Friday 25 March 2011
Preston’s only newspaper
Back to back wins reignite survival hopes Last gasp Ellington winner keeps PNE’s dreams alive
Relegation run-in: We look at season’s climax Andrew Smith predicts North End’s remaining nine results
Giant lizard lands in Moor Park News: page three
Scientists: ‘Red meat increases cancer risk’ Features: page eight
Table tennis youth stars play at national comp Sport: page 11
The teachers are revolting
By Nicholas Clapp
ANGRY lecturers made their voices heard by striking yesterday (Thursday) over pay and pension cuts. This led to disruption at the city’s biggest employer, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Hundreds of staff members picketed around the campus and missed a day of work in protest. Their actions were backed by the University and College Union (UCU). A member of the union’s North West committee, Marie Monaghan, supported the strikers. She said: “What we want to do is show our levels of support, and unhappiness about the government’s refusal to negotiate with us. “We can make a difference. The university lecturers are the ones working on the front line. These are the people delivering the service, and it’s a sad state of affairs when something like this happens.” About 500 universities and colleges across Britain took part in what was their first nationwide strike for five years. Picketers are angry about changes being made to how they can contribute towards their pensions. They say cuts to frontline services will unfairly force them to pay back more into the services. This will coincide with lower rates of pay for many workers in the public sector. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU, said sweeping changes left lecturers and teachers with no choice. “University and college staff really value their pension rights and have made their views of the detrimental changes crystal clear. “Strike action is always a last resort but the attacks on pensions and pay have created real anger. Instead of
TURN TO PAGE TWO
Mixed reaction to coalition budget By David Stubbings CHANCELLOR George Osborne has announced a budget to “put fuel into the tank of the British economy.” Making his third financial speech at the House of Commons since coming into office in May, Mr Osborne said he aimed to ease the burden on hard pressed families. “The cost of filling up a family car such as a Ford Focus has increased by £10,” he said as he announced a 1p cut in fuel duty and the scrapping of the fuel escalator.
Phil Brown celebrates the win
Instead he announced a new tax on oil companies and said he would watch fuel prices “like a hawk” to make sure taxes are not passed on to motorists. Alcohol duty was also unchanged, but the two per cent rise in excise duty for wine, spirits and beer will go ahead, as well as the two per cent above inflation rise on tobacco duty. However the chancellor’s plans on fuel and alcohol duty have been met with a lukewarm reception from some Preston businesses. Mr Osborne also announced the first enterprise zones; some of Britain’s poor-
est areas which will receive tax breaks to lead an economic recovery, with suburbs of Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds included. Workers on low incomes could be set to benefit with the personal tax allowance to rise to £8,000 next year and consultations to merge income tax and National Insurance.
See how the budget will affect Preston. Reaction: page five
Spaven Speaks: “Sienna has a new boyfriend? Now we can relax, start breathing again and get on with our lives.” - Page nine
The Preston Journal
Friday 25 March 2011
What’s inside this week’s
Lessons cancelled as teaching staff protest over pensions Continued from page one...
News Anger over skate park delay PHOTO: Nicholas Clapp
burying their heads in the sand, the employers need to respond urgently to our concerns.” Another issue causing friction is the rise of the retirement age which could see public sector staff working longer for less cash. UCU members joined other university rallies to back the strikes. Institutions in Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester were involved in the protests. The National Union of Students supported the actions, despite it disrupting students’ studies. UCLan’s UCU member, Martin Johnston, helped organise the pickets which took place around the campus. He said they needed to make their voices heard in order to defend their livelihoods. “Job protection and proposed changes to the teachers’ pension schemes are fundamentally the
Protestors led by Marie Monaghan (fourth right) gather outside UCLan’s Fylde Building reason we’re taking action. Chairman Keith Burnett said the Yesterday’s picketing comes “The current government’s ap- strikes could cause future problems. before tomorrow’s larger demproach to the austerity measures and “Employers are extremely disap- onstration set to take place in the cuts they want to make are abso- pointed by UCU’s decision to take London. lutely unfair,” he added. industrial action. We are concerned The march is likely to inSome groups, like the Universities they may be confusing their mem- clude other public sector workand Colleges Employers Associa- bers, staff and students by combining ers affected by the changes. It tion, are unhappy about the decision separate ballot outcomes with generic is thought it will be attended by to strike. strike action,” he added. more than 100,000 people.
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Skaters left in the dark over long-awaited opening of charity venue
PHOTO: Coba Plastics
25 pubs closing every week The Journal speaks to worried pub owners as their trade suffers
PHOTO: Daily Mail
England under 21s come to town Deepdale plays host to football’s future stars as England face Iceland
Cannabis plants found at the scene
PHOTO: Lancashire police
Housing market on stronger foundations
A CANNABIS farm with an estimated street value of £240,000 has been uncovered by police in a Preston warehouse. Officers discovered the drugs factory after a search warrant was issued on a unit on Maitland Street. 1000 mature plants were found in the property along with lighting and cultivation equipment. Det Insp Keith Lee said: “This sophisticated set-up was a substantial find which demonstrates our continued efforts to reduce drug-related activity in Preston.
“I would like to reassure people that we will continue to tackle such issues in our fight against drugs and anti-social behaviour. “We always welcome information from the public in our efforts to tackle this type of crime. I urge people to pass any suspicions about drugs onto the police.” No arrests have yet been made. “I would appeal to anyone with any information about this cannabis factory to contact us. In particular I would be interested to hear about visitors to the property in recent weeks,” Det Insp Lee added.
Comment on this story, and many others online at: www.prestonjournal.co.uk
Drug farm discovered at city industrial unit More people are looking climb the property ladder as house prices rise FIRST-TIME buyers are boosting the city’s housing market, prompting hopes of a speedy economic recovery. This is according to estate agent Darren Williams, who works at Reeds Rains on Fishergate. “They dropped for quite a while because there were fewer buyers in the area. But the numbers have picked up now,” he said. Mr Williams thinks this is because younger buyers are putting by more cash to make bigger deposits. “At the height of the crisis people weren’t able to get the mortgages they wanted. But now people are fighting over properties again the costs have gone up.” His views come as house prices peak at their highest level in almost a year. Nationwide, the average costs of houses on the
market went up by 0.8 per cent to £231,790. A shortage of available properties was a reason for the rise. It meant owners could afford to ask for more, and for the third consecutive month sellers raised prices. Commercial Director of Rightmove, Miles Shipside (below), said: “The spring bounce in buyer interest and slight pick-up in supply of fresh stock suggest renewed activity in t h e property market outweighs the impact of economic uncertainty.” Prices increased throughout the country, apart from the North East. Houses were on the market for less time on average. Mr Williams said popular areas for buyers in Preston were Ashton and Broadgate.
The Preston Journal
Friday 25 March 2011
Wood you believe it? By James Roche
See more of Mick’s creations online, at: www.prestonjournal.co.uk
PHOTOS: James Roche
THIS lizard may be eight feet long, but there is no reason to be afraid. Moor Park has received two new works of art made by a prestigious wood carver. Mick Burns has been a chainsaw carver for more than 25 years. He has designed two new benches to be placed in the play area, one of a giant lizard and another that mirrors the observatory and water features found in the area. Mick said: “The intention is to put these in the children’s play area as a little bit of interesting furniture other than just the play equipment.” The artist uses a range of chainsaws to create his sculptures. The main work is done by a power saw reaching 120cc and the finer details are then added with a carving saw and sanders. Mick has had to change his approach to this project as he is only working in Preston for two days.
He said: “I’ll look at the log and roughly work out what I might be able to get into it. Because I have to work quite quickly, I don’t really get a chance to do any sketches or proposals. “I’m sketching on the log as I go along so it’s like sketching with a chainsaw.” Mick has worked in the city before. He created a bench in Haslem Park and carved a tree in Ashton Park and is hopeful that the new masterpieces will go down well with the public. “I’m hoping that people will appreciate the novelty of them and I hope that they’ll last a while too,” he added.
Clockwise: Mick Burns sits proudly on his newly carved creation; the lizard carving in full view and a spider carved into the same log
Sporting hero unveils free gym By Cara Woodley OLYMPIC gold medalist Jonathan Edwards has opened Preston’s new outdoor gym. Alongside mayors from across the county, the world record triple jumper unveiled the Preston’s second adiZone. The free gym in Moor Park consists of areas suitable for a range of sports; all of which are part of next year’s Olympics. Preston is now the only city in the region to have two of the giant community spaces. It is aimed to encourage people to get involved in activities such as tennis, aerobics, gymnastics, dance and football. Mr Edwards said: “It is great to see how the games are coming to life across Lancashire and demonstrating that this is
truly a games for the whole of the UK.” While here the athlete also made a visit to youth group Blaze who showcased their ‘Boom Bike’, a bicycle with a person powered music system. “It is fantastic to see so many young people inspired to get involved in London 2012, and to see some of the exciting plans for celebrating the games,” he expressed after having a go himself. Speaking after Mr Edward’s visit, county councillor Chris Holtom said: “I was delighted and honoured to have been able to welcome Jonathan to Lancashire. “The projects he visited are superb examples of how people from all communities are gearPHOTO: PA ing up to get involved with and Jonathan celebrating his gold in 2000 celebrate next year’s games.”
HIV rates doubled in a decade By Nicholas Clapp Too many people are in ‘denial’ about the seriousness of HIV, it has been claimed. Anne Clark, manager at Lancashire sexual health organisation Body Positive, thinks those at risk need to be cautious. “I think people will go into denial about most things. There are many who do not know they’ve got it in the first place,” she said. It was revealed this week numbers of people getting the disease almost doubled in the last 10 years. Gay men are the group most at risk, as the amount of homosexuals contracting HIV rose by 70 per cent. The number jumped from 1,810 in 2001 to 3,080 in 2010. Mrs Clark played down fears about the increase, saying it’s no longer as dangerous as it once was. “It’s worrying that there’s been an
increase, but that could just correspond with rising populations,” she said. Nationwide, cases went up to 3,780 last year from 1,950 in 2001. The figures, from the Health Protection Agency (HPA), show one in four infected people don’t know they have it. HPA’s head of HIV surveillance Valerie Delpech said: “HIV is an extremely serious infection. There are excellent treatment options available nowadays, but these are only at their most effective if the infection is diagnosed early, before symptoms appear.” Treating someone with the disease costs £320,000, and a lot of patients get diagnosed too late. Mrs Clark says people should be more willing to get checked rather than take risks. “It’s so easy to do these days, you can just walk into a sexual health clinic and get tested.” Of those who die from HIV, 60 per cent were diagnosed late.
The Preston Journal Friday 25 March 2011
Photo: English orgpahnage, theirhistory, flickr
The Preston Journal
Friday 25 March 2011
Budget 2011: ‘One for growth’ Opposition leader Ed Miliband labels Chancellor George Osborne ‘Norman Lamont with an iPod’ By David Stubbings
FUEL duty has been cut by 1p as part of the Chancellor’s Budget for the next financial year. George Osborne made the announcement in his speech to a packed House of Commons where he also scrapped the fuel duty escalator. This would have seen fuel duty increase by a penny above inflation. Originally, fuel was expected to go up by 4p per litre. This has been abandoned in a proposal Mr Osborne called a “Budget for growth.” "Last year's emergency Budget was about rescuing the nation's finances and paying for the mistakes of the past,” he added. "Today's Budget is about reforming the nation's economy, so we have enduring growth and jobs in the future. "And it's about doing what we can to help families with the cost of living and the high oil price." Other measures include freezing alcohol duty and a two per cent above inflation rise on tobacco tax. The chancellor pledged £250m to get 10,000 homeowners get onto the property ladder and help them buy brand new homes. However the growth forecast for this year has been downgraded to 1.7 per cent from 2.1 per cent. Labour leader, Ed Miliband, accused the chancellor of causing the fall in growth rate by cutting “too far, too fast.” “He is Norman Lamont with an iPod. “This is not a growth budget, it's not a jobs Budget . It is a Budget for more of the same from a complacent, arrogant Chancellor in a complacent, arrogant Government. "They took the wrong decision
The Chancellor outside Downing Street before announcing his Budget in Parliament on VAT. Same old taxes, same old Tories. Unemployment is a price worth paying," he added. Mr Osborne also announced a
KEY BUDGET FACTS In 2011-12 Britain will spend £710bn, this is where some of it will be sourced from
Income Tax £158bn National Insurance £85bn
GRAPHIC: Andy Halls
Council Tax £26bn
1p per litre fuel duty rise due in April to be frozen Further £600 increase in personal tax allowance from April 2012 £250m help for 10,000 first-time buyers to get on property ladder Tobacco duty rates up by 2 per cent above inflation Council tax to be frozen or reduced this year in every English council
£630 rise in the personal tax allowance up to £8,015, to come in to place in April 2012 and a longterm plan to merge income tax
and National Insurance. £100m will also be given to councils to repair potholes on roads across the country.
How will this budget affect you? Get in touch: @prestonjournal1
Fuel duty cut ‘not enough’
HAULAGE firms are still struggling with fuel prices despite the 1p cut in duty. Petrol prices in Preston have dipped to 128.9p per litre with diesel 135.9p. But Jon Walker, financial controller of Ainsworth and Martin, a haulage company in Penwortham, said that George Osborne’s announcement does not go far enough. “We used to spend about £20,000 a week on fuel but that’s now up to £40,000 so it’s quite a big rise,” he said.
“It doesn’t go far enough. In France they have a stabiliser for haulage businesses to keep fuel prices steady. I would like to see something like that in the UK.” Mr Walker added that as fuel prices have gone up, company costs have had to be passed on to buyers. “We have to pass it on to the customers who in turn pass it on so the person that pays the most is Joe Bloggs, the man on the street, who also pays higher food and clothing prices.”
Pre-budget predictions over the chancellor’s plans for fuel duty focussed on either deferring or abandoning the fuel duty escalator. However Mr Osborne surprised everyone by reducing duty by 1p with immediate effect, and scrapping the escalator which would have seen fuel duty increase by 1p above inflation every year. If it had remained, prices at the pump would have gone up by 5p on April 1.
Boozers feeling the pinch DESPITE freezing alcohol duty rates, more could be done to help sales, according to a local brewer. Terry Baker, of Hart of Preston Brewery said the government should have looked at cutting alcohol rates to help sales of quality beers. He said: “It’s going to hurt us more because we can’t cut any corners. “We’ve got a lot people keeping us out making it even worse for us.”
Mr Baker said he thinks many breweries will go out of business in the next few years as pubs look for cheaper beers. “I can’t see us surviving this. We have to put on another 5p a pint and are pricing beer cheaper now than we were five years ago but it still won’t sell. This is ridiculous. “They [the government] should take it down a bit more but they said they would stick to this agreement.”
Despite improving sales since Christmas in pubs such as the Black Bull, quality brewers are still struggling to survive and make it into pubs. “They want our beer but are not prepared to pay for the quality. We are struggling now and producing some fantastic beers. “We’ve just produced the best beer we’ve ever made which is a swansong to quality ale,” Mr Baker added.
The Preston Journal Friday 25 March 2011
Friday 25 March 2011
Drug dealers busted in covert police sting
News in brief Betting shop robbery
Help for horse riders A HORSE watch scheme has been launched to help riders keep their property safe. Police officers will give advice around crime prevention, security and safety issues and owners will have a forum to raise any concerns. The scheme covers Ashton, Ingol, Tanterton, Cottam, Larches, Savick, the Docks, Plungington, Tulketh and Greyfriars.
Man hid in bin A MAN hid in a bin for five hours after escaping from police, Preston Crown Court heard. Scott Marjury, 23, was arrested by officers after hitting his girlfriend. He had injuries to his wrist so police took him to Royal Preston Hospital for an X-ray. While at the hospital, Marjury was escorted outside to have a cigarette but he ran off and hid in a wheelie bin. Marjury handed himself in at the station shortly afterwards. He was sentenced to three months in prison.
Royal Mail for sale? PLANS to privatise the Royal Mail have been slammed by a North West union who fear the service will be scrapped if the company is sold. Andy Tatchell, North West branch secretary for Communication Workers Union (NWCWU), said plans to hand over the company to private firms will have a damaging effect on mail delivery across the country. The Royal Mail delivers a universal service which does not charge rates depending on the delivery location and guarantees delivery to any part of the country.
JJB closure THE DEEPDALE branch of sports chain JJB Sports is set to close within two years. As part of their company voluntary arrangement, 43 stores are to be shut by April next year with a further 46 by April 2013 and rental payments switching to monthly. JJB suffered pre-tax losses of £68.5m in 2010 and a 15.7 per cent dip in like-for-like sales over the Christmas perod.
See more stories online at www.prestonjournal.co.uk
By Andrew Smith
Jailed: Sean Palmer (above) and Jack Swain (below)
PHOTOS: Lancashire police
POLICE are appealing for witnesses following an armed robbery at a betting shop on Pope Lane, Penwortham. The incident happened on Sunday 20, at the Bet Fred shop at around 2pm. Two men entered the shop wearing balaclavas and high visibility workman jackets. They threatened staff with a revolver handgun before stealing cash and it is thought they fled the scene in a white van.
A HEROIN dealer has been jailed for three years after he was caught in a undercover police operation. Sean Palmer, 46 of Grimshaw Street, was arrested in November 2010 during Operation Nimrod, a police scheme which led to the arrest of scores of drug pushers. An officer befriended Palmer and bought heroin off him four times in the lead up to his arrest. Preston Crown Court heard that ten years ago, having lived in Australia for a decade, Palmer moved back to England in search of work. While abroad, he worked seven days a week but started taking drugs after being unable to find a job upon
his return to Britain. Defending lawyer, Miss Hackett said: “Moving back was perhaps the worst thing he did. He has been hard working in the past and can be again.” But Judge Michael Byrne said it would be “wholly inadequate” to issue a suspended sentence. “You wanted to make financial gain from another drug user’s misery and I say misery because class A drugs cause misery and, not infrequently, death,” he added. As well as Palmer, there were four other defendants at the hearing. Michael Devaney, 38, of Alexander Pavillion, Mark Goodwin, 41, from Elizabeth Street, Brett Albin, 35 of Shaw Street and Jack Swain, 19,
who has no fixed address were also present. Devaney’s sentence was deferred for six months to give him the chance to prove he could stay off drugs while Goodwin and Albin were both given drug rehabilitation orders. Swain was sentenced to two years in a young offender’s prison for his part in heroin and crack cocaine deals. Judge Byrne said: “You were essentially the runner for a drug dealer. You did the dirty work while the main dealer sat back.” Detective Chief Inspector Andy Webster said: “The public have sent us a very clear message that they do not want people who deal drugs to live among them and we will continue to take action.”
Disability group sues council A DISABILITY support group is so unhappy with Lancashire County Council’s cuts they are planning to sue them. Last month the council announced their budget which included £179m worth of savings. Council leader Geoff Driver promised to protect services but the cuts have now provoked outrage in the care sector. Members of Disability Equality North West (DENW) are so enraged they have starting legal proceedings against the authority. Lesley Finlay, chair of DENW said: “We face many new challenges over the coming year and it is clear that these cuts to services will impact on the funding we receive.” Melanie Close, chief executive of the disability support group said: “Many people will be affected adversely by these changes.” Earlier this month the group sent
a letter to start legal proceedings. The council responded and told the group they disagree with the legal challenge. Members of the DENW are being asked to tell the group’s executives how life will change when the cuts hit. This information will then be presented in court. DENW was founded in 1996 and since then they have promoted human rights of those with disabilities. Disabled people are trained to work for the group and then they help others who are going through a hard time. Lancashire County Council decided to make cuts without consulting care homes which DENW claim is illegal under the Equalities Act. The council is refusing to reverse its decision and could end up spending some of the money saved from care cuts in court.
Furious skateboarders demand answers over park delays ANGER is growing as teens are left in the dark over plans for a new skate park. It was announced at the beginning of the year that the city’s only indoor skating park would be ready this month. However, this is now not the case and some people have declared they will boycott the park if it does open. Luke Dabrowski, inline skater, said: “This is becoming a joke really. They announced the new park would open and then just left us all in the dark. “Being the only indoor site, it would be a really popular venue. At the moment we have to travel to other cities to use their facilities.”
Others youths have also expressed annoyance. Skateboarder Lewis Adams said: “It’s not just that they have stopped giving us information but they seem to have completely disappeared. “After trying to contact them the numbers do not exist and they have stopped publishing updates on the building. It’s a complete mystery.” The park, named The Arc, would be run by a charity organisation with all donations being put back into the company to improve the site. Despite several attempts by The Journal organisers and builders responsible for the site were unavailable to comment.
See additional content online at:
PHOTO: Nicholas Clapp
The Preston Journal
League trophy comes to town PRESTON North End fans will be able to see a trophy this year after all. The prize (pictured) awarded to the winners of the Football League Championship, is on the flag market until tomorrow (Saturday).
Energy firm npower, sponsors of the competition, brought the trophy to promote their new offers. An npower member, who wanted to remain unnamed, said: “It’s nice to be able to travel around with it. It certainly makes a change.”
The Preston Journal
Friday 25 March 2011
Chewing the fat: scientists link red meat to cancer Could you face your Sunday morning routine without the distinctive smell of bacon? New health guidelines suggest you should. Lucy Spaven explores whether ditching meat can help beat the Big C
ou may think there’s nothing like a traditional English breakfast to ease you out of a lazy weekend lie in but it’s time to think again. As scientists issue warnings over links between cancer and eating red meat, many
might feel obliged to reassess their diet. Christopher Bryant of Preston Vegan Society became a vegetarian after learning about the meat making process. He said: “I have eaten meat before but I never get cravings. I don’t see animal produce as food anymore. The idea of putting it into my body repulses me. “I think meat consumption has a far more negative effect on your body than positive. Yes, there are some nutrients that appear in greater quantity in meat but the junk far outweighs that.” Tests by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition indicate
that limiting intake of red and processed meats could reduce the risk of bowel cancer in humans. Consequently, government guidelines advised consumers not to eat any more than 500g a week. Though this type of animal produce has long been associated with cancer, including the breast, bladder and digestive organs, experts dispute these claims. A spokesperson from consumer website Meat Matters said: “The evidence remains inconclusive and most people in the UK eat the level of red meat recommended in the report. People have no reason to worry.” Dr Carrie Ruxton, member of the Meat Advisory Panel, added: “Lean red meat is a good source of many vital nutrients and, thanks to modern farming methods, is lower t h a n
More than three million Brits are now vegetarian, inset, a fry-up
ever in saturated fat and calories.” However, with 3.6 million vegetarians in the UK, a change in diet is becoming a popular choice. Research by the Vegetarian Society suggests non-meat eaters are less likely to suffer from obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Of course, vegetarians and vegans can face health implications caused by their diet choice. Deficiencies in iron, calcium and vitamin B12 are common. After eight months of adjusting to a vegetarian diet, Mr Bryant decided to avoid animal produce altogether and turn to veganism. He said: “Everything your body needs is available from a multitude of plant-based sources. There is no reliable source for vitamin B12, but you can get foods that are fortified with it.” Perhaps though, avoiding meat altogether could be a decision based on ethics rather than health issues. “I think too much of anything is going to be bad for you be it animal related or not. Just have a balanced and varied diet,” Christopher added.
Pint glass is half empty for pub trade Owners are struggling to cope with rising costs and falling customer numbers. Nicholas Clapp reports
usan Carr has seen a lot during her time as owner of The Variety pub on Adelphi Street. She has been the landlady there for more than 11 years. But now, she and many other pub owners face a difficult time in the industry as setbacks force many watering holes to close. “It’s probably the worst it’s ever been. For most pubs it’s dire, absolutely dire,” said Mrs Carr. She believes government changes, including raising beer tax above inflation levels and failing to stop supermarkets selling alcohol at cheaper prices, haven’t helped. “Before this, we had the smoking ban which has hit us harder than anyone is admitting. It’s really affected our trade,” she added. The latest figures show that 25 pubs on average close each week in Britain. Apart from London, the North West is the worst affected area. Nationwide, pubs are struggling to cope with higher costs while losing customers and many breweries have had to raise their prices putting many out of business. The Dolphin Inn in Longton may be one of the next to go. Despite being a popular stop for walkers, it simply cannot make ends meet. Owner Olivia Hale says the state the industry is in means there is no easy fix. She said: “The pub trade has just gone really quiet. As long as people keep coming in we’ll be ok, but that’s getting harder.” The landlady applied for planning permission in case they need to sell.
Last orders? Many pubs could be serving their last pints “We’re not planning to shut just yet, but it’s as a last resort. It’s all been too much at once and we’ve struggled to deal with the changes.” Difficulties in the industry led to thousands of job losses, according
to the British Beer and Pub Association. They say the industry contributes £21bn to the economy. “These figures show what a huge impact beer and pubs have, espe-
cially in terms of jobs. Beer is vital to the economy and pubs are the heart of our communities,” said chief executive Brigid Simmons. Last year 1,300 pubs closed nationwide, with 13,000 job losses.
Has your local pub closed? Tell us your point of view at: www.prestonjournal.co.uk
The Preston Journal
Friday 25 March 2011
One step forward on If you don’t want it, don’t flaunt it housing? I think not A SHARED equity scheme proposed under the 2011 Budget will help 10,000 first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder. So let’s skip along in the March sunshine, counting our blessings and express thanks to George Osborne for enabling our children and our children’s children to finally become homeowners. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work like that. The truth is this is just one of a handful of positive points siphoned out of this year’s spring Budget misery. The Firstbuy scheme isn’t a particularly viable unique selling point for the Budget because, well, it’s not that great really is it? While 10,000 people may benefit, the proposal will barely scratch the surface considering how many thousands of people want to buy homes. In addition, the help has been labelled “modest” by lending experts and the scheme will only run for a year. Buyers will still need to find five per cent of their property’s value to throw
George Osborne, above, said it is time to “forget the cuts, fill up your tank”
down as a deposit and young people simply can’t magic this money out of thin air. They’ll also need to borrow the rest from the government and house builders.
Remember what happened last time people were encouraged to lend money they couldn’t afford to pay back? Of course you do, because we’re all still reeling from the aftershock.
STOP the press! Sienna Miller has a new boyfriend. Reports say the actress come fashion designer is dating actor Tom Sturridge. Now we’re aware of this we can relax, start breathing again and get on with our lives. It’s all too common for celebrities to stroll around in the sunshine with designer frappuccinos, kissing their new flame in the park on the odd chance they’ll get ‘papped’ looking happy and smiley. And why not? There’s a phrase in the entertainment world though that goes: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” But it’s funny how the tables turn when it comes to the issue of phone hacking. Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I advocating the use of illegal and underhand techniques used by cer-
tain tabloids to stoke the ‘infotainment’ fire. However, one might argue that if you chase publicity at every waking moment, as most celebs do, you shouldn’t then expect that level of exposure to cease once you hit a rough patch. By continually living, breathing and sweating in the limelight, the public’s hunger for celebrity gossip will know no bounds. You can’t help but feel a bit sorry for Sienna after her privacy was allegedly breached in the News of the World phone hacking scandal. But then again, if she doesn’t want it, she shouldn’t flaunt it. Phone hacker? Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson
PHOTO: The Guardian
The Preston Journal
Friday 25 March 2011
As Preston record back to back wins for the first time in six months, Andrew Smith looks at the club’s nine remaining games and dares to claim that Phil Brown’s men will pull off...
The Great Escape Saturday April 2, 3pm A tricky start to the month at Deepdale against one of the division’s top sides, but Swansea have struggled on the road, losing twice in the past three away games. The Journal’s prediction: 1-1
Tuesday April 5, 7:45pm Reading have won every game this month and the trip to the Madejski Stadium will be a tough test for Phil Brown’s men. Preston’s unbeaten run may come to an end.
The Final Countdown With just three games remaining to save their season, Preston will face an uphill struggle to survive. The Lilywhites will need at least two wins from their final three games.
21 Crystal Palace 22 Sheffield United 23 Preston North End 24 Scunthorpe
PL 43 43 43 43
PTS 43 41 38 35
GD -26 -24 -24 -45
Despite the task, Phil Brown will know that his nearest rivals face tough matches against some of the league’s finest teams.
The Journal’s prediction: 0-2
Portsmouth have won seven of their last nine and PNE will struggle to contain them and could find themselves deep in relegation trouble after the visit to Fratton Park. The Journal’s prediction: 1-2
Tuesday April 12, 7:45pm Possibly PNE’s easiest game of the run-in and they should have enough to beat Doncaster Rovers, who have only won once in two months, at the Keepmoat Stadium. The Journal’s prediction: 2-1
Saturday April 16, 3pm Sheffield United’s trip to Deepdale will be a true relegation six-pointer and PNE will need to be at their best. The Lilywhites should have enough to get past United. The Journal’s prediction: 2-0
Saturday April 23, 5:20pm Even though Millwall are new to the Championship they have been excellent at The New Den this season. Expect PNE to be their 11th home scalp of the campaign. The Journal’s prediction: 1-2
Monday April 25, 3pm The tie will be tough for the Lilywhites but Cardiff may have already qualified for the playoffs by the time they visit Deepdale. North End will be looking to grind out a result. The Journal’s prediction: 1-1
Saturday April 30, 3pm Ipswich are in good form but they are almost certain to finish in mid-table.The Tractor Boys will be on their summer holidays early as PNE pick up three crucial points at Portman Road. The Journal’s prediction: 2-1
Saturday May 7: 12:45pm Watford will be comfortably in mid-table by this stage while PNE will need to win to stay up. North End’s fans will be buzzing as their team beat the Hornets to pull off the great escape at Deepdale. The Journal’s prediction: 2-1
The Great Escape After seven points from their final three matches, PNE will escape relegation on goal difference, seeing off the challenge of Crystal Palace and Sheffield United and causing one of the greatest upsets in Football League history.
Nathan Ellington celebrates scoring against Coventry
The Final Standings NPower Championship
20 Coventry 21 Preston North End 22 Crystal Palace 23 Sheffield United 24 Scunthorpe
PL 46 46 46 46 46
PTS 47 45 45 44 36
GD -19 -22 -28 -31 -48
Saturday April 9, 3pm
Friday 25 March 2011
Future stars on their way Deepdale By Andrew Smith ENGLAND’S football stars of the future will be in action at Deepdale on Monday. The nation’s under-21 team will play a friendly against Iceland ahead of the European Championships in June. Manager Stuart Pearce has a big squad for the game, including 17 Premier League players. There are no Preston North End men but one man who will be used to playing at Deepdale is Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck. Welbeck, who is currently on loan at Sunderland, spent a short time at PNE last year and will be welcomed back by North End fans after scoring two goals for the Lilywhites. One surprise inclusion is Celtic’s Gary Hooper. The former Scunthorpe striker has been in good form since his move north. He will take his place in a squad that is, along with Spain and Germany, one of the strong favourites to win the European Championships in Denmark. In 2007 England reached the semi-finals of the European Championship. They lost to hosts and eventual winners the Netherlands that year after an epic penalty shootout after the hosts equalized in the last minute of the game. The match kicks off at 7:45pm with tickets costing £10 for adults and £5 for children.
Serving up a treat After four kids from Garstang finish third in the National Schools Table Tennis Competition, James Roche visits the club training Preston’s newest stars
hile most of the city’s youngsters dream of playing football and cricket, there is one club that aims to introduce kids to a lesser known sport. Garstang Table Tennis Club has been attempting to raise the profile of the sport since it opened in 2001. They run open sessions and introduce youngsters to the sport. The club entered the Lancaster and Morecambe Table Tennis League First Division that year and finished seventh. They won promotion the following season to the Premier Division and have been able to include three more teams in the league. Garstang has grown and now has junior teams in the National Junior League. There are currently around 60 members at the club with ages ranging from as young as six through to the mid 50’s. Members recently competed in the Butterfly National Schools Table Tennis Competition. Garstang Community Primary School, who have four memebrs in the table tennis club, finished third in the contest held in Leicester last weekend. The team reached the national event after emerging as champions of the north of England region and were up against the country’s other area winners. Graham Coupe, a coach at the club, praised the players. He said: “All the players played really well and competed as a team which was great.” Mr Coupe said that despite this success the club finds it difficult to get kids involved in the sport. He said: “It’s very hard to get kids into table tennis, they see it as “ping pong”, a game that old people play on holiday. “Last year we had an open evening and produced a video that we hoped might give the kids a glimpse of what table tennis is really like.”
The Preston Journal
PNE struggled against a superior Blackburn side
Ben Keay plays in the National Competitions and, inset, team member show off their prizes
The club, based at Garstang High School, relies on fees from coaching sessions, having previously received grants to pay for the equipment. These fees pay for the day-to-day running of the club, which aims to recruit new players as well as developing the skills of its current members. The club have an open ‘Club Night’ every Tuesday between 5:30 and 7pm. Anybody is welcome to turn up and play in an open session, and coaching sessions then take place until 9pm. These sessions cost £3 and the club also puts on coaching sessions on Friday and Sunday eve-
nings. The club has three full qualified coaches with Mike Armishaw and Tristran Swan joining Mr Coupe on the team. Mr Coupe believes the future looks bright for the club. He said: “The future looks really good, Garstang High School have a brand new sports hall that we can use for events next year and we’ve got more players than ever before involved with the club. “We’re slowly starting to attract more adults as well, and we’re hoping that they’ll get involved with helping run the club.”
Grasshoppers come up Bridge fail to short against leaders stem the flow By Mark Roberts
PHOTO: Mick Craig
The side battled to a 27-20 defeat against impressive opponents who Preston Grasshoppers 20 have built a commanding lead at the Fylde 27 top of the division. The Hoppers got off to a dream PRESTON GRASSHOPPERS were start when Matt Hughes collected a left disappointed despite a strong Mark Edwards kick to score within showing against league leaders Fyl- two minutes. But Fylde hit back immediately de at Lightfoot Green. when Mark Stevenson broke from the back row to score. Steve Collins converted the kick to put Fylde ahead. The visitors extended their lead when Mark Waywell smashed through the Hoppers defence and showed great strength to score Fylde’s second try of the match. The hosts battled back and enjoyed a good spell of possession but couldn’t capitalise when their opponents were reduced to 13 men after two sin-bins. Edwards scored a penalty just before the interval to pull the deficit back to 12-8 at half time. The second period Richie Sands (white) takes the fight to Fylde continued at the same
frantic pace and Hoppers took the lead after a fine run by Hughes, who found Edwards with a superb kick before the fly-half touched down. But again the lead lasted less than five minutes as Fylde responded with a penalty to edge ahead, before Callum McShane scored to put them seven points clear. The Grasshoppers struck back and levelled the scores with Dominic Moon’s converted try, setting up a tense climax. Both sides squandered chances but, with just four minutes remaining, Fylde showed their class when Waywell broke free of the defence to score his second try of the match and secure the win for the visitors. Head Coach Dace Baldwin praised his team’s efforts. “I am pleased with the way we fronted up and stuck to an outstanding Fylde team,” he said. “We started to look tired at the end and Fylde were able to take advantage of that but I am happy with the intensity and commitment shown.” Preston Grasshoppers: 1 John Peterson 2
Richie Sands 3 Chris Lowden 4 Wayne Steel (c) 5 Mark Rigbye 6 Rich Morton 7 Matt Charters 8 Dominic Moon 9 James Smith 10 Mark Edwards 11 Tom Ashton 12 Tom Hughes 13 Russell Flynn 14 Matt Hughes 15 Sean Taylor
By Mark Roberts Witton Albion Bamber Bridge
BAMBER BRIDGE slumped to a third consecutive defeat after a disappointing 2-0 loss at Witton Albion. Brig were making their second trip to Cheshire in just four days, having lost to Woodley Sports at the weekend. The hosts started brightly and won a series of corner kicks, before their efforts were rewarded with a goal in the 13th minute when winger Josh Hancock sent a fierce strike past Ben Hinchcliffe. The goal sparked the visitors into life with striker Neil Black causing the opposition defence plenty of trouble, but Albion remained dangerous and almost doubled
their lead when Andy Kinsey fired just wide of the post. Brig hit back and enjoyed a spell of good possession but they went into the interval trailing by one goal. The home side started strongly in the second half and Hinchcliffe was called into action within minutes of the restart when Hancock struck a spectacular volley towards goal. Both teams traded blows in a tight second half but Witton secured all three points when player-manager Brian Pritchard poked home from close range after a defensive mixup. Brig rallied with Peter Wright and Luke Atherton threatening to claw a goal back, but the hosts closed out the final 10 minutes, leaving Bamber Bridge without a win in four games. Bamber Bridge: Hinchliffe (pic-
tured left), Bowyer, Crowder (Williams 79mins), L Atherton, White, Jones, Waddecar, Clark, Wright, Black, Marlow.
The Preston Journal
Friday 25 March 2011
Ballers are pride of city after cup glory Preston clinch victory in final after tough six-month campaign
The route to glory
First Round: YMCA: 76-63 Second Round: Burnley : 63-60 Quarter Final: Blackpool : 96-88 Semi final: Preston 2nd : 99-58 Final:Tropics : 70-46
Swimmers aiming to make waves across county
By James Roche
Photo: ANP Images
Head coach Steve Heaps (far right) with his team
PRESTON SWIMMING CLUB will head into this weekend’s county championships full of confidence and aiming for a top three finish. The county finals, involving almost every swimming club in Lancashire, takes place over two weekends, in Liverpool this weekend and in Manchester on April 8. Between 80 and 100 teams will compete in the finals. Head coach Steve Heaps is convinced the team will perform well. He said: “I think personally that we’ve got a realistic chance of being in the top two or three this year which will be good. “When you’re in against the likes of Southport, who are very strong,
and teams from Salford, Manchester and Liverpool, we’re punching above our weight a little bit.” Preston will be taking 80 swimmers across all age groups. Heaps is targeting medals for the older swimmers while he hopes his youngsters gain vital experience. He said: “We have got the ability to be successful this weekend providing they go to form, but the biggest emphasis is not on the medals. It’s about getting, certainly for the youth, the times to take them to the next levels.” Preston, who have been in the top five for the past four years, compete at a disadvantage, according to the coach. The club currently only swims in a 25 metre pool, whereas many of
Photo: Tom Chandler
PRESTON PRIDE basketball team lifted the Manchester Area Cup for the first time in their history. Twenty-eighty teams were whittled down to just one with Pride emerging victorious after a hard-fought, six month tournament. Pride came up against The Tropics, who have a good history in the Manchester Area Basketball League Knockout Cup, in the final, but Pride were able to record a comfortable victory at the Y Club in Castlefield, Manchester. The Tropics had the better of a low-scoring first quarter and managed to keep Pride down to just 11 points. Although Preston were 16-11 behind at the break they managed to turn it around in the second period. The game was played at a high tempo and Pride took the lead thanks to their inspirational captain Gareth Westwood. Both sides were glad of the half time break after a frantic first half. Pride brought on Craig Smith and Martin Langstaff while the Tropics made a change, bringing on Charlie Taylor-Bell for Dan Stephenson. Pride’s subs made an instant impact with Lang-
staff in particular becoming heavily involved in the game. He constantly moved the ball to Pride’s centre Graham Holland, who scored 10 points in the third quarter. The scores were close throughout the third period but towards the end Pride scored a couple of crucial baskets to put them 46-40 up at the final break. Preston carried their momentum and drilled home the advantage in the final quarter, scoring 26 points to the Tropics’ six. The victory came after a long journey to the final, which saw Pride face up against some of the finest teams in the region. The first round saw them play away to YMCA, but there was no need for their fans to feel down as they won 73-63. They were rewarded with a second-round fixture against local rivals Burnley. Pride’s cup run almost ended early but they were victorious with a dramatic 63-60 win. Preston were away to local rivals again in the quarter finals when they beat Blackpool Lights 96-88 in December. After their tough run Preston had a relatively easy semi final against their own second team. The firsts unsurprisingly won easily but the final score of 99-58 didn’t disgrace the seconds. Pride are top of the Premier League and now their attentions turn to securing the double. Tropics will be hoping they can stop Pride as the two sides meet again for a playoff place on Monday. Although basketball is fairly popular in Preston Pete Stanley, secretary of the club is hoping Pride’s success can make it even more so. “We have three teams now and we’re hoping to get it up to four. The main problem is trying to Pride captain Graham Holland (left) holds off Tom Ricketts find advertising and publicity.” PHOTO: PSmith32
By Andrew Smith
the teams they will face have 50 metre pools. Heaps said that the smaller pool is good for shorter races but that a larger facility is needed for the longer competitions. Using a 50-metre pool is a longterm goal for the club and Heaps has revealed they are closer than ever to achieving this. He said: “The club together with the University of Central Lancashire and Preston City Council are on with it now. There’s been a study to find the best possible place to train and it’s a case of whether the funding can be found.” He claimed that should Preston get a bigger pool they will be plan similar training programmes to the bigger teams which will put them on a level footing.