Shafilea murder: eight
freed on bail again
by staff reporter
EIGHT people questioned by police in connection with the murder of Warrington teenager Shafilea Ahmed have again been freed on bail by police.
The eight – believed to all be members of the 17-year-olds extended family – were originally arrested some months ago on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
They were then bailed until yesterday (Friday) when they surrendered to police.
Now they have been bailed again – until May 3.
Police are still investigating the death of Shafilea, whose body was found in a river in Cumbria more than a year ago.
A bilingual hotline – in Urdu and English – has been set up in case anyone has information they wish to give to the police in confidence. The freephone number is 0800 458 9701.
Shafilea disappeared from her home at Great Sankey and it was several months before her body was found in Cumbria.
Although her cause of death has never been established, police are convinced she was murdered.
Sometime before her disappearance, she had been on a holiday to Pakistan where, it is understood, she was introduced to a “suitor” with a view to an arranged marriage.
Subsequently she suffered severe throat injuries after apparently swallowing bleach – possibly as a protest at the marriage plan.
At the time of her disappearance she was still being treated for the injuries at Warrington Hospital.
Mobile phones and health:
council urged to act
by David Skentelbery
WARRINGTON Borough Council is to be asked to step up the campaign to restrict the number of mobile phone masts – particularly near homes, schools and work places.
The council will be asked at its meeting on Monday (February 28) to recognise that many people are concerned about the potential health effects of the masts.
Coun Ian Marks, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group and a Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Warrington South, will put a motion to the full council.
He wants the council to accept that the scientific evidence so far is inconclusive and call on the town’s MPs, Helen Jones and Helen Southworth, to support a private members bill put forward by a North West MP which would give local councils more control over the siting of mobile phone masts.
Coun Marks said the report published last month by Sir William Stewart, chairman of the independent expert group on mobile phones, called for better information to be given to the public.
The report also urged the government to take a precautionary approach to the use of mobile phones and the siting of masts and to set up an independent review into the planning process for the erection of base stations.
He added: “We should call on our MPs to urge the government to respond positively to the recommendations of the Stewart Report.”
Schools’ art successes
THE first ever Artsmark award ceremony, celebrating Warrington schools’ contribution to the arts, has been held at the Pyramid arts centre.
More than 200 pupils, parents, governors and staff from eight schools joined in the special celebration.
Pupils aged six to 16, from previous Artsmark award-winning schools put on a series of stunning art-based performances and entertainment during the celebration, including songs, dance and a short excerpt from Roald Dahl’s children’s classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.
To achieve the Artsmark award, schools need to prove that their policy for the arts is clear, to show they create diverse opportunities for all children during school time, offer out-of-school art initiatives and work closely with local arts organisations and practitioners.
In total, five schools received Artsmark Gold awards in the latest round – Broomfields Junior, Grappenhall Heys Primary, Great Sankey High, Birchwood High and Lymm High.
Mayor of Warrington, Coun Edward Lafferty, said: “It is great to see students being given the opportunity to experience the arts first hand. Warrington schools are working very hard in this area of the curriculum and the fact that so many schools in Warrington now have Artsmark is evidence that the Arts are very much alive in our schools.”
The Mayor and Mayoress Mrs Pat Lafferty joined Coun Maureen Banner, executive member for Education and representatives from the council and schools at the ceremony.
Schools across the country have been achieving the Artsmark awards since 2001. However, this is the first time Warrington has held an event to celebrate those schools that have been successful.
The previous Artsmark award winning schools from rounds two and three, whose pupils performed during the celebration, were The Cobbs Infants, (Artsmark Silver), Broomfields Junior (Silver), St Philip Westbrook CE Primary (Gold) and Bridgewater High (Gold).
Town has lost its
by David Skentelbery
THE extent to which Warrington has lost its “factory town” image is shown in new figures on employment in the borough.
Warrington now has about 8,400 people employed in manufacturing – 7.8 per cent of the workforce.
This compares with the average of 14.5 per cent for the North West as a whole – and 12.6 per cent for Great Britain.
Biggest employers in the borough now are banking, finance and insurance, etc with 28,600 people, or 26.4 per cent of the workforce.
Next come distribution, hotels and restaurants with 26, 900, or 24.8 per cent of the workforce and third placed is public administration, education and health, with 21,500, or 19.8 per cent, although this last sector has a lower proportion of employees than the regional or national figures.
Warrington also has more people working in the construction industry than either the regional or national average – 7,800, or 7.2 per cent of the working population.
There are also more jobs in transport and communications, 9,600, of 8.9 per cent, than either the regional or national average.
Predictable, Warrington has only 200 people working in agriculture and fishing – 0.2 per cent of all jobs.
A total of 1,700 work in energy and water – 1.6 per cent of jobs compared with only 0.3 per cent regionally and 0.7 per cent nationally.
The figures are contained in the quarterly Warrington Labour Market Review, published by the borough council.
Holidays for the disabled
A RANGE of inspiring ideas for holidays and short trips was on offer for people with disabilities and those who care for them at a “Take a Break” event.
Warrington Carers Centre and Warrington Disability Partnership organised the event at the Centre for Independent Living, Beaufort Street, off Liverpool Road, Warrington.
The Mayor and Mayoress, Coun and Mrs Ted Lafferty, were there to help launch the initiative.
There were a variety of guest speakers on holidays, including trips swimming with dolphins, information on travel and grants to help with the costs.
Lucky shopper will win
a boat trip in the sun
by staff reporter
A LUCKY shopper at Warrington’s Golden Square shopping centre today (Saturday) could end up winning the holiday of a lifetime for themselves and five friends or family.
The “Lucky Dice to Paradise” competition offers a prize for a week-long trip through the Caribbean on a 47ft Catamaran.
A radio station team will be in the shopping centre, handing out chocolate in the Old Market Place, which has been transformed into a beach scene to get people in the mood for warmer weather.
Birchwood High School Steel Band will be there performing for the shoppers and adding to the Caribbean atmosphere.
Golden Square manager Andrew Ward said: “At this time of year summer seems such a long way off, so it’s great to be involved in an event where a luxury holiday is up for grabs. Our beach scene will certainly warm things up, even if it is freezing outside!”
The winners will ca
ll at the Islands of Mustique, Grenadines and St. Vincent, to name but a few, and they will spend a week circling the islands, snorkelling, eating and drinking.
Two injured in
by staff reporter
TWO men suffered serious injuries when they were attacked by a gang of youths at Mr Smith’s nightclub, Warrington.
One suffered a broken jaw and the other a broken nose in what police say was a completely unprovoked attack.
The pair were on the lower dance floor at the club when they were approached by the group of youths and beaten up.
One of the attackers is described as wearing a blue and white tracksuit top.
Anyone who witnessed the attack or who has any information about it is asked to call PC Gary Massey on 01244 613834.
News in brief
PLANS for a complementary therapy clinic at the Beehive Stores, Tarporley Road, Stretton, near Warrington, have been submitted to the borough council’s planning department.
FORTY eight per cent of Warrington’s workforce are male full-time workers – a total of 52,300. Twenty three per cent, or 25,700, are female full time workers.
LYMM High School is seeking planning consent for an office building within an internal courtyard at the school in Oughtrington Lane.
WARRINGTON Borough Council has applied for planning consent to its own planning department to demolish a short length of Grade 2 listed masonry wall at Walton Hall Gardens to allow access to the gardens.
[ 01.03.2005, 18:15: Message edited by: DS ]