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18 The Chronicle, Thursday, 19th November, 2009.

Make jobless young people do community work, says MP

Young people who are fi t and well and not working should be forced to do community work, a local MP has told Parliament.

Ann Winterton said the number of young people in that situation had reached an “absolutely terrible” level when she was given fi gures in Parliament recently.

Lady Winterton had

asked a Parliamentary question on the numbers of people under the age of 24 who were not in education, employment or training.

Further education, skills and apprenticeships minister Kevin Brennan told her that in the second quarter of 2009, there were 959,000 people not in education, employment or training aged 16 to 24.

“This includes young mothers with children, those who are seriously ill or have pro

found disabilities, and young people who have a course or job that has not yet started, including those on a gap year,” he said.

Lady Winterton said: “Those are absolutely terrible fi gures and much higher than one would have expected, especially as so much taxpayers’ money has been focused on getting young people into education, employment or training.

“Young people who are fi t and well and not included in those three sectors should be encouraged — in fact, made — to work for the local community on

worthwhile projects.

“Our towns and cities are fi lthy: it is about time that everybody in the local community helped to put that sort of thing right.”

Mr Brennan said he could remember being unemployed in 1982 when he left university, and said that there were now “far more opportunities” provided by the Government for young people who are out of work than there ever were at that time.

He added: “The Conservatives have refused to commit to the education maintenance allowance or to match our commitments to job training and places, so those are hollow words.”

Dane Valley team is ‘the main reason why scout group thrives’

From left, Mr Eden, Mrs Millington, Mrs Broad, and Mr Millington.

At a recent meeting of the scout leaders and Group Executive Committee of Dane Valley Scout Group at Rope Walk, Congleton, the district commissioner for Scouts, Mark Eden, presented the Chief Scout’s Award for 25 years’ service to Heather Millington, assistant Cub Scout leader; Ken Broad, assistant Cub Scout leader; Andy Millington, skills instructor and stage director Congleton Scout and Guide Gang Show.

In presenting the awards and thanking the leaders for their continued service, Mr Eden said that the success of any Scout group depended on the commitment of its leaders and supporters and that was “well demonstrated” at Dane

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Valley Scout Group, where scouting for young people from six upwards “is offered to the highest standards”.

Neil Dutton, group Scout leader at Dane Valley, added his personal thanks to the trio for their long service to the young people.

He commented that the existing leadership team at Dane Valley Scout Group had given a total of 385 years’ service to the group “and this dedication was the main reason why Scouting at the group continues to thrive and expand”.

Mr Dutton gave an update on the building project planned to provide additional facilities for the group and announced that the Big Lottery Fund, Congleton Inclosure Trust and Congleton Town Council had recently confi rmed fi nancial support for the project meaning that building could now start in the new year although funds were still needed to complete the fi tting out of the new extension.

This extension will enable the group to expand it membership further and any one interested in joining Beavers, Cubs or Scouts at the group or offering to help as a leader or supporter should contact 07831 796273 or 01260 280237 for further information.

(Submitted photograph).


Happy not to be subjected to the ancient remedies

For the October meeting, Congleton Disabled Club invited local historian Lyndon Murgatroyd to give one of his interesting talks.

He talked about ancient forms of medicine and healing. Members were amazed at some of the incredible medicines and methods, many of which seemed to bring certain death.

The members were truly appreciative of the NHS after learning about some of the treatment they would have received in the past.

Mr Murgatroyd described modern medicines that had their origins in plants and herbs that we used hundreds of years ago.

The club is now selling raffl e tickets for its big winter draw and will be in town on Saturday and in West Heath Precinct on Friday 4th and Saturday, 5th December. Members also have tickets to sell. Prizes include £200-worth of vouchers from Somerfi eld, a case of wine and a bumper hamper.

Anyone wanting information about the club should contact Richard Thomson on 01260 272605.

Acclaimed musician returns

Johnson and Lenehan will perform on Saturday. The third concert in Holmes Chapel Music Society’s 2009/2010 season features a return visit by internationally acclaimed clarinettist Emma Johnson, who will be accompanied on the piano by John Lenehan.

her career went from strength to strength. She will play a mixed programme of works ranging from an arrangement by Gordon Jacob of a concertino by 18th century composer Tartini to a sonata by Leonard Bernstein.

Johnson was the winner of the BBC young musician of the year competition in 1984 from where

The concert starts at 8pm on Saturday in the Small Hall o Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre.

(Photograph: Joe Bangay)

Harvey tells church how he forgave Brighton bomber

Mr Thomas and Mr Jarvis.

More than 60 people gathered at Wellspring Methodist Church in Congleton recently to listen to a talk from Harvey Thomas CBE.

Mr Thomas was welcomed to Congleton by the Rev Paul Withington of St Peter’s Church.

His main theme was the work of African Enterprise, which he co-ordinates in Britain. He spoke of the evangelistic outreach, education about HIV/AIDS, social work, and reconciliation in African countries among rival tribes. He mentioned work done in Rwanda, and the present situation in Zimbabwe, where tribal differences have added to the problem.

As an international public relations consultant he said he had travelled many times to Africa, and recently has joined the African Enterprise Board as national co-ordinator.

He emphasised the need for reconciliation in his own experience. He worked for Margaret Thatcher during her years as

Prime Minister, and was just fi ve feet away from the bomb that exploded in Brighton. He escaped with minor injuries.

Some years later he was lecturing in the US on forgiveness and reconciliation when he realised he needed to forgive Brighton bomber Patrick Magee. He contacted him in prison, and after his release, invited him to his home.

He became a good friend o the family and they appeared together at a church meeting in London, chaired by Jeremy Vine, when people could put questions to them. He said that Christians had to take a lead in reconciliation, putting their own lives and church affairs right fi rst.

There was a warm response at the close of the meeting, and there was a retiring collection fo African Enterprise, as well as a sale of its books.

Further events at the Canal Street church have been organised by the Rev Keith Jarvis during the winter.

(Submitted photograph).

Police warn drivers over icy morning multi-tasking

Saving time on de-frosting by leaving the car engine running and then going back inside the house is an invitation to thieves, Cheshire Police warns.

Det Ch Insp Darren Hebden, strategic lead for vehicle crime said: “The arrival of frost-filled mornings normally brings a series of de-frosting thefts of cars which have been left with their engines running to defrost the windscreens.

“For years opportunist thieves have been seizing the opportunity to steal cars whenever they are left unattended for a few minutes — whether from

petrol station forecourts or outside schools and shops. Now they have caught on to the idea of nipping in while motorists try to multi task and save time in the mornings. As the driver pops into the house for a quick cup of tea or to grab a packed lunch, leaving the car engine running, the thief makes off with the vehicle, complete with keys.”

He added an extra warning: “When making an insurance claim in a situation where a driver has left a vehicle unattended insurers may argue that reasonable care has not been taken. This invalidates the claim.”

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