Campaign to help
by Lesley Wilkinson
A CAMPAIGN has been started to help “the forgotten tenants” of Grappenhall to have their homes brought up to 21st century standards.
The six Warrington Borough Council properties in George’s Crescent have been neglected according to tenants. They complain of broken, unhygienic kitchens and bathrooms, with one property having a “virtually outside” toilet.
Coun Mike Biggin, of Grappenhall and Thelwall Parish Council said the houses are the only borough council properties in the area and are in urgent need of refurbishment.
He said: “These are the forgotten tenants, and are probably Warrington’s best tenants. Their requests for work to be done get ignored so often that they often take it in their own hands and do it themselves.
“One of the borough’s officers said that the people of Grappenhall do it for themselves.”
Coun Biggin said the 1930s properties have been waiting for refurbishment for years. The work was scheduled for 2002 but has now been put off until 2007.
“One of the properties has a virtually outside toilet. It is downstairs, outside the back door and in an alcove. Three properties in particular need new kitchens and bathrooms, they fall below EU minimum standards,” he added.
“Bathrooms have huge gaps between the bath and the wall, old tiles falling off, and are very old. Then kitchen’s are small and old, some have broken unit doors that are falling off and inadequate, broken drawers.”
He said that tenants and the parish council have complained to the borough council but get nowhere.
“I am angry that these people have been neglected. They are paying the same rent as everyone else but do not get the same service. I would not want to live in these circumstances.”
A spokesman for Golden Gates Housing said that during the current financial year they have completed improvements to 2,200 properties at a cost of more than ?20m. Next year plans are to improve 1,100 properties at a cost of ?16m.
“Our customers appreciate that substantial works such as these require careful planning. The six properties in Georges Crescent will be surveyed in the near future to establish what, if anything, needs doing to bring them up to the Decent Homes standard. Any agreed work will be carried out during Summer 2007.”
He said if any repairs need doing, the tenant could ring free on 0800 25 26 27 and the company would arrange for an inspection at a convenient time.
“The Decent Homes initiative seeks to make sure that all council houses have modern facilities by 2010.
GGH are looking to complete the work by 2008, a full two years ahead of schedule; one of only a handful of organisations in the country to achieve that goal,” he added.
Czech mayors arrive in town
by Mark Hemmings
EAST met west in Warrington as a delegation of eight Mayors from Nachod in the Czech Republic, one of Warrington’s twin towns, arrived for a special four-day visit to the area.
Sampling not only Warrington’s political and business life during their stay, but also the history of the town, the party visited RAF Burtonwood’s Heritage Preview Centre at Gulliver’s World in Westbrook for a closer look at the links between wartime Warrington and America.
A spokesman for the centre said: “The Mayor of Jaromer, Jiri Klepsa found out about RAF Burtonwood on the internet, and was keen to visit us while they were over here. We were of course, delighted to welcome them.”
After trying out a flight simulator and viewing the various displays of memorabilia at the heritage site, the delegates were given lunch at Warrington Market’s “Corner Coffee Bar” where they were joined by the Mayor and Mayoress of Warrington, Coun Hans and Karen Mundry.
The Czech visitors tasted a popular Warrington lunchtime dish – a deep filled jacket potato.
Top picture shows some of the Nachod party at the heritage centre with curator Ian Murphy.
Students have their
cake – and eat it!
by staff reporter
TRAVEL and tourism students from Warrington?s Priestley College are currently in the middle of a fund raising frenzy which will benefit both their coursework and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
As part of their course the students have to organise and run a trip as if they were in a real life employment setting and manage the event from the word go.
The students decided their tourist related day out would be to the city of York for a ?ghost hunt? at the end of April and are busily putting their plan of action into place.
As part of overall event the students also decided to hold a cake sale on campus and in the process raised nearly ?100 which will be added to the Alder Hey kitty with the students expecting to hand over a larger sum of money to the hospital once the trip has been completed.
Priestley tutor Carol Chan said: “The group have been working very hard in recent times and it is fantastic that they have chosen to donate the profits of their labour to such a worthwhile cause.
“From marketing to fund raising the students have been eager to run a professional event, which will hold them in good stead should they wish to pursue a career in the travel and tourism industry.”
Woodlands to get
a ?50,000 make-over
by John Hendon
THREE small woods south of the River Mersey at Warrington are to be given a make-over by the Woodland Trust ? thanks to a ?50,000 grant from landfill tax money.
The area, known as The Dell, is part of a complex of sites on rising ground south of the River Mersey.
They have benefited from funding thanks to the landfill tax money of Waste Recycling Group Ltd, administered by WREN.
The Woodland Trust has been working for the last 10 years since taking over the ownership of the Warrington and Runcorn woodlands from the Commission for New Towns, on developing and building links with local communities and dealing with numerous site issues, including fly tipping, misuse and mismanagement.
A spokesman said: ?We are now in a position where every single woodland – 70 in total – has a management plan outlining our vision for the next 50 years.
?WREN are supporting this work with a crucial grant of ?50,000 which will help with conservation and restoration and new woodland creation and access/interpretation creation and improvements. Every single visitor will benefit from the work being carried out.?
Some of the funding has been spent specifically on The Dell where the whole woodland has changed considerably. The most noticeable work revolves around the renovation of two ponds at the heart of Broom Cottage Wood.
Laura Judson for the Woodland Trust said: “In giving the ponds a new lease of life we are increasing their biodiversity and making the whole area more attractive to visitors. Whilst carrying out the work we used a mobile sawmill to fell some timber and the Halton Conservation Project are using the timber to produce a number of benches to be used throughout our woodlands.”
In addition money was used to provide safe and easy path access around the site to increase public enjoyment of the site.
WREN representative Richard Smith said: “It is rare we are able to support a project which affects so many areas of woodland and makes a difference to so many people who regularly visit these urban woodlands. More than 400,000 people live within the vicinity of the Woodland Trust woods in Warrington and Runcorn and given the limited access to woodland in the area, it means that this work will benefit the local communities and every visitor.”
All Woodland Trust woodlands are freely open to the public to enjoy at any time, visitors are welcome. All are managed for the benefit of biodiversity and people.
No drink problem in
village, say police
by Lesley Wilkinson
POLICE do not believe that Stockton Heath has a problem with people drinking alcohol in the streets, the Parish Counc
Members were considering requests to make the village centre an Alcohol Exclusion Zone.
Local residents have been complaining for some time about increased problems of noise, nuisance, vandalism, etc in the village, since the re-development of Victoria Square led to the arrival of numerous new eating places.
But the council was told police had no evidence that street drinking was a problem in the village.
Members heard it would cost at least ?8,000 for notices and staff to enforce a special zone, so decided not to go ahead with the project.
MP urges supermarkets
to promote “fair trade”
WARRINGTON North MP Helen Jones has appealed to supermarkets to sell more fair traded produce.
The MP spoke in Parliament at the start of Fairtrade fortnight which she also marked by a visit to the Fairtrade stall at Warrington market were she had breakfast with the Mayor and Mayoress Hans and Karen Mundry.
Ms Jones called for supermarkets to promote more fair traded produce from the developing world and also suggested that more needed to be done with consumers to encourage them to buy such produce and help them understand why we need to pay a fair price for those goods.
She said: “By buying Fairtrade certified products such as coffee, tea, fruit and chocolate, shoppers in Warrington are helping farmers and other producers to earn a decent living and obtain good healthcare and education. It’s making a real contribution towards helping poor people to help themselves out of poverty.”
As well as celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight the breakfast also highlighted the fact that Warrington has become a Fairtrade borough.
[ 20.03.2006, 14:37: Message edited by: DS ]