Man may have vital
by David Skentelbery
POLICE have issued a blurred CCTV image of a man who may be able to give vital information to assist a murder investigation at Warrington.
The man was picked up by the security camera as he walked along Horsemarket Street, Warrington.
It is believed he may have gone to the assistance of victim Dale Whitfield, aged 18 and to have waited with him until paramedics reached the scene.
Police hope someone may recognise him from the blurred image – or even that the man might recognise himself and come forward.
Dale (pictured, left)died in Warrington Hospital on Sunday (July 31) after the attack in the early hours of Saturday.
A 19-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident and is due to appear before Warrington Crown Court on Monday (August 8) for a preliminary hearing.
He has already appeared before magistrates charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
But police say they are still anxious to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident, which occurred around 3am – and in particular the man captured on CCTV.
They would also like to speak to two young women who are believed to have gone to the assistance of the injured youth.
Anyone who can help is asked to call police on 01244 35000 or leave confidential information on the Crimestoppers hotline 0800 555111.
?3 million “showcase”
car showrooms open
by staff reporter
A NEW ?3 million car showroom will be officially opened at Warrington on Friday, August 19 – after 10 months’ construction work.
The new development at Polar Ford, off Winwick Road, represents one of Ford’s biggest-ever site investments.
It includes a state-of-the-art car sales showroom, service workshops, parts facilities and offices – an area of some 2,000 square metres.
The opening will be carried out by Chris Hayden, chairman and chief executive officer of Ford Retail after a champagne reception.
When their workplace was demolished in October last year to make way for the new development, 150 employees at Polar Ford Warrington continued to work for 10 months in a temporary showroom and from porta-cabins adjacent to the building site.
Despite the mayhem of construction work around them, sales performance increased.
Polar Ford has two further retail sites in Runcorn and St Helens. The dealership is part of the Ford Retail group, the vehicle retailing business that is wholly owned by Ford Motor Company and has rapidly become one of its largest dealer groups in the UK.
With an annual turnover exceeding ?1.2 billion, Ford Retail employs more than 3,000 staff at 44 car and commercial vehicle dealerships.
Volunteers spruce up
by staff reporter
MEMBERS of staff from the Warrington-based regional office for the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) took a leaf from the book of their volunteers by volunteering to help with gardening duties at St Rocco’s Hospice in Warrington.
The CPPIH, which serves around 800 volunteers in the North West, decided to help out as part of the national Year of the Volunteer initiative, which encourages people to take part in volunteering activities.
Staff at the CPPIH chose St Rocco’s Hospice because of its links to healthcare and the need for volunteers to maintain the pleasant environment the hospice has created for the patients.
The main tasks involved weeding, pruning and edging the colourful gardens and courtyards of the hospice and, despite a few showers, the group managed to put in nearly a full day of gardening.
Regional manager Sarah Pask said: “This was a really wonderful opportunity for the team from the CPPIH to roll-up their sleeves and really make a difference.
“There was a great sense of achievement not only in volunteering our time, but also in benefiting the people of St Rocco’s who really appreciate the view from their windows.”
Trader gets under way
by John Hendon
POLICE, Trading Standards and Revenue and Customers officials at Warrington have joined forces in a crack down on rogue traders who prey on vulnerable residents.
Crooks who masquerade as professional tradesmen and “cold call” at local people’s homes are being targeted in a two-day operation in the town.
As well acting upon intelligence, officers are handing out crime reduction leaflets to residents to remind them to be cautious if they are approached by someone offering to carry out work at their property.
Rogue traders typically offer to “repair” roof tiles, tarmac driveways or carry out “garden maintenance”.
But often the homeowner will pay up only to find the work has been done unnecessarily and poorly at that, or they hand over their money to find that the traders never return to do the job.
The crackdown started yesterday (Thursday) and is continuing today.
“A great place to
live and work” – MP
by David Skentelbery
WARRINGTON’S economy remains on track, according to MP Helen Jones.
Unemployment continues to fall, earnings are above the regional average and Warrington remains a great place to work and live, the Warrington North MP said.
Ms Jones was commenting on the latest set of economic figures for her constituency.
Figures published by the Halifax show unemployment, measured by the claimant count, has further reduced, in Warrington North, to 1.6 per cent or 971 people in the 12 months ended in May 2005. This is lower than both the regional and national figures which are both at 2.4 per cent.
Average weekly earnings are also above the regional average.
Ms Jones said: “The local economy remains in good shape as these figures testify.
“Unemployment continues to fall with long term youth unemployment having been cut to zero and unemployment across Warrington North as a whole cut by over 60 per cent.
“Earnings are above the regional average and coupled with the low interest rates and low inflation of recent years means that disposable household income has risen on average by 2.8 per cent a year over the last eight years.
“This represents good news for my constituents. Warrington remains a great and prosperous place to live and work in.”
drugs in raid
by court reporter
DRUG squad detectives seized a quantity of cannabis and drugs paraphernalia when they raided a house at Culcheth, near Warrington.
A 22-year-old local man was arrested and subsequently charged with supplying controlled Class C drugs, possession with intent to supply controlled Class C drugs and also possession of Class A drugs.
He appeared at Warrington Magistrates Court and was remanded on bail.
Fire crews save
shop from blaze
by staff reporter
A PASSERBY raised the alarm after vandals set fire to a wheelie bin at the rear of a chip shop in Lovely Lane, Warrington, during the night.
Fire crews were on the scene quickly and prevented the flames from reaching the shop.
A spokesman said: “It was spotted in time so there was no serious damage. But we would advise people not to leave wheelie bins where they can be moved close to property. They should be locked away or chained up if possible.”