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Election candidates secure action to resolve shopping precinct “hell”


LONG-STANDING issues of anti-social behaviour and under investment at a shopping precinct in Woolston, which has created “hell” for tenants, looks set to be resolved.

Local Labour election candidates Chris Vobe, Andrew Hill and Pat Wright, who will contest next year’s local elections in Rixton and Woolston, have taken up the case on behalf of the local community.
They have been liaising with Warrington Borough Council, Cheshire Police and the management company Aston Rose to bring about a positive resolution.
Now, in a letter to Chris, Andrew and Pat, landlords Aston Rose have acknowledged the long-standing issues and have committed to working with the managing agent, tenants and the three candidates to resolve the problems.
As a direct result of their actions, they have received the following commitments:
-The police will continue regular patrols and monitoring of the area – thanks to Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane, each Council ward in Cheshire will soon have a dedicated, “named” PCSO and Police Constable for the area, which will allow business owners and residents direct points of contact in the event that anti-social incidents reoccur;
-Aston Rose have agreed to install a gate at the bottom of the stairs to prevent anti-social youths accessing the first floor. The design of the gate will be carefully considered so that it operates most effectively and does not diminish the appearance of the precinct – again, the Council and the three Labour candidates will be involved in these discussions;
-The Council will be initiating a programme of work to tackle litter in the area, in concert with the managing agent;
-The Council will also undertake work to tidy up the nearby grass verges, again with a view to improving the overall appearance of the precinct;
-Aston Rose will continue to work positively with the police and the Council to resolve other health and safety related issued on the site.

In a joint statement, Chris, Andrew and Pat said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been able to work constructively with the landlords, the Borough Council and the police to deliver a programme of works which will vastly improve
the upkeep and maintenance of the Dam Lane shopping precinct.
“This area has been blighted by a selfish minority for too long. The problems were being described as “hell” by tenants. Acts of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage are off-putting for members of the community, and impact significantly on local businesses. We were determined to get to the root of these issues and find a solution.
“By working with senior Council officers, our Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane, and Aston Rose, we believe we have done that. The precinct should no longer be a blot on the landscape. We were especially pleased to have obtained the commitment from Aston Rose that they will work with us to install a gate at the bottom of the stairs to prevent anti-social youths accessing the first floor in the evenings – this had fast become the most significant problem, and it will be a huge relief to business owners to hear that plans are now in place to address it.
“We were heartened that Aston Rose engaged with us and offered to work positively to tackle other health and safety-related issues on site. We believe this will include a programme of work to smarten up the appearance of the precinct, and external redecoration.
“This has been a very positive piece of work by everyone involved, and we are very pleased to have taken the lead locally on delivering these much-needed solutions.”
The Council will hold further discussions with Aston Rose in the coming weeks to monitor the progress of the planned works.


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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