Health plan to tackle
town’s binge drinking
by Terry Johnson
HEALTH experts in ‘hangover town’ Warrington have drawn up a plan to grapple with its huge problem of binge-drinking.
The town known for its lively drinking culture has shown an alarming rise in liver-damage deaths.
The mortality rate from diseased livers has ‘spiked’ 38 per cent higher than the national average.
With young girls drinking alcopops, vodka and wine in local parks and boys consuming lager on the street, health protectors warn of even earlier onset of liver disease.
Warrington Primary Care Trust has revealed its plan to halt the harmful spiral.
Its Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy aims to protect young people, reduce crime and disorder and improve binge-related treatment and care.
The plan calls for a new, town-based alcohol treatment service to be set up.
Shops and supermarkets are to be targeted for ‘effective’staff training, together with a purge on under-age sales of booze – and licensees will be given support to create safer pubs and clubs.
Jane Knight, of the Primary Care Trust, said: “People are drinking more alcohol, which has huge health and social implications. It can affect individuals, families and society.
“The public health issues are very serious. Alcohol is linked to long-term conditions like cancer, heart disease and obesity”.
A survey of 410 Warrington schoolchildren aged 14-15 found that 53 per cent had tried drink and seven per cent drank alcohol each week to a level which ‘changed their actions’.
The Primary Care Trust says 14.2 per cent of people living in the town ‘drink too much’.
Council spokesman, Doug Ryan, said: “There are initiatives to ensure that residents and town visitors are not affected by alcohol-related crime and disorder”.
Many residents fear going into the town-centre at night because of the rise in drink-fuelled street attacks.
Police seek witnesses
to brutal attack
by Terry Johnson
POLICE investigating a brutal attack in town-centre Bridge Street during the early hours of Friday are appealing for help from the public in tracing two six-foot tall assailants.
A 23-year-old man was struck in the face after a brief verbal exchange at the Last Orders pub and was admitted to hospital suffering a serious injury.
CCTV cameras captured images of two assailants: the first a black man, aged 20-30, with short black hair, and wearing a yellow or white Adidas hooded top.
His companion, a white man, 20-30, slimly-built, with short dark-brown hair, was wearing a black ‘puffer coat’ and dark trousers.
Street cameras later spotted that he had exchanged his coat with the first offender, possibly to avert identification.
takes centre stage
by Gary Skentelbery
YOUNGSTERS from across Warrington converged on the Pyramid centre as part of special learning partnership which is thriving within the borough.
Funded by the L.E.A and L.S.C and organised by Priestley College the 14-19 cross-town Languages partnership offered school pupils from Penketh, Cardinal Newman, and Birchwood the opportunity to see a superb live performance by the Warwickshire based Onatti Theatre Group, the narrative of which was entirely performed in German.
The production of “Auf Dem Camping Platz” told the story of two young German friends who had setup camp for the weekend at a popular tourist spot and had a very humorous approach to covering vocabulary and topics from Key Stage 3 and GCSE, which included weather, directions, activities and clothing amongst others.
Onatti travel around the UK with a range of productions in French and Spanish as well as German and made a lasting impression on their Warrington audience.
The latest show followed on from one 12 months earlier when the same company performed their French play “Le Nouveau Voisin” again to the town’s secondary schools.
Carol Mtitimila, Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Priestley College, commented: “The partnership between Priestley and schools within the town in the area of Languages is as strong as ever.”
She addeed: “Events such as this really do raise aspirations in youngsters and show them just how enjoyable it can be to study a different language.”
by Terry Johnson
ONE of Warrington’s leading business figures has been honoured as President of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers.
Stuart Barton,56, heads Independent Banking and Finance Brokers, a company established in 1992 after he spent 20 years in senior posts with high street banks, NATWEST and TSB.
He also owns Warrington Business Centre Ltd – Gilbert Wakefield House, Bewsey St. – which is home to 30-plus businesses, including the office base of Warrington North MP, Helen Jones, and North West Guards.
Mr Barton, who lives in Appleton, said: “It is the first time the Exeter-based National Association has appointed its President from north of Birmingham.”
He is also a Director of the National Association.
flying the flag
by Terry Johnson
TWO dynamic chess-champs who know all the right moves are to carry England’s colours in a play-off with Spanish and Gibralter teams.
Chris Brown, current Warrington Under-10 champion and team captain will accompany last year’s top young local player, Scott Waring, of Grappenhall, to Gibralter next month.
Chris led the 28-strong Cheshire and North Wales U-11 county squad which qualified in the Northern semi-finals at Staffordshire for the national clash at Richmond, Surrey, on May 13.
Other Warrington youngsters in the winning team were U-11 champ, Cathy Machin, from Penketh, who has been asked to play for the England girls team in May; U-9 champ, George Fortune, from Padgate; Paul Kline, also from Padgate; Joseph Parry, from Woolston; Michael Gadd, of Stockton Heath and Billy Healey, from Padgate.
The Cheshire and North Wales Adult team, including seven Warrington players, notched a convincing win against Lancashire in Blackburn.
The Warrington players were current U-14 champion, Martin Brown, of Woolston; runner-up, Robert Hughes, of Appleton; U-12 champion Scott Waring; Damian McCarthy, of Padgate; Richard Hughes, Christopher Chadwick and Steven Jones, of Appleton-Stockton Heath.
Polling cards due
by staff reporter
POLLING cards for town hall elections on May 4 will shortly be dropping through the doors of Warrington homes.
Though it is possible to vote without them, electors are advised to bring the cards to their local polling station.
Proxy votes for use by anyone having difficulty getting to the polls can be applied for on 0845-055-9001.
Postal vote application forms must be returned by 5.00pm on Tuesday, April 18.
by John Hendon
THE search is on for talented school bands to play Blues and Swing at a summer concert spectacular in one of Europe’s top gardens.
Cheshire secondary school bands are invited to play before a 4,000-strong audience at Arley Hall, near Warrington, on July 1.
Event organiser, Rupert Attlee, said: “We are keen to promote and encourage young musical talent in the community. Local secondary school bands are invited to play the Blues and Swing as curtain-raiser to headline stars, The Commitments and The Bootleg Blues Brothers”.
Stage-set for the concert – a major fund-raiser for the Marie Curie charity – is the park frontage to the historic hall.
A firework and laser display will highlight the event.
Schools wanting to join the spectacle should contact 01565-777353.
by John Hendon
WARRINGTON commuters who travel to work on Merseyside are being warned of traffic problems caused by national strike action by Unison members over pension cha
nges, which will force the closure of the “Mersey tunnels.”
Merseytravel regret that due to industrial action it will be necessary to close both the Kingsway and Queensway Tunnels to all traffic from 11.30pm on Monday evening until 12.30am on Wednesday morning.
The only exception will be for the police, fire and ambulance services responding to emergency calls.
Similarly the Mersey Ferries will not operate for the duration of the stoppage and commuter traffic will be catered for by Merseyrail Electrics who will honour cross-river tickets.
Merseyrail will also increase the number of carriages operating on the Wirral Line to help cope with the increased demand.
The Seacombe Terminal building, including Spaceport, will open as normal with a shuttle bus operating between Seacome and Hamilton Square during the morning and evening peak periods but Woodside and Pier Head will be closed.
Merseytravel apologise for the inconvenience to passengers but the strike means that for safety reasons it will simply not be possible to operate as normal.