Council power struggle
for Labour and Lib-Dems
by David Skentelbery
LABOUR and the Liberal Democrats will lock horns in an all-out battle for control of Warrington Borough Council next month.
Both parties announced that they will fight all 19 seats at stake when nominations closed for the council elections.
The Conservatives will contest 18 seats and there will be four Green candidates, one from the UK Independence Party and one from the Community Action Party ? the former Labour leader of the council Mike Hughes.
Local campaigner John Mulhall is also standing as an Independent.
At present, Labour hold 30 seats ? an overall majority of just three. The Liberal Democrats have 21 and the Tories six.
So they would lose overall control if they lost just two seats ? whether to the Liberal Democrats or the Conservatives.
But they would need to lose about five seats to no longer be the largest party.
Labour are defending 10 seats, the Liberal Democrats seven and the Conservatives two.
Key seats for Labour are at Great Sankey South and Latchford East, where they have lost seats to the Liberal Democrats in recent years, and Rixton-and Woolston, where the Tories have made a gain.
The Fairfield and Howley contest promises to be an interesting one, with former Labour finance chief Paul Kenny bidding to hold the seat against a challenge from his uncle, the former Labour leader Mike Hughes who now flies the Community Action Party flag.
While the CAP have yet to make an impact in Warrington, they have made major inroads in the Labour stronghold of Wigan and are currently the second largest party on the borough council there.
Another ward to watch is Penketh, where solicitor Fiona Bruce who gained a seat for the Tories at the last election, is fighting to hold on in what for many years has been a Labour stronghold.
Other interesting names to figure in the lists are former borough council finance director Peter Carey, standing for Labour at Appleton, Paul Kennedy, who stood as an Independent in Warrington South at the last General Election, who is standing as a Tory at Appleton, and former Labour education chief David Keane, who was “deselected” by Labour but is now fighting for them again at Penketh and Cuerdley.
The full-line up is as follows:
Appleton: Peter Carey (Lab), Paul Kennedy (Cons), Judith Walker (Lib-Dem).
Bewsey and Whitecross: John MUlhall (Ind), Robert Timmis (Lib-Dem), William Woodyatt (Cons), Patricia Wright (Lab).
Birchwood: Jill Bolton (Lab), Phil Chadwick (Lib-Dem), Christine Rankin (Cons).
Culcheth and Glazebury: Constance Cummerson (Lib-Dem), Les Hoyle (Cons), Anthony McCarthy (Lab).
Fairfield and Howley:Mike Hughes (CAP), William Jackson (Lib-Dem), Paul Kenny (Lab), Vida Lambert (Cons).
Grappenhall and Thelwall: Mike Biggin (Lib-Dem), Sonia Boggan (Cons), Christopher Bolton (Lab), Thomas Forster (Cons), Michael Jackson (Green), Wendy Johnson (Lib-Dem), Joanne Losh (Lab).
Great Sankey North: John Critchley (Cons), Stephanie Davies (Green), Les Street (Lab), Trudi Wood (Lib-Dem).
Great Sankey South:Kevin Bennett (Lab), Christine Pathmarajah (Cons), James Regan (Lib-Dem).
Latchford East: Julian Craddock (Cons), Lyndsey McAteer (Green), Edwin Sloane (Lib-Dem), Stephen Wright (Lab).
Latchford West: Gwyneth Craddock (Cons), Colin Grime (Lab), George Welborn (Lib-Dem).
Lymm: Philip Bachmayer (Con), Robert Barr (Lib-Dem), Chris Fitzsimmons (Lab), Kenneth Wilson (Green).
Penketh and Cuerdley: Fiona Bruce (Cons), David Keane (Lab), Alfred Roberts (Lib-Dem).
Poplars and Hulme: Joan Hall (Lib-Dem), John Kerr-Brown (Lab), Brian Lambert (Cons).
Poulton North: Mick Curran (Lab), Lilian Houghton (Cons), Scott Wilson (Lib-Dem).
Poulton South: Valerie Allen (Cons), Iona Gillis (Lib-Dem), John Kirkham (UKIP), Karen Mundry (Lab).
Rixton and Woolston: William Brinksman (Lab), Paul Campbell (Cons), Edgar Davies (Lib-Dem).
Westbrook: Peter Hamel (Lab), John Long (Lib-Dem), Stephen Pathmarajah (Cons).
Whittle Hall: Keith Gleave (Lib-Dem), Kelly Simcock (Lab).
Pete is a big hit
at new heart unit
by Gary Skentelbery
The Hit Man became the “Heart Man” when pop guru Pete Waterman officially opened a new ?2.9m heart scanning unit based at Warrington Hospital.
The suite provides vital heart scans for patients from Warrington and surrounding areas, who previously had to travel to Manchester or Liverpool for the tests.
The record producer who managed talents like Kylie Minogue and Rick Astley enjoyed a tour of the impressive new facility at Warrington Hospital alongside the Mayor and Mayoress Hans and Karen Mundry, Trust Chairman Allan Massey and Acting Chief Executive Ann Marr.
Guided by the Suite?s Nurse Manager Karen Wafer, they were shown the hi-tech Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory, chatting to staff and patients on the 10-bed day ward on the way.
As a thank you for opening the Suite, Pete was presented with a book on steam trains, in recognition of his well-known enthusiasm for railways.
He said: ?Back in the 1980s I used to help raise money for heart services at Warrington Hospital by holding discos at Mr Smiths nightclub. We had some great nights then and I remember them fondly.
?Now, 20 years on I am delighted to see this new facility that will help hundreds of people a year from across the region.
?Heart disease is still one of Britain?s biggest killers and modern units like this play a tremendous role in combating it. The equipment and medical techniques they use are very impressive.
?However the technology is nothing without the staff and they are tremendous too, so friendly and knowledgeable. It has been great to meet them, although I hope I never see them in their professional capacity!?
Allan Massey was delighted Pete agreed to officially open the North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust?s suite.
He said: ?We believe this is a fantastic facility, as do the patients who have used it so far and I am pleased Pete shares that view. He has a long-standing association as a friend of the Hospital and Trust and we were all delighted to welcome him on such a positive occasion.
?Having this Suite here is fantastic news for heart patients from Warrington, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley, who have benefited from faster diagnosis and treatment since it opened nine weeks early at the start of February.?
One such patient was Brian Forbes who said: ?The whole service here has been excellent from start to finish. The staff have been very friendly and explained everything that was going to happen, which really put me at my ease.
?Meeting Pete was the icing on the cake. He was great – it was the first time I?ve shaken hands with a multi-millionaire!?
At the Suite, patients undergo diagnostic coronary angiographies (DCA). Under the DCA process, dye is flushed through the heart and monitored by expert staff via a special scanner that takes moving x-ray pictures as the test is in progress.
By inspecting the pictures, cardiologists can identify any blockages of arteries, assess heart function and measure blood pressure, as well as deciding on the best course of treatment, with the angiography procedure being completed in a day.
The cost of the new facility was met by Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority and the Big Lottery Fund, which has provided the majority of the Suite?s equipment.
Urgent meeting over
pop festival controversy
by John Hendon
AN urgent meeting of parish council representatives in South Warrington has been called to discuss the controversial proposals to hold the Creamfields pop festival at Daresbury this year.
The meeting will be held after Walton Parish Council?s annual general meeting at the Parish Room, Old Chester Road, Higher Walton on Thursday April 6.
Warrington Borough Council?s chief executive, David Whitehead, will attend the meeting.
l site of the proposed festival will be within the borough of Halton and it is that council that will consider applications for licences, etc.
But South Warrington parishes such as Walton, Appleton and Stretton are concerned at the impact on local roads of thousands of fans arriving by car ? and at the potential for noise nuisance, etc.
Jan Souness, head of Warrington?s chief executive?s unit is liaising with Halton and the event organisers to that the implications of the event are fully understand by the borough, affected parish councils and ward councillors.
Appleton Parish Council has already expressed alarm over the festival after hearing reports of temporary road closures, etc.
Thousands of fans are expected to arrive in the area via the M56.
The popular festival has previously been held at Speke, Liverpool.
Clean Team are out
on the streets again
THE Warrington Clean Team shrugged off wind and rain to carry out their latest litter-pick.
Ten members and volunteers cleaned up the area around the Westbrook shopping centre, collecting about 20 bin-bags of rubbish.
Coun Trudi Wood, secretary of the Clean Team joked, “I always wondered what the Clean Team did when it rained; now I know – they get wet!”
She added; “It was good that so many turned out, even on such a foul day. The Clean Team goes from strength to strength.”
Once again the team was helped by the loan of grabbers from Warrington Borough Council environmental management department.
Coun Roy Smith, the treasurer, said: “We are grateful to the council for this loan. We are looking to raise funds so that we can buy more equipment of our own.”
The next litter-pick will be on Sunday May 7 at a place yet to be decided. The Clean Team can be contacted on 01925 790712 or at email@example.com
by business staff
WARRINGTON-based data management consultancy Qbase has expanded its workforce with two new recruits to its local team.
Anurag Bhargava, 36, joins the senior management team as operations director, bringing with him more than 15 years of global experience in software development and information systems. Anurag’s previous roles in the UK, include positions at Forbes UK and GB Group Plc. He has an MBA from Manchester Business School.
With a clear remit to oversee logistics, planning and efficient delivery of all client projects, Anurag heads up a team of 13 including data analysts, the development team and a quality manager.
The second new recruit, to a 24 strong team, is Mike Kelly, 28, who joins the company as marketing database analyst, from iSOFT plc.
These new recruits arrive soon after Qbase recently announced its expansion into North America, through the formation of Qbase LLC, which has offices in Dayton, Ohio and Washington DC Anita Johnstone, Qbase director said: “Over the last 12 months, Qbase has experienced steady growth due to our expansion of online customer connections and the broadening of other key services including marketing databases, customer acquisition programs and stakeholder intelligence.
?We have continued to build and strengthen our infrastructure, which is testament to our ongoing commitment in providing a consultancy service with service levels and expertise that is unrivalled anywhere in the UK.
“We are delighted to welcome Anurag and Mike to the team and they couldn’t join us at a more exciting time. Qbase continues to go from strength to strength and this has culminated in the recent launch of Qbase LLC in North America. It looks set to be one of our biggest years yet.”
Horse rider air-lifted
to hospital after fall
by John Hendon
A WOMAN was air-lifted to hospital after being injured in a riding accident near Warrington.
The North West Air Ambulance was first on the scene at an isolated farm and flew the woman to Wythenshawe Hospital in six minutes – a journey that would have taken at least half-an-hour by road.
A spokesman said the woman, in her late 40s, suffered injuries to her left elbow, ribs and right wrist when she was thrown from a horse.
Paramedics from the air ambulance administered pain relief and dressed her wounds at the scene.
The North West Air Ambulance is a registered charity and receives no mainstream funding, despite the ?1.3 million a year it takes to maintain the service.
in arson attack
by staff reporter
POLICE are investigating an arson attack on unoccupied farm premises in Radley Lane, Cinnamon Brow, Warrington.
Two caravans parked at the farm were totally destroyed.
Youths were believed responsible – and police are understood to have made at least one arrest.
Fire crews were unable to save the caravans which were well alight when they arrived on the scene.
A skip and two wheeled bins were also destroyed in arson attacks in various parts of the town centre during the night.