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Tuesday, 16 September 2014


National survey paints portrait of village hall life: 12 million hours of volunteering, £11m of renovations and 38.6 million cups of tea

England’s 10,000 village halls rely on more than 12 million hours of volunteering each year to deliver their vital role at the heart of rural communities, a new survey has revealed.

The survey, by leading rural network ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), showed volunteers who run classes and events put in 2.5 million hours annually. That’s on top of the estimated 9.6 million hours clocked up by management committees.

But more than half of the halls who responded said they were struggling to find new recruits to help manage the buildings – with people protesting that they were too busy, too old or simply not interested.

ACRE, which runs an information and advice service for village halls through its nationwide network of rural community councils, carried out the survey to identify what support halls need and to illustrate the social value they add to rural life.

At Cheshire Community Action (CCA), a member of the ACRE Network, the service is provided by Jim Bradley who works with over 90 village halls and rural community buildings across the county.

ACRE Village Halls Manager Deborah Clarke said: “People want to use village halls – but they don’t want to commit to running them. It’s understandable as there is a raft of duties to deal with, from licensing legislation to health and safety – but communities are in danger of taking their volunteers for granted.

“Younger people are especially hard to attract as they often work long hours away from villages in order to afford to live in them – while the newly retired often don’t want to commit.”

CCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Mark Reading said: “Village halls provide social activities, clubs, classes and essential services for every age group – helping to combat loneliness and build a sense of community spirit. It’s vital that people step up and volunteer to help halls move with the times – just an hour a week can make a difference.

“Anyone who wants to help run their village hall will no doubt be welcomed with open arms. You can get in touch with us to find out who to approach in your community.”

Key findings of the ACRE 2014 village halls survey include:

· Hall volunteers make a total commitment worth almost £85m annually, at a notional rate of £7 an hour.

· The average age of a village hall committee member is 58 – the age range stretches from 18 to 98.

· Each village hall hosts an average of nine life events, such as weddings, christening parties or wakes each year – a grand total of 90,000 gatherings.

· More than 15,000 events to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee were held at village halls in 2012.

· Village hall users and volunteers munch their way through a total of 47,500 packets of biscuits each week – washed down by 743,000 cups of tea. That’s nearly 2.5 million packets of biscuits and 38.6 million cups of tea each year – or 9.6 million litres (2.1 million gallons).

· An estimated £11m has been invested in work on village hall buildings in the past four years.

· The most popular uses for village halls are preschool and nursery groups; fitness classes; dance classes; clubs and groups for older people including luncheon clubs, retirement clubs, the University of the Third Age; and organisations for young people – including Scouts and Guides, youth clubs, and Girls’ and Boys’ Brigades.

· The survey showed the growth in popularity of fitness classes, particularly Pilates and Zumba, and dance activities from ballet to salsa.

· Around 1,000 village halls, or 10pc, host a community enterprise such as post office, community shop, coffee shop, library, cinema or farmers’ market. However, almost a quarter of all halls don’t derive any financial benefit from this activity.

· More than 90,000 individuals, small businesses and professionals use England’s village halls to earn their living, or part of it, during the year.

· Some of the more unusual activities at halls include Appalachian clog dancing, calligraphy, a big breakfast, a ‘Friendly Friday’ drop-in evening, curling and stick dressing.

· Nearly a quarter of halls were built before World War I, while an estimated 600 were built to commemorate World War I or individuals who perished during that conflict.

Jim Bradley can be contacted on 01606 350042 for information and advice.

The Wistaston Jubilee Tennis Club (WJTC) Finals Day

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The Wistaston Jubilee Tennis Club (WJTC) Finals Day took place on Sunday 14th September 2014, in blustery but dry weather, on the two courts behind the Wistaston Memorial Hall & Community Centre on Church Lane.

Bill Heath (WJTC Chairman) introduced the presentation of trophies inside the Memorial Hall:

- Men’s Singles Final: Paul Unwin beat Chris Raiswell 6-0, 6-4. Trophy presented by Bill Heath (WJTC Chairman).

- Men’s Doubles Final: Paul Unwin and Jonathan White beat Adrian Dunning and Chris Raiswell 6-4, 7-5. Trophies presented by Margaret Maddock (WJTC Vice Chairman).

- Presidents Cup Final: Kath Charlesworth and Eric James beat Hazel Dunn and Trevor Tutt 7-5, 6-3. Trophies presented by Alice Chalwin (WJTC President).

- Veterans Doubles Final: Roy Birtles and Tony Mason beat Ben Reinhardt and Trevor Tutt 6-3, 6-2. Trophies presented by Alice Chalwin (WJTC President).

- Open Doubles Final: Ben Reinhardt and Chris Raiswell beat Eric James and Nick Green 6-1, 3-6, 6-4. Trophies presented by Margaret Maddock (WJTC Vice Chairman).

- Junior Singles Final: Jack Whalley beat George Raiswell 6-4, 1-6, 6-1. Trophy presented by Bill Heath (WJTC Chairman).

- Most Improved Junior: James Raiswell. Shield presented by Bill Heath (WJTC Chairman).

Members of Wistaston B received shields for winning the Barbara Smith Knockout in the Winter League and winning Division 3 of the Spring League in the South and Mid Cheshire Tennis League:

Refreshments were provided by members of the club, under the supervision of Alice Chalwin and Margaret Maddock.

For WJTC membership details please contact Bill Heath (Tel. 01270 560471).

Junior Singles winner Jack Whalley with Bill Heath WJTC ChairmanMens Doubles winners Paul Unwin and Jonathan White with Margaret Maddock WJTC Vice Chairman

Monday, 15 September 2014

cycling to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

Ben Reinhardt, from Crewe, is training hard for a forthcoming gruelling cycle ride. This Sunday 21st September 2014 he will participate in the Birmingham Bikeathon .

Ben Reinhardt - Birmingham Bikeathon

The event will require him to cycle 100 miles in a day with the route taking him from Broad Street in Birmingham to the Cotswolds and back to Broad Street Birmingham. He estimates it will take him 7 to 8 hours, averaging 15 miles an hour.

He is cycling to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research - who are a UK charity dedicated to improving the lives of patients with all types of blood cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

His webpage for donations is and he would appreciate any money for this charity.

Ben said, "I hope doing this cycle ride will enable more people to continue living. Every penny I raise will contribute to helping the fight to beat blood cancers."

The North West Triathlon

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

The North West Triathlon took place in Nantwich on Sunday 14th September 2014. The event was organised by UK Triathlon - . Over 900 competitors took part and entered either the Sprint, Super Sprint or Fun race distance, or the Team Relay. The Sprint involved a 500m swim, 20km cycle ride and 5km run; Super Sprint involved a 200m swim, 20km cycle ride and 2.5km run; and Fun involved a 200m swim, 20km cycle and 2.5km run. The Team Relay involved a 500m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run with one competitor for each leg. The outdoor brine pool at Nantwich Swimming Pool was used for the swimming, roads in and around Nantwich for the cycling, with the running discipline taking place on the grass of the Barony Park in Nantwich. There was a medal and an optional massage as a reward for finishing, along with the satisfaction of completing a demanding multiple-stage competition. The Barony Park also featured refreshment stalls, the opportunity to buy an event photo, and a bouncy castle and slide for the children. The competitors and the hundreds of spectators watching and cheering had warm weather all day. Full results are available here:

Run - Barony ParkSwim - outdoor brine pool at Nantwich Swimming Pool (2)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Leader causes mayhem in his own Council by announcing he wants to abolish it just 5 years after it was created


Cllr Michael Jones made a bombshell announcement that he wanted to abolish his own Council, just 5 years after it had been formed.

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester said,

“Cllr Jones suggested that Cheshire East and Cheshire West should be abolished to be replaced by a Cheshire Unitary Council. Understandably this has put the fear of God into the staff. The new Council is just settling down after 5 years of tumult and turmoil and he throws the whole thing back into the air again. It is a highly irresponsible thing to do.There is no support for it in the East or the West and even members of his own party have denounced it.The Government have made it clear that they will  not allow yet further rounds of disruptive re-organisation.I was a Council Leader during the last unwanted re-organisation.Cllr Jones was not even a Councillor so he does not know the heartache and stress the reorganisation causes staff. I call upon Cllr Jones to immediately withdraw his call to abolish Cheshire East and in future think before he opens his mouth.

I suspect this call is just an attempt  to distract attention from the real issues. Issues like having no Adopted Local Plan and no five year supply of housing land which has resulted in a planning fiasco where developers are busily concreting over our beautiful green fields.Cllr Jones should concentrate  on sorting out these problems and  not shoot from the hip with hare-brained ideas.”

Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

UKIP Group Leader

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor

Cheshire East Council

11 Rimsdale Close



Tel/fax 01270 567757

Text     07760147609

Campaign to stop enormous slurry lagoon in open countryside

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester is supporting residents and the surrounding Parish Councils and Borough Councillors in their objections to a proposed enormous slurry lagoon in the open countryside off Rope Hall Lane, Rope. (See below)

He said,’The size of this lagoon is not a small pool, as usually found on farms but is very substantial, almost twice the size of two Olympic swimming pools and also deeper. The entire area of the application site is a huge 300 acres The roads to access the site are very narrow, there are no footpaths and no street lighting. It is expected that two million gallons of slurry a year will be brought to the lagoon and the thousands of lorries required to transport it will be a danger on these narrow roads. Eastern Road and Rope Hall Lane are two of the access routes to the Shavington High School so all these lorries on the country lanes will be highly dangerous. Some of the waste will be coming from the Muller yoghurt factory in Market Drayton.

Apart from the noxious smell, slurry lagoons harbour vast amounts of harmful bacteria which can be spread on the wind to adjacent properties and the school and thereby I believe  present a very real health hazard to children and neighbours. Also when the tank is full if the residue is spread on the surrounding  300 acres it will be a health hazard and generate horrendous smells and flies and insects. Shavington Borough Councillor, David Brickhill  has requested a report from the Environmental Health Department on the disposal of Muller waste in Barthomley by Mr Abell and that a qualified bacteriologist lists the bacteria that exist in slurry lagoons and whether these can be spread to adjacent properties by wind or movement of vehicles livestock or humans. 

There are no plans showing how the slurry will be isolated from the watercourses especially in time of heavy rain when it might overflow to adjacent fields. I regard this proposal a real danger to the people of the area and it should not be approved. The planning committee should consider whether a slurry lagoon is an appropriate development in this residential and educational environment or whether it will be a real danger and nuisance to the community. Residents have until the 17th of September to object.

Rogue trader who sold pups that fell ill and died is banned from running pet shop and ordered to pay out more than £7,000

DaneValley Les Gilbert

A rogue trader who illegally sold puppies that fell ill and died has been banned from running a pet shop and ordered to pay out more than £7,000.

David Rowley, 49, of Liverpool Road East, Church Lawton, near Alsager, pleaded guilty at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court, in Crewe, to four offences of keeping a pet shop without a licence, under the 1951 Pet Animals Act.

The prosecution by Cheshire East Council followed complaints from four members of the public who bought spaniel pups from Rowley’s home that later fell ill and died.

The court heard Rowley sold two cavalier King Charles spaniel puppies and two cocker spaniel pups to members of the public between January 4 and February 16 this year. The pups soon fell ill and died from pneumonia and parvovirus infections. Rowley was successfully prosecuted by Cheshire East’s regulatory services and health team.

Under the 1951 Pet Animals Act, anyone who buys in puppies to sell (and is not the original breeder) needs to have a pet shop licence and needs to be clear to customers about the provenance of the puppies sold.

During sentencing at Chester Crown Court (September 5, 2014), Rowley was fined £333 for each offence (a total of £1,332). He faces jail if he does not pay up within 18 months.

He was also ordered to pay more than £5,400 in compensation, a further £500 court costs and banned from running a pet shop for a year.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cheshire East Cabinet member in charge of communities and regulatory services, said: “Prosecutions such as this send out a clear message that we are an enforcing Council and will take firm action to protect our communities, residents and vulnerable animals from rogue traders.

“Illegal trading will not be tolerated – especially when animal lives and welfare are at stake.

“It is important, for everyone’s benefit, to raise awareness of rogue trading and fraud.  We would advise the public to check that people dealing in puppies and other pets have the proper licence and breeders’ credentials – and to alert the Council if they have any concerns.”

If you have any concerns that someone might be trading illegally, you can call Cheshire East Council’s regulatory services and health team on 0300 1235015 or email them at

Latest phase of Cheshire East’s £25m road improvements unveiled


Cheshire East has put the finishing touches to its latest scheme as part of its £25m investment in improving local roads.

Cheshire East’s highways team has just completed resurfacing of 1.3km of the A533 Sandbach Road, at Rode Heath – and the benefits of the smartly-resurfaced road will be appreciated by the local community and visiting road users alike.

The project, carried out over five days, is part of Cheshire East Council’s £25m highways investment programme.

Local ward Councillor Rhoda Bailey was on hand to run the rule over work and is pleased with the results.

Cllr Bailey said: “Having promoted this scheme from the start, I was particularly pleased to have observed the initial process of resurfacing this road. I’m sure that the local community will be delighted with the finished result.”

Councillor David Topping, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of environment, said: “This is yet more good news for road users in Cheshire East and I thank Cllr Bailey for her sterling work helping bring the need for this resurfacing scheme to our attention. 

“This work on the A533 is just the latest phase in our long-term commitment to investing in and improving our road network for the benefit of local people, businesses and visitors.

“We know that the people of Cheshire East care passionately about the state of their local roads. This big investment scheme across the whole Borough is targeted at those areas with the greatest need and greatest long-term benefit – and shows our commitment to putting residents first and delivering for local people.”

This year’s highways investment programme began in March and will be completed by the end of October.  During this period, more than 200 schemes will be delivered, repairing and replacing 238km of road – which is nine per cent of the network.

A variety of treatments are used, depending on the existing road condition. Surface dressing is now complete, with micro-asphalt surfacing due for completion later this month. About 40 per cent of the resurfacing has now been completed.

Significant works have been carried out on some of Cheshire’s busiest parts of the road network at weekends and at night to reduce the impact on road users and the public.

Cheshire East’s highways network consists of 2,674km of road, 2,060km of footways, 38,000 street lights and 484 bridges, as well as a large number of other assets.

Cheshire East’s highway network is the Council’s largest asset and is vital to the functioning and economic wellbeing of the Borough.

Eyecare is as easy as ABC for Crewe & Nantwich school children


WITH summer holidays over and a new school year now underway, Crewe & Nantwich opticians are advising that now is the ideal time for children to have their eye health checked. 

According to the Association of Optometrists, up to 1 million children in the UK have an undetected vision problem and as a consequence some are struggling to concentrate in class which can lead to poor performance in school¹.

Good eyesight is one of the most important tools to aid a child’s learning and if their eyesight is not in top condition it can result in frustration for the child and may also impact their development.

Michael Elleray, store director at Crewe Specsavers in Market Street, says: ‘Children should have their eyes tested at least every two years from the age of three in order to maintain optimum health. As they continue to develop and change, more regular examinations may be required, particularly if there is a family history of sight problems.’

He continues: ‘Undetected problems with vision can damage a child’s confidence and performance, especially in activities such as reading and sports that require hand-eye co-ordination and so regular eye tests are vital.’ 

Michael Elleray concludes: ‘Subtle signs such as poor handwriting, clumsiness or falling behind peers at school, can be an indication of visual difficulties, so it is important children undergo an eye examination at the earliest opportunity.’

Most infants and pre-school children have regular vision screening as part of their routine developmental checks. These early tests are invaluable, but are not as thorough as a full eye examination by a qualified optometrist. At Specsavers the test is designed to be friendly and fun for kids of all ages.

Eye examinations for children under 16 and in full time education are available free on the NHS; call your local store to find out more.

To book your next appointment at Specsavers Crewe call 01270 250707 or visit  To book your next appointment at Specsavers Nantwich call 01270 621660 or visit

Festival of Beer’ at The Globe Inn, Nantwich.

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

The Globe Inn - - in Nantwich held their inaugural ‘Festival of Beer’ from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th September 2014. The inn, located on Audlem Road, presented 41 real ales from around the country along with a hog roast, live local music and children’s entertainment.

The music was performed in a marquee on their car park and featured Marc Gallagher, Photo Booth Smile, Josh Whittaker, Charlotte Birch, Ben Stubbs, Mark Brisbourne, Blue Fish, Abi Ozzard and Rachael Roberts.

The event is part of ‘Paint the Town Red’, in association with RedShift Radio , to raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young C.R.Y For Matthew, . C.R.Y For Matthew was setup in 2012 in memory of 17 year old Matthew Dewhirst who passed away suddenly playing rugby with an undetected heart defect. Since then Matthew’s parents have been campaigning for heart-screenings to be carried out on young people aged 14 to 30.

The forthcoming ‘Paint the Town Red’ events are:

-Thursday 18th September 2014 – 7-10pm - ‘Late Summer Soiree’ at Residence Restaurant & Bar, Mill Street Nantwich. Special guest Steve Davis, Crewe Alex Football Club manager, who is the Patron of the C.R.Y for Matthew campaign. Tickets = £15 for buffet and music.

-Tuesday 30th September 2014 – 9am-4:30pm - all day community networking at Nantwich Town Football Club, The Weaver Stadium, Waterlode. Entry = £6 in advance or £10 on the door.

A visitor views the cask ales inside The Globe Pub

South Cheshire Model Engineering Society Open day

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

South Cheshire Model Engineering Society held their annual open day on Saturday 13th September 2014.

This free event took place on their premises at the rear of the Peacock Hotel, Crewe Road, Willaston CW5 6NE.

Olivia aged 8 - Luke 4 and Uncle Mark inspect the locomotive after their rideVisitor Mark Ray inspects a scale-model locomotive

There were miniature-gauge steam, petrol and electric train rides, a display of larger gauge locomotives, a demonstration of equipment used by the hobby engineer of yesteryear in 'Mike's Shed', a display including tugs and barges by Crewe & District Model Boat Club; whilst the Clubhouse contained a display of locomotives and engines produced by Society members.

Refreshments were served by Society volunteers in the Clubhouse, with further refreshments available outside from the Wilson House Scouts .

There was musical accompaniment from the British Organ Grinders Association .

The event was enjoyed by hundreds of visitors who were treated to warm and sunny weather all day.

Weather permitting there is a Sunday train ride on 21st September (diesel hauled from 12 midday, steam hauled from 1pm to 3:30pm).

The Society currently has eighty members and meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 7.45pm in their Clubhouse. For further information relating to the Society please visit: .

I’ve uploaded all my photos to:

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Council Leader calls for reunification of Cheshire


Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones is calling for the reunification of Cheshire in a bold move designed to bring back a county council for the borough.

Today’s announcement follows months of talks between the Leader and multi-agency partners about how to improve Cheshire’s offer to its residents.

The Leader, who stressed the idea was his own personal view, said: “Cheshire East Council was formed following Local Government Reorganisation in 2009, when Cheshire County Council was effectively carved into two, the other half being Cheshire West.

“The two authorities were made weaker as a result, yet mirror one another in terms of their people and aspirations.

“It didn’t make much sense then and it still doesn’t! Yes, Cheshire East as a local authority is a great success and I’m sure Cheshire West would say the same about their council.

“But the fact remains, it was a bad decision and the people weren’t behind it and I suspect many are still not.

“What I’m calling for today is a review of our separated and divided local government as I set out my ambition for a unified Cheshire Council that serves the needs of all Cheshire residents.

“A unified and strong Cheshire would reduce Council Tax liability for every household to the tune of around £100.

“I want to throw open the debate about ‘One Cheshire’! Yes, or no? I think it’s got a great feel to it. What do residents think?”

Grab your chance to experience the rich culture of Cheshire for FREE


Grab your chance to experience the rich cultural heritage of Cheshire East for FREE.

Cheshire East cultural attractions are taking part in the national Heritage Open Days scheme, which runs from Thursday through to Sunday (September 11-14 inclusive).

Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.

With so many museums, historic houses, gardens and galleries, Cheshire is rich with history and heritage and visitors are able to journey through time across the county.

So don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit fantastic sites in our beautiful Borough this week – at no cost to your pocket!

Councillor Rachel Bailey, heritage champion for Cheshire East, added: “These open days are a fantastic opportunity for families to have great days out discovering the rich cultural offer of Cheshire East – and all for free.

“They always have lots to offer visitors and I’m sure it will be a fantastic four days of events to stimulate minds, excite the senses and fire the imagination.”

Some of Cheshire’s favourite museums will be offering free entry over the Heritage Open Days period, including Cheshire Military Museum, Macclesfield Silk Museum, Congleton Museum, the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, Norton Priory Museum and Gardens and Port Sunlight Museum.

In addition, visitors will be able to discover more about the museums of Cheshire through special talks and tours taking place at the Grosvenor Museum, Charles Roe House, Weaver Hall Museum, Stretton Mill, the Lion Salt Works, Paradise Mill, Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum, Birkenhead Priory and the Williamson Art Gallery in Wirral.

Other special activities include film showings of rarely-seen archive footage at Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, displays of Victorian toys and artefacts and memory-sharing at Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum, birds of prey displays at Halton Castle, special Salt Tours in Nantwich (charges do apply for salt tours) and an Open Village event in Port Sunlight.

Congleton Museum will be opening Bradshaw House between 10am and 3pm each day. 

Come and see this Georgian landowners’ town house, the museum’s proposed new home. This will be the first time the house has been open to the general public.

In Macclesfield, people have the chance to explore the fabulous Grade II listed home of silk industry pioneer Charles Roe, with its remarkable ‘barley sugar’ staircase, wall panelling and fireplaces.

You will also get the chance to view a major new exhibition of exquisite antique furniture and art and be inspired by the creative talents of Cheshire artists and gain an insight into the creative process. For more information, contact: Macclesfield Visitor Information Centre on 01625 378123.

The Cheshire Archives service is running three sessions here as part of Heritage Open Days.  For more information visit:

Whatever your age or interest, there will be plenty to see and do with the family in Cheshire over the Heritage Open Days weekend.

Heritage Open Days are celebrating 20 years of existence this month.

Under the scheme, every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and use throw open their doors. It is a once-a-year chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.

With so much to see and do free of charge and right on people’s doorstep, Heritage Open Days is an event for everyone, whatever their background, age and ability.

Cheshire East Council saves local taxpayers £5m


Cheshire East Council has saved the Borough’s taxpayers £5 million without cutting services, the Authority’s Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will hear at its meeting on Thursday September 11.

Council leader Councillor Michael Jones said: “This is fantastic news and once again demonstrates our commitment to making savings, whilst maintaining services.

“Predictions are that we expect to be in a position to continue along this path well into the next financial year 2015/16.”

Significant reductions have been achieved in management costs; as much as 19% at top tier level and 22 % in the middle tier.

Improving management arrangements across the board have contributed to the savings which have delivered a leaner, more efficient workforce.

At its meeting on Thursday, the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will hear that the outcomes of a Management Review delivered a ‘significant overall reduction’ in the numbers of management posts, even after allowing for necessary increased capacity in priority areas such as economic growth and social care, and alignment of all new posts with the Council’s new operating model as a Strategic Commissioning organisation.

The review rationalised posts across several grades from senior management positions to frontline team leaders and supervisors.

In February, 2014 Cheshire East Council announced a council tax freeze for the fourth year running to help ease the pressure on running costs of every household.

Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones said: “This is the strongest financial position we have been in since Cheshire East was formed and enables us to stick to our commitment to keep costs down and providing maximum value for money.

“It also proves that as an authority we are true to our word when we say that we put the residents and businesses of Cheshire East first and foremost.”

The 19th ‘Annual Community Duck Race and Children's Model Boat Race’

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Childrens Model Boat RaceDuck Race

-Best designed children's model boat winner – l-r Hall President John Cooke - Wistaston Rose Queen (Lucy Rowland) - Attendant (Charlotte Shaw) - Rebecca Jones

-Wistaston Rose Queen (Lucy Rowland) with Attendant and friends on her charity stall to raise money for Cancer Research UK and the Wistaston Scout Group

The 19th ‘Annual Community Duck Race and Children's Model Boat Race’ took place on Saturday 6th September 2014, at the Joey the Swan Recreation ground in Wistaston, with the permission of the Wistaston Parish Council.

The event, which was sponsored by Wistaston Community Council and the Crewe Cine & Video Club, was officially opened by the Wistaston Rose Queen (Lucy Rowland) and her Attendant (Charlotte Shaw). Members of the Hall's Management Committee organised the event. 49 model boats were entered into the Children's Model Boat Race, 874 duck race tickets were sold and their ducks entered into the Duck Race; the largest number in recent history.

All proceeds go to the modernisation of the disabled toilet project at the Wistaston Memorial Hall & Community Centre, Church Lane, Wistaston. There were also twelve stalls featuring local charities and organisations. Several hundred people attended this community event, which took place in glorious sunshine. The Wistaston Memorial Hall’s committee sincerely thank all those who helped to make the event a success in many ways, which raised £730 in total.

People came from all over England to see this quacking event – from Wakefield and Milton Keynes and as far away as SWANsea and DUXford. The Hall’s President, John Cooke, escorted the Rose Queen around the stalls.

Here are the results in full:

Children's Model Boat Race (49 model boats entered):

a) Best designed children's model boat (judged by Wistaston Rose Queen, Lucy Rowland and her Attendant, Charlotte Shaw):

1st – Rebecca Jones who won £5 and a trophy

2nd – Jess Edwards

3rd – Naomi Dean.

b) Children's Model Boat Race organised by India Sloan and George Raiswell and started by Wistaston Rose Queen, Lucy Rowland. Boats of many shapes and sizes, made by the children, meandered around various obstacles, with teal and pochard in evidence:

1st – Alex Huxley with boat ‘The Green Creeper’ - wins £5, plus trophy donated by Herbert Locke MBE.

2nd – Charles Calder (Calder Boys)

3rd – Chloe Brereton (The Beach Party)

4th – Daniel Fowler (Heavy Load).

Duck Race (874 tickets sold):

1st – No. 803 – Marcel - wins £100, plus trophy donated by Les Fothergill. The winner came from the USA and was delighted with her awards.

2nd – No. 353 – Bethany - £50.

3rd – No. 15 – Thomas Astbury - £25.

Maureen Bellis, the Hall’s Treasurer, supervised the ticket sellers – Audrey, Valerie, Helen, Helena and Bill.

The traffic controller was Meurig Jones. The race marshals were Mark Ray, Jonathan White and Rob Dutton. The stalls were organised by Glenys White.

Event organiser John White said, "This was another successful mallardesque community enterprise for Wistaston. The Memorial Hall's officers worked so hard to run the event. People who visited were most generous to buy so many tickets. I was pleased to hear that the stall holders and charities did well. The children were excited and eager to see their boats in action. It was a quacking great top of the bill success. We were fortunate with the weather. So many people helped to set up and take down the equipment; we thank them all. The Parish Council and conservationist Dave O’Hara had prepared the course. We can't wait for the 20th Duck Race on Saturday 5th September 2015, which will celebrate twenty years of ducking and diving – we must be quackers!"

I’ve uploaded all my photos to:

The 2014 Slazenger South and Mid Cheshire Tennis League Presentation Afternoon

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Congleton Lawn Tennis Club

The 2014 Slazenger South and Mid Cheshire Tennis League Presentation Afternoon (plus two tournaments) took place at Congleton Lawn Tennis Club - - on Sunday 7th September.

There were open doubles and veterans doubles tournaments, organised by John White (Wistaston) and Viv Gorst (Nantwich), involving thirty-two players from a variety of clubs. The open doubles tournament, for the Jane Astbury Shield, was won by Chris Jackson (Nantwich Farmers) and Emily Parker (Nantwich). The veterans doubles tournament, for the Tim Griffiths Shield, was won by Chris Raiswell (Wistaston) and Dave Clarke (Hartford).

Wonderful refreshments were prepared by June Bowyer and Marion Doe. The refreshments were followed by the presentation of trophies from the league competitions (see winners list below).

Local winners were Nantwich, Audlem, Wrenbury and Wistaston. Nantwich A won the Ladies Division 1 Summer League for the 31st time!

The Stonelake Shield Sporting Award was presented to Craig Robinson from Congleton Lawn Tennis Club for his sportsmanship which epitomises the best qualities of tennis in the League.

League Chairman Dave Clarke said, "I would like to thank Congleton for hosting today's event, the ladies who produced the fantastic refreshments this afternoon, and the league officers for their sterling work throughout the year. I would also like to thank all the clubs who attended and congratulate the divisional winners. We are grateful to Slazenger for their continued sponsorship."

The full list of 2013-14 winners is:


Ladies Division 1 - Nantwich A

Ladies Division 2 - Cuddington A

Ladies Division 3 - Audlem A

Ladies Division 4 - Nantwich C

Men's Division 1 - Congleton A

Men’s Division 2 - Hartford C

Men’s Division 3 - Hartford E

Men’s Division 4 - Holmes Chapel A

Men’s Division 5 - Holmes Chapel B

Mixed Division 1 - Congleton A

Mixed Division 2 - Nantwich B

Ladies Knockout - Nantwich A

Ladies Handicap Knockout - Holmes Chapel C

Les Hoff Men’s Knockout - Congleton A

Les Beckett Men’s Knockout - Hartford F

Jane Astbury Mixed Knockout - Congleton A

Dave Clarke Veterans KO - Nantwich A

Stonelake Shield Sporting Award - Craig Robinson (Congleton).


Division 1 - Congleton A

Division 2 - Nantwich B

Division 3 - Hartford

Division 4 - Cuddington C

Division 5 - Wrenbury C

Ray Jones Knockout - Hartford

Barbara Smith Knockout - Wistaston B


Division 1 - Congleton A

Division 2 - Hartford

Division 3 - Wistaston B

Division 4 - Nantwich C

Division 5 - Alsager D

Putting our residents and businesses first: Cheshire East to consult over parking charges – to reflect local priorities and need and boost the local economy


Cheshire East Council is to review its parking charges to see how it can better support local towns and businesses.

The Council will consult with local businesses, partnerships and people with disabilities on an off-street parking pricing policy that will reflect the needs of different areas.

The focus of the review will be on the Borough’s key towns of Crewe, Nantwich, Macclesfield, Knutsford and Congleton. Electric vehicle charging bays also look to be introduced in some of the car parks.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We are a listening Council that puts residents first and is committed to supporting our local businesses to help them thrive and prosper.

“Parking policy needs to reflect the needs of different areas and help bring more people into Cheshire East to spend money and boost the local economy.

“However, we recognise that each of our towns is unique and so we are not advocating harmonisation of charges across Cheshire East. 

“We will focus on our key towns of Crewe, Nantwich, Macclesfield, Knutsford and Congleton as a starting point for consultation. We know that car parks aren’t free as we have to maintain them and we need to operate on a full-cost-recovery basis. 

“What we can do and will do is listen and act wherever we can to develop and implement a more attractive car parking policy to boost economic vitality and job creation across the Borough.”

Cheshire East will consult with key stakeholders over proposals for an affordable and attractive parking policy with a particular emphasis on Crewe, Nantwich, Macclesfield, Knutsford and Congleton.

A report setting out the outcome of the conversations with local businesses and a set of key recommendations will be put before the Council’s Cabinet for consideration on November 11 (2014).

Councillor Jones added: “We wish to set charges for parking which reflect local pressures and needs. The Council should also look to make car parking charges cost neutral and no longer fund our services.

“Conversations with businesses and local people since that date as well as research have shown that accessible, affordable and attractive parking places encourage people to shop in towns. Therefore, we want to continue those conversations and listen even more to local stakeholders on the way forward to nurturing strong communities and further boosting local economies and job creation.

“Cheshire East is about listening, putting residents first and being open for business. It is a strategy which has seen Cheshire East being recognised as the Best in the North West – and a place that is truly open for business.”  

Monday, 8 September 2014

Nantwich Food & Drink Festival.

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

The annual Nantwich Food & Drink Festival - - took place from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th September 2014.
The main festival locations were the Town Square, Bowling Green car park and Love Lane car park, but there were numerous other event areas around the town.
This free event had gourmet food halls, chef demonstrations, entertainers, children's activities and live music. The town’s caf├ęs, pubs and shops also took part in the festival.
A park and ride faculty was available from various locations.
The thousands of visitors were treated to sunny weather during the festival.

I’ve uploaded all my photos to:

Food demonstration at the Magenta Food Theatre on the Town SquareTown Square - view from Nantwich Bookshop Coffee Lounge