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Tuesday 21st June 2005

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Theme park hotel
plan thrown out

by David Skentelbery

PLANS for an 80-bedroomed hotel at Warrington’s Gulliver’s World theme park have been thrown out following massive opposition from nearby residents.
More than 300 people lodged objections to the scheme on land off Shackleton Close, Old Hall, which would have helped provide a new heritage centre for the Burtonwood Association.
In addition, there was opposition from Great Sankey Parish Council, Burtonwood and Westbrook Parish Council, The Woodland Trust and the Old Hall, Westbrook and Ladywood residents’ action groups.
Planning officers had recommended the scheme for approval but the borough council’s development committee voted 6-2 to refuse permission.
The scheme included buildings to provide a heritage centre for the Burtonwood Heritage Association – the organisation which aims to preserve the memory of the former US air base.
These would have consisted of a mock control tower and mock hangar. Attractions would have included a flight simulator, 1940s-style cinema and an exhibition depicting Manchester during its wartime blitz.
There would also have been open display areas for military aircraft, vehicles, etc.
Members expressed regret that they could not approve the heritage centre part of the scheme in view of the fact that the Burtonwood Association is effectively homeless after losing its centre on the former base site.
But there was concern that the applicant – Gullivers World Ltd – was using the heritage centre to justify the hotel.
Coun Judith Wheeler (pictured above) said a large hotel and conference centre would result in noise and light pollution inappropriate in a residential area. There would be increased traffic on already busy roads and the development would be close to semi-ancient woodland and a site of importance for nature conservation.
The Woodland Trust argued that the site was next to land of immense value both for wildlife and recreation and also near ancient woodland.
Nearby residents expressed fears about late night noise, increased traffic and loss of sites of importance for nature conservation. Open fields and access to walks would be lost.

Bright sparks generate
their own success

by staff reporter

EIGHT mature electrical students from Warrington Collegiate are powering their way into new careers – and picking up awards for their efforts along the way.
The men – who are all in their late 20s to late 30s – are fast tracking their way to success on an apprenticeship-style course, to train as electrical tradesmen.
The learners have returned to studying after dropping out previously, for personal reasons. They have taken just a year to complete eight technical certificates, which would normally take three years to finish.
All eight are in employment and attend college on a day-release basis, once a week.
Over the next academic year they will work towards an NVQ and full Joint Industry Board professional qualification, which tutors think will take them just six months to achieve.
Their hard work was recognised when they won a Learning and Skills Council award during the recent Adult Learners Week.
Tutor Siggy Gerke said :”The students all had to balance their studies with daytime jobs. We nominated the group and we are delighted the LSC have honoured them. We have never put any previous group through all eight exams inside 12 months so we are delighted at their efforts.”
Fellow apprenticeship tutor John Mason added: “I’m really pleased that the group won this award, it’s well deserved. Because they’re all mature students with industry experience they were able to work at a faster pace on the course and got through it in a third of the time it normally takes.”
Student Wayne Bromley, from Wilson Patten Street in Warrington, said: “I was doing a home-learning course and came back to college to study the electrical apprenticeship. The course was really good and has helped me get more experience and develop myself.”

Health centre opens
at Wolves’ stadium

by staff reporter

A UNIQUE state-of-the-art health centre has opened at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, home of Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club.
The ?1.3million facility, which houses a wide range of community health services, is the first ever to be located in a rugby stadium.
The close association between sport and health offers those people who might otherwise not access healthcare a new style of service.
More than 90 staff from Warrington Primary Care Service are based at Health Services at Wolves, providing a range of services including cardiac and stroke rehabilitation, falls prevention for older people and a stop smoking service.
It has also brought together therapy services – physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and podiatry (foot health) – which were previously held in town centre GP practices and clinics. This means that patients can now access these services all day Monday to Friday for the first time. Previously some patients had very little choice over appointment times because some sites which delivered the services had only a few sessions a week.
The centre is being officially opened by Wolves chairman Lord Hoyle of Warrington next Wednesday (June 22).
PCT chief executive Allison Cooke said: “This is an incredibly important development for patients in the town centre as it has given them greater access to services as well as a greater choice of appointment times. The facility also provides the base for many specialist services which everyone in Warrington can access.
“This is just the first stage of our vision for improving healthcare in Warrington for the 21st century. To make sure we deliver the right services for the town’s communities, we will be talking to as many people as possible in the coming months.”
Andy Gatcliffe, Warrington Wolves chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have Health Services at Wolves based here at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, as we recognise and appreciate the PCT’s financial investment in providing modern health service facilities for the benefit of the borough-wide community.”

Prison portraits
for festival

IAN Brown, ex-member of pop group Stone Roses, took time off before a concert trip to Istanbul, to sign two pencil portraits produced by inmates at Warrington’s Risley Prison. The pictures will be exhibited at the Art Garden Marquee from July 2-10 as part of the annual Lymm Festival. Ian has lived in Lymm for a number of years and became involved when festival committee member Su Williams told him about the work being done by young artists at Risley. Su said: “Ian was terrific – you can imagine what a boost this will give the artists. Ian went out of his way to help us”

Beauty spot
to be improved

by staff reporter

IMPROVEMENTS to local beauty spot Ackers Pit, at Stockton Heath near Warrington, have moved a step closer. A meeting has been held between Stockton Heath Parish Council representatives, anglers using the area, environmental groups and consultants, to look at improving the water quality. It was agreed to take samples of the sediment and water for analysis to allow the work to progress. The cost of testing, ?2,380, was split between the parish council and the anglers. Parish clerk Peter Briggs said results should be through in a few weeks. He said once the extent of the proposed work was known, applications could be made for additional funding for the project.

Going yellow!
by Gary Skentelbery

HUNDREDS of people will be “going yellow” across Warrington today (Friday June 16), showing their support for St Rocco’s Hospice.
Fifteen members from the council’s Economic Development Unit will be in Golden Square (Old Fishmarket) helping the charity with various stalls and walking around the mall with Hospice mascot ‘Rocco’ all day.
At 3pm there will be a ballo

on release at the fishmarket with Warrington’s Mayor Coun Hans Mundry.
The Hospice flag will also be flying from Town Hall!
Various schools are taking part in the event including Bewsey Infant School on Lodge Lane, and St Stephen’s Primary on Sandy Lane, Orford, who are going yellow. Hospice staff will all be wearing yellow.
HSBC Bank on Bridge Street are also supporting the charity with front counter staff wearing yellow.

Council’s second
new chairman

by Lesley Wilkinson

STOCKTON Heath Parish Council, near Warrington, has its second new chairman in as many months. Coun Maurice Leslie has been elected chairman following the resignation from the council, on health grounds, of the recently elected chairman Coun Dorothy Robb. Coun Leslie, who was previously deputy chairman and has served as chairman previously, said: “I am sad at her departure. She was a long-serving member and represented the council well. She has always done her best for the council.” Coun Peter Walker proposed a vote of thanks to Coun Robb for her work and said that members wished her well. Members elected Coun June Daynes as deputy chairman. Clerk Peter Briggs said that a vacancy for the Whitefield Road Ward would be advertised on the parish council notice boards.

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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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