to fight in
by David Skentelbery
FORMER borough council leader Mike Hughes is to fight the Warrington North constituency in the forthcoming General Election – representing the new Community Action Party.
He aims to appeal to disgruntled voters disillusioned with the three main parties – of which he believes there are plenty in Warrington North.
“I think people should be able to vote for a candidate and party that will represent the town’s views up to Parliament, rather than one that represents the Prime Minister down to the people,” he said.
Mr Hughes was a Labour member of Warrington Borough Council for more than 20 years and was elected leader in 2002.
But after a stormy period in office there was a split in the Labour Group which resulted in national Party officials moving in to select candidates for last year’s council elections.
Both Mr Hughes and his immediate predecessor as leader, Mr John Gartside, were deselected.
A bitter Mr Hughes appealed against his deselection, without success, and later stood against the Labour as an independent candidate, polling 561 votes in his Fairfield ward – less than half the average Labour vote in the ward.
In October he refused an invitation to become an honorary alderman, dubbing the honour a “civic bauble.” He was later involved with setting up a branch of the Wigan-based Community Action party in Warrington – subsequently being elected leader.
CAP has changed the political map in Wigan in less than three years, snatching 18 seats and narrowly missing out in five others. They are the main opposition to the controlling Labour Group.
The party concentrates on grassroots issues such as traffic, parking, housing, preserving the local environment, etc.
Mr Hughes said: “I was drawn to the Community Action Party because they are an organisation with their roots firmly in local communities.
“It is mainly a local issues party, but local issues usually end up as national issues. New Labour has lost touch with the people judging from the way they are trivialising legislation.
“The policies of New Labour and Conservative are almost identical.
“CAP is an unashamedly populist party, putting forward the consensus view of the people.”
The Warrington North seat has always been held by Labour and current MP Helen Jones has a majority of 15,156.
win top award
WARRINGTON town hall’s legal services team has won a top UK award.
The borough’s “legal eagles” have gained the coveted Lexcel standard – given only to the highest performing law practices.
A Law Society authorised auditor spent two days interviewing staff and analysing day-to-day operations of the legal team.
Trish Jervis, head of council legal services, said: “The award recognises the professionalism and commitment of our legal team and support staff”.
Warrington now joins an elite band of local authorities who have qualified for the award.
Motor cyclist killed
in motorway crash
by John Hendon
A MOTOR cyclist died when his machine was in collision with a coach on the M6, near Warrington.
The rider – a man in his 30s – was pronounced dead at the scene after the crash near Junction 20 at Lymm.
All three lanes of the south-bound carriageway were blocked and standing traffic queued back across Thelwall Viaduct.
Police eventually managed to get traffic moving by using the hard-shoulder, but it was some considerable time before the motorway was back to normal.
There was a knock-on effect for traffic on both carriageways of the M56.
Police are appealing for witnesses of the crash who should call 01244 615274.
Music workshops for
by staff reporter
WARRINGTON’S Pyramid Arts Centre is to be the venue for Cheshire-wide skills workshops to help mould the next generation of musicians.
The event Tuesday (February 22) is the first to be organised through the Amplifier Continuing Professional Development Programme – a springboard for musicians aged 18 to hone their core skills.
The youth music partnership is supported by district councils, Warrington and Halton councils and Arts North West.
Young musicians must pre-book the event on 01925-442287(?10 per person) and bring their own instruments to the practical music sessions.
by the Queen
by Terry Johnson
WATERCOLOUR artist Brenda Bozie, has been honoured by the Queen after 37 years in the civil service – the last 27 years working at Warrington’s Territorial Army barracks.
Brenda, 60, who has five step-children and seven step-grandchildren, was presented with the Imperial Service Medal by Lt Col Peter Rafferty, commanding officer of the King’s and Cheshire Regiment.
She is now busy with her watercolours and helping to run a stained glass business with husband, Trevor, who she met in Bahrain while he was serving with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.
Brenda, who lives in Penketh, Warrington, undertook a variety of civil service jobs in Germany, Bahrain and UK locations.
She began her career in 1967 with the Institute of Hydrology in Berkshire and followed her father to Bahrain with his Royal Air Force posting.
She returned to the UK in 1975 and three years later started work at the TA’s Peninsula Barracks, Warrington, which was then home to the 5/8 Kings.
Lt Col Rafferty said: “Brenda has been awarded this medal in recognition of her energy, zeal and dedication to the civil service. She is the epitome of those who work behind the scenes, carrying out absolutely essential work”.
News in brief
FIRE chiefs have issued a warning to householders after a rash of bin and skip fires in the Wellfield Street area of Warrington. They advise people to make sure bins are not left close to buildings. Police are investigating.
WINNING numbers in the weekly lottery run by the League of Friends of Warrington Hospital were 10, 12, 13 and 16. No-one won the ?389 jackpot which means next week’s top prize will be about ?500. The ?25 consolation prize was won by Sean Cappin.
WARRINGTON Road, Lymm will be subject to temporary closures for about five days from Monday, February 28 while inspection work and repairs are carried out to part of Thelwall Viaduct. An alternative route will be signposted.
AN order is to be made by Warrington Borough Council allowing a temporary closure of the footpath on the north side of Dunlop Street, Warrington, to enable construction work to be carried out on an adjoining house.
[ 22.02.2005, 18:14: Message edited by: DS ]