LiveLancashire LIVE: 36 and 37 year-olds to be invited for their Covid jab | McDonald's in Leyland closes suddenly

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

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 9:55 am

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

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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 Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Last updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2021, 19:25

Chorley motorcyclist gives 'offensive gesture' to police officer after 'putting children at risk'

The motorcyclist showed “no regard” for pedestrians after he was spotted riding on the footpath behind Coppull United Football Club today (May 18).

He then allegedly gave an “offensive gesture” to an off-duty police officer who approached the biker, the force said.

Officers have now released an image of the man - who is pictured riding a white and purple off-road motocross vehicle.

“Can you help us to identify this rider who has been riding on the footpath at the back of Coppull United Football Club which leads to Coppull Moor Lane,” a spokesman for Lancashire Police said.

“He has been there for an hour and riding on the paths with no regard for the children and dog walkers who are using the footpath.

“The rider gave an offensive gesture to an off-duty officer.”

Anyone with information can contact police by emailing [email protected] or calling 101.

Police have asked the public to contact them if they recognise the motorcyclist pictured.

Concern growing for missing Padiham boy, 16, who has links to Burnley

Jake Taylor was last seen in the Malvern Avenue area of the town at around 6.15pm yesterday (May 17).

The 16-year-old is described as white, 5ft 6in tall, of slim build, with light brown hair.

He was wearing a black hoodie, black pants and a black and white cap at the time of his disappearance.

Jake has links to Padiham and Burnley.

PC Becky Jones, of Burnley Police, said: “We are becoming increasingly concerned for Jake’s welfare and would ask anybody with information on his whereabouts to contact police straight away.

“Similarly, if Jake sees this appeal, I would ask that he gets in touch to let us know he is OK.”

Anyone with information can contact police by calling 101, quoting log number 1347 of May 17.

For immediate sightings call 999.

Jake Taylor (pictured) is described as white, 5ft 6in tall, of slim build, with light brown hair.

The over 50s will also have their second jabs brought forward

Invitations are going out to 37-year-olds to get the coronavirus jab amid fears that the spread of the new Indian variant could jeopardise future plans to ease restrictions.

Text messages are being sent on Tuesday asking people to book an appointment – to be followed on Wednesday by 36-year-olds – as the rollout moves down the age groups.

At the same time, over 50s are having their second jabs brought forward on the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The moves comes amid continuing concern about the fast-spreading B.1.617.2 variant – first identified in India – with some scientists warning it could lead to a deadly new wave of the virus - read more

This huge office block in Preston is to be flattened

Demolition of a five-storey office block in Preston is scheduled to start at the beginning of August.

Contractors will dismantle the Barry House building in London Road in three stages, with the work expected to take six weeks.

The former Department of Work and Pensions block, which has been empty for some time, is being knocked down to make way for a new specialist maths school.

A report to the city council says the building, which was constructed in the 1970's, is “modest in terms of architectural merit and contributes little towards the visual amenity of the area.” - Full story

This is why McDonald's in Leyland has closed suddenly this morning

McDonald's in Leyland has shut suddenly this morning due to problems with its computer system.

The IT glitch has forced the fast-food restaurant to temporarily suspend both its drive-thru and sit-in/take out service.

It means those seeking a quick breakfast are being turned away at the door whilst traffic cones have been placed at entrance to the drive-thru, preventing access.

Staff say they are unsure when the IT issue will be repaired and service can resume.

These were Monday’s headlines

How many coronavirus cases are there in Lancashire?  

According to the latest government data, there have now been 98,880 confirmed cases in the Lancashire County Council area since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the total across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Blackburn and Darwen, now stands at 126,784.

The latest figures for each area in the county can be found by clicking HERE.

These are the latest case figures for Lancashire.

Mass brawl at Chorley pub leaves multiple people injured as CCTV appeal launched

The fight broke out in an outdoor section at the Talbot pub in Balshaw Lane at around 10.25pm on Saturday, May 15.

Two members of the public were injured during the altercation after glasses were thrown, with one reportedly suffering a possible broken jaw and eye socket.

One member of staff was also punched in the face during the altercation, but police said their injuries are “not serious”.

Detectives would now like to speak to two men as part of their enquires.

You can read the full story by clicking HERE.

Police would like to speak to these two men in connection with the incident.

'Thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes and tobacco' stolen from Tesco lorry travelling to Blackpool

The theft took place as the HGV was travelling along the A585 Fleetwood Road at around 10am on Friday, May 14.

At some point between the Shell Garage close to Greenhalgh Lane and the Windy Harbour lights, the driver of the HGV stopped to let a vehicle turn.

It is at this point officers believe the offenders broke into the lorry via the back doors.

They then took off with thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes and tobacco, police said.

DC Eleanor Jewell, from Blackpool CID, said: “The thieves had the audacity to break into this wagon whilst it was on its way to drop off stock to Tesco, on a really busy road.

“Someone must have seen something.”

If you think you witnessed the incident unfold, or you have any dash cam footage, call 101 quoting incident reference number 394 of May 14.

Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or online at

Police believe the theft took place when the driver of the HGV stopped to let a vehicle turn at some point between the Shell Garage close to Greenhalgh Lane and the Windy Harbour lights.

Snake spotted slithering through park in Penwortham

A snake has been spotted slithering around a nature reserve in Penwortham at the weekend.

The grass snake (pictured) startled James and Helen Tomlinson who stumbled across it whilst out walking with their daughter Emily on Saturday afternoon (May 15).

The couple say the black snake, which was basking in the sun near a pond,  was “easily a metre” in length (more than 3ft) and had a pale yellow ‘ring’ near its head.

James and Helen kindly shared their picture with the Post, but have asked that we do reveal exactly where the snake was found, to help protect it and its habitat.

Helen explained: “The issue we have with sharing the exact location is that it’s an area that is full of nature and the area was abused and trashed last year when word got out, which is not good for the wildlife.”

James added: “It was the first time I’ve spotted a snake. I’ve lived in Penwortham most of my life and the amount of wildlife here now is amazing. This snake was easily a metre long.”

What type of snake is it?

Though unconfirmed, it is believed to be a grass snake, Natrix helvetica, which is non-venomous and one of only three snakes native to the UK.

The other two species are the smooth snake and the adder, which is venomous.

Grass snakes are the largest snakes in Britain and can be more than a metre (3ft) long. They are often found near wetlands where they eat mainly amphibians like frogs and newts.

Did you know?

Grass snakes (also known as barred grass snakes) are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act making it illegal to injure or kill them.

They have an average lifespan of around 15-25 years and are most visible between April and October.

Longridge schoolboy left shaken after encounter with men in black car

An investigation is under way after a boy was approached by two men whilst walking home from school in Longridge.

The men reportedly tried to lure the 12-year-old into a black ‘SUV’-type vehicle after pulling up beside him in Little Lane at around 4.20pm on Thursday, May 6.

The boy told police that the two strangers, both aged in their 50s and wearing black hats, had screeched to a halt next to him, flung the passenger door open and shouted at him to “get over here”.

But the boy, sensing something was not right, ran off towards Longridge Recreational Ground where he sought safety among a group of older children.

After returning home to tell his family, the boy’s mum shared her son’s frightening encounter on a local Facebook group.

Warning others, she said: “A black SUV - he thinks it was a Honda - came screeching to a halt beside him after crossing over to the wrong side of the road to come to a stop right next to him.

“This was at the Kestor Lane end near the little block of flats. Two males aged approximately 50 and wearing black hats tried to get him to come over to their car.

“They opened the passenger door and shouted at him to “get over here”.

“But he ran off towards the rec (Longridge Recreation Ground), thank goodness, and they did a u-turn and drove off down Kestor Lane.

“Please warn your kids about these two men as I have a very shaken young lad here. You just don’t think that anything like this will ever happen. So very frightening.”

Lancashire Police has confirmed that it is investigating the incident.

A police spokesman said: “We are currently investigating a recent incident involving a child being approached by males in a black people carrier or van in the Little Lane area of Longridge.

“If you have any information regarding this or similar incidents in the Longridge area, please contact the police on 101 to report the matter, quoting log LC-20210506-1051.”

The force has also explained why it is only appealing publicly for information more than a week after the incident.

An officer with Longridge Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “The incident was deployed to on the day of the report and we have since been conducting other enquiries before making our appeal public.

“The reason for the delay is those enquiries may have affected the information we could have given on this appeal.”

Lancashire Police say extra patrols will monitor the reopening of pubs and bars as lockdown rules are relaxed today

Lancashire Police says extra patrols will be put in place to monitor the reopening of pubs and bars as lockdown rules are relaxed further today (Monday, May 17).

The force is urging people to continue to follow the rules and guidance as Lancashire’s pubs, bars, cafes and other businesses prepare to welcome customers inside for the first time this year.

From today (Monday, May 17), we can socialise indoors in groups of up to six or two households, including for overnight stays. Up to 30 people can also meet outside whilst pubs, restaurants, cafes and other venues can welcome customers back indoors.

Ch Supt Russ Procter, of Lancashire Police, said officers will take a “common sense and proportionate approach” to policing as lockdown measures continue to be eased.

He said: “While we are moving back towards some normality and today’s easing of certain lockdown measures is a further step in the right direction it is important to remember that the virus is still with us and we don’t want confidence to lead to complacency.

“The vast majority of residents in Lancashire have shown tremendous patience and support in following the rules since the start of the pandemic and we would absolutely encourage them to continue to do so.

“We’re looking forward to seeing people out enjoying themselves but please remember to do so safely.

“Our overall policing style won’t change – we will still be very visible and take a common sense and proportionate approach to policing the regulations in force at any point in time.

“We’re of course mindful about a return to people being allowed indoors in pubs and restaurants. Please follow the rules, pace yourself and drink safely. Stick with your mates and plan your journey home.

“We’ll police with pride and professionalism and we will be engaging, friendly and fair – we won’t however tolerate significant anti-social behaviour, violence or criminality.”

Local authority licensing teams will be monitoring licensed premises to ensure they are following guidance, meeting licensing conditions and keeping their customers safe.

Lancashire Police said its officers will support local councils to ensure these rules are followed and will visit pubs and bars during their patrols.

Ch Supt Procter added: “The last year has been really been tough for us all but there is cause to be hopeful. If you are heading for the pub, have a good time but please be responsible.

“We’ll be visible, with extra officers on patrol and will have a focus on pubs, bars and the night-time economy.

“We still expect it will be really busy for us across Lancashire. Many of our officers haven’t had much of a break since the pandemic started – please let’s do our best to help us stay on the road towards normality over the next few weeks by being responsible and having respect for yourself, others and the law.

“On the whole, the people of Lancashire have shown tremendous support and respect for the regulations – let’s make sure this continues.

Live updates as Lancashire take the next step and rules ease further - Follow our live blog as lockdown rules are relaxed in Lancashire from today (Monday, May 17).

New Covid vaccine clinics open in Lancashire with thousands of extra doses available

Those who have yet to come forward for their Covid-19 jab are being urged to do so "without delay", as thousands of extra doses arrive in Lancashire this week.

The call comes from Jane Scattergood, Covid-19 vaccination director for Lancashire and South Cumbria, as lockdown restrictions are eased further from today (Monday, May 17).

A number of new sites will open from Tuesday to make it simpler for people to access the vaccine in areas where cases appearing to rising, such as Blackburn.

Jane Scattergood said: “The NHS is working closely with all its partners on a rapid response to the virus in order to protect our residents.

“We have secured extra vaccines for everyone who is eligible and made it as easy as possible for them to come forward to be vaccinated.

“People will have more opportunities to book their vaccination on a date and a place that suits them, no matter where they live.

“As long as you are eligible, please come forward and book your vaccine as quickly as you can.

“A huge thank you to all our staff and partners who are working hard on the delivery of the vaccination programme and are helping to protect our residents and their loved ones.”

Vaccination of residents is according to a priority list, as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), based on age and vulnerability of people and the risk of them becoming seriously ill and dying from Covid-19.

The current criteria is:

- Aged 38 and over

- Aged 18 and over with any underlying health conditions

- Aged 18 and over AND living, caring or working with anyone with underlying health conditions

- Health and Social Care staff

- Any carers – paid or unpaid. You will not be asked for proof as unpaid carers are eligible.

- The new sites are hyper local to Blackburn with Darwen for the convenience of local residents but anyone who is eligible can book into the appointments for their first dose.

Where you can find the new vaccine sites:

- Mobile 5 Bay Clinic with disabled access delivered by articulated lorry in Penny Street, Blackburn, BB1 6HQ

- Pop up clinic in Revidge Fold Church, Shear Brow, BB1 8DS.

The sites will be open between 8am until 8pm from Tuesday, May 18 to Thursday, May 20.

The NHS said more details about extra clinics to open at the weekend and next week will be released shortly.

Opening hours of existing vaccination sites including Blackburn Cathedral and the Royal Blackburn Hospital Hub are also being extended, with details to be confirmed shortly.

As well as securing extra first doses, the NHS is continuing to give second doses when they are due.

Heysham gas explosion: Investigation ongoing as parents pay tribute to son, 2, killed in blast

An investigation is ongoing into a suspected gas explosion that killed a toddler in Heysham on Sunday (May 16).

Emergency services were called to the scene in Mallowdale Avenue at around 2.40am, where three homes had been destroyed in the blast.

Tragically, George Arthur Hinds, aged two years and 10 months, died in the explosion.

His parents Vicky Studholme and Stephen Hinds, who were also injured, but not seriously, have paid tribute to their “beautiful little angel”.

They said: “We are devastated at the loss of our beautiful George.

“He was so precious to us. We have no words to describe how we feel and just want time to ourselves to come to terms with what has happened. Our beautiful little angel grew his wings today.”

Two other people remain in hospital with injuries described as critical.

A police spokesman said: “The emergency services, local authority and partners remain at the site and a safety cordon remains in place.

“A number of residents have been evacuated and are being looked after by the local authority.

“Gas service engineers are working to make the area safe.

“People are being asked to avoid the area while we deal with this ongoing incident.”

A number of residents have been evacuated and are being looked after by the local authority whilst an investigation into the blast takes place.

Anyone with any information should contact police on log 0180 of May 16 or on the Major Incident Portal.

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