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S I T TI BI
Registered at the Post Office as a Newspaper Est. 1893
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THURSDAY, 9th SEPTEMBER, 2010.
INSIDE: OUR COMPREHENSIVE PROPERTY GUIDE FEATURING LOCAL ESTATE AGENTS
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Claire's a Fringe favourite Readers'ViewsPages22-26 Page 8
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Cost-cutting cops reject plea to open station for longer
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By Chris Young Congleton’s police station will not stay open for longer to the public, in spite of a request from town councillors.
They had written to Cheshire Police stating that Congleton was not getting the same level of service as Crewe or Macclesfield.
Congleton’s station has similar opening hours to a shop, from 9am to 5pm, and is closed on Mondays and Sundays: Crewe and Macclesfield’s are open from 8am to 8pm on Monday to Saturday and 9am to 6pm on Sunday.
When Congleton’s station is closed, members of the public are asked to either ring a neighbourhood policing helpline or use a phone outside the station linked to
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TowncouncillorssaidCongleton’s size warranted longer opening times, and they asked for the station to be manned from 8am to 10pm.
At Thursday’s meeting of the council’s Communities and EnvironmentCommittee,councillors were told it would cost too much to grant their wish.
A letter from Chief Supt Michael Garrihy read: “Although I appreciate your request that the policy be reviewed, unfortunately Cheshire Constabulary, like all public services, is faced with severe and increasing budgetary pressures.
“We have to look rigorously at every aspect of policing to find sufficient savings whilst still delivering as high a level of service to the public as possible.
“It is therefore not possible at this time to increase the number of hours that the Congleton enquiry desk is open.
“WhileIappreciateyourconcerns, the constabulary must make these difficult decisions based on our duty to respond to the whole range of public priorities with a diminishing budget.”
He said Crewe and Macclesfield stations were open longer because officers there collated road accident reports and registered sex offenders.
Coun Denis Murphy said: “I know Crewe and Macclesfield are bigger towns and their police stations have to be manned but I feel that Congleton is a big enough town with enough problems to warrant a regular presence in the police station.
“I think we are being short changed in Congleton.”
Coun Sally Ann Holland added: “It does seem we get the short shrift every time.”
However, Coun Murphy said the neighbourhood policing help desk still offered a good service: “I always get an answer within the 24 hours. You always get a very personal service from the neighbourhood policing unit.”
The committee voted to write back to the police, asking again for the opening hours to be increased.
Artist who rivals Lowry strikes it rich at age of 90
A90-year-old Congleton artist whose works were once turned down by London galleries is now becoming as famous and soughtafter as Lowry.
An exhibition opens next week of works by William Turner and on display will be paintings that have already beensoldforaround£35,000, with two going to collectors from Malaysia.
Mr Turner, of Giantswood Lane, who has lived in Congleton for over 16 years, said he knew his works would one day findworldwide appeal.
The month-long exhibition of 90 paintings opens onThursday at Clark Art Gallery in Hale, Altrincham and it coincides with the launch of a book about his work.
Both gallery owner Bill Clarke andMrTurner predicted that it would not be long before one of his paintings would sell for £100,000.
Mr Turner was brought up in Gorton in Manchester and much of work was based on industrial scenes, although he also painted portraits and figures.
His mother died when he was five and his father brought him up with his younger sister.
Not academically minded, he left school at 14, taking up a succession of jobs until he was called up. He returned to Manchester after he was de-mobbed and worked for many years as a ‘picture faker’, a job that involved touching upblack andwhite photographs with an airbrush.
• —Turn to back page.
Theo Miller dressed for action as visitors of all ages at Congleton’s Fire Station open day on Saturday had the chance to watch scenarios of the real life situations that fire officers face. For more pictures, turn to page 29. (“Chronicle” photo. 3608h/10).
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