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City news in 250 words: Thursday 5 August

High unpaid charges to Greater Manchester Courts, sentence for dancing benefits cheat and dangerous accident leads to blow torch ban

Published on August 5th 2010.

City news in 250 words: Thursday 5 August

COURTS IN THE NORTHWEST OWED £90M: The figure includes fines, compensation, court costs and victim's surcharge, with some of it dating back as far as a decade ago. Greater Manchester courts are owed the largest amount in the region at £33.1m. Her Majesty's Courts Service said they were putting a new enforcement programme to target problem areas.

DANCING BENEFITS FRAUDSTER SENTENCED: Terrence Read, a 61-year-old jazz dancer, who fraudulently claimed almost £20,000 in disability benefits has been given a 12-month community order and been told to complete 120 hours of unpaid work. Read has apologised and is thankful for what he feels is a fair sentence. Judge Martin Rudland said it was not in the public interest to send Read to prison.

GREATER MANCHSTER CLUBS SEASON TICKET PRICES: According to a FourFourTwo report, season tickets for Wigan Athletic are the sixth cheapest of all 92 English professional clubs at £295. Manchester United is in the top six, with a season ticket for the team costing £931.

COUNCIL STAFF BLOW TORCH BAN: Two council employees accidentally set fire to carpet shop, Roll-End Carpets in Oldham, while burning weeds. Gas weed-burning equipment is used to reduce the use of pesticides in public areas. It is believed that sparks from the equipment set the timber frame at the front of the shop on fire. No one was hurt and none of the shop's stock was destroyed, but the use of blow torch equipment is banned until an investigation of the incident is complete.

Out of the window weather forecast: It's a cloudy day, but a cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.

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