face big crackdown
by John hendon
A MAJOR crackdown on underage drinking in Warrington gets underway today (Friday) as new research reveals that 53 per cent of local 14-17 year olds illegally drink alcohol every week.
The two-month enforcement campaign is being driven locally by Warrington Trading Standards and Cheshire Police officers and will see anyone who looks under 21 challenged to prove their age when buying alcohol.
Retailers and licensees who fail to make the checks – which replace the traditional practice of checking the age of customers who look under 18 – will lose the defence of having taken reasonable steps to prevent underage sales.
The move has been prompted by a survey of nearly 13,000 teenagers across the North West, which shows that 40 per cent of underage drinkers buy their own alcohol – most often from off licenses, pubs and clubs.
The results in Warrington show that 53 per cent of under 18s drink alcohol at least once a week, 26 per cent one to two times a month, 13 per cent drink it only once every two to 12 months and just eight per cent never drink alcohol.
The survey also shows that 33 per cent of young people in Warrington claim to buy their own alcohol.
Coun Pat Wright, the borough council’s executive member for community services, said: “Alcohol abuse is putting young lives at risk. Not only is their health at risk, very often they can become involved in trouble in our communities. Often their behaviour when drinking can plague decent, hardworking families.
“We are working hard in Warrington, alongside Cheshire Police, to stamp out underage sales of alcohol. This drive will only help us to reinforce that message.”
Paul Draycott, deputy force licensing officer, said: “Underage drinking is a big problem in Warrington and often leads to incidents of anti-social behaviour which officers then have to deal with.”
Retailers face being fined up to ?1,000 if caught selling alcohol to minors and having their alcohol license revoked. Young people caught drinking alcohol cold be issued with a fixed ?50 fine.
People who miss out
on town’s prosperity
by David Skentelbery
PEOPLE living in Warrington’s most deprived areas have so far missed out on the borough’s prosperity, according to the Audit Commission.
The borough’s approach to regeneration needs more impact in deprived areas, say the Commission in an independent report.
A team of inspectors has given Warrington just one star out of a possible three in an independent report.
They say the borough’s approach to regeneration has made a positive contribution to the development of a buoyant economy and a good quality physical environment.
However, not all local residents have been able to benefit from the borough’s economic success and action to address areas of deprivation and access to employment opportunities could be improved.
Julian Farmer, Audit Commission senior manager, said: “The borough has seen a period of sustained economic growth, low unemployment and rising land values. The council’s performance on physical regeneration has been positive and has ensured that the borough generally looks pleasant and well-kept.
“However, the rise in overall prosperity has not brought a reduction in the relative deprivation of Warrington’s disadvantaged areas. Around 15 per cent of the borough’s population live in these areas, and they still face obstacles to participating in the economy, such as poor public transport links to the new employment sites.”
The inspectors say many residents of deprived areas say facilities such as shopping, public transport and affordable housing have deteriorated.
Although the council is committed to an integrated and strategic approach to regeneration, it do not yet have a unified view about what regeneration is, or what approach is required to tackle both social regeneration and localised exclusion.
However, a new management structure now provides a clearer lead for regeneration at both an officer and councillor level.
But a better system for measuring and monitoring what is happening in regeneration, so that everyone can be clear about performance and progress, is needed.
Coun Terry O’Neill, the borough council’s executive member for sustainable regeneration, said: “We are committed to regenerating all areas of Warrington. It is one of our most important priorities.
” However, equally as important, is that everyone in our town has the opportunity to benefit from the investment we attract.
“We know we are doing many things well in the area of regeneration and the building and supporting of our communities. But we also know we have challenges to face in the future and we are in a very strong position to enable us to face those challenges and to meet them.
“We value the Audit Commission’s report and are pleased they recognise that we are doing many things well. We are taking important steps to build on the good work we are doing to make sure everybody, particularly those in our inner wards, can reap the rewards of our buoyant economy, major investment sites such as Omega and the regeneration of the older areas of our town.”
Copies of the full report are available from Warrington Borough Council or on the Audit Commission website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk
Parry “more optimistic”
over IRA peace declaration
by staff reporter
THE IRA statement that it is ending its terrorist campaign has been greeted with more optimism than pessimism by Warrington peace campaigner Colin Parry.
Mr Parry, who lost his son Tim in the 1993 bombing in Bridge Street, Warrington said: “I am certainly encouraged by the statement. It seems to go further than any they’ve made before. But I’m sceptical, like most people are.
“The IRA have a history of tantalising people with tales of the promised land and we’ve yet to get there. On balance, I’m more optimistic than pessimistic.”
Tim Parry was 12 when he and three-year-old Johnathan Ball were killed by bombs left in litter bins in Bridge Street.
In the wake of the atrocity, the Tim Parry-Johnathan Ball Young People’s Peace Centre was established at Great Sankey. It now runs exchange visits between Warrington and Northern Ireland.
Mr Parry said it was vital that the work of the Peace Centre continued.
“Only when there is true friendship and understanding will the troubles be over,” he said.
Honours degree for
long distance student
by Paul Saville
A WARRINGTON student has achieved a 2.1 degree in Business Management and IT, despite having to work six months of each year of his course off the coast of Brazil.
Thirty eight-year-old Mike Richardson, from Great Sankey, was awarded his honours degree after completing four years study at the Warrington campus of the University of Chester.
The length of his degree was due to his working commitments as an engineer for a computer controlled system on an oil and gas production platform, where he spends the equivalent of six months of each year.
Mike said: “It has been difficult studying a degree course when you spend half your time at work thousands of miles away, but with a bit of dedication it was well worth it.”
The Warrington graduate is hoping his academic achievement will help him move into a senior management position at an offshore production platform.
He said: “It was a bit of a shock having to sit exams again, but I actually preferred them to coursework, as my job has taught me to work well under pressure.
“Coming to university as a mature student can also be an advantage because you have a set idea of what you want. You’re there because of a conscious decision, which means you are more likely to stay focused.”
on housing development
by staff reporter
ONE of the North West’s top house builders, Countryside Properties, is celebrating midsummer in style with an event at its latest development in Warrington.
Visitors to Countryside’s popular development, Trinity Green on Church Street, tomorrow (Saturday) and on Sunday will be treated to strawberries and cream plus a cool glass of Pimms and will be given a fantastic opportunity to win ?500 of Selfridges’ vouchers, if they register for the prize draw at the event.
Trinity Green offers one and two bedroom apartments and three and four bedroom houses ranging from ?144,950 to ?224,950, close to the centre of Warrington. Eventually there will 153 stylish homes, creating a new urban quarter with city style and elegance.
Countryside Properties is offering buyers at Trinity Green a number of incentives to make home-buying easier than ever. Paying five per cent deposit on apartments, giving house purchasers a mortgage subsidy of ?500 per month for 12 months, contributing legal fees and paying stamp duty on all homes reserved by September.
More information on Trinity Green is available at www.trinitygreen.c.uk or call 01925 242 532.
Club fun day will
have lots of…fun!
by staff reporter
FUN, fun and more fun is on the agenda at Glazebury Cricket Club’s annual Fun Day.
The event is being held on Sunday, August 7 at the Chat Moss Hotel , Warrington Road, Glazebury.
Starting at 12 noon, families can try their hand at plate smashing, golf, target practice, beat the goalie and a surprise novelty event!
There will also be the hugely popular Pooh stick race on the River Glaze in which contestants can win ?75 and a fantastic tombola. For toddlers the popular kiddies corner will this year feature face painting.
“There’s something for everyone whether you’re six or 60,” said club secretary Simon Green. “We want to see as many people as possible on the day. One of the highlights will be guessing where Tyson the bull goes on his travels.
“This is our biggest fundraising event of the year and the money raised goes towards enhancing the club’s existing facilities and further developing our thriving junior section which already boasts 50 members!”
Summer rugby camp
for young players
by staff reporter
WARRINGTON Rugby Union Club will be hosting a three-day summer rugby camp for young players at Warrington Sports Club from August 16-18.
The camp will be run by Sale Sharks and top National League coaches and Junior Rugby coaches will be on hand to help participants derive maximum benefit from the professional coaching offered.
Grouped according to age size and position young players from the Warrington area can enjoy a unique opportunity to improve their skills in all facets of the game.
Young players will also gain some insight into the way Sale Sharks has managed to develop such an exciting style of open rugby, while fostering the development of internationals such as Charlie Hodgson, Mark Cueto and Andy Titterel.
The camp is aimed at players between the ages of nine and 16 and all coaches will be RFU-qualified, CRB-checked and experienced at coaching at junior rugby level.
Anyone interested in attending or finding out more about this exciting local event should contact Warrington’s Community Rugby Coach, Peter Allen, on 07921 283192.
THE next meeting of Warrington Police Forum is to be held at the Town Hall, Warrington on Tuesday August 9 at 7pm when members of the public are invited to come along and raise issues about policing in the borough.
Peter Walker, chairman of the Forum said: “This meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss policing issues in Warrington, with Chief Superintendent Helen King and her command team. Anyone can attend these meetings and I would urge all of those who have any concerns or an interest in policing to attend on the 9th.”