jet ski.

“Groups like Blackpool Light Craft Club know the coast like the back of their hand and they know where all the dangers lurk under the surface.

“Anyone wanting to explore the coast on a jet ski should definitely get in touch with them for advice before riding out to sea.”

Preston man, 20, wanted in connection with Fishergate Hill stabbing

Police investigating a stabbing in Preston have named a man they want to speak to in connection with the attack.

The stab victim was taken to hospital by air ambulance with a wound to his back after being attacked by a group of men at around 3.30pm.

Today (June 16), Lancashire Police say 20-year-old Jordan Bailey is wanted in connection with the stabbing. He is described as 5ft 5ins, slim, with blue eyes and short, light brown hair. He has known links across Preston and South Ribble.

The force is asking for the public’s help to locate him so he can be brought in for questioning.

It is asking people not to approach Bailey but says anyone who has information on his whereabouts should call police on 101 or 01772 209940. But for immediate sightings, people should call 999.

Last week, a 22-year-old man from Preston was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm in connection with the stabbing.

DI Chris Wellard, who is leading the investigation, previously said he believes the assailants were known to the victim and the stabbing was a targeted attack.

Police concerned for welfare of missing Blackpool man

A search is under way for a missing Blackpool man who disappeared from home yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, June 15).

Lancashire Police said it is “concerned for the welfare” of Jason Scott, 37, who was last seen in the Preston New Road area at around 4.30pm.

The force has issued a public appeal and is asking anyone who might have seen Jason or knows of his current whereabouts to get in touch immediately.

Jason is described as 6ft tall, medium build, with shaved brown hair and a short beard. He was last seen wearing a grey jumper, black shorts and grey/red trainers.

A police spokesman said: “We are concerned for the welfare of Jason Scott and I encourage anybody who sees him or knows his current whereabouts to call us on 101 and quote log number 1254 of June 15.”

These were Tuesday’s headlines...

Preston Mosque leaders react to desecration of Quran at Fulwood Academy

Preston's imams have delivered a statement on behalf of the city's Muslims in response to the desecration of the Quran at Fulwood Academy.

The city’s mosques, Islamic organisations and Muslim faith leaders have described the “sadness and fear” felt by the community after the act of Islamophobia at the high school last week.

In the following statement, they share their concerns that such acts “can quickly turn into violence and hatred against Muslims” and explain why the desecration of the holy book is considered particularly provocative and upsetting.

Support has also been offered to Preston’s schools, with the Mosques saying they are eager to work with teachers “to help create dialogue and educate pupils” about Islam.

The full statement from Preston’s Mosques

“We are extremely saddened to hear of the incident at Fulwood Academy school last week, where the Holy Qur’an, the most important religious book the religion of Islam and Muslims across the world, has been desecrated by students on two separate occasions.

“The Qur’an is revered by Muslims as the word of God, which Muslims honour and hold in deep respect.

“Naturally, the desecration of the Qur’an results in sadness and fear amongst the Muslim community. We understand that this type of Islamophobia and hate which has led to desecration of the Qur’an, can quickly turn into violence and hatred against Muslims.

“We hope that the students who tore up the Qur’an can come to understand why this type of action is wrong.

“We support the current action taken by the school and welcome the open and honest way the principal has dealt with these incidents.

“We would like to better understand what leads to young minds to be filled with anti-Muslim rhetoric and what can be done to challenge this in the future.

“We would like to offer our practical support to help create dialogue and educate pupils at schools across Preston to help spread the message that Islam is and has always been a religion of peace.

“We are proud of the interfaith relationships we have developed and continue to maintain in Preston, and we look forward to continuing to work with people of all faiths and none, to have a common respect and understanding for each other.

“We will continue to pray for the well-being of all staff and students who attend the school, and all the people of Preston.”

NHS boss says everyone aged 18 and over to be offered Covid jabs ‘by the end of the week’

All adults in England should be able to book their first Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the week, says the NHS boss.

Chief executive officer Sir Simon Stevens, 54, said that the NHS would “finish the job” of the Covid-19 vaccination programme to the “greatest extent possible” over the next four weeks during the extension of lockdown.

He said that just 1% of hospital beds in England are occupied by patients with Covid-19.

And the average age of people in hospital has “flipped” thanks to the vaccination programme – now there are more younger people seeking care who typically have better outcomes.

Meanwhile the NHS has been given orders to “gear up” for new Covid-19 treatments, which the NHS expects to come online in the next few months which will also help to prevent severe illness and death.

These new treatments are expected to be given to people in the community, without the need for hospital treatment, within three days of infection.

Sir Simon told the NHS annual conference: “It is now very important that we use the next four weeks to finish the job to the greatest extent possible for the Covid vaccination programme, which has been a historic signature achievement in terms of the effectiveness of delivering by the NHS – over 60 million doses now administered.

“By July 19 we aim to have offered perhaps two thirds of adults across the country double jabs.

“And we’re making great strides also in extending the offer to all adults, today people aged 23 and 24 are able to vaccinate through the National Booking Service.

“I expect that by the end of this week, we’ll be able to open up the National Booking Service to all adults age 18 and above.

“Of course, vaccine supply continues to be constrained, so we’re pacing ourselves at precisely the rate of which we’re getting that extra vaccine supply between now and July 19.”

Sir Simon added: “At the moment about 1% of hospital beds in England are occupied by patients with a Covid diagnosis and the age distribution has really flipped as a result of vaccination.

“Back in January, it was 60/40 – 60% of beds occupied by people over 65, 40% (occupied by people) under 65.

“Now it’s flipped to 30/70, so it’s about 30% occupied by people aged 65 and over 70% by younger people whose prospects are much greater.”

You can read more here.

Blackpool man banned from driving after racking up 30 speeding offences as a delivery driver

A Blackpool man has been banned from driving after he racked up nearly 30 speeding fines in the space of three months whilst working as a delivery driver in the resort.

Ionut Iosup, 19, has been banned from getting behind the wheel after pleading guilty to the speeding offences between July 2020 and September 2020.

Police say the teenager fraudulently filled in documentation relating to the identity of the driver, claiming he had sold the offending vehicle months earlier.

His web of lies began to unravel when he was stopped in Watson Road, South Shore on September 24 last year, in the car he had claimed to have sold.

Despite the mounting evidence against him, Iosup, of Montrose Avenue, off Central Drive, continued to deny any wrongdoing when he was arrested.

However, he pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice when he appeared before a Judge at Preston Crown Court last week.

As well as being disqualified from driving for 18 months, Iosup was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and has been ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.

He was also handed a four-month curfew and told to complete 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

PC Sean Erett, of Lancashire Police’s Safer Roads Unit, said: “Iosup thought he was above the law and could lie his way out of trouble. His driving was dangerous and reckless, as can be demonstrated by the amount of speeding offences he committed in such a short space of time.

“I am pleased that Iosup has been disqualified from driving as he consistently showed a disregard for the law.

“The fact the Judge has reserved any breaches of the suspended sentence to them will hopefully make Iosup think twice before committing any further offences.”

Preston Western Distributor: Pictures show swift progress of new £200m road linking A583 to M55

Swift progress is being made on a major new road that will link Preston and southern Fylde to the M55 motorway.

The Preston Western Distributor Road (PWDR), scheduled to open early in 2023, is a £200m road scheme and the biggest new road programme in the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

It will link the A583 and the M55 motorway and will involve the construction a new motorway junction, four new bridges and three underpasses.

The scheme also includes two new roads connecting to new and existing housing areas in North West Preston and Cottam. Lancashire County Council says the new East-West Link Road and Cottam Link Road will provide “convenient access” to the Preston Western Distributor, avoiding already congested local routes.

You can view 15 pictures of its construction milestones here.

Police and tractors tackle huge fallen tree blocking busy road in Blackpool

A large tree fell into the middle of a busy road in Blackpool yesterday evening (Monday, June 14).

The giant elm crashed to the ground in Whitegate Drive at around 7pm, forcing police to close the road for more than two hours.

A tractor was brought to the scene to help remove the tree, which had blocked the road between Knowsley Avenue and Beechfield Avenue.

Pictures sent to the Gazette show the top part of the giant elm tree had split, causing the bulk of its thick canopy to tumble onto the road and pavement.

Fortunately, no-one has been injured in the collapse, though a bus stop is located just yards away.

The stricken elm, which is rooted in the grounds of an apartment block, panicked residents who feared for their cars parked just feet away. Part of the tree did fall into the private car park but no vehicles have been damaged.

The collapse left branches and foliage strewn across the road, forcing Blackpool’s service 4 bus to divert southbound via Condor Grove and Park Road.

The tree has since been chopped and cleared and Whitegate Drive has fully reopened.

These were Monday’s headline (June 14)...

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