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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Vehicle Crime Alert

Subject: Vehicle Crime Alert

This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Lawrence Price (Police, PCSO, Crewe LPU East PCSO)

Cheshire Police ask residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity following the overnight theft from 5 vehicles in a cul de sac near Underwood Lane in Crewe.
The thefts took place in the early hours of Monday 31st August 2015 and insecure vehicles were targeted and valuables taken from within.
Officers are pursuing lines of enquiry and urge anyone with any information to make contact by calling 101. Police also ask that residents take this opportunity to review their security by ensuring valuables are removed from vehicles and that they are left secure when unattended.

Fairerpower surges past £500,000 savings milestone


Fairerpower customers have collectively saved in excess of £500,000 in only a few months.

So far more than 2,500 customers have signed up since its launch in March of this year, with the average saving for fixed tariff customers being £245 (see note 1).

The majority of customers, more than 60 percent, have moved for the first time in five years or more. These customers are those who have been largely paying higher prices as they have not switched regularly.

Apathy, driven by a lack of trust, is seen as the main reason for this behaviour. Customers have chosen to switch due to  the fact that Fairerpower is a Council-owned initiative with the aim of helping residents save money and not driven by profit.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Fairerpower is shaking up the energy market across Cheshire East and is only going to get bigger as customers hear about the savings they can make.

“We set it up with the aim of giving our residents access to cheaper and fairer energy prices backed by an organisation they can trust. Fairerpower and Cheshire East Council is delivering on that promise.

“New customers can benefit even further by helping introduce their friends and family and we will reward both parties with a free £20 Amazon gift voucher.”

Anyone interested in saving money on their fuel bills can go to to find out more.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Has Cheshire East been hijacked by the Bolsheviks?


On the Cheshire East notice board on Crewe Square next to M&S there is a poster from the Communist Party of GB, behind the locked glass cover, calling for capitalism to go.

See attached photo.


Has Cheshire East been hijacked by the Bolsheviks? 
Is Cheshire East sucking up to Comrade Corbyn even before he has been elected?

Cheshire East has just paid £6million of Council tax payers money to buy a chunk of the Crewe Town Centre shops. The Council will need the support of capitalists to make the i investment a success so it is really odd that the Council should allow the Communist Party of Great Britain to put up a poster, in the very same town centre, calling for the end of capitalism.

I have written to the Council about this strange event.

I have asked them to let me know who authorised this notice to be displayed?

When will it be taken down?

Or do Cheshire East agree with the Communists that capitalism should be smashed?

Statement: ‘Devo Cheshire’


In response to media and public interest in the Council’s policy on a devolved Cheshire, Cheshire East Council leader Michael Jones says the Council looks forward to working with its partners in Cheshire West and Warrington.

With the deadline for the submission of expressions of interest set for September 4, Cllr Jones said the Council fully endorses greater control over resources for the people of Cheshire.

The Chancellor George Osborne is inviting bids from authorities who may wish to go down the devo-max route and authorities in Cheshire have started to draw up plans.

Cllr Jones said: “The Council looks forward to working with its partners in Cheshire West and Warrington to enhance the quality of life for the people of Cheshire.

Cllr Jones added:  “This is about wholesale public sector reform to better meet the needs of the local residents.

“We in Cheshire East are continuing to secure economic growth and prosperity for the health and wellbeing of all our residents.

“On health reforms we must work with our health partners to get it right but I am disappointed that given the deadline of September 4 for authorities to submit their expression of interest, there has been no dialogue and invitations have not been taken up.

“On devolution, greater local control and influence over resources and powers to Cheshire is something we are looking at and we are open to dialogue with the Government.

“A mayoral model has not been specifically discussed but we fully endorse the move for elected metro mayors.”

Cheshire East scoops award for its free training to boost local businesses


Cheshire East Council has scooped a prestigious award for its innovative work to help boost local businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses presented Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones with a Business Buddy Award in recognition of the authority’s series of free workshops to help business people learn how to win public sector contracts.

The Council-organised procurement training events are targeted at local businesses, charities and social enterprises.

The aim is to show them how to ‘get started’ in the bid process, how to produce a tender and how to collaborate with other organisations – to increase scale and expertise – to form ‘consortia’ to tender for local and central government work.  

The events have been hailed a great success – and more of the popular free workshops are due to be held next month.

Councillor Jones said: “I am delighted that our team has won deserved recognition for its work supporting our local businesses.

“Tendering for a public sector contract can be a daunting prospect and these free workshops provide excellent guidance to help businesses develop a bid.

“We want traders and charities to know that we are always interested in receiving tenders from local businesses and organisations.

“These workshops can significantly help to simplify and demystify the process. We want to encourage even more local businesses to get involved in working with not only Cheshire East Council but also other public sector bodies. It is vitally important, as more than £300bn of services are procured by the public sector each year.

“We put a lot of emphasis on supporting local firms and businesses and ensuring as many services as possible are provided locally – while ensuring quality services and value for money for the people of Cheshire East.”

The latest round of procurement workshops, held in Congleton, which aim to cover the whole process from start to finish, are:

Let’s Get Started – on Tuesday, September 22;

The Invitation To Tender Process – on Tuesday, September 29.

The first workshop is an introduction to the tendering process, which will show how the framework for public sector tendering operates, how to navigate it and how to prepare for tendering opportunities.

The second workshop will explain the best-practice procedures and structures that you should put in place in your organisation to make sure your bids are as professional as possible – and also how working in consortia can provide further opportunities.

The free workshops are conducted by award-winning Melanie Bryan, from WhyNotChange – an organisation which helps businesses tender for public sector contracts. Melanie won the best social enterprise partnership award in the Prime Minister’s Big Society Awards 2011.

Both workshops will take place at Riverside, Mountbatten Way, Congleton, CW12 1DY. 

Each event starts with refreshments and bacon rolls at 7.45am for a prompt 8am start. The sessions finish at 11am.

Places are strictly limited and businesses are advised to attend both events in order to get the most benefit and understand the whole process.

To book a place on the latest workshops, contact Cheshire East Council on 0300 123 5001 or email

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Rope residents have been badly let down by Cheshire East Council.

Rope residents have been badly let down by Cheshire East Council.Their views have been ignored.
An application to extend Berkeley Primary School has been approved.
It was requested that as part of the planning permission a condition should be incorporated  to require the school to provide a safe,off-road, drop off area on the school site for parents to use. This was requested because one of the biggest concerns in Rope is the way a minority of parents park inconsiderately outside the school and block the flow of traffic and driveways.
The parking is disgraceful in the small closes near to the school. Parents abandon their cars on pavements,by  corners, across drives etc. Also, they have no consideration that their children access their cars by trampling over private gardens where there is no pavement. The random parking also puts their children at risk from motorists who can't see them emerging from between parked cars - an accident waiting to happen. It's no joke being unable to access or leave your home between certain times Many residents feel like prisoners in their own homes.
The matter was not helped when the Rope Borough Councillor, Sarah Pochin turned up late for the meeting so she was unable to make the case for the residents prior to the decision being made.
I was successful in getting the yellow lines and a 20mph limit outside the school some years ago but the truth of the matter is that although Rope Parish Council taxpayers pay annually towards the cost of a PCSO very little is done to stop this inconsiderate and dangerous parking.
Residents have had enough of the waffle, they want action from the Police and from the Council.
This was a golden opportunity to tackle the school parking problem. It is a great shame that the Councillors have decided to do nothing.
Cllr Brian Silvester
UKIP Rope Parish Councillor

Cheshire East now best place to make movies


Cheshire East has moved centre stage in the world of TV and film making.

The economic value of film making in the Borough has shot up to £2.5m – making the Borough one of the most popular locations in the country for film and television productions.

Already recognised as the best place to live in the North West,* Cheshire East is now officially one of  the best places to make drama, films and commercials in the region.

Production companies spent more than 182 days working in Cheshire East last year, spending more than £2.5m in hotels, restaurants and shops.

Filming is expected to begin again soon in Bunbury, where the popular ITV wartime drama Home Fires is set.

Bunbury now joins the growing list of popular filming locations including Tatton Park and Styal Mill.

According to figures from Creative England, there have been 41 titles which have utilised the characteristic settings of Cheshire East, including Foyle’s War, Peaky Blinders, The Village, Real Housewives of Cheshire and Scott and Bailey.

Others include the £100m feature film Tarzan, The Driver and Last Tango in Halifax.

Children’s programmes, factual documentaries, commercials and modelling shoots have also combined to give the Borough’s hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and cafes a huge income boost.

Leader of Cheshire East Council Michael Jones said: “This is astonishing.  Three years ago the economic value from productions was just £600,000. Now we are at £2.5m.

“While some of the production companies involved are based at Mediacity in Manchester, many are from other parts of the country, including London.

“And they often hire local people and local crews to make it happen, so there is a real jobs benefit from all this. This must mean that our reputation as a good place to film precedes us.”

Catherine Oldfield, executive producer of Home Fires, said: “We looked all over Britain and Bunbury was the only place we found where we could build a composite village out of certain elements of the landscape.

“Everyone was very welcoming. You are really spoilt for choice in Cheshire for places to eat, places to go out.  It’s a real gastro part of the world.

“I would definitely recommend this part of Cheshire as a place to shoot a film.”

ITV has confirmed that a second series of Home Fires will go ahead and it is expected that filming will begin in and around Bunbury in the autumn.

Series one pulled in an audience of 6.1million, a 24 per cent audience share.

Home Fires follows a group of inspirational women, during the dark days of the Second World War who pull together for the war effort as they see their menfolk sent off to fight.

It is based on the book Jambusters, written by well-known author Julie Summers.

To access  an interview with executive producer Catherine Oldfield go to

Woman is punished for falsely claiming benefits from Council


A 32-year-old woman from Nantwich has been ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work after fraudulently claiming benefits.

Elaine Dawson, of Cronkinson Oak, appeared before South and East Cheshire Magistrates Court for sentencing on Wednesday (August 19). She had earlier entered guilty pleas to two charges of failing to report a change in her circumstances in relation to her claims for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Council Tax Support.

Magistrates sitting at Crewe had heard that Dawson claimed the above benefits since November 2012 on the basis that she was on a low income and needed financial support to help pay her rent and Council Tax.

Her claim continued on this basis until Cheshire East Council discovered that Dawson’s hours had increased. A subsequent investigation into her claim found that Dawson’s earnings had increased significantly from January 2013.

In failing to report the increase in her earnings, Dawson received £4,099.10 in benefits from Cheshire East Council over a period of two years that she was not entitlement to.

Magistrates ordered Dawson to complete a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 100 hours unpaid work and imposed costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £60.

Additionally, she will have to repay in full all the benefits she fraudulently received.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cabinet member in charge of communities, said: “The benefits system exists to help people who really need it – it is unacceptable for others to attempt to fraudulently take advantage of it.

“If people think the can claim benefits they are not entitled to and get away with it, they are making a big mistake and our zero-tolerance approach will result in prosecutions like this.

“They risk being prosecuted and ending up with a criminal conviction for a serious offence of dishonesty.”

So far this year, the Council’s benefit investigations team has identified more than £770,000 in fraudulently claimed Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Jobseekers’ Allowance, Income Support and Employment Support Allowance paid by Cheshire East Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

During this year, 43 people have been prosecuted, 31 issued with administrative penalties or fines and 35 more cautioned for benefits offences and Blue Badge misuse.

If people believe someone is committing benefit fraud, they can call the confidential free phone fraud hotline on 0800 389 2787. Callers do not have to give their name and the call will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service August 2015 E-Newsletter

Subject: Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service August 2015 E-Newsletter - Firelink

This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

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

Alarms4life - Smoke alarms for rented properties

Landlords across Cheshire are being urged to act now to ensure they are ready for new safety laws aimed at saving dozens of lives a year.
New regulations are expected to come into effect from October 2015, subject to parliamentary approval.
Find out more - Smoke alarms for rented properties

Creamfields 2015

Roads will be busy in South Warrington over the August Bank holiday weekend (28th, 29th and 30th August) with over 50,000 people expected to attend the Creamfields 2015 event in Daresbury.
The majority of festival goers are likely to be heading for the site on Friday and Saturday morning and leaving on Monday morning. These are the times when residents can expect some congestion on local roads.
Drivers in the area are being advised to allow extra time for their journeys and to be alert as the roads will be busier than normal.
Find out more - Creamfields 2015

Bank Holiday safety advice

Please put safety first over the Bank Holiday weekend - use the links below to access tips and advice on road safety, barbecue safety DIY safety, caravan safety and camping safety. Have a safe and enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend.
Read our Bank Holiday safety advice

New safety videos

We have recently created a number of new safety videos:

Fire Station open days

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

Pets (Puppies) For Sale Alert

Subject: Pets (Puppies) For Sale Alert

This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Action Fraud has noticed a rise in reports concerning the purchase of pets, in particular puppies, advertised for sale via popular online auction websites.
The fraudsters will place an advert of the pet for sale, claiming to have recently moved abroad and the need to re-home the puppies.
Once a sale is agreed and payment is made, usually by money transfer or bank transfer, the pet does not materialise. The fraudster will usually ask for further advanced payments for courier charges, shipping fees or vet bills.
Protect yourself:

  • Stay within the auction guidelines. Be wary of paying fees via a Money Service Bureau, such as MoneyGram and Western Union.
  • Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller; for example a mobile phone number or email address used by the seller could alert you to any negative information associated with this number online. 
  • Request details of the courier company being used and conduct enquiries regarding the company
  • Agree a suitable time to meet face to face to agree the purchase.
  • Be wary. If you think the purchase price is too good to be true then this is probably an indication that it is!
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online at or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

Gruelling cycle event

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Two local men are training hard for a gruelling cycle event.

l-r Ben Reinhardt - Jim Forkin

Ben Reinhardt and Jim Forkin, from Crewe and Willaston respectively, are spending September this year cycling the length of the River Rhine - a total journey of 860 miles.

They plan to start their journey at the source of the Rhine as it rises in the Swiss Alps at Lake Toma, and over three weeks will follow the river as it flows through Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, France to its mouth into the North Sea at the Hoek van Holland in the Netherlands.

All proceeds will go to the charity Bloodwise (formerly known as Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research).

Ben is a committee member of Bloodwise (South Cheshire Branch), and Jim is a fund-raiser. They have been friends for nearly 50 years.

To sponsor them please visit:

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

How to avoid being a victim of bogus websites

Subject: How to avoid being a victim of bogus websites

This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Fraudsters have created a high specification website template advertising flat screen televisions for sale which are below market value and do not exist. Payment is being requested via bank transfer and will offer no protection to the consumer when the television does not arrive.
Protect yourself:

  • Payments made via bank transfer are not protected should you not receive the item.
  • Always make payment via a credit card or PayPal where you have some avenue of recompense should you not receive your product.
  • Conduct some online research on the website, company name and business address to identify any poor feedback or irregularities.
  • Check the authenticity of websites before making any purchases. A ”whois” search on the website will identify when the website has been created, so be wary of newly formed domains. This search can be conducted using the following website -
  • If the item advertised seems too good to be true, it probably is
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online at or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

Cheshire East ignores the views of local residents and Rope Parish Council.


Rope residents have been badly let down by Cheshire East Council.(See below)

Cllr. Brian Silvester said,

”An application to extend Berkeley Primary School has been approved. Rope Parish Council objected to this planning application because it would be visually obtrusive and threaten a valued mature oak tree. The parish council also said there should be a condition that the school will work with Cheshire East to provide a safe, off-road drop off area for parents to use. This was requested because one of the biggest concerns in Rope is the way a minority of parents park inconsiderately outside the school and block the flow of traffic and driveways.

Prior to the meeting a tree preservation order was put on the tree so the Councillors on the planning committee had no choice but to ensure that that was protected. Otherwise the concerns of local residents and the parish council  about the parking problems were totally ignored. The matter was not helped when the Rope Borough Councillor, Sarah Pochin turned up late for the meeting so she was unable to make the case for the residents prior to the decision being made.

This was a golden opportunity to tackle the school parking problem. It is a great shame that the Councillors have decided to do nothing.”

Cllr Brian Silvester

UKIP Rope Parish Councillor

To: CE - PLANNING APP COMMENTS[]; Subject: Comment on a Planning Application Sent: Tue 4/21/2015 2:12:41 PM From: Centre, Call Timestamp 21/04/2015 15:12:41 Source FORMID Comment On a Planning Application EmailTo EmailFrom EmailSubject Comment on a Planning Application Application_details - Application_reference 15/0535N Application_site_address WISTASTON BERKELEY COUNTY PRIMARY SCHOOL LAIDON AVENUE WISTASTON CHESHIRE CW2 6RU Purpose No Selection Interest Other Interest_if_other Rope Parish Council Comments Rope Parish Council objects to this planning application because it would be visually obtrusive and threaten a valued mature oak tree. The Parish Council accepts that the school needs new classrooms and the studio could benefit the community as well as the school. It is the proposed position of the buildings which leads to both objections. The school has a considerable amount of space and there is no need for it to expand towards Laidon Avenue. The same facilities could be built elsewhere and still leave plenty of space for sport and play. The studio would be very close to the road, closer than the neighbouring houses. This would be very obtrusive and reduce the sense of space. The building itself would not be attractive to look at. The residents who live opposite the school suffer considerable inconvenience due to parking problems at the beginning and end of the school day. This loss of visual amenity would take away a compensating factor. The proximity of the footpath to the studio would also reduce the privacy of the pupils using it. The studio would also be very close to a large and attractive oak tree. It seems likely that the roots would be damaged during construction. Even if the tree were not damaged then, there would be a possibility that at some later point a branch would fall onto the building. This would result in calls for it to be cut down on safety grounds. The Council has requested a tree protection order for this tree. Interested_partys_details - Title Ms Forename Susan Surname Togay

From: sue.togay On Behalf Of Clerk - Rope Parish Council Sent: 05 July 2015 17:15 To: Cheshire East Planning Subject: URGENT Comment on 15/0535N Berkeley Primary School. Dear Sir/Madam, I have had problems with submitting comment on this application via the Cheshire East website. Could I kindly request as a matter of urgency that the following comment be included from Rope Parish Council: Since we made our previous comments we have become aware that funding is now available to help schools provide drop off parking zones. We have also had the opportunity to read the other comments. We have noted the comment that increased school numbers caused by this proposed expansion will still be lower than they were in 2006. There are other factors that affect parking around the school which should also be considered. 1. Berkeley now shares its campus with the Willows Pre-School. Staff from the Willows park on the roads. Parents of children at the Willows also bring and collect them by car. 2. It is likely that since 2006 a higher proportion of pupils come from outside the catchment area. This could be either through parental choice or because other schools are now full. These parents will probably bring their children by car. 3. There is an increased number of working parents. Those who live in walking distance may still bring their cars as they can then drive on to work. 4. Car ownership is increasing so there is more on road parking by local residents leaving less space for parents. If this planning application is allowed then school numbers are likely to increase and parking problems will get worse. There is already a big issue with parking around the school at the beginning and end of the school day. It is discussed at every Parish Council meeting. The school has tried to help by writing to parents and organising a walking bus. However there is still a large number of parents who bring cars and they have to park them somewhere. As the spaces fill up then there is more chance that cars will be parked inconsiderately or illegally. If the application is to be approved then there should be a condition that the school will work with Cheshire East to provide a safe, off-road drop off area for parents to use. Yours sincerely, Sue Togay Clerk to Rope PC

12 hour fundraising 'Tennisathon'


l-r - George Raiswell - Ben Reinhardt - Tony Mason –  Ollie Cox

Photo label: l-r - George Raiswell - Ben Reinhardt - Tony Mason – Ollie Cox

A 12 hour fundraising 'Tennisathon' took place on Saturday 8th August from 7.30am until 7.30pm at Wistaston Tennis Club on Church Lane, Wistaston.

Numerous members of Wistaston Tennis Club took part and 24 sets (201 games) were played during the event. Ruth Reinhardt provided the refreshments.

£100 was raised for the charities Marie Curie Cancer Care and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Organisers Tony Mason and Ben Reinhardt said, “We would like to thank members of Wistaston Tennis Club for their support throughout the 12 hours and to friends and family who made such generous donations to the two charities.”

Crewe Youngsters Celebrate International Youth Day with Unique Live Performance

Life on Shuffle

Young people from across Crewe celebrated International Youth Day in style last week with a live performance of their original music. ‘Life on Shuffle Live’ took place on International Youth Day, 12th August, at Crewe’s West Street Christian Fellowship Church and showcased various pieces of new music, which the young people have been busy creating since January.

From singing and DJing through to MCing, the unique show included a number of group pieces as well as solo performances. Watched by family and friends, members of local youth groups and industry professionals, the celebration was the first performance as part of an ongoing music project, ’Life on Shuffle’, which to-date has involved over 20 children and young people from the local area who are living in challenging circumstances.

Supported by Youth Music and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the ‘Life on Shuffle’ project has been backed by Cheshire East Youth Support Service as well as leading music organisations The Love Music Trust and Brighter Sound. The project provides young people living in challenging circumstances access to a creative environment and industry professionals that they wouldn’t usually have, and is aimed not only at developing their creative, expressive and musical ability but also improving their health, wellbeing and employability.

“Music making can have a significant positive effect on both short and long term outcomes for children living in challenging circumstances, by helping them to build skills and develop resilience to the challenges they face, and Life on Shuffle aims to support this,” commented Paul Hine, Life on Shuffle project manager. “This first performance was a fantastic celebration and really demonstrated how much the young people involved have positively engaged with music over the past few months, and showcased their impressive creative ability.”

Sarah Marks, Youth Worker at Cheshire East Youth Support Services, said: “The music sessions over the past few months have proven invaluable for the young people involved. As well as producing fantastic original music, the group has bonded extremely well and as a result, we’ve seen a marked improvement in their team work and work ethic. To see them performing together and create such an impressive, original sound in such a short period of time, was really exciting and I’m looking forward to hearing what they come up with next.”

International Youth Day, now marked on 12th August each year, was created by the United Nations in 1998 and aims to celebrate the contribution youths make to society.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Connecting Cheshire Fibre Broadband Programme reaches 80,000 properties across Cheshire


The Connecting Cheshire programme has reached another milestone by ensuring more than 80,000 homes and businesses have access to high-speed fibre broadband.

Six more Cheshire East parishes have recently gone live and the £6m phase two programme will see a further 10,000 properties connected by summer 2017.

Prestbury, Smallwood, Bunbury, Faddiley, Marton Heath and Wistaston have now joined the high-speed club as Connecting Cheshire passes its original 80,000 connections target, ending the frustration many customers experience with slow broadband speeds.

The news from Connecting Cheshire follows the Government announcement that is nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now passed more than three million UK homes and businesses.

The rollout is on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017 and is now reaching around 5,000 additional properties each day.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “We are transforming the digital landscape of the UK and our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now reached an additional three million UK homes and businesses.

“I congratulate Connecting Cheshire on reaching this milestone.  They are making incredible progress.”

The Leader of Cheshire East Council, Cllr Michael Jones said: “This additional broadband coverage we have brought to the region, is already making a big impact and helping to keep Cheshire businesses competitive.

“More coverage is coming soon in our phase two rollout so that we can reach event more premises, especially those in our outlying, rural areas.”

Mike Blackburn, BT regional director for the North West, said: “I am delighted that we have hit the original target of providing fibre broadband to 80,000 homes and business premises across Cheshire.

“We are continuing with the rollout so that many more users can access the benefits that high-speed broadband can deliver to homes, families and the business community.”  

“BT’s multi-billion pound investment in superfast broadband through its partnerships, including Connecting Cheshire and its own commercial programme, has already made fire broadband available to more than 23 million homes and businesses nationwide and the number is continuing to grow rapidly.

“Our engineers are rolling out the technology at a world class pace, reaching thousands more premises every week.”

Connecting Cheshire is one of many partnerships across the country rolling out high-speed broadband to those communities not included in the private sector’s commercial fibre broadband plans.

High-speed broadband users in Cheshire can achieve download speeds of up to 80 megabits and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps*.

One business reaping the benefits is Bongo’s Rock & Roll Pickles, based in Norley, founded by former Tears for Fears drummer Manny Elias.

Bongo and his wife, the actress Debs Elias, make chilli pickles and chilli condiments.

She said: “Slow broadband was holding the business back and turning us into internet monsters! With less than 1Mbps we were rarely able to update the website or make much use of social media.

“Since getting fibre, we have been able to establish an e-commerce shop on the website and develop a strong social media presence with blogs, videos and customer reviews.

“This is really helping us to grow the business.”

The £28.5m partnership between four Cheshire councils, BT, the Government and the European Regional Development Fund, was launched in April 2013.

It is anticipated that 96 per cent of the county will benefit from fibre by the end of 2015.

To check availability in your area visit the Connecting Cheshire website and enter a postcode or a telephone number:

Cheshire East A-Level students above national average once again!


A-Level students in Cheshire East have once again achieved impressive results which are above the national average.

The Borough’s 1,660 students received their *provisional results this morning and they have again achieved a pass rate of 99%, which is above the national average of 98% (as reported by the BBC.)

Around one in 10 students (almost 10 per cent) gained an A* compared to eight per cent nationally.

The further breakdown of grades shows that over a quarter of all students achieved grades A* to A (28 per cent) and well over half (57 per cent) achieved an A* to B grade, again both of these figures are an improvement on last year. Both of these are above the national average.

Based on average point scores per A-Level entry, the average Cheshire East student now achieves a high B grade, up from a high C grade last year. Most students will have been entered for between three and four examinations.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member in charge of children and families, said: “This year’s exam results are extremely impressive once again and I congratulate all the sixth formers on their achievements.

“I’m sure it has been an anxious time for students and their families as they await the result of years of hard work. May I offer my thanks to the parents, teachers, school staff and governors for all their support and encouragement over the past few years.

“I am particularly pleased to celebrate the overall increase in the average grade for all learners which reflects the drive to achieve the highest grades possible and maximise potential.

“I wish our young people all the very best for the future, whether they are continuing their studies into further or higher education or putting their first foot on the ladder in the work place.”

*Validated data for A-Level results are expected in January 2016.