Council urged to spend
more on youth service
by David Skentelbery
WARRINGTON Borough Council is to be asked to spend more on its youth service in a bid to combat the “binge drinking” culture in the town.
A resolution is to be put before the council at its meeting next Monday (February 28) expressing concern that the town spends less on youth services than any other authority in the North West.
The motion, to be put by Liberal Democrat finance spokes Peter Walker, nevertheless commends the council’s youth service staff for their efforts with a “very limited budget.”
Coun Walker said the fact that Warrington was the lowest spender per head on youth services among North West council emerged in a report by the General and Municipal Workers union, based on Audit Commission figures.
He wanted the council to agree with the GMB that the provision of youth clubs and other social facilities where young people could develop their social skills in a controlled environment had to be a “necessary antidote” to commercial interests who saw youth simply as a source of profit.
“We will need to invest in our youth if we want to see an end to the binge drinking culture that grows up in the absence of these clubs.”
Coun Walker said the council’s youth service staff should be commended for their efforts with a very limited budget – but that the council should invest more in the youth service in the coming year.
Tip site to become
sanctuary for hares
by David Skentelbery
A BIG landfill site at Warrington has been selected as a sanctuary for the brown hare.
The Risley Landfill Site has already been found to have a brown hare presence and will become one of seven locations across the country to help lead the way in securing the future of the endangered animal.
It has been in decline since the 1960s and is classified as a “vulnerable species.” Urgent work is required to dramatically increase the population.
The Risley site – part of which is no longer used for tipping – is owned by Biffa Waste Services who are working in partnership with the Wildlife Trust, the Game Conservancy Trust, the Mammal Society and other organisations to try and double the brown hare population by 2010.
Other sites involved in the scheme are in Kent, Yorkshire, Wiltshire, Cleveland and Essex.
The brown hare – famous for its “mad March” behaviour, a bizarre boxing ritual that forms part of courtship during March – has been in Britain since Roman times.
They thrive in grassland and arable fields, particularly in areas where there is a mosaic of tall and short grassland types alongside horticulturally broad habitats. Unlike the rabbit, hares do not dig burrows so require quiet undisturbed areas for cover and raising their young.
The project is being funded by a ?39,690 grant from Biffaward, a multi-million pound fund which uses landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Waste Services. It is hoped that the three-year project will be rolled out to include other areas.
A “Brown Hare officer” will be appointed to oversee work which will include monitoring hare numbers, identifying the habitat and environmental requirements for hares, improving the grassland habitat and raising awareness with the general public and landowners to increasing understanding the hare and its conservation.
Martin Bettington, chairman of Biffaward, said: “The brown hare is a valuable part of our countryside and everything must be done to safeguard its future. Hopefully this project will be able to expand across the country and greatly contribute to significantly increasing brown hare numbers.”
Dr Derek Yalden, president of The Mammal Society, said:” Two national surveys of brown hares have shown their patchy distribution, especially in western Britain, and suggest that they have not increased during the 1990s. Anything which publicises the best ways to increase hare numbers is very welcome.”
Treble triumph for town’s
Rugby League clubs
by Gary Skentelbery
A SPECIAL civic reception took place at Warrington town hall to mark the unique achievement of three local Rugby League club’s winning their respective Lancashire cups.
Warrington Wolves Chairman Lord Hoyle and BARLA Chairman Maurice Oldroyd teamed up with Warrington’s Mayor Ted Lafferty to honour the achievement.
At the reception were Lee Matchell, skipper of Latchford Albion Under 16’s, Paul Cragg, skipper of Bank Quay Bulls and Jonny Walker from Rylands Under 18’s.
Latchford beat Widnes St Marys 26-6, Bank Quay triumphed 12-10 over Orell St James while Rylands beat Blackbrook 7-6 after extra time!
It is the first time three clubs from the same town have won three Lancashire cups in the same season.
Body in house “still
suspicious” say police
by David Skentelbery
POLICE are still treating the death of a 64-year-old man at Lymm, near Warrington, as “suspicious”.
As revealed by Warrington-Worldwide earlier this week, the man was Alan Bell, of Rushgreen Road, Lymm.
His body was found at his home on Monday and it is believed he may have been lying dead in the house for several weeks. He was last seen alive on the afternoon of January 22.
A post mortem examination and subsequent tests have failed to reveal the cause of death.
Police say they are treating the house as a crime scene. It has been sealed off and house to house enquiries have been going on in the area.
A police spokeswoman said today: “We are anxious to try and trace Mr Bell’s movements since January 22. Anyone who thinks they saw him after that date is asked to call us on 01244 350000.”
Mr Bell was a quiet man who kept himself to himself. He had not worked for some years and few of his neighbours knew him well.
But he had lived in Lymm all his life and was well-known in the village.
He was 5ft 8 inches tall, of medium build with receding greying hair.
Chemists’ shop hit
by arson attack
by John Hendon
A CHEMISTS’ shop in Folly Lane, Warrington is closed today after being hit by arsonists during the night.
The offenders pushed a wheelie bin against the shop, under an overhanging roof, and set it alight. Flames spread to the roof and into the roof space.
The shop itself suffered smoke and water damage as fire crews tackled the blaze. The fire was contained within an hour.
A Fire Service spokesman said there had been a number of fires involving wheelie bins pushed against buildings in recent months.
He warned that bins and skips should not be kept close to buildings – and that wheeled bins should be chained up so they could not be moved.
Older people urged to
stay home and keep warm
by Lesley Wilkinson
OLDER people in Warrington are being urged to stay home and keep warm during the bad weather in a bid to reduce their risk of a chest infection.
The warning comes from Warrington Primary Health Care Trust, which is advising the elderly not to make unnecessary journeys during the cold snap.
Trust deputy director of service delivery Carole Hugall, said: “Cold weather can affect people who have respiratory conditions and we would advise those affected to stay indoors if possible.”
“When it’s very cold, the number of people going to hospital with respiratory problems can rise by 20 per cent, as can admissions of patients aged over 75,” she added.
She advises people with a respiratory condition to wear a hat and several thin layers under their outer coat to keep warm, if they do have to venture outside.
“Strong wind and ice also increase the risk of falling. We would advise elderly members of the public to stay at home wherever possible if it is cold, stormy, very windy or icy underfoot,” said Carole.
“If you have to go out make sure that you are wearing flat, dry, non-slip shoes or boots. If you use a walking stick or frame, check that the rubber tips are not worn or smooth
as they will cause you to slip,” she added.
She advised the elderly to try to get help to clear paths to rubbish bins, and if possible to ask friends and relatives to help with shopping and errands.
Carole advises people to seek appropriate medical care if they, or a family member are ill.
“A and E Departments are for serious injuries and illnesses. There are many alternatives in Warrington for patients who need urgent treatment or advice, such as Warrington Out-of-Hours Healthcare Service and Physio-Direct. Patients using these will often get faster treatment than if they had gone to the A and E Department, particularly in winter when it’s even busier than normal,” she added.
The out-of-hours service for urgent healthcare out of surgery hours can be contacted on 01925 650999. Physio-Direct, for advice on problems relating to ligaments, bones, tendons, muscles and joints, can be contacted on 01925 217201, and the Falls Rehabilitation Service on 01925 498364, can offer help for older people who may hurt themselves falling.
MP wins pledge over
fire at hospital
by John Hendon
WARRINGTON North MP Helen Jones has secured a promise from Health Minister John Hutton that he will look into the implications of the recent fire at Warrington Hospital.
The Minister also joined the MP in thanking staff at the hospital for their efforts during the incident, which resulted in the accident and emergency department being closed to admissions for two days.
Ms Jones raised the hospital issue in the Commons during health questions.
She asked if the Minister if he would join her in congratulation hospital staff for the way they worked during and after the fire.
The MP asked the Minister: “Will he show his appreciation in a tangible way by considering what can be done to help the hospital through this difficult time, and ensure that it is not penalised for missing targets where that failure results purely from the fire at the hospital?”
Mr Hutton responded: “I shall look at the last point raised by my Hon Friend.
There was a tragedy at the hospital, which she has been working closely with her constituents to resolve and I appreciate the work that she has done.”
Afterwards Ms Jones said: “It is important that the Minister knows how well staff worked during and following the fire to maintain as many services as possible and to ensure patients were in no danger. Equally the hospital should not suffer penalties for not reaching targets as a result of the fire and I was pleased that John Hutton promised to look at that situation.”
Afternoon tea treat
for the old folk
SEVEN elderly people from throughout Warrington enjoyed a special afternoon tea at Bents Garden Centre in Culcheth. Local charity, Contact the Elderly, organises monthly afternoon teas for their members, who are all over 80. And new co-ordinator Carol Roberts was thrilled when the garden centre offered to host one.
Carol said: “Everyone had a wonderful time and Bents supplied a very nice tea of sandwiches and cakes.
“The ladies went home having bought clothes and plants. It was really nice because they don’t normally get the opportunity to shop for themselves,” she added.
Tory wins backing from
ex-Lib Dem heavyweight
by staff reporter
A FORMER Liberal Democrat leader is giving support to Fiona Bruce, prospective Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Warrington South.
Lord Alton of Liverpool – formerly Liberal Democrat chief whip David Alton – shared a platform with Mrs Bruce and Tory MP Ann Widdecombe at Bewsey, Warrington.
He told the meeting: “The House of Commons needs more people like Fiona, more people prepared to speak out clearly for values which are right for our society. I am delighted to be sharing a platform with her.”
Lord Alton was once tipped as a future leader of his party, before resigning in 1992 when the Liberal Democrat Conference passed a pro-abortion motion.
He said: “We need MPs who will stand up for what they believe in; and stand up for principle. I sincerely hope that at the forthcoming election Fiona Bruce will be elected to represent the people of Warrington South.”
Fiona Bruce commented: “I am delighted to have the support of Lord Alton. It was a privilege to welcome him to Warrington.”
Ann Widdecombe said: “Fiona will make a splendid MP. This is my second visit to Warrington in recent months to support her and I am delighted to be back. Fiona is determined to stand up for Warrington people and ensure their interests are genuinely represented at Westminster”.
Commenting on the Mental Capacity Bill currently before parliament, the three speakers highlighted the threat of permitting euthanasia by the back door.
Lord Alton said: “The Bill as it currently stands could allow for euthanasia by omission. It permits food and water to be withheld which is unnatural killing, not natural death.
Although not the intension of the Bill, it would set a precedent that might allow euthanasia to become more prevalent. We need to guard against this.”
First aid skills for
child care workers
by staff reporter
FIRST aid skills and tips on recognising childhood illnesses such as meningitis and mumps are being offered on a new style course to those who work with children at Warrington.
St John Ambulance, Cheshire, has introduced the new course for childcare professionals, called the Early Years First Aid course.
The course, which meets Ofsted National Standards and Surestart requirements, will be held at the training centre in Hoyle Street, Warrington, on March 11 and 18. The 12-hour course will run over two days.
It will give professionals the skills to provide first aid care to babies and children and help them recognise childhood conditions such as meningitis, eczema, measles and mumps.
Stephanie Littler, marketing and business development manager for St John Ambulance, Cheshire said: “The feedback we have received from our Cheshire customers on our Early Years First Aid courses has been very positive.
“We find that after completing the course they feel a lot more confident to tackle an emergency situation and to deal with any accidents and injuries, which may occur,” she added.
The course costs ?70 plus VAT and the certificate gained is valid for three years.