aims to “build
by David Skentelbery
A CONSERVATIVE councillor is conducting a major survey of more than 50,000 people in Warrington to find out how they feel about their local communities.
The findings will be presented at an interactive event at the Parr Hall on Tuesday, March 22, entitled “Warrington Together – Building Stronger Communities”.
Coun Fiona Bruce, who represents the Penketh area on the borough council and is Prospective Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Warrington South will be joined former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith MP, chairman of The Centre for Social Justice at the event.
Other keynote speakers will be Warrington Youth Leader Steve Biltawi, and Founder of The Message Trust, Andy Hawthorne.
Focus of the event will be on exploring people’s perceptions of their own communities and putting forward innovative ideas to help build a stronger Warrington.
The survey, “Communities Matter” on which the event is founded, asks people to comment on issues including community life, crime, local facilities, the health service and how they believe Warrington could be improved.
The Parr Hall event will give people the chance to express their views and concerns. Each of the guest speakers will share how they are working at both local and national level to re-unite communities, reduce crime, foster respect for all citizens and improve the quality of life for many.
Andy Hawthorne, founder of The Message Trust has been working with community groups and the police to engage with young people in inner city Manchester.
One of his recent projects has achieved a 47 per cent reduction in crime in Salford. Iain Duncan Smith MP founded the Centre for Social Justice after two years of touring the country and recognising that tackling crime, indebtedness, alcohol and drug abuse to be a key to restoring quality of life for many communities.
Steven Biltawi works with young people in secondary schools across Warrington.
Coun Bruce said: “Strong communities are essential to a healthy society. I am proud to serve this town. It is a good place to live and work. I am determined to play my part to make a positive difference to Warrington. During the past year, since I have become a borough councillor, many of you have expressed concerns to me about the reduction in neighbourhood community feeling, breakdown of family life, cleanliness of streets, and a shortage of good facilities for young and old.
“In response to these concerns, I have planned this meeting and invited guest speakers who are working at local and national level to help strengthen community life in our country today. I believe, as we share our experiences together, we will learn how to strengthen our local communities in Warrington and further improve the quality of life for all that live here. I know that Warrington has the potential not just to be great but to be a fantastic place to live. I hope this event will inspire other towns to look afresh at how they can strengthen local community life.”
The event is open to Warrington residents who will also be invited to put forward questions to any of the speakers.
Suspicious death: police
seek mystery couple
by David Skentelbery
POLICE investigating the “suspicious death” of a 64-year-old man at Lymm, near Warrington, are trying to trace a mystery couple seen at his home early in the New Year.
The couple were seen carrying ornaments and other property from the rear of Alan Bell’s home in Rushgreen Road and loading them into a dark coloured saloon car.
Mr Bell was something as a loner and received few visitors, so the incident is regarded as unusual.
But police stress that Mr Bell was seen alive and well several weeks after the incident.
He was found dead at his home on February 21 after his brother, who lives in Lancashire, became concerned at not being able to contact him by ‘phone.
It is believed he had been dead for several weeks when his body was found.
A police spokeswoman said: “Mr Bell was a very private man who lived something of a reclusive life. He had few visitors, so it was unusual to see a man and a woman taking goods from his house on Sunday, January 2.
“They were both in their late 20s or early 30s. The man was about 5ft 10 inches tall, with short, tidy dark hair. The woman was about 5ft 8 inches tall, with shoulder length brown or gingery hair.
“We would like to speak to this couple as we are anxious to piece together the last few weeks of Mr Bell’s life. We are treating the death as suspicious.”
A post mortem examination has failed to establish a cause of death.
Anyone who can help police should call them on 01244 615815.
School standards Minister
meets pupils and staff
SCHOOL life in Warrington was in the spotlight when Minister of State for School Standards Stephen Twigg paid a visit to the town.
Mr Twigg, who was invited by Helen Southworth MP for Warrington South, dropped in on a number of schools and spoke with staff and pupils.
He looked at the progress being made at Cardinal Newman Catholic High School, which became a specialist school for maths and computing a year ago.
A major new sports centre is being provided at the school and the facilities will be open to the public, which will help create stronger links between the school and the wider community.
Mr Twigg then toured Great Sankey High School, one of only a few schools in the country to achieve specialist status in engineering. He took time out to chat with some engineering apprentices.
The Minister said: “I would like to pass my thanks to all those teachers, school staff and pupils who made my visit to Warrington both enjoyable and informative. The work that is being done at Cardinal Newman, Great Sankey and other schools across Warrington is making sure that pupils in the area continue to achieve both at GCSE and beyond.”
Headteachers of a number of schools meet with Mr Twigg later in the day at Great Sankey to discuss the continuing success of education in Warrington.
Coun Maureen Banner, the borough council’s executive member for education said: “We welcomed Stephen Twigg to our schools and it was an ideal opportunity for us to tell him about our successes and promote education in Warrington.
“The project at Cardinal Newman Catholic High School is just one of the ways we are creating better links between schools and the wider community.
“More and more of our schools are achieving specialist status, such as Great Sankey High and Cardinal Newman Catholic High, and it is always good to have the opportunity to remind people of these fantastic accomplishments.”
Pictures show Mr Twigg and Mrs Southworthy meeting members of Great Sankey High School’s concert band and (lower picture) Mr Twigg and Mrs Southworth with Cardinal Newman headteacher Vincent Lowe and Coun Banner.
Energy watchdog can
by John Hendon
PENSIONERS and people with disabilities should sign up to a scheme offering free gas safety checks, emergency heating in power cuts, and protection against bogus callers, according to a Warrington councillor.
Fairfield and Howley councillor Yvonne Fovargue is backing a campaign by independent gas and electricity watchdog Energywatch to make sure people know about the services available to people with special needs through Priority Services Registers.
The free service is available to people who are disabled or chronically sick, those of pensionable age and anyone with a visual or hearing impairment.
Coun Fovargue said: “Many pensioners and disabled people are not aware that they are entitled to these special services provided by all gas and electricity suppliers.
“I hope the Energywatch campaign will mean more vulnerable people get a service better tailored to their needs. I also want to see gas and electricity companies doing more to check i
f their customers are eligible for the Priority Services Register. Evidence suggests that at the moment they often fail to make sure people know about it.”
More information about the Priority Services Register can be obtained by calling 08459 06 07 08.
and achieving well”
by staff reporter
EDUCATION inspectors have praised a Warrington school for being “very effective” and “very good”.
Cinnamon Brow CE Primary School, was inspected by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) in December and the report authors have commended the school, stating that achievement is “very good overall”.
The standard of education was deemed as being of “very good quality” and teaching was praised for being “very good” as the school has a well planned curriculum, which ensures that all pupils are “thriving, flourishing and achieving well”.
The report highlighted that pupils’ personal qualities, including their attitudes, behaviour, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are “very good overall”.
The main strengths in the report are:
Good teaching in English, Mathematics and Science ensure that children achieve average standards by Year Six.
A very good nursery boosts children’s learning and helps them settle in extremely well.
Pupils with special or other educational needs flourish because their needs are identified at an early stage and timely and very effective support is consequently given.
Excellent financial management meshes in with the very influential work of the governors and a very good Christian ethos permeates all years and pupils are expected to work very hard.
Leadership and management were picked out as one of the school’s many strengths and although the headteacher, Lesley Sweeney, has only been in post since September, she has demonstrated “wise and decisive leadership”.
Mrs Sweeney said: “I feel privileged to have joined a school, which has taken school improvement seriously. We are very proud of our achievements highlighted in the report and it is now my job to ensure that we can continue to self-challenge and improve.”
It was noted in the report that parents and pupils alike are very satisfied with the school and parents particularly like the family assemblies and approachability of staff.
The school has taken on board the report’s recommendations to work with parents to improve pupils’ attendance, punctuality and learning and strengthen pupils’ understanding of the views and beliefs of other cultures.
Chairman of Governors, the Rev Steve Elstob, added: “I am very pleased with this report as it reflects the hard work and commitment of all in the school and gives people in the area a school they can both entrust their children to and be rightly proud of.”
Awards scheme for
teachers who inspire
by staff reporter
THE Teaching Awards Trust has teamed up with the Warrington-based North West Development Agency (NWDA) to introduce an award for enterprise in schools.
The new award by the Enterprise Advisor Service, will focus on a teacher’s ability to lead, inspire and engage others in developing enterprise in schools.
Members of the public and school communities are being urged to nominate inspiring teachers for this category online atwww.teachingawards.com before the deadline of March 18.
NWDA chief executive Steven Broomhead said: “We are delighted to support the Teaching Awards Trust, which is a valuable opportunity to showcase innovative practice from teachers who work above and beyond the national curriculum in developing and encouraging enterprise throughout their schools. England’s North West is home to unquestionable talent, drive and pioneering work and it gives the NWDA great pleasure to be able to publicly celebrate the work of these outstanding teachers across the region and give them the recognition they deserve.”
Anyone – parents, pupils, colleagues and members of the school community – can nominate teachers for the NWDA Award for Enterprise in Schools or one of the 10 other Award Categories including the Award for Healthy Schools, the BT Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School, the Guardian Award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, the DfES Innovation Unit Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Promethean Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School and the RAF Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School.
The Awards Panel assess every nomination against a set of criteria and will begin the rigorous process once the nomination period has closed. Finalists from the North West will be announced at the Teaching Awards Ceremony on Thursday June 16 at Manchester Town Hall. Every category winner is considered for a national award.
[ 04.03.2005, 09:36: Message edited by: DS ]