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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Cheshire East publishes details of councillors’ allowances


Cheshire East Council has published, on its website, details of allowances paid to all elected members during the period April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

It shows the amounts paid for basic allowance, special responsibility allowances, dependants’ carers’ allowance, travel and subsistence allowances, and co-optees’ allowance. 

The schedule can be viewed by members of the public on the Council’s website at

Copies can also be inspected, on request, during office hours at the Council’s main office at Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ.   image


Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service November 2014 E-Newsletter - Firelink



Welcome to the November edition of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service e-Newsletter.

Winter safety

Most incidents in the home can be prevented by using common sense and taking precautions.  Winter, particularly, can be a dangerous time with the higher than usual use of candles, electrical appliances and more hazardous roads.

The Service supports national initiatives that help our communities to understand just what precautions they can take to keep them and their loved ones safe.  Here are ones we have been supporting since the last newsletter.

Candle fire safety

With the days growing darker and winter setting in, a few candles scattered round the room can lend a warm glow to an evening. But with candle fires resulting in around 350 casualties each year, we would like you to take extra care with candles this winter - nearly 40% of all fires started by candles result in a death or injury.

Find out more - Candle fire safety

Carbon monoxide awareness

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can be fatal or cause permanent damage to your health.  CO is produced when carbon fuels don't burn completely. It has no smell or taste and, in large quantities, it can kill very quickly. 

Find out more - Carbon monoxide awareness

Electrical fire safety

Electrical appliances have become a staple of modern life - from fridges and phones to toasters or the TV, it's hard to think of how we would get by without a few electrically-powered essentials.
Find out more - Electrical fire safety

Road Safety Week

Twenty eight people were killed and 433 seriously injured on Cheshire’s roads last year.

Cheshire firefighters will be out and about across the county supporting Road Safety Week, passing on vital safety advice.

This year's theme is 'Look Out For Each Other', because wouldn’t it be better if, instead of being stressful and risky, streets were places where everyone looked out for and protected each other, particularly the most vulnerable?

Find out more - Road safety week

Looking for a new challenge in Wilmslow? Firefighters wanted

We are inviting anyone who wants to see if they've got what it takes to be a firefighter to come along to two taster events in Wilmslow.

The events will give potential applicants the opportunitiy to meet operational firefighters, as well as training and recruitment officers, who will explain exactly how to follow the recruitment process.

They will also be able to try out the physical tests in the brand new recruitment pod, a bespoke test unit housing the elements needed for the national firefighter recruitment tests.

Find out more - Could you be an on-call firefighter in Wilmslow?

Ellesmere Port firefighters save family dog after hearing smoke alarm

Firefighters in Ellesmere Port came to the rescue of a family dog when they discovered a house fire while fitting smoke alarms in the property next door.

Find out more - Ellesmere Port firefighters save family dog after hearing smoke alarm

Heroes with Grimy Faces

Chester Cathedral will be travelling through the ages with an inspirational performance involving school children across Cheshire.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, The Philip Barker Trust and Manchester Camerata have once again joined forces to create the piece entitled ‘Heroes with Grimy Faces,’ telling the story of the evolution of the firefighter and their duty to society, while exploring key fire safety messages.

The public is invited to attend and bring family and friends along to see the performance at 7.30pm on Tuesday 25 November.

Find out more - 'Heroes with Grimy Faces' premiere at Chester Cathedral

Emergency Services Christmas Carol Concert 2014

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Cheshire Constabulary and North West Ambulance Service are coming together once again for the tenth Joint Emergency Service Christmas Carol Concert.

This a free event with all welcome.

Bring your friends and family along to Chester Cathedral on Tuesday 2 December 2014, the Carol Concert starts at 7:30pm.

Find out more - Emergency Services Christmas Carol Concert 2014

RESIDENTS FIRST: Putting Planning Locally – New Task Force to strengthen Local Plan


Cheshire East Council is moving decisively to respond to the Planning Inspector’s comments on the Borough’s Local Plan.

Councillor David Brown who has been working tirelessly on the blueprint for development of the Borough up to 2030 has decided to step aside from overseeing the plan.

Cheshire East is now creating a Task Force to drive and coordinate the work to address the inspector’s concerns and strengthen the Local Plan.

Council Leader Michael Jones said: “Councillor Peter Raynes will now lead this Task Force to expedite the process and reduce to as short as possible any delay to the Local Plan being examined and adopted.

“Peter will be ably assisted by former Cabinet member Councillor Jamie Macrae, who has a fantastic background within planning and economic development. We will also continue to listen to residents and involve external partners.

“It is important for everybody to be reassured that we have listened and will continue to listen to people to make sure we get the Local Plan right as soon as possible.” 

Cheshire East received a report last week from the Planning Inspector providing his interim views on the soundness and legal compliance of the Council’s Local Plan.

The inspector has agreed that, in preparing the Local Plan, the Council has complied with its duty to cooperate and its strategy for towns and villages. He has, however, expressed concern as to whether the draft Local Plan provides for sufficient homes to meet future need by 2030.

The Council is minded to pause the examination to allow further work to be undertaken to address the inspector’s concerns, which is likely to be completed within six months. 

Councillor Peter Raynes, who is Cabinet member in charge of finance, said: “As a long-term resident of Cheshire East, I have a passion to maintain the precious landscape of our beautiful Borough. But, at the same time, this Council recognises the need to produce a Local Plan that meets the needs of the future.

“I cannot think of a more important task to be involved in.”

Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council and Cabinet member in charge of strategic outcomes, said: “In order to ensure the best chance for the Cheshire East Local Plan to succeed, I have decided to take a backward step from overseeing the Local Plan to allow a fresh pair of eyes and perspective to be brought to bear.

“I believe this is the best solution for the way forward as I have spent many hours and met many residents during the production of the plan.

“The Local Plan has been a massive undertaking: the Council has received more than 40,000 responses from residents and organisations, which were collated, assessed and fed into the submission version of the Local Plan Strategy. The strategy has also undergone nine rounds of public consultation since 2010.

“Since the Local Plan was approved by the Council, on February 28, 2014, the Government has come out with a new assessment methodology – the National Planning Policy Guidance – on March 6 this year, and therefore new housing calculations and employment figures will have to be calculated.

“Our economic growth and projected jobs creation has been outstanding – even beyond our expectations, with the unemployment rate down to 1.2 per cent in the Borough and just 0.9 per cent in Congleton for example – so we now have to review our housing numbers.

“Now it is time for others to assess the Planning Inspector’s comments in total – to make sure we can address all the issues that have been raised.”

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Tribute to Honorary Freeman Anne Blacklay


Willaston and Rope Ward Councillor Brian Silvester has paid tribute to Honorary Freeman Anne Blacklay from Nantwich.

He said, “Anne was the Leader of the Conservative Group and the Crewe and Nantwich Council when I was first elected to the Council in 1976. The Conservatives had just taken control of the Council and it was an exciting, hectic but difficult time. Anne was well respected by all sides, a great lady and a good Leader.

One of the first things she did as Leader of the Council was to save the Crewe Market and the railway cottages in the Dorfold Street area, in the centre of the town, from the demolition plans of the previous Labour administration.

Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council was only formed in 1974 and Anne was one of the first Leaders and she helped lay the foundations for it to be come one of the best Councils in the country.

I would like to send my sincere condolences and sympathy to her family and friends.”

Fight to stop further 53 houses in the green gap in Rope

In 2012 Wain Homes had an application for 80 houses off Rope Lane refused because it was in the Green Gap.(See phase 1 attached) They gained permission  on appeal. In the decision letter the Inspector said that the ‘the development would not materially reduce the physical or perceived separation of Shavington and Crewe.’

This latest application (see attached) will virtually obliterate the green gap between Shavington and the A500 and if the Gresty Oaks development is passed it will be gone for good. It would virtually destroy the Green Gap and the beautiful open countryside at the edge of Shavington and many acres of good agricultural land would be lost forever. It would be the latest step towards joining Crewe up with its surrounding villages. Most  people are aware of the ugly urban sprawl in places like Stoke on Trent and we do not want that on our doorstep.

Rope Lane is the main route to Shavington High School and Shavington village. Rope lane is congested and dangerous now at peak times.To have an additional 100  cars  added to the traffic movements can only lead to further highway congestion and add to the accident and pollution problems.  

No apparent regard has been taken of the fact that Swill Brook is a flood zone and that there is significant potential for flooding. Gresty Lane and gardens adjacent to the brook regularly flood now and this further development will only exasperate the flooding problems. Also the development would put extra pressure on local schools and NHS facilities which are already under pressure.

In summary there are good planning reasons to refuse this appeal. This site has not been included as one of the strategic housing sites in the Local Plan. The site is marked in the submitted local plan as ‘Proposed Green Belt Broad Area of Search. I strongly feel that this appeal should be rejected. It is detrimental to the open countryside, it would mean the permanent loss of good agricultural land, it would bring further  traffic problems, it would exasperate the current flooding problems, it impinges massively on the green gap between our towns and is unsustainable.” I would urge residents to write in to object using this web site  or e-mail Quoting Ref 14/3267N Land east of Rope Lane, Shavington.  

Residents can also write to the Planning Inspectorate,3/26 Hawk Wing. Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN

NB On the 24/9/14 the original application was refused because of the reasons listed below, which are very similar to my original objections above.

Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

Willaston and Rope Ward Councillor

Cheshire East Council

11 Rimsdale Close



Tel/fax 01270 567757

Text     07760147609

Green waste service goes into hibernation


The collection of household green waste by Cheshire East Council will again be suspended during the winter period to save taxpayers money and because of the seasonal decline in demand.

Following a public consultation exercise earlier this year, in which the Council listened carefully to the wishes of the public, the garden waste service will be suspended for 12 weeks from December 8 and will resume on February 13, 2015.

The shutdown will help reduce carbon emissions by reducing the use of vehicles and make better use of Council resources over the coldest months of the year.

Residents are being urged to check the Council’s website and online calendar for the date of their last collection in 2014 and the first collection of 2015.

Blue stickers are being attached to bins to make the public aware of the customary annual suspension of service.

Should any residents need to dispose of green waste during this period, they can still use the many household-recycling centres around the Borough.

Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for service commissioning Councillor David Topping said: “Suspending the garden waste service over the winter makes complete sense as demand at this time of year is very low and the Council can make much more efficient use of its resources.

“The Council consulted residents about the proposed winter shutdown earlier this year, as we were keen to hear their views about the timing and length of the shutdown and their preferred method of communication.

“Over 2,500 responses were received and the Council has listened carefully to those views when finalising the details of this year’s winter suspension. I would like to thank all residents for their co-operation.”

Householders can visit the Cheshire East website at for more information about the winter shutdown ­– Winter shutdown, check their collection day via the Council’s online calendar ­– Online calendar and find out where their nearest household waste recycling centre is ­–  Household Waste Recycling Centres.  

Cheshire East’s household recycling centres, which are located in Alsager, Arclid, Bollington, Congleton, Crewe, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Middlewich and Poynton, are open seven days a week throughout the year, with the exception of Christmas Day.

Council Leader hands £2,400 boost to church war memorial


Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones has handed a £2,400 boost to a scheme to renovate a church memorial to local war heroes.

The Council grant money will help repair and refurbish the church gateway of St Boniface, in Bunbury, which serves a memorial to those who lost their lives in both world wars and subsequent conflicts.

The cheque presentation followed a successful application to the Cheshire East War Memorial grant scheme.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, presented the cheque for £2,400 when he visited the church for a well-attended service of remembrance.

Cllr Jones said: “I was pleased to be at St Boniface to present the grant award on behalf of Cheshire East Council.

“The money will support the refurbishment of the memorial gateway, which commemorates and recognises those who gave their lives for their country. Supporting important projects like this one is the right thing for us to do.”

Accepting the cheque on behalf of the team involved in the refurbishment project, parish vicar the Rev Tim Hayward said: “The war memorial gates project is a great example of all the community coming together.

“We had folk from the Church, the Royal British Legion, the parish council, the school and, of course, from Cheshire East, who all gave very generously. We had quite a stretch in terms of the target we had to reach.

“We applied for a number of grants to support the project, including this one from Cheshire East and, very kindly, they awarded us a grant of £2,400, without which we simply wouldn’t have been able to do the refurbishments – so we are very grateful.”

The total cost of the memorial gates refurbishment was £8,700.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Benefits cheat pensioner jailed over £60,000 claims scam


A pensioner has been jailed for six months after admitting fraudulently claiming more than £60,000 in a benefits scam.

Stanley Oldfield, 72, was also ordered by Chester Crown Court to repay all the benefits illegally claimed, totalling £62,977, within six months – or face a further 12 months behind bars.

Oldfield, of Lower Greenshall Lane, Disley, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two offences of dishonestly failing to report changes in his circumstances in relation to claims made for income support, pension credit and Council Tax Benefit.

Oldfield had claimed the benefits on the basis that he was on a low income and had less than £16,000 in capital or assets.

However, an investigation by Cheshire East Council’s benefit fraud investigation team and the Department for Work and Pensions found Oldfield had bought three properties on Anglesey – in Holyhead, Amlwch and Rhydwyn – in March 2002, which were now worth a total of more than £500,000.

In 2013 the three properties were valued at £260,000, £160,000 and £85,000. During interviews with investigators, former demolition contractor Oldfield said he had bought them to renovate as investments. He then rented them out and also failed to declare the rental income to the benefits office.

In failing to declare these properties and the capital available to him, Oldfield was overpaid state benefits totalling £62,977.41.

The court order to repay the money within six months or face a further jail sentence was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Councillor Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of finance, said: “This prosecution sends out a very clear message that the Council and courts will come down firmly on those who attempt to defraud the taxpayer.

“Cheshire East is an enforcing Council and we will take robust action, as we did in this case, to protect our communities from those who abuse the rules at the expense of taxpayers.

“Benefit fraud will not be tolerated. Last year we successfully brought 48 prosecutions for benefit fraud – and we are keeping up the pressure to catch offenders.”

If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, you can ring the confidential freephone fraud hotline on 0800 389 2787. You don’t have to give your name and your call will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Alternatively, you can report suspected fraud via the Council’s website at

Housing benefit fraudster faces bill for more than £3,700


A man who claimed benefit fraudulently while working must find more than £3,700 to make amends after he was prosecuted by Cheshire East Council.

Lee Mooney, 25, began claiming housing benefit in March 2013 while living in Delamere Road, Handforth.

He said he was out of work but investigators from Cheshire East Borough Council’s Benefit Fraud Team found that Mooney had obtained paid employment in June 2013 and had left the property in Delamere Road.

Mooney failed to report these changes and received £3,321 in housing benefit up until March 2014, to which he was not entitled.

He was convicted in his absence by South and East Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on November 5, and appeared for sentencing on November 11.

Magistrates placed Mooney under an eight-week curfew from 7pm to 7am daily. He was ordered to repay the £3,221overpaid benefit as well as costs of £350 and a victim surcharge of £60.

The prosecution was brought by Cheshire East Council’s legal team.

Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet member for finance, said: “This case shows that cheating the system leaves perpetrators much worse off. We proactively investigate cases like this to prevent fraudsters taking money away from those who really need help.”

Residents can report people they suspect of benefit fraud by calling free on the confidential fraud hotline number 0800 389 2787. There is no need to give a name and calls are treated in the strictest confidence.

Alternatively, suspected fraud can be reported through the Council’s website at

Local optician’s donation will help hundreds of Crewe children put safety first

Children and headmaster David Jobling at St Michaels school in their high vis vests

A CREWE optician is helping to ensure local children are ‘seen and safe’ on the roads this winter by donating 300 high visibility vests to three community primaries, as part of this week’s national Road Safety Week (17-23 November).

As part of an initiative by Specsavers to increase the safety of Crewe youngsters, children at St Michael’s Community Academy, Leighton Academy and Monks Coppenhall Primary School have been presented with vests by staff at the town’s Specsavers store on Market Street.

All the youngsters also took part in special workshops to ensure that they’re safer when their learning takes them out into the community as well as when walking to and from school or on school trips.

Michael Elleray, store director at Crewe Specsavers, comments: ‘We’re delighted to be able to donate these vests and were very impressed to find that Crewe youngsters were already well-versed on their road safety.

‘With dark conditions, combined with the winter weather, at times when children are walking to or from school, it can be difficult for motorists to see pedestrians. Dusk is particularly hazardous.

‘These fluorescent and reflective vests are an excellent tool to keep children safe and are a key part of National Road Safety Week’s message and commitment to getting everyone on board with the importance of protecting kids, families and everyone else on roads.

‘As part of the initiative, we are also hoping to raise awareness of free glasses and eye tests that are available to under 16-year-olds. It is important to make sure that children have regular eye tests as an undetected problem could lead to something more severe in the long term.’

To find out more about Road Safety Week visit

To book your next appointment at Specsavers Crewe call 01270 250707 or visit

Cheshire East takes action to reduce the level of illegal Traveller encampments


Cheshire East Council has taken action to reduce the level of illegal Traveller encampments in the Borough.

Cheshire East has experienced a significant rise in the number of illegal encampments across the authority, with 78 being reported between January 1 and November 3 of this year.

These encampments have had a significant impact – not only on local residents but also on businesses too.

The police have been unable to use their legal powers under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to move Travellers on from encampments due to the fact that Cheshire East does not have a publicly-owned transit site which police can direct Travellers to. 

This is something which the Council has been keen to rectify and has identified as a key priority.

A spokesperson for Cheshire East said a recent Gypsy and Traveller accommodation needs assessment had identified a requirement of between five and 10 transit pitches. 

Cheshire East took active steps to commission a site identification study, with the aim of finding a suitable site which could be put through the planning process.

A site has been identified on Cledford Lane, Middlewich, which has the potential to accommodate 10 pitches and is being progressed currently through the pre-application stage of the planning process. Cheshire East is in negotiations with the owners of the site with a view to purchasing it.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Cheshire East will not tolerate illegal encampments.

“They can have a detrimental impact on an area, resulting in significant clear-up costs – not only for the authority but also for businesses and residents. 

“We, however, recognise that we have to make provision to enable the Gypsy and Traveller communities, who are passing through, a safe and secure location in which to stay on a temporary basis.”

Cheshire East will manage the transit site and those located on the site will pay rent and service charges.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cabinet member in charge of localism and enforcement, said: “Cheshire East is experiencing a substantial rise in the number of illegal encampments across the authority.

“Incidents have more than doubled – with 38 in 2012, 70 last year and 78 so far this year since January – which has had financial implications for the authority and private landowners. Failure to make adequate provision could lead to further increased levels of unlawful encampments.

“Cheshire East Council wants to reassure our residents and businesses that we are committed to providing, as a priority, a transit site to reduce the level of illegal encampments and to enable the police to use their powers, under the Criminal Justice and Public Order act 1994, to direct Travellers on to more appropriate sites.

“This will reduce the negative impact on residents and local businesses. If the Travellers refuse to move to such sites they have to leave the local authority area and cannot return for three months. While occupying the transit site, they will have to pay for services, including rent.

“Living in illegal encampments also has implications for the Gypsy and Traveller communities themselves, as the lack of suitable facilities creates problems in terms of access to health and education and we wish to address these too.”

Cheshire East Highways is ready for winter


Cheshire East Highways is fully equipped to cope as winter weather begins to take hold.

Duty officers receive detailed weather reports around the clock during the winter months and then decide whether to dispatch vehicles and crews suited to the conditions.  

Residents can track gritting vehicles as they treat local routes by clicking on the winter service link at The latest information is also posted on Twitter @CECHighways.

Councillor David Topping, Cabinet member for service commissioning, said: “I want to reassure residents that we are well equipped to deal with snow and ice in the weeks and months ahead.

“We will be continually monitoring the weather throughout the winter months and gritting vehicles can be dispatched quickly if conditions begin to deteriorate. We aim to provide as much information as possible in the event of severe weather conditions.

“We treat a total of 1,085 km of primary roads (40 per cent of the Borough’s road network) when ice or frosty conditions are forecast. However, no guarantee can be given that roads will always be completely clear of ice or snow.”

During snowy conditions, Cheshire East Highways will also deploy snow blowers,
all-terrain quad bikes with attachable snow ploughs and towable gritters for footways and roads with restricted access.

Cheshire East Highways’ preparations for winter

•           There are 17 primary gritting routes and a gritting fleet of 17 serviced and tested frontline gritters with trained drivers;

•           Nine gritters load directly from the mine with eight more operating from our northern depot;

•           Approximately 10,000 tonnes of rock salt is used for treating the highway network in an average winter;

•           We treat a total of 1,085 km of primary roads (40 per cent of the Borough’s road network) when ice or frosty conditions are forecast;

•           A normal gritting route takes approximately four hours, when treating the network for a forecast of ice and hoar frost. The aim is to complete all these routes before 7am; (This of course depends on the forecast. For instance, rain could delay treatment)

•           Approximately 3,500 tonnes of rock salt is stored locally, and regularly replenished during the winter season;

•           One-tonne salt bags can be located at short notice at strategic locations when snow or prolonged icy conditions are forecast. The principal aim is for self help for our more rural communities;

•           The gritting fleet has a GPS navigation system, which records vehicles’ locations and can be tracked live by members of the public by clicking on the winter service link at;

•           Passing traffic breaks down the salt granules and the salt works by turning the ice or snow surrounding each granule into a saline solution, which prevents ice from forming.  

Further advice and a leaflet ‘Travelling on our roads in winter’ can be found at, on Twitter @CECHighways or by calling 0300 123 5020.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Nantwich Saturday Night Sequence Dancers

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

The Nantwich Saturday Night Sequence Dancers have once again raised a substantial amount of money for charity. The dance group raise money for two charities each year and one of their chosen charities this year is Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, to whom they have given a cheque for £1,000. The money was gratefully received by Liz & Mike Boffey from the South Cheshire branch of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

The Dancers meet at the Malbank School in Nantwich on the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 7:30pm to 10:30pm. The five founder members give their time for free and charity funds are raised via a £1.50 fee charged per person per session and the proceeds from the raffle each session, helped by donated raffle prizes given by the participants. Eighty to ninety people attend each session and their oldest member is 103! The dances started in February 2007 and they initially met at the Nantwich Methodist Church in Hospital Street, before moving to the Malbank School on Welsh Row in February 2008. The group have raised over £14,000 since their formation. They chose Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research this year as one of their members sadly lost a daughter to leukaemia. The Dancers other chosen charity in March of this year was the North West Air Ambulance.

Caryl and Margaret from the Nantwich Saturday Night Sequence Dancers said, “We are all agreed that our dances are regularly attended by a lovely group of people - it makes it feel like one big happy family”.

Liz Boffey from the South Cheshire branch of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research said, “The South Cheshire Branch of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research are indebted to the Nantwich Saturday Night Sequence Dancers for their generous donation. Mike and I were delighted to meet them and hear of the good work they do whilst having fun and keeping fit. The money raised goes directly into research of all leukaemia types and lymphoma - we wish the Sequence Dancers more future success."

For further information relating to the Nantwich Saturday Night Sequence Dancers please ‘phone Margaret and Ken on 01270 627275, or email:

For further information relating to the South Cheshire branch of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research please ‘phone 01948 871250, or email: 

Dancers hand cheque to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research

The annual Cancer Research UK ‘Christmas Fair’

Reporter J White

The annual Cancer Research UK ‘Christmas Fair’ took place at the Wistaston Memorial Hall on Saturday 15th November 2014. The event was organised by the Crewe and Nantwich Support Group for Cancer Research UK

There were numerous stalls selling gifts, plants, cakes and Christmas cards, plus a Tea Room serving drinks and snacks. There was also a Teddy Bear Tombola and of course Father Christmas was there as well.

Committee chairman John Pass said, “We thank everyone for their support. Once again the people of Wistaston have come out in large numbers to support Cancer Research UK.”

If you would like to learn more about the work of the local Cancer Research UK committee or would like to volunteer at any of their events please telephone Margaret Smith on 01270 626904.

Father Christmas waits to give presents to a boy and girl

Friday, 14 November 2014

Crewe Crematorium to get £1.5m revamp to improve facilities


Crewe Crematorium is to be given a major £1.5m revamp to improve facilities for the bereaved.

The works include extending the building, boosting seating capacity, improving toilet facilities and increasing parking.

Crewe Crematorium, located in Crewe Cemetery, will get a single-storey extension to the front of the existing building. The extension will consist of an arrival area, a book of remembrance alcove and an area where bereaved families can wait more comfortably. 

External walls of remembrance will be built to both the front and side of the existing building to replace the ‘carriage porch’ (porte cochere).

The interior will get an extra 32 seats – increasing capacity by nearly 50 per cent from the current total of 68 seats. There will also be an extension of the ‘hearing loop’ through which those who are hard of hearing can access the service.

Toilet facilities will be improved as the existing chapel of rest will be converted into male, female and disabled toilets. Additional parking spaces will be available, including additional disabled parking.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is excellent news for users of this facility and shows our commitment to deliver improved, quality services for residents.

“When we created our arms-length companies, we did this so we could develop ways of investing in our facilities. So, we are building new leisure centres and we are improving our existing facilities – something that has needed to happen for a long, long time.”

Councillor David Marren, chairman of Orbitas – Cheshire East Council’s arms-length company which runs Cheshire East’s cemeteries and bereavement services, said: “This scheme will enable us to provide an even better quality of service for people at what is very often a difficult and emotional time.

“The extension of the crematorium will allow up to 32 more mourners to attend a service for a departed loved one. Not only will extra seats be added but also a cover will be included to shelter mourners before a service, where at the present time mourners have to stand in bad weather. 

“The new corridor system will also prevent the bereaved from the previous service from walking directly past the mourners who are attending the next service – giving mourning families and friends a greater sense of privacy and dignity, while reducing the distress felt by both parties.”

The work is due to start in May 2015 and set to be completed by early autumn.

The work will be done outside crematorium opening hours and services will take place as normal. Every effort will be made to keep any impact of the work to a minimum and Orbitas thanks the public in advance for their patience and understanding.

For information about Crewe Crematorium and Cemetery, visit the Council’s website at:

Congleton to get new college facility to train carers of the future


A partnership to provide a vocational training college alongside a day care centre is to be set up by Cheshire East Council in conjunction with Congleton High School in what is seen as a ground-breaking partnership between youth education and adult social care.

Students will have their learning environment next door to a community day care centre for older people where they will have the opportunity to take part in a range of vocational training courses including health and social care and professional catering.

The college will be based at Mountview in Congleton, where a day care centre for older adults is run by Care4CE, Cheshire East Council’s in-house adult social care service provider. It will be a separate wing of the building and will remain independent of the day care centre.

But day care users will be able to take advantage of the college facilities including its hair salon and café which are also intended to be of benefit to the wider older community and social care service users. Students will also get the chance to develop social activities in which day care users and the wider community can participate.

The centre will link the younger generations with the older sector and neighbouring communities whilst training and preparing the next generation of carers and professionals for the health and care sector.

It will develop a thriving and vibrant community resource that will develop to meet the changing needs of the community.

A variety of accredited bespoke courses will allow students to study a range of vocational health and social care disciplines.  Pupils from Congleton will be offered places at the college where they can access employment and training opportunities. 

The Leader of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Michael Jones said: “Intergenerational activity is known to be extremely effective as a support mechanism for adults and an excellent  learning experience for young people.

‘I am delighted that in conjunction with The Congleton College we are able to provide such an innovative scheme that is intergenerational.

‘This is about providing an environment and education facility that will help us to build a well-trained and qualified workforce for the future.

‘It will enhance their chances of employment locally and benefit the local care and health sector with home grown professionals for the future.’

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for care and health in the community said: ‘With more older people requiring social care and support services, we will need to develop a generation of young people who are highly trained in providing that care.

‘I want to stress that the core provision of high quality day care at Mountview will not change and that dedicated Care4CE staff will continue to provide care for service users in a distinctly separate section of the building.

‘But I am confident that this arrangement will prove to be of enormous benefit to all.’

The Council and college have ambitious plans for its continued development involving the voluntary and faith sectors and other health and social care providers to extend and develop community resources in and around the community.

The College has already engaged with local businesses and employers in order to best match their needs for training and education.

David Hermitt, Chief Executive of CMAT and Executive Principal of Congleton High School said: ‘This will be an excellent learning and training facility for our students studying for vocational qualifications.

‘It will give students the opportunity to study in a real working environment that is not a school and will bring a much-needed college provision to Congleton.

‘This really is a unique and exciting development allowing young people to study in and around a working facility and to develop their skills to ensure they are as prepared for work as they can be.’

The plan for the college at Mountview approved by the Council’s Cabinet this week and it is intended that the first phase of the college will come into use next September.

For more information, contact:

Media Relations Officer: Steve Brauner

Direct line: 01270 686604

Mobile: 07971 770548


Suspended jail sentence for housing benefit fraudster


A woman who forged rent forms in order to cheat the benefits system has ended up with fines and costs of more than £470 and a suspended prison sentence after she was prosecuted by Cheshire East Council.

For more than a year, Natasha Barnard, 30, used the fraudulent forms to claim money she was not entitled to.

Barnard, of Latham Road, Sandbach, admitted one charge of making a false representation to obtain housing benefit when she appeared before South and East Cheshire Magistrate’s Court in Crewe on November 11, 2014.

Magistrates heard that she first claimed in May 2012 while living at an address in Bridle Road, Crewe, providing a confirmation of rent form completed by her landlord showing the amount she was paying.

Housing Benefit was paid to Barnard for this property until June 2013.  She then told the Council that she had moved to Broughton Road, Crewe where she submitted a new claim and provided another confirmation of rent form for that address.

An investigation by officers from Cheshire East Council’s Benefit Fraud Investigation Team found that Barnard’s forgeries continued for more than 12 months.

Barnard will have to repay state benefits of £3,667.37 that she received but was not entitled to.

Magistrates sentenced her to 12 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months, together with 200 hours of community punishment. Barnard will also have to pay £367 costs, a victim surcharge of £80 and a fine of £15 for breaching a previous sentence.

The prosecution was brought by Cheshire East Council’s legal team.

Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet member for finance, said: “This case shows that cheating the system leaves perpetrators much worse off. We proactively investigate cases like this to prevent fraudsters taking money away from those really need help.”

Residents can report people they suspect of benefit fraud by calling free on the confidential fraud hotline number 0800 389 2787. There is no need to give a name and calls are treated in the strictest confidence.

Alternatively, suspected fraud can be reported through the Council’s website at

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Councillor’s campaign to get bollards erected, to stop dangerous parking, is successful


Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester has been campaigning for a long while alongside local residents and the Parish Council to get action to stop dangerous parking at the junction of Meadow View and Wistaston Road, Willaston.(See photos below)

Brian said, " The developers of Meadow View, Thomas Jones, instructed contractors to erect bollards on the grassed area on the left hand side of the road as you drive in.(See below) The idea was to physically stop the double parking at the junction, which made it impossible for emergency vehicles and other vehicles from gaining access. The bollards have now been erected (See photo below) I am hopeful that they will alleviate the parking problems that have occurred too frequently at the junction.”

A local Meadow View resident said ‘ The parking has improved due to the installation of the bollards  Occasionally drivers are continuing to park on the left hand side next to the bollards, making it very difficult to access the cul de sac but instances have been quite few. All the residents are extremely grateful to Cllr Silvester for his continued  help with this matter and can only thank him for his support.’

Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

Leader of the UK Independence Party Group

Willaston and Rope Ward Councillor

Cheshire East Council

11 Rimsdale Close



Tel/fax 01270 567757

Text     07760147609