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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Cheshire East Council scoops Green Flag and heritage awards


Cheshire East Council’s parks are some of the very best in the UK – and that’s official.

Cheshire East has been awarded Green Flags for its outstanding parks, an important element of the council’s commitment to ‘quality of place’ for the region.

The Green Flag award is given to authorities that deliver a parks service to an international standard. All parks are measured on how well they are maintained, how sustainable they are, along with their contributions to conservation and heritage.

However, there are also more diverse criteria that parks are measured on, which include areas such as how they are marketed and managed.

Significant investment in our parks in recent years has resulted in the Green Flag award standard being achieved by Queens Park in Crewe, Congleton and Sandbach parks along with the Moor in Knutsford, Bollington recreation ground, Brereton Heath local nature reserve, Tegg’s Nose country park and Tatton Park.

Tatton Park in Knutsford and Queens Park in Crewe have also received the Green Heritage Award, which is given to places that achieve a high standard in management and interpretation of a site with local or national historic importance.

The awards are recognition of outstanding partnership working both with other local authorities and community groups. They were presented at the Guildhall in Hull in an event attended by many northern authorities.

Councillor David Brown, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is deserved recognition for a lot of hard work and dedication, not just from our own teams at Cheshire East but also the army of volunteers and community groups that make achievements like this possible.

“The Green Flag is an international standard and the only national award for parks, so this is great praise for Cheshire East to be recognised in this way.”

Councillor John Hammond, chairman of Cheshire East’s wholly-owned company Ansa, which delivers parks services for the authority, said: “Green Flag is a prestigious parks award which benchmarks the national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK. So naturally, I am delighted with this success.

“All of these parks look beautiful at this time and I must thank all our friends groups and partners for their outstanding efforts and contributions to make this happen.

“It was particularly satisfying that Queens Park in Crewe was successful in obtaining the Green Heritage Award this year, following the recent refurbishment and investment. We do hope you will take time to visit and support your local park.”

Ensure you have your say on Cheshire East bus services consultation


Cheshire East Council is encouraging ‘you’ to have your say on the 10-week borough-wide consultation into proposed changes to subsidised bus services, including the ‘Little Bus’ flexible transport service.

The proposals would save more than £1.5m from the council’s budget. Cheshire East is urging the public to come forward and have their say before the consultation ends on Wednesday, July 26.

You can see the proposals and give your views online at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/busreview or pick up a consultation pack at libraries and customer service centres.

All opinions are welcome on the consultation proposals. Cheshire East is also encouraging members of the public who don’t use buses to share their views.

The proposed changes include no longer supporting buses on evenings and Sundays, as these are some of the least used of the authority’s subsidised services. This is being suggested in order to maintain more weekday and Saturday services.

Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “Changing the way services operate is always a very complex issue.

“Naturally, the council wants to weigh up the needs of all our service users for such an important consultation, so we are determined to take every possible opportunity to hear what the public has to say.

“We will still be investing more than £2m in subsidised bus services.”

Cheshire East to check council tax discounts for errors


Cheshire East is to run data checks on households claiming council tax discounts in order to find instances where incorrect awards have been made.

All households in Cheshire East claiming a single person’s discount of 25 per cent off their council tax bill will be checked for their authenticity using sophisticated data-matching technology.

This is part of an ongoing review to validate legitimate single person discount claims and identify and remove those being claimed in error.

A 25 per cent discount, worth a minimum of £250 a year, is given to anyone who claims to be living in a property on their own.

Cheshire East Council is now checking to see whether people are living alone, by cross-referencing with other sources of information about their household – such as, but not limited to, the electoral roll registers and financial sector information.

People failing to respond to two written requests for further information, in relation to their claim, will have it withdrawn from the beginning of the current financial year or from the date the discount was applied, if within the current financial year.

If during the review process, checks indicate that another adult is living at the address, the discount will also be withdrawn.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “We will be contacting all those we believe to be claiming incorrectly but, in the meantime, I would urge anyone who is claiming the discount and whose circumstances have changed, to contact us immediately by visiting the council tax section of the authority’s website or by telephoning 0300 123 5013.

“It would be advisable for individuals to let us know about changes in their circumstances, so it makes sense to tell us as soon as possible. Even if you were living alone when you received your bill for the year, if another adult is living with you now, we will need to re-calculate the amount you need to pay.”

Love Crewe Mission Week’

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

‘Love Crewe Mission Week’ took place in Crewe from Wednesday 12th to Sunday 16th July 2017 with a range of events in the morning, afternoon and evening.

There was a morning outreach each day from Wednesday to Saturday in Crewe town centre, where free drinks and prayer were offered. In the afternoon from Wednesday to Saturday there were clear ups in Valley Park and Orchard and Ford Lane alley and park. In the evening from Wednesday to Sunday there were events including ‘Where can I find hope?’ at Crewe Alex, a live music concert by indie-pop band ‘BrightLine’ in Queens Park, ‘Does God care about me?’ with inspiring speakers and live music on Crewe Town Square, ‘Where can I find healing?’ at Crewe Alex and on the final day there was a Celebration party at Crewe Alex.

All the events were free and the Love Crewe Mission Week was enjoyed by several hundred people.

The events were organised by ‘Love Crewe’ - http://www.lovecrewe.co.uk/ - who are comprised of churches serving the Crewe area.

A representative from Love Crewe said, “Love Crewe was born out of a desire to see the town blessed and transformed. As the churches in Crewe we believe the heart of this change is each person experiencing the love of God through Jesus. This brings healing, forgiveness and real hope!”

For further information relating to Love Crewe, please contact Phil and Emma Howell on 07906616373.

Hope Church worship group perform  on Crewe Town Square

STATEMENT RE: HS2 Bill before Parliament


Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We welcome the Hybrid Bill for Phase 2a of HS2, from Birmingham to Crewe, being put before Parliament. This is a key milestone for this ‘once in a generation’ rail project, which will see a Crewe hub station opening in 2027.

“This council also welcomes further recognition of the overwhelming case for a HS2 hub station in Crewe.

“We are pleased to see that the Department for Transport has launched a consultation on the Crewe HS2 hub station and related components. The council will consider the consultation proposals in detail to ensure our consultation responses reflect the best possible outcomes for Cheshire East residents.

“This council and the Constellation Partnership (a sub-regional group of neighbouring local authorities and local enterprise partnerships) now look forward to the opportunity to vigorously press the case for the enormous benefits to the economy that an enhanced HS2 hub station at Crewe – with unrivalled 360-degree connectivity and up to seven high-speed trains an hour serving Manchester, Birmingham and London – would deliver, not only to the sub-region but also to the Midlands, North West, Wales and beyond.

“I would also reiterate that we wish to see the highest standards of mitigation and compensation for those people and businesses affected by the route.”

Council acts to tackle parking issues on Crewe Business Park


Longstanding parking and transport issues on a thriving business park are set to be addressed following extensive consultation with businesses.

Cheshire East Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company is actively working with businesses on Crewe Business Park to help find solutions to the parking and commuting problems along Electra Way and surrounding areas.

A workshop was held in April to explore options to tackle a number of issues affecting staff and businesses. These included reducing parking violations – including triple parking and parking on the grass verges – improving public transport links to the site and steps to encourage car-sharing, walking and cycling.

Longer-term structural issues affecting access to and from the park and the opening up of additional offsite parking spaces, for example at the nearby MMU site, were also considered.

Arriva and D&G Bus were also involved in the workshop and are participating in the process, with new timetables, shuttle services and discounted ticketing options under consideration.

Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company said: “We are determined to help ease the parking and transport issues on Crewe Business Park and have been pleased with the excellent support, co-operation and innovation shown by all parties so far. I would urge all businesses on the park to come forward and share in the process of providing solutions”.

The Skills and Growth Company is working in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to help tackle congestion via the potential leasing of parking space on the Crewe campus site.

Shaun Evans, of Assurant Solutions, a large employer on Crewe Business Park, said: “We have been aware of the parking problems on the park for some time and it has been impacting negatively on our staff, visitors and neighbours. We are very pleased to work with the council to find solutions as soon as possible, which could also improve the wellbeing of our staff by helping them to use public transport, car share, walk or cycle to work.”

Improved better care fund to support adult social care and NHS


Cheshire East Council will receive a grant of £10.8m over the next three years, dedicated to the needs of the growing adult social care sector and the wider local health economy.

The expected positive impacts of this grant funding will lead to reducing pressure on the NHS, help people to stay at home for longer – which will include supporting more people to be discharged from hospital when they are ready and without delay – and ensure that local social care provision is supported appropriately.

This dedicated approach to adult social care outcomes is being delivered through the improved Better Care Fund.

Cheshire East Council’s adult social care services team is showing a vast improvement in the reduction of delayed discharges from hospitals. Working closely with two clinical commissioning groups, two acute trusts, community providers and GPs, this transformation work is already well developed and proving successful.

Adult social care teams in Cheshire East are also delivering more ‘area-based’ care. This allows health and social care staff to have a very clear community focus in their approach and to support residents in promoting their independence.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “There is an unprecedented increase in demand on adult social care in the borough and we are always looking at innovative ways to support our vulnerable residents.

“We have an ageing population, which we are determined to support the best we can by providing support to allow them to live in their own homes for longer and to have more choice and control.

“We also have a lot of younger adults who are transitioning to adult social care, many of whom have very complex needs. It is our foremost priority to ensure that a high standard of care is provided in a timely manner to our residents.

“This grant is a welcome boost to Cheshire East residents as we continue to deliver against our outcome of living well for longer.”

Monday, 17 July 2017

Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service July 2017 E-Newsletter

Subject: Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service July 2017 E-Newsletter - FiRELiNK


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

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

Message sent by

Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

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


Award-winning month!

Award-winning month!

We are delighted to have won two prestigious awards - one for road safety and one for health and home safety.

Prestigious health award

Cheshire and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services have won a prestigious health award for their pioneering new scheme focusing on bowel cancer screening.

The two services' Safe and Well visits have won a Healthcare Transformation Award in the category of Improving Cancer Outcomes, alongside their partners Public Health England, NHS England (Cheshire and Merseyside) and Cancer Research UK.

Find out more - Fire and Rescue Services win health award

Tyre Safety award

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has won an award for their tyre safety campaign which they run in conjunction with a national charity.

The Service won a Tyre Safety award in the Community category for their work with partners TyreSafe in reducing the number of unsafe tyres on the roads in Cheshire.

Find out more - Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service wins Tyre Safety award


Care home company fined for serious fire safety breaches

A Cheshire care home company has been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £9,000 in costs after pleading guilty to serious breaches of fire safety regulations.

Four Seasons (No 9) Ltd is part of Four Seasons Health Care Group and pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at its Cypress Court Care Home premises on Broad Street in Crewe.

Find out more - Care home company fined for serious fire safety breaches


Summer safety

Barbecue

Stay safe during the summer months, use the links below to access fire safety tips and advice:

Summer road safety tips

Car on a country road in Cheshire

Long warm days can be the perfect opportunity to get out and about in your car. If you're planning a road trip, please read the information below for the most important things you need to check and do before you take to the road.

Find out more - Summer road safety tips


Fire Station open days

Ellesmere Port Fire Station Open Day 2017

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service fire stations will be holding free fire station open days over the next few months.

Find out more - Fire Station open days

Find out about your local fire station - where it is, what open days or special events they are holding and how to get in contact with them.

Find out more - Your local fire station

Bradley Lowery at Memorial

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The people of Crewe honoured the life and achievements of Bradley Lowery at Memorial Square in Crewe on the evening of Friday 14th July 2017.

Bradley, from Blackhall Colliery in County Durham, passed away, aged six years old, on Friday 7th July 2017. He was a Sunderland football fan who was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer - neuroblastoma - when just 18 months old. He became Sunderland's club mascot and also "best mates" with his hero, striker Jermain Defoe. Bradley's brave fight against cancer inspired millions and has helped raise over £1 million for charity.

The event took place on the day of Bradley's funeral. There was a short speech from Shaine Tench about Bradley and what this young boy achieved and how he brought so many people together, followed by a two-minute clapping ovation. A hugging exercise then took place to symbolise Bradley bringing people together, then children at the event were invited to release ten helium-filled balloons.

A person dressed in a Mickey Mouse cartoon character costume attended the event, as Bradley was a Disney fan. It was also hoped that the Mickey Mouse brought comfort to children who didn't understand the situation in relation to Bradley.

There was also a donation bucket with all funds donated to the Bradley Lowery Foundation.

The event was organised by Shaine Tench, from Crewe, who said, "We came together as the great community of Crewe to show our support for Bradley and his family during their sad loss. Bradley was a hero to myself and many others."

Balloon release from Memorial  Square

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS)

Reporter Jonathan White

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS) are on the lookout for new members. TAPPS are based at St Andrew’s Church Hall on Bedford Street in Crewe and stage a programme of events throughout the year including a pantomime, two variety shows and summer play reading evenings. There is also an active social programme. If you would like to get involved with this lively group please contact Fred Allman via text/phone on 07968829999.

Their programme of events from July 2017 to January 2018 is:

-Friday 21st July 2017 (7:15pm) – Play reading evening – have a go at reading a part or just relax with a glass of wine and nibbles. Admission = £3. Membership scheme = £2.

-Friday 4th August (7:15pm) – Play reading evening – another chance for a chilled out evening - have a go at reading a part or just relax with a glass of wine and nibbles. Admission = £3. Membership scheme = £2.

-Saturday 9th September (11am) – TAPPS walk – a stroll around the countryside, followed by a pub lunch. Venue to be announced. Those in the membership scheme get £5 towards the cost of lunch.

-Tuesday 19th September (7:15pm) – Rehearsals begin for ‘Autumn Frolics’ – the TAPPS variety show.

-Friday 22nd September (7:30pm) – Trip to Crewe Lyceum Theatre to see ‘A Murder is Announced’. Like to join us? Please book your seat with Fred (see contact details below) by Sunday 9th July.

-Saturday 7th October (7pm) – Performance of ‘Autumn Frolics’ in St Andrew’s Church Hall. Tickets = £5 adults, £2.50 children.

-Friday 27th October (7:15pm) – TAPPS Annual General Meeting.

-Tuesday 7th November (7:15pm) – Rehearsals begin for TAPPS pantomime 'Aladdin’.

-Saturday 23rd December - Trip to Crewe Lyceum Theatre to see the pantomime 'Snow White' starring Cannon & Ball. Tickets = £26 (£21 for those in membership scheme) and closing date for booking is 3rd September.

-Friday 12th & Saturday 13th January 2018 - TAPPS pantomime 'Aladdin’.

TAPPS members Gwen Kinder and Julie  Blackhurst with panto props

Friday, 14 July 2017

Warning issued following hoax HMRC calls

Subject: Warning issued following hoax HMRC calls


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

Dan Hind (Police, Media, Chesh Engagement Unit)

Officers are reminding resident to remain vigilant following a multiple reports of hoax calls from people claiming to be from HMRC.
Over the past 24 hours officers have received three separate reports from residents in the Northwich area who have received calls from a man purporting to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
On each occasion the victim was told they were being investigated by HMRC for an outstanding tax balance and if they didn’t settle the balance then they would be arrested. The caller was then informed that if they paid the balance within two hours they will not be arrested, and then told that the balance could only be settled using iTunes vouchers.
The victims were then advised to visit a high street supermarket or electronics store to purchase the vouchers and then call back the hoax caller and provide them with the serial numbers from the vouchers to settle their debt.
Chief Inspector Simon Meegan said: “In each of these cases the victims have been told that they must purchase hundreds of pounds worth of vouchers or face the prospect of being arrested; which has caused anxiety and concern for all of the victims.
“Thankfully in all three cases the victims did not fall for the scam and no money changed hands. However, having been made aware of these incidents we are working closely with local supermarkets and electronics stores to help prevent vulnerable residents from purchasing large quantities of vouchers.
“I would also like to remind local residents that HMRC would never call you and ask you to settle a balance over the phone using vouchers. I advise anyone who believes that they may have been a victim to call us on 101.”
Anyone who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or have been a victim of fraud should call Cheshire Police on 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

A 'Summer Fair' took place at St Andrew's Church, Bedford Street

Reporter J White

A 'Summer Fair' took place at St Andrew's Church, Bedford Street, Crewe on Saturday 8th July 2017.

The Fair was an opportunity to showcase the numerous uses of the church and the adjacent church hall. Therefore the stalls setup were from an array of ages and interests including St Andrew's Scouts with a challenge to erect a tent in the fastest possible time, St Andrew's Rainbows and Brownies with make a kite, Diamonds with a buried treasure game, parishioners with a Cut cards 4 chocolate game, TAPPS (The Andrews Panto & Plays Society) with the take the lemon challenge, a parishioners cake stall plus guess the weight of the cake, handmade cards for sale by parishioner Andrea Davies, and children’s face painting. There was live entertainment inside the church featuring a dance display by Fink Theatre Academy who use the hall every week, music from Phil Houghton on the church organ and music from Pick & Mix with Fred Allman on vocals and Chris White on vocals and ukulele. Refreshments were available both indoors and outdoors.

St Andrew's is currently looking at the feasibility of building a new parish community centre on the site of the present church hall on Bedford Street. Visitors to the event had the opportunity to discuss with representatives from Cheshire East Council's Communities Team and the Church's Parochial Church Council, what they would like to see in the new centre and a Putting Residents First questionnaire was also available for people to submit their views.

Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of St Andrew, Reverend Lynne Cullens said, “It's been great to see so many members of the local community coming through the door today to have a go on the stalls, eat some of the delicious food that's on offer and to get involved with the kids activities.   It's been a fantastic opportunity too to let the wider community know about the groups, activities and support that's available both here in St Andrew's Church and at the Parish Hall every day of the week.  If anyone would like to help us take forward the redevelopment of the new community centre by giving some time to the steering group or helping us with consultation events such as the one today, then please get in touch on 01270 569000."

Cake stall - Revd Lynne Cullens    with parishionersPick and Mix - Chris White and Fred    Allman

Council raises ceiling on grants to help old, young and vulnerable stay in their own homes


Cheshire East Council has set aside £2.4m to help the old and vulnerable with adaptations to their homes and reduce the long-term impact on the NHS and social services.

The council’s cabinet today (Tuesday) agreed to pay up to £50,000 in disabled facilities grant, far exceeding the present government ceiling of £30,000.

The council has also widened the scope of the grant to make it more flexible, giving applicants greater choice and control so that they can stay in their homes and live safely and securely.

It is hoped the new higher level of grant will be of particular help to families with severely disabled children, so that they can live at home with special adaptations, instead of having to go into care or have an expensive care package.

The council will introduce a new financial assistance policy – to come into effect from August – making it far easier for vulnerable people at risk or on benefits, to access funds for adaptations such as stairlifts, improved insulation and other essential repairs and improvements.

The new policy sets out a series of six grants and loans to help those who qualify stay warm, safe and secure in their homes.

The four key objectives are:

● Residents can afford to heat their homes and enjoy better health;

● Disabled people can live independently with confidence and dignity;

● Residents can be confident their home is safe and watertight and can live without fear of injury or ill health; and             

● Residents can have the opportunity to live in a well-maintained home in the heart of our

  communities.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “This policy will help our elderly and vulnerable residents get the repairs and improvements they need in order to be independent, safe and healthy in their own homes.

“In some circumstances it will also help pay for necessary adaptations to another property, such as a relative’s, that they visit regularly.

“By introducing this, Cheshire East Council will exceed its statutory duties to elderly and vulnerable residents in the borough, reducing the long-term financial impact for our health and social services.”

Under the previous policy, the council facilitated investment of almost £7m, improving the homes and lives of 1,450 vulnerable people. The policy has drawn in £2.1m in match funding and has the potential to save £3.8m in health and social care spending.

For every £1 spent on heating improvements, a cost benefit of £18.51 was achieved in the health and social care sector.

Cheshire East Council is committed to tackling poverty and helping residents to live well and for longer through early intervention and prevention services.

For further information about the council’s home repairs and adaptations for vulnerable people policy and how you could claim, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/homerepairs

Council encourages local people to join self-build housing register


Cheshire East Council has taken steps to encourage local people to join its self-build register and help meet demand for housing in the borough.

The register has been developed by the authority since its launch in April 2016, to allow people who are interested in buying a ‘serviced plot’ – a plot of land with access to roads and utilities – the opportunity to register their interest.

The information from the register will be accessed to help the council with planning decisions in addition to assessing the demand for serviced plots.

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 placed a duty on the council to establish and publicise a local register of individuals and associations. The council is also looking into the suitability of local authority-owned sites that could be developed as serviced plots and sold to those on the self-build register.

Now the council has moved to give priority to people with local connections with Cheshire East. It follows changes to the regulations last October that allow councils to introduce a ‘local connection test’ for applicants to the self-build register.

Cheshire East’s cabinet today (July 11) backed a recommendation that, to meet the new test, applicants have to live or work in Cheshire East or have an offer of employment in the borough. Members of the armed forces are not subject to the local eligibility criteria.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “I welcome this move to help ensure that local people are given priority to build their own new homes in the borough, rather than speculative applicants with no local connection to the area.

“Self-build provides a good opportunity for people to develop a property that really matches their needs and requirements better and gives them greater control over its layout and design.

“We as a council are fully supportive of this opportunity to bring forward more new homes in the borough to help boost the housing supply to better meet local need.” 

If you are interested in applying to join the register please visit:

http://cheshireeast.gov.uk/housing/self-build-and-custom-build-housing/self-build-and-custom-build-housing.aspx

Remembering victims of honour based abuse

Subject: Remembering victims of honour based abuse


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

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Peter Caldwell (Police, Digital Media Manager, Chesh Engagement Unit)

Victims of honour based abuse are being remembered this week. Cheshire Constabulary will join forces across the country to support a national day of remembrance on Friday 14th July for those who have been affected by this devastating issue.
Coordinated by charity Karma Nirvana, the day is an opportunity to reflect on the women and men who have lost their lives through honour based abuse and forced marriage - and to support those who have survived this kind of abuse.
This has particular significance for the Force as Shafilea Ahmed, who was murdered by her parents in Warrington in 2003, would have celebrated her 31st birthday on Friday.
Shafilea’s parents (Iftikhar and Farzana) were jailed for 25 years in August 2012 after being found guilty of her murder in an honour based killing.  She had been suffocated with a plastic bag at the family home, her body was later disposed of and the family went about their business as if nothing had happened.
Summing up the case, the judge told the couple that their concern at being shamed in their community was greater than the love of their child.
Detective Chief Superintendent Nigel Wenham said:  “We should all be allowed the freedom to live our lives without fear of violence.  Victims of honour based abuse and forced marriage do not have to suffer in silence and this national day of remembrance is an important time for us all to raise awareness of the issue – and provide an opportunity to encourage those who may be affected to come forward and seek help.  Police and partners are continuing to work together to take action and support victims and survivors.
“Shafilea’s death sent shockwaves through the local community - and further afield - and all those who worked on this case and were affected by it still think about it today.  The thought of parents killing their own child is completely incomprehensible and the day of remembrance serves as a reminder that innocent members of the community can be at risk of harm and can feel isolated as they are targeted by those closest to them.”
This year’s day of remembrance focuses on ‘Not all holidays are a holiday’ – and highlights the fact that at this time of year there are concerns that children will be taken overseas during the long school break to be forced into marriage.  The charity estimates that 80% of all UK forced marriages take place abroad mostly during the summer holidays.
Events will be taking place throughout the country to mark the occasion and people are asked to support this worthy cause by using the hash tag #WeRemember.
Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner David Keane said:  “Shafilea was a vibrant young woman with her whole life ahead of her.  Her senseless death affected people right across the world and still does to this day.  One of my key policing priorities is to support victims and protect the vulnerable and all of us should be allowed the freedom to live our lives without fear of violence.  I would urge anyone who either has been, or feels they may be, in danger of becoming a victim of so-called honour based abuse, to speak to the Constabulary.  I can assure you that your concerns will be treated seriously and sensitively.
“So-called honour-based abuse is often referred to as a hidden crime, and if you feel that someone you know might be at risk, please report it.  I am committed to working with the Chief Constable to ensure we will continue to have a police service that is there to protect and serve everyone, especially those who are at risk of harm.”
If you know someone who is a victim of an honour based crime or at risk of being forced into a marriage please report your concerns to Cheshire Police on 101.  If a crime is taking place or there is a danger to life you should dial 999 immediately.
Information can also be left anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.
Help and advice is also available from the charity Karma Nirvana (which focuses on those affected by Honour Based Abuse, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation.) via their helpline on 0800 5999 247 – this is a confidential service.  You can also find out more about this support service by visiting www.karmanirvana.org.uk

Pilot project to support at-risk children and families hailed a success and expands across Cheshire East


A trial project to support at-risk children and families in Crewe has been found to be effective and is now being extended across the borough.

For two years, Catch22 and Cheshire East Council have delivered tailored interventions to help prevent children, young people and families from falling into the care or justice system.

Project Crewe aims to improve children’s outcomes and reduce repeat referrals to agencies, including social services and the probation service, by ensuring that families receive all the necessary support they need from relevant agencies and the voluntary sector.

Project Crewe began in March 2015, and is funded with a grant from the Department for Education. The project is to develop and test innovative approaches to assisting children in need, who require additional support for their health and well-being.

The work in Crewe has proved that early intervention – with the right support at the right time – helps to avoid more costly measures in the longer term. The scheme expanded to cover the whole borough, based in Macclesfield, from May this year.

Peer mentors, family practitioners and social workers have been involved in delivering the project and the Department for Education has now released its evaluation, which has shown that Project Crewe has ‘promising indications of impact’.

Families felt listened to and empowered by having the right support and direction to tackle their challenges.

Councillor George Hayes, cabinet member for children and families, said: “We believe that early intervention works and a core focus of our children’s services is to ensure our children and young people are safe from harm, supported into education and employment and are helped to avoid serious social and behavioural problems in the future.

“This tailored and holistic approach can set a new benchmark in the way we deliver intervention services in the future.”

Chris Wright, chief executive of Catch22, a non-for-profit social business, said: “The results from Project Crewe should mark a sea change in the way we approach and design social work interventions.

“The evaluation proves conclusively that it is the quality of the relationship that matters to a young person and not the title of the person who is dealing with their problems.”

Robert Goodwill, Minister for Children and Families, said: I am delighted that we have supported this project and look forward to continuing to hear about its great work in the future.” 

Cheshire East Council is providing additional funding of £585,000 to extend the project until July 2018. It also broadened the geographical area to cover the whole of Cheshire East.

Cheshire East Council seeks to provide young people with the life skills and education they need to thrive, and will continue to invest in young people to secure their well-being and good health.

Cheshire East primary schools chalk up impressive Key Stage 2 results


Cheshire East’s primary pupils have achieved an impressive set of Key Stage 2 results across core subjects.

Provisional figures show that 64 per cent of pupils achieved the expected standard or higher for combined reading, writing and maths at the end of school year, which is the key measure used nationally.

This figure for Cheshire East is up 12 percentage points on the previous year, with the national figure rising eight percentage points.

A total of 76 per cent of pupils achieved the expected standard or higher in maths for the national curriculum test – a rise of four percentage points on last year. Similar improvements have been seen in English, with 76 per cent of pupils achieving the expected standard or better in the reading test (up five percentage points) with grammar, punctuation and spelling moving up from 76 per cent to 80 per cent.

Overall, our performance across Cheshire East for 2017 is above the national average for all curriculum test indicators.

Councillor George Hayes, cabinet member for children and families, said: “I am delighted that outcomes for our primary school students across the borough have demonstrated a positive trend, which equips these young people well for their continued education in secondary school – particularly given the increased rigour in the Key Stage 2 assessments.

“We already know we have some excellent schools and pupils in our communities but, even so, there are some very impressive results this year. I recognise the substantial work which has been undertaken this year in trying to embed new primary assessment frameworks, especially in the assessment of writing, and this hard work is reflected in these very positive outcomes across all assessed subjects.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of those family members, teachers and schools staff who have worked so very hard to support our pupils and also the young people themselves, who are maintaining such a high success rate in Cheshire East.”