Wolves get another
4 years to repay loan
by David Skentelbery
WARRINGTON Wolves Rugby League Club have been given another four years to pay back the ?250,000 loan they received from the borough council at the time the new Halliwell Jones stadium was built.
The club will not actually have to repay the money – the loan will be repaid by giving the council discounts on the use of facilities already being used by the authority.
Originally the loan and accrued interest was due to have been repaid on September 6 this year.
The arrangement is subject to the council drawing up a loan variation agreement with the club.
Members of the council’s executive board approved the move behind closed doors.
They were told there were three options – writing off the loan and interest in full or part, seeking full repayment on September 6 or extending the repayment date.
A write-off was not an option because the council had a responsibility to protect investments it had made using public money.
Seeking full repayment on September 6 was not considered to be in the council’s interests as a shareholder in the club.
The loan variation was considered the preferred option because the club had a range of facilities currently used by the council and future facilities which it could offer to the council at a discount which, if agreed as part of a loans repayment scheduled between both parties, could be used to repay the loans and interest by 2010.
Wolves borrowed the money some four years ago at a time when the club was struggling financially as a result of the need to move to a new stadium to conform to Super League requirements.
The borough council also bought the former Wilderspool Stadium from the club for ?1 million and this is now believed to be worth in the region of ?3 million although no plans have been announced for the site.
Currently Wilderspool is being used by Warrington Wizards amateur RL Club – the former Woolston Rovers.
TA soldier wins
Iraq service medal
by staff reporter
NORTH West TA soldiers who have served in Iraq were presented with medals by the Duke of Westminister – highest ranking Territorial Army officer in the British Army.
Twenty four soldiers received the award – including Tony Hurst, from Lowton, near Warrington.
Warrant Officer Class Two Hurst, 47, a father-of-one is normally a mechanic employed by Wigan Borough Council. He was attached to 1st Battalion, the Parachute Regiment during the war-fighting phase of the operation in 2003.
He said: “It was an eye-opener. The environment was hard to work in. We had a few dust-storms, which would just clog everything up.”
WO2 Hurst was also presented with the Volunteer Reserve Services Medal (VRSM), recognising more than 10 years’ service in the TA.
Tag rugby kids
brave the weather
by Mark Hemmings
RUGBY crazy school children from across Warrington braved the wet weather and invaded the playing fields of Bank Park in the Mayor Hans Mundry?s ?Tag Festival?.
The afternoon was the culmination of a five-week coaching stint undertaken by the Warrington Wolves Foundation Coaching Team who have been working with 150 children from primary schools in the Grappenhall and Lymm area.
“Schools from all over Warrington take part in similar Tag Festivals during the course of the year, learning the core skills of Rugby League. These festivals are run each year alongside the Mayor’s office to help forge the links between the Mayor and the town’s schools” said John Wilkinson, primary link co-ordinator for Warrington Wolves.
Mr Wilkinson said: “We really appreciate being given permission by the Mayor to use the grounds of the Town Hall to host the Tag Festival. Its great to see the children with smiles on their faces, really enjoying the game despite the rain!”
“These awards are not given to the best players but are given in recognition of the amount of fun they’ve had during the festival” explained Mr Wilkinson.
Taking home the Mayor’s Tag Festival, Best Fair Play Award was, Statham Primary, Lymm, who were presented with their award on the steps of the Town Hall by Coun Mundry.
One parent said: “Thirty six years on from the last time a cup was raised on the steps of the Town Hall, following Warrington’s Challenge Cup win, Statham Primary have shown how fair play yet again wins prizes.”
Youngsters to compete
in games competition
by Mark Hemmings
A TEAM of eight youngsters from Warrington is to compete in an interactive games competition against more than 270 teams from across the country.
The youngsters, from William Beamont High School, Foxwood School and Green Lane School will take part in the Kielder Challenge.
Supported by HSBC Education Trust and managed by the leading outdoor access charity, Fieldfare Trust – The Kielder Challenge is a national competition for teams of 13 to 16-year-olds, who live with various physical disabilities.
Aiming to integrate youngsters into an outdoor environment, the teams will take part in a daylong heat at Haigh Hall, Wigan on April 27 and May 11 where they will compete in a series of interactive games promoting teamwork and integration between the team members.
The games will remain a secret until the heat itself but games in the past have included completing giant jigsaw puzzles and negotiating rope mazes.
Dame Mary Richardson, chief executive of HSBC Education Trust, said: “The Kielder Challenge successfully combines some of our most important objectives in supporting educational causes.
“It gives young people with and without disabilities the chance to compete on equal terms and promotes teamwork, leadership skills and a positive attitude. This is essential if a child is to develop self confidence, self esteem and achievement outside the classroom.”
The top teams from the regional heats will win a place in the grand final, which is taking place in Kielder Forest, Northumberland between September, 20-24.
back on the streets
by David Skentelbery
PARKING wardens will be patrolling the streets of Warrington again from February next year, Town Hall chiefs have decided.
It will bring to an end the existing situation under which motorists are able to park on yellow lines in various parts of the borough in the knowledge they are unlikely to be “booked.”
The wardens, who will start work at midnight on February 4, will be employed not by the police but by the borough council.
Council chiefs agreed in June last year to seek Department of Transport approval for an order allowing them to take over responsibility for enforcement of parking regulations across the borough.
Since then, tenders have been prepared and a list of six companies produced to bid for the contract to enforce parking regulations.
Consultations has taken place with more than 640 separate stakeholders and talks have also taken place about on-street pay and display parking.
Parking wardens have largely disappeared from Warrington’s streets since the police decided they could no longer enforce the regulations.
At one time it was widely known that Warrington had only one parking warden.
More recently, Police Community Support Officers have been authorised to do the work, but because of other duties do not seem to have been particularly active in this respect.
But when the new wardens arrive, it will spell the end of the “honeymoon” period for local motorists.
Revamped community centre
BUCKETS of paint and plenty of imagination were needed at Warrington’s Cinnamon Brow Farm community centre as members of Cheshire Fire Service Princes Trust Team set to work and successfully completed a community improvement project in just 10 days!
Working in partnership with young people from across the town, the team raised ?600 for the project, which involved painting the walls in
the Mums and Tots room and the youth club. New carpets were also laid.
Cath Lythgoe, assistant project manager said: “Young people are regularly in the news for all of the wrong sorts of things. We are glad to be part of something completely opposite to that with the work that we do.”
Coun Mick Curran accompanied by the Mayor and Mayoress of Warrington, Coun Hans Mundry and Coun Karen Mundry were present at the official opening of the refurbishment.
The Mayor said, “I have been proud to see the results of many of the projects undertaken in Warrington by the Princes Trust and this is another one.”