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Thursday, 9 August 2018

Don’t lose your right to vote – sign up to the Electoral Register!


Cheshire East Council is urging people not to miss out on the chance to vote as the annual renewal of the Electoral Register gets under way.

Households are being sent renewal forms over the coming weeks (16 August to 2 September), which they need to respond to as soon as possible.

Those not on the Electoral Register cannot vote in elections.

Electoral Registration Officer Kath O’Dwyer, who is acting chief executive of Cheshire East Council, is urging residents to respond to their registration forms.

She said: “Voting is a vital civil right and the lifeblood of democracy – but if you are not registered to vote you risk losing ‘your voice’ at the ballot box.”

“I would appeal to all the people of Cheshire East – whatever your politics – to make sure you respond to the form to stay on the register. Don’t miss out on the chance to vote.”

Registering to vote in elections is a legal requirement.

It only takes a few minutes to check the information on the form and respond using one of the options on the front page of the form.

The next elections scheduled for the voters of Cheshire East are the borough-wide town, parish and borough council elections in May 2019.

Free children’s creative events throughout the summer holidays


Children will get the chance to take part in a fun learning initiative which will develop their skills in digital creativity, coding, design and music.

Cheshire East Council’s Shift digital activities programme has launched a new events initiative called ‘Make Shift Crewe’. This is in partnership with the council’s library services and Wavemaker, a community interest company based in Stoke.

There will be a total of eight free sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout August – starting on Tuesday 7 August and finishing on Thursday 30 August. These were funded by Crewe Town Council .

Through this initiative, youngsters aged between five and 18 will be able to set up a mobile digital laboratory, carrying out a range of fun learning activities.

The ‘drop-in’ sessions will focus around working with animations, computer coding work and 3D printing, as well as the popular construction game Minecraft.

Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for children to have fun, learn and develop their skills during their holidays. Parents are able to watch their children play and develop their creative skills and they can get involved too!

“We are delighted to be able to unveil this initiative, which will provide up to 20 hours of fun and creative learning activities in Crewe for youngsters throughout August. We would like to thank Crewe Town Council for their continued support.”

The activities are:

Electronic orchestra

Visitors can create their own circuits to create their choice of music. Play a music masterpiece with fruit and Play-Doh! Youngsters will be able to find out more about parallel and serial circuit design and functions.

Robot Coding challenge

This showcase will be a hands-on introduction on what we need programming for and why it is an important skill for the future.

Intro to 3D Printing and Manufacture

These fun and engaging sessions focus on 3D Design, printing and manufacture. Learners will find out about current and future technologies and get ‘hands on’ using the Wavemaker iPads, pre-loaded with 3D design apps and software to play and create some unique 3D pieces.

The events take place at:

Tuesday 7 August

10am-12.30pm Jubilee House, St. Paul's Street, Crewe CW1 2QA

Thursday, 9 August   

10am-12.30pm Bethany Centre, Limetree Avenue, Crewe CW1 4HZ

Tuesday, 14 August

10am-12.30pm St Andrew’s Church Parish Hall Corner of Bedford Street / Ernest Street,

Crewe CW2 6JE

Thursday, 16 August       

1pm-3.30pm YMCA Fun Day, Derby Docks, Derby Street, Crewe CW1 3ER

Tuesday, 21 August         

10am-12.30pm Georges Community Centre, West Street, Crewe CW1 2QA

Thursday, 23 August       

1pm-3.30pm YMCA, Derby Docks, Derby Street, Crewe CW1 3ER

Tuesday, 28 August         

10am-12.30pm Crewe Lifestyle Centre, Moss Square, Crewe CW1 2BB

Thursday, 30 August       

1pm-3.30pm YMCA, Derby Docks, Derby Street, Crewe CW1 3ER

Charity fundraising

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Charity fundraising friends Roy Price, 51 from Crewe, and Ian Jones, 46 also from Crewe, have thus far this year raised over £2,700 by pushing a 100kg wheelbarrow and wearing a bear costume respectively on a fourteen mile walk from Crewe to Nantwich and back, via a Garden Party at The Woodside in Wistaston and a charity night at the Bombay Restaurant in Crewe.

The pairs next challenge on Sunday 9th September 2018 is another walk involving a wheelbarrow and the bear costume, but this time they intend to walk up a mountain! They plan to climb Snowdon, which is the highest mountain in Wales and has an elevation of 1,085 metres above sea level.

Roy and Ian are both raising money for the Macmillan Chemotherapy Suite at Leighton Hospital in Crewe. Roy in memory of his wife - Ruth Price - who passed away in February this year from secondary breast cancer. Ruth was treated at the Macmillan Cancer Unit at Leighton Hospital. Ian in memory of his mother - Janet Jones - who also passed away from cancer.

Their target is to raise £5,000 and in late-September this year Roy will aim to climb the Mount Kilimanjaro volcano in Tanzania - the highest mountain in Africa. In readiness for Kilimanjaro Roy is receiving training from EDGE Travel Worldwide via their ‘Sofa to Summit’ programme which includes health, nutrition, fitness and training along with UK walks. Roy’s latest challenge will be part of his training.

Roy Price said: “I faced my 51st birthday without Ruth, the first time in 30 years without her. It’s been hard, very hard but the fantastic encouragement and community spirit has spurred me along. Myself and Ian would like to thank all the individuals and organisations who have given us their generous support.”

To add to the fundraising total please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RoyPrice2

Roy Price and Ian Jones are preparing for their next challenge

The Vikings are coming …..


Tatton’s Old Hall is bracing itself for a Viking invasion, 1,000 years since Norsemen first crossed the Cheshire borders. And these ones are no less terrifying!

On Sunday, August 12 The Vikings of Middle England will be staging a dynamic and exciting re-enactment event in the atmospheric grounds of Tatton’s Tudor Old Hall.

Witness the clash of steel and hear the smash of axe on shield as these hardened warriors demonstrate Viking combat skills. The Vikings of Middle England are renowned for their historical authenticity and their ‘realistic, exciting and entertaining battle displays.

It’s not all about battle and ‘bloodshed’; around 30 re-enactors will be setting up an authentic Viking camp at the Old Hall and demonstrating the domestic side of Viking life. They will be joined by The Viking Long Ship Experience who will show that Vikings were traders as well as raiders and invaders. Visitors can learn about the Viking way of life through other living history activities such as story telling, blacksmithing, cooking over open fires and coin-striking.

A number of other displays will keep young and older visitors entertained from storytelling to the opportunity to try on armour and test out their own expertise with an archer’s longbow, for a small charge.

Old Hall steward Mick Ricketts said: “In the old Norse tongue the word Viking means raider or pirate and everyone loves a pirate, don’t they? Pirates are jolly but pirates are also ruthless and good at fighting and plundering. Viking Sunday brings a whole era back to life within the picturesque and normally

tranquil setting of the Old Hall. Be prepared for the crash of steel on steel or the thud of steel on shield but also find out about Viking crafts and culture.”

Viking Sunday at the Old Hall Sunday, August 12

12pm to 5pm (last entry 4pm) at the Old Hall. Prices: adults £7, child £5, Family £19 (2 adults and up to 3 children). Normal Parkland Vehicle entry of £7 per car applies. Additional small charge for have a go archery.

For further information about this release contact:

Marketing Department

Tel: 01625 374400 / Email: tattonmarketing@cheshireeast.gov.uk

www.tattonpark.org.uk

vikings (3)

Burty Bears Storytime Picnic - Leighton Saxon Gate

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Cheshire Constabulary

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Burty Bears Storytime Picnic - Leighton Saxon Gate - 21St August 2018 - 12:00Pm-13:00Pm


Burty Bear’s Storytime and Picnic!
NEW REGULAR EVENT ALERT!
Following reports of anti-social behavior on Saxon Gate Play Area, Cheshire Police are holding a new type of regular event where children aged 3-7 can take part in a police themed story time and activities with Local PCSO’s and Burty the Police Bear- Our new mascot!
We will also be asking for some of you to take our police bears home with you for a holiday and write some stories of their adventures to share at the next session!
The event is aiming to bring the community together and create a more positive atmosphere at the park for the local residents and younger children and to also teach them about the importance of trusting the police!
Please come and join us for our very first session and let’s make this a success!
When: 12:00 -13:00 Tuesday 21st August 2018
Where: Saxon Gate Play Area
You will need: Drinks/snacks and your favorite teddy!
The idea for the 'Teddy bear picnic' theme stems from an ongoing initiative that is running where Cheshire Police are encouraging the local community to knit 'Buddy Bears' that will go in our response cars to be given out to children to provide comfort following a traumatic situation. If you would like to get involved in this project please get in touch!
Kind regards, PCSOs Lizzie Jolley and Sarah Shaw
PCSO of Haslington and Rural Villages and of Crewe East PCSO of Leighton

£5,000 council grant on hand to help community groups support local needs


Communities across the borough can tap into a £200,000 pot of money from Cheshire East Council to boost local initiatives.

Activities that could benefit include support or training for volunteers and the purchase of equipment to improve the quality of life for local people.

Voluntary, community and faith sector organisations, particularly those within hard-to-reach communities, are urged to make applications now. The next round of the early help and community grant scheme is open and groups wishing to apply must do so by 28 September.

Each application can be for up to £5,000 but strict criteria are applied. Organisations seeking to benefit are encouraged to explore the options and application process through the council’s website*.

Successful organisations must report back to the council on how they have spent their allocation.  The scheme is meant to be competitive, open and transparent, enabling the council to distribute limited resources to support and encourage initiatives, especially in hard-to-reach communities.

Organisations must show a defined impact with clear outcomes.

An applicant can receive financial support to meet the running costs of a new activity group, such as computer and internet tuition, introducing a new sport or the development of personal skills, including training in volunteering, health and safety, sports coaching or food hygiene.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “The early help and community grants scheme is key to the delivery of the council’s ‘connected communities’ strategy and meets with the authority’s core values, one of which is to enable people to live well and for longer.

“Vibrant voluntary, community and faith sectors are seen as vital to developing strong and engaging communities and the small grants scheme is aimed at generating significant local activity to produce a positive impact.

“Improved outcomes can help build resilience, empowering people to manage their health and wellbeing, reduce isolation, minimising health risks and hospital admissions.”

*For more information about the early help and community grant scheme, including how to apply, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/communitygrant or email communitygrants@cheshireeast.gov.uk

or telephone 01270 685809.

Council’s highways teams take advantage of dry summer


Cheshire East Council’s highways teams have taken full advantage of the long, dry spell to ‘crack on’ with major road repairs around the borough.

Around 40 miles (62.5km) of roadway have been completely resurfaced so far and 7,459 potholes have been repaired already to keep the borough’s roads safe for users.

Cheshire East Highways has carried out repairs in Wilmslow, Crewe, Nantwich, Congleton, Macclesfield, Poynton and Knutsford, with many more towns and villages set to receive road improvements in the weeks and months ahead.

Councillor Glen Williams, Cheshire East Council deputy cabinet member for environment, said: “Our crews have been working in extremely testing conditions owing to the recent hot weather and I wish to thank them for their professionalism and commitment to the task in hand.

“This long, dry spell has been helpful but on some days the heat has made working conditions for staff extremely challenging. However, we are still on target to complete the schedule of works planned across the borough this summer.”

Cheshire East Council has now unveiled its extensive highways investment programme for 2018-19.

The council assesses the needs of the highways network, maximising the value of maintenance and improvement works within the funding available, for the benefit of residents and businesses.

The £20m capital programme is extensive, with more than 70 carriageway improvement schemes scheduled, from minor repairs to total resurfacing works. More than 70 carriageway patching schemes are programmed. There are 16 projects to repair bridges and other structures, plus 22 road safety improvements, including speed management initiatives.

The 18/19 investment programme will also see the completion of the four-year LED street lighting project, with a further 8,500 street lights scheduled for the switch.

Councillor Williams added: “This is a very comprehensive programme of works, emphasising our full commitment to improving the standard of our road network while, at the same time, introducing important safety measures where required.

“Where road closures are needed, residents and businesses will always be kept informed and we hope our residents and road users will understand that some inconvenience is unavoidable, when schemes have to be carried out in their area.

“Our highways role is one of the most important services this council delivers and we are constantly striving to achieve a road network to be proud of.”

The highways investment programme, which is now published on the council’s website, does not include the major road infrastructure schemes, such as Congleton Link Road, Middlewich Eastern Bypass, A500 dualling and the Crewe package of works in Leighton, as these are delivered as part of a separate strategic infrastructure programme.

The council’s highways service is responsible for repairs and management of the borough’s 1,677 miles of roads and 1,100 miles of footways in addition to the maintenance of bridges, street lighting, signage and 372 miles of cycleways. It is the biggest council asset – valued at nearly £6 billion.

To view the full programme of scheduled works and how it will benefit the roads and footways in your area visit: https://bit.ly/2ATfykI

Don’t forget, you can report a pothole and track its repair here: https://bit.ly/1J3f8mz

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Hockeython

A ‘Hockeython’ took place at The Vagrants Ground in Willaston on Saturday 28th July 2018 and raised over £1,000 for the charity ‘Bloodwise’, https://bloodwise.org.uk/ . The event was organised by and featured players from Crewe Vagrants Hockey Club who played a continuous 12-hour hockey game on their home pitch.

Bloodwise was chosen as a Ladies 1st team member of Crewe Vagrants Hockey Club - Steph Thompson - has recently been diagnosed with Leukaemia. Steph is receiving treatment, so the club wanted to raise the profile of the charity and hopefully change the world for people diagnosed with blood cancers.

Liz Boffey from Bloodwise South Cheshire branch said, "Bloodwise South Cheshire are indebted to Crewe Vagrants for their fantastic 12 hour hockeython. The standard of hockey was amazing and the event was well supported. All monies raised go directly into Blood Cancer research. As the local Bloodwise branch, it's great to be fund raising locally in this way. Further information of Bloodwise South Cheshire from Liz Boffey 01948871250 liz.boffey@btinternet.com and bloodwise.org .

Bloodwise are collecting at Morrisons Nantwich on Thursday 9th August 2018 (8am-8pm).

Hockeython participants (1)

Scam Alert - Fake British Gas Emails


Action Fraud (NFIB)

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Scam Alert - Fake British Gas Emails



Plain Text:
Watch out for these fake British Gas refund emails.
We’ve had an increase in reports about fake British Gas emails claiming to offer refunds. The links provided in the emails lead to genuine-looking British Gas phishing websites that are designed to steal the usernames and passwords for British Gas accounts.
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
For more information on how to stay secure online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

First ever Vets Day for Tatton’s Farm with local veterinary practice Wright and Moreton


Tatton Park’s Farm and Wright and Moreton vets are excited to welcome budding vets of any age to the Farm, Wednesday 8th August for hands on activities including scanning some of the cows heartbeats, taking a closer look at some of the tools vets use and questions and answers with the experts. There'll also be dressing as a vet - with a prize for the best dressed vet that visits the Farm!

Sophie from Wright and Morton said “‘Wright and Morten are really excited to be working in collaboration with Tatton Park Farm, in this new event on their annual calendar. Visitors will be able to learn all about the amazing work of our vets and hear what takes place on their visits. There will also be a chance to find out some marvellous animal facts and have the opportunity to ask the vets lots of questions.

With a host of interactive activities around the farm, this will be a great family event, where not only will you be able to meet the animals but you can learn lots of fun information about them too. We look forward to seeing everyone there”

Vet Day will take place from 12pm – 3pm on Wednesday 8th August, with no extra additional charge (regular entry charge to the Farm applies)

For more information, please visit www.tattonpark.org.uk

Green Belt ‘being eroded at an alarming rate’


460,000 houses being planned for land that will be released from the Green Belt, while the percentage of ‘affordable’ homes built continues to fall
The Green Belt remains under severe pressure, despite government commitments to its protection, according to a new report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).
CPRE’s annual State of the Green Belt report [1] highlights that there are currently 460,000 homes being planned to be built on land that will soon be released from the Green Belt [2]. Moving Green Belt boundaries when reviewing local plans makes it easier for local authorities to release land for housing, but is only supposed to take place under ‘exceptional circumstances’. This strategic shrinking of the Green Belt, as a way of getting around its protected status, is as harmful as building on the Green Belt itself.
The report also demonstrates that building on the Green Belt is not solving the affordable housing crisis, and will not do so. Last year 72% of homes built on greenfield land within the Green Belt were unaffordable by the government’s definition [3].
Of the 460,000 homes that are planned to be built on land that will be released from the Green Belt, the percentage of unaffordable homes will increase to 78%.
CPRE warns that this release of land looks set to continue, as one third of local authorities with Green Belt land will find themselves with an increase in housing targets, due to a new method for calculating housing demand. The London (Metropolitan) Green Belt will be the biggest casualty [4].
Tom Fyans, Director of Campaigns and Policy at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said:
‘We are being sold a lie by many developers. As they sell off and gobble up the Green Belt to build low density, unaffordable housing, young families go on struggling to afford a place to live. The affordable housing crisis must be addressed with increasing urgency, while acknowledging that far from providing the solution, building on the Green Belt only serves to entrench the issue.
‘The government is failing in its commitment to protect the Green Belt – it is being eroded at an alarming rate. But it is essential, if the Green Belt is to fulfil its main purposes and provide 30 million of us with access to the benefits of the countryside, that the redevelopment of brownfield land is prioritised, and Green Belt protection strengthened.’
There is currently enough brownfield land in England to accommodate more than 1 million homes [5].
CPRE urges the government and local authorities to ensure that this is redeveloped before any more greenfield land is released from the Green Belt. Local authorities with Green Belt land have enough brownfield land for over 720,000 homes, the report finds, much of which is in areas with a high need for housing and existing infrastructure [6].
In addition to a push for a genuine ‘brownfield first’ approach to development, CPRE are also calling on the government to:

  • retain its commitment to protect the Green Belt by establishing long-term boundaries
  • halt speculative development in the Green Belt
  • develop clear guidance for local authorities on housing requirements to protect designated land
  • support the creation of new Green Belts where local authorities have established a clear need for them

St Andrew’s Church on Bedford Street in Crewe has a new Curate

St Andrew’s Church on Bedford Street in Crewe has a new Curate, the Reverend Catherine Cleghorn.

Catherine will be based at the church for the next two to three years and brings a wealth of gifts to her ministry, as well as being able to play the ukulele!

Catherine was welcomed to St Andrew’s Church at a Morning Service on Sunday 29th July 2018, following her ordination at Chester Cathedral by the Bishop of Chester on 22nd July. Priest-in-Charge of St Andrew’s Church, Reverend Lynne Cullens presented Catherine with a bouquet and a card by the Churchwardens, Marta Jones and Alan Hurst, who welcomed her on behalf of the parochial church council (PCC) and congregation. Also present at the service was the Mayor of Crewe, Councillor Brian Roberts and Cheshire East Councillor Jill Rhodes.

Catherine will be part of the core team leading the St Andrew’s holiday fun and food scheme, The Lunch Stop, as well as spending time meeting with members of the church and wider community.

Rev Lynne Cullens said “We are delighted to welcome Catherine to serve her curacy both in our parish and with Rev Jane Colley at All Saints and St Peter’s. Catherine is a teacher by profession and a gifted musician. She has a keen interest in youth ministry which will be a key focus for her here in the months ahead. We are very much looking forward to her contribution to our mission here in central Crewe”.

l-r Rev Lynne Cullens and Rev Catherine Cleghorn with parishioners at St Andrews Church Morning Service

MP’s out of touch

Patients in a permanent vegetative state will now be allowed to die by withdrawing food and water. This is barbaric & uncivilised. If you let a pet die like that, you would be rightly locked up. If the patient has reached the end of their life, they should be allowed to die by lethal injection, not by depriving them of food and water.

That would be the humane thing to do.

Most Brits would agree with this.

80% of the British public agree that a person with a terminal and painful illness from which they will die, should be allowed assistance to die.

Despite this MPs will not vote for this change in the law.

It is yet another example of where the MPs are out of touch with their constituents.

Yours faithfully.

Cllr. Brian Silvester

For Britain Party

Chairman 'For Cheshire'

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Tractor Ted Rolls into Tatton Park


bringing all the fun of the farm… and more!

(Tatton Park, Knutsford, WA16 6SG)

(12noon-3pm)

Tractor Ted, the UK’s favourite little green tractor, will be rolling into Tatton Park bringing his unique blend of real life farm fun to local families, as part of his summer tour around the country.

Making a special guest appearance, for one day only, Tractor Ted on Tour

is an exciting day out for all the family… an event not be missed by any little farm fans!

Tatton Park will be hosting a specially created Tractor Ted area which is certain to keep children entertained for hours – yet can still fit in the back of a van!…

The larger-than life, giant inflatable Tractor Ted Bouncy Castle, will get little ones bouncing, climbing and sliding, while the Digger Den lets them play at being a farmer by scooping balls with their toy diggers. The whole family can compete in a game of Welly Wanging, to see who can score the most points – as well as an Activity Trail to explore and discover some fun farm facts and a Life-sized Jigsaw to get everyone puzzling!

The fun starts at (12noon) and runs until (3pm)

For more information on Tractor Ted check out:

www.tractorted.com

ABOUT TRACTOR TED

Tractor Ted, the UK’s favourite little green tractor, was born back in 2002, when Alexandra Heard, mum of three young children, found them fascinated by real life tractors.

Realising that there was nothing available that showed farming machines working on the farm, Alexandra met up with her childhood friend, David Horler who had his own working farm. Together they created Tractor Ted, a children’s farming character who captivates, entertains and educates young children with his exciting stories of real life farm adventures and discovery.

The series of films and books take children on a wonderful journey into the British countryside, where they can learn about big machines, how to look after animals, where our food comes from and the seasons.

Tractor Ted is with children every step of the way, encouraging them and always making sure everything turns out well. From this incredibly popular series has come an entire Tractor Ted world for pre-school children, including books, gifts, clothing, homeware, live events and visitor attractions.

Tractor Ted is loved by a range of celebrities including Kate Humble, Clare Balding and Ben Fogle who says:

I love watching Tractor Ted with my son and daughter – it makes for great family viewing. Even living in a city, as we do, it connects us with the countryside and rural life, which is very important.”

ABOUT

About Tatton Park

Tatton Park is managed and financed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust. This impressive historic estate receives in the region of 800,000 visitors every year all of whom come to enjoy its neo-classical Mansion, medieval Old Hall, award-winning Gardens and working Farm. The 1,000-acre deer park is home to red and fallow deer and the estate also boasts speciality shops, an adventure playground, restaurants and a year-round events programme. www.tattonpark.org.uk

LOCAL BROTHERS FUNDRAISING FOR HOSPITALS CHARITY APPEAL EXCEEDS TARGET


Local Crewe brothers Stuart and Alan Mackay walked from Edinburgh to Leighton Hospital in Crewe to raise money for Mid Cheshire Hospitals ‘Everybody Knows Somebody’ dementia appeal.

Stuart and Alan have been long distance walking for four years. Starting in 2014 with an idea to walk The West Highland Way, they have pushed themselves every year to continue to the very top of the country, before deciding to go back to the beginning and walk the other way.

Their ‘Walk N Boots’ challenge took place at the beginning of April over three weeks and covered over 400 miles. They exceeded their original target of £1000 with a final total raised of £2478.64.

Alan Mackay, who also works at Leighton Hospital said: ‘We would like to thank everyone who supported us with our grand adventure and we are delighted to exceed our target.’

Carole Salmon, Community Fundraiser for Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity added ‘A massive well done to Stuart and Alan. Their drive and enthusiasm for their fundraising has been inspirational. The donated money will benefit our Dementia Appeal so big thanks to all involved’

To find out more about Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity dementia appeal and how you can be involved, contact Carole Salmon, Community Fundraiser on 01270 273248.


Stuart & Alan

Fake goods dealer told – ‘pay up or face jail’


A dealer in fake designer goods brought to justice by Cheshire East Council has been told by a court to hand over £5,000 or face jail.

Tracey Bell, 53, who owns and runs Alsager Tanning Studio, in Station Road, Alsager, sold counterfeit designer goods with an estimated genuine value of £100,000.

Items included designer label jewellery and watches, phone accessories, make-up, bags and clothing, footwear, perfume, sunglasses and headphones. The fake goods were labelled under exclusive marques including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Herm├Ęs and Beats.

Goods were acquired during a test purchase operation conducted by Cheshire East Council officers, who found counterfeit items on display in the studio. Further counterfeit goods were found on the premises as well as counterfeit items being offered for sale online via Facebook.

Chester Crown Court, sitting last September, imposed a four-week prison sentence for each of four offences, to serve concurrently, suspended for 12 months and also imposed a six-month supervision order. 

Cheshire East trading standards, which brought the prosecution, subsequently launched a financial investigation which led to a proceeds of crime confiscation hearing at Chester Crown Court last week (20 July 2018).

Bell, of Rode Heath, was given three months to pay a total of £5,220.74 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 or face a default sentence of three months in prison.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East’s cabinet member responsible for communities, said: “Although buying a fake designer handbag, watch or sunglasses might be seen as a ‘victimless’ way to get something desirable on the cheap, the money made from the trade in these types of goods is often used to fund significant criminal activity and impacts genuine business. Such goods are also often unsafe and pose a significant safety risk.

“Cheshire East Council is acutely aware of the destructive effect that organised crime can have in communities, aware too that illicit trade is often a significant funding stream for these groups. We welcome intelligence provided from the local community – as such information is the lifeblood of enforcement, protecting consumers and legitimate business across Cheshire East.

“While our trading standards team will continue to do everything in its power to prosecute and recover the profits made by organised criminals, people across Cheshire East should also be aware of the ways in which they can assist in cutting off this funding at source.”

For more information on consumer safety, trading standards and to report suspicious or fraudulent activity, visit the council’s website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/tradingstandards

Or ring the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506.

Council to give free tendering training to boost local businesses


Cheshire East Council is to hold another series of free workshops to help business people learn how to win public sector contracts.

The procurement training events will be provided by the council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company and are targeted at local businesses in Cheshire East.

The latest free workshop is being provided to help smaller businesses in Cheshire East learn how to win public sector contracts.

The public sector is a massive market opportunity. By 2020 government hopes to award 33 per cent of their procurement budget to smaller businesses out of a total UK public sector spend of around £200 billion a year.

Cheshire East Council alone spends around £260m annually on contracts, supplies and services with third parties. Winning a public sector contract can help your business to grow.

The next workshop is taking place on 26 September 2018, from 9.30am to 5pm at Macclesfield College, Park Lane, Cheshire, SK11 8LF.

Future workshops are planned for December 2018 and March 2019.

The September workshop will show small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) from Cheshire East how public sector procurement works, the different frameworks in public sector contracts, how to identify the best opportunities and how to write a winning bid. The workshop is suitable for businesses new to the tendering process or looking to improve how they tender.

The one-day workshop aims to cover the whole process from start to finish, focusing on three key areas:

● Find – Looking for tendering opportunities;

● Bid – Practical bid management skills; and

● Win – Ways to ensure the bid submission is a winning one.

The interactive session will help SMEs to:

● Understand public sector procurement processes;

● Represent their financial position;

● Identify their strengths, weaknesses and selling points;

● Utilise techniques that make the bid process efficient and effective;

● Quickly build up a knowledge base of procurement processes; and

● ‘Punch above your weight’ when participating in procurement processes.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “Tendering for a public sector contract can seem a pretty daunting prospect and these free workshops provide excellent, practical guidance to help businesses develop their bids and make them a success.

“Cheshire East is always interested in receiving tenders from local organisations and businesses and these free workshops can significantly help to demystify and simplify the process.

“The council is keen to support local firms and businesses and works to ensure as many of our quality services as possible are provided locally, while continuing to deliver excellent value for money for the people of Cheshire East. It is important as the council spends around £260m of public money annually on contracts, supplies and services with third parties.”

Breakfast, lunch and refreshments will be provided. Breakfast and registration is at 9.30am for a prompt 10am start. The session finishes at 5pm.

To book a place on this training workshop, visit: www.skillsandgrowthportal.co.uk

Or email: info@skillsandgrowth.co.uk