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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

List to help preserve historic buildings released

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A new list featuring an array of Cheshire East’s most distinctive buildings has been published.

Cheshire East Council’s heritage and design team have drawn up a roll of more than 350 historic listed buildings and structures.

The Local List of Historic Buildings became possible thanks to the help of residents who nominated many of the buildings they feel enhance both the street scene and sense of distinctiveness in that area.

Included are Buxton Road in Disley, Grimshaw Lane in Bollington, Bentley Motors in Crewe, Water Tower at Ollerton and St Philip’s Church based at Betchton.

Councillor Peter Mason, Cabinet member with responsibility for procurement, assets and shared services, said: “Cheshire East has a rich and varied heritage which is reflected in the buildings and structures which make up its towns and villages. The council is keen to recognise this distinctive heritage.

”The buildings included on the list positively contribute to the quality of the local areas in question. The public role in the preparation of this list has been an important one and I thank all residents across the borough for their contribution.”

A Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) has also been set up alongside the list, which will be used to provide guidance to the likes of developers and planners on planning applications which may affect these heritage assets.

Inclusion in this list ensures that every effort will be made to conserve the buildings and structures and it brings existing policies in the Congleton, Crewe and Nantwich and Macclesfield under one umbrella.

To view the documents, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/environment_and_planning/planning/spatial_planning/local_development_framework/supplementary_plan_documents/local_list_historic_buildings.aspx

Fill in Cheshire East childcare survey – and win Christmas panto tickets!

 

A family ticket for four to see a magical performance of Aladdin is on offer to parents who can give their views on improving childcare.

Cheshire East Council values the thoughts of parents and carers who access childcare – be it nurseries, pre-schools, childminders, out of school clubs or holiday play schemes – and it would like to hear their thoughts as part of an online questionnaire.

And those who take part will be entered into a free prize draw to win a family ticket for four to see the Christmas panto ‘Aladdin’, at Crewe’s magnificent Lyceum Theatre.

The findings will be published by April next year as part of Cheshire East’s childcare sufficiency assessment.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, said: “We hope that parents and carers will have five or 10 minutes to spare to take part in this research by completing the online questionnaire, which is anonymous and confidential.

“Anyone who responds will not be identified in any report and we thank them in advance for their help in this research, it is much appreciated.”

The questionnaire can be accessed by visiting: www.surveymonkey.com/s/CheshireEastParentCarerQuestionnaire

It closes at 5pm on Friday, November 12.

Supporting private landlords

 

Cheshire East Council (CEC) is calling on local private landlords to sign up to a new scheme.

The Authority has joined Cheshire West and Chester Council and Warrington Borough Council to launch the Cheshire Landlord Accreditation Scheme. It aims to promote reputable landlords to prospective tenants on a Cheshire-wide database, accessible through the CEC website.

The scheme wants to hear from landlords who go that extra mile, managing their properties to a high standard, beyond the basic legal requirements.

The scheme aims to:

  • Publicly recognise landlords who exceed basic standards of accommodation.
  • Promote the good physical condition of a property.
  • Promote good management practices.
  • Create and maintain a stock of private rented accommodation.
  • Give tenants the assurance of renting good accommodation.
  • Give training, advice and updated information to landlords.

Landlords can now apply to join the Landlord Accreditation Scheme. A small fee is charged to cover a compulsory training session for all landlords who sign up to the scheme. The accreditation membership is reviewed every three years.

Cheshire East Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said:  “Private landlords play an essential role in the provision of accommodation across Cheshire. It is acknowledged and appreciated that many private landlords manage their tenancies well, and provide and maintain properties to a good standard, often above the standard required by the law.

“It is important to recognise these landlords and encourage and support others to achieve this higher standard.”

To become accredited, landlords can contact 0300 123 5017, email privatehousing@cheshireeast.gov.uk or visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk.

Leighton Brook Park

 

An innovative new £50,000 play area in Crewe’s Leighton Brook Park has been completed and a community fun day is being planned to celebrate.

Residents across Cheshire East are being encouraged to go along to the park this Friday (October 29) to see the new play area and take part in the activities.

The facility is based around ‘natural play’. This is where materials such as climbing boulders, fallen logs and stepping stones are used to encourage physical exercise with an element of managed risk and creativity.

Local adults and children all had their say on the ‘natural play’ designs.

The final version includes an earthwork wrapping along the back of the multi-use games area, and grass bank seating.

From this embankment children can relax, climb and observe. At the base of the landform will be a group of totem poles, carved green oak trees and multiple tyre swings.

The funding has come from the Landfill Communities Funds of Waste Recycling Group Ltd administered by Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd (WREN).

Leighton Brook Park is a 10-hectare open space located in the west end of Crewe. It is the only significant recreational facility in the wards of St Barnabas, Grosvenor and Coppenall.

This Friday’s event will start at 10am with a litter-pick, when local children who help out can earn a free ticket to see a 3D film. In the afternoon there is pumpkin carving, willow weaving and lantern making.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “This new play area will encourage children to play, socialise and exercise together.

“It is obviously not structured like a normal play area and I think children will appreciate the independence of choosing how to interact with the new environment.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to attend the event on October 29 and enjoy the activities.”

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “This is an exciting project that has changed the landscape of the park for the better. I hope children enjoy exploring the many different features of the new play area.

“This part of Crewe is a high priority for regeneration and I am certain that this development will improve local residents’ quality of life.”

School chef cooks up a storm to retain champion’s crown

Debbie Worlsey's Apple and Summer Berry Charlotte and Fresh Vanilla Egg Custard

Debbie Worsley cooked up a storm to retain her crown in the Cheshire East heat of the School Chef of the Year.

A scrumptious summer berry Charlotte with fresh vanilla egg custard and a fantastic caramelised pork and apricot grill with sweet potato rosti and mint pea pesto were the recipe for repeat success for the catering supervisor at Warmingham Primary, Warmingham.

Debbie scooped first prize with her tasty menu themed around local seasonal produce.

After the competition she said: “I tried very hard to come up with all the right criteria to win this competition following my experience last year and am delighted that my menu has been chosen.

“I am looking forward to representing Cheshire East again and very much hope my menu is good enough to win the North West heat in January.”

The annual School Chef of the Year competition is organised by the Local Authorities Catering Association (LACA). The contest is open to all kitchen-based staff employed by organisations that are full members of LACA and are involved with the daily preparation of school meals.

The menus must put the preparation, cooking, creativity and presentation skills of school chefs to the test with each entrant producing, in just one and a half hours, a healthy and balanced two-course meal that would appeal to 11-year-olds.

The menus must also include some regional and seasonal (for the May/June final) ingredients and products by Nestlé, who sponsor the event. It also has to contain 2oz of protein, a carbohydrate and a fruit and vegetable and 150gm of calcium – and be presented on an appropriately-decorated table.

Two 11-year-old pupils from Vine Tree Primary helped with judging, along with a dietician from Leighton Hospital, a chef from South Cheshire College and a LACA member.

A maximum of £1.35 is allowed for the main meal and dessert for one child.

Judging is based on eight strict criteria that range from flavour and presentation to the ability to replicate the dishes en masse in school.

Cheshire East Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “We are fortunate and proud in that we have such imaginative, creative and highly-skilled school chefs in Cheshire East, who are well able to compete nationally for this prestigious title.

“Cheshire East has been at the very forefront when it comes to national nutritional standards. The quality of the food served in our schools is very high and this is shown by the increasing popularity of school meals.”

The other entrants in the Cheshire East heat were:

Julie McKenzie, catering supervisor, Dean Valley Primary, Bollington, Macclesfield

Sue Gould, catering supervisor, Sound and District Primary, near Nantwich

Sue Gilbert, catering supervisor, Hungerford Primary, Crewe

Michelle Lucas, kitchen assistant, Beechwood Primary, Crewe

Cheshire East serves 17,000 school meals each day.

Older People Helped to be Steady and Safe

 

Older people with mobility problems are being invited to try out an exercise class aimed at encouraging gentle, safe movement in a friendly atmosphere.

Be Steady, Be Safe is designed to help people who are at risk of falling over by improving balance, strength and confidence.

The class consists of leg muscle strengthening exercises, balance retraining exercises and a walking plan.

It is held at Mill House, Nantwich, each Wednesday on 9.30am-10.30am and 11am-12noon; and Linden Court, Crewe, each Thursday from 10.30am-11.30am. Sessions cost £1.50.

Transport is available at £1 and can be booked by telephoning 01270 685794.

The class is run by Cheshire East Council’s Health Improvement Team in partnership with Age UK Cheshire, Wulvern Housing and Vintage Leisure.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “As a local authority we are committed to supporting people of all ages and abilities to improve their health.

“Falls are a leading cause of hospital admission for older people, so any steps individuals can take to improve their strength and balance will play an important role in reducing their risk.

“Be Steady, Be Safe concentrates on these key areas to help people to build their confidence to perform routine daily activities essential for living independently.”

Have your say on shaping your Local Transport Plan

 

Cheshire East Council wants YOUR views on shaping local transport priorities and policies.

The Council has worked with partners to draw up a comprehensive draft Local Transport Plan (LTP). This aims to tie in with the local authority area’s Sustainable Community Strategy and wider ambitions for the area – including boosting the local economy and tackling climate change.

The proposed priorities of the LTP are to ‘ensure a sustainable future’ and ‘create conditions for business growth’.

Now it’s time for YOU to play your part.

Following approval by the Cabinet (Monday, October 18) Cheshire East is holding five weeks of public consultation to seek YOUR views on what the future transport priorities should be for the next 15 years.

A questionnaire has been drawn up which can be filled in and posted or completed online. Later in the New Year, the Council will be consulting on an implementation plan which will transform the strategy into actions.

Council Leader Wesley Fitzgerald said: “Transport and travel is a fundamental part of everyday life and supports a vibrant economy.

“The Local Transport Plan (LTP) aims to capitalise on the strengths of the existing transport system in Cheshire East, including excellent transport links to major centres via the rail and motorway network, and set out a strategy of how we will look to improve it into the future. Good transport connections are integral to our ambitious plans for economic growth and protecting our environment to ensure a sustainable future for all our residents and businesses.

“We are ambitious about our future in Cheshire East and the role transport will play, but

we must also be realistic about the challenges we face. The way we travel is changing to adapt to climate change and new technologies, the age profile of the population and shifts in the global economy.

“Our travel patterns are car dependent for the majority, which means we will have to find ways to travel smarter, possibly less often and in some cases look to other modes of travel such as public transport, walking and cycling. The LTP will shape future investment in our highways and public transport network over the next 15 years, so we would welcome your comments on the proposed priorities and strategic direction for transport in Cheshire East.”

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for local people to have their say and really shape, and take ownership of, local transport priorities and policies.”

To have your say on the new Local Transport Plan get a copy of the questionnaire from council customer service point offices or public libraries and send in the completed form to: Cheshire East LTP Strategy and Consultation, FREEPOST CW247, Floor 6, Strategic Highways and Transportation, Delamere House, Crewe CW1 2LL.

Alternatively fill in the questionnaire online by visiting the Council’s website at:

www.cheshireeast.gov.uk and clicking on Transport and Travel.

The deadline for filling in the questionnaire is Sunday, November 21.

Cheshire East’s new LTP will be published in April 2011.

Efforts to prevent underage alcohol sales in Crewe

 

Local retailers are getting the message, says Cheshire East Councillor Rachel Bailey, after another successful operation by Cheshire Council’s Consumer Protection and Investigations Team.

Officers from the team joined forces with Cheshire police in an operation on Friday, October 15, in an operation to tackle underage alcohol sales in Crewe.

They visited eight off-licences in the town centre using 14-year-old volunteers. Just two of those tested sold alcohol to a teenager.

The Cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, added: “These operations are not about punishing retailers: they are about informing and educating those who run and work in licensed premises, as well as protecting the consumer.

“The information obtained for this operation was from members of the public and their contribution was invaluable. Any information we get from the public is taken very seriously and I would urge those with concerns to contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.”

This latest operation was part of Alcohol Awareness Week (October 18 – 24). This year’s campaign by Alcohol Concern is now underway and focuses on the impact that alcohol has on children.

Officers from Consumer Protection and Investigations are helping to boost awareness by way of an ‘Underage sales, retailer training’ day. Those interested in attending a training course can find out more by contacting Hannah Wong on 01270 686695 or by email at hannah.wong@cheshireeast.co.uk

The half-day programme has been designed to educate the owners of licensed premises and their staff on all aspects of age-restricted products. This programme will include:

  • Advice on how best to use age verification policies such as ‘Challenge 25’;
  • How to identify acceptable ID and recognise fakes; and 
  • Conflict resolution training.

Cheshire East Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, added: “I am hopeful these operations will go a long way to reducing the amount of alcohol sold to underage teens in Cheshire East.” Ends.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Help give youngsters a home to call their own

 

Cheshire East Council is appealing for families to come forward to adopt children.

A place they can call ‘home’ is all that 25 youngsters being cared for by the local authority’s children’s services really want.

The figure is among alarming statistics released to highlight National Adoption Week, which starts on November 1.

Every year around 4,000 children wait for adoption in Britain and sibling groups and older children wait the longest for adoptive families. Some may never find a new family home at all.

Despite the public perception, adoption is not just about babies and pre-school children. In fact, such cases are becoming increasingly rare.

The greatest need is for people who are able to provide the stability and security of family life for two, three or even more brothers and sisters. Children with disabilities also need adoptive parents.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, said: “Providing a child with a loving and protective home is one of the most important and rewarding things that families can do.

“Many children have had difficult experiences early in life and may already have been with a number of different carers. So what they need more than anything else is long-term stability and the security of a warm, loving home environment.”

The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) has produced a short film called Three Stories: One Family, showing the reality of adoption today. The film follows three children adopted into one family.

To view the film visit the Cheshire East Council homepage at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk and click on the In Focus link. Alternatively, visit: www.youtube.com/Adoptionfostering

Like all parenting, adoption can be challenging but also one of the most rewarding things you can do. For more details, call the Adoption Hotline on 0300 123 3223 or visit: spacesforfaces.co.uk

Bonfires

In the run up to bonfire night can I ask members to keep an eye out for anything that looks to be an unofficial bonfire or collections of trash that could be burned amassing on public ground. 
At this time of year people may be slowly gathering together a pile of material with the intention of burning it near to bonfire night on public areas / waste ground.  These 'unofficial' and unsupervised bonfires could cause several issues.  1.) The materials being gathered and thrown on the pile by various people may not be suitable for burning and may lead to fumes being released / fires getting out of hand.  2.) Such bonfires could be a nuisance for any neighbours who live around the open ground.  3.) If being lit by young / unsupervised people such a fire could become a hazard.
Equally, if there are large collections of trash in a particular area, at this time of year it could be ignited and cause further issues.
If these collections are reported then they can be flagged up and collected by the local authority where appropriate.  If anyone notices anything that fits the above description on public / waste ground please contact the street cleansing department via the following contact details:
Crewe & Nantwich Street Cleansing: 0300 123 5011 or streetcleansing2@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Council cracks down on litter louts

 

Bin it – or pay the consequences! That’s the message to litter louts from Cheshire East Council.

As part of an ongoing drive to clean up our streets and parks, Cheshire East’s team of Community Wardens continue to patrol in order to catch people who drop their litter instead of putting it in a bin.

During the last 12 months, Community Wardens have caught numerous litter offenders and issued more than 100 fixed penalty notices with a fine of £75.

Recent action includes a successful prosecution against an offender from Crewe, who tried to avoid paying the fixed penalty.

Tomasz Baranowicz, of Hungerford Road, Crewe, was found guilty in his absence and fined £350 and ordered to pay £209.50 costs by Crewe magistrates on October 15, after failing to pay a litter fixed penalty issued for dropping litter from his vehicle. The offence happened in Ford Lane, Crewe, on March 17.

The wardens will continue to take similar action against people caught offending in this manner.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “Carelessly throwing your litter from a car window is an illegal activity and will result in £75 fixed penalty notice being issued directly to drivers caught in the act. 

“Not only is it unacceptable to deposit your waste on the roadside, it also spoils our beautiful picturesque countryside, affects tourism and costs thousands of pounds each year to clear up.

”The most annoying thing about road litter is that it is wholly preventable – all motorists have to do is take their litter home, or use a bin.”

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “It’s an ongoing battle to keep our roads clear and looking tidy and we really need drivers’ help to achieve it. 

“Not only is littering unsightly and dangerous if blown into the windscreen of other vehicles, it can also be harmful to wildlife.  We appeal to road users to take their litter home and to stop throwing it out of their car windows.

“Clearing large volumes of needless litter on our road network is a burden on the public purse and on the resources of the Council. It is also dangerous to remove, as it puts our clean-up staff at risk from oncoming traffic.
“At a time when the council has to provide vital services to residents on increasingly tight budgets, this is an expense we can ill afford – as well environmental vandalism.”

Cheshire East Council spent £2.8m on street cleaning in its first financial year. This figure includes mechanical sweeping, manual litter picking, emptying bins, removal of fly-tipping, fly-posters and graffiti and the removal of glass, needles and hazardous products.

A Keep Britain Tidy study found roads and verges are some of the most littered parts of the country. The research showed 22 per cent of lorry drivers and 20 per cent of all motorists admitted to throwing rubbish from their vehicles in the previous six months.

Advice for retailers during Alcohol Awareness Week

 

Cheshire East Council’s Consumer Protection and Investigations team (formally Trading Standards) are doing their bit during Alcohol Awareness Week (October 18 – 24).

This year’s campaign by Alcohol Concern is now underway; and focuses on the impact that alcohol has on children.

Officers from Consumer Protection and Investigations are helping to boost awareness by way of an ‘Underage sales, retailer training’ day.

Those interested in attending a training course can find out more by contacting Hannah Wong on 01270 686695 or by email at hannah.wong@cheshireeast.co.uk

The half-day programme has been designed to educate the owners of licensed premises and their staff on all aspects of age-restricted products. This will include:

  • Advice on how best to utilise an age verification policy such as ‘Challenge 25’;
  • How to identify acceptable ID and recognise fakes; and 
  • Conflict resolution training.

Officers from Consumer Protection and Investigations will also work with local police during the week, visiting licensed premises to make sure they are not selling products to those who are underage.

Cheshire East Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “This is about giving people, who own and run licensed premises, the confidence to say ‘no’ to those who are underage and do not have appropriate ID. We want to empower retailers and give them every opportunity to understand the law fully and hopefully, comply with it.”

Cheshire East Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Alcohol Awareness Week can go a long way to highlighting the impact alcohol misuse can have on all of us. This isn’t about being – it is about understanding how alcohol can have a profound effect on children, shaping the way they perceive alcohol in the future.”

Kay Roberts, Consumer Protection and Investigations manager, added: “It is particularly important to give smaller retailers the support to tackle underage sales. This training course is aimed at all levels of staff and will help them all comply with age restrictive legislation.”

Bridging the Gap

0610BRIDGE1NEW02

A major cycleway project that will link Crewe and Nantwich has moved a step closer with the installation of three bridges.

Two of the bridges, which replace existing crossings over Valley Brook, have already been installed. The third bridge, which will be built in around two weeks, will cross Wistaston Brook.

The three bridges form part of Phase One of the Connect 2 Crewe to Nantwich Greenway. The greenway aims to create a 4km rural corridor between the two towns along the A530.

It will be set well back from the main road connecting the excellent riverside walks in Nantwich with Crewe’s historic Queen’s Park, currently undergoing a massive restoration.

The greenway will let people visit both of these areas easily by foot and by bike.

Each bridge spans 11m with a width of 2m, and consists of steel beams with oak parapets and cladding. They have been made by Huddersfield-based CTS Ltd and installed on piled foundations by the main contractor William Pye Ltd.

Connect 2 is a nationwide sustainable transport project which aims to encourage people to make their everyday journeys by foot or bike.

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “It is excellent to see this scheme progressing and it will offer people a greener way of travelling between the two towns.

“Similar projects in other towns and cities have proved very successful and I am sure the people of Cheshire East will make full use of this greenway.”

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “I hope that this new route will encourage people from Cheshire East and visitors to the area, to get out and enjoy our beautiful countryside.

“We are always being advised to increase our activity and leave the car at home. Hopefully this new greenway will allow people to do just that.”

Monday, 18 October 2010

Mp’s news letter

Welcome ...

Welcome to this my 65th electronic news bulletin.

This week has seen Parliament back in full swing, but it hasn't stopped me getting out and about in Crewe and Nantwich to support our local businesses.

Remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me.

You can forward the bulletin on to your friends and family, who can sign up themselves by clicking here for my website.

Best wishes,

Edward Timpson
Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich

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I have recently ...

  • Officially opened local charity IRIS vision resource centre's new facilities, in Crewe
  • Helped celebrate local business ESTC's 5th birthday, in Nantwich
  • Sat on the Department for Education Adoption Advisory Group, in Westminster
  • Attended the Army Benevolent Fund reception, in Parliament
  • Visited local business Alpha Omega Securities in Crewe, meeting with management & staff
  • Spoken on BBC Radio Stoke about promoting our Big Society & helping residents get involved in the constituency
  • Visited Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters in Winsford, with fellow Cheshire Members of Parliament
  • Met with Labour & Liberal Democrat Members of Parliament to discuss our joint cross party inquiry into the educational attainment of Looked After Children

This weekend I will be...

  • Holding a Constituents' Surgery in Morrisons, Crewe
  • Joining the Turn Nantwich Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness campaign in Nantwich town square

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Photos & Video ...

You can view all my photos and video at edwardtimpsonmp.com

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Pink fire engine for Nantwich town centre!

Nantwichnews

People will be tickled pink in Nantwich town centre this Saturday – when they see this colourful fire engine!

It has been loaned to campaigner Ann Aspinall to launch the start of her Pink Nantwich week, run as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Nantwichnews revealed last week how Ann, who fought and survived breast cancer, has been campaigning to paint the town pink for one week.

Scores of shops, businesses and residents in the centre have joined in and will adorn their premises with pink flowers, scarves and other items.

And Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is jumping on board by loaning this colourful appliance which will be on show in the town square on Saturday.

Nantwich MP Edward Timpson will also be attending the launch of the week, which will culminate in a special Pink Party on October 23 at Nantwich Town FC’s Weaver Stadium.

Mum-of-two Ann, of Volunteer Fields, Nantwich, said: “The fire engine is great, it will really make people take notice and highlight what we’re trying to do.”

If you want to join in the campaign, you can contact Ann on 07743 240645, or email annaspinall@hotmail.co.uk

© 2010 Nantwichnews

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School and leisure centre project completed

Cheshire East News

A celebration of arts, dance, sports and technology marked the completion of the second and final phase of the Sir William Stanier Community School and Leisure Centre in Crewe.

Pupils from Beechwood Primary School performed with students from Sir William Stanier in the school’s new leisure centre as part of National School Sports Week. The ceremony signals the end of the £21m project. The school, which can cater for 1,050 students, opened last September.

The new leisure centre includes a sports hall, dance studio, drama studio, meeting facilities, a fully equipped computer suite and all-weather pitches. The new state-of-the-art facilities are available to both school pupils and members of the public.

© 2010 Cheshire East Council

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Nantwich woman accuses Cheshire East of "snooping" after council checked postal deliveries to her home

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

A “SNOOPING” council has been accused of using ‘Big Brother’ tactics after checking out postal deliveries to a Nantwich pensioner’s home.

Seventy-five-year-old Barbara Parr is asking Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson to investigate how Cheshire East knows her son’s post is delivered to her address – and how old he is.

She’s livid over what she describes as “Big Brother-style snooping” by Cheshire East to check whether she’s entitled to council tax discount.

The former Malbank School teacher said: “I’ve been a widow for four years and live alone and claim a single person’s discount from council tax. I filled in the form and sent it back.”
Mrs Parr then received a letter from Cheshire East Council challenging her right to the discount.

The query followed an investigation by Northgate, a company employed by the council to investigate whether people claiming single person’s discount are eligible to it.

Mrs Parr said: “I had to phone them and they said they had information that post was being delivered to my address for a male born in 1971.

“I told her that would be my younger son who uses my address for his post for convenience. But what right have they got to check people’s post? How do they know what year my son was born in?

“I’ve now made an appointment to see Edward Timpson.”

A spokesman for Mr Timpson told the Chronicle he would be writing to the council to see how it obtained its information.

A Cheshire East Council spokesman said: “A letter was sent to seek clarification over her eligibility for a discount. It wasn’t sent to question Mrs Parr’s honesty.

“Unfortunately, a small, but significant proportion of those who claim the discounts are not eligible to do so.

“Northgate Public Services has a wealth of experience in this field and are able to crosscheck the council’s records against a wide range of other databases including the Electoral Roll and Experian, the credit information group.

“This is undertaken in full compliance with the Data Protection Act . On occasions this exercise will generate queries which Northgate need to check out.”

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Brine Leas High School's £7m sixth form building officially unveiled

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

Brine Leas High School’s £7m sixth form building officially unveiled

THE mayor of Nantwich and the MP for Crewe & Nantwich have officially jointly opened Brine Leas High School’s new sixth form building.

The Nantwich school welcomed its first intake of further education students last month in the £7m building, which has been named BL6.

Nantwich mayor Joyce Stockton and MP Edward Timpson were the special guests of honour for its unveiling.

Headteacher Andrew Cliffe said: “The desire for a sixth form has always been at Brine Lines since its creation in 1977.
“The route, where we could offer diversity of opportunity as well as excellence, came about through the High Performing Specialist College status that was awarded to the school together with being granted the specialist option of Applied Learning.

“The BL6 building and ethos was the result of many real but wide ranging partnerships.”

However, Mr Cliffe stressed the mission statement for the Audlem Road school and BL6 remains the same – ‘to provide a successful education for every student’.

The event was well attended with a wide range of people who have been associated with the school; Nantwich town councillors, governors past and present with the current chair of governors, Janet Furber, who made use of the opportunity to express her thanks to Mr Cliffe for his commitment and hard work.

Present staff and students were joined by ex-colleagues including Daphne Howard, who was the first headteacher of Brine Leas in 1977.

Mr Timpson unveiled a commemorative plaque and wished staff and students good luck for the future.

He was accompanied by students as he toured the facilities and stayed to chat to many of them about their studies before returning to Birmingham for the Conservative Party conference.

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Crewe and Nantwich MP calls for arthritis service improvements

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson is supporting the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) on World Arthritis Day by calling for service improvements for people with the condition.

The theme of World Arthritis Day 2010 is ‘Let’s Work Together’.

Yesterday NRAS members, health professionals and Mr Timpson worked together to raise awareness of RA and of what needs to be done to improve outcomes for patients.

RA is a chronic and disabling auto-immune disease, affecting about 690,000 people in the UK. It has no known cause or cure.
It remains a major cause of people not working, and the overall cost of the condition to the UK economy is almost £8bn each year.

Mr Timpson said: “There are, on average 1,061 people with rheumatoid arthritis in each constituency. To support NRAS on World Arthritis Day, I’m working with them to raise awareness and the importance of early diagnosis so people can get the treatment they need at an early stage and continue to enjoy life and work.”

NRAS chief executive Ailsa Bosworth said: “We’re delighted Mr Timpson has chosen to work with NRAS to raise awareness of the condition in his constituency.”

“NRAS is committed to ensuring that services are fully coordinated across the whole health service and improving outcomes for people with rheumatoid arthritis.”

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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World Arthritis Day

Crewe Blog

Local Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson is supporting the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) on World Arthritis Day in calling for improvements in services for people with rheumatoid arthritis. The theme of World Arthritis Day 2010 is ‘let’s work together’. On 12 October 2010 NRAS members, health professionals and Edward Timpson will be working together to raise awareness of RA and of what needs to be done to improve outcomes for patients.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and disabling autoimmune disease, affecting about 690,000 people in the UK. It has no known cause or cure. It remains a major cause of people not working – almost 30% of people with RA surveyed by NRAS in 2007 gave up work within a year of being diagnosed with the condition. The overall cost of the condition to the UK economy is almost £8 billion each year. Mr Timpson said: “There are, on average 1,061 people with rheumatoid arthritis in each constituency. To support NRAS on World Arthritis Day, I am working with them to raise awareness of rheumatoid arthritis and the importance of early diagnosis so that people can get the treatment they need at an early stage and continue to enjoy life and work with the condition.”

© 2010 Crewe Blog

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MP Timpson's call to Nantwich charities over 'red tape'

Nantwichnews

MP Edward Timpson is urging Nantwich charities and voluntary organisations to help the Government cut the red tape holding them back.

The Coalition Government wants to create a Task Force to cut bureaucracy and reduce burdens on small organisations.

They say it is vital to make it easier to run a charity, social enterprise or voluntary organisation.

The task force will be chaired by Lord Hodgson, who has spent his career advising and working for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Lord Hodgson says he wants to consult widely across the UK to gain a complete understanding of the issues face by organisations.

Nantwich MP Mr Timpson said: “We all know cutting red tape and the burden of bureaucracy is vital to mobilise the voluntary sector, as well as small businesses.

“The Government recognises it is the organisations who deal with the issues every day who best know where the problems are.

“I hope organisations here in Crewe and Nantwich will take this opportunity to submit their opinions to the task force and really make a difference.”
Contributions should be emailed to red.tape.taskforce@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk

© 2010 Nantwichnews

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MP hits winner

Crewe Blog

Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson netted the crucial equaliser in tightly fought 2-2 draw between Conservative MPs and the Parliamentary press lobby before the Conservative Party conference. The honours were shared in Birmingham as the politicians twice came from behind to secure a well-earned draw. The Conservatives started badly as David Cracknell, formerly of the Sunday Times, put the press ahead early with a speculative long-range lob. But Phillip Lee MP took advantage of a defensive lapse to slot an equaliser coolly past the press keeper in the 17th minute. The teams went in even at half time with the match looking as though it could go either way.

After the break the press again started well; Dan Bentley converted from a scything low cross in the 52nd minute to put them 2-1 ahead. But again they weren’t ahead for long. Edward Timpson MP slipped his marker to score a thumping header from just outside the six yard box and level the scores in the 66th minute. After that neither team could break the deadlock, though the press had a strong appeal for a penalty waved away by the referee. The Crewe and Nantwich MPs equalising goal came as a relief for Conservative player manager Dave hart who said: "It was a good game and it should set things up nicely for the Conference now. It's very keenly contested every year when we play it, just before the Conference starts, and it's a real chance to get bragging rights over them for the rest of the week.”

Edward Timpson said: “It was great to get the equalising goal against the press. After going behind twice it would have been easy to let our heads drop, but the whole team kept fighting ‘til the end and we came away with a share of the points.”

© 2010 Crewe Blog

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

Sunday, 17 October 2010

“No Real Horror at Halloween”

Police Officers say they are determined to prevent real-life horror being part of Halloween for anyone in East Cheshire.
They warn that anyone who uses Halloween night, or any of the time around Halloween and Bonfire Night, as an excuse for anti-social behaviour will face fixed penalty fines or arrest.
Chief Inspector Chris Brierley said, “Halloween can be a worrying time for some people, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable, and we are not going to let an evening which should be fun for the family to turn into a nightmare for someone else.
“We have seen a continuing reduction in the number of anti-social behaviour reports on Halloween over the past few years and we are going to keep it that way.
“We will have additional numbers of officers on duty across the area and we are not going to tolerate vandalism or intimidating behaviour from anyone.
“We hope parents will play their part. They need to accompany their younger children to make sure they are safe and behaving reasonably if they go “Trick or Treating” and they should make sure they know where any teenage children are and what they are doing during the evening.
“A lot of adults will be going to Halloween parties and most of them will behave sensibly and have a good time, but there are always a few who will use the occasion as an excuse for drunken, yobbish behaviour. We warn them now that officers will move in quickly to any reports of trouble developing and some people may spend Halloween in different surroundings than they expected. Our custody suite does not have a great festive atmosphere!”
On the run-up to Halloween Many shops have been asked not to sell eggs to teenagers, to avoid “egging” attacks on houses and Police Community Support Officers have talked about the anti –social behaviour issue when they visited schools.
A window poster with a “yes or no” message for “Trick or Treat”- callers is available in many shops, social centres, libraries and other public buildings. The same poster can be downloaded from the Cheshire Police website, www.cheshire.police.uk and printed.
Chris Brierley said, “Similar posters have proved very popular in the past few years. There are people who just want to be left in peace, and they should have that option.”

 

Don’t let the ‘boo boys’ spoil Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night – Council and partners join forces to tackle anti-social behaviour

Cheshire East Council and its partners are calling on people to celebrate Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night in the right spirit – and lay to rest the spectre of anti-social behaviour.

Residents are joining forces with the Council, local groups and emergency service professionals for a week of community action.

The seven Local Area Partnerships across Cheshire East are working with the Safer Cheshire East Partnership on events running from October 25, as part of ‘Not In My Neighbourhood Week’. This aims to promote local action to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

The scheme encourages the police, fire service, Cheshire East Council, other public services and local communities to work together to keep our streets safe.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “By working together as communities we can really tackle the damaging problem of insensitive or anti-social behaviour.

“Not In My Neighbourhood Week is a fantastic way to achieve this and helps ensure that people can really have a great time during the festivities.”

Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member with responsibility for performance and capacity, said: “Local Area Partnerships have been working hard on numerous schemes and initiatives to help make our communities a safer and cleaner place to live.

“Not In My Neighbourhood Week is a great example of how voluntary, community groups the council and other public bodies can work together to make a real difference in communities.”

As part of the drive to ensure the coming festivities pass off safely, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are appealing for people to attend an organised bonfire or fireworks display to celebrate Bonfire Night.

You can find information about many organised events by visiting the council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk and clicking on ‘What’s On’.

Not In My Neighbourhood Week events across Cheshire East include:

Crewe:

Discover how to carve your very own Hallowe’en pumpkin to scare away the ghosts and ghouls at our pumpkin carving workshops. Pumpkins will be supplied with training from a very spooky teacher!

· Tuesday, October 26, 2pm-4pm, Beech Drive Community Centre

· Wednesday, October 27, 2pm-4pm, St Andrew’s Church Hall

· Thursday, October 28, 2pm-4pm, Crewe Swimming Pool

· Friday, October 29, 12.30pm-2.30pm, Webby’s Community Centre

· Sunday, October 31, noon-2pm, Cumberland Arena

Drop in or book a place with Dawn Clark on 01270 686663 or 07970 533636.

Come along to Frank Webb Avenue play area on Friday, October 29, for the official opening of phase two of this exciting redevelopment of the area. Any children helping with the community clean up and litter pick (10am-noon) may earn themselves FREE cinema tickets for Reel Cinema in Crewe – so join in and make a difference. Other fun activities will be taking place in the play area from noon-3pm. Drop in or contact Deb Lindop for more information on 01270 685505.

For more chances to earn FREE children’s cinema tickets, why not help out at the Valley Ward community litter picks taking place on Friday and Saturday, October 29-30, from 1pm to 3pm. Saturday’s litter pick will be followed by fun activities at Crewe Swimming Pool, including arts and crafts, a pool tour, a witches hat competition and a FREE one-hour pool session at 6pm. To find out how to get involved, contact Pam Minshall on 01270 560795.

(Note: Free cinema tickets available for children aged 8-16 years, limited number of tickets available, terms and conditions apply)

Have a spook-tacular time at the Marshfield Community Centre Hallowe’en Party, on Saturday, October 30. Lots of fun and spooky goings on for children aged 12 and under. To book a place, contact Karl Bennett on 01270 25853.

If you fancy a break from spooky activities, why not enter our Community Football Tournament on Sunday, October 31, at Cumberland Arena. Refreshments and arts activities will be provided for footy fans cheering you along. To book your place, ring 01270 685783.

Why not finish the week off by joining in at Mirion Street Youth Club, on Friday, November 5, from 6pm for a Big Band Night and Drumming Workshop. Drop in or contact Kay Banks for more details on 07985 897770.

Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night can be a fun time but also a potentially-dangerous time. To help to clear our neighbourhoods of materials, which could be used to start a fire, we are providing skips for your use on Friday, October 29, from 9am to 4pm on the Frank Webb field, Derby Docks and Bowen Cooke/McNeil Avenue areas. Please take this opportunity to have a clean up. For any queries, contact Deb Lindop on 01270 685505.

Macclesfield:

A programme of activities will be held at South Park, Macclesfield on Friday, October 29, from 10am to 7.30pm.

Activities include: Home safety assessments by fire and police staff; street football from 1pm-4pm; litter picks and graffiti removal; basketball; face painting; fireworks demonstration at 6pm; and X-Box soccer competitions from 5pm-7.30pm.

Poynton:

Various youth-orientated events including:

  • October 26: X-Box competition at the Hockley Centre;
  • October 27: Multi-training with Council play officers at Deva Park;
  • October 28: X-Box competition in Deva Park;
  • November 3: Multi-training at Deva Park;
  • X-Box competition at the Hockley Centre.

Disley:

The Basement youth club on October 30: barbecue with X-Box competition in the evening.

Congleton:

Hallowe’en event, October 29, from 1pm at Bromley Farm Community Centre, Edinburgh Road, Congleton. Afternoon activities include a disco, henna tattoos, willow weaving and Hallowe’en crafts and, from 5pm-7pm, there will be pumpkin carving, street dance and a football tournament. On October 31, at 7.30pm, there will be a competition at the Community Centre with prizes for the best trick-or-treat costumes. Get involved in your community and you could receive FREE bonfire tickets – terms and condition apply. For further information, contact Glen Williams of Bromley Farm Community Development Trust on 01260 279707.

Nantwich, Knutsford & Wilmslow:

GROW (Garden Regeneration Over Ward) and the In Bloom group are hosting a bulb-planting event focussing on the Shaw Heath Estate, Knutsford, on October 27, from 10am to noon. Cheshire East Council is supplying bulbs. Barclays are offering some volunteer help as part of their ‘Make a Difference’ scheme. More volunteers are very welcome. Contact Marylyn Kerby on 01625 504503.

Also, especially for NIMN week, youth service Connexions is working with the fire service to deliver: activities as part of the youth club session at the Open Arms Youth Project on the Colshaw Estate on Tuesday, October 26, and an activity day at Knutsford Fire Station on Wednesday, October 27.

Battle-hardened ‘Cheshires’ Granted Freedom of Cheshire East

 

Cheshire East Council has saluted the bravery of our battle-hardened local regiment on its return from Afghanistan – by granting it the Freedom of the Borough.

1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) has just returned from active service on the frontline in war-torn Helmand Province.

Cheshire East Mayor Gordon Baxendale had put the motion to honour ‘The Cheshires’ and the three other Mercian battalions before the Council – and it was unanimously backed.

Last night’s Freedom Ceremony, at Congleton Town Hall, was the first granted by Cheshire East Council, which came into being on April 1, 2009.

Representatives of The Mercian Regiment – whose motto is ‘Stand firm, strike hard’ – were given fulsome tributes from Council Leader Wesley Fitzgerald, Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Labour group leader Cllr Dorothy Flude and Independent group leader Cllr Paul Edwards.

Mayor Baxendale presented the regiment with an engraved Honorary Freemen commemorative bowl.

Freedom of the Borough scrolls will be presented to the troops during official homecoming parades at Macclesfield and Crewe on Monday, November 8 and Congleton on Wednesday, November 10.

Cllr Fitzgerald said: “The bravery and dedication of the troops of 1 Mercian in Afghanistan has been inspirational and the Council is deeply proud of its links with, and support for, the regiment.”

Mayor Baxendale said: “I thought it was important to establish and cement the new Council’s friendship with our locally-recruited regiment – by giving them the very first Freedom of the Borough on their return from Afghanistan. The soldiers have been magnificent – and the Council is rightly proud of its links with The Mercian Regiment.”

The servicemen and women of 1 Mercian are recruited from Congleton, Crewe, Holmes Chapel, Middlewich, Macclesfield, Sandbach and across Cheshire West.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield, Commanding Officer 1 Mercian, praised the work done by Cheshire East and its residents to raise the morale of troops during their tour of duty in a war zone.

He particularly praised those responsible for organising and helping the ‘Jiffy bag’ scheme, which collected thousands of parcels of treats to send to 1 Mercian troops in Helmand. Cheshire East Council collections led to more than 750 parcels being donated, with average contents costing £10 per bag. Further collections of DVDs and video games have also boosted troops in hospital recovering from injuries.

Lt Col Hadfield said: “It really has meant a great deal to our troops to know they have had the full support of the people of East Cheshire – they really appreciated it. Being granted the Freedom of the Borough is a great honour.”

Major Eddie Pickering MBE, the Assistant Regimental Secretary, said: “I have been astonished at the generosity of people from every corner of the county, who have supported our troops these last six months – and there have been none as generous as the people of Cheshire East, from fundraising and sending out packages of comforts, to visiting our injured soldiers in hospital.”

Mayor Baxendale added: “The whole promotion of the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) started in Congleton and, with the help of the Cheshire East Council communications team, we have actively worked across the whole area to show our full support for the outstanding work undertaken by our brave men and women.

“The Jiffy bag campaign went a little way to giving practical aid and a boost to morale to the frontline troops.”

The Cheshire’s main role in Helmand is to mentor local security forces and provide security on the ground as part of the development of creating normal, everyday life in Afghanistan.

Cllr Baxendale has named ABF The Soldiers’ Charity as one of the organisations he is fundraising for during his tenure as mayor.

Pioneering Social Network for People Affected by Dementia

DemenShare launch

People with dementia and their carers across central and east Cheshire are being invited to join the UK’s first social networking facility dedicated to people whose lives are affected by the condition.

DemenShare – a national pilot project - has been developed through a partnership led by Cheshire East Council.

It enables people to come together online to discuss the ways in which dementia affects their lives.

Operating in a similar way to Facebook and Twitter, the pioneering website offers users the opportunity to share experiences and find out more about the support and services available.

It is aimed at people whose lives are affected by dementia in a variety of ways including those with a diagnosis, their family, friends and carers, and health professionals.

People accessing GP and hospital services for dementia care will be referred to the website as a key source of support, information and advice.

DemenShare was officially launched at an event at the Tytherington Club in Macclesfield where guests observed a live demonstration and listened to speakers from partner organisations and the Government’s National Dementia Strategy.

The DemenShare partnership – comprising the Council, Age UK Cheshire, Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust and Opportunity Links - was selected from 32 others nationwide to receive a £136,000 Government grant to pilot the scheme.

Councillor Roland Domleo, Cabinet member with responsibilty for adult services, said: “Almost 5,000 people in Cheshire East are diagnosed with dementia, a figure that is predicted to rise significantly over the coming years.

“Together with our partners, we developed DemenShare to respond to a growing need for a comprehensive information and support service.

“By harnessing technology often associated with the young, we have been able to create a welcoming, user-friendly ‘one stop shop’ enabling people to access support and share experiences.

“We are extremely proud in Cheshire East to pioneer this exciting new way of helping all those affected by dementia - it has huge potential to make a positive impact on peoples’ lives.”

Jill Walter, Chief Executive at Age UK Cheshire, said: “This is a unique opportunity to use social networks to increase the level and quality of help for all those who are living with dementia across Cheshire East.

“Age UK Cheshire is really pleased to be part of this innovative partnership.”

Mark Cheverton, Managing Director of Opportunity Links, said: “Social media provides an ideal platform to engage with a wide range of people, to share advice and information online and build support networks.

“We have been able to use our technical experience from similar projects and transfer the learning to DemenShare.”

The website can be found at www.demenshare.com

Under-18s using pub vending machines – let’s stub it out

 

Cheshire East Council’s Consumer Protection and Investigations (CP and I) department have rolled out their successful work with retailers into local pubs in Crewe.

Officers are working closely with five landlords after a recent crackdown on sales of cigarettes to under-18s via vending machines.

Cheshire East Council officers joined forces with Cheshire Constabulary and the Department of Health to conduct the operation earlier this month (October 4-8).

They visited nine pubs in Crewe; using volunteers aged 13 and 14. Five of the premises allowed the teenagers to purchase cigarettes from the vending machine. A sixth sale was prevented by a member of the public.

The owners of the premises are now working closely with officers from CP and I on how to avoid these situations in the future. This follows similar successful work with local retailers as part of Operation Zest last month.

In 2009, MPs supported the Health Bill, now going through the House of Lords, which would outlaw cigarette vending machines in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from October, 2011.

Cheshire East Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “Underage sales are a primary concern of Cheshire East Council. These operations are about tackling the problem whilst educating and advising retailers on good practice.

“I would like to thank the CP and I team for their hard-work. As a result, there are a number of premises taking additional measures to prevent these sales in the future by way of a token which is purchased with cash at bar in order to use the vending machine.”

Kay Roberts, Consumer Protection and Investigations manager, added: “Vending machines are often neglected by bar staff at pubs and restaurants. The proposed ban in October 2011 would be a major step forward in reducing underage sales.

“Meanwhile, our team are taking extra measures to ensure they are regulated as a priority alongside alcohol, knives and other age restricted products.”

Information Bulletin

 

Carriageway repairs – Crewe Road crossroads, Alsager

The next three weekends will see essential repairs made to Crewe Road crossroads in Alsager.

The resurfacing work will take place on consecutive Sundays in an attempt to reduce disruption in the town.

Delays are expected and drivers are being asked to find other routes where possible. Details of the repairs are as follows:

Sunday, October, 17

Sandbach Road North will be closed in both directions. Access to nearby properties will be maintained but may be subject to delays.

The car park at the side of the Civic Centre/Library will be closed throughout the day.

Temporary three-way traffic lights will be in place on Crewe Road, Lawton Road and Sandbach Road South.

Sunday, October, 24

Works taking place Sandbach Road South.

Sandbach Road South will be closed in both directions. The car park close to Intone Fitness Centre (between No. 64/66) will be closed throughout the day.

Temporary two-way traffic lights will be in place on Crewe Road and Lawton Road.

Sunday, October, 31

Works taking place on Sandbach Road North and South, Crewe Road and Lawton Road with temporary four-way traffic lights in place.

ChaMPs commission research into drinking habits and motivations of young people across Cheshire and Merseyside

 

ChaMPs, Cheshire and Merseyside’s Public Health Network have commissioned a research project to explore young people’s attitudes towards alcohol and discover what would motivate them to change their drinking habits. The research will take five months, with the results being available from March 2011 onwards.

The launch of the research project coincides with national Alcohol Awareness Week (11th -18th October). This year the theme of the week, chosen by Alcohol Concern, is young people and their relationship with alcohol.

Four Primary Care Trusts (Sefton, Knowsley, Central & Eastern Cheshire and Western Cheshire) are participating in the research project, which is being delivered through a partnership with the Child Health Development Programme and the North West Regional Youth Work Unit.

Julie Webster, Lead Director of Public Health for alcohol for the Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Network said, “We have seen many reports on the growing concern about young people and alcohol misuse. This is an extremely serious issue and it is vital we look into the causes of it. In general, the interventions and solutions to address this problem are designed by adults and as such they often don’t appeal to young people and struggle to make an impact. This project is all about listening to what young people have to say. We want to hear from them about what would motivate them to reduce their drinking habits to safer levels and get their ideas about services or interventions they think might help.”

The project also ties in with Cheshire & Merseyside local authorities recent endorsement of the proposed recommendations to set a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol. ChaMPs and the lead local authorities have already started the consultation and engagement process.

Cllr Andrew Knowles, Chair of the Cheshire & Warrington Health & Wellbeing Commission and Cheshire East Council, Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Evidence shows that we are taking the right approach to reducing alcohol harm through minimum pricing. Too many lives are blighted by alcohol harm and we are particularly concerned about the effect on young people who can buy alcohol at pocket money prices”.

The results of the research into young people’s attitudes will also be used to help inform future strategies for minimum pricing.

Reading challenge is a real page-turner

 

The statistics are in and this year’s Summer Reading Challenge was the most successful yet.

More than 4,000 (4,200) children in Cheshire East took part in this year’s campaign, called ‘Space Hop’ – an increase of 12.4% compared to last year. Of those who took part, 2,503 completed the challenge, an increase of 13.4%.

The challenge asked four to 11 year-olds to read six books or more and visit their local library four times during the school summer holidays.

Those who completed the Summer Reading Challenge were given a medal and certificate to mark their achievement.

This year’s campaign proved particularly popular with boys: 1,881 took part – an increase of 16.3% on last year.

Staff from Cheshire East Council’s libraries worked alongside local schools to make sure pupils received information on the Summer Reading Challenge and how to join their local library.

Cheshire East Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said:

“I would like to thank everyone involved with Cheshire East Council’s libraries for their hard work. Once again, we have seen improvements on last year’s participation – exceeding expectations.”

“Maintaining a strong link between our schools and local libraries is vital if we are to encourage future generations to enjoy reading and make it part of their everyday lives.”

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Spooky goings-on across Cheshire East this Hallowe’en

 

From guided ghost walks, scary story-telling and creepy craft workshops, there are plenty of events taking place to mark Hallowe’en in Cheshire East this year … read on if you dare.

Middlewich

On Tuesday, October, 26, Middlewich Library will host a ‘Spooky Stories and Crafts’ day.  This is ideal for children of all ages.

For more information, contact Middlewich Library on 01606 832801.

Macclesfield

A ‘Spooky Fun’ evening will take place at Macclesfield library on Thursday, October, 28. The event will include story-telling and craft sessions for children aged five to ten years.

For more information, contact Macclesfield Library on 01625 374000

Holmes Chapel

On Thursday, October, 28 Holmes Chapel Library will play host to a ‘Spooky Stories and Crafts’ event for children aged four to eight.

The children can listen to some creepy Halloween tales while parents can get free advice on in-car child safety from Cheshire East Council’s road safety team.

On Friday, October, 29, Trevor Mooney from Chatwins bakery will be demonstrating his bread-making skills which children aged four and above can join in.

For more information, contact Holmes Chapel Library on 01477 535126.

Alsager

On Friday, October, 29, Alsager Library will be visited by ‘Witches and Wizards’ – a special children’s craft event. Children can wear Hallowe’en fancy dress if they wish to.

For more information, contact Alsager Library on 01270 873552.

Nantwich

Tim Prevett is in town on Thursday, October, 28. The local ghost hunter will take anyone who is brave enough on a haunted tour, followed by scary tales in Nantwich library’s ghoulish grotto. Refreshments will also be served in the form of witches brew and bat biscuits.

For more information, contact Nantwich Library on 01270 375361.

Crewe

On Sunday, October 31, Crewe Lyceum Theatre will play host to ‘Ghostlight’.

The spooky evening will include a backstage theatre tour, a guided ghost walk in Crewe town centre and a haunting tale written and told by author, Sarah Rayne.

The event is a joint production between Crewe Library, Crewe Lyceum Theatre and Crewe and Nantwich Ghost Tours.

A special spooky theatre supper is also available.

Those of a sensitive disposition can choose which of the events they would like to participate in.

For more information, contact Crewe Lyceum Theatre on 01270 537 333.

Cheshire East Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said:

“I would like to thank all the library staff and those at Crewe Lyceum Theatre for organising these events. They really have ensured there is something for everyone this Halloween. It all sounds like spooky stuff and certainly not for the faint-hearted.”

Secondary School Admissions Deadline Approaching

 

Cheshire East parents and carers seeking a secondary school place for their child in September 2011 are being reminded to return their admissions form ahead of the October 31 deadline.

Online applications can be completed via the Council’s website www.cheshireeast.gov.uk – a method used by more than 6,000 parents and carers last year.

Online applicants benefit from being able to view their offer of places on the website on the publication date of March 1.

Parents and carers who prefer to complete a paper application can obtain a form from the Council.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and families, said: “We appreciate how important it is for parents and carers to secure a place at a school of their choice, and we strive to achieve this wherever possible.

“Unfortunately, each year a number of applications are received after the deadline, which can result in a child missing out on a place at their preferred school.

“It is vital that parents and carers return their form before the October 31 deadline to ensure their application is not disadvantaged.”

An application form is available from the school admissions team on 0300 123 5012.

Independent and impartial advice on the admissions process is available from the Council’s choice advisor on 0800 408 2013.

Offers of places will be published on the Council’s website for online applicants only on March 1. Offer letters will be posted to all applicants on this date by second class post.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Crewe & Nantwich Crime News – September 2010

 

Murder Charge at Crewe A 68 years old man was charged with murder after the death of another man in Crewe. Police Officers were called to an address in Walthall Street in the early hours of Saturday September 11th. They found a 28 year old man with serious injuries. The man later died in hospital. The accused man has been remanded in custody and will appear at Chester Crown Court in October.
Arrests Follow M6 Deaths A lorry driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after two men died on the M6 near Sandbach. The men had stopped their cars on the hard shoulder and were out of their vehicles when they were struck by the lorry. The lorry driver, who is 60 and lives in Selby, was released on police bail while investigations are carried out. In a separate M6 incident, also near Sandbach, a van driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after his vehicle was in collision with a car. A ten years old boy travelling in the car was killed.  The van driver has been released on police bail.
Burglary Warning Police have warned people in East Cheshire not to let Autumn 2010 be a “season of mists and burglary”. They point out that shorter days mean longer working hours for burglars.  Detective Inspector Nigel Groom, head of Eastern Area’s Burglary Unit said, “Everyone needs to think about keeping burglars out. The very first crime prevention measure is to lock the door.  In a third of all reported burglaries the criminals have simply walked through a door which was left insecure. We do everything we can to arrest burglars and we have a lot of success but that doesn’t remove the obligation for people to look after their property.” Police also advise people not to leave valuables or keys where they can be seen through a window; to fit timer switches to inside lights and security lights outside.
Jail for Party Attack A man from Nantwich has been sent to prison for two years and three months after attacking another man at a party. Chester Crown Court was told the incident happened when the victim tried to act as a peacemaker in a row. The accused man, aged 24, admitted a charge of causing grievous bodily harm and a charge of assaulting the victim’s girlfriend.
Violence Charge A 36 year old Nantwich man has been committed to Chester Crown Court charged with causing grievous bodily harm and using violence to secure entry into premises. The charges follow an incident on grassland near the River Weaver which left another man with serious injuries.
New Life for Patrol Car A car which spent four years as a Police patrol vehicle is back in public service- saving lives in Nantwich. Cheshire Police has donated the Volvo V70 Estate to the partnership which runs the Nantwich First Responder Service, to replace a worn-out vehicle. It has been modified by the team which maintains the Police vehicle fleet and liveried in the colours of North West Ambulance Service by the Nantwich Car Transplants company. First Responder Gavin Palin said, “I get a lot of calls. This vehicle certainly won’t be standing idle.” Inspector Bob Hassall, in charge of Nantwich Neighbourhood Policing Unit said, “In three years here, I have seen at first hand the high regard and respect people have for Gavin and what he does. We are glad to give that work any help we can.”   

Health Service Workshop

 

Migrants in Cheshire East are being invited to a community workshop designed to explain how the health care system works.

The meeting, which is taking place at the Baptist Church, in Crewe, on Wednesday, October 13, has been organised by the Cheshire East Migrant Project, together with Pathways Community Interest Company and the Primary Care Trust.

The importance of keeping appointments will be explained and there will be a clear flowchart so people understand which health service to approach for particular medical problems.

Attendees will also learn about the importance of screening for cervical cancer and Chlamydia and vaccinations for HPV and flu for those people who are over 65.

Presentations will also cover how to register with a GP’s surgery and information on which services are free as well as access to interpreters and translation.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “Schemes like this are really important to explain to people from outside the UK how our system works and where they need to go to get the best treatment.

“The fact that people don’t speak English that well shouldn’t be a barrier to professional healthcare and I hope as many people as possible attend.”

The workshop is being held from 4.30pm to 6pm at the Baptist Church on Union Street in Crewe and everyone is welcome to attend.

Pupils to spread the message of the 3Rs

JRO's put their heads together to see how they can waste less food. Clockwise from top Nathan Hocknell aged 10 and Emma Hickson aged 9 both of Rode Heath School,  Francesca Dow aged 10 of Hermitage Primary School, Holmes Chapel, Charlott Williams aged 10 fo Bunbury Aldersey Primary School, and Tommy Chatten aged 10 of Hermitage Primary School.

Primary schools in Crewe now have their own Junior Recycling Officers after a special fun-filled induction ceremony at the Victoria Community Centre on Friday, October 1.

The pupils were nominated by their fellow students. They took part in a dance-mat recycling challenge, a Love Food Hate Waste activity, a recycling floor board game as well as an exercise promoting composting.

The officers will now be expected to spread the message of the 3Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle, amongst their friends, family and the whole school community.

The children had their new roles explained to them by Waste Education Officer, Lucinda Hodges, and they were then presented with a rucksack filled with all the information they need to get started, including books, posters and stationery.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, said: “My congratulations go to the organisers of the event. The children learned about the importance of recycling in a fun and engaging way.

“The pupils’ parents and teachers were also invited, to what I am sure was a proud day for all concerned.

“Recycling is something we all need to do and I hope these pupils act as green ambassadors and spread the recycling message amongst their friends and family.”

Photo – >From the top, clockwise: Nathan Hocknell, aged 10, and Emma Hickson, aged 9, both from Rode Heath School; Francesca Dow, aged 10, from Hermitage Primary School in Holmes Chapel; Charlotte Williams, aged 10, from Bunbury Aldersey Primary School; and Tommy Chatten, aged 10, from Hermitage Primary School.

Consultation

 

A public consultation has been launched in relation to the regulation of sexual entertainment venues, such as lap-dancing clubs, within Cheshire East.

People will be able to have their say on whether the Council should adopt Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, which was amended by Section 27 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009.

If adopted, the legislation will mean that the Council has the ability to impose conditions on licences: these could relate to matters such as the hours of opening, the conduct on the premises and the responsibility of the licence holders.

It would also give powers to refuse an application if the Council determines that there are already an appropriate number of similar establishments in the locality.

The Council is currently aware of two venues that would be affected under the new legislation, one in Wilmslow and one in Crewe.

People will also be asked to comment on a draft policy on the licensing of sexual entertainment venues. This would give guidance to people making applications and would set out the Council’s approach to licensing decisions.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “I hope that people will take a look at the legal documents and the draft policy and give us their feedback.

“Consultations such as this are an opportunity for people to have a say on decisions that affect their community.”

The key documents can be viewed on line at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

Council voices its support for National Poetry Day

Poetry Day 1 IMG_8114

Performance poetry and First World War verse shattered the silence at Macclesfield Library – to the delight of visitors.

Readings by Cheshire East Councillor Andrew Knowles and professional verse virtuosos Dominic Berry and Chris Dommett enthralled a crowd of people of all ages and helped celebrate National Poetry Day.

Councillor Knowles, Cabinet Member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, read verse by First World War poets Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon at the event in the town centre library’s own Poets’ Corner.

He said: “It was a very successful event and it was exciting to hear poetry being read by Manchester performance poets Dominic and Chris.

“I chose poetry from the First World War, as I find it very powerful and moving. My grandfather and his brothers fought in that shattering conflict – and not all of them came back.

“Poetry from the Great War is still resonant and relevant today – with our soldiers fighting in various theatres of conflict, such as Afghanistan.

“Our libraries are treasure troves for people of any age to explore the wonderful language and imaginative possibilities of verse.”

Macclesfield Library’s adult stocks specialist Una McLoughlin said: “One woman visitor told me it was the most exciting time she had ever had in a library! The poetry readings really did make your heartbeat surge with excitement.

“The event was popular with people young and old and a great success.”

Since 1994, National Poetry Day has engaged millions of people with poetry through a range of live events and web-based activities for people young and old throughout the country. 

Become a waste reduction volunteer

Bob Edge - waste reduction volunteer

If you are passionate about reducing waste, Cheshire East Council would like to hear from you.

The authority is on the hunt for volunteers to attend several roadshows, advising local residents on reducing waste, composting and making the most of leftover food.

Each volunteer receives training and will be asked to participate in a number of local events, throughout the year and will receive free membership to Garden Organic, the UK’s leading organic growing charity. 

Recruitment will begin in October and anyone who would like to become a waste reduction volunteer can contact the project coordinator on 0300 123 5511 or apply online at: cheshireeast.gov.uk/recycling.

The waste reduction volunteer project is a joint scheme being run by Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council. Training will take place on November 13 and 14.

Cheshire East Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “There are many benefits to becoming a waste reduction volunteer: learning new skills, working in the community and meeting new people.

“Our volunteers are an invaluable resource, providing a direct link with Cheshire East Council and local residents.”

Hayley Wood, Cheshire East Council’s waste reduction volunteer project coordinator, added: “I find it truly fantastic working with such a dedicated bunch of individuals who never cease to amaze me with their enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of food and home composting.

“The project is designed to be insightful, educational but most of all fun. It is always rewarding when the volunteers talk to me about the experiences they’ve had on the many events they have been involved with.”

Case Study

Bob Edge, from Wettenhall, has been working on the Cheshire waste reduction scheme for nearly a year… “I have some 15 years experience of composting and I am an active supporter of waste reduction. I have recently acquired much more knowledge through Cheshire East Council’s training and have learnt from the many experienced people I have met at the variety of events I have attended.

“I am now thoroughly enjoying passing on this knowledge to others. The opportunity to become a volunteer on the Cheshire project came about as I had a growing desire to work with the public and had realised that I was too old for a career change.”

Bin it or you’ll get court! Council cracks down on litter louts

 

Bin it – or you’ll get court! That’s the message to litter louts from Cheshire East Council.

As part of a long-term drive to clean up our streets and parks, Cheshire East’s team of Community Wardens continue to patrol in order to catch people who drop their litter instead of putting it in a bin.

During the last 12 months, Community Wardens have caught numerous litter offenders and issued more than 100 fixed penalty notices with a fine of £75.

Recent action includes the Council’s first successful prosecution of an offender who tried to avoid paying the fixed penalty for dropping litter from a vehicle.

James Collier, of Market Street, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak, was fined £175 by Macclesfield magistrates (on October 8) and ordered to pay £80 costs after failing to pay a litter fixed penalty issued for dropping litter from his vehicle in Cross Street, Macclesfield.

The wardens will continue to take similar action against people caught offending in this manner.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “Carelessly throwing litter from a car window is an illegal activity and will result in £75 fixed penalty notice being issued directly to drivers caught in the act. 

“Not only is it unacceptable to deposit your waste on the roadside, it also spoils our beautiful picturesque countryside, affects tourism and costs thousands of pounds each year to clear up.

“The most annoying thing about road litter is that it is wholly preventable – all motorists have to do is take their litter home, or use a bin.”

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “It’s an ongoing battle to keep our roads clear and looking tidy and we really need drivers’ help to achieve it. 

“Not only is littering unsightly and dangerous if blown into the windscreen of other vehicles, it can also be harmful to wildlife.  We appeal to road users to take their litter home and to stop throwing it out of their car windows.

“Clearing large volumes of needless litter on our road network is a burden on the public purse and on the resources of the Council. It is also dangerous to remove, as it puts our clean-up staff at risk from oncoming traffic.
“At a time when the council has to provide vital services to residents on increasingly tight budgets, this is an expense we can ill afford – as well environmental vandalism.”

Cheshire East Council spent £2.8m on street cleaning in its first financial year. This figure includes mechanical sweeping, manual litter picking, emptying bins, removal of fly-tipping, fly-posters and graffiti and the removal of glass, needles and hazardous products.

A Keep Britain Tidy study found roads and verges are some of the most littered parts of the country. The research showed 22 per cent of lorry drivers and 20 per cent of all motorists admitted to throwing rubbish from their vehicles in the previous six months.

Is alcohol damaging childhood?

 

Alcohol Awareness Week 2010

Cheshire East Council is backing this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week.

The authority has announced its support for the 2010 campaign by Alcohol Concern, which will focus on ’alcohol and childhood’.

This theme will encompass three key areas:

  • Alcohol use by young people;
  • The impact of parental drinking;
  • The influence of alcohol marketing on young people.

Reports on these issues will be released by Alcohol Concern during Alcohol Awareness Week (October 18–24).

A Life Education Centre survey in 2008 found almost a third of children (30%) think that, for adults who drink wine, drinking five or more glasses of wine in one night is normal drinking behaviour.

The survey also found more than a quarter of children (27%) think people who drink beer would normally drink four pints or six bottles in one evening.

Alcohol consumption has nearly doubled since the 1950s and the number of alcohol-related deaths in the UK has increased consistently since the early 1990s.

Out of 324 local authorities in England, Cheshire East currently ranks 156th for binge drinking, 309th for hazardous drinking and 216th for harmful drinking (where a rank of 1 is the best local authority in England and a rank of 326 is the worst).

In the UK in 2009, more than 945,000 people were admitted to hospital for alcohol-related issues.

Statistics recorded by the Northwest Public Health Observatory indicate that hospital admissions for alcohol-related issues in 2008/09, within Cheshire East, were 1600.6 (per 100,000 people) compared to 1480.6 in 2007/08.

Alcohol abuse costs the Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust £31.5m a year.

Cheshire East Council’s website contains information and advice for anyone who has concerns about alcohol misuse. Alternatively, contact the health improvement team on 01270 686 600.

Cheshire East Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:

“Alcohol Awareness Week can go a long way to highlighting the impact alcohol misuse can have on all of us. This isn’t about being killjoys and telling parents not to drink – it is about understanding how alcohol can have a profound affect on children, shaping the way they perceive alcohol in the future.

“As an authority, we have previously voiced concerns about how cheap alcohol is having a significant impact on its misuse – having endorsed recommendations to set a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol. 

“I would like to urge anyone who has concerns about alcohol misuse to contact Alcohol Concern or the health improvement team for confidential advice.”

More information can be found on: www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/alcohol-concern-in-action/campaigning/aaweek and on the Cheshire East Council website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

Friday, 8 October 2010

Silver Surfers swamp the Crosville Club

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A multi agency event at the Crosville club was swamped with people almost fighting to get in. There were long queues of people trying to get into the event outside.

 DSCF2219

The event had Police, NHS, Wulvern dancing demos and of coarse the council and a free lunch went down a winner. There was help on hand from all these agencies and lots to see and do

 DSCF2222

Crewe targeted in counterfeit crackdown

Crewe targeted in counterfeit crackdown

Cheshire East Trading Standards have joined Cheshire Police, HM Revenue & Customs and the Department of Health in a crackdown on counterfeit goods in the Crewe area.

Operation Zest saw the organisations target bootlegged and smuggled tobacco and alcohol, unlicensed medicines and food that does not comply with food labelling regulations.

Six food retailers were visited in the Crewe area, including the town centre. All six were found to have not complied with regulations. Enforcement officers found 85 products on sale which were past their ‘use by’ date and seized 71 bottles of alcohol.

Enforcement officers are now working closely with the retailers to prevent this from happening again in the future.

More than 100,000 cigarettes were also seized from an address in Crewe after a warrant was executed on the property.

The sale of illicit tobacco has close links with organised crime. Duty lost to the Treasury from the sale of illicit tobacco products is estimated to be £2.5 billion a year.

HM Revenue & Customs estimate that 45% of all tobacco seizures are counterfeit; cigarettes that have the appearance of a brand cigarette, but are not produced with a license of the trademark owner.

Eating Food beyond its ‘use by’ date increases the risk of food poisoning from the Listeria food bug, which can be life threatening.

Cheshire East Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said: “This is an excellent example of how Cheshire East Council can work with partner agencies to successfully tackle the problem of illicit products, at the same time as acknowledging that some traders simply require further guidance in order to comply with Trading Standards legislation.”

Kay Roberts, head of Cheshire East Council’s Consumer Protection and Investigations Team, added: “This operation shows our ongoing commitment to protecting residents from being sold illicit products. I hope we have sent a clear message that we will use every law enforcement power at our disposal to stop this illegal trade.”

Anyone with concerns about the sale of illicit products is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Golden Spanner Award

Mystery Shop

A garage in Crewe has become the first member of Cheshire East’s Golden Spanner Garage Approval Scheme to achieve a score of 100% in a mystery shop of the business.

ABP Motorsport of Shavington were visited by an independent assessor and were scored on how they deal with the customer’s initial telephone enquiry, the vehicle delivery, the collection by the customer and the overall standard of workmanship.

The vehicle used for the mystery shop has five faults and the garage will also be scored on how many of the faults they report or rectify.

A garage that scores less than 70% or misses two or more of the faults is considered a fail.

The Garage Approval Scheme was introduced by Trading Standards under Cheshire County Council in 1998 to improve consumer confidence by promoting approved traders and enhance the image of the industry in Cheshire.

Consumers who use the services of a Golden Spanner approved garage do so in the knowledge it is officially recognised as providing high standards of professionalism and customer care.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “My congratulations go to everyone who works at ABP Motorsport. Their honesty, hard work and professionalism all contributed to a perfect score. They cater for customers ranging from 17 to 90 years and people should be reassured that they have such a reputable business on their doorstep.

“Schemes such as the Golden Spanner are designed to give consumers confidence and to reward the businesses that provide high standards of work and customer service.”