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Working to parents benefit from more free extra childcare

Working parents in Wigan will get extra childcare from September Credit: PA

Working parents in Wigan will receive double the current amount of free childcare for three- and four-year-olds this September. Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah has announced £13 million for certain councils to deliver 30 hours of free childcare for working parents of three- and four-year-olds – a year ahead of schedule.

The extra hours of childcare will make it easier for these parents to work and is part of the Government’s commitment to 'make work pay.'

The government will also be looking at the issues that make it difficult for parents with particular challenges to access childcare, including Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

It is expected to be fully rolled out in 2017, with the aim of removing barriers to parents taking up their entitlement.

Education Minister Nicky Morgan Credit: PA

For too long, rising childcare costs have been a barrier preventing parents and particularly mothers from working. That’s why I’m delighted that in just a few months’ time, we will see the first families benefitting from the government’s offer of 30 hours’ free childcare for working parents.

We have made a commitment to help working people, and through this extended offer we will help thousands more parents who want to return to work to do so.”

– Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan
Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah with PM Credit: PA

“I know how important childcare is from my own personal experience, and I couldn’t be more determined to make sure we give children the best start in life, support parents to work, and as a result, allow our country to prosper.

“I’m pleased that we are investing in childcare, and I’m looking forward to seeing how working parents benefit from 30 hours free childcare, before we roll the offer out to the rest of the country.”

– Childcare Minister, Sam Gyimah

All three- and four-year-olds are already entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week, and this is also extended to the most disadvantaged two-year-olds. Last year, more than 1 million three- and four-year-olds, and 157,000 two-year-olds benefited from this offer.

Council plans to refuse permission for controversial waste plant

Lancashire County Council say their planning committee plan to refuse permission for a controversial waste plant.

Protestors at the Appley Bridge site Credit: Dan Hewitt, ITV Granada

Residents in Appley Bridge have protested against the plans for the plant, which would convert waste plastic into fuel.

Now Lancashire County Council say they've recommended the plans be refused, based on noise and air pollution.

A statement from the authority said:

"Planning officers have recommended the application be refused as it is contrary to a policy in the local plan which safeguards the site for small scale rail-based uses and because the applicant has not demonstrated that the plant would not have adverse impacts on air quality and noise".

– Lancashire County Council statement

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Two women raped in Wigan within 24 hours

Two women were raped in Wigan in less than 24 hours over the weekend.

The first happened shortly before midnight on Friday when a man in a car pretending to be a taxi driver picked up a 40 year old woman on Chatsworth Street in Pemberton.

He then drove to an unknown location and raped the woman before taking her to the place she originally asked to be taken to.

The second incident happened shortly before 10.30pm the following night in Mesnes Park in Wigan. A 26-year-old woman was approached as she walked through the park from Market Place. A man briefly engaged her in conversation before he threatened and raped her.

Police say the attacks were separate incidents are appealing for information and witnesses.

"I understand this will be worrying for people, especially at this time of year when people are out in the town centre for their Christmas parties. We have increased our patrols in Wigan town centre and the surrounding areas and would urge anyone with concerns to come and speak to us. We would also ask if anyone is, or has been, approached in suspicious circumstances that they also get in touch."

– Police Sergeant Adam Wall

Police appeal for information after attempted abduction

Police are appealing for information after an attempted abduction in Wigan.

At around 9.20pm on Tuesday, a 12-year-old girl was stood at a bus stop on Kendal Road, Higher Ince when a car stopped.

The driver asked if she wanted a lift and when she said no, she began to walk off. He followed her before he asked again and when she ran, he tried to grab her. The girl managed to kick him before he drove off.

He is described as:

  • Having light brown skin
  • Being in his 20s or 30s
  • Skinny build
  • Black hair - shaved, but with a fringe
  • Dark eyebrows
  • Thin face
  • Eastern European accent

The car was a small blue coloured car with a noisy exhaust, it is also thought to have had a rear spoiler.

Detective Constable Suzanne Rigby said:

“Obviously the girl has been left upset by what happened and we are doing all we can to trace the offender."

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