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£3.50 a day car parking charge threat is lifted By Chris Young

Flipping brilliant time for pupils

The £3.50 a day parking charge threat for Congleton has been lifted and the report suggesting it dismissed as “a waste of time.”

Town representatives attended Tuesday’s Cheshire East Council Environment and Prosperity Scrutiny Committee meeting to spell out the “disastrous” effect of the tariff. They were robustly backed by councillors not connected with Congleton.

The report, written by arking officer Paul Burns, detailed how the different charging systems could be harmonised throughout the borough. Congleton’s was currently the cheapest.

Charges should rise steeply after four hours to discourage all day parking and free up spaces for shoppers and in Congleton it could cost £3.50 a day, the report suggested.

Before the debate started, Paul Bates, chairman of Congleton Business Association, said Congleton was only just recovering from charges being introduced in 2010.

He said the town was split between Barn Road retail park, where parking was free, and the town centre. He added: “Any price increase would not only hit independent trade but drive business to the free car parking and have an adverse effect on employment.”

Work to extend the Bridestones Centre would take out Princess Street car park, and Mr Bates added: “Any more reasons not to come into Congleton such as increased car parking prices would be disastrous for the local economy, stretched by the biggest recession in our time.”

Town councillor John Saville Crowther said: “It is strongly believed that any proposed change to car parking scale charges will undoubtedly put pressure on the existing fragile retailer economy of Congleton and will cause more businesses to cease to trade. • —Turn to back page.

Fried fun didn’t fall flat at Marlfields Primary School, Congleton, on Shrove Tuesday.

Reception class teacher Liz Gowler said the pancake-loving pupils made chefs hats and

Shoppers’ machete shock: two in court


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Two Polish men involved in a machete scare at West Heath Shopping Centre, Congleton, appeared before South Cheshire magistrates on Tuesday.

The Crewe court heard that Congleton neighbourhood policing unit officers raced to the scene when they received several calls that someone had been seen with a machete outside Aldi on Sandbach Road on 28th January.

Officers arrested two men, Michal Rybski for possession of the knife and Pawel Habrat, of Flat 2, Gresty Road, Crewe, who was with him.

Rybski, (25), of 30, Chambers Street, Crewe, pleaded guilty to possession of the machete and to causing distress to members of the public.

Rybski denied waving the machete around and said he had found the 19-inch blade in a bush.

He did, however, admit to having the knife on his person and to intimidating the witnesses, although not deliberately.

Both defence and prosecution agreed that to assist them in their understanding of the chronology of events, the evidence from a fourth witness, thought to be not vital by the police, should be sought. The trial was adjourned till Tuesday, 6th March.

Habrat, (22), was already wanted by police for two assaults.

His defence solicitor told the court that he did not know Rybski, but that they were both drunk and had met on the bus from Crewe to Macclesfield.

They decided to get more booze from Aldi, but “failed to pay for it”.

Defence solicitor for Habrat, Tim Edgeley, said: “He was on his way to Macclesfield to see his sister. He met Rybski on the bus; he had not met him before this. Both of the men were ‘in drink’.”

“They decided to get more alcohol from Aldi. They failed to pay for it and he was arrested, not for this offence in fact.”

Habrat spent about 16 hours sobering up in custody, during which time officers found the stolen vodka bottle, worth £11.99 in his rucksack. • —Turn to back page.

pancakes, which they shared with a friend, and “really enjoyed flipping them outside”.

Pictured from left, Joshua Jackson, Harry Jackson, Jessica Yates, Elliot Moss and Isobel


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