The Wonder of Walking Day
by Gary Skentelbery

THE 172nd Warrington Walking Day dawned warm and humid today with many walkers and watchers, for once, daring to leave raincoats and brollies at home.
Showers were forecast but never arrived as the warm weather attracted huge crowds!
More than 3,500 people from more than 30 churches walked in procession through the town, starting as usual from the Town Hall lawn.
The fine weather brought out large crowds lining the streets as the town's Mayor Coun Linda Dirir was joined by Warrington South Mp Helen Southworth and Lord Hoyle of Warrington to wave on the walkers.
500 extra police
for pop festival

by John Hendon

POLICE have moved swiftly to allay the fears of people living in the Warrington and Runcorn areas following the controversial approval of the Creamfields pop festival on farmland at Daresbury.
An extra 500 officers will be drafted in to police the event over the August Bank Holiday weekend so that neighbourhood bobbies can continue to patrol their usual beats.
Inspector Dave Price, who is leading the police planning team for the event, said: "We have taken into account the needs of local residents, the increased numbers of people who will be travelling into the area, the likelihood of increased traffic and the potential for incidents of crime and disorder.
"To help us manage the event effectively, 500 additional officers will be brought in to police Creamfields - from 8.00am on the Saturday morning until 5.00pm on the Sunday evening. This will enable local officers to continue patrolling the surrounding communities and nearby town centres in Runcorn and Warrington."
As well as reacting to incidents on a daily basis, police have contingency plans in place.
Inspector Price said: "The nature of police work means contingency planning is always going on behind the scenes. Being prepared is all about knowing what staff and resources we would need to deal with a situation, how we would manage large numbers of people to ensure their safety and what sorts of specialist skills might be required.
"Throughout our planning for Creamfields we have been working closely with the organisers and local residents to discuss any concerns they may have and to reassure the public and we will continue to do so."
Nearby residents are now being encouraged to sign up to Police Direct a facility which will enable them to receive tailor-made message updates from the police about the Creamfields event. Police Direct gives officers the facility to issue any news or information alerts to people quickly and easily including any traffic updates if necessary.
Anyone wanting to register with Police Direct for this event should visit www.police.uk and click on Police Message Broadcast - Register Here.
Inspector Price added: "I want to reassure local residents that we are doing everything we can to make sure this event does not disrupt day to day life for people living in the area so that they can go about their normal business and enjoy their Bank Holiday weekend.
"I'm encouraging as many people as possible to sign up to Police Direct so that we can keep you posted with news and information as the event unfolds. It's quick and easy to do and it won't cost you anything to receive the updates."
Police Direct sends registered users free, up-to-the minute information via text messages, e-mails, or recorded phone messages.

Distillery blaze: man
charged with arson

by staff reporter

A WARRINGTON man has been charged with arson in connection with the major fire which devastated the G and J Greenall distillery last year.
The 55-year-old, from the Walton area, is due to appear before the towns magistrates on July 7.
He has been charged with arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered. Currently he is on police bail.
The fire, on October 15, was the biggest in the Warrington area for many years and completely destroyed a warehouse building in Loushers Lane.
More than 100 firefighters were involved in battling it over a period of two days.
Families were evacuated from nearby homes and those living further away were advised to stay indoors and keep all doors and windows closed.
Fire crews from Cheshire, Staffordshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester were drafted in to help local firefighters.

Revamped executive
unveiled by council

by David Skentelbery

A REVAMPED executive board has been unveiled by Warrington Borough Council's new controlling Lib Dem-Tory alliance.
Eight new areas of responsibility have been created following the May elections - and the councillors responsible for these area make up the new executive board.
Four are linked to the council's strategic directorates and four will help to drive forward the council's main aims and policies.
Council leader Ian Marks said: "The priorities of the council will be to give people high quality, value-for-money services, to put people first and to generate a pride in Warrington, with cleaner and greener communities."
Coun Marks said he and Conservative leader Keith Bland - deputy leader of the council - would share responsibilities for liaising with other organisations and partners in the town and for ensuring the needs of the people of Warrington were at the heart of everything the council did.
Coun Bland said: "We envisage that through these responsibilities we can concentrate our efforts on specific aims, such as tackling congestion, encouraging people to lead a healthy lifestyle, improving the environment and developing education.
"The executive board is committed to encouraging debate and listening to residents, community groups and other agencies during the decision making process."
A detailed description of the executive board and its responsibilities has been set out.
Coun Marks, as leader of the council, will be responsible for the corporate plan, chairing the executive board and promoting Warrington externally.
Deputy leader Coun Bland will cover performance management, communications, emergency planning and member development.
They will be jointly responsible for promoting the council across the borough, liaising with partners, meeting the needs of citizens and scrutiny.
The rest of the executive team are: Coun Brian Axcell - Environment Services. Regeneration, skills development, economic development, planning, town centre, highways and transport and waste.
Coun Fiona Bruce - Value for Money. Purchasing and procurement, assets and property.
Coun David Earl - Innovation and Change. How the council carries out its business and provides and delivers services.
Coun Liz Smith - Neighbourhoods and Communities. Equality and diversity, inclusion, neighbourhoods and community development.
Coun Roy Smith - Community Services. Adult social care, health improvement and inequalities, adult learning, leisure, culture, housing, Trading Standards and environmental health.
Coun Peter Walker - Corporate Services. Finance, human resources, IT, admin and support and governance.
Coun Graham Welborn - Safer and Greener Communities. Parks and open spaces, street services, crime and disorder reduction and alcohol and drugs strategy.
Coun Sheila Woodyatt - Children's Services. Education and schools, children's social care and youth service.
The council has also increased the number of its overview and scrutiny committees from four to five. Health and Community have been separated to allow greater scrutiny on each topic. The new committees are:
Children's Services and Safer Communities, Resources and Customer Access, Sustainable Environment and Regeneration, Community Services, Health.
Members will ensure that the public is involved more, call expert witnesses and adopt a more questioning style while carrying out their scrutiny duties, the council says.

Students were seeing double

STUDENTS stopped and stared when a Right Royal couple dropped in to inspect new campus buildings.
But it wasnt Prince Charles and Camilla, but look-alikes Peter Hugo and Anne Clifton who were giving new facilities at Warrington Collegiate a royal seal of approval.
The pair will feature alongside other celebrity doubles in the Collegiate's summer promotional campaign in the run up to the opening of the 27 million new facility in September.

Sports spectacular helps
pupils forge friendships

by Mark Hemmings

A SPORTING spectacular at Warrington's Boteler High School encouraged children and young people to get active and forge new friendships.
The event aimed to raise awareness among local children about the range of sporting clubs and activities available for them to take part in, in their local community.
It was also designed to give Boteler pupils the opportunity to make friends with some of the youngsters who will be joining them at high school in September.
More than 300 Year 6 students from across Warrington took part in a range of sports along with representatives from a range of local clubs supporting the event.
Each child had the opportunity to try out a number of different activities during their time at the event, leaving with a goody bag and a directory of information to signpost them to sporting activities in the community.
The event, which has received regional and national interest, was run by club coaches, secondary PE staff and young sports leaders from six Warrington high schools.
Paula Pearson, the School Sports Partnership development manager, and event organiser said: "It is the Government's ambition that every child should be taking part in four to five hours of high quality physical activity by 2010.
"Increasingly, as schools develop their out of hours opportunities, coaches will come to play a more active role in ensuring that this ambition is met. The positive contribution that being physically active can make to a young person's life-long health and well-being should not be under-estimated.
Warrington now has two School Sports Partnerships, William Beamont Sports College and Lymm High School. Both partnerships are working together with all Warrington schools towards increasing participation, skill and enjoyment in physical activity, both in school and out of school hours.

Market traders' day out
with Wallace and Gromit

by John Hendon

MARKET traders at Warrington will set up stall in Queens Gardens tomorrow (Saturday) when they present a Grand Day Out to launch the towns Culturefest.
Animation characters Wallace and Gromit will join traders from Warrington Market, Lymm Market and Hatters Row to present a traditional outdoor market, with stalls, side shows, children's rides and games and craft demonstrations.
The markets are joining forces with Warrington Borough Council's Cultural Development Service and town centre traders and management to stage what is hoped will become an annual event.
As well as providing free family entertainment, the event aims to highlight how important market facilities are to the culture and communities of Warrington.
Culturefest, a celebration of local culture that runs throughout July. There are free concerts and family fun days each Friday and Saturday in Queen's Gardens, plus a free jazz concert in Golden Square in Saturday August 19. Full details can be found at www.culturefest.info or by calling Pyramid on 01925 442345.
Warrington Market's Grand Day Out runs from 10.00am until 4.00pm.
For families following the World Cup, England's Quarter Finals match against Portugal will be shown on a big screen in Pyramid from 4.00pm, with a dry bar available.

Taxi driver killed
in expressway crash

by staff reporter

POLICE are appealing for witnesses of a collision between two cars on the Daresbury Expressway, near Warrington on the evening of Monday, June 26.
A 41-year-old Runcorn taxi driver, Brian Crunny, was killed in the collision.
Police are anxious to speak to anyone who witnessed the crash, in particular the occupants of a dark coloured car seen heading in the direction of Warrington.
The car was not involved in the collision, but police believe its occupants may have seen what happened.
Anyone who can assist is asked to call PC Bryn Majid or PS Yvonne Williams on 01244 613928.

News in brief

Kitchen blaze
FIRE crews were called to a kitchen fire at a house in Bucklow Gardens, Lymm near Warrington. But the householder tackled the blaze and by the time firefighters arrived it had been extinguished.

Hospital lottery
WINNING numbers in the weekly lottery run by the League of Friends of Warrington Hospital were 4, 9, 11 and 12. The jackpot went unclaimed and will be rolled-over to next week. The 25 consolation prize went to "Julie".

Disabled parking
WARRINGTON Borough Council proposes to make orders enabling the introduction of disabled person's parking places in Alder Lane, Ellen Street and Fairclough Avenue. Any objections must be sent to Karin Spiers, at the council's legal services section in New Town House, Warrington by July 6.

Flats refused
TWO separate applications to convert houses into flats in Froghall Lane, Warrington, have been thrown out by borough planners.

Restaurant plan
PLANS to convert a youth centre building into a restaurant at the junction of Clay Lane and Phipps Lane, Burtonwood, have been approved by Warrington planning chiefs.

Lorry fire
FIREFIGHTERS were called to the M6-M56 slip road at Lymm, near Warrington when smoke was seen pouring from a road tanker. They used a hosereel to cool down overheated machinery and little damage was caused to the vehicle.