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Monday 20th June 2005

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Mothers claimed ?18,000
through benefit fraud

by court reporter

TWO Warrington mothers who appeared before the town’s magistrates falsely claimed more than ?18,000 in benefits.
Both claimed to be lone parents when, in fact, they were living with a partner, the court was told.
In separate cases, both admitted making false declarations to obtain benefit from the borough council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Sarah Middlemore, aged 30, of Honister Avenue, Orford, admitted failing to declare a change in circumstances when she claimed ?8,749.26 in benefits.
She was sentenced to a 12-month Community Rehabilitation Order and ordered to pay back the overpayment and ?75 court costs.
The court heard that between February 2003 and January last year, Middlemore defrauded the council of ?3,095.82 housing benefit and ?712.29 Council Tax benefit.
During the same period she defrauded the DWP of ?4,941.15 Income Support.
In the other case, Lisa Bullen, 29, of Chiltern Road, Orford, admitted failing to declare a change in circumstances.
She was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to repay the money and pay ?75 court costs.
Magistrates heard she had falsely claimed ?9,773.15 in benefits from the council and the Department of Work and Pensions.
She claimed the money by declaring she was a lone parent when she was in fact living with her partner.
Between May 2003 and May last year, Bullen defrauded the council of ?2,603.15 Housing Benefit and ?555.17 Council Tax Benefit.
During the same period she defrauded the DWP of ?6,614.83 Income Support.
After the cases, Adrian Webster, the council’s Benefits Manager, said: “Benefit cheats are getting the message that they cannot abuse the benefit system and steal from the rest of society. They are not just defrauding the government, but their own tax paying neighbours and communities in Warrington.
“We have introduced new methods of data matching – and the obvious message to benefit cheats is you will be caught. This case is yet another clear demonstration of our determination to tackle benefit fraud.”
Fraud Operations Manager for the DWP Roy Paul added: “The public is fed up with cheats who steal money from the taxpayer when it should go to those in genuine need of help. Tough action against benefit crooks is paying off, but we can’t do it alone. People around Warrington can play their part by telling us about alleged fraudsters.”

New CAT team
on the beat

by Gary Skentelbery

A NEW police Community Action Team is on the beat, covering Culcheth, Croft and Glazebury.
Based at Risley, the Warrington East Neighbourhood Policing Unit is part of a major shake up aimed at helping control disorderly behaviour in the area.
The team consists of Community Service Officer Steve Dodd, Pc Neil Gallagher and Sgt Michelle Rice.
One project the team is getting involved with is helping to launch a Pub Watch scheme covering the 10 pubs in the area. They have also been visiting local off-licences warning them about the problems caused be selling alcohol to under age drinkers, or to those who sell it on to those under age.
Steve said: “Our aim is to have increased police visibility in the village centre, especially around the Millennium Garden and Lodge Drive areas.
“We believe we are already having an impact on anti-social behaviour in the Culcheth area. We are a team and we want to be part of the local community to help improve the quality of life for local people but he can only do this if we all work as a team,” added Steve.
The Community Action team can be contacted via voice mail on 01244 615851.

Jungle queen joins
sponsored walk

by staff reporter

WARRINGTON’s favourite “Queen of the Jungle” Kerry Katona joined around 300 walkers during a sponsored walk at Walton Hall and Gardens in aid of the Arthritis Research Campaign.
The event raised more than ?5,000 for the cause.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Warrington, Coun Hans Mundry and Coun Mrs Karen Mundry were at the walk with former Atomic Kitten and ex-Padgate girl Kerry, who has returned to live in the town following her split from Westlife singer Brian McFadden.

Man robbed of
camera in park

by staff reporter

A MAN was attacked and robbed of his camera in a Warrington park.
Police are appealing for witnesses following the incident in Euclid Park, Euclid Avenue, Grappenhall.
The robbery took place at around 8.30pm on Friday, June 10 when the man, in his 50s, went to the park.
A youth, aged about 16, suddenly grabbed his silver Fuji camera and ran off with it. He was about 5ft 9 inches tall, of slim build and with a thin face. He was wearing a blue tee shirt and blue jeans. He had short, cropped blond hair.
Anyone who can help with information about the robbery is asked to call the Stockton Heath Community Action Team on 01244 612636.

Surgery plan
get the go-ahead

by David Skentelbery

COUNCILLORS have lost a battle to block plans to expand a chiropodist’s surgery in Ellesmere Road, Stockton Heath.
Warrington borough council’s development control committee originally refused planning consent for the development – against the advice of their officers.
Now an inspector appointed by the Government has allowed an appeal by the applicant, which means the first floor surgery can open.
The ground floor of the premises is already used as a chiropody survery and the decision means a second surgery can open upstairs.
Nearby residents and Stockton Heath Parish Council had opposed the scheme.
But the inspector observed that Government policy was supportive of health facilities close to residential areas. The site was close to the village centre and car parks and daytime parking was available in Ellesmere Road.
A condition of the approval could be that no appointments be accepted after 6.30pm so that use of the surgery would finish before most people, including children, went to bed.
The surgery was unlikely to cause any noise problem and the one-way system in Ellesmere Road, plus the availability of off-street parking nearby, removed any objections on road safety grounds.

Church mission to
help the community

by Lesley Wilkinson

A CHURCH Mission Weekend – designed to help the community with tasks like gardening and shopping – is being planned by Hill Cliffe Baptist Church, Appleton and Warrington Youth for Christ (WYFC).
Almost 100 young people from across Warrington are joining the event on Saturday June 25.
Organisers say the aim is to offer help to housebound people and those in need.
There will also be a family fun afternoon in Walton Gardens with games and activities.
The graveyard and area around the church will be tidied. There will be a young people’s street theatre in Stockton Heath and a six-a-side football competition for youngsters aged between seven and nine.
A series of evening concerts and a guest speaker will also be organised at the church.
One of the organisers said: “It promises to be an amazing weekend that will impact on our community in a really positive way showing people that there isn’t just people in the Church but there’s life.”
Anyone interested in finding out more, or who needs help should ring the church on 01925 264903.

Mayor set to auction
soccer star’s shirt

by staff reporter

WARRINGTON’S Mayor, Coun Hans Mundry, is auctioning a Manchester United football shirt signed by first team regular Wes Brown in aid of charity.
The shirt was donated by Bramall Construction, a leading constructor with Golden Gates Housing – the borough council’s housing arm.
Coun Mundry intends to auction the shirt to raise money for “The Butterfly Project”, one of his chosen charities, which provides emotional and practical support to children with termi

nal illnesses and their families, and also Home Start who offer support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children in local communities.

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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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