Christmas Tree Recycling Information

bin man On Sunday, January 6 2008 St Helens Council's Rangers will be recycling Christmas trees at three venues between 10am and 3pm.

At Sherdley Park, trees should be left outside Pets' Corner, at Taylor Park they should be left in marked-out areas and at Naylors Wood car park, opposite Mesnes Park, Newton trees should be left at the side of a container on the car park.

All trees will be chipped on the day and the mulch will be available to take away

St Helens Council Christmas Services Information

The main Council services will be closed from 1pm on Monday 24th December 2007 until 8.30am Wednesday 2nd January 2008, however some services will be available at different times over the holiday as listed below.
The following Emergency Services will be available during this period.
Emergency Duty Social Worker 0845 0500748 (24 hrs)

All other Council Emergency Services 01744 456728 (24 hrs)

Contact Centre:
Telephone: 01744 456789
Open 10am – 4pm on: Thursday 27th December
Friday 28th December
Open 10am – 2pm on: Saturday 29th December
Open 10am - 4pm on: Monday 31st December

Adult and Children Social Care:
Telephone: 01744 456600
Open 10am – 4pm on: Thursday 27th December
Friday 28th December
Open 10am – 2pm on: Saturday 29th December
Open 10am - 4pm on: Monday 31st December

Central Library:
Open 9.30am – 5pm on: Thursday 27th December
Friday 28th December
Open 9.30am – 1pm on: Saturday 29th December
Open 9.30am – 5pm on: Monday 31st December

Branch Libraries:
All branches will be closed from 1pm on 24th December until Wednesday 2nd January 2008.
Peter Street, Parr and Garswood will be closed all day on 24th December as part of their normal opening hours.

St Mary’s Indoor Market
Open 9am – 8pm on: Saturday 22nd December
Open 10am – 4pm on: Sunday 23rd December
Open 9am – 5pm on: Monday 24th December
Closed on: Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th December
Open 9am – 5pm on: Thursday 27th December
Open 9am – 5pm on: Friday 28th December
Open 9am – 5pm on: Saturday 29th December
Closed on: Sunday 30th December
Open 9am – 5pm on: Monday 31st December
Closed on: Tuesday 1st January 2008

Chalon Way Sunday Car Boot Sale
Closed on: 23rd and 30th December

Earlestown Monday, Friday and Saturday Markets
Open as normal over the Christmas period.

St Helens Samaritans on Hand if You're Feeling Low this Christmas

IF you are feeling low this festive period the Samaritans will be avaliable for support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This season, Samaritans expect more calls and emails than ever before from the distressed and stressed.
Local volunteer, Dez from St Helens said: "For some people the bright lights of Christmas can actually emphasise the problems they have. Especially if people are on their own, it might trigger feelings of intense loneliness and isolation or painful memories about the loss of someone close. Or for those with large families there might be worries about the financial burden."
Dez added: "Even when we are surrounded by family and friends we might still feel the need to speak to someone who doesn't know us. It's important to remember that however low or stressed out you feel there is always someone at the end of line. Samaritans is totally confidential and non-judgemental."
You can contact the Samaritans by phone 08457 90 90 90 or email for 24 hour support.

Armed Robberies at St Helens Bookies

A gunman threatened staff before escaping with cash in the first of two armed robberies at St Helens bookmakers.
Police confirmed a man armed with a black handgun targeted a bookmakers on Cambridge Road, St Helens, at 5pm on Thursday, December 20.
It is believed he threatened a young woman employee before fleeing with about £400 in cash.
In a second robbery on Saturday evening, a man - also believed to have been armed with a gun - struck at William Hill Bookmakers on Ormskirk Street, St Helens.
Police have not said whether they believe there is a connection between the two crimes.
In the Cambridge Road robbery, the man is described as white, 5ft 9ins tall and of slim build.
He is believed to have been aged between 18-30 years and dressed in a black hooded top, with a scarf covering his face.
Police say the staff member was left extremely shaken but unharmed.
At the Ormskirk Street robbery, between 6pm and 6.10pm on Saturday, a man demanded that staff place money in a plastic bag and then escaped with cash.
He is described as white, medium build and may have had brown eyes.
He was wearing a bottle green hooded top, a royal/navy blue scarf which was pulled up and light coloured trousers.
Anyone with information can contact St Helens CID on 0151 777 1577, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Big Brother Is Watching You - And Making St Helens Safer

Partygoers who become embroiled in violence around Christmas in St Helens town centre face being caught on CCTV.
The town's most senior police officer, Chief Superintendent Peter Brinkley, issued the warning as he urged revellers to drink responsibly and avoid booze-fuelled trouble during the festive season.
Traditionally numbers drinking in town-centre nightclubs and bars soar in the run-up to Christmas and police are aiming to keep a lid on flashpoints.

St Helens' top officer said widespread CCTV coverage throughout the town centre has helped recorded violence drop by a 25 per cent in recent years. Films of crimes such as attacks or damage can also provide significant evidence in court.
Chief Supt Brinkley said: "We know where the hot spots for trouble are - taxi ranks, fast food shops and clubs. And we regularly monitor those areas. If we recognise the behaviour of someone who has clearly had too much to drink or is acting suspiciously we will focus our cameras which are linked through the town centre."

With thanks to The St Helens Star

Christmas Cheer for Ravenhead Pensioners

Ravenhead Pensioners Breaking News from The St Helens Star

Christmas brings special cheer for the ex-Ravenhead workers who lost their pensions when the company went bust a decade ago.

Now they have now been promised 90 per cent of the pension rights they built up before 1997, subject to a £26,000 limit.

St Helens North MP Dave Watts told the Star that the government has rubber-stamped a £2.9 billion rescue package, which could affect up to 140,000 ex-workers.

He said the new financial aid package, which should come into force next year when a new Pension Bill is passed, would allow workers to take a 25 per cent cash lump sum from their pension at retirement.

He added that the scheme would also enable workers to apply for early or ill health retirement after the age of 60 and would provide a 50 per cent windows pension.

Watts, who has been campaigning on the issue for several years, said: "I am delighted that we now have a deal which will provide justice for the Ravenhead workers and their families and will allow them to plan for the future."

Mike Marsden, a member of the Ravenhead Pensions Action Group, said justice was finally being done.

He said: "Obviously we're very pleased with this development - it's something we've been striving to achieve for many years. Many of us have attended numerous rallies and demonstrations just to get to this point."

He added: "Since 2004, the government has offered compensation packages to workers like us of up to 90 per cent. But, as Ravenhead collapsed in 1997, we didn't qualify under that legislation. Now we're finally going to get the compensation we deserve."

Free Transport on Christmas Day to Hospitals

A Free bus service will be provided by Merseytravel on Christmas Day to help hospital workers and visitors.

The 10A, which runs from St Helens bus station to the Royal Liverpool and Whiston Hospitals, the 24X from New Street, Sutton to St Helens Hospital and the 194/195 which goes to Whiston and St Helens Hospitals, will be running from around lunchtime to past 5pm.

Merseytravel Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 will be open through the holidays, except Christmas Day

Jack and The Beanstalk Theatre Royal St Helens

The following review appeared in The Liverpool Echo

Many Thanks to Peter Elson who wrote

"Your flagging belief in live pantomime will be revived by this Christmas cracker of a show which played to a packed house of the young and young at heart on its opening night.

It got off to a robust start when the villainous Fleshcreep crept onto the stage and demanded of some St Helens matrons “Are you two sisters?”

On receiving their affirmative reply, he squawked in retort: “Wrong panto!”

This confirmed we were in safe hands for this very British tradition of seasonal battiness.

Fleshcreep was played with gusto by illusionist Richard De Vere, who also directed and had a nice line in local insults.

Referring to St Helens’ attributes, Fleshcreep proclaimed that the town was home to rugby and beautiful women. In an aside to another hapless audience member, he asked: “And which position do you play madam?”

Now into its eighth year of handling the St Helens’ panto, Regal Entertainments’ producer Jane Joseph once again released her now well-polished ensemble of performers on the unsuspecting glass-making town.

Other familiar and welcome faces include the energetic dancer Marc Lawlor as Spirit of the Beanstalk, Chris Cookall as Simple Simon and Gareth Wilde (still only 26!) whose performance as Dame Trott must rate as one of Britain’s best.

Mr Wilde’s day job managing a theatrical costumier means he dazzles the audience with outrageous clothes which Dame Edna Everage would die for.

The script is very good, with plenty of gags plus well-tried routines such as the ghosties and ghoulies sketch. The first half could do with some trimming, but pace picks up thereafter.

Although very traditional in concept with all the expected ingredients, the show boasts some impressive gimmicks, especially given this is a small theatre with limited resources. Richard De Vere’s flying dragon is tremendous and I loved the Benny Hill-style chase sequence film by Colin McKeown. As Mr De Vere warned us: “If you’ve not enjoyed the show – keep your gobs shut!”

On this glowing evidence such advice will not be needed. Few towns will have live Christmas entertainment of this calibre. The pantomime runs until January 13."

Roby & Wellens Sign Long Term Saints Deals

St Helens Rugby League Club have announced they have secured the long term services of two of the club's most integral squad members - James Roby and Paul Wellens.

Reigning Man-of-Steel and try scorer in Saints Challenge Cup victory over Catalan Dragons at Wembley in August, Roby, 21, has put pen to paper on a four year contract which will see him stay at the club until End of Season 2011.

Recognised as the country's best full back, Wellens, 27, has signed a three year deal which will see him stay at the club until End of Season 2010.

"I'm sure this announcement will come as a great early Christmas present for all Saints fans!" commented Saints Chairman Eamonn McManus. "There was significant interest in James which is understandable as he is one of the hottest properties in the game.

"Therefore, we are delighted to have secured his services for another four years.

"Paul has established himself as the best full back in the game and will continue to play a pivotal role as the club moves forward."

advertisementHe continues: "Not only have both players come through our Academy system, which shows its strength, but both have become an integral part of the club's success as well as being excellent ambassadors for St Helens.

"Going forward, they will continue to be the backbone of the club over the forthcoming seasons as we signal our intention to bring even more silverware to Knowsley Road."

Cannabis Factory Found in Newton


Police discovered a large quantity of cannabis plants following a raid on a house in Newton-le-Willows.

Around 120 plants and growing equipment were found at a property on Hawthorn Avenue on Thursday, December 6.

A 30-year-old man from Salford has been arrested on suspicion of growing cannabis and has been bailed pending further enquiries until March 10 next year.

If you have any information on drugs in your area contact the St Helens Drugs hotline on 0800 05170 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Three Arrested over Recent Lead Thefts

Three men have been arrested following a spate of lead thefts from buildings across St Helens.

The men, aged 27 from Clock Face, 41 and 26, both of no fixed abode, were arrested on Sunday, December 16 on Knowsley Road on suspicion of going equipped for theft.

They have all been bailed pending further enquiries until 3 January 2008.

Boy Dies Following Collision in Prescot

A 17-YEAR-OLD boy has died after being in collision with a car in the early hours of Sunday.

The incident happened at St James Road, Prescot, at about 12.20am.

The boy was involved in a collision with a Ford Focus.

A police spokesman said the victim was taken to Whiston Hospital, but later died from his injuries.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident to contact them.

St Helens Multi-Millionaire Takes Over Coventry City

ST HELENS born multi-millionaire Ray Ranson has secured a takeover of Championship club Coventry City FC.
Former Manchester City defender Ranson (47), who grew up in Manville Street in Peasley Cross, has been installed as the Sky Blues' new chairman after the success of his Sisu Capital bid.
Coventry, who had until 4pm Friday to confirm a takeover before being sent into administration, confirmed the takeover just an hour before the deadline.

We all wish him luck in his new venture.

St Helens College Redevelopment Plans Get Green Light

st helens college

The college's £60m redevelopment is approved by the Council's Planning Committee.

The £60m redevelopment of the Brook Street campus will involve demolishing the majority of the existing buildings and creating 17,500 square meters of two, three and four storey structures and also refurbishing the former Smith Kleine Beecham building which is to be Listed.
The college was founded in 1896 and now has 18,000 students and 700 student programmes. The first building of the modern college was built in 1959 and has evolved into the existing campus. The town centre campus is one of three college sites - the others being at Pocket Nook Street and Newton.

Cllr Richard Ferry, chair of Planning, said: "The proposals for the redevelopment of the campus represent a positive and sustainable development which will significantly enhance the town centre. The development will help the college to build on its solid base by providing state of the art educational facilities and potentially widen its catchment area to attract an additional one per cent of students."

Free Parking in St Helens this Christmas

Christmas and New Year shoppers will be able to enjoy more free parking in St.Helens town centre.

The Council’s Sunday car boot sale will close on Sunday, December 23 and, December 30 to free up extra parking spaces.

Car parking will be provided free during these days at Chalon Way and across other town centre car parks on Sundays and on late night shopping evenings.

Steve Brogan, Chairman of the Town Centre Partnership welcomed the Council’s decision adding: "Creating extra car parking spaces will be a real boost to shoppers both local and from further afield taking advantage of the wide range of retail offer in the town centre at very competitive prices."

Thanks Steve

Do You Recognise This Woman?

clintons purse snatch POLICE want to speak to this woman in connection with a purse theft at Clinton Cards in St Helens town centre.

At about 2pm on Tuesday, November 20, a shopper had a purse stolen from her bag as she reached out to pick up a card.

Police are now appealing for the woman shown on the CCTV stills to come forward.

If you think you recognise this woman, or if you know anything about the incident, you can call the St Helens CCTV Unit on 0151 777 6087 and quote reference number 11052

Match Details for Paul Sculthorpe Testimonoial

st helens SAINTS will face Super League rivals Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at Knowsley Road on Saturday, February 2, (kick off 2pm) in Paul Sculthorpe's Testimonial match.

Tickets for the game went on sale from St Helens' ticket office at Knowsley Road, Church Square, and on Friday, December 7.

Sculthorpe said: "I'm delighted to celebrate my Testimonial season at St Helens and announce Wakefield as the opponents for my Testimonial match in February.

paul sculthorpe"They're a club with a massive rugby league tradition and I'm sure it will be a very competitive curtain raiser to the new season which begins just a week later.
"John Kear is a good friend of mine, and of course my brother Danny plays for Wakefield, so I'm very pleased that we'll both be on the pitch for what will be a very special occasion for me.
"The St Helens club, and especially the fans, have played such an important part in my rugby league career, and I'm forever thankful for all the support I've received during my time here.
"There are many exciting Testimonial events planned, and with money being raised for Tommy's - The Baby Charity, I hope people continue to show their support and get involved for a good cause."

St Helens is Hot Spot for Tourism

MORE than 7.5m tourists poured into St Helens last year, boosting the towns coffers by more than £131m according to the latest set of statistics.

According to the figures compiled by the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor, the borough is attracting more than one million people than in 2002.

St Helens is synonymous with high quality, say the council, offering events such as the Eclectica Music Festival, St Helens Festival and St Helens Comedy Week. A council spokesperson added: "St Helens has become a destination of choice for visitors to the Northwest, with an eclectic mix of countryside, rich heritage, vibrant nightlife and quality sporting events." They pointed to Haydock Park, Saints, The World of Glass and the Northwest Museum of Transport as other important tourist attractions.

Councillor Neil Taylor, executive member for urban regeneration added: "Tourism was identified as a key growth area for St Helens a few years ago and since then there has been a concerted effort to develop the sector."

False Alarm over Grim Find at Former Hospital Site

A dead body alert sparked by workmen at the former Billinge Hospital has proved to be a false alarm.

Extensive searching of drainage pipes by police search teams has concluded what were thought to be skeletal remains were in fact sections of grimy polystyrene.

For a brief while hopes had been raised that the final resting place of murdered Billinge 22-year-old Helen McCourt had at last been found after almost 20 years of searching. Sadly for her family the hunt now goes on.

Police say the workmen, who were about to cap the manhole as construction of a new housing estate continues, were right to contact them.

A spokesman said: "The call was made in good faith and it was certainly better to be safe rather than sorry.
"They had looked down the drain and seen what looked like vertebrae and possibly some other bone fragment but they turned out to be pieces of polysterene packaging and part of a plastic cup."

Earlier Helen's mum Marie had praised the workmen for their vigilance, saying that while it had turned out to be a false alarm, it was this kind of diligence which might one day lead to a breakthrough at long last.

"I would rather they have reported something they had suspicions about than have said 'we're not having anything to do with this' and filled in the hole forever. Then we would never have known the truth."

Helen McCourt disappeared on February 9 1988 after arriving back in Billinge from her work in Liverpool as an insurance clerk.
Even though her body has never been found, Ian Simms, the landlord of the George and Dragon pub in Main Street, was later convicted of her murder. He is still behind bars and still maintaining his innocence.

Reproduced from The St Helens Reporter

Body Found in Derelict Building

A MAN has been electrocuted after entering a derelict building, reportedly looking for scrap metal.

Police are investigating the death of the 24-year-old, whose body was discovered by a relative in a building on Atlas Street, Fingerpost at around 10pm last night (Monday, December 9).

Detective Inspector Colin Ratcliffe, warned: "I would like to take this opportunity to warn people about the dangers of entering derelict or industrial buildings to remove items such as copper cable, due to the risk to life.

Any loss of life in circumstances such as this are tragic and it really isn't worth the risk."

Courtesy of The St Helens Reporter

Police Say Body Found in Sutton Park is Missing Eileen

8.41 pm Sunday 9th December.
A SECTION of Sutton Park has been cordoned off by police following reports that a woman's body has been discovered in undergrowth.

Update 7.40 pm Monday 10th December

At the time it was not known if the discovery was linked to the disappearance of a local woman, but Police have now confirmed the identity of the woman found dead in Sutton Park on Sunday, December 9. She has been named as Eileen Carney, a 52-year-old from Lever Street in Clock Face who had been missing since Friday, November 30.
A police spokesperson said that there were no suspicious circumstances involved in her death. A post mortem has been carried out and the matter has now been referred to the coroner.Below is an appeal from Merseyside Police.

Kieron Cunningham is Voted Man of Bronze

Kieron Keiron CunninghamThe public have chosen Saints' legend Kieron Cunningham to be the subject of a new statue in honour of the champion rugby league club.
Saints’ legend Keiron Cunningham is the player the public of St.Helens have chosen to be the subject of a new statue in honour of the champion rugby league club.
At a special heroes’ homecoming reception at the Town Hall when the team won the Challenge Cup in August, St.Helens Council announced plans to commission a statue to celebrate the unprecedented success of the club.
So that as many people as possible could have a view on the statue the Council set up an on line vote on its web site and printed voting postcards. Within hours votes began to stream in and, as the closing date came just days ago, the total vote stood an an unprecedented 22,195.
Keiron polled a staggering total of 10138 pipping Tom van Vollenhoven at the post with 8820. Third was former Man of Steel Paul Wellens with 1501, followed by Alex Murphy on 1284, Alf Ellaby on 249 and Vinty Karalius on 203. Voters also suggested other greats such as Jimmy Stott, Paul Sculthorpe, Sean Long, Jon Wilkin, Geoff Pimblett, Chris Joynt and Mal Meninga to name but a few.
When voting opened the Council’s Press Office were inundated with requests for postcards from as far away as Scotland, Cornwall, Suffolk and Wales from former townsfolk and Saints’ fans eager to register their vote.
Some people liked the idea of a team tribute and that is something that may be progressed in future in some form at the proposed new stadium site.
Council Leader Brian Spencer said: "This is a marvellous response to our plans for the statue. This tribute is long overdue. The statue will be placed on one of the most prominent gateway sites into the Borough which will fittingly be near the site of the proposed new stadium.
"The club have been marvellous ambassadors for our Borough and we thought it was time we chose to honour the club for their sporting and community achievements over their long and prestigious history. I am very proud to be making this announcement in recognition of a world class sporting club which is such a vital part of our Borough’s past, present and future."
Saints’ Chairman, Eamonn McManus said: "The Club thanks the Council for this recognition and congratulates Kieron Cunningham, the true great of the modern era which has in turn been the most successful in the Saints' illustrious history. The Club separately will be looking to honour and pay tribute to others of its great players in the new stadium in an appropriate manner."
In 2001 the Council awarded the club Freedom of the Borough status following its record breaking sporting achievements.

Take a Ride with Santa Around St Helens

widnes bus Santa Rides into Town on 15th and 16th December between 10.30am and 5pm!

The North West Museum of Road Transport has a special event to celebrate the festive season!

You can enjoy a Santa Bus Ride in a vintage heritage bus around the bustling town of St.Helens. The ride will last approximately 20 minutes. Experience the facinating NW Museum of Road Transport. There will be tea and coffee available for the adults and and fruit juice and a mince pie for the children.

Pre booked places can be arranged at the following times: 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, and 3.30pm.
The total cost for this event is £5.00 per person.
For more information about the event contact Geoff Sandford on 01695 627686.

Following its extensive and comprehensive refurbishment the North West Museum of Road Transport has re-open its doors to the public.

The Museum, which had been closed to the public since 1994, and houses a unique and extensive collection of historic public road vehicles from the North West region. The Museums Collection represents over 10% of the national stock of preserved buses and coaches. The collection is made up of 68 vehicles, largely buses, and a wealth of information and the associated materials relating to each exhibit.