Wednesday 15th June 2005


“Honeymoon” over for
town’s illegal parkers

by David Skentelbery

TOWN Hall bosses at Warrington are to consider plans to tackle one of the town’s biggest issues – illegal parking.
Members of the borough council’s executive board will meet on June 20 to discuss recommendation to introduce decriminalisation of parking enforcement – effectively the council taking over enforcement from the police.
Warrington recently lost its only parking warden when he “stepped up” to become a Police Community Support Officer and the enforcement situation in the borough has become something of a joke among motorists.
Under the new proposals, the number of “on street” wardens would increase to 11 and enforcement of parking restrictions would be much improved. The “honeymoon” will be over for the town’s illegal parkers.
However, the wardens’ powers would be confined to parking violations and the police would retain all their current powers.
The recommendations set out plans to proceed with the introduction of parking enforcement, as well as a consultation and communication drive with the public and key stakeholders.
The new arrangements could have potentially huge benefits for road users, including a reduction in the number of illegally parked vehicles, eased traffic congestion and improved road safety.
However, it is a council commitment that parking enforcement will simply cover the costs of operation – and not make a profit for the council.
Transportation chief Phil Johnson said: “If adopted, these new powers will increase our ability to improve road safety and reduce congestion which the community is calling on the council to do. These proposals reflect the hard work that has gone into producing a system that is right for Warrington.”

Spreading harmony
in the Far East

by staff reporter

WARRINGTON Male Voice Choir member Geoff Hopper is back from a tour of orphanages and foster homes in China.
The trip took representatives of several childcare charities to see what effect their donors’ money is having, to meet the children and their carers, and to make plans for future projects.
Geoff, from Great Sankey, accompanied his wife Julia – a director of charity group Childhood Friends – on the trip. It was her eighth visit to China.
Geoff is proud to be part of the award winning Warrington Male Voice Choir.
He said: “Recently we added to our repertoire an arrangement of ‘Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace’. The trip was an opportunity to do what the song says…to bring hope where there is despair, light where there is darkness, and joy where there is sadness”.
Previous funds which have been channelled to China have bought a piano for one of the orphanages, and Geoff and Julia were able to take presents into the orphanages which included mouth organs and tin whistles …..spreading harmony in more ways than one! New projects approved while the team were in China included a scheme to teach disabled children to knit and sew, art classes for disabled youngsters, minor surgery for some children and regular outings for children.
The arts classes will be run by a local artist who adopted a deaf girl from one of the orphanages and taught her to paint. Within a year she was producing high quality paintings which later gained media interest and won awards. This artist now mainly teaches severely disabled people.
Geoff and Julia would be pleased to hear from anyone who is interested in supporting the projects, whether by one-off donations, monthly sponsorship of foster children, support for the raffling of one of the paintings, or even by going out to China on a two-week working party. They can be contacted on 01925 71162.

“Women-only” cabs
take to the streets

by staff reporter

A WOMEN-only taxi service which claims to be the first of its kind in the country is launching at Warrington today.
The brainchild of local women Tina Dutton and Andrea Winders, Pink Ladies says it is a response to concerns over the personal safety of women who use public transport.
It uses distinctive pink private hire cars and employs only women drivers.
Ten per cent of its profits are to be donate to Breast Cancer Care.
The service was launched at the Golden Square shopping centre by Warrington-born pop singer Kerry Katona.
Tina Dutton said, “We recognise that the vast majority of taxi drivers in the Warrington area are safe and reliable. However, it is no secret that nationally, in recent years, there has been a steady rise in serious sexual assaults against women, who are often travelling in an unlicensed mini-cab, late at night.
“Pink Ladies is an exclusive taxi service for women only, with women drivers who undergo rigorous training. We know that this will prove to be a popular alternative for women in Warrington, and we are confident that it will provide some comfort to them and their families.”
The first fleet of cars will be on the road in Warrington from 7.00am on Saturday June 18.
To use the service, women have to become members of Pink Ladies, which is effectively a members club.
Andrea Winders said, “We first thought of the idea because of the increase in publicity about women being attacked late at night. As a parent of a daughter, I was becoming concerned about how she would get home from a night out, and the more we researched what modes of transport were available, the more we realised there was a gap in the market
“This is the first of many franchises to be rolled out across our towns and cities that will provide safety reassurances to women and their families that they are able to travel from A to B without hassle, and in style!”
Barry Eaton, Warrington Borough Council’s passenger transport co-ordinator said: “It is certainly a very different concept and challenges existing practices in terms of customer care. It has created interest amongst other local authorities and I hope this new service will help meet the growing demands for private hire transport both here in Warrington and eventually in other parts of the country”
Police spokesman Insp Damien Smethurst added : “Whilst incidents of sexual assault against women travelling by public transport are rare in Warrington, we welcome any measure that reduces the chance of this type of offence from occurring.”

Golf club hosts
national tourney

by John Hendon

TOP amateur golfers from all over the country have praised Lymm Golf Club, near Warrington, after it played host to one of England’s most prestigious competitions – the English Golf Union’s Seniors Championship.
Lymm staged the competition jointly with Prestbury Golf Club over a three-day period – with 180 male golfers contesting the first two rounds.
The leading 60 competitors and those tying for the 60th place then played the final 18 holes – the winner being the one who returned the best gross score over the 54 holes.
Half the field played at Lymm on the first day, with the others playing at Prestbury. The following day they played their second rounds vice versa.
The weather played a major part in the proceedings, with heavy downpours. But the Lymm course stood up well and play was completed, although with higher scores than expected.
Two members of Lymm Golf Club, Dave Roberts and Keith Barrett plus the club’s administration manager Trevor Glover, had all qualified for the championship despite playing well, they just missed the cut which fell at 162 for the first two rounds.
Winner, with a 54 hole score of 223 was defending champion Roy Smethurst from Crewe Golf Club. Runner-up was Bob Knott from Churston Golf Club with a score of 226. Three players, Alan Squires, Glen Macbryde and Jonathan Marks tied for third place on 227.
All the competitors were full of praise for the Lymm course which proved to be worthy of its selection as a championship venue. They were also delighted with the warm and friendly welcome that they r

eceived from all the staff at Lymm.

Two queens for
the May festival

by John Hendon

TODAY is the annual Lymm May Queen Festival – and for the first time for many years there should be two Queens.
Holly Jones, a 13-year-old Lymm High School pupil will be crowned May Queen.
Reviving an old custom, she will be accompanied not by a “Rosebud” but by a Rose Queen – nine-year-old Jacqueline Cooper, a pupil of Statham Primary School.
Brave Jacqueline will take part in the festival despite being rushed into hospital less than three weeks ago for an emergency appendix operation.
She spent four days in hospital and has been resting at home since. But she is determined to take part in the festival on the May Queen field off Pepper Street.
As usual there will be a fun fair, procession through the streets of Lymm and stalls and sideshows.
Local dancing teacher Enid Wrigley is to crow the Rose Queen while Father Michael, from St Peter’s Church, Oughtrington, will crown the May Queen.
The procession fill take a slightly different route this year to avoid congestion problems at the top of Eagle Brow.
It will pass through the village, down Eagle Brow as normal and pass through the village, round The Cross and up to the top of Church Road. But it will turn into Brookfield Road to avoid the top of Eagle Brow. The event starts at 1.30pm.
Lymm May Queen Festival has been held in June for many years – to avoid clashing with other events.

Final year students
say their farewells

by staff reporter

YOUNG people from Warrington were among more than 60 final year students who said their goodbyes to University College Chester at a special valedictory service and prize-giving ceremony.
The service was at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Church, which adjoins the college’s Chester campus.
Ceremonies and events officer Maureen Sands said: “We were delighted that students from Chester, Warrington and NHS partner organisations working with our School of Health and Social Care were represented at this celebration of their time spent with us.
“This year’s event was rather poignant, because it not only marked the end of another successful academic year, but was also the last to be hosted by University College Chester before it becomes a university.”
As well as certificates and prizes for achievements in a full range of courses, outstanding contributions to voluntary work, environmental awareness, work-based learning and fellow students’ welfare were also acknowledged.
College Chaplain, the Rev Lorraine Dixon, said: “This is an opportunity for us to give God’s thanks for the academic year, for our time at the college as students and staff, our intellect and discoveries, and this year especially for the fact that we are becoming a university.”
The service was followed by a champagne reception, with strawberries and cream.


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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