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Thursday 16th June 2005

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Asbestos found in
multi-storey flats

by David Skentelbery

ASBESTOS has been discovered inside Warrington’s oldest tower block – Kingsway House, at Latchford.
But housing chiefs have assured tenants in the multi-storey block that the hazardous substance is in service ducts and poses no risk to occupants or visitors.
The asbestos was discovered during routine maintenance.
Safety experts were called in by Gold Gates Housing (GGH) – the borough council’s housing arm – but found that the insulating board containing the asbestos was wholly contained within the service ducts.
They decided there was no danger, providing the material remained undisturbed.
GGH assistant director Phil Pemberton said: “We realise that people may have concerns, so we are visiting all residents to ensure that they receive all the information they need and understand the steps we are taking to ensure the materials pose absolutely no risk to the residents now and in the future.
“The only access to the duct is through a hatch in each flat. The hatches will be locked and access to the keys will be strictly controlled.
“We will still require access to the ducts in order to carry out maintenance and repairs, but only qualified contractors will be allowed to undertake such work.
“Asbestos can only pose a risk to health if disturbed. By controlling access to the duct the material poses no risk to the health of residents or visitors to Kingsway House.
“GGH have liaised and will continue to liaise with tenant representatives, contractors and official bodies on this matter and will continue to keep residents informed if there are any changes to the situation.
“Any concerned residents, and indeed members of the public, can contact GGH on 0800 1959 195.”
Several years ago, hundreds of homes at Padgate, Warrington, were demolished following the discovery of asbestos in their construction.

Road safety scheme
for borough’s cats

by Gary Skentelbery

A CAT may have “nine lives” but nearly one million are killed or injured on Britain’s roads each year.
Now it is a sign of the times that a pioneering road safety initiative has been launched in Warrington.
The pilot road sign scheme at Lymm aims to reduce feline fatalities and injuries from road traffic accidents.
Tower Lane now features special road signs to warn drivers there are cats in the area and to drive more slowly and take extra care. The road has been chosen to pilot the scheme because it is private and not covered by the local highways authority.
But if successful it is hoped the scheme can be repeated throughout Britain where each year an estimated 960,000 cats are involved in road traffic accidents, many of which die as a result of their injuries.
Claire Parry-Baggott from cat food company Pro Plan, who are promoting the initiative said: “There’s always been a history of road signs for horses, farm animals and even hedgehogs, so why not have one for cats? The cat is now the most popular pet in the UK – six million households own one. With the Pro Plan Cat Road Safety campaign, the aim is to protect them when they’re out and about and most at risk.”
Cats Protection, the leading UK feline charity is backing the campaign.
Helen Ralston, Chief Executive of Cats Protection comments, “Far too many cats are involved in road traffic accidents, which causes enormous suffering to pet and owner alike. We warmly welcome the Warrington road sign initiative and hope it will soon be duplicated elsewhere in the country.”
Cat owner Beryl Tench, who lives on Tower Lane commented: “We’re delighted about the Pro Plan initiative – my cat was badly injured by a car a couple of years ago – its been a real problem for cats in the area – hopefully drivers will be more aware of the risks from now on.”
The Feline Advisory Bureau, the leading UK charity dedicated to promoting health and welfare of cats, has also backed the campaign.
Cats Protection spokeswoman Claire Bessant added: “Most cats really enjoy the great outdoors, however they face danger every time they venture onto roads. It’s a problem that has been difficult to tackle before now, so we hope Pro Plan’s solution will prove successful and help reduce the number of cats injured in road traffic accidents.” It is not the first time Warrington has pioneered animal road safety signs. “Duck crossing” warning signs were erected in the Whittle Hall area of the town five years ago.
Meanwhile Pro Plan’s top tips for anyone finding a cat that’s been injured by road traffic are to contact a vet as soon as possible for advice. The cat may need to be transported to the nearest veterinary practice, and there may be special precautions to take depending on the extent of the injuries. Always remember your own safety when removing an animal from a road – be vigilant and only act when it is safe to do so. Remember that an injured cat will be afraid and in pain, so it may lash out.

Tennis club opens
?32,000 new courts

NEW all-weather artificial grass tennis courts have been officially opened at Culcheth Tennis Club, near Warrington.
Lord Evans of Parkside – the former Newton MP and Culcheth resident – formally opened the four courts which have cost ?32,000.
The courts have replaced the previous hard courts and have been jointly funded by the tennis club and the parent Culcheth Sports Club.
Tennis chairman Paul Noall said the courts had been given a resounding vote of approval by all the members who had played on them.
He said: “It is fantastic to have such up-to-date courts. We know that all the members are going to enjoy playing on them, whatever their age or ability. The feedback that we have received so far has been very positive.”
The club, which plays in the Warrington league, is hoping the new courts will attract new members.
Anyone wanting information about playing tennis at the club should contact secretary Ann Witter on 01925 766032.

Steam party raised
?500 for charity

by staff reporter

MORE than ?500 was raised for charity by the annual Stockton Heath Steam Party, near Warrington, which attracted hundreds of visitors.
The event in May moved from its regular home in Victoria Square, Stockton Heath, to a field in Walton Lea Road and this year was expanded to become a two-day event.
A collection on the field made ?230 for St Rocco’s Hospice.
A raffle was also held, with prizes donated by local businesses, and drawn recently at Warrington Sports Club. The proceeds, ?280, will be divided between local charities.

Cash prizes for village
halls, community centres

by Lesley Wilkinson

COMMUNITY groups in Warrington could benefit from cash prizes towards improving their facilities by entering a national challenge.
Entries from Cheshire are pouring in for the 2005 Waste Recycling Group Village Hall and Community Centre Challenge prior to the July 31 deadline.
Prizes totaling ?1 million are awarded throughout the country with three communities receiving ?250,000 each towards a brand new centre, refurbishment or extension, and two groups receiving up to ?125,000.
The challenge, administered by environmental group WREN, aims to identify where extra community facilities are needed. It was launched by MP Gwyneth Dunwoody and is funded by The Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.
The Landfill Tax Credits of Waste Recycling Group Ltd, distributed by WREN, have helped to renovate and refurbish over 600 village halls since 1997 across the UK.
Parish Councils, village hall committees and community organisations interested in entering the challenge should visit www.wren.org.uk or contact WREN on 01953 717165.

College shows
off its artwork

staff reporter

WARRINGTON Collegiate is throwing open its doors to the public to show off work completed by ar

t and design students.
Many of the students, who are completing their diplomas in foundation art and design, have also secured places at higher education institutions.
The exhibition, to be held at the Collegiate’s’ Winwick Road Campus, previews on Monday June 20 at 6.30pm and continues from Tuesday June 21 to Friday June 24, 10.00am-4.00pm. Entry is free.

Car fire

FIRE crews were called to Alder Lane, Warrington during the night when a stolen car was abandoned and set alight. The car was completely destroyed.

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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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