Lancashire nostalgia in 1999: We're a joke; single lane bypass; lie back and think of North End

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 2000:

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 2:03 pm
Leader of the ruling Labour party of Preston Council Coun Peter Rankin
Leader of the ruling Labour party of Preston Council Coun Peter Rankin

We’re a joke admits Labour chief Coun Rankin

Preston Council stands condemned as a national laughing stock.

The startling accusation comes from someone who should know - the leader of the council, Peter Rankin.

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Broughton Parish Church which will lie close to the proposed Broughton bypass

The Labour chief admitted he was embarrassed to be a member of Preston Council after two years of political defections, corruption allegations and threats to expose homosexual members of the council.

He was speaking during a six-and-a-half-hour meeting of the council which itself descended into farce when a screaming match started between political opponents Coun Mick Moulding and Deputy Mayor Rose Kinsella.

Not much official business was decided during the meeting, which was punctuated by councillors hurling insults across the chamber.

As the oaths reached a peak, Coun Rankin asked for the police to be called because Coun Moulding was “in danger of hurting somebody.”

David Hurst, of Centurion Furniture's marketing department, tries out the new La-Z-Boy

Coun Rankin went on: “Being a member of this authority has been, quite frankly, an embarrassment.

“This council is a laughing stock far and wide.”

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This is how Lancashire looked in 1999

Single lane for village bypass

Controversial plans for a bypass at one of Lancashire’s worst bottlenecks are to be scaled down by highway chiefs.

Transport bosses have revealed the proposed Broughton bypass will be a single rather than dual carriageway.

But environmental experts admit the latest scheme for the £7.9m road is not designed to cope with the expected explosion in traffic levels.

The proposed bypass would be sandwiched between the village of Broughton, to the north of Preston, and the M6.

Although the scheme would remove traffic from the heavily-congested A6 which runs through Broughton, it has provoked bitter splits in the village.

Opponents fear the environmental damage of a bypass roaring past the parish church and a primary school.

The bypass would also be funded by developers who are threatening to build hundreds of new homes on estates at the nearby former Whittingham Hospital and Goosnargh, as well as Broughton.

A new blueprint for the project will be unveiled at a meeting of Lancashire County Council’s highways and transportation general sub-committee.

The road would follow the same route as that envisaged for the dual carriageway although a new roundabout would be built at its northern junction with the A6.

The existing A6 would be closed to all vehicles apart from buses and bicycles, blocking through traffic from the village.

Roundabouts proposed for the junctions with Whittingham Lane and D’Urton Lane/Eastway have been reduced in size.

Fencing and landscaping will be introduced as a screen to the effects of the bypass on Broughton CE Primary School and the parish church.

A £1m improvement scheme to the existing M55/A6 roundabout at Broughton is also planned.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week we looked at 1998

Lie back and La-Z-Boy your life

This is it lads - the ultimate TV chair.

Never again will you have to risk missing a great goal because you’ve rushed to the kitchen to grab a beer during the football!

In fact you never have to get out of the Lancashire-made La-Z-Boy! The recliner chair has a built-in fridge, telephone, heater, back massager and footrest.

It even has a pocket to keep your lottery ticket safe.

So you can now sit down for the big match and not miss a second of the action - then stay in position for the National Lottery draw, the movie, the news, the Sky at Night, Open University and the Big Breakfast.

The chair, which was made famous by sitcom buddies Joey and Chandler in Friends, has already taken American by storm and is now selling like hot couch potatoes in Britain.

The new hi-tech model of the chairs is being made by Centurion Furniture of Leyland.

As well as the fridge for beer and a phone for ordering takeaways, the new La-Z-Boy can ease away your aches and pains with a heated body massage.

The chair has a three position footrest and reclines almost horizontally at the flick of a handle.

But with a price tag ranging from £700 to £1,357 - depending on fabric and optional extras - it had better be super comfortable!