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Congleton news: 20-22 & 27-29|What’s on: 17-19 | Letters 30-35 |Funerals: 36 Wine & Dine Tough Muthas

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Children spotted on live tracks by railway station

Fears for the safety of children have arisen after witnesses said they had been playing on live train tracks at Congleton station.

Neighbours said they saw three youngsters running across the lines at the station on Sunday afternoon, around the time that a high-speed train was passing through.

David Green, who lives nearby on Thames Close, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. There were three of them and they were at both ends of the platform. Two younger children aged about seven or eight and a girl who looked about 12. They started at the Stoke end and then went to the

Macclesfi eld end.

“My concern was for the safety of people. A Pendolino went through yesterday around the time they were there. They go at 100mph. And what if that driver were to kill a kid? That’s what I am concerned about; the well-being of the children and the safety of the driver.”

• —Turn to page 20

Council tradition of ‘stand to speak’ could be scrapped

Congleton’s Joe Hearson, artistic director of the Symphonia Verbum Orchestra, is promoting his own classical music concert at Stoke’s Victoria Hall next month. For the full story, turn to page 11. (“Chronicle” photo. 4222/19).

Former town mayors have advised that councillors should stand where possible to “retain respect”, despite calls for the tradition to be abolished.

A vote is expected to be taken tonight (Thursday) at a meeting of Congleton Town Council on the tradition of standing while speaking. Councillors will be asked

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T: 01260 290600 whether they support or are against a proposal to allow members to choose whether they are standing or seated when addressing the mayor; currently, members must stand to speak.

Previous mayors have been consulted prior to tonight’s meeting and have said that councillors should first “take the opportunity to understand the history” of the tradition before trying to make changes.

The vote follows a proposal raised by Independent Coun Mark Rogan last month. He argued that councillors could feel “humiliated, upset and angry” at having to stand to speak,

and that there were many reasons why members may not be able to stand, including due to disability.

Standing Order 31 of the council’s constitution says that members must stand to speak unless they are permitted to sit on account of infirmity. Coun Rogan has said that this could contravene the Equality Act 2010.

Part of Coun Rogan’s proposal was also to remove the raised platform where the mayor, chief officer and mayor’s chaplain sit, behind the 350-year-old town mace,

• —Turn to page 21

Travel shop reopening

The former Congleton branch of Thomas Cook will reopen after the collapsed company was bought by Hays Travel.

The branch, on Bridge Street, was one of hundreds that closed across the country last month after the travel giant’s demise.

It is not clear at this stage how many jobs will be created at the premises when it reopens or whether the Thomas Cook staff who worked there will be re-employed by Hays Travel.

The company has said it would be buying 555 former Thomas Cook travel agencies across the country.

A spokesperson for the Sunderland-based Hays Travel said: “Both branches of Congleton and Sandbach are on our books and will be Hays Travel shops when they re-open and they will be opening over the coming weeks.”

We have the largest stock of Winter Tyres and Heavy Duty Batteries in the area.

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