The men and women who
are dying for a drink
by David Skentelbery
WARRINGTON people suffer from more drink related illnesses than the average for the rest of the North West ? and more Warrington women die through drink than in the rest of the region.
The figures ? published by regional health bosses – are all the more worrying because the North West as a whole has a higher consumption of alcohol and suffers more drink related deaths than any other part of England.
Warrington?s binge drinking is slightly below the regional average at 22.9 per cent.
But admissions to hospital for alcohol specific conditions are higher than elsewhere in the North West. For men, the figure is 4.90 compared to 4.86 across the region and for women it is 2.94 compared to 2.49.
Again for conditions attributable to alcohol, for men it is 11.56, compared to 10.91 for the region and women, 6.88 compared to 6.00.
When reduced life expectancy due to alcohol is looked at, men in Warrington fare better than the region as a whole ? 8.25 months lost compared to 10.59.
But women lose 7.50 months compared to the North West average of 6.10.
Warrington has a better record than the rest of the region for crime attributable to drink and violent offences through drink.
But it has 0.22 sex offences attributable to drink compared with the regional average of 0.15.
Dr Rita Robertson, Warrington Primary Care Trust?s director of public health 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 numerous long-term health conditions like cancer, heart disease and obesity.
“This is why we, in partnership with a range of other agencies, recently launched the Warrington Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy. It outlines actions to be taken by a wide range of agencies working across health, law enforcement and education. It has four main themes: protecting young people; reducing crime and disorder; education, information and communication; and improving treatment and care.”
New developments in Warrington to tackle problems associated with alcohol misuse include:
The commissioning of a new alcohol treatment service for the town.
More advice, education and support for people to reduce the harm that can be caused by alcohol use.
The development of PhaZe, a young person’s substance misuse service which runs a dedicated treatment service for young people.
In addition, there is a tougher approach to tackle underage sales of alcohol. This includes a Trading Standards project which provides training to staff who sell alcohol in supermarkets and shops, combined with enforcement activities.
Advice and support is also being given to licensees on creating safer pubs, clubs and evening venues.
Students take plunge
STUDENTS from Warrington donned their swimming caps to raise money for the Wizard Boat, a fully accessible 40ft narrow boat for the disabled.
The 19-year-old boat, unique to the North West in it’s adaptation for wheelchair users, requires a ?12,000 re-fit so it can continue to offer scenic day trips along the Bridgewater Canal.
With this in mind, seven IT students from Warrington Collegiate and their tutor Sharon Lawrence, organised a sponsored swim for Warrington Disability Partnership, who received the boat as a donation last year.
Sharon said of the event: “We all swam a mile, which was our aim. It’s about 64 lengths of the pool each so we’ve trained hard and hope to raise as much money as possible towards the ?12,000 target. It’s a fantastic cause”.
John Menzies of the Warrington Disability Partnership said: “We’re really grateful to the Collegiate, the boat was a great donation to the Partnership, and we’re keen to see it back on the water as soon as possible”.
Sharon and the students covered the 8-mile distance at Total Fitness, who offered their pool free of charge to the enthusiastic swimmers.
Man attacked – for
wearing football top
by David Skentelbery
A WARRINGTON man was attacked and beaten up by two thugs ? apparently because he was wearing a Liverpool Football Club shirt.
The attack took place in an alleyway at the rear of shops in Concorde Place, off Poplars Avenue, Orford and left the 18-year-old victim requiring hospital treatment.
He suffered bruising to his chest and a fractured thumb.
Police said the victim was walking along the alleyway, which leads towards Mallard Close and Avocet Close, when he was approached by two men. One commented that he was a Manchester United fan and commented on the 18-year-old?s Liverpool top.
He then struck the man, who managed to stay on his feet and attempted to walk away. But he was then struck again and knocked to the ground. He was then dragged along the ground by his attacker, who only stopped when the second man pulled him off.
Police believe a number of members of the public were in the area at the time and may have seen the attack. Both offenders were about 18-19 and 6ft all and the one who carried out the attack was slim with blue eyes and brown hair. He was wearing a black top with stripes on the arms.
The second attacker was of medium build with a blue/grey tracksuit.
Council puts spotlight
by John Hendon
WARRINGTON Borough Council is holding an apprenticeship programme open day on Tuesday, May 23.
The event, between 10am and 6pm at the council?s personal development centre in Irwell Road, is open to youngsters aged between 16 and 18 looking to secure a job and qualifications.
Aim of the day is to put the spotlight on the council?s apprenticeship scheme which offers paid employment and training rolled into one. Apprentices are supported by fully qualified staff, receive regular assessments and reviews of progress and can attend training days.
There are opportunities in business administration, customer service, information communication technology, team leading and management.
Apprenticeship manager Alan Langston said: “Since we began this scheme, 300 apprentices have achieved National Vocational Qualifications in either administration, customer service or information communication technology. The scheme aims to enable apprentices to develop skills to use in the workplace, gain qualifications and help them with their career.
“Today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s managers – some of our apprentices have gone on to become high level managers within the council! If you are aged between 16 and 18 and are deciding what steps to take next – then come to the open day as there might be something that is just for you.”
Local employers are also welcome to come to the open day as they can also be involved in the scheme. Employers may have opportunities to employ young people through this scheme and may have vacancies that are ideal for apprentices.
The scheme was ranked in the top three per cent of national inspections in 2004 by the Adult Learning Inspectorate and has received national recognition and all Council Directorates endorse the scheme.
For more details about the scheme and open day ring Alan Langston on 01925 458109 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New restaurant would
by Lesley Wilkinson
A PROPOSED 160-seat restaurant on London Road, Stockton Heath would have an “overbearing” impact on the village according to the Parish Council.
Coun Wendy Emsley, chairman of the Planning, Finance and General Purposes Committee, said members had recommended that the application for 109 London Road be refused.
The application, by Always Available Ltd, was for change of use from offices to licensed restaurant incorporating a two-storey extension and outside patio. The committee’s objections have been sent to Warrington Borough Council.
The committee decide
d the development would add to existing parking problems in the residential roads around East Avenue.
Coun Elmsley said: “This would result in a further intensification of activity both during the day and late into the evening and therefore added detrimental impact on neighbour’s amenity and traffic in the area.”
The council heard the application included five parking spaces, which they considered inadequate. Members were also concerned there would be extra noise and disturbance for neighbours caused by delivery vehicles.
A committee report stated: “It is considered that the proposed two storey extension will have a massing and overbearing affect on East Avenue itself and nearby residents especially to the rear of the property.”
Members requested that Warrington’s Development Control Committee make a site visit and liase with the Traffic Management and Safety Committee, before making a decision.
Police search after
body found in river
by staff reporter
POLICE were called to the River Mersey at Warrington early today after a passerby reported seeing a body in the water.
An area close to Kingsway Bridge was cordoned off and a police underwater search team was called to the scene.
A police spokeswoman said the body was believed to be that of a man.
Police frogmen were searching the river in an attempt to recover the body.
No further details are yet available.
at the library
by staff reporter
PICKING up baskets full of books at bargain prices has never been easier in Warrington.
The Central Library and Museum is holding a book sale bonanza for the most ravenous of readers.
It will be the perfect opportunity to acquire withdrawn library books at knockdown prices to tempt all appetites.
Hungry bookworms may find books from their favourite authors or might be persuaded to try something new!
Prices will start from 10p and the sale will include hardbacks, paperbacks, textbooks, children’s books, CDs and videos.
The bargain sale open on Thursday June 1 and runs until Saturday June 3, 9am to 4pm.
Police to keep
watch on church
by staff reporter
POLICE Community Support Officers were urged to keep a watch over a Stockton Heath church after vandals have smashed the windows twice.
Coun Wendy Emsley told Stockton Heath Parish Council that St Thomas’ Church had been the target of late night vandals.
CSO Peter Crellin said: “There are gangs of youths from out of the area, coming to fight the youths in Stockton Heath. But the youths here are not interested in fighting, so the others target property, such as the church.”
He said the CSOs were aware of the problem and had increased patrols in the area at nights. Since then, he reported, there had been no further attacks.
PLANS for extra double-yellow lines on Grappenhall Road near Stockton Heath village centre, have been welcomed by a local Police Community Support Officer.
PCSO Peter Crellin told Stockton Heath Parish Council that the extra parking restriction would make it easier to issue parking tickets to people causing obstruction.