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THURSDAY, 8th DECEMBER, 2011.
Matt's all folks! Readers'ViewsPages32-35 Page 26
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Pushy charity ‘chuggers’ hit town centre
By Chris Young Congleton is being targeted by charity chuggers in the run-up to Christmas because they see the town as “rich pickings”.
The paid charity workers ask passers-by to sign up to making direct debit donations, and have become a regular fixture on Bridge Street.
Paul Bates, chairman of the Congleton Business Association, said the chuggers harmed trade as shoppers rushed past shops to avoid them.
The charity workers, employed by agencies, collect for Amnesty International, Shelter, Save the Children and other groups.
Mr Bates said: “Having had many complaints from association members I had occasion to witness two chuggers working Congleton last week.
“They have a modus operandi of blocking the path of a passer-by by stretching out their hands and asking to ‘borrow some of their time.’
“Once engaging the people in conversation they try to get them to sign up to a direct debit.”
He said the way one pair operated was aggressive and intrusive and added: “We have had teams of up to 10 chuggers operating in town at one time as they see Congleton as rich pickings.
“I anticipate that during the festive season they will be especially active around our paved areas and cash points.
“Each shop in the town reduces its takings during the day as shoppers avoid contact with the chuggers.
“The only answer is to make the town less lucrative to them.”
Emma Ashmore, who works at Sweet Pea flower shop on Bridge Street, said she had been particularly affected by the chuggers as much of their stock was displayed on the street.
She said: “I have no issue with people who collect with charity boxes and who have to pay for a licence, but these don’t pay.
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Hi-ho! Hi-ho! It’s off to school we go. Key stage one pupils at The Quinta Primary School are this week performing their own take on the Snow White fairytale. Playing the “Seven other dwarves” are, from left, William Spender, Mathew Hart, Leo Frodsham, Hayden Cooke-Bayley, Bobby Eckersley, Kim Trigger and Sophie Anderson. For the story and more pictures, turn to page 27. (“Chronicle” photo. 4927d/11).
‘Despicable’ theft of disabled child’s pram
Papas pram was taken between 10am and 11.30am the next day. Mrs Carey is sure it was taken while they were out on the Friday, but did not notice it was missing until the next morning.
She told the “Chronicle”: “We didn’t even think about it until the next day. We were thinking we must have moved it somewhere, but someone had come down the driveway and pinched it.
Mrs Carey said: “I would like the people who pinched it to know that they have stolen it from a disabled three-year-old. It is despicable. • —Turn to back page.
Mrs Carey and Rebecca. (“Chronicle” photo. 4944/11).
The Congleton mother of a disabled three-year-old has branded the thieves who stole her daughter’s pram as “despicable”.
On Friday Pamela Carey took her daughter Rebecca, who has cerebral palsy, to a hydrotherapy session. She said that while they were out the pram was stolen from the porch of the Park Lane home.
Rebecca’s parents rely on it to take her out as she cannot walk. They are on a waiting list for a medically adapted pushchair, but that could take up to nine months. They will have to replace the pram in the meantime.
Police believe the two-tone light and dark blue Mamas and
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