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Monday, 20 February 2017

Great Work by Crewe LPU Officers

Subject: Great Work by Crewe LPU Officers


This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

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Jess Street (Police, PCSO, Crewe LPU East PCSO)

Officers arrested and charged a man responsible for the theft of a charity box from the Horseshoe pub in Alsager. Wayne Moss, aged 43, has attended court this morning and received a 12 month 14 day sentence, charged with two burglaries and two motor vehicle thefts. Excellent investigative work by Crewe LPU officers!
Have a great day,
Crewe LPU.

'Suspended Coffees'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Denise & Steve Lawson, owners of the Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge http://www.nantwichbookshop.co.uk , have introduced a 'Suspended Coffees' scheme to their shop at High Street in the centre of Nantwich.

When a customer buys a coffee (or any other hot drink) they can also pay for a second one - which can then be claimed by someone who cannot afford it themselves.

They don't have to "prove" anything to claim one, but the scheme relies on the good faith of everyone involved.

The Suspended Coffees movement - http://suspendedcoffees.com - began in Italy several years ago, and has already been embraced by hundreds of cafes around the world.

Denise & Steve said, "We are truly humbled by the generosity of Nantwich folk. Since early February this year, when we joined the 'Suspended Coffees' movement, we have had over forty coffees and over twenty teas purchased by customers. We are promoting the scheme to make people aware of this amazing act of kindness. Thank you to everyone who has donated a hot drink."

Denise and Steve Lawson with  Suspended Coffees board

Meet The Beatles'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

‘Meet The Beatles' performed at Nantwich Civic Hall on the evening of Friday 17th February 2017 in front of a sell-out audience.

Talented acoustic guitar and female vocal duo 'Chapter Two' warmed up the audience with a mixture of classic tracks.

They were followed by 'Meet The Beatles’ who sang and played several of the Fab Four’s hits including ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Please Please Me’, ‘From Me To You’, ‘Do You Want to Know a Secret’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘A Hard Day's Night’, ‘And I Love Her’, ‘Can't Buy Me Love’, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Yesterday’, ‘Eight Days a Week’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘Help!’, ‘Ticket to Ride’, ‘Nowhere Man’, ‘In My Life (I Love You More)’, ‘We Can Work It Out’, ‘Drive My Car’, ‘Penny Lane’, ‘All You Need Is Love’, ‘Hello, Goodbye’, ‘Yellow Submarine’, ‘Back in the U.S.S.R.’, ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’, ‘Lady Madonna’, and ‘Hey Jude’. Their set included a costume change and their final floor-filler and encore was ‘Get Back’.

Jon Mitchell, Event Manager from Warble Entertainment, said, "Once again, both Warble Entertainment and Nantwich Town Council are incredibly thrilled with the success of the show. Tickets sold out within three weeks of being put on sale and we could have potentially put on a second night judging by the interest in tickets, especially after the show had sold out. When you see the performance, it's easy to see why it's so popular. With such tight musicianship and all the hits, Meet The Beatles are up there as one of the premier tributes to the Fab Four in the UK”.

‘Meet The Beatles' was organised by Warble Entertainment - http://www.warble-entertainment.com/ - in partnership with Nantwich Town Council - http://www.nantwichtowncouncil.gov.uk/ .

Meet The Beatles after their  costume changeMeet The Beatles

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Weston Christmas Light Display - £22,680 cheque presentation

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Graham Witter, aged 22, is a final year Business Management degree student and Pride of Crewe - Community Individual Award Winner 2016.

He setup hundreds of Christmas lights where he lives at Carters Green Farm in Weston to raise money for charity.

His Christmas light display took place every day from 1st to 28th December 2016. The display covered a farmhouse, a garden, an adjacent yard and a barn and contained a combination of rope lights, LED lights and animated 3D figures, along with background Christmas music. There was also a small wooden Santa’s Grotto and a life-size Santa's sleigh. A new feature was a 1950s Whitby Morrison Mr Whippy ice cream van. Santa himself even made an appearance every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and the last few days before Christmas. It took Graham six weeks to set it all up.

Graham raised £1,000 in 2013, £5,720 in 2014, £10,280 in 2015 and an incredible £22,680 during the 2016 display. Thus, he has raised close to £40,000 during the past four years.

For the fourth year running all the money has gone to The Donna Louise Children's Hospice - http://www.donnalouisetrust.org/ - who provided respite care for his teenage sister Jessica. Jessica peacefully passed away on 31st December 2015, having enjoyed the event for many years. Graham decided to continue with his display in her memory.

The £22,680 raised in 2016 will be used by The Donna Louise Children's Hospice to help equip and support the new hospice build to provide care to young adults post 19 years old.

Graham presented the cheque to The Donna Louise Children's Hospice in Trentham in their fully refurbished sensory room that the £10,280 from the 2015 display helped to fund.

Nikki Wrench, Challenge Events Manager at The Donna Louise Children's Hospice, said, “I am so happy you got to share your amazing event with everyone in the community. The money you and your team have raised through community support is truly overwhelming, and will help us so much! I would also like to thank you for being more than a fundraiser - you are a really fantastic ambassador for the hospice and it has been my pleasure to work with you over the years.”

Graham said, “It has always been my pleasure to organise the ‘Weston Christmas Light Display’ for a children’s hospice which has done so much for my family. My late sister Jessica, had a truly amazing fascination with colour, light and sound, which was my inspiration in 2013 to organise a local community Winter Wonderland!

I started decorating the house with animated characters, filling the garden with inflatables and making our family home like a mini ‘North-Pole’! It enabled me to bring our community together whilst creating a local family tradition which many families and young children can enjoy.

But at the heart of this event was a ‘thank-you’ for all the respite care, family support and home activities the care team provided my sister. After losing my close sibling in December 2015 and having raised £17,000, I felt that I should continue my event in her memory. With new lighting ideas, a festive ‘Mr Whippy’ van and the opportunity for a ‘Sleigh Selfie with Santa’ the 2016 display delivered an astounding success, raising £22,680.

I have so much satisfaction that my time, commitment and dedication is helping improve the lives of children, young people and their families across our community. To know my event has thrilled festive visitors, but most importantly, improved services the hospice can offer, gives me satisfaction to continue my fundraising. Exciting plans are being drawn together for another successful event this year, so it will be another Winter Wonderland for everyone to enjoy!”

For further information relating to the Weston Christmas Light Display please visit: https://www.facebook.com/westonlightdisplay

Pictured left to right: Mike McDonald - Chief Executive at DLH, Graham Witter, Nikki Wrench - Challenge Events Manager, and Nikki Culverwell - Play Specialist

Cheque presentation to the Donna Louise Hospice of £22680 from Weston Christmas lights

It has always been my pleasure to organise the 'Weston Christmas Light Display' for a children's hospice which has done so much for my family. My late sister, Jessica had a truly amazing fascination for colour; light; and sound which was my inspiration in 2013 to organise a local community Winter Wonderland!

I started decorating the house with animated characters; filling the garden with inflatables and making our family home like a mini 'North-Pole'! It enabled me to bring our community together whilst creating a local family tradition which many families and young children can enjoy. 
But at the heart of this event was a 'thank-you', for all the respite care, family support and home activities the care team provided my Sister. After losing my close sibling in December 2015 having raised £17,000, it felt I should continue my event in her memory. With new lighting ideas, a festive 'Mr Whippy' van and the opportunity for a 'Sleigh Selfie with Santa', the 2016 display delivered an astounding success, raising £22,680.00.
I have so much satisfaction that my time, commitment and dedication is helping improve the lives of children, young people and their families across our community. To know my event has thrilled festive visitors, but most importantly improved services the hospice can offer, gives me satisfaction to continue my fundraising.
As an ambassador for the hospice I am hoping to draw up exiting plans for the 2017 display...and hope to fascinate visitors with a festive magical experience that cannot be missed! Let's hope Santa can continue wrapping our presents, so he can make a trip back with the reindeers this year! - Graham

Road and rail heritage events to get new cultural twist

 

Transport and engineering festivals in Crewe and Sandbach will feature a new roaming arts festival this year known as SpareParts: On the Move, thanks to a tie up with a similar event in Lancashire.

Cheshire East Council has entered into a partnership with several organisations under the umbrella of the Arts Council England’s ‘strategic touring fund’ programme, allowing the two festivals in Cheshire East to link up with the Fleetwood Festival of Transport on the Fylde.

A £100,000 grant from the arts council will enable SpareParts: On the Move to take their unique carnival of transport and motion on the road to Sandbach and Crewe later this year. 

Cheshire East has a policy to deliver quality performing arts events across the borough and the council’s financial backing and expertise within its cultural economy service has helped to secure the grant and a position within a wider arts programme.

All three organisations, Fleetwood Festival of Transport, the Sandbach Transport Festival and’ TrAction’ in Crewe, will work together to produce and deliver an exciting programme of outdoor performing arts themed around transport and transport heritage.

It will be a pilot project, which aims to continue a partnership approach and develop a touring network of transport festivals.

The Fleetwood Festival of Transport attracts some 60,000 people to the coastal town and it is hoped the three-way tie up will boost audiences in Crewe and Sandbach too through a parade and display of colourful and whacky live street performances bringing together mayhem, motion and fun, say the organisers.

Councillor David Brown, cabinet member for arts and culture, said: “This exciting pilot project has been delivered by the council’s cultural economy team and will help to boost the two transport and science/engineering festivals that are established events in the borough’s calendar of cultural attractions.

“We hope it becomes a great success and a regular feature of the two festivals in Sandbach and Crewe.

“I would like to thank SpareParts and the Fylde coast arts and cultural programme LeftCoast for bringing this very colourful and entertaining transport carnival to Cheshire East. We are all looking forward to joining in the fun.”

The Sandbach Transport Festival takes place over two days starting on April 22 and celebrates the great truck-building heritage of the town where Foden and ERF were big employers with a family history dating back 150 years.

TrAction in Crewe, which takes place on July 8/9, celebrates the town’s great railway heritage alongside technology, science and engineering and has always proved to be a big hit with families.

Elsie Alcock, from the Sandbach Transport Festival, now in its 27th year, said: “We are delighted to be working with ‘SpareParts’ and grateful for Arts Council funding and the role played by Cheshire East Council, to bring an exciting arts programme to the festival.

“The partnership with TrAction Crewe and Fleetwood Festival of Transport will enable us to learn together and bring this new arts aspect to our events.”

Pam Minshall, chair of the Crewe community and environment committee, said: “We are delighted that TrAction Crewe will this year be part of 'On the Move'. This will add an exciting programme of art, performance and spectacle to our transport weekend and we look forward to working with Spare Parts to ensure a wonderful two days of entertainment and interest for our town.”

Prestigious ISO award recognises high standard of borough’s highways maintenance strategy

 

Cheshire East Council’s highways service has become a UK exemplar for the way in which the borough’s highways maintenance programme is managed, meaning the authority is in line for a grant ‘bonus’ from the government.

ISO 55001 gives the authority’s highways service international recognition for its high standard of asset management. The borough’s £5 billion’s worth of roads, bridges, lighting, footways and traffic signs are the council’s biggest material asset.

The British Standards ISO award recognises the proactive management of highways maintenance and the way in which repairs and improvements are prioritised in order to make the most cost-effective use of the £9m highways maintenance grant.

Reports of road defects to the council reduced dramatically from 17,000 in 2012/13 to just over 4,000 in 2015/16.  

The award could now mean that the council will qualify for further incentive funding to the tune of £870,000 with the potential for a further increase in funding in 2018-19.

Highways works in Cheshire East are planned through an ‘asset managed’ approach to maintenance and repairs so that works are carried out at the right time, in the right location and with the right and appropriate degree of treatment.

Councillor David Brown, cabinet member for highways, said: “This award recognises the hard work that takes place behind the scenes to budget-manage and deliver our highways maintenance and improvement schemes in the most cost-effective way on behalf of our residents.

“This ensures that the borough’s highway infrastructure remains sustainable over the long term, to make best use of the highways budget.

“We believe we may be only the second authority in the country to receive this award, which is great news for our service.”

Compared with other road networks in the North West and based on Department for Transport statistics Cheshire East’s roads showed the greatest improvement in 2016 with A and B roads improving by three per cent and C roads by six per cent, compared to 2013.

This is the second BSi award made to the council’s highways division within a year.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Council ready to press on with showcase garden village

 

Residents and interested parties will have a chance to have their say on the proposed garden village at Handforth as Cheshire East Council prepares to draw up a planning framework.

The site, allocated within the Cheshire East Local Plan, has now been supported under the government’s garden town and village programme and will provide around 1,500 new homes by 2030.

It is intended to be a high-quality development scheme, unique to the borough and much work and local engagement has already taken place.

To finalise and refine the site proposals, a consultation process will take place to enable all those with an interest to contribute to the discussion and influence the shape and various elements of the development.

The need to deliver homes for people is the council’s immediate priority and the garden village will not only see the development of starter homes and affordable homes but also the opportunity for self-build.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “Given the need to progress the new village, there needs to be a secure and certain planning framework. Therefore, we are not proposing that the emerging Handforth neighbourhood plan covers this site.

“We want to ensure that the new garden village has the clearest possible framework to guide its development. We therefore feel that to overlay the existing local plan with further policies within the neighbourhood plan, operating on a different set of timescales, would complicate an already complex planning situation.

“We are very keen that local people are closely involved in the planning of the new village and that this is best done within the context of the Local Plan rather than a separate development plan.

“This will enable us all to move ahead and plan the village community and the new homes that so many people need.”

The council’s wholly-owned company Engine of the North expects to be in a position to submit outline plans for the 102-hectare site later this year when a full consultation process will take place.

Company chairman Cllr  Jamie Macrae said: “It is envisaged that the garden village would see extensive areas of green landscaping, trees and open spaces, incorporating new green transport links and cycle ways, together with the required infrastructure such as schools and health facilities. 

as a completely separate entity and it makes sense not to include the scheme within the proposed neighbourhood plan.”

Councils join forces for more Crewe town centre improvements

 

Cheshire East Council and Crewe Town Council have agreed to jointly invest a total of £120,000 to help enhance the visual appeal of Crewe’s shopping areas and fund two new town centre-based roles.

The plans have the support of local councillors from both authorities, as well as Crewe Town Centre Working Group, which the two councils are members of.

The creation of a town centre project officer post will be for an initial two-year period.   The officer will lead on the day-to-day coordination of initiatives and activities which enhance the offer of the town centre and will also play a key role in building strong links with businesses already active in the town centre.

In addition, a ‘handyperson’ role will be created within Ansa – one of the council’s arm’s-length companies – and is also for an initial two-year period.

This will ensure that there is a person dedicated to working on Crewe every day, who is responsible for the general cleanliness of the town centre and the up-keep of its green spaces, highway verges and street furniture.

Additionally, around £50,000 is to be invested in replacing damaged seating, planters, bins, cycle stands and cycle repair stands, some of which will be funded through the ‘sustainable travel transition year’ initiative.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I’m very pleased that this joint investment is happening and that we are working together to drive forward improvements to the town centre, which will benefit businesses, shoppers and visitors alike.

“Investment in the town centre needs to be a combination of major redevelopment and smaller initiatives.

“While we continue to work on longer-term plans for the regeneration of the town centre and redevelopment of the Royal Arcade site, this latest expenditure will replace pieces of very tired and outdated street furniture and bring a more modern feel to the town, making it more appealing to visitors.”

Cllr Benn Minshall, deputy leader of Crewe Town Council, said: “It is great news that both councils are putting more structure around the delivery of change in Crewe over the coming years.

“A town centre project officer is essential to coordinate all that is happening in the town centre and they will also test the level of support for the creation of a business improvement district. In addition, they will be expected to promote Crewe itself as a destination for business, retail and leisure visitors.

“I’m particularly pleased with the creation of a handyperson role to deal with maintenance issues in the town centre and its main approaches. This will enhance what is currently being done and enable rapid reaction to issues of cleanliness.”

It is anticipated that both of the new town centre roles will be filled by April.

Over the past few months Crewe Town Centre Working Group has brought a range of stakeholders together to deliver a number of other initiatives, including a ‘deep clean’ of the town centre’s pedestrianised areas and the installation of window vinyls in some of the empty shop units.

Cllr Dorothy Flude, a Labour ward member for Crewe at Cheshire East Council, said: “Local members on both councils have been working hard to get more investment in the town centre. The actions announced today will really help to continue turning Crewe around, to make it much more attractive to shoppers and to support local retailers.

“We also want to encourage more visitors to Crewe to experience its wonderful heritage, such as the Lyceum Theatre and market hall, and we are working to make sure that Crewe’s reputation for heritage is built upon.”

Earlier this month, Cheshire East Council announced that free parking after midday on Saturdays is being offered in Crewe until Easter at all nine of the authority’s town centre car parks.

The working group also includes Ansa, Edward Timpson MP’s office, South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, Market Shopping Centre, Grand Junction Retail Park, Lyceum Theatre and South Cheshire College.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service February 2017 E-Newsletter - Firelink

Subject: Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service February 2017 E-Newsletter - Firelink


This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

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Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service February 2017 E-Newsletter
Welcome to the February edition of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service e-Newsletter.


Launch of safe and well visits

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has launched an exciting new initiative to help improve the health of potentially vulnerable people - Safe and Well Visits.

These visits will build on the Service’s successful Home Safety Assessment programme that has helped protect thousands of people throughout Cheshire from the risk of fire in their home.

Find out more - Launch of safe and well visits


Cheshire Fire ranked 8th in Stonewall's top 100 employers

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has rocketed into the top 10 of LGBT charity Stonewall's prestigious Top 100 Employers list for 2017.

The Service has jumped five places from their 13th place in 2016 to a fantastic 8th position.

This is the fifth consecutive year the Service has featured in the Top 100, which assesses organisations ranging from local authorities to international investment banks against criteria including engagement with staff and communities, training and leadership.

Find out more - Cheshire Fire ranked 8th in Stonewall's top 100 employers


Official opening of Penketh Fire Station

Penketh Fire Station was officially opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs MBE on Thursday 2nd February in front of an audience of local councillors, Cheshire Fire Authority members, invited guests and children from St Vincent's Primary School.

During his speech the Lord Lieutenant asked for help to unveil the plaque, inviting 9-year old Ellie Smythe and 8-year old Thomas Davies from St Vincent's to assist him, an unexpected honour they were delighted to accept.

Guests, which included the Chief Fire and Rescue Advisor for UK Government, Peter Holland CBE, were then treated to a practical demonstration by Penketh’s new wholetime and on-call firefighters and St Vincent's pupils were given an in-depth tour of the fire engine with just a small taste of what being a firefighter is like when the crews showed them how to use a hose reel jet.

Find out more - Official opening of Penketh Fire Station


Want to join our amazing team? Try out at Ellesmere Port on-call recruitment taster events

We are inviting anyone who wants to serve their community to have a taste of what it's like to be an on-call firefighter in Ellesmere Port.

We are holding four taster events which will give potential applicants the opportunity to meet crews, training and recruitment officers, who will explain exactly how to follow the recruitment process and will also be able to try out the physical tests in the Service's bespoke recruitment pod, one of only three in the UK, housing the national firefighter recruitment test elements.

Find out more - Try out at Ellesmere Port on-call recruitment taster events


Head torch exploded while charging causing a fire in a Winsford home

A Winsford family had a lucky escape after a head torch exploded in the living room of their home being charged, setting light to a carpet.

The torch exploded, sending shards of hot metal across the room and igniting a carpet.

Find our more - Head torch exploded while charging causing a fire in a Winsford home


For more information visit www.cheshirefire.gov.uk or you can follow Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service on:

President Trump

In all the hysteria and hype it is useful to examine exactly just what President Trump banned.He introduced a 90 day ban for seven countries,an indefinite ban for Syrians and a four month ban for all refugees. All these measure are perfectly reasonable and sensible.It is definitely NOT a muslim ban.President Trump was elected to keep his citizens safe and that is exactly what he has been dong from day one.I only wish that our Government would be so vigilant in protecting our safety.

We voted for Brexit but,seven months after the historic vote,the starting gun has not even been fired yet.With our dithering PM and Government it could takes years before we actually leave.In the meantime we have a total open door to 450 million EU citizens. We already know that ISIS are smuggling terrorists,intent on killing us,into the EU,disguised as migrants.It is no wonder that President Trump wants to ensure that the USA does not become the focus of ISIS terrorism that the EU has sadly become.

On top of all that,our Government has allowed over 400 jihadists to return to the UK.

They should never have been allowed to set foot again in our country.They threw their lot in with the brutal psychopaths of ISIS and should be banned from the UK forever.

Our Government is too weak and is failing in its duty to keep us safe.Many in the UK wish they had a strong leader like President Trump,who puts the safety of his citizens first.

Yours faithfully,

Cllr Brian Silvester

UKIP Councillor

11 Rimsdale Close

Rope

Nantwich

CW2 6RS

Tel 07760147609

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Internet Safety Day 2017

Subject: Internet Safety Day 2017


This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Jess Street (Police, PCSO, Crewe LPU East PCSO)

Morning Folks!
Today (Tues 7th February) is Internet Safety Day which is celebrated globally. There are a number of Police approved sites that you can visit, such as:
•             Get safe online
•             Cyber Aware.gov.uk
•             Cyber essentials
•             CEOP (for children)
Also, you can follow this link to the “Little Book of Cyber Scams” http://www.met.police.uk/docs/little-book-cyber-scams.pdf.
Get involved and promote Internet safety and help us to keep our children safe online #ISD2017
Have a great day!

Cheshire East Council reaffirms its commitment to Northern Gateway

 

Cheshire East Council has reaffirmed its commitment to the Northern Gateway Partnership to spearhead economic growth in the region.

The partnership is a ground-breaking collaboration of seven local authorities – including Cheshire East Council – and both Cheshire and Warrington and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). 

It aims to give a massive boost to delivering new jobs, homes and investment.

The Northern Gateway Partnership is working together across authority borders to maximise the potential benefits to its communities from HS2 high-speed rail – including a hub station at Crewe – through formation of a regional growth strategy.

This will aim to supercharge economic growth in the region by connecting the Northern Powerhouse with the Midlands Engine to capitalise on the economic potential of HS2.

The partnership has already made significant progress since its launch in autumn 2015, with economic baseline analysis having been submitted to government in December 2016 and further work already under way to inform the final growth strategy, expected to be submitted this April (2017).

The partnership has strong backing from government, having received £625,000 in funding to progress development of the regional growth strategy in 2016, and recent confirmation that a further £625,000 will be received in 2017, taking the total to £1.25m.

The partnership is keen to demonstrate that the region is ‘open for business’ and will target improving conditions for Northern Gateway residents and businesses, as well as attracting new communities and investors to the region.

The Northern Gateway spans Cheshire and North Staffordshire including the city of Stoke on Trent, Crewe, Stafford and the A500 corridor.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “The partnership is an invaluable opportunity to work closely with our neighbours to create opportunities for good growth, which will create new and lasting connections between people, places and businesses.

“The growth strategy for the region will be sensitive to both the needs of our existing communities and new residents, enabling all our communities to contribute to and benefit from economic success across the region.

“The partnership is made up of a group of authorities who are all keen to lead ambitious plan-led, place-based change, capitalising on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity offered by HS2 to realise economic growth, which will contribute to a quality of place which is second to none.

“Our region’s major selling point is our diversity – we seek to celebrate our distinctive places and communities. Through developing a regional growth strategy for the Northern Gateway, we seek to improve the prosperity, life chances and wellbeing of our existing and future communities.”

She added: “We believe this innovative joint growth strategy will become a national exemplar of strategy-led regeneration and development to deliver really significant jobs and growth across the region.”

The partnership will continue to work closely with central government to define the next stages of the growth strategy, due for submission in April, 2017.

The government is developing a national Industrial Strategy, which is likely to recognise the importance of the UK’s regions in playing their part in growing the economy. This provides a platform for the Northern Gateway Partnership to define a new economic chapter for the area and provide focus for policy innovation.

● The partners working together to deliver growth opportunities are: Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council, Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the two LEPs.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Cheshire East libraries just the ticket for book borrowers

 

Cheshire East has come out top of its class for its library services.

A recent survey of the country’s 55 unitary authorities found that the borough’s book worms borrowed more books per head of population than any other.

Nearly 5,300 books per 1,000 members were borrowed from the borough’s 16 libraries, placing Cheshire East as the lead unitary authority for library services.

The research also showed  library members in Macclesfield are the most avid readers. The town’s library loaned a total of 348,719 books to become the busiest in the whole of the North West.

With 126,063 books, Cheshire East libraries hold the biggest collection of children’s fiction compared to other unitary authorities and the council purchased 22,546 children’s books in 2015/16, showing the authority’s commitment to investing in children’s learning, literacy and literature.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health, said: “The council is facing difficult times financially, with the loss of government grants but we are determined to maintain those services that our residents value most and they are sending us the message that our libraries are very important to them..

“It is unfortunate that many councils are losing some of their libraries but here, in Cheshire East, we will endeavour to maintain a quality library service across the borough.”

Authors Roald Dahl, David Walliams, Julia Donaldson and Jeff Kinney proved to be the most popular authors in 2016, while the Harry Potter books continue to be a big favourite.

Libraries in Cheshire East demonstrate value for money by their popularity and the high usage of the carefully selected resources, which are freely available to everyone in the borough.

For more information about library services in Cheshire East go to: http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/libraries/libraries.aspx

Council health funded community projects are huge success

 

Cheshire East Council has enjoyed huge success with the recent launch of participatory budgeting – the authority’s answer to getting communities more involved with projects that positively impact on the borough’s health.

Participatory budgeting involves community groups pitching their ideas to their own local communities, before those communities then cast votes that decide which of these receive funding.

Cheshire East has allocated £400,000 from its public health budget for these projects and has thoroughly committed to this highly innovative approach which has since become an accepted model nationwide.

The grant contributions have so far been used to address matters such as obesity, poor physical fitness and mental wellbeing with the key aspect of each project’s delivery being that they must be sustainable.

In Cheshire East, participatory budgeting has been particularly successful due to its localised approach of connecting public health and communities.

Rather than simply have everyone pitch for the full £400,000 funding available, the council split the borough into eight sub-regions and allocated budgets to areas according to their requirements.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for communities and health, said: “It has been very encouraging to see how communities and public health colleagues can truly work together for the wider good of our borough.

“One of the most impressive benefits of engaging with our communities through participatory budgeting has been that residents have fed back to us that they now feel far more informed and connected to the places they live. We have all been able to strengthen our networks, connections and partnerships.”

The participatory budgeting project in Macclesfield, attended by David Rutley MP, was one of Cheshire East Council’s greatest successes.

Susan Ritchie, chair of the UK Participatory Budgeting network, said: “The event in Macclesfield was quite possibly the best participatory budgeting grant funding event that I have seen – and I have seen hundreds!

“It had high energy, ideas from a diverse group of residents, political connectivity, organisational commitment and a meaningful pot of money.”

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

BURGLARY ALERT

Subject: BURGLARY ALERT


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Jess Street (Police, PCSO, Crewe LPU East PCSO)

Dear Residents,
There have been a number of recent burglaries within the Crewe area where offenders have managed to gain access to properties via windows and doors that have been left insecure and have therefore allowed easy access within the property.
In an effort to prevent any further incidents of this nature, can we please remind you all to be vigilant and ensure that your windows and doors are locked and that your properties are kept secure at all times.
Kind regards,
Jess
PCSO Street
Crewe LPU 

Council’s corporate plan prepares borough for financial challenges ahead

 

Quality of service and a sense of place, coupled with value for money for residents, are the keynote elements of Cheshire East Council’s new corporate plan.

With the council, along with other local authorities, facing difficult financial challenges over the next three years, our emphasis will be placed on protecting front-line services, especially in adult social care, while identifying savings and opportunities to generate new income streams.

The council needs to offset the loss of more than £40m in government grants combined with inflation and additional service demands, including the needs of a growing ageing population.

The financial impact of this will require the council to find £100m to balance its books between 2017 and 2020.

Economies will be found across the board and underpinned by a strategy to minimise any impact on front-line services.

The council’s cabinet will be asking full council to approve the medium term financial strategy when it meets in February. It will also be asked to approve a proposed council tax increase of 4.99 per cent, three per cent of which will go directly towards adult social care.

The increase equates to a £1.21 per week rise on an average Band D property.

This would leave the council to find economies of a further £49m through changes and efficiencies within the 500 services it delivers to residents each day.

Introducing the council’s annual corporate plan, which sets out the objectives and planned outcomes, council leader Rachel Bailey said: “This corporate plan for 2017 to 2020 highlights how the council is striving to create sustainable growth in the local economy that will support the health and economic wellbeing of our residents.

“We will continue to provide the right environment for our local population to develop their skills, which will help them to secure meaningful long-term employment as well as supporting our local businesses.

“In addition, we will maintain a focus on the ‘quality of place’ in the borough, which will enable our economy to grow and help our local residents to access employment, education and leisure opportunities.

“This is why the medium term financial strategy proposes a capital programme of more than £300m over the next three years so that we can continue to invest in essential infrastructure, education and regeneration of our towns and villages.

“Furthermore, we will also ensure that the countryside and open spaces in Cheshire East are managed prudently and provide good quality frontline services, such as highways, waste collection and street cleansing, to ensure that the quality of the environment in the borough is maintained.”

Councillor Peter Groves, cabinet member for finance, said: “We will continue to create the right conditions for economic growth and prosperity for all, investing in people, social care and education.

“The costs associated with maintaining this level of quality in our services and our environment, are becoming increasingly challenging as national austerity measures continue to put pressure on local government, and as the costs of the health system continue to put all public services under severe financial pressure.”

However, with one of the strongest economies in the country thanks to a vibrant mix of businesses, Cheshire East remains ‘a great place to live, work and visit’.

The council will continue to provide services that residents need and apply a ‘best fit’ approach across the group of council-owned companies.

The pre-budget consultation period ran between November 2016 and January 2017 and resulted in a record number of responses from residents, businesses and other stakeholders.

Local Plan moves forward with consultation on final amendments

 

Cheshire East Council’s Local Plan takes another landmark step towards adoption as consultation begins on final amendments to the blueprint for the borough’s development.

The consultation on ‘main modifications’ to the Local Plan has been called by Planning Inspector Stephen Pratt and will run for six weeks from February 6 to March 20.

This further consultation is normal and follows Mr Pratt’s broad backing for Cheshire East’s Local Plan for shaping future development, subject to some necessary changes.

This follows nearly three years of public comments and submissions on the council’s proposed strategic blueprint for the borough’s development to 2030. Most recently the Local Plan underwent a further six weeks of examination hearings, which ended on October 20.

In December, Mr Pratt wrote in a report that the locations and extent of development proposed in the plan seem ‘appropriate, justified, effective, deliverable and soundly based’. He also said that issues relating to other strategic policies in the plan ‘seem to be capable of resolution by modifications’.

Mr Pratt added that the council’s further proposed changes to the Local Plan seemed to address the changes ‘necessary to ensure that the revised plan is sound and legally compliant’.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “It is gratifying to see our Local Plan moving forward firmly towards adoption. The plan is the council’s most important tool for shaping development in Cheshire East to 2030 and I am pleased the hard work of our officers and members has paid off.

“This will be the eleventh round of public consultations and this Local Plan is one of the most consulted on in the country. There has been unprecedented interest in the consultation process and I’m sure this engagement will have allowed everyone to feel they had the opportunity to have their say.”

As is normal practice, the council is hosting a consultation on the inspector’s draft recommended main modifications to the plan before its final amendment and adoption by the council. You can take part in the consultation online via this link:

www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan

Alternatively, written submissions can be made by completing representation forms and returning these by 5pm on March 20 2017 to:

Cheshire East Council,

Spatial Planning,

Westfields,

C/O Municipal Buildings,

Earle Street,

Crewe CW1 2BJ.

Cheshire East Council received a total of more than 60,000 responses in the 10 previous consultations on its draft Local Plan. This represents an unprecedented level of interest in a council consultation process.

Inspector Pratt acknowledged in his closing remarks in his report in December 2016 that ‘this has been the most complex and challenging Local Plan I have ever examined’ – having completed 20 or so examinations to date.

● Further information and paper copies of all documents can be requested from the spatial planning team by email at: localplan@cheshireeast.gov.uk or telephone on 01270 685893. Please note that a reasonable charge will be made to cover printing and postage costs.