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Friday, 9 December 2016

Appeal withdrawal recognises Jodrell Bank protection zone


Cheshire East Council has welcomed the withdrawal of a planning appeal, which threatened the protective zone around the Jodrell Bank observatory.

Developers Aus-Bore Estates proposed the construction of 65 new homes on land off Manor Lane in Holmes Chapel, but have now withdrawn their plans owing to previous decisions protecting the world-renowned Lovell Telescope.

A scheme for 119 homes, at Main Road in Goostrey, was recently turned down by the council and the decision backed by the secretary of state, on the grounds that the development would impact on the protective zone around Jodrell Bank.

The minister recognised that the ‘reasonable protection’ of the observatory was a matter of global significance.

In the light of that decision, Aus-Bore Estates have decided not to pursue their intended appeal against the council’s refusal of planning at Manor Lane in Holmes Chapel.

Manchester University has opposed a number of planning applications for housing schemes in the vicinity of Jodrell owing to the high level of electrical interference generated by modern homes, including computers, mobile phones and other electronic appliances.

The decision to withdraw means that a planning appeal inquiry, due to commence on December 14 for four days, will not now go ahead.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for planning and housing, said: “We welcome the withdrawal of this appeal which could have threatened the efficient operation of Jodrell Bank”.

“However, we are disappointed that it has arisen at this late stage as it was always very clear that the protection of Jodrell Bank was a significant issue in this case.

“We will continue to work closely with Manchester University and the observatory staff at Jodrell Bank to ensure we safeguard the efficiency of the telescope wherever we can.”

He stated that Cheshire East Council would continue to resist proposed housing schemes that posed a serious threat to the award-winning research centre, which is to play a key role in the Square Kilometre Array, a ground breaking project involving the creation of hundreds of telescopes in Australia and South Africa.

The SKA will open up a new dimension in astrophysics and research.

Illegal tobacco and alcohol seized in crackdown


Trading standards officers from Cheshire East Council have seized cigarettes, vodka and tobacco worth more than £17,000 during a swoop on illegal sellers.

More than 25,000 illegal cigarettes, about 800 bottles of vodka and 5.5kg of hand-rolling tobacco were uncovered during raids on properties in Crewe yesterday (Wednesday, December 7).

Officers and sniffer dogs discovered concealed stashes of tobacco at nine premises with products hidden in various places, including under floorboards and in storage units in shops.

Operation ‘Ignite’ follows on from the intelligence-led ‘Operation Henry 2’, which seized illegal tobacco products valued at more than £9,000 in March this year.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health, said: “People who deal in illegal tobacco are more likely to encourage others, especially children and young adults, to smoke.

“All tobacco is harmful but the illegal black market in tobacco, and in particular the availability of cheap cigarettes, makes it harder for smokers to quit and remain smoke free.

“We are an enforcing council and our trading standards officers are working hard to keep these illegal products off the streets and are cracking down on the businesses and individuals that flout the law.

“Detection dogs can find tobacco and cigarettes in the most unlikely places and in addition to having their stock confiscated, offenders could face unlimited fines and up to 10 years in prison.”

Anyone with information about illegal tobacco can call the ‘tackling illegal tobacco’ hotline on 0300 999 0000 or report online at:

Winter Wellbeing – accessing health services appropriately


Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we urge residents to ensure they are accessing health services appropriately.

During the winter months, health services can become overwhelmed through excess demand.

To help limit the impact, it’s important that residents are aware which service is right for them at a given time. The advice is to:

· Call NHS 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it is not a life-threatening situation. You can also call NHS 111 if you're not sure which NHS service you need;

· Call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk;

· Visit a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit if you have a minor illness or injury (cuts, sprains or rashes) and it can't wait until your GP surgery is open;

· Ask your local pharmacist for advice – your pharmacist can give you advice for many common minor illnesses, such as diarrhoea, minor infections, headache, travel advice or sore throats; and

· Make an appointment with your GP if you are feeling unwell and it is not an emergency.

If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious – get help from your pharmacist. The sooner you get advice the better.

If you’ve been described antibiotics or other medication, don’t forget to pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start as many GP surgeries and pharmacies will be closed during that time.

Make sure you also speak to your pharmacist about medicines you should have in stock to help get you and your family through the winter season. Also check to see if older neighbours, relatives and friends have the necessary medication.

If you do need help over the holiday period, when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 or visit, where you can be directed to a local service that is open.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health at Cheshire East Council, said: “Residents have a range of services they can access if they feel unwell or need advice during winter. But it’s important that the services they do access are appropriate to their needs.

“You can do your part in helping to take the strain off health services by stocking up on medication before the Christmas holidays, keeping an eye on vulnerable members of the community and ensuring you get help and advice as soon as you start to feel unwell.”

For further winter-related advice, visit:


Residents can help friends and neighbours, who do not have internet access, by printing off information from the website and giving it to them.

Fairerpower saves Cheshire residents £2m on energy bills


A partnership business set up by Cheshire East Council to help local residents reduce their energy bills has saved households £2m.

More than 7,000 people have now signed up to buy their gas and electricity through Fairerpower, a partnership between the Council and award-winning Ovo Energy, since its launch in March 2015.

Cheshire East residents who have switched to Fairerpower are saving an average of £246 on their annual fixed-tariff bills

Fairerpower was formed based upon the belief that people were spending too much on their energy bills by not switching providers for years. The not-for-profit organisation aims to offer a competitive energy plan that gives more back to the people of Cheshire. 

Now Fairerpower is advising residents to consider a switch to a fixed tariff deal to avoid getting caught out by the fluctuating cost of energy.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Fairerpower is building trust through award-winning customer service while securing cheaper and fairer prices for local residents across Cheshire. This was our promise when we started and we are delivering and giving many people a cheaper alternative.

“I would urge residents to consider fixing their energy bills before Christmas, as energy costs look set to rise. Visit our website at or call 0800 4086701 to get quote.”

By joining the more than 7,000 people already with Fairerpower you can benefit from:

● Low rates for both electricity and gas;

● Potential average savings of £200 to £300; (1)

● Simple, straightforward billing;

● Fixed 12-month term with our fixed tariff – no increases over that period;

● No exit fees – you’re always free to leave! (2)

● Award-winning customer service;

● Hassle-free switching – Fairerpower will do it all for you;

● Three per cent interest reward on all credit balances; (3) and

● One of the cheapest energy tariffs available for pre-pay customers.

Cheshire East Council became the first local authority in the UK to sell power since the gas and electricity supply system was nationalised in 1948.

Switching to Fairerpower is easy and is an option for all 170,000 households in the borough. Since December 2015, the scheme has been extended to allow residents living in Chester West and Chester to become Fairerpower customers too.

So why not join?

Call 0800 4086701 or visit

Council backs new approach to connecting with communities


Cheshire East Council’s cabinet members have approved a new approach to engaging with communities across the borough and supporting their development.

The ‘Connected Communities’ approach has been developed as a two-way partnership between the council and Cheshire East’s communities to improve wellbeing and self-reliance, as well as reduce social isolation.

It has five key themes within it:

· Connected to people – helping people in communities to become more connected to others;

· Connected to services – delivering services differently, with more community outreach services;

· Connected to neighbourhoods – strengthening networks and partnerships across neighbourhoods, towns and villages;

· Connected to voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector organisations – developing the VCF sector infrastructure and our links to thematic communities; and

· Connected to decision making – local people influencing decision making, policy and the way we commission services.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Local people are rightly proud of Cheshire East. We know it is a fabulous place to live, work and visit and we want to work with our communities to make it even better and sustain that success into the future.

“If we work together we can make sure we have the right services, in the right places.

“We are committed to investing in community work and believe that, by developing our approach to engaging with and supporting its development, we can ensure we maximise potential and generate wealth, helping all our communities to become more enterprising and enabling more deprived areas to lift themselves out of dependence.”

The council is also making a ‘deal’ with communities and has committed to a series of pledges.

In exchange, the council wants residents and communities to make their own pledges, including that they will support volunteering, report any concerns, develop skills and connect with the people around them.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health at Cheshire East Council, said: “A genuinely sustainable future for our communities means ensuring that we live within the limits of the resources available to us. This is a huge challenge and requires new ways of working and a commitment from residents, businesses and services to work together and to be innovative and creative.

“Cheshire East has had, from its start, a strong commitment to developing strong communities, so this new approach focuses on how we can best lead our communities forward to future prosperity.”

Activity involved in Connected Communities includes a participatory budgeting pilot, which sees local residents and community groups discussing spending priorities, making spending proposals and voting on them.

It also includes support for town partnerships and the establishment of mentoring programmes and groups that tackle issues such as social isolation.

In Crewe there is a pilot ‘Neighbourhood Action’ initiative, which it’s anticipated will be extended to the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods across the borough. There are also volunteer ‘community connectors’, who listen to other residents and support them to address local issues.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Weston Christmas Light Display’ 2016.

Reporter J White ‘Weston Christmas Light Display’ 2016. I’ve uploaded all my photos to a Flickr page: .

The ‘Weston Christmas Light Display’, supporting The Donna Louise Children's Hospice, takes place at Carters Green Farm, Jack Lane, Weston, near Crewe every day in December until Wednesday 28th December 2016 (6:15pm to 9:00pm). On a Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening and the last few days before Christmas, Santa Claus will take time off from his busy schedule to visit the farm and sit in his sleigh. Entry is by donation and there is plentiful parking.

Graham Witter, who is a final year Business Management student and Pride of Crewe Community Individual Award winner, has once again setup hundreds of lights at Carters Green Farm to raise money for charity. He started to install the lights in early-October and several hundred plugs are required to hook up all the displays to the electricity supply. The display covers farm buildings, the garden, an adjacent yard and a barn, and contains a combination of rope lights, LED lights, and animated 3D figures, together with background Christmas music. There is also a small wooden Santa’s grotto and a life-size Santa's sleigh. A special feature this year is a 1950s Whitby Morrison Mr Whippy ice cream van, which Graham has transformed into a bespoke vehicle for Santa containing festive decorations.

For the fourth year running Graham is raising money for The Donna Louise Children's Hospice . Over the past three years the event has raised an impressive £17,000 and last year the £10,280 raised for the charity was used to purchase new lighting equipment for their refurbished sensory room.

Graham chose to raise money for The Donna Louise Children's Hospice, as his sister – Jessica – went to the hospice for specialist care, and its staff were always there to offer support to the family. Jessica passed away on 31st December 2015, having enjoyed the event for many years. After some careful thought, Graham decided to continue with his display in her memory.

Graham said, "I would like to thank all the sponsors and supporters of the 2016 Weston Christmas Light Display. I invite everyone along to my winter wonderland to raise money for The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice. Please come and enjoy a fantastic light show, a free mince pie, festive music and enjoy a selfie with Santa. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

To visit the display if heading from Crewe turn right off Weston Road (just after Crewe Hall) into Main Road towards Weston, then left into Jack Lane. If heading from Weston go over the A500 bypass bridge on Main Road and turn right in Jack Lane. From all directions look out for the yellow reflective road signs, then follow the blue directional one-way arrows on Jack Lane.

For further information relating to the display please contact Graham Witter on 01270 586754 or visit

1950s Whitby Morrison Mr Whippy ice cream van in the  foregroundFarm building with Jessica in lit up lettersGraham Witter with Santa Claus in the life-size Santa  sleigh

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Local male arrested for burglary offences in Crewe.

Subject: Local male arrested for burglary offences in Crewe.

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

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

Message sent by

Jess Street (Police, PCSO, Crewe LPU East PCSO)

Dear Residents,
Between 7th and 19th November 2016 a number of overnight burglaries were committed in Crewe. Police commenced an investigation which led to a local male from Nantwich being arrested on suspicion of burglary.
On Wednesday 30th November 2016 he was charged with 5 burglary dwelling offences. He remains in custody.
Police are continuing in their investigations and will be re-interviewing the male in connection with further offences.

Winter Wellbeing – nominated neighbour scheme


Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we urge residents to consider joining the council’s ‘nominated neighbour’ scheme.

The scheme has been developed to tackle bogus callers, rogue traders and other kinds of distraction thefts and burglaries.

The project means people can be protected by someone they know and trust, such as a neighbour or relative.

The vulnerable person is given a card that they hold up to a window or door which advises any unidentified or unexpected caller to go to the address of a nominated neighbour. This person will then check the caller’s identity.

If they are genuine, the nominated neighbour will return with them and supervise the visit to make sure that nothing untoward takes place and will remain there until the caller has left.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health at Cheshire East Council, said: “This scheme helps people within our communities feel safer in dealing with unwanted or unexpected people who call at their homes. In turn, it protects our residents and reduces incidents of doorstep crime.

“While it is the older and vulnerable adults who are more at risk from becoming victims, anyone can be targeted.

“That’s why I’d urge all Cheshire East residents to consider joining the scheme and support others to live safely in their own homes.”

When the festive season is at its height, the temptation to buy last-minute goods on the cheap is strong. But the council is urging residents to avoid people who are selling such goods, who may rip them off.

Cllr Bates said: “The nominated neighbour scheme makes the most of our extremely strong community relationships and will limit the opportunity for doorstep callers to con their way into homes.

“Once they fail to gain access and the community is alerted to their activities, it will act as a strong deterrent to stop them returning in the future.”

“A simple phone call to the Citizens Advice consumer service is all that is needed for an information pack about the scheme to be sent out.”

If you would like a nominated neighbour scheme pack sent to you, or to a vulnerable relative or resident of Cheshire East, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506. More information is available at:

For further winter-related advice, visit:


Residents can help friends and neighbours, who do not have internet access, by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.

Cheshire East launches ‘One You’ service to boost residents’ health


Lifestyle and health advice services in the borough have been brought together under one support system – known as ‘One You’ Cheshire East.

The integrated system will work to improve residents’ health, tackle health inequalities and reduce the load on the council and NHS.

It will focus on early intervention to help residents avoid future ill-health by supporting them to drink less alcohol, eat well, lose weight, move more and be smoke free.

Help and advice will be provided in a range of ways, including a dedicated website and lifestyle support staff. The services offered will be flexible and tailored to each individual’s needs.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health at Cheshire East Council, said: “Our vision is to provide support to enable residents to live well for longer by helping them to address the factors that affect their health and wellbeing earlier and through preventative behaviour change.

“By bringing the help and support under one umbrella, it will make it easier and quicker for our residents to access information and improve their health, as well as increase cost-effectiveness.”

‘One You’ is one of the largest Public Health England campaigns and encourages adults to take control of their health to enjoy significant benefits now and in later life.

Everyday habits and behaviours – such as eating too much unhealthy food, drinking more alcohol than is recommended, continuing to smoke and not being active enough – are responsible for around 40 per cent of all deaths in England and cost the NHS more than £11 billion a year.

The stakeholder launch of ‘One You Cheshire East’, which Peaks and Plains has been commissioned to deliver, took place today and the public launch is scheduled for mid-January.

Residents will be able to access the services via self-referral and referrals from a health or social care professional.

Support to stop smoking will be delivered by a number of community providers – Well Pharmacies, Rowland Pharmacies, Healthbox and Wirral Community Trust – while specialist stop smoking services for clients in hospital settings, pregnant women and people with mental health issues will be provided by Kickstart.

Everybody Sport and Recreation, the trust that manages the council’s leisure centres, will deliver the programmes to help residents eat well, lose weight and move more.

Mark Palethorpe, strategic director of adult social care and health at Cheshire East Council, said: “This integrated support system will help people to make lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference to their health both now and in the future.

“By being able to tailor the support given to residents, it will ensure they get the right help and advice in a way that works best for them.”

While One You Cheshire East is a borough-wide service, the team will be focusing on improving the health of people in areas of the biggest health inequality

Services will have access criteria, but information will be available to help those not eligible to improve their health through the dedicated website and lifestyle support workers.

The One You Cheshire East website can be found at:

Cheshire East children’s challenges highlight rights campaign


Young people from Cheshire East are giving professionals a taste of ‘life in their shoes’ to mark children’s rights month.

Cheshire East Council and their partners have been taking part in challenges set by young members of Cheshire East Youth Council, a group coordinated by The Children’s Society.

The challenges have been chosen from a range of activities, which include sitting an exam, taking a ‘no car’ challenge and living on £21 a week.

They represent an innovative new approach on the ‘takeover’ activity, which forms part of the annual children’s rights month, organised by The Children’s Society. It is an initiative of the Cheshire East participation network – a partnership of agencies and services which work with children.

The month highlights the importance of the rights of children and young people, encouraging them to express their views and be actively involved in decisions that affect their lives.

The ‘Takeover Takeaway’ activities flip on its head the month’s usual concept of giving young people experience of jobs done by professionals in local organisations.

Nigel Moorhouse, Cheshire East Council’s Director of children’s social care, said: “It’s traditional to allow children to shadow adults in their daily working lives to give them a taste of what they might expect later in life and Cheshire East provides many opportunities for young people to do this.

“However, this year we’ve taken a different approach. By having a go at some of these challenges, we are hopefully making a real connection. The challenges are certainly not easy!

“I’m taking the £21 challenge, which is a unique way to show the difficulties that our young care leavers face. It’s really tough to manage on £3 a day.

I’ve been learning new recipes and embracing the task. I’m using the Easy Pleasy Cookbook to help me along the way which has been designed by our care leavers. It features recipes and top tips for eating healthily on a budget.”

“I have a lot of respect for all those young people in Cheshire East who do this every day.”

Among those taking part in challenges were Cheshire East children’s services colleagues Lesley Seal and Jacquie Sims who sat GCSE exam papers in English and maths respectively. Ian Donegani experienced what it is like to be bullied online.

Molly Humphries, 16, who is a member of the UK Youth Parliament, said: “It’s great to see some of the adults taking on these challenges. Our idea was to create a ‘Takeaway Menu’ full of experiences, that cost nothing but help adults to better understand and help young people in Cheshire East.”

Amanda Greenwood, participation service manager at The Children’s Society, said: “We help some really vulnerable children all over the country who have had a difficult upbringing and may not enjoy rights most people would expect to apply to all young people in the UK.

“We are passionate about ensuring all children and young people have a say in their lives and the services that affect and support them.

“We work with some fantastic young people in Cheshire East and it is great to see their engagement with our participation services. These have definitely come to fruition during November Children’s Rights Month and helped to raise awareness of this important issue.”

For more information visit:

Bentley Motors unveils long-term ambitions for Crewe site


A ‘development framework’ has been unveiled which outlines how the long-term future of the Bentley factory in Crewe could look – supporting Bentley as a core component at the heart of Crewe’s economy.
Drawn up by Bentley Motors in consultation with Cheshire East Council, the framework provides the platform to deliver a modern, advanced manufacturing operation in the future which will be more efficient, secure and productive.
The ambition is to create a campus-style site which could potentially grow and expand in line with the company’s ambitions. The campus will be where manufacturing, design, research and development, engineering operations and boosted security ‘are fully integrated within a single site with seamless connectivity that enables the efficient flow of people, goods and services’.

Managed by Cheshire East Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company, with input from across the authority, the framework seeks to set out the important design, development and planning policy considerations which will be used in the determination of potential future planning applications relating to the Bentley site.

Bentley Motors’ aspirations for its expanded site would require the closure of parts of Pyms Lane and Sunnybank Road to the public. However, no decision has been taken on these proposals, which will form part of the consultation. Any future change to road access would require submission of a planning application and be subject to the normal planning consent process.

The council’s household waste recycling centre at Pyms Lane is also within the long-term ambition for the campus. There are no plans to close this centre and any future change to the facility would have to be consistent with the household waste and recycling requirements of Crewe and would require a future approval.

The framework will go before cabinet on December 6 for approval as a document for public consultation. Following a proposed six-week public consultation, running from January 3 to February 14, it is intended the document be reviewed and returned to cabinet for a decision.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Bentley Motors’ operation at the Pyms Lane site is of paramount importance to the local, regional and indeed national economies and we would welcome the views of residents and businesses on this future vision for Bentley in Crewe.

“More than 4,000 people are employed directly by the company, which provides many apprenticeship opportunities locally. It is also Crewe’s largest single employer, accounting for more than £1billion of UK exports each year.

“Alongside these benefits and its support for the creation of Crewe University Technical College, more than 80 of Bentley’s suppliers are located within 50 miles of the site, which subsequently benefits local businesses.

“This draft development framework seeks to show how Bentley’s long-term aspirations align with the council’s wider ambitions for growth and the regeneration in Crewe in the light of the opportunities afforded by HS2. By providing a clear potential future site boundary, the framework gives increased clarity between Bentley’s future growth ambitions and other developments locally.”

Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, said: “This development framework represents a long-term vision for what our factory could look like in the future, based on successfully achieving all of our business objectives over the coming years.
“It is vital that we plan for the long-term future of our business as we look to evolve our headquarters into industry-leading facilities within a single site.”

Most of the land identified within the campus ‘vision’ is owned by the council and any change would be subject to detailed future negotiations.

As part of the masterplan public consultation, Bentley will host two drop-in events at its Pyms Lane offices.

● January 12, from 3pm to 8pm;

● January 14, from 10am to 2pm.

Cabinet will make a decision in spring 2017 on whether to endorse the masterplan, subject to the responses of the consultation.

Bentley Motors is an iconic and internationally recognised British brand that has been based at its Pyms Lane HQ for more than 70 years. It recruits more than 60 trainees each year, with around 85 per cent of these recruited from the Crewe area. 

Bentley Motors aerial view of current siteProposed Development FrameworkPyms Lane development

Cheshire East hails protection of Jodrell Bank in planning appeal decision


Cheshire East Council has hailed the decision of the secretary of state to reject the development of 119 homes close to the Jodrell Bank observatory. 

The landmark decision recognised that the ‘reasonable protection’ of the observatory is a matter of global significance.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “We are delighted the secretary of state has supported the council’s case and has dismissed this planning appeal.

“Jodrell Bank observatory is a vital asset to this borough, the nation and the international scientific community. The protective zone around the telescope has been in place since 1973 and we are very pleased that its importance has been recognised and reinforced.

“As a council, we are doing everything possible to meet the housing needs of our area. However, this was simply the wrong development in the wrong place. It is very good to see that the long-term protection of vital scientific work has prevailed over the short-term high demand in housing supply.

“This further underlines the importance of the ongoing collaboration between the council and Manchester University over operations at the site.”

The planning appeal concerned the development of 119 new homes at Main Road, in Goostrey, about two miles south east of the observatory, proposed by Gladman Developments.

In making this decision, the secretary of state considered that the development would ‘impair the efficiency of the Jodrell Bank radio telescope’ and that ‘the protection of Jodrell Bank observatory as a facility of international importance transcends the housing land supply circumstances of the case’.

Overall he concluded that the harm to the efficiency of the radio telescope carried ‘substantial weight against the proposal.’

Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Crewe Christmas lights switch-on

Reporter Mark Ray, Crewe

The Crewe Christmas lights switch-on took place on Friday 25th November 2016 on the Market Square.

Jonty Sargeant from Signal 1 compered the event. Entertainment on stage included music from and Paul Snook Band.

There were activities for children and families with the opportunity to have a photo with Santa sponsored by Kids Planet Crewe, along with face painting, stilt walkers, a juggler, Christmas characters, and a mini-funfair.

There were numerous stalls including South Cheshire College, CE Youth Support League, Swinton Insurance, Simply Gourmet Ltd, The Little Italian Van, Haslington Bakery, Candy Floss Van.

Following a countdown the lights were switched on by Mayor of Crewe Councillor Marilyn Houston, Mayoress of Crewe Pauline Kowalski, two students from South Cheshire College, and Aladdin and the Princess from Crewe Lyceum's pantomime.

The switch-on was followed by a firework display by Crewe-based company Blitz Fireworks.

The event was organised by Crewe Town Council in partnership with Signal 1 and was enjoyed by thousands of people.

The switch-on also marked the start of late-night shopping until 8pm every Thursday in Crewe during December (including 19th-23rd).

Compere Jonty Sargeant talks to Mayor of Crewe and  Mayoress of CreweCrewe Christmas lights switch-on

Firework display following switch-on

Nantwich brothers triumph in national apprentice awards


Talented brothers William and Andrew Emerton are officially two of the best young roofers in Great Britain after triumphing in a national skills competition.

William, 21, who studied at Leeds College of Building, won the ‘Roof: Slating and Tiling’ discipline of the SkillBuild 2016 final, a competition organised and supported by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). His brother Andrew, 19, took the bronze medal in the roofing category. Both William and Andrew work for their long established family business, Emerton Roofing (Western) Limited in Nantwich, Cheshire.

Emerton Roofing’s roots go back to 1925, when Ralph W. Emerton set up in business as a slater and tiler in Crewe. From here the company expanded until 1950 when his son Gerald Emerton joined the firm and took the business to the next level, including incorporating flat roofing and roof restoration on historical buildings. In 1962 Gerald formed Emerton Roofing (Western) Limited, as a limited company. Gerald was later joined in the steadily growing company by his son, current Managing Director, Simon in 1980. In the following years, Emerton Roofing have continued to offer an award winning service across the UK, specialising in traditional slating, clay and concrete tiling, roof leadwork and a variety of flat roofing methods.

In 2013 William and Andrew, who studied at Malbank High School, joined the family business as young apprentices, quickly gaining Level 2 status in Slating and Tiling at Bolton Construction College. They then went onto Leeds College of Building where they have completed their Level 3 Slating and Tiling qualification. Their good work on the course prompted tutor, Chris Messenger, to enter the brothers into one of the regional heats of the ‘SkillBuild’ competition. SkillBuild has been running for over 45 years and sees the very best in construction talent compete against each other to be crowned the SkillBuild winner in their chosen trade. The competitions assess an individual’s knowledge, practical skills and employability attributes against a set of strict criteria. The competition is run by CITB, covering ten craft occupations; including Bricklaying, Carpentry, Stonemasonry and Roofing. The roofing section is organised by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors.

In regional heat held at Leeds, the brothers managed to qualify for the national final, held last weekend (17-19 November) as part of ‘The Skills Show’ at Birmingham’s NEC. The 8 finalists were then set a 19 hour task across 2 and a half days in which they had to combine their slating and tiling skills against a strict 300 point specification. William and Andrew excelled and were very proud to be presented with the gold and bronze medal respectively.

William now has a chance to compete in 2018 representing the UK at the WorldSkills final in Latvia.


Cheshire East Council supports White Ribbon Day


Cheshire East Council is calling on people to support White Ribbon Day and help raise awareness of the campaign to stop violence against women.

The council leadership has reaffirmed the pledge ‘never to commit, condone or remain silent about men's violence against women’.

As part of this campaign it supported a ‘Getting It Right Together’ event for members of the public and service providers, hosted at Congleton Town Hall yesterday by Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Partnership. 

Those who attended listened to the experiences of people directly affected, made a commitment to improving the way services respond and discussed priorities for the next three years. They also showed their support for children’s rights to live free from fear in their homes as part of November Children’s Rights Month.

November 25 has been White Ribbon Day, or the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, since it was inaugurated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999. It is part of the international White Ribbon Campaign – one of the world’s largest men’s anti-violence programmes.

Cheshire East Council has been a proud supporter of the campaign for more than six years. Members of the council workforce are demonstrating their commitment by wearing the iconic white ribbon.

Councillor David Brown, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “There is no place or justification for violence against women and girls. I am proud to wear the white ribbon and be part of this important campaign. We want all residents of Cheshire East to feel safe and be supported.”

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East’s Cabinet member for adult care and integration, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with public sector and charitable organisations to help prevent and reduce the great harm caused by domestic abuse and sexual violence against women and girls.”

While the international campaign recognises that most men are not violent towards women and all of our services support both sexes, men all over the world are helping to raise awareness of the anti-violence message. The council is urging residents of Cheshire East to make a stand against violence towards women and to make the white ribbon pledge.

For more information visit or follow us @CheshireEast

If you are affected by domestic abuse – whether you are a man or a woman – or you are concerned for someone else, phone Cheshire East’s domestic abuse hub on 0300 123 5101 at any time. In an emergency always call 999.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Call for Labour Candidate to apologise after obscene gesture.


The Labour Candidate for the Crewe West by-election,Tasha Maroni, tweeted a photo of herself giving the middle finger in front of the street name of where her UKIP opponent,Cllr Brian Silvester, lives.(See attached photo)

Cllr Silvester said," It is totally inappropriate for a Candidate to be making vile,obscene gestures like this.What on earth was she thinking of? 

It was a very childish and immature thing to do.She is not not fit to represent her constituents.They deserve better,no matter what party they are.

She should apologise to me,all the residents of Rimsdale Close and the electors of Crewe West.

Also the Labour Party should take disciplinary action against her."


Most people will be shocked to learn that, five months after the EU referendum,the Conservative Government is still refusing to guarantee that EU citizens,legally residing in towns like Crewe,will be allowed to remain after we leave the EU.Have the Tories now moved to the far right? Have they left leave of their senses? Is there any local Conservative willing to support this despicable approach? What does Edward Timpson MP think of this extreme right wing policy?
UKIP, like all other parties,but not the Conservatives,agree that EU citizens, who are legally living in UK,should be allowed to remain in the UK after Brexit. That is the correct and the moral thing to do.I am sure that the many decent members of the Conservatives locally will agree with that and they should speak out before more damage is done to their party.

We all want to protect the interest of Brits living in the EU after Brexit but it is entirely wrong to use EU citizens legally settled here as a bargaining chip. They need an assurance that their remaining in the UK after Brexit is not in question.

yours faithfully,

Cllr Brian Silvester

Crewe West UKIP Candidate

Winter Wellbeing – doorstep crime


Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we discuss doorstep crime and rogue traders looking to make a ‘quick buck’.

The festive season is a special time, filled with joy and celebration, but there are a few people who use it to take advantage of others.

Each year millions of people in the UK fall prey to scammers, costing victims in the region of £5 billion per year.

Scams come through the post, over the phone, by text message, online and face to face.

Anyone can fall victim to a scam, with older and vulnerable adults more at risk, and the effects on that person can quite often be devastating.

That’s why the council is urging people to be wary of rogue traders and doorstep criminals this winter.

Here are a few signs that may give a scam away and a couple of tips to help to protect yourself:

· If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is;

· You shouldn’t have to pay anything upfront to claim a prize;

· If you are contacted out of the blue, then you should be suspicious;

· Don’t be rushed and try and resist pressure to make a decision about a purchase straight away;

· Never give out your personal details or send money to someone you have never met;

· Don’t suffer in silence – speak out about scams.

Rogue trading is a national problem, with evidence suggesting burglaries are sometimes associated with rogue traders.

Offenders often travel vast distances to commit offences related to gardening or maintenance work at attractive rates – but the quality of work is substandard, unnecessary and overpriced. 

They also use persuasive sales techniques to encourage people into making hasty decisions.

For work costing more than £42 and where the contract is formed in a place away from the trader’s business address, e.g. a resident’s home address, there is a requirement in law for traders to provide cancellation rights. 

This gives 14 days for contracts to be cancelled. Rogue traders do not give cancellation rights and they also pressurise people to have the work started straight away.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health, said: “During winter, some of our residents might find themselves feeling more vulnerable and isolated. Sadly, it’s vulnerability that bogus callers and rogue tradesmen prey upon.

“That’s why the council is urging residents to be wary of unexpected callers and appealing for people to speak out about scams.

“If you have an elderly or vulnerable neighbour, friend or relative then please check in on them and make sure they are aware of what to look out for. If you suspect they may have fallen victim to a scam, don’t hesitate to report it.”

If you suspect you or someone you know is being scammed, you can report it to Cheshire East Council’s trading standards team via the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506.

The team also urges residents to report cases of rogue traders or uninvited doorstep callers.

For further winter-related advice, please visit: and

Residents can help friends and neighbours, who do not have internet access, by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.