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THURSDAY, 3rd MAY, 2012.
Cooking up a storm Readers'ViewsPages32-35 Page 7
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Prose and a pint
Judge praises the heroes who took on robbers
The four men who descended on Congleton town centre on 25th November and robbed Browns jeweller shop in broad daylight have been jailed.
At Chester Crown Court on Monday, Jason Yendall, (26), of Langworthy Road, Salford, and Gary Parkinson, (26), of no fixed abode, were given five-year sentences for robbery.
Nathan Boyle, (23), of no fixed abode, was given a four-year sentence for his part in the robbery, as well as a one-year sentence for a separate robbery charge, in which he threw 72-year-old Beryl Brindley out of her car and stole it to secure the group’s getaway.
Garet Hayes, (28), of Chorlton Road, Old Trafford, was given a fouryear sentence for robbery. The recorder of Chester Judge Elgan Edwards acknowledged Hayes’ shorter sentence in respect to his lesser role in the robbery, in which he was primarily a getaway driver.
Sentencing, Judge Edwards said: “You all set out from the Manchester area to commit this offence away from your home ground. Having obtained the stolen vehicle (a green Seat Altea), you then proceeded to terrorise
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The four men had previously pleaded guilty to the charges at the court on 2nd April. After being sentenced on Monday, jeering could be heard from among the group as they were led away.
David Jones, prosecuting, told the court how the four men arrived at Congleton town centre in the stolen Seat Altea at around 12.25pm. Displaying false number plates, the car had been stolen from Salford four days previously on 21st November. • —Turn to back page.
Teacher Claire Smith abseils down the side of Eaton Bank School, on Jackson Road, Congleton on Tuesday, to raise funds for Congleton charity Schools for Gambia. For the full story turn to page 12. (“Chronicle” photo. 1839a/12).
Diocese plans to appeal faith school travel cuts
Plans to cut subsidies for children travelling to faith schools are not cruel, but a necessity, the leader of Cheshire East Council has told objectors.
Coun Wesley Fitzgerald was speaking after the council’s Cabinet voted to end the subsidies, currently given to 600 pupils, starting in September.
The move has infuriated faith schools and parents.
But at Monday’s Cabinet meeting in Westfields, objectors were told the existing system was unfair and cost the council money it did not have.
The council needs to cut £1.5m from its transport budget by 2015. Slashing travel subsidies for faith schools children would save £230,000 this year.
This would be given back to schools to help with other alternative travel arrangements.
One of the objectors, Alex Scott, the director of schools at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury, said the diocese would appeal any decision to make cuts, and had not ruled out going to the local government Ombudsman — who investigates council decisions.
The Cabinet ignored a report by Coun Louise Brown that suggested the council could make efficiency savings rather than cuts to services.
During the meeting’s public speaking session, Mr Scott said: “Parents have already accepted school places on the basis of your existing school transport policy.
“It is unrealistic for you to say these cuts will have no undesirable effect on pupils. I know parents whose transport costs will go up from £315 to £1,800 because of this. I think this policy could lead to charges of maladministration causing injustice. I am sure parents will take action against the council, and the Diocese will be referring it to the local government Ombudsman.”
Rachel White, who lives in Alsager and whose children attend St Thomas More catholic High School in Crewe, said parents had little information about the cuts. She said: “I was not aware of any attempt to discuss these proposals with parents. I have not been approached by this myself.”
But Coun Andrew Kolker hit back at claims the authority hadn’t consulted with parents. • —Turn to page 27.
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