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Threats made with wood and rocks in cricket club robbery

Three men armed with rocks and pieces of wood rounded up and threatened four people at Heywood cricket club.

The incident happened around 10.15pm on Sunday night. Four people, two women aged 65 and 45, and two men of 61 and 65, were inside at the time.

A Greater Manchester Police statement said:

The armed gang made demands for cash before trying to smash CCTV camera.

They then left with an amount of cash.

All three were white, about 6ft tall and of medium build. One was wearing a hooded top and had a stripy scarf covering his face, a second was aged between 20 and 25 and was wearing dark clothing and a hockey mask and a third was also aged between 20 and 25 and was wearing dark clothing.

Detective Constable Mark Green, said: “These three men have threatened and intimidated four innocent people, caused damage to the property and have stolen cash and we are working hard to establish who they are.

“If anyone has any information about the robbery or those responsible I would urge them to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

– Greater Manchester Police statement

UKIP confirm candidate for Heywood and Middleton by-election

John Bickley hopes to become MP for Heywood and Middleton.

The UK Independence Party has announced that their candidate to contest the forthcoming parliamentary by-election in Heywood and Middleton is John Bickley.

The election was called following the death of MP Jim Dobbin at the weekend.

Mr Bickley, 61, said, “I’m honoured to have been asked to represent the party.

“It is a Labour stronghold where by pure co-incidence I actually lived for a while as a small boy.

“I am looking forward to getting out and about and talking to voters and explaining why UKIP is the only party that really represents their interests now.”

This will be second by-election Mr Bickley has contested this year as he was UKIP’s candidate in the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election, where he came second.

He began his working career with a Manchester based company as a laboratory technician. After five years John joined EMI Records representing them in the North West before moving to London in the early ‘80’s and working for a number of music and video film companies at a senior level.

Mr Bickley returned to the North West in 1992 to take up a senior position with a Liverpool based computer and video games company. He now runs his own software company and has diverse experience of international markets in music, film, video games and technology software.

He is a father-of-two and his wife works as a part-time carer at a special needs school.

The party said Mr Bickley joined UKIP three years ago and has been an active member of the party's Cheshire West branch. His interests apart from politics include walking.

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Labour indicate Heywood by-election date

The by-election sparked by the death of Labour MP Jim Dobbin will be held on October 9, the party indicated.

The by-election was triggered by the death of Jim Dobbin Credit: Labour Party/PA Images

A writ setting the date for the contest in Heywood and Middleton is to be moved by the party in the Commons today, a source said.

It is the same day as voters go to the polls in Clacton, Essex following Douglas Carswell's defection to Ukip from the Conservatives.

Mr Dobbin, who had represented the seat since 1997, died at the weekend while on a Parliamentary trip to Poland at the age of 73.

At the 2010 general election, Labour won the Greater Manchester seat with a majority of 5,971.

Motorist dies in M62 crash at Heywood

A motorist has died in a crash on the M62.

The incident happened at about 3.25am today and emergency services were called to the westbound carriageway at junction 19 at Heywood and Middleton.

A Ford Mondeo had collided with an HGV. The driver of the Mondeo suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

No-one else was injured in the collision.

The westbound carriageway was fully closed while emergency services dealt with the scene but has now been re-opened.

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to call the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4741.

Carer burgled as she tends to elderly mother

Millbank Court in Heywood Credit: Google Street View

Burglars ransacked the home of a carer from Heywood as she tended to her elderly mother.

The woman had gone out early in the morning, to visit her mum's house nearby.

She came home to find the property at Millbank Court had been broken into, and cash was missing.

It happened sometime between 6am and 12.45pm on 25 June.

Detective Constable Nick Price said: "This was a sickening break-in at the home of a woman who was out looking after her elderly mother. I hope... they are ashamed of themselves."

Argos 'contingency plans' ready for strike

Retail giant Argos says it has contingency plans in place to deal with a 24-hour strike by around 1,000 workers at five of its distribution centres. Members of Unite in Heywood, Greater Manchester will walk out for 24 hours in a row over new shifts

Argos said it had a five-year transformation plan involving its digital and in-store services.

We have proposed changes to our distribution employees' terms and conditions and have been engaging colleagues to introduce them. 98% of our distribution colleagues have already accepted the changes to their contract and we are working hard to understand and address any outstanding issues.

"We believe the proposed changes represent the best outcome for the security of our colleagues and Argos alike. We are now asking colleagues to accept the changes to their contract in order to help us realise our transformation plan.

– Argos statement

Unite said new shift patterns would disrupt workers' personal lives at weekends.

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Appeal for getaway car used in armed robbery

Detectives investigating are appealing for help tracing a getaway car used in an armed robbery in Heywood. It happened at about 3pm last Thursday when two men approached a bank on York Street, climbed onto the roof at the back of the property and cut through security bars.

The thieves smashed through the window and walked into the bank where they threatened members of staff with a crowbar and demanded cash. They then stole cash and ran out of the bank and drove off in a car waiting outside.

The car was a blue Audi S4 with the last three digits of the registration plate are similar to FFR or FRR and had a glass panoramic roof.

There was a violent robbery last week at a bank in Heywood and we are keen to trace the getaway car which was parked outside of the bank waiting for the thieves.

“The car is described as a blue Audi S4 with the last three digits similar to FFR or FRR with a glass panoramic roof and we believe it is parked up somewhere in the Heywood area.

"If you have seen a car matching this description, I would advise you not to touch the car, but call us as soon as possible with the location.”

– Detective Sergeant Jimmy Cowan

Search for missing Heywood man

Photo of Michael Savage issues by police

Michael Savage, aged 35, has been missing from an address in Heywood since Sunday 20 October 2013.

He is described as white, about 6ft tall and of stocky build.

He is not in possession of prescribed medication and his family and police are becoming increasingly concerned for his welfare.

Anyone who has seen him or knows of his current whereabouts is asked to call police on 101.

New Rochdale Community Forum launches in wake of grooming case

A new community forum is being launched in Rochdale today.

It is after nine men were convicted of grooming girls as young as 13 for sex in Heywood, near Rochdale.

Speakers at the launch event today will include Pater Fahy, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Nazir Afzal, the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West and Rochdale Imam Irfan Chishti.

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