Villagers celebrate after
school plan is thrown out
by David Skentelbery
VILLAGERS are celebrating a famous victory after planners at Warrington threw out the controversial proposals to demolish Stockton Heath Primary School and replace it with a new building.
The borough council?s development control committee voted 7-1 to refuse their own education department?s application to go ahead with the plan ? already approved by the council?s executive board.
Thirteen members of the public attended a packed meeting to speak against the plan.
Just three people spoke in support of the scheme ? one of them the council?s acting education director Tim Warren.
Officers had recommended the scheme be approved.
But after hearing the arguments, the committee voted to refuse the application on the grounds that it was contrary to the council?s own Unitary Development Plan and damaging to the amenity of nearby residents.
Council chiefs will now have to go back to the drawing board and decide whether to switch to a refurbishment scheme for the old building or come up with a less controversial demolition plan.
One issue concerning councillors was the question of whether the 96-year-old school should be Listed as a building or architectural of historic interest.
Planning chief John Groves said English Heritage had informed the council they did not consider it suitable for listing. But a message from Euro MP Den Dover ? a former pupil ? indicated that he was still in discussion with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport about whether listing would be appropriate.
Another was that English Heritage had stated that the school was an interesting building, the loss of which would be ?significant? and that had it been in a Conservation Area they would have been prepared to give it Listed status.
Critics condemned the proposed new building as ?resembling a factory? and complained that it had a planned life of 60-years.
Coun George Warburton said the existing school had stood for 96 years and, suitably refurbished would last another 100.
He added: ?In 30 years time it will be a Listed Building.?
Elections in all
but three wards
by staff reporter
ELECTIONS will take place in May in all but three of Warrington?s 23 wards.
A third of the seats on the borough council will be up to grabs on Thursday, May 4.
Residents will be going to the polls in 19 wards as follows: Appleton, Bewsey and Whitecross, Birchwood, Culcheth Glazebury and Croft, Fairfield and Howley, Grappenhall and Thelwall, Great Sankey North, Great Sankey South, Latchford East, Latchford West, Lymm, Orford, Penketh and Cuerdley, Poplars and Hulme, Poulton North, Poulton South, Rixton and Woolston, Westbrook and Whittle Hall.
A second seat will be contested in Grappenhall and Thelwall following the Recent death of Professor Coun Barbara Mawer.
The wards where there will be no election are Burtonwood and Winwick, Stockton Heath and Hatton, Stretton and Walton.
Nomination papers for people wanting to stand as a candidate are now available from the council’s Elections Office and the closing date for nominations is noon on Monday April 3.
A coffee morning
with special meaning
A CHARITY coffee morning at Warrington Hospital held a special meaning for one of its organisers.
Staff in the hospital’s radiology department held the event to raise awareness and funds for ovarian cancer, a killer illness that senior radiographer Paula Evans has already fought and beaten.
Paula, 30, from Warrington, was delighted the morning was such a success.
She said: “Everyone in the department and other people from around the Hospital have really pitched in to help set up the morning. Many of them have given prizes or bought raffle tickets.
“The morning really went well and while the money is still being collected and counted, we have raised about ?500 in the end.?
Paula was just 21 when the cancer was diagnosed and had only just completed her training at the hospital.
She said: “At that age, cancer just wasn’t something I even considered or thought about. While I had a few things that I would now recognise as symptoms, back then I just shrugged them off.
“It was only when a doctor offered to give me an ultrasound scan that the mass was discovered.”
At that time, Paula’s cancer was well advanced – being classed as stage three out of four – and she underwent a gruelling year-long course of operations and chemotherapy at Warrington and Clatterbridge hospitals.
She said: “It was a very tough time as you would expect. I was lucky it was caught when it was and also to have the support of family and friends to get me through.
“You just keep thinking of getting to the end of the treatment really. I knew I was in very good hands and my treatment was first class, so I kept looking ahead and thinking positively.
“Being in the job I am now means I am involved in carrying out tests and investigations for patients, including people with cancer. I feel I am putting something back because the doctors and nurses at Warrington Hospital took such good care of me during my illness.” Thankfully Paula’s treatment was a complete success and she now recommends all women should get themselves checked out by a doctor if they have even slight concerns over their health.
“It was a special moment when I reached the five year mark after my treatment, but I realise every day that I was lucky to be working in a hospital,” she said.
“I would encourage everyone to get themselves checked out with their GP because it is always a case of better safe than sorry.”
Civilian staff at police
station go stage strike
by David Skentelbery
CIVILIAN staff at Warrington Police Station will be going on strike on March 28 in protest at the Government?s proposals to cut pensions.
The staff ? members of UNISON ? will be joined by workers at other police stations across Cheshire.
A union spokeswoman said: ?Our members provide essential services to this community. After years of dedicated service, they are now being told that the pension that they were promised and that they have saved for will be cut.
?The pension for the average woman worker is already just ?31 per week and will fall if these proposals go through, while the salaries of police officers, teachers, nurses and fire fighters have been protected.
?We are asking for the same protection for our members who have paid six per cent of their salary every year to save for retirement. Only three per cent of council tax goes onthe LGPS, but if the Government gets its way, the cuts will cost taxpayers ?2 billion in increased state benefits and council tax. And the truth is that some employers who defaulted on their payment into the scheme in the 80s and 90s now want low paid workers to pick up the tab.
I hope people will understand and support their local nursery nurses, teaching assistants, police and fire service support staff, librarians, meat hygiene inspectors, school meals workers, bin men, home carers, college and university staff and others who keep our community ticking over.?
Twenty Mums to
join the Moonwalk
by John Hendon
TWENTY mums from Oughtrington Primary School, Lymm ? using the name Annie?s Army ? will be taking part in this year?s Playtex Moonwalk, in London.
More than 15,000 people will be taking part in the annual Moonwalk ? a moonlit marathon that starts and finishes in Hyde Park.
The aim is to raise awareness ? and ?6 million ? for research into breast cancer and cancer care.
Striding out together in their uniquely decorated bras, they have in previous years been accompanied by celebrities such as Victoria Wood, Lorraine Kelly, Koo Stark and Nell McAndrew.
The MoonWalk is organised by health charity Walk the Walk Worldwide which last year raised more than ?5 million.
Walk the Walk Worldwide also
offer invaluable advice to their walkers and supporters by emphasising the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle which includes encouraging exercise and healthy eating, known as a vital part of cancer prevention. For many walkers, participation in this event is the first step towards a healthier and more natural lifestyle.
For more information about the Lymm team call Anne Hunt on 01925 759350.
by staff reporter
POLICE are hunting for hooligans who set fire to a stolen car at Warrington after driving it around on parkland.
The red Ford Fiesta was driven around Radley Common at Orford until it became bogged down in mud in the early hours of this morning.
Youths then set fire to it and fled the scene.
Fire crews were called but the car was about 75 per cent destroyed.
In another incident, two fire engines from Warrington and Newton-le-Willows were called to Hall Lane, Burtonwood where a caravan was on fire.
A Fire Service spokesman said: “We suspect it had been abandoned there because it was a pretty old caravan.”