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Sunday, 19 October 2014

mp’s 155th news bulletin

Edward Timpson MP

Friday, 17 October 2014


Welcome to this, my 155th news bulletin.

At this time of year, as the nights draw in and winter approaches, a number of my constituents have contacted me about their utility bills. As temperatures fall, energy bills can rise sharply.  Heating your home over the winter doesn’t need to be costly and the Department of Energy and Climate Change has come up with a few useful tips on how you can lower your energy bills and have a warmer home. 

Check your energy bills to see if you could get a better deal by switching tariff or supplier. Energy regulator Ofgem has introduced measures to make energy bills clearer and ensure that everyone is on the cheapest tariff to suit their needs. If you want to find out whether you could save money on your energy bill by switching tariff or supplier, visit to find a list of Ofgem accredited price comparison web sites. Households switching for the first time can, on average, save up to £200.

Have a better understanding of improvements you can make to your home and things you can do in your home. Smart meters are being offered to every household and small business in Great Britain. Smart meters provide accurate meter readings directly to your energy supplier, telling you how much you are spending on energy and bringing an end to estimated billing. The Government estimates that household savings as a result of smart metering will be an average of £26 a year by 2020.

Get information and guidance that’s right for your circumstances. Older people and low-income families can claim relief through the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment. This winter, more than two million of the most vulnerable households will receive a discount of up to £140 on their energy bills under the Warm Home Discount scheme, which the Government is committed to extending to 2015-16 with £320 million of funding.

For more information on how to bring down your energy bills, you can click here to read the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s guide, “Keep Warm This Winter”.

Edward Timpson

Edward Timpson MP
Member of Parliament for Crewe and Nantwich and Minister of the Year

Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me, or if there is anything I can do to assist you.

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Locally, I have...

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  • Officially opened the newly refurbished Family and Community Centre at St. Michael's Community Academy in Crewe.
  • Hosted the 2014 Crewe and Nantwich Jobs Fair at Crewe Alex FC, in partnership with the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and The Chronicle (pictured, right).
  • Attended Harvest Eucharist at St Bertoline's Church in Barthomley, to celebrate the award of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to complete repairs.
  • Spoken at the Cheshire Young Carers Launch Event, held at Bentley Motors' Legends Club.
  • Held two of my regular constituency advice surgeries in Crewe and Nantwich. To make an appointment to speak to me about any issue or concern, please contact my office.
  • Addressed the North West Adoption Conference at Crewe Hall.
  • Spoken to local people at my "On Your Street" events in Shavington and in Stapeley.
  • Met with the new Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary, Simon Byrne.

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Westminster Report

Edward Timpson Westminster Report

The latest edition of my Westminster Report has been delivered across Crewe and Nantwich, with the latest news on jobs and employment, as well as the major infrastructure investment that is coming our way.

You can click here or on the image to read a copy online.

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Photo News

Photo - Edward Timpson MP

New family centre open at St Michael's Academy

I was honoured to officially open the newly refurbished Family and Community Centre at St Michael's Community Academy in Crewe, last week.

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Positive adoption figures welcomed by Crewe's MP

Crewe & Nantwich Guardian: Crewe's MP has welcomed figures that show more children are being adopted from care facilities compared to a year ago.

770 children in the north west were placed in stable families during the last 12 months – up from 650 in the previous year.  In Cheshire East, 30 children were placed with new families compared to 25 in 2013.

Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson, said: "It's great to see that the number of children adopted from care in the north west. However we refuse to be complacent and we know there is more to be done.  I'm all too aware that welcoming a vulnerable child into your home is a rewarding but challenging experience.

"That's why we're putting in more support than ever to ensure that families get a fighting chance including better support services focussed on the needs of the family."

As a young boy, the minister had a unique insight into adoption and the care system because his parents, John and Alex Timpson, fostered over 90 children and formally adopted two.

The figures proceeded a major national conference, held at the Crewe Hall Hotel on October 6, on the issue of adoption, where Mr Timpson delivered the keynote speech.

Experts from the full spectrum of adoption services in England gathered at the event, hosted by Cheshire East Council.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, CEC's Portfolio holder for safeguarding children and adults said:"In Cheshire East we are fortunate to have a small but highly successful and innovative adoption support team who together with partners in Four4adoption, provide much needed support to families often at crisis point as well as to the birth families and other relatives, assisting them to come to terms with adoption and to move forward."

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St Bertoline's church receives HLF grant of up to £70,000

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Crewe Chronicle: A church in Barthomley held a Harvest Eucharist at the weekend to celebrate been awarded a restoration grant of up to £70,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Under the banner of Project 14, St Bertoline's Church is using the funds awarded earlier this month on a series of church and community projects including restoration work to the ancient tower - which is set to be completed by the end of November.  The 900-year-old church has been undergoing a lengthy and expensive makeover since 2010 and with both the north and south side now fully completed the historic tower remains the last piece of the jigsaw.

Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson attended the Harvest Eucharist on Sunday where the first £35,000 was presented to representatives from the church.

Parish Priest Canon Darrel Speedy, said: "The HLF only give grants to church's on the grounds of heritage so it has to have historic and archeological interest. They do want like to give out the grant to help encourage members of the public to come and look at the heritage and the beauty of a place.

"We are a church that goes back over 900 years in origin, we have people from all over the world coming to visit including Australia and New Zealand who have ancestors buried in the church grounds.

"We had a flower festival in 2010 and Edward Timpson came during stage one of the restoration, we thought it would be appropriate to have him come back."

The money from the grant will be used to fund the repair of the Audley road entrance steps, an embossed ceiling under the bell tower, restoration of the tower clock and a visitor information panel about the Two Saint's Way Pilgrimage.

"With the money from the grant we also hope to start up a website including a data base for the graveyard where people can look up records of their ancestors without having to travel half way round the world."

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MP gets a taste of new school lunch roll-out

Weaver Primary School

Crewe & Nantwich Guardian: Children and staff from Weaver Primary School in Nantwich had a special visit this week from Children’s Minister Edward Timpson.

The Crewe and Nantwich MP congratulated the team for their hard work over the last 12 months preparing to serve all infants with a hot school lunch.

The school catering team at Cheshire East Council, together with schools across the borough, have been busy over the last year preparing for the new term – where over 4,000 additional free school meals will be served to infants, equating to an increase of 38 per cent.

"Our goal to offer every infant child a healthy, tasty school meal has become a reality – a move that will put money back in parents’ pockets while ensuring all children get the best possible start in life,” said Mr Timpson.

“I wanted to meet the school staff and hear their views on the way this new system is working in Crewe and Nantwich.

“Everyone has put in a great deal of hard work to ensure that we meet our promise to provide Reception Year 1 and 2 children at primary school with a nutritious, hot school lunch.”

The changes are as a result of the Government’s commitment to fund schools in England to provide every child in Reception, year 1 and year 2 with a hot, nutritious meal at lunch time.

At Weaver Primary School over 125 school meals are prepared every day, an increase from 85 last term. The catering team at the school has increased by 100 per cent, now employing four staff and led by catering supervisor, Catherine Blackhurst who has worked at the school for 30 years.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, from Cheshire East Council added: “Eating lunch at school encourages children to socialise at meal times, develop good table manners and broaden experience of food. “A good diet assists learning and improved behaviour and sets children on the way to making healthier food choices in the future.

“I thank the catering team for their tremendous hard work over the last 12 months to ensure Cheshire East is ‘up and running’ and ready to serve nearly 15,000 free school meals every day across the borough.”

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New beginnings for baby care unit

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Crewe Chronicle: Fundraisers who helped to realise the dream of a new neonatal unit at Crewe's Leighton Hospital can now witness the rewards of their hard work.

Thanks to the fantastic support given to the One in Eleven Appeal, the target of £1.8m was raised in just two years to enable the construction of a first class facility for women and babies from antenatal to birth and beyond. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit opened its doors to patients on September 24 with an official opening and tour two days prior.

Now complete, the revamped unit will provide state-of-the-art facilities, as well as more comfort and privacy for families of seriously ill babies. It is roughly double the size and housed in a space adjacent to the recently refurbished labour ward. The redevelopment includes an enhanced design and layout to help modernise the delivery of neonatal services, with glass walls which will provide better visibility for patients under observation, and bespoke equipment storage rooms.

Supporters and donors who attended the official opening included representatives from The Frank Hockenhull Trust, Middlewich High School Community Choir, Wincanton Logistics, RedShift Radio and Vale Royal Abbey Golf Club.

They were joined by charity patrons, David Briggs (The Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire) and Edward Timpson (MP for Crewe and Nantwich), alongside members of staff from Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT).

Dennis Dunn MBE, MCHFT chairman said: "I'd like to thank everybody who supported and donated to the One in Eleven appeal, enabling us to construct one of the best neonatal facilities in the UK in just two years. It's fantastic to see so many local people and businesses support their local community. Without these donations and support, we wouldn't have achieved this".

Approximately 3,000 babies are born at Mid Cheshire Hospitals each year, with one in 11 of these needing additional support, ranging from a couple of hours of special care to several weeks in an intensive care unit.

Following the success of the appeal, all further money raised has, and will continue to be, put towards equipping and furnishing the new unit and improving the environment for babies, parents and staff.

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

Crewe & Nantwich

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Reporter Jonathan White

A special music event took place at The Lord Combermere - - in Audlem on Saturday 18th October 2014.

'Lifejam' was the idea of former Audlem resident Reuben Palin and took place to raise money for a new £8.5 million RNLI Lifeboat Station at St Davids, Pembrokeshire in Wales. Reuben moved with his family to work in Pembrokeshire and has since joined the crew of the St Davids lifeboat.

Entry was by donation and artists performed during the afternoon and evening and included The Duffey Boys, Folkwits, Heidi Browne, Roydan Styles, Darren Poyzer, Crystal Ships, Jack Marshall band, Mike Chant and Mark Stevens. All the musicians gave their time free of charge with the sound system provided free of charge by Hollow Floor Studios . There was also a stall selling RNLI related gifts.

You can donate £5 by texting RNLI ST DAVIDS to 70300 or visit

The Audlem Lass boat service - - was also operating.

Darren Poyzer performs at Lifejam

Joint Statement from Cheshire East Council and NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group


CQC report reaffirms Council findings on failed nursing home

A report from the Care Quality Commission on standards of care at Chapel Brook Nursing Home in Congleton has proved that Cheshire East Council was right to withdraw its contract and relocate residents for their own welfare.

The Care Quality Commission concurs with the findings of Cheshire East Council and the NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group that Chapel Brook House Nursing and Residential Care Home in Moody Street, Congleton, has consistently failed to meet the standards of care required under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Following its latest inspection in September, at which it was discovered little or no improvements had been carried out, the Care Quality Commission issued a statement in which it said:

"There is a history of concerns with Chapel Brook House and it is unacceptable that improvements requested back in May have not been made.

“This is why we are considering the need for further action against the service– although we cannot discuss the nature of that action at this stage for legal reasons.

"The residents receiving care from Chapel Brook House are entitled to receive services which are safe, effective, compassionate, well led, and responsive to their needs. It is inexcusable that the provider has allowed such significant failings to continue.”

Cheshire East pro-actively withdrew its joint contract with the home on 1st September, following repeated failures over quality of care, medical record keeping, safety of residents and clinical management.

After serving notice on the contract members of the Social Care and Health teams worked swiftly together with service users and their families to relocate residents at the privately run 30-bed home and all were found new accommodation by the 26th September. There is ongoing contact with those residents in their new homes.

The latest Inspection Report by the Care Quality Commission found the home’s management had failed to address six areas of previous failings including management of medicines, record keeping and the care and welfare of service users.

The report found that the home was failing to provide care which was safe, effective, caring, responsive or well led and that all of the six national standards reviewed by the inspection team were not being met.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council Portfolio Holder for Care and Health in the Community said:

“Sadly we feel this supports our earlier decision together with Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group to withdraw our contract with Chapel Brook in the best interests of the residents all of whom we have now relocated including residents who are self-funders.”

"Although the decision to withdraw our contract was not taken lightly, it does highlight our commitment to keep vulnerable residents safe and demonstrates the effectiveness of our robust Contracts and Quality Assurance Team which mobilised the Council and its Clinical Commissioning Group partners to take action in advance of the Care Quality Commission."

Sally Rogers, governing body safeguarding lead for NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group added:

“The wellbeing of vulnerable people is very important to us and the Council as organisations responsible for planning and buying care services. Our decision to end our contract with Chapel Brook shows how committed we are to ensuring that people get excellent care and are protected from harm.

“The CQC’s findings echo our concerns and further reinforce the fact that we were right to take action with the Council.”

Cheshire East Council’s Quality Assurance Team works in partnership with NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the Care Quality Commission, to assess and monitor the care being provided in all care homes and community services which have a contract with the local authority.

Cheshire East steps up work to protect children from alcohol


Cheshire East Council is stepping up its work to protect families from the ill effects of alcohol.

The Council has appointed the Substance Abuse Service at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) as the lead provider of a new integrated drug and alcohol Service in the Borough, which will start on November 3, 2014.

The need to help families is underlined by new research released today by the alcohol campaign Drink Wise. It surveyed 1,020 adults in the North West this summer and found that one in five knew of a child who had been affected by the drinking of a family member, friend or stranger.

If the survey results are reflected in Cheshire East, it would mean that 14,000 children aged 16 or under have been harmed in some way, ranging from emotional and physical neglect or hurt, to missing school and medical appointments.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, cabinet member in charge of safeguarding children and adults, said: “Too many children are the unseen victims of our excessive alcohol culture.  Children have been upset, anxious or physically hurt by someone else’s drinking, and their chances in life are being damaged.

“The impact of living in a home where alcohol abuse is an issue can last a lifetime. And the behaviour unfortunately can be self-perpetuating – children of alcoholics are four times more likely than other children to become alcoholics themselves.

“That’s why we are changing our services to ensure that we help families to recognise and tackle the problem at a much earlier stage.”

Cheshire East and CWP are supporting a new Drink Wise campaign “Let’s Look Again at Alcohol”, which includes a film designed to get people to think about protecting young people from the ill effects of alcohol. The film can be viewed at and more information about the campaign is at

Dr Heather Grimbaldeston, Cheshire East’s Director of Public Health, said: “The new service is designed with a greater focus on prevention and early help. It includes collaboration with Acorn Recovery Project, Intuitive Recovery, Catch22, Expanding Futures, and Emerging Horizons.

“New analysis shows that in the UK fifteen children a day are being admitted to hospital, some as young as eleven. Cheshire East’s own figures show that alcohol-specific admissions amongst under-18s in the Borough are significantly higher than the average for England.”

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East’s cabinet member for care and health in the community, said: “Doctors and nurses tell us they are incredibly worried about the amount of alcohol young people are drinking. This campaign aims to ask the public to look again at alcohol and ask what more we can do to protect children.”

Anger at recommendation to demolish historic building in Willaston


Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester  is angry that  one of the few historic buidings in Willaston has been recommended for demolition. See link.

He said,”The Conservation Officer told me ,’The Council recognised that the building has some local heritage value and as a result we have discussed the implication of the current planning application for its demolition with the case officer Nick Hulland in this context.  As a result I can advise that he will now be treating it as an undesignated Heritage Asset within the current proposals and recommending that that the developer amend their proposals in order to retain the building within the their proposed scheme.  This is an approach which has been achieved recently elsewhere in Cheshire East at Kents Green in Haslington and in Tytherington.’(See below)

This view of the Council is not referred to at all in the Committee recommendation and I have asked how this has come about. (See below)

I will be making my views known to the Committee in an effort to save one of the few historic buildings in Willaston. If they can be saved in Tytherington, near Macclesfield they can be saved in Willaston too.”

Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

Leader of the UK Independence Party Group

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor

Cheshire East Council

11 Rimsdale Close



Tel/fax 01270 567757

Text     07760147609

Cheshire East celebrates work of credit union


Cheshire East Council and Cheshire Neighbours Credit Union (CNCU) have celebrated International Credit Union Day, an annual event to recognise the role that financial cooperatives play in improving peoples’ lives and the wellbeing of communities.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, and John Weir, Chief Executive Officer at CNCU, met at Sandbach Library to discuss joint efforts by the two organisations to protect the public from loan sharks and payday lenders.

Earlier this year, Cheshire East became the first local authority in England to ban access to the top 50 payday lender websites in its libraries and public buildings. It also assisted CNCU, a not-for-profit organisation, to open branches in six libraries for at least two hours per week, when information and support is provided by library staff trained in the credit union’s services.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said, “The council’s aim is to protect residents from payday lenders and help them to avoid taking on credit at high interest rates. The Cheshire Neighbours Credit Union does valuable work by providing people with an important alternative source of finance and the council takes every opportunity to encourage people to join.”

As part of its pledge to support the credit union, every member of Cheshire East’s cabinet and some councillors joined CNCU in order to boost funds to give local people more services based on their borrowing needs.

Mr Weir said: “We have been working in close partnership with Cheshire East Council which supports our work. We are making it easier for members and non-members to open accounts and access our services at locations convenient to them. There has never been a better time to join and take advantage of our range of savings accounts and affordable loans.”

International Credit Union Day, on October 16, recognises how credit unions provide an effective and viable alternative to for-profit financial institutions for 203 million members in 103 countries. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Fire Works Events

The Wistaston Community Council Fireworks Display takes place at 6:30pm on Saturday 1st November 2014 at the Eric Swan Sports Ground (The Brittles) behind Wistaston Church Lane Primary School. Wistaston Scout Group will be providing refreshments and will be serving burgers and hot dogs as well as hot and cold drinks. Entry is by donation and any profits will go to a charity. Preceding the Fireworks Display are Fancy Dress and Pumpkin competitions at 5.45pm on the Triangle at the junction of Westfield Drive and Park Drive in Wistaston. The competitions are followed by a torch-light procession (please bring your own torch) which leaves at 6pm to The Brittles for the 6.30pm Fireworks Display.


Wistaston Fireworks Display 2013 (1)

Other local events include:

Saturday 25 October – Nantwich Spooktacula, Halloween themed fireworks display. Dorfold Park, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8LD. Gates open at 5pm, fireworks at 8pm. Child = £5, Adult = £7.

Friday 31 October - Hack Green Howling. Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, French Ln, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8AP. 8pm-1am. Over 18’s only = £20.

Friday 31 October - Sydney Arms Halloween and Bonfire Party. 240 Sydney Road, Crewe

CW1 5LU. Gates open at 5.30pm, Fireworks at 8pm. Child = £2.50, Adult = £4.

Saturday 1 November - Betley Bonfire. Betley Court Farm, Main Rd, Betley, Crewe, Cheshire, CW3 9BH. Gates open at 4pm, bonfire lit at 6pm, fireworks at 7.30pm. Child = £3, Adult = £7.

Saturday 1 November - Monster Mash Ball, live music and fancy dress party. Nantwich Civic Hall, 4 Market St, Nantwich, Cheshire East, CW5 5DG. Doors open at 7:30pm, starts at 8pm. Entrance = £10.

Wednesday 5 November - Crewe & Nantwich Lions Club Bonfire & Firework Spectacular. Queens Park, Victoria Ave, Crewe, CW2 7SE. Gates open at 5pm. Entrance = £5.

Saturday 8 November - Audlem Bonfire & Fireworks Display. Audlem Playing Field, off Cheshire Street CW3 0AH. Gates open at 4pm, bonfire lit at 6:30pm, fireworks at 7pm. Entrance = £5.

BBC One is making a HUGE new series called ‘Prized Apart’ and looking for people to take part.


Taking part in this exciting new programme would include travel abroad, the experience of a lifetime and a life changing prize fund for the winners!

We are sending you a flyer to see whether the programme might interest you? We are looking for couples and pairs that have a close bond or relationship. Pairs could be made up of couples in relationships, husband and wife teams, siblings, parent and sons/daughters or even grandparents and grandchildren. Both people must be 18 or over.

If you would like to know more, or have any questions about the show, send an email to our casting team at: You will also receive an application form containing further information via a bounce back email.

We are looking for people of all ages, fitness levels and from all walks of life, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch and apply. Please also feel free to pass the flyer onto friends and family who might be interested.

Best Wishes,  

The ‘Prized Apart’ Casting Team

T: 020 7533 1527 | E:

BBC1 Adventure Series Flyer

Cheshire East Residents offered Council’s own low-cost energy scheme as part of fuel poverty initiative


Cheshire East’s 170,000 households could soon benefit from a ground breaking energy deal aimed at tackling fuel poverty by buying their supply through their local council.

Businesses could also take advantage of the low-cost scheme unveiled by the Council today (Tuesday.)

Cheshire East Council will take the lead role in a strategic partnership with registered housing providers to become only the second local authority in the country to introduce a low-cost energy scheme for its residents.

The alleviation of fuel poverty amongst Cheshire East residents is a key priority for the Council which has been investigating a range of potential initiatives to address this.

It is estimated that 9.5% of households in the Borough are living in fuel poverty, which is 0.9% below the national average. The local authority has initiated a scheme which will enable anyone in the borough to buy their energy at a competitively low cost when compared to the Big Six energy suppliers.

The Council is already in talks with a supplier and further announcements will be made in due course as to how soon residents can begin switching to the Council’s own preferred energy provider offering the one of the most competitive tariffs.

Today’s Cabinet meeting heard the project relates directly to the Council’s commitment to putting residents first and the key priority to develop resilient communities.

Council Leader, Councillor Michael Jones said today: “This is yet another innovation for Cheshire East Council, the council which has frozen council tax for four consecutive years.

“Now we have initiated a scheme to alleviate fuel poverty in the borough so that low-income families who are worried about paying their energy bill this winter know that their local council can ease the pain by offering a scheme tailored to their circumstances.”

“My concern is to ensure that families and older people in particular do not have to choose between heating and eating.

“I want the people of Cheshire East to live well and for longer and not to have to worry about heating their homes and meeting huge energy bills.”

The Department for Energy and Climate Change has stated that proportionately more households in rural areas are in fuel poverty than the national average with a greater number of households having to rely on electricity, oil or LPG for heating.

The Council has carried out a rigorous evaluation of submissions from a number of bidders for the contract to ensure that the successful provider is financially sound and can meet the Council’s criteria in terms of stability, pricing and tariffs.

Make ‘Stoptober’ the right time to quit smoking!


Cheshire East Council is backing a health campaign to help smokers quit the habit.

The ‘Stoptober’ initiative this October aims to support people to give up tobacco – as it is still the most preventable cause of illnesses.

The return of the successful ‘Stoptober’ campaign is a 28-day challenge that encourages as many smokers as possible to quit. 

Being ‘smoke free’ for 28 days means you are FIVE times more likely to stop for good – a positive step for both your health and your wallet.

Within Cheshire East smoking costs the economy approximately £73.7m a year. This includes: smoking breaks, which see a loss of £28m; and £5m due to sick days.

Smoking-related illnesses in Cheshire East costs the local NHS approximately £10.2m per year to treat.

Cheshire East Council is 100 per cent behind the campaign and will be promoting it throughout October. 

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of care and health in the community, said: “If you are a smoker, reducing – or better still, giving up – smoking is still the single-most-important factor in improving your health and wellbeing.

“By encouraging people to give up smoking, with advice and support, the Council’s health professionals hope to reduce smoking levels across the Borough and improve health, not only for smokers but also for their close families who may be breathing in other people’s tobacco smoke in homes and vehicles.

“Not everyone realises the health-damaging consequences that tobacco-smoke exposure can cause – or, more importantly, that this damage is preventable. We want to help people to help themselves to a better quality of life – living better for longer.”

Dr Heather Grimbaldeston, director of public health for Cheshire East, said: “Tobacco use still remains the biggest cause of early death and disease within the UK and throughout the world.

“The costs of tobacco use are significant for individuals, local employers and the economy. Tobacco use and poverty are inextricably linked. Campaigns like ‘Stoptober’ are very beneficial in improving the public’s health – encouraging smokers to quit and make others aware of the risks associated with tobacco use.”

If you feel ready to take on the challenge you can join Stoptober by signing up at – where you can access different resources all designed to keep you motivated and on track during your quit attempt.

Cheshire East Stop Smoking and Harm Reduction Service ‘Kickstart’ offers free one-to-one support and clinics are available throughout Cheshire East. 

If you want to quit smoking and would like further information please contact:

‘Kickstart’ stop smoking and harm reduction service on 0800 085 8818. You can also visit them at

Alternatively, visit the Council’s website on

Cheshire East Council backs search to find best new businesses


Cheshire East Council is backing the annual South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce Business Awards as part of a broader business support programme.

The Council is sponsoring the best start-up business of the year category, for firms in their first two years of trading.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We are proud to sponsor these awards and especially to do our bit in helping people who have recently started their own businesses to get the recognition they deserve.

“We recognise the importance of promoting and supporting local business and enterprise. The contribution of new and pioneering businesses to the wealth and diversity of trade across Cheshire is invaluable. It is these success stories that attract and encourage existing businesses to keep striving for greater success.”

Cheshire East Council is one of a prestigious line up of sponsors, who also include Bentley Motors, Manchester Metropolitan University and RBS Corporate Banking.

The deadline for entries is November 7, 2014 and the awards will be presented on November 28 at a black tie dinner at Crewe Hall Hotel.

More details, including how to nominate businesses for the awards, can be found at

Cheshire East entrants scoop community pride awards


People and places in Cheshire East were honoured at the 2014 Cheshire Community Pride Awards.

Sandbach won the Championship Award and was named Best Kept Market Town (population 10,001 - 30,000). Knutsford came second and Nantwich and Congleton were joint third.

There was more joy for Sandbach when Sandbach Park and Sandbach Town Council’s Tidy Town Group won the Les George OBE Memorial Award for the best playing field and the Sensory Garden at Sandbach Park received the Little Gem Award.

Hall Bank Playing Field, Mobberley, was highly commended in the playing field category.

Sandbach’s awards were collected by Gill Merry, Susan Doughty and Jennie Haines.

Ann Banks, Sandbach Town Clerk, said: “Well done to everyone involved, who I know have worked so hard throughout the year.”

In the best kept village category (population 1,001 - 2,500), Audlem was the winner and Rainow came second. Pickmere won the category for places with between 601 and 1,000 people and Lower Withington, near Macclesfield, came third among those with 401 to 600. For places with fewer than 400 people, the winner was Hankelow, while Marbury cum Quoisley came second and Marton third.

Church Minshull won the community spirit award for places with a population of up to 5,000.

Poynton with Worth won the town category for the best community website while the village award went to Audlem, with Willaston coming runner-up. Knutsford and Plumley with Toft and Bexton were highly commended.

Poynton Contact Drop In won the award for work with young people.Rainow was highly commended in the category for the best community newsletter. Pickmere Community Group won the community initiative award and Disley’s First World War commemoration was highly commended. Kerry Bannon, of Church Minshull, was highly commended in the community champion award.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is very welcome recognition for people who go the extra mile to make our communities in Cheshire East such great places to live. I congratulate all the award winners.”

The annual Cheshire Community Pride Awards are run by Cheshire Community Action and sponsored by Essar Oil UK.

Tatton Park hosts First World War Commemorative Play


Tatton Park is set to play host to a production of the highly acclaimed play Silent Night – a moving tribute to the people of Cheshire on the Western Front and at home.

Written by Helen Newell, it is being produced by Theatre in the Quarter, Chester’s leading professional theatre company in partnership with Cheshire East Council.

The event is being put on as part of the Council’s four year programme of activities, events and development programmes to commemorate the First World War, called Cheshire East Reflects.

The play depicts the incredible story of the Christmas Eve truce of 1914, told through the experiences of a group of Cheshire soldiers and the families left behind.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of localism and enforcement said: “The people of Cheshire made a significant contribution to the war and I urge residents to get behind the play and go and see it as a means of paying remembrance and respect. It’s sure to be a fantastic performance in a quite majestic location.”

There are two performances being held in the Tenants’ Hall, at Tatton Park, on Tuesday, November 11.

The first is a performance for school children, Year 6 and upwards at 1pm. It is free to attend but bookings need to be made with Jocelyn McMillan, cultural economy development manager.

Several schools have already been in touch to register an interest in taking pupils along to watch this one-off production at Tatton Park. Contact Jocelyn by email at or phone 01270 686090.

The second public performance starts at 7.30pm and is open to anyone, although there are only 300 seats and these are sure to sell out quickly.

Tickets are 8 (£6 concessions) and are available from Tatton Park booking office on 01625 374400.

For further information on Cheshire East Reflects go to and for the production please visit:

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Parking still ‘free after three’ in Crewe


Motorists can still park “free after three” in Crewe town centre, thanks to an initiative by Cheshire East Council.

There is no charge to park after 3pm in Council-owned Oak Street car park, which has 127 spaces.

The special offer began in mid-September, when a similar offer at the Market Centre car park came to an end. Motorists who park for three hours will save £2.10.

Councillor David Topping, Cheshire East’s Cabinet member for service commissioning, said: “We took this step to support shops and businesses in the town centre which have to compete with out of town retail parks where parking is free.

“We hope this offer will give a valuable boost to town centre trade during the all-important pre-Christmas shopping period.”

Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service October 2014 E-Newsletter

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

Have your say on our draft plans for 2015/16

The twelve week consultation on the draft Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) for 2015/16 is now underway and will last until Wednesday 31 December. During this time the Service will consult with the public, key partners and stakeholders and members of staff.
The draft 2015/16 Plan proposes to continue with the emergency response programme outlined in previous IRMPs (IRMP 10 and IRMP 11 ) which has previously been consulted upon.
Please take a few minutes to have your say and complete the online consultation survey.
Find out more - Have your say on our draft plans for 2015/16

Annual Report 2014

Cheshire Fire Authority has now published an annual report for Warrington, Halton, Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester. The annual report is a comprehensive report on our activities throughout 2013/14.
The Annual Report will be distributed to homes in Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington during the next few weeks.
Find out more - Annual Report 2014

It’s been a busy month for Awards

Throughout the last month Service personnel have received three national awards.
Fire Service road safety champion honoured
Lifesaving Nantwich firefighters win national award
Road safety champion honoured for a lifetime's work

Change your clocks and check your smoke alarms

Cheshire residents are being urged to check their smoke alarms as they prepare to turn the clocks back.
The clocks go back at 2.00am on Sunday 26 October and as summer time officially ends, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to prepare for the autumn and winter by checking their smoke alarms.
Find out more - Change your clocks and check your smoke alarms

Bonfire night

Stay safe on Bonfire Night by going to an organised bonfire or fireworks display - most injuries occur when people hold their own bonfire parties.
If you plan to have fireworks at home, please use them properly by following the firework code.
Please use the link below to view a list of organised bonfire/fireworks displays in Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington.
View a list of organised bonfires
Bonfire Night safety tips from Fireman Sam
Follow Fireman Sam's top 10 safety tips to make sure you have a safe Bonfire night.
Here's a fun way to make sure your family is safe on Bonfire Night - watch this series of videos to take some tips from Fireman Sam.
Watch the Bonfire Night safety tips from Fireman Sam

Road safety

Every year we attend hundreds of road traffic collisions, rescuing drivers and their passengers and providing emergency first aid and trauma care.  We want you to be safe when driving so we promote and support driver engagement events throughout the year.
Over the next few weeks we will be taking part in winter driving events and supporting the Department for Transport’s Think! Campaign.
Winter driving events 2014

Cheshire firefighters will be out and about around the county, offering drivers the chance to have their cars checked before the colder weather sets in. Along with partner agencies, firefighters will be carrying out free safety checks on cars as part of their continuing campaign for safer roads in Cheshire.
Find out more - winter driving events
Country roads - deadlier than you THINK!

A new THINK! campaign launched on 9th October 2014 warns drivers of the dangers of country roads, using the strapline:

'brake before the bend, not on it’

60% of all fatalities occur on country roads. These roads often  have sharp bends, blind bends and unexpected hazards. So brake before the bend to give yourself time to react and stay in control.
Find out more - Country roads - deadlier than you THINK

Could you be an on-call firefighter in Winsford?

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 Winsford.
The events will give potential applicants the opportunitiy to meet full-time and on-call crews, 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 Winsford?

Libraries scheme to boost mental health proves a ‘bestseller’ in Cheshire East


Cheshire East libraries have proved a major success at helping support people with mental health issues.

The ground-breaking Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme has seen a more than doubling in the number of self-help books being borrowed by people in Cheshire East suffering mental health issues.

The news was announced today for World Mental Health Day.

Cheshire East libraries issued an impressive 3,259 titles under the ‘books on prescription’ scheme during the period June 2013 to May 2014. This is a 62.5 per cent increase on the 1,223 titles loaned in the previous year.

The three most popular titles (in order) were: Mind Over Mood; Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway; and Overcoming Anxiety.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of care and health in the community, said: “It is really helpful to know that these resources, which have been fully accredited by the appropriate medical authorities, are available for free from public libraries.

“The scheme can support early intervention to improve mental health wellbeing as well as be offered alongside medication or other psychological interventions. It can also offer support while people are waiting for treatment – or following treatment.

“This extends the flexibility of support available. It is also about empowering and informing people, which is so important.”

Launched in June 2013, the first nationwide books-on-prescription scheme in England has reached around 275,000 people with book-based therapy for common mental health conditions available from public libraries.

Cheshire East Council’s libraries service stocks a wide selection of titles ranging from overcoming depression, how to stop worrying and overcoming low self-esteem.

Evidence shows that self-help reading can benefit people with certain mental health conditions, around three-quarters of people surveyed said their book had helped them understand more about their condition and feel more confident about managing their symptoms.

The scheme has played an important role in helping to meet the huge need for mental health support. Recent figures indicate there are around eight million people in England suffering from anxiety or depression alone and three-quarters of this group may not be receiving treatment.

GPs and health professionals can prescribe books but they are also available for anyone to borrow from their local library. While there are around 7,000 prescribers using the scheme nationally, 80 per cent of people who borrowed a book had self-referred by picking up a leaflet, often in their local library.

All the evidence suggests it has helped people suffering metal health problems. In a recent survey, nearly everyone who had borrowed a book from the Reading Well Books on Prescription core list of 30 titles said it had been helpful.

Carole, a Reading Well Books on Prescription user, said: “It was really useful to take the book home and work on it in my own time. The fact that it got me doing some of the exploration and understanding work made me feel as if I’d got some control back.

“I found myself looking forward to reading it. The library staff were wonderful. While I was there, I mentioned I was in the dark ages with my computer skills. The librarian signed me up to classes there and then.”

Improved confidence around managing symptoms was also reported by nearly all of the GPs and health professionals, surveyed nationally, who had prescribed books from the list, while just under half felt the scheme had saved them consultation time. 

Following the success of Reading Well Books on Prescription for common mental health conditions, a new dementia scheme will be launched in libraries in January 2015.

Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Libraries are an important resource in all communities, providing trusted, safe and valued places where people can find information and advice that can help them in so many areas of their lives.

“It’s really great news to learn that library book loans in this important and innovative scheme have more than doubled and I look forward to more success with the reading scheme in 2015.”

Council-backed reading scheme sets new record


A Council-backed summer reading challenge has set a new record for the number of children taking part – for the second year running.

The year’s theme of Mythical Maze captured imaginations and sparked a huge range of spin-off activities for kids including storytelling, crafts, parachute games and animal handling.

Cheshire East libraries got more volunteers, more children attending events and more schools actively involved.

Of those children who started the challenge, 62% completed it, which is 3% more than in 2013.

While all libraries did a superb job, Middlewich gets a special mention for an increase of 41% in starters over 2013 and a staggering 52% increase in completers.

The libraries recruited and trained 72 volunteers this year, of whom 48 were 24 years old or younger. These dedicated volunteers gave a total of almost 2,000 hours to the libraries over the summer.

The national scheme, coordinated by The Reading Agency, ran from July to September and was designed for children aged four to 11.

Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council and Cabinet member in charge of libraries, said: “We were really pleased to support the national summer reading challenge in our libraries and delighted at the record success of this year’s scheme

“It is really encouraging to see that each year it gets more and more popular with children and parents. The key is that it really catches children’s imagination, keeps them amused and makes reading fun.

“The number of children who attended library events also increased to 4,002, from 3,625 in 2013 and 2,492 in 2012. This is great news and testament to the passion and dedication of our libraries staff.”

Research shows that taking part in the summer reading scheme can help prevent a dip in reading motivation and attainment, so common over the summer holidays.

Partnerships with local schools, parents and carers is important to the success of the scheme and Cheshire East library staff visited 68 primary schools – up from 66 last year.

Library staff and volunteers then spend time talking to the children about their book choices and the children are given incentives to encourage them to carry on reading.

In September, medals and certificates were awarded to all those who completed the challenge at ceremonies attended by councillors, MPs and local VIPs.