Betting shop raiders
strike twice in minutes
by David Skentelbery
MASKED raiders carried out terrifying robberies at two Warrington betting shops within a matter of minutes of each other.
Two men, both wearing hooded tops and black scarves, grabbed cash from bookmakers in Lovely Lane and Orford Lane.
According to police there was only eight minutes between the two robberies ? barely time to drive from one shop to the other. But detectives believe the same two men were involved.
The first raid was at 8.45pm at Causeway Bookmakers in Lovely Lane when the men burst into the shop and tried to gain access to the back of the counter through a side entrance. But a member of staff threw a kettle of water over them.
One man leapt the counter and grabbed a quantity of cash from the tills before both men ran out.
The second raid was at 8.53pm at Bets Fred in Orford Lane. Two men of the same description burst in and one propped the door open with a chair. The other jumped the counter and demanded money from staff.
He grabbed money from the tills and the other man entered a rear staff room where he took money from a safe.
During the raid a man ? believed to be a member of the public ? appeared at the shop door but one of the raiders told him to ?Go away.?
In both raids, the offenders were described as being in their early 20s, about 5ft 6 inches tall and of medium or slim build. One was wearing a black hooded top and the other a similar hooded top in grey. Both had black scarves concealing their faces.
Police are anxious to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious at either shop ? in particular the man who appeared at the doorway of the shop in Orford Lane.
Canoeist to compete in
by David Skentelbery
A 17-year-old student from Culcheth, near Warrington, has been selected to represent Great Britain in the European and World Canoe Championships.
Jonathan Akimyemi, a student at Culcheth College, will compete in the European Championships in Nottingham and the World Championships in Slovenia at Under-19 level.
The European competition is from June 26 to July 2 while the World Championships are in July.
Jonathan is delighted to have been selected for the Great Britain squad.
But he has a longer term goal ? the Olympics ? and it was through watching the Olympics on television in 2000 that he became interested in canoeing.
He decided he would like to try and qualify for the Olympics and took up the sport, practising at Warrington?s Fordton Lesure Centre.
Canoe coach Mike Patrick saw his potential and took him to Staffordshire for the Canoe Slalom Championships where he had his first taste of whitewater.
When he competes in the European championships in Nottingham he will be up against the best canoeists from more than 20 countries.
Gay, black and Asian
themes in film festival
by Terry Johnson
FILMS with gay and lesbian and Black and Asian themes are being shown for the first time in the Warrington Film Festival.
Leisure and culture organisers faced an avalanche of 3,000-plus short films and animations for the borough?s second film festival, an increase of 40 per cent.
Said Neil Anderson, head of leisure, culture and heritage: “Entries have been reviewed and rated by officers of the borough council and the Festival Director to showcase a selection of the very best at the festival.”
“As of this year, the gay and lesbian genre and the Black and Asian theme will be viewed.”
The festival, which started last night (Friday) and continues today also features films made by young people (under-18), films made in Warrington, older film-makers(over-40) and films about romance, action, horror and sci-fi.
Festival aims are to celebrate and promote film-making and help develop future cinema audiences.
Candidate calls for cut
in councillors’ pay
by staff reporter
A CANDIDATE in next month?s council elections at Warrington is calling for a 20 per cent reduction in councillors? pay.
Mike Hughes ? who is standing for the Community Action Party (CAP) at Fairfield and Howley ? also wants a curb on council ?jollies? at public expense.
He says local people who live in local communities are best motivated and able to represent those communities without giving higher priority to a party whip ? and he points out he is the only candidate in his ward who lives in the ward.
Mr Hughes was formerly a long-standing Labour councillor and was leader of the council until resigning after being ?de-selected? by regional party chiefs. He later resigned from the Labour Party.
He has since stood as an independent, in June 2004, when he polled 561 votes ? and as a CAP candidate in last year?s Parliamentary election when he polled 573 votes.
The CAP is still trying to establish a party base in Warrington. But in Wigan it has attracted a big following ? probably mainly from disillusioned Labour supporters ? and has become the main opposition group on the borough council.
Mr Hughes pledged to champion the people of Fairfield and Howley if elected.
He said he was particularly concerned at the uncontrolled development which was taking place in the area ? and the fact that the borough council would not recognise the ward forum, of which he is chairman.
?I believe this has been done purely to spite me,? he said.
Mr Hughes will be campaigning for more police on the streets to deter violence, yobbery and vandalism and more council and housing association homes.
He will press for more Government support for councils to end above-inflation council tax increases.
?We believe local people should have a meaningful say on controlling local services and on decisions that directly affect them.?
Two hurt in
by John Hendon
A SMALL boy and an elderly man were taken to hospital at Warrington early today after two saloon cars collided on the southbound carriageway of the M6.
The accident, near the Junction 22 Winwick Link, blocked all three lanes of the motorway for about 15 minutes.
Fire crews helped make vehicles safe and clear wreckage from the carriageway and the injured were taken to hospital by ambulance.
It is not believed their injuries are life threatening.
News in brief
WINNING numbers in the weekly lottery run by the League of Friends of Warrington Hospital were 1, 6, 12 and 14. One winner picked up the ?103 jackpot and the ?254 consolation prize went to JW Slater. Next week’s jackspot is likely to be about ?200.
WARRINGTON Borough Council is proposing to make an order to create a disabled person’s parking place in Laira Street. Objections must be received by the council’s legal department by April 27.
A SUMMER playscheme is to be held at St Thomas’s Church Hall, Stockton Heath, Warrington from July 25 to August 12. The theme will be “Fit for Play.”.
A PLANNING inspector has rejected an appeal against the decision of Warrington Borough Council to refuse planning consent for a single-storey extension at Dovecote Barn, Pool Lane, Lymm.