I’VE just been catching up on the town’s news having been away on my holidays and two stories caught my eye.

The first was that airport security-style metal detector ‘knife arches’ were used in Warrington town centre at the weekend to help keep revellers safe.

Warrington Police and the Warrington BID joined forces to buy two arches and handheld devices to be used by staff at bars and clubs in the town centre.

Members of PubWatch in the town will be able to use them to help deter people from carrying knives and let pubgoers know that they will be safe inside their premises.

They were used for the first time by PJs on Bridge Street last weekend and owner Mike Mason, a member of PubWatch, said: “We are the first bar to use it as a trial.

“We will trial it across the weekend and people won’t even know they are walking through it.

“It means a safer night out and makes sure everyone enjoys their experience in Warrington town centre.

I’m all in favour of anything that is going to make ‘revellers’ safer in the town centre and I think it’s fair to say the lower Bridge Street managed to get itself something of a bad reputation when the alcohol licensing laws were relaxed.

In fact, there appears to have been something of a concerted effort by Warrington Council and the police to clean up the town centre in an effort to shed it of its somewhat unsavoury culture of excessive late night drinking.

In no small measure this was driven by a desire to reclaim the evening economy from teeny drinkers and hand it back to families, spurred on by the new Time Square development.

And don’t forget, the centrepiece of the development is a ‘family-friendly’ cinema.

READ MORE > 2am bar can open at Time Square

What, then do we make of the second story that a restaurant bar in Time Square will have permission to stay open until 2am?

Cineworld and The Botanist are so far confirmed to occupy space as talks continue with other operators – with the decision by councillors giving The Botanist permission to serve alcohol and stay open until 2am.

The council believes the addition of a licensed drinking premises would ‘add to the capacity’ of the town centre to host nights out.

Yep, I’m sure it would but from what I can see of Warrington town centre, there’s no shortage of places to host nights out.

Seems like a retrograde step to me and maybe one driven more by commercial demands than the council would care to admit.

  •  I'M just back from my annual two weeks in the Spanish sun and it’s at this point I would usually recount tales of people inserting themselves into spaces on the beach that don’t really exist.

Being British, I don’t want to encroach into other people’s personal space but that doesn’t seem to be an issue for our Continental cousins who seem quite happy to get all up close and personal.

Anyway, I have a new problem to report this year – shade theft. Being fair skinned, I do spend a lot of time hiding from the sun under my umbrella. As anyone who has spent more than a couple of hours on a beach will know, the shadow cast by the sun moves during the course of the day so of course, I move with it.

So, it’s mid afternoon on a fairly busy Mallorcan beach. My towel is in the shade and I wander down to the sea for a quick dip.

When I get back to my spot, a Spanish family effectively plonked themselves down in the shadow in what could only be considered a deliberate and provocative act of shade invasion. I wasn’t impressed. It was almost enough to make me want to back a no deal Brexit.

But, I stood firm and reclaimed my shade without causing an international incident.