Hale Independent Issue 162

FEBRUARY 2024 2 Handover: School pupils received the laptops from an L&Q representative No part of this publicationmay be used or reproduced without the express permission of the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure that the articles and advertisements that are carried are authentic, however the publisher accepts no responsibility for claims made. © Investors in Publishing Ltd 2024. This newspaper is publishedmonthly by Investors in Publishing, Publishing House, 3 Bridgebank Industrial Estate,Taylor Street, Horwich, Bolton BL6 7PD. 01204 478812 EDITOR Ged Henderson ged@hendersonnewsandmedia.com CONTACT JayneMeadowcroft 01204 478812 07703 045189 jayne@independentnewspapers.co.uk ADVERTISING Robin Atkins 07767 840274 robin@cheshireindependent.co.uk CONTACT US l Continued from page one “We are excited to continue the revitalisation of this part of Altrincham as we get set to launch our Foundation build- ing in the spring. “It will further enhance this part of the town centre with new hospitality and workspace bringing a whole new audience to the neighbourhood.” He added: “We can’t wait to share the news of some more exciting arrivals.” Liz Patel, Trafford Council’s executive member for econ- omy and regeneration, said: “Altrincham offers excellent shopping and leisure facilities and it is fantastic news that visitor numbers to the area are growing. “The Stamford Quarter is a real success story and we are proud to be working with our partners to make this happen. “Well done to everyone involved in this project – here is to more success for our town centres in 2024.” Work to improve the public realm of the area have also got underway. The aim is to improve accessibility, provide space for community activity and encourage visitors to spend time in a more welcom- ing environment. Completion of the work is expected in July. All the busi- nesses in the area will remain open throughout. A JOBS club scheme launched to help people in Sale and Timperley find employment is proving to be a success. Clubs were launched across Trafford last September, supporting people looking for work, apprenticeships, training and volunteer- ing opportunities. Seven have been set up so far and they have helped 111 people so far, providing a range of support including searching for jobs, CV writ- ing, filling out applications and preparing for interviews. The clubs run on a weekly basis. The Bromwood Commu- nity Centre club on Mainwood Road in Timperley is open on Mondays from 1pm-3pm. Sale West Community Cen- tre’s club on Newbury Avenue is open on Wednesdays from 10am-noon. And the Sale Library club a Waterside can be accessed on Thursdays from 1pm-3pm. Other clubs operate in Par- tington, Old Trafford and Urmston. Liz Patel, Trafford Council’s executive member for economy and regeneration, said: “We are delighted with the work of the job clubs – it is a fabulous initiative. The clubs work with the help of volunteers and any- one interested in helping can contact Trafford Council. GREATER Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has set out a proposal to freeze the mayor’s council tax precept for 2024/25 to ease ongoing cost-of-liv- ing pressures. However, the sections of the council tax which fund police and fire services would be increased under the plans. The mayor says that if these are agreed there will be more frontline police officers and more fire engines on Greater Manchester’s streets in the coming year. Final recommendations across all budgets will be considered for approval by Greater Manchester’s Com- bined Authority on February 9. The mayor’s precept that Mr Burnham is proposing stays at the same level is used to fund Greater Man- chester-wide services he is responsible for. The proposed rise in the police element of the council tax bill would see an increase of £10.11 for a Band B property. The majority of proper- ties in Greater Manchester fall within Band A and B. The police precept for Band B homes would rise from £189.23 to £199.34. The mayor’s office says the proposed rise, along with central government grants, will allow Greater Manches- ter Police (GMP) to further improve response times, retain investment in neigh- bourhood policing and invest in a further 30 officers. The proposed fire precept rise, from £59.27 to £63.16 for a Band B property, will fund a new fire engine for the service. There will also be an investment of up to £1million in prevention and protection work across Greater Man- chester to reduce fire and rescue incidents. A public consultation on the proposals is currently underway. The final precept is scrutinised by the Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel which is made up of councillors from each of the 10 local councils, includ- ing Trafford. Mr Burnham said: “I am proposing to freeze the mayor’s precept for the com- ing financial year, recognising people are still under pres- sure with the cost of living. We need to think very care- fully before we ask people for more money. “I am really proud of the work of our emergency services in Greater Man- chester, but they need more support to help them continue to improve. “It is unfortunate that we haven’t received the funding package we needed from cen- tral government which doesn’t fully cover inflation. This has left me with no choice but to propose an increase to the Police and Fire precepts.” PRIME Minister Rishi Sunakmet members of the public during a visit to the Altrincham Food Market. He visited the town in early January as part of a tour of Greater Manchester, at the start of what is a general election year. The PM was accompanied for this leg of the tour by Altrincham and Sale West MP Sir Graham Brady, who is stepping down at the elec- tion, and the constituency’s prospective Conservative candidate Oliver Carroll. During his visit he also spoke to market traders and to local Conservative party members. PUPILS at a Trafford school are improving their digital confidence thanks to a donation of 10 laptops. The equipment has been given to Broadoak High School in Partington as part of an initiative by housing association L&Q and Traf- ford Council. Headteacher John Knowles said: “We would like to thank L&Q and Trafford Council for this generous donation. “Our children now have access to their own computer equipment and this will help them to build secure foundations and confidence in our ever-growing digi- tal world. “This kind donation will help children who are revising for their GCSEs from home.” Danny Sutherland, work- place technologies analyst at L&Q, said: “Being safe and confident online is increas- ingly essential in education and the workplace, so we’re glad to be doing what we can to support the pupils’ digital education as part of our on-going investment into the lives of young people in our communities.” The council has also set up a laptop lending scheme – which includes tablets - at its libraries to enable people who do not have their own devices to get online. All the borough’s libraries are now Databanks which means people struggling to stay connected on-the-go can collect a free SIM card provid- ing a free six-month package of data, texts and calls. A number of people have also been gifted a device to help them get online as part of the scheme involv- ing L&Q. Donation helps school get online Mayor proposes police and fire council tax hikes PEOPLE across Altrin- cham, Sale and Hale are being urged not to be tempted by loan sharks as they count the cost of an expensive Christ- mas period. A campaign has been launched in Trafford to help prevent people from borrow- ing from illegal money lend- ers as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite following the big festive spend. People can often be targeted by loan sharks – particularly in January – as they take advantage of those looking for a way out of their New Year financial troubles. Loan sharks charge very high rates of interest and often threaten violence or take away credit cards and valuables when they are col- lecting money. Also, loan sharks are oper- ating illegally and are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Those requiring help are urged not to accept loans from illegal lenders but to search the FCA Financial Services register to check if the lender is legal. They can also join a credit union such as Manchester Credit Union as a safer alternative. Tony Quigley, head of the England Illegal Money Lend- ing Team, said: “Illegal lend- ers might initially appear to be your friend, offering an easy way out of a difficult time, but they go on to make life a mis- ery for their borrowers. “Often people are subject to threats, intimidation and even violence when they struggle to repay, and they can end up paying back thou- sands of pounds more than they borrowed. “We will continue to work with our partners across Eng- land to do whatever we can to rid our communities of these ruthless criminals.” If you think you have bor- rowed from a loan shark, you can contact the Illegal Money Lending Team’s 24/7 confiden- tial hotline on 0300 555 2222. Also, the Money Advice Ser- vice is a free, independent ser- vice and its website has lots of useful information about borrowing and managing your money. PM’s trip to the market Jobs club is a hit Beware the loan sharks Mayor: Andy Burnham Tempted: But loan sharks mean trouble (Photo posed by model)