Town in crackdown
on taxi drivers
by David Skentelbery
————————————————-POLICE and vehicle examiners launched a major crackdown on taxis and private hire vehicles at Warrington today (Friday).
Spot checks were being carried out on cabs across the town – and the records of drivers were also being checked.
The aim was to weed out rogue cab drivers and check on the safety of vehicles.
Taxi Enforcement Day was pioneered in Cheshire by Warrington Borough Council and local police and today’s operation – the fourth annual crackdown – was the biggest and most thorough carried out yet.
Enforcement was being carried out by teams of traffic police, officers from the council’s passenger transport unit, authorised vehicle examiners and officers from the Department of Work and Pensions.
Mobile police patrols were carrying out record checks on drivers and random vehicle checks.
Passenger Transport co-ordinator Barry Eaton said: “Taxis and private hire vehicles are a very important part of our public transport system and it is essential they are as safe as possible. This is a major borough-wide crackdown and we are targeting all taxi and private hire vehicles and drivers who may be flouting laws or failing to meet necessary standards.
“This action is part of an ongoing process to give the travelling public greater confidence in public transport. We will take necessary action against those vehicles or drivers not reaching these standards.”
star in television series
by staff reporter
WARRINGTON Borough Council features in a new series of the television programme “Dirtbusters.”
The six part series, which goes out on Wednesday evenings, began this week and captures all the action from the foot soldiers in the front line in the dirty war on waste.
On the programme, viewers can see dog warden Jill Goulden helping to keep the streets of Warrington free from strays and their deposits.
Also rat catcher Graham Edgerton is called out to the aid of a distressed Warrington resident trapped in her home by a menacing rodent living under her shed. He’s determined to serve the pest its last supper and reclaim the garden for his fearful client.
The programme also introduces Phil Chadwick and his gang on their mission to clean up the streets of Warrington.
Part detective, part street philosopher and comic, Phil leads the council’s street scene team, a crack squad of waste warriors who spurn the comfort zone to tackle everything from flytipping to gardening.
This week they face the challenge of removing a soggy mattress from a ditch and the mystery of a gate found in a stream.
Phil says: “If they offered me a job with British Airways as one of their pilots I wouldn’t give it up because I’d miss this.”
He adds: “If we’re honest a lot of people do regard street cleansing lads, bin guys, as being down the social scale. Some people just come out and talk down to you.
“They think because they’ve got materialistic trappings that they’re happy but they’re not. Not as happy as me.”
Then he does a cartwheel down a back entry, safe in the knowledge he’s cleared all the dog mess from it beforehand.
“Dirtbusters” is a Granada Production for ITV1.
Top picture shows Jill Goulden during a filming session. Lower picture shows the street Scene team being filmed.
by John Hendon
MINISTER of State for Work Jane Kennedy was visiting Warrington today (Friday) to launch a pension take-up campaign at the town’s new Jobcentre Plus.
The Jobcentre at Nolan House has been completely redesigned and upgraded and will offer the complete range of advisory, jobsearch, benefit guidance and financial assessment services, to get more people into jobs quicker.
The Minister was being welcomed by Warrington South MP Helen Southworth (pictured).
She said: “Since Labour came to power national unemployment has nearly halved and in Warrington South it has fallen by over 28 per cent.. There are now just 927 unemployed people in the area, but we want to bring it down even further.
“Unemployment is not only a waste of talent, it destroys families and communities. I’m delighted that Warrington people will be getting more help than ever before to find work, to support themselves with dignity and make a contribution to our society and community.”
Mrs Southworth added: “I’m really delighted that Jane has come to Warrington to see the excellent work of our Jobcentre. Jane will also join me at The Pension Service local service advice surgery in ASDA to launch a new information leaflet for pensioners in my constituency to encourage them to claim all the help they’re entitled to.
“This money is pensioners’ by right; it’s the fair deal they deserve. I want to make sure that everyone eligible gets in their claim.”
For pensions advice or to make a claim people can call the claim helpline 0800 99 1234. If they have speech or hearing difficulties the textphone number is 0800 169 0133.
Mission scheme in
line for top award
by John Hendon
A REFURBISHED community building at Warrington has been shortlisted for the community indoor amenity award in the Biffaward Awards – the national environmental awards scheme which will be held later this year.
Woolston Mission fought off stiff competition to go forward to the final round of the scheme, where it will compete with four other projects to win top ranking in the category, with the possibility of becoming the overall winner for 2004, receiving ?7,500 towards its work.
The Mission was built in the 1880s as the Church of England school for the growing Woolston area. It was also licensed for use as a mission church.
When a new school and church were built, the Mission became the church and community hall for the area.
A Biffaward grant of ?51,020 contributed to a comprehensive scheme of renovation and refurbishment to incorporate modern, pleasant facilities and to make more efficient use of the space, enabling up to three groups to meet simultaneously.
This project will ensure that the Mission will remain a valued and valuable resource to the community.
Biffaward chairman Martin Bettington said: “This is the sixth year of our awards and the standard of projects shortlisted just gets better and better. The awards are a great way to demonstrate the successes of projects made possible by funding from Biffaward and enforce the importance of the Landfill Tax Credit scheme.”
Hosted by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, Biffaward Awards acknowledge the achievements of projects supported by the fund and highlights the diversity of environmental work undertaken, thanks to funding through the Landfill Tax Credit scheme.
Man fined for
dumping in park
by court reporter
A WARRINGTON man who was caught dumping waste in a park has been fined by the town’s magistrates.
James Russell of Elaine Street, Padgate, was spotted by a borough council officer walking away from a bed, mattress and carpet dumped in the car park at Orford Park.
Co-operation and swift action by the council’s neighbourhood services department and the Environment Agency resulted in Russell being identified, served with a notice and prosecuted.
He was was fined ?250 and ordered to pay ?250 costs.
takes centre court
by Emma Walker
WHEELCHAIR basketball is taking centre court at the Golden Square shopping centre in Warrington tomorrow (Saturday) as part of the Disability Awareness Week.
Anybody can participate – able bodied as well as disa
The sport is not just for full time wheelchair users. More and more players taking part are those who are unable to play in mainstream sport due to injuries such as damaged knees or backs or other mobility problems.
Disability Awareness Week co-ordinator Dave Thompson said: “The focus this year has been on what disabled people can do rather than what they can’t. It is an important message for us to get across that having a disability need not stop you from taking part in sport or other fun activities.”
Golden Square Shopping manager, Andrew Ward said: “We give our support to Disability Awareness Week every year as we know it is an issue that directly affects a number of our shoppers. The ‘Ability first’ message needs to go out to as many people as possible, not just during Disability Awareness Week but 365 days a year.”
Disability Awareness Day is on Sunday and to find out more about it visit the website at
Lions offer shoppers
bone screening test
by staff reporter
WARRINGTON Lions are offering osteoporosis screening to shoppers in the Golden Square Shopping Centre tomorrow (Saturday).
It is the second time the Lions have offered the service this year.
The disease affects an estimated three million people in the UK. With one in three women and one in 12 men in the UK expected to have osteoporosis over the age of 50, no one is free from risk.
Osteoporosis literally means “porous bones” and it results in the bones becoming fragile and liable to break easily.
Each year osteoporosis accounts for more than 70,000 hip fractures, 50,000 wrist fractures and 120,000 spinal fractures. By monitoring bone density on a regular basis it is possible to take additional precautions to tackle this widespread disease.
Anyone requiring the test is invited to telephone Rex Mallett 01925 264085 or 01925 813652 for an appointment. There will be a small charge for each screening but the majority of the cost has been subsided by the Lions.
News in brief
VANDALS set fire to wheelie bins stored at The Boultings, in Winwick Road, Warrington during the night. The heat shattered nearby windows and the building was heavily smokelogged.
COMMUNITY Support Officer Kate Middleton is to hold a police surgery at the Greenwood Housing Office, Orford, Warrington on Tuesday July 13 at 2pm. The surgery will be held every second Tuesday of the month and residents are invited to attend to meet CSO Middleton, report crime and receive crime prevention advice.
WINNING numbers in the weekly lottery run by the League of Friends of Warrington Hospital were 4, 6, 9 and 11. Three winners share the ?352 jackpot. The ?25 consolation prize went to T Creagan.
FIRE crews were called to a container loaded with old fridges which caught fire in West Quay Road, Winwick near Warrington.
PLANS to convert a redundant barn into a two-storey dwelling at Alder Cottage, Alder Lane, Burtonwood, near Warrington have been submitted to the borough council’s planning department.
WARRINGTON Borough Council has made an order introducing a ban on U-turns on the A49 Winwick Road using the gap in the central reservation at the junction with Lythgoes Lane, Pinners Brow and Orford Lane.
NOTICE has been given that Warringtron Borough Council has made an order restricting parking in Well Lane, Penketh between 7am and 7pm.
FIREFIGHTERS helped make a damaged car safe after it overturned in Warrington Road, Penketh near Warrington. No other vehicle was involved in the incident and the occupants had managed to scramble clear before emergency services reached the scene.