‘Pop Idol’ Chris launches
own record label
by Gary Skentelbery
AN award winning songwriter from Warrington who has penned chart topping hits for a galaxy of stars including Will Young, Victoria Beckham and Kylie Minogue has launched his own record label and debut album.
Former Woolston High School pupil Chris Braide, now 31, signed his first recording contract when he was just 16. But he never made a name for himself as a performer, instead being the man behind the songs of the stars.
Currently working in the States on American Idol with close friend Simon Fuller, Chris was awarded the Ivor Novello prize last year for the hit single Anything Is Possible, which raced to number one for Will Young.
Now he is turning his attention to his own record career compiling an album under the pseudonym of MALMO, together with North West songsmith Dean Johnson.
The duo have launched the album “Stone Cold Grace” on their own record label, Visible Music Ltd, allowing Chris to perform his own musical leanings, instead of penning songs for the stars.
Proud dad Ken, who still lives in Woolston, said: “Chris always wanted to be a pop star.
“He went straight into the music business when he left school so never really had a proper job! He has now decided to produce his own material, while also continuing to write highly successful songs.”
Chris was first noticed in songwriting circles in 1997 following a short arena tour with Squeeze and Blondie. He then started working with Simon Fuller and later began writing with his close friend Cathy Dennis.
With Cathy, Chris has written for many of the Pop Idol camp Including Will Young and S Club. He has also written and produced singles and album tracks for Gareth Gates, Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham, Darius, Rick Astley, Brian Kennedy and Kylie Minogue.
When he finishes in America he will be treating his parents to a holiday of a lifetime in South Africa.
by David Skentelbery
TOO few people from ethnic minorities are working in Warrington’s Social Services department, a new report reveals.
Only 2.6 per cent of the borough council’s social care workforce are from the black or ethnic minority community, compared with four per cent in the town’s working population as a whole.
Acting strategic director of Social Services David Whyte said: “The council has a fully developed race equality scheme, which is compliant wit the Race Relations Act.
“The most common measure of a council’s effectiveness in relation to employment practice is to measure the representation within its own workforce of the diverse groups making up the community it serves.
“A social care workforce which is representative in this way may also be more likely to be able to deliver services which are culturally sensitive to the whole community.
“This suggests that at present the workforce is not representative of the community it serves.”
Mr Whyte’s report to a scrutiny advisory group shows that 97.2 per cent of applicants for jobs in social care were white and 2.8 per cent black or from an ethnic minority group. Ninety seven per cent of current staff were white and 2.6 per cent from ethnic minorities.
No ethnic minority staff have applied for promotion and only 1.9 per cent have applied for training. But of staff who leave the department, 8.3 per cent are from ethnic minorities.
Mr Whyte says the low number of job applicants from ethnic minorities suggests the current situation is not likely to improve in the near future. In fact, the situation will get worse if the number of black and ethnic minority staff leaving the workforce continues at the current rate.
An action plan is being considered to address the problem, the main thrust of which will be to ensure the council’s recruitment practices are as inclusive of all sections of the local community as possible.
for noise nuisance
by Lesley Wilkinson
A MAN who suffered noise disturbance from a social club near his home has won ?1,000 compensation from Warrington Borough Council following an investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman.
The complainant, known as Mr Mathew – not his real name for legal reasons – claimed the council failed to take account of the impact on his home and loss of privacy, caused by external changes to the club.
He said the council failed to fulfil an undertaking to investigate his complaints of noise and disturbance and failed to ensure the club complied with its entertainment licence.
Mr Mathew also complained that a councillor who was a member of the club’s committee inappropriately involved himself in the council’s consideration of complaints.
The Ombudsman found that the council was guilty of maladministration in that it failed to fully investigate the complaints about noise and general disturbance. The report found the club had agreed to reduce noise, but had failed to do so.
It was also found that the council had not responded to evidence that the club was breaching its entertainments’ licence and failed to take the opportunity to impose conditions to restrict disturbance.
The Ombudsman found communication problems between departments, and suggested the council should issue guidelines to staff about complaints involving more than one department.
Council officers accepted the complaints were not dealt with as well as should have been and that there had been communications problems between different departments. Procedures had now been adopted to improve the situation.
Officers said that following the complaint there had been some improvements in the situation.
College girl pilots
are flying high
THREE fledgling girl pilots from a Warrington college are flying high after spending a week at a prestigious flying academy in the south of Spain.
The girls are all students at Priestley College, which is fast earning a reputation for its courses leading to potential careers in aviation.
Samantha Smythe, Amy Worsley and Ann Ibbertson are all learning to fly with the Shropshire Aero Club and following a visit to a commercial pilot recruitment day at Heathrow they were invited for a week of aptitude tests and interviews at the Flight Training Europe Academy at Jerez in Spain.
Many of the commercial pilots for British Airways and other international airlines are trained at Jerez and the girls were able to experience life as a trainee pilot as well as undergo a range of aptitude tests.
All the girls impressed the academy staff and found the week of great benefit in their preparation to become commercial pilots.
Eighteen-year-old Samantha, from Stockton Heath said: “Even though I made my first solo flight a number of months earlier I never imagined that I would be invited to Spain and it has inspired me to realise my ambition.”
Amy, aged 17 from Padgate said “The Academy trains you to be employable in the airline industry and not just as a means of passing exams. It was a total experience of the whole aviation business and it made me realise that with determination and hard work you can accomplish anything.”
While in Spain, 18-year-old Ann, from Halton, received an offer from Loughborough University to study Aeronautical Engineering.
She commented: “It was a fantastic week, especially as everybody was so encouraging to us and I am hopeful of undertaking my commercial pilot training at Jerez after the completion of my University degree.”
by Lesley Wilkinson
PLANS for a gaming machine in a Warrington caf? were turned down after residents complained it could lure children into gambling.
The application, by Stilianos Xidaxis, for Lols Kitchen in Long Lane, Orford was refused by Warrington Borough Council’s Licensing Committee.
Permission was sought for a gaming permit so that one machine could be installed on t
he premises for customers.
North Orford Residents Association “strongly “objected to the new permit.
Secretary B Packer said the association felt: “It will encourage children from the local senior school to cross a dangerous road at a particularly hazardous point.
The association added: “Because of the price it will encourage children to gamble with their dinner money. It could cause some children to become stressed and even addicted to gambling.”
by staff reporter
PUPILS at a Warrington school will be encouraged to improve their health when a week of activities starts on Monday Health Week at St Lewis’ RC Primary, Croft involves a visit from university students from Crewe and Alsager.
They will be holding sessions on sports and looking after the body, throughout the day for Key Stage Two pupils.
Other sessions during the week include training on respecting health and other people, tips on health eating, fruit testing and talks on dental hygiene.
There will also be Salsa dance classes for pupils during the daytime, and for parents during the evening.