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Thursday, 30 December 2010

Happy New year to all our readers

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Xmas is over and its nearly new year what will 2011 bring for us in Crewe

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Over at the park the new climbing frame is nearly in and would have been if the weather wasnt so bad. Hopefully this year we will see the Queens Park fully restored hopefully by May 20111. There will be local election in May and new work on Tesco and the old Homebase stores. Other than that its anyone's guess  but we will be here reporting it unfortunately Crewe TV has taken time out to do other things and his blog will be missed.

Happy New Year

Call for Action on Traffic Gridlock Roundabout

face photo

Councillor Brian Silvester has taken up complaints of residents about the traffic gridlock at peak times at the Crewe Rail Station Roundabout.

He said, "At peak times it is taking 15 minutes to get through the roundabout. The timing of the traffic lights is not co-ordinated and they are not on green long enough so traffic is constantly stop/starting. This leads to traffic stranded on the roundabout when the lights change so that vehicles are unable to move even when the lights are on green. Total traffic gridlock then results.

I have had an on-site meeting with Cheshire East's traffic engineer Chris Shields." He has reported back in the following form.( See e-mail below)

"Early this week one of the pedestrian control buttons had been frozen on, creating a continually pedestrian demand, this has now been resolved.

We have recently commissioned some work to re-programme the signal controllers, this will be completed in the new year, which will hopefully improve matters. We have noted in particular the very short duration of the green signal from the Haslington direction. I will arrange to check what benefits would arise from the introduction of a box marking on the roundabout close to the above."

Cllr Silvester commented," I welcome the action that is to be taken. I suggested that the timing of the lights needs to be looked at as well as the introduction of box markings to prevent the roundabout from becoming completely blocked so traffic cannot move at all. I recognise that this roundabout is operating at over capacity but a lot more can be done to keep the traffic flowing."

Cllr. John Jones( Crewe North) said,

"Whilst I am sure that the inclement weather and extra Christmas traffic is playing it's part in creating extra difficulties at the Station Roundabout it is poor design and poor traffic management that is really to blame. This is just one of the places in Crewe where traffic grinds to a virtual stand still twice a day on a year round basis. In these hard economic times local businesses are finding it hard enough to keep going, thus creating employment for local people, without the extra expense that this traffic chaos causes. Short term alleviation measures will help, but what is really needed is a complete redesign of the road infrastructure. Any future development such as that at Basford East and West can only be put in jeopardy by the current road situation. Would you invest millions of pounds in a town where it regularly takes thirty minutes to do a two mile cross town journey. I call upon the road planners to start work on solving this chaos and to keep the people of Crewe informed of their progress on a regular basis."

Conservative Candidate Selected for Willaston and Rope Ward

Cllr, Brian Silvester has been selected as the Conservative Candidate for the new Willaston and Rope Ward for the Cheshire East Council elections next May.

Cllr Silvester said, " I am delighted to be selected. I have represented Willaston since 1999 and Rope since 2008. I always listen to the views and concerns of local residents, I take action and I report back. I can't solve every problem but I will always try and my constituents appreciate that. I also have a very good working relationship with the two Parish Councils in the Ward. Willaston and Rope need a strong influential voice to represent them to ensure that local people get a fair deal in the big new Cheshire East Council."

Cllr Silvester has served as the Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council and as Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities. He is currently the Chairman of the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee. He is the former Leader of the Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

MP’s News 73

Welcome ...

Merry Christmas and welcome to this my 73rd electronic news bulletin.

This has been both a momentous and contentious year in British politics, seeing the election of a coalition government that has made some real achievements in a few short months, even though many have been based on some difficult yet necessary decision-making.

But of course, there's still lots to do. More challenging times lie ahead in the next 12 months, and the rewards for taking tough action and persevering with our deficit reduction plan will be substantial.

The action we have taken in first 7 months of the coalition government has already reduced the interest payments on the debt we would have been paying if we had stuck to the previous government’s plans by many billions of pounds.

In Crewe and Nantwich there are signs that confidence is increasing and community resolve and spirit is hardening.

Bentley, our biggest employer, is doing better, small businesses are starting up and expanding, and Queens Park is to be finished next year, to name but a few.

But there's no room for complacency. We need to continue to help create the environment that makes Britain open for business, and in that Crewe and Nantwich has an important part to play. I will continue on your behalf to push hard for and in the interests of the whole constituency both locally and nationally.

On a personal note I would like to thank the people of Crewe and Nantwich for their consistent good humour, constructive criticism, encouragement and support.

I remain humbled by the honour of being your representative in Westminster and look forward to working with you all in the year ahead. In the meantime have a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Please 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 ...

  • Met with regional representatives from Royal Mail, to discuss the disruption of postal services throughout Crewe & Nantwich.
  • Met with local Royal Mail staff from Crewe & Nantwich, in Parliament, to hear at first hand about the ongoing problems with the postal services in the constituency.
  • Held a Constituents' Surgery at my office in Crewe.
  • Met with The Family Fund to discuss the support available for local families with disabled children who use the service.  I was pleased to learn that this week the government guaranteed continued funding for the Family Fund through to at least 2015.
  • Met with representatives from Life Education Centres, to discuss their work in the constituency, improving health education for children.
  • Spoke in Parliament on the need to ensure that our emergency services, in particular our ambulance services, have the right support, resources, information and equipment to continue to deliver a fully operating service during the severe winter weather.
  • Visited the Horizons Centre for Looked After Children in Ealing London, as part of my Cross-Party Inquiry into the educational attainment of children in care. 

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Photos & Video ...

Main Content Inline Small

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

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LATH group in Crewe tackles homelessness

BBC Stoke and Staffordshire

Homeless men over the age of 30 in the south Cheshire town of Crewe, find it harder than any other group to get the help and support they need.

That is according to new research by the Looking After The Homeless (LATH) group, which says more agencies offer support for women and young people.

LATH was set up last year to bring together charities and services already helping homeless people in Crewe.

It is planning to open a drop-in centre and homeless shelter in the town.

One of the LATH Group members, Nick (he did not want to reveal his real name), talked to BBC Radio Stoke about his experience.

Life fell apart

He described how three years ago, after his business went bankrupt, his life fell apart and very quickly he ended up penniless and on the streets of Crewe.

He said: "A major problem I had is where to go for help. Initially I went to the library and thought there must be some posters or something there to direct me for help... and there was nothing."

"Even the local police station - they had no posters or anything," he added.

"The housing people, I went to see them to see if they could help me, but it seemed to be that my age was against me. And my sex, being a male over sort of 30, there was no support."

Nick now has somewhere to live and has a job.

Major agencies

LATH comprises members from all the major agencies involved in caring for the needy and homeless of all age including CAB, Cheshire East Council, Cheshire Police, Churches Together, Connexions, Salvation Army, Samaritans, Shelter, St Vincent de Paul Society and the YMCA.

Members of the Public (including a former homeless person) are also involved and it has the support of the local MP, Mr Edward Timpson.

Its mission statement is "To ease the plight of the homeless in the Crewe area, with the long term aim of eliminating it altogether".

Anyone wishing to contact LATH about homelessness can call 01270 503364. Office is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

© BBC MMX

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Plans at an advanced stage for the Battle of Nantwich re-enactment on Holly Holy Day

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

FINAL plans are being made for staging the annual Holly Holy Day celebrations in Nantwich next month.

In a much-loved local tradition, the event commemorates the 1644 Siege and Battle of Nantwich.

The format will follow last year’s highly successful expanded version of the event, which was designed to provide a broader appeal and an even bigger sense of occasion in the town.

As well as the colourful parade and battle re-enactment there will be a range of town centre entertainment and attractions from first thing in the morning onwards.

Holly button holes will also again be on sale, with proceeds to be donated to a local good cause.
Holly Holy Day Society chairman Shaun Cafferty said: “We have made a few adjustments from last time based on our experiences, but the general consensus was that the atmosphere and sense of occasion was fantastic.

“The morning activities added to the traditional parade and battle taking place in the afternoon, and offered alternative amusement for those who didn’t necessarily want to stand in a cold muddy field for their fun!

“People really embraced the event. It was estimated that the numbers in town that day were four times the average for a January Saturday!”

MP Edward Timpson was among them that day and has been a keen supporter and patron of the event for a number of years.

He said: “Holly Holy Day is always a great excuse for a day out for anyone in South Cheshire and beyond.

“It really puts Nantwich on the map and provides a much-needed boost for local businesses who may be experiencing a post-Christmas slump.”

Holly Holy Day takes place on Saturday, January 22. For more information, visit www.hollyholyday.org.uk.

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Holly Holy Day set to be best yet

Crewe and Nantwich Guardian

THE annual Holly Holy Day celebration in Nantwich next January looks set to be one of the biggest yet.

The popular local tradition commemorates the 1644 Siege and Battle of Nantwich.

The format will follow last year’s highly successful expanded version of the event, which was designed to provide a broader appeal and an even bigger sense of occasion in the town.

As well as the colourful parade and battle re-enactment, there will be a range of town centre entertainments and attractions from first thing in the morning onwards.

There will again be stage performances by X Academy and The Nantwich Players, A Living History exhibition and mounted troopers parading through the town.

Further plans include a hog roast, Punch and Judy Show and children’s entertainer.

It is also hoped to have a band, as well as some other 17th century entertainments, including music and a musketry demonstration.

Holly button holes will also again be on sale, with proceeds to be donated to a local good cause.

The Holly Holy Day Society’s Shaun Cafferty said: “We have made a few adjustments from last time based on our experiences, but the general consensus was that the atmosphere and sense of occasion in the town was fantastic.

“The morning activities added to add to the traditional parade and battle taking place in the afternoon, and offered alternative amusement for those who didn’t necessarily want to stand in a cold muddy field for their fun!

“People really embraced the event. It was estimated that the numbers in town that day were four times the average for a January Saturday!"

Local Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has been a keen supporter and patron of the event for a number of years.

He said: “Holly Holy Day is always a great excuse for a day out for anyone in South Cheshire and beyond.

“It really puts Nantwich on the map and provides a much needed boost for local businesses who may be experiencing a post Christmas slump.”

Holly Holy Day takes place on Saturday January 22 starting at 9.30am in the town centre, with the battle re-enactment commencing on Mill Island at 2pm.

© 2010 Newsquest Media Group

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Hundreds attend balloon release in memory of Crewe toddler Leo Messam who tragically died in house fire

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

Hundreds attend balloon release in memory of Crewe toddler Leo Messam who tragically died in house fire

THE sky over Crewe was a mass of colour on Saturday as hundreds of balloons were released in memory of Leo Messam.

People of all ages turned out on a cold, damp morning to celebrate the life of the toddler who was tragically killed in a house fire on Myrtle Street two weeks ago.

The balloon release came just days after the little boy would have celebrated his second birthday.

It was attended by Leo’s parents, Charlotte Banks and Taurean Messam, and his brothers, Tyrese, three, and three-month-old Dannon.

A clearly emotional Taurean was overwhelmed with the support from local people.
“I want to say thanks to everyone who has turned up here today,” he told the Chronicle, as he held his baby son. “And thank you to everyone who has helped us.”

The event was organised by Taurean’s cousin, Carmen Messam.

She too was delighted at the turnout.

“Without all these people giving up their time and turning out, it would never have happened,” said Carmen.

“I can’t thank people enough for their support. They have been fabulous.”

Her comments were echoed by Taurean’s mum Nerica Steele.

“Again, I want to say a big thank you to everybody that’s turned up,” said Leo’s grandmother.

“People are suffering with colds and they’re ill and for them to come out in weather like this it’s unbelievable.”

As midday approached, the crowd gathered around the town’s war memorial fell silent.

When the clock struck 12, hundreds of balloons were released, brightening up the grey, overcast sky.

Then the assembled crowds clapped and cheers went up from the toddler’s family.

One balloon seemed to hover for longer than the rest – the balloon in the shape of the figure 2 was extra poignant as little Leo died just days before his second birthday.

Among the crowd of family, friends and well-wishers were a number of Crewe councillors, a former Crewe & Nantwich Mayor Steve Roberts and local MP Edward Timpson.

Mr Timpson said afterwards: “This morning’s celebration of Leo’s life and the huge support from the local community brings home how widespread the sense of loss is felt. My thoughts are with the family.”

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Crewe has second worst postal service in mainland Britain, official report says

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

SOUTH Cheshire residents and businesses are getting the second worst postal service in mainland Britain – and that’s official.

Latest figures released in Royal Mail’s performance report shows only 88.9% of first class post was delivered on time in the third quarter of the year.

This puts the CW postcode area at 120th in a table of 121 main postcode areas in England, Scotland and Wales. Only Wigan has a worse record.

The figures correspond to a time when the Weston Road sorting office closed and work was transferred from Crewe to Warrington.

The move involved about 600 workers transferring amid protests and warnings the service would suffer.
This week Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson said: “We don’t need an official report to tell us how bad the service has become for Crewe and Nantwich. This has been the most common complaint that I have received in recent months.

“This is hitting everyone hard, from businesses to residents and the visually impaired who, upsettingly, are not receiving their talking newspaper tapes.

“I always told Royal Mail that the postal service would suffer when they decided to take so many jobs away from Crewe, but they didn’t listen. I have requested a meeting with senior management as soon as possible to discuss the issue.”

A Royal Mail spokesman said the quality of service report referred to July to September, when the mail centre in Warrington was experiencing temporary teething problems which have been addressed.

“More recently, we have made essential changes to our delivery operation in Crewe and we apologise to any customers who have experienced mail delays while these changes bed in,” he said.

“We continue to work hard with our staff in delivery and processing to ensure all our customers receive the quality of service they rightly expect.”

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Brine Leas High School pupils in Nantwich present poverty petition to MP Edward Timpson

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

STUDENTS from Brine Leas High School met their MP last week to present a hand-print petition campaigning against world poverty.

Edward Timpson received the petition, which encouraged the Government to remain committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals set in 2000.

Year 7 pupils Olivia Clark, Malin Audermaher, Daniel Skellon and Fin Preston heard about the campaign when St Mary’s Church rector Peter Chantry came into school to take assembly.

The Rev Chantry said: “Around the world so many people live without the basic necessities that we take for granted, like access to clean water, medication and education.

“The Millennium Development Goals were set to help the poorest people out of their poverty.
“I’ve been encouraging students at Brine Leas and members of St Mary’s Church to join the campaign and to draw around their hand to add their weight to the appeal.”

Mr Timpson received the petition at his Crewe office and told the pupils about the Government’s programme of Overseas Aid, stating that the Government remained committed to achieving the goals set.

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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MP Edward Timpson visits Sainsbury's store in Nantwich

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

MP Edward Timpson visits Sainsbury’s store in Nantwich

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson made a special visit to Sainsbury’s in Nantwich to find out about the store’s charity activities.

Mr Timpson chatted to staff at the Middlewich Road store and learned how they support the community and charities through fundraising.

He was particularly interested in the success of the Active Kids programme, which has helped to donate sports, cooking and gardening equipment to schools in Nantwich.

Active Kids has helped to donate £100m worth of equipment to schools and community groups across the UK since the initiative began in 2005.

The Nantwich store’s school programme was of great interest to Mr Timpson especially the promotion of Fairtrade products, healthy eating, waste reduction and protecting of the environment
Store manager Pete Jones said: “Sainsbury’s prides itself on being a great place to work and we are delighted to have shown Edward how active we are in the local community”.

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Haslington bakery celebrates 10th anniversary

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

Haslington bakery celebrates 10th anniversary

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson was special guest at an afternoon tea to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a Haslington bakery.

Mr Timpson cut the celebration cake before chatting to customers and suppliers at Food for Thought Bakery as he enjoyed a glass of champagne and food laid on by bakery owners Judy McNeill and Lee Allen.

Lee said: “The bakery was set up 10 years ago and provides food that has no chemical additives.

“It has gone from strength to strength producing not only craft-made bread and cakes but also supplying best quality home- cooked meats, local cheeses and bakery prepared salads, grills and pies, etc.”

Food for Thought is a regular attender at Nantwich Farmers’ Market and various craft fairs.
Its take-out business has grown and includes business and leisure buffets as well as celebration cakes and other food.

The owners thanked their customers and suppliers.

“Here’s to the next 10 years,” said Judy. “With many thanks to our loyal customers and suppliers for the last 10.”

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Stay Safe at Xmas

During the next week in particular many of us may be finishing off our Christmas shopping or delivering presents to friends and family.  During this period please take extra care in terms of personal safety and vehicle security to ensure that you don't fall foul of opportunist thieves.
Whilst out shopping:

  • Try and park in a well lit and safe place that you feel comfortable returning to if it has gone dark by the time you return to your vehicle
  • Try and avoid returning to your car with bags of shopping mid trip and if you do have to do so be mindful of anyone suspicious people loitering around watching you put your items in your car.
  • Keep an eye on how many shopping bags you have in total.  It is easy to stop for a drink and leave one behind or for someone to sneak one away whilst you are talking / getting a drink.
  • Take extra care not to leave anything on show in your vehicle.  This can include shopping bags, parcels you might have picked up from the post office and Christmas Cards.  The items may not be particular valuable but bear in mind a thief may take the chance to find out - they may hope to find some cash in a Christmas card or some newly bought items that they can sell on or pass off as their own gifts.
  • As many of us finish our present shopping and go out food shopping be mindful of the security of your purses and wallets.  During this time stores are much busier and it is easy to be jostled about more.  Many of us are rushing around finishing jobs and it is easy to become more distracted than usual.  Take extra time to ensure that you secure your purse / wallets back in a secure place - zipped in your handbag or in a zipped secure pocket - if you have a purse alarm or purse bell make sure you use it.  Many people will be in a rush around you - don't be pressured into throwing your purse into a shopping back or not putting yourself in order because of someone tutting in a hurry behind you in a queue.  Men - never carry your wallets in your back pocket as this is an extremely easy place for pick pockets to access without you being alerted.

Whilst Visiting Family / Delivering presents:
  • If you are heading out to drop off presents ensure that if it is going to be dark that you switch a light on at home to make is seem as though someone is in.  
  • Many of us will load the car up with presents for several friends/family members and go on a present run.  Ensure that any presents that aren't being dropped off at this stop are secured in the boot.  Over the weekend - there has been an instance of wrapped presents that were left tucked under the drivers seat being taken from a vehicle in the Congleton area.  As such it is important to remove them from sight altogether.

I sincerely hope that everyone will have an enjoyable and crime free festive period.  However, as always, if anyone does have any issues or witnesses anything out of the ordinary or suspicious please contact Cheshire Police via 999 if an emergency (danger to life and limb/incident in progress) or via the non emergency number of 0845 458 0000 for all other incidents / concerns.  If anyone wants to report anything anonymously, please contact Cheshire Crime Stoppers via 0800 555 111.

All Change For Crewe – regeneration plans take big step forward

 

Cheshire East Council has given the green light to new moves to make an ambitious vision for the regeneration of Crewe a reality.

The authority’s Cabinet this week (Monday, December 20) backed steps to appoint a ‘Delivery Executive’ and partnership board to drive the exciting development forward.

It follows last month’s historic signing of a ‘Concordat’ by the leaders of the local Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties – and the Mayor of Crewe – in a public show of joint support for moves to turn Crewe and the surrounding area into an ‘economic powerhouse’ by 2031.

Over the past year, consultants appointed to advise the Council, working with key stakeholders, have identified what they believe needs to be done to ‘unlock’ the huge potential of the town and surrounding area and turn it into a leading player in Britain’s 21st century economy. This vision is called ‘All Change for Crewe’.

Now Cheshire East is seeking to appoint – or partner with – a talented and commercially-minded Delivery Executive.

This person, or body, will lead and drive forward schemes for regeneration, development and growth and ensure they are delivered effectively. He, or she, will also be accountable for evaluation and monitoring of this important strategic project.

It has become very clear over recent months that local people want to see early action on a number of important developments in Crewe.

In these tough economic times, the Council feels it is imperative to harness the energy and expertise of the private sector to make the vision a reality.

The Council is working with key stakeholders and partners to turn the town and surrounding area into a leading player in Britain’s 21st century economy.

Cheshire East Council Leader Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald said: “The recent signing of a historic Concordat demonstrated the determination across the main political parties of the Council to achieve an ambitious and lasting regeneration of Crewe.

“Now the Council has agreed to move forward with the steps to help make this vision a reality.”

Cllr Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “Following the public consultation, there’s clearly huge support for the priorities that we have identified.

“As partners, we recognise that assertive leadership will be needed to propel projects into effective delivery.

“It is critical at this point to engage the skills, expertise and drive of the private sector to deliver our growth ambitions, including the delivery of a new rail gateway, Basford regional employment sites and redevelopment of the town centre.”

Consultants have identified how the Council and other partner agencies can unlock what they see as the tremendous potential of Crewe over the next 20 years.

The focus is on increasing economic productivity and performance, which is underpinned by five key strategic themes which are to:

● Radically improve strategic transport links and create a state-of-the-art broadband internet network;

● Develop a more diversified ‘knowledge economy’ that attracts and keeps hi-tech firms and skilled workers;

● Enhance the attractiveness of Crewe as a place to live and work – including boosting schools and local transport and expanding the town’s population;

● Develop key underutilised sites – including the Basford East investment site, Crewe rail station and the town centre;

● Improve the town’s public image and leadership.

A revamped Crewe train station and town centre and the completion of the Crewe Green Link Road will be at the heart of several major projects planned to revitalise the town and the surrounding region. Other priority schemes identified include the development of Basford, the expansion of house building projects and a ‘next generation’ broadband network for Crewe.

These would build on substantial projects already completed or underway to improve the attractiveness of Crewe as a place to work and live – such as the £1.7m refurbishment of Lyceum Square and the £6.5m ongoing restoration of Queens Park.

Attracting more educated, skilled and ambitious workers to Crewe would boost the economy and be central to plans for the town to become a dynamic regional centre in the next 20 years. The aim is to increase the economy by £850m per year by 2031.

Cheshire East held several weeks of public engagement events and provided an online questionnaire to seek the public’s views on what the priorities for the regeneration of Crewe should be. The consultation ended on December 6.

For further information about All Change For Crewe, visit the Council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/allchangeforcrewe

Monday, 20 December 2010

What a sick world we live in

On Saturday on  busy West St in Crewe at 3:15 a pensioner was walking on the foot path opposite the late shop close to the edge of the pavement due to the ice conditions. Two hoodies aged about 17 years walked towards the man and for no reason whatsoever shoulder barged the man to try and knock him into the road. The two yobs seemed to think it was funny. If the old man had fallen into the ice road he could easily have been run over by a passing car. The old man may have had medical conditions like a bad heart.

Its a sad sick world when yobs like this make it unsafe for us to walk the street in peace and its more sickening that this can happen in the middle of the day on a main street. so much for Xmas spirit. If by chance anyone knows these yobs report who they are as next time it may be an old cripple lady as they may think that is funnier.

PLEA TO SAVE A HISTORIC CREWE BUILDING.

 

Cllr Brian Silvester said," I have asked the Cheshire East Council if it would be possible to list 'The Earl' in Nantwich Road, Crewe to substantially preserve the exterior of the building now that it is owned by Aldi and in danger of being demolished. The response from the Council is below. The Earl of Crewe is already locally listed by the Council as a building of local historical interest. It was built in 1897 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victora. Crewe  does not have many historical buildings and it would be a shame if this building of historical  merit was lost. If Aldi do eventually obtain permission to develop the site I would hope they can design a development that substantially retains the existing distinguished and historical exterior of the building."

Crewe Councillor Derek Bebbington said," I was disappointed to discover that the pub has been closed and the new owners may be considering demolishing the building.  In recent years we have seen the appearance and character of our town change so much, because many of our older buildings , like the Chetwode Arms, have been demolished to make way for roads and shopping centres. In more recent years, we have seen many public houses knocked down and replaced with yet more shops and houses. The Earl of Crewe was built in 1897, is a locally listed building and adds a lot to the appearance and character of Nantwich Road.  Demolishing this building will completely change the area and we ask that Aldi listen to the people of Crewe ,retain the building and incorporate it into any plans for the site."

Brian Silvester
Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

Tel/fax 01270 567757

PRESS STATEMENT FROM CLLR. DEREK BEBBINGTON

I am pleased to hear that Cheshire East Council have listened to our  concerns regarding the closure of the information desk on Crewe Bus station and they have granted a stay of execution and the office  will now not close on the 31st December. 
The information desk on Crewe Bus station provides a very important service. The people who work on the information desk have done so for years, they have a wealth of experience and know the Cheshire transport system inside out. They are both professional and friendly, the service provided can not be replaced by computers or a voice at the end of the telephone.                            

Many people have come to rely upon the service and I always find their office to be full of people asking for help.
I for one will continue pushing for the information desk to stay open permanently

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Enhancing the visitor experience in Cheshire East

Visitors pic

Businesses in Cheshire East are being urged to promote their own towns with pride, passion and enthusiasm.

People working in visitor economy businesses are receiving training on how to help enhance the visitor experience.

As part of Cheshire East’s Economic Recovery Task Group, the first of the new Welcoming Visitors programme events was held in Knutsford.

The courses plan to instil a growing awareness and pride in Cheshire East as a prominent and vibrant tourist destination.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “These events will address key points along the visitor journey and ensure that visitor economy businesses have accurate product knowledge.

“We want businesses to support each other to create a greater tourism experience for visitors. This could be simply to give correct, concise and relevant directions to places of interest in that town.

“I am pleased with the turnout at the Knutsford event and I hope that this will be repeated at the next few dates.”

The next events are:

· Ramada Encore Hotel, Crewe – January 25

· Congleton Town Hall – February 15

· Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield – March 22

Any businesses interested in joining one of the programmes should email Richard Milkins at richard.milkins@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Cheshire East urges people to ‘love thy neighbour’

Kay Roberts NNS

Cheshire East Council is launching a nominated neighbour scheme to tackle bogus callers and distraction thefts.

The project, developed by the Council’s consumer protection and investigations team, is designed to help vulnerable people who are known targets for criminals who cold call at their homes.

It will mean people can be protected by someone they know and trust, such as a neighbour or relative.

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

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

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “People have a right to live safely and independently in their own homes. However, not everyone has the confidence to deal robustly with callers at their door.

“Sadly bogus callers target the vulnerable people in our communities and abuse their trust. Apart from the financial loss, the emotional cost to the person targeted can be significant.
“This scheme sends a clear message that our community is standing together to tackle this type of criminality. I am pleased the scheme is being rolled out throughout Cheshire East and that more people will benefit from the practical safety net it provides.

“If you have an elderly or vulnerable neighbour or relative, then please come forward as a nominated neighbour for them. Our aim is to encourage as many people as possible to take up the scheme and reduce the number of victims.”

This scheme will help limit the opportunity for doorstep callers to con their way into homes. Once they fail to gain access and the community is alert to their activities it will act as a strong deterrent to stop them returning in the future.

To obtain a nominated neighbour, call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Crewe Christmas lights switch-on is big success

IMG_1577

Hundreds of revellers turned out for the Christmas lights switch-on event in Crewe town centre.

The full cast of the Crewe Christmas panto Aladdin were on hand to join in with the fun as residents braved the freezing temperatures, on Thursday night (December 9).

A host of activities were kicked off by Chris Stubbs, of local performance theatre group Catz, who performed a number of songs for the crowd.

Also performing on the night were singer Tom Seals and the 30-strong St Mary’s Catholic Primary School choir before the big switch-on, performed by Crewe Mayor Councillor Jacquie Weatherill.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “This was an extremely enjoyable event for all concerned and I was pleased that so many people made the effort to celebrate it.

“We worked with the Crewe Charter Trustees on this event, showing our commitment to improving community life.”

A three-hour Signal Radio roadshow was hosted by presenter Chris Bovaird and mince pies were handed out, courtesy of Gregg’s bakers.

Children enjoyed fun fair rides and met members of the panto cast, including Waterloo Road favourites Tachia Newall who plays the Genie of the Lamp and Ayesha Gwiltt, who plays the Spirit of the Ring.

Children’s TV star Katie Sheridan, who plays Sophie Newton in Genie In The House and Princess Baldroubador in Aladdin, was also there, as was Leon Craig, who plays Widow Twankey.

Visitors were also able to enjoy a spot of late night shopping and Father Christmas was on hand to greet youngsters.

Councillor Chris Thorley, ward member for Crewe East, added: “I was delighted to see the lights switch-on event return to the Market Square. There was a very festive atmosphere in the air and it provided a nice boost to local traders.”

Friday, 10 December 2010

Mp’s News Letter

Welcome ...

Welcome to this my 72nd electronic news bulletin.

This week has seen some tumultuous scenes in London with Parliament passing changes to university fees.  The coalition government is facing up to this difficult decision for the long term interests of our country.  The old system was financially unsustainable.  The new system will make university tuition fairer than any alternative system such as a graduate tax, with no-one paying anything back until they earn £21,000 and significant benefits to part-time students, which accounts for over 40% of all courses .  The new funding structure will enable universities to fund themselves by costing the richest more and the poorest least.

Please 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 ...

  • Met with the Chief Executive of the Letterbox Club, a national organisation supporting learning for vulnerable young people and care leavers
  • Met with pupil ambassadors from Crewe & Nantwich, to discuss the Student School Sports Partnership about how we can make the system more sustainable and less bureaucratic.  We were fortunate also to meet with Olympic gold medalist and heptathlete Denise Lewis 
  • Met with representatives from the National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy, to discuss increasing awareness and support in our communities
  • Met with local representative of the Magistrate Courts system, to discuss the challenges to young offenders and children in custody
  • Been elected as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children & Care Leavers, where we can work to raise awareness and support for vulnerable young people across the UK

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Photos & Video ...

Main Content Inline Small

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

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Hundreds attend balloon release in memory of Crewe toddler Leo Messam who tragically died in house fire

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

Hundreds attend balloon release in memory of Crewe toddler Leo Messam who tragically died in house fire

THE sky over Crewe was a mass of colour on Saturday as hundreds of balloons were released in memory of Leo Messam.

People of all ages turned out on a cold, damp morning to celebrate the life of the toddler who was tragically killed in a house fire on Myrtle Street two weeks ago.

The balloon release came just days after the little boy would have celebrated his second birthday.

It was attended by Leo’s parents, Charlotte Banks and Taurean Messam, and his brothers, Tyrese, three, and three-month-old Dannon.

A clearly emotional Taurean was overwhelmed with the support from local people.
“I want to say thanks to everyone who has turned up here today,” he told the Chronicle, as he held his baby son. “And thank you to everyone who has helped us.”

The event was organised by Taurean’s cousin, Carmen Messam.

She too was delighted at the turnout.

“Without all these people giving up their time and turning out, it would never have happened,” said Carmen.

“I can’t thank people enough for their support. They have been fabulous.”

Her comments were echoed by Taurean’s mum Nerica Steele.

“Again, I want to say a big thank you to everybody that’s turned up,” said Leo’s grandmother.

“People are suffering with colds and they’re ill and for them to come out in weather like this it’s unbelievable.”

As midday approached, the crowd gathered around the town’s war memorial fell silent.

When the clock struck 12, hundreds of balloons were released, brightening up the grey, overcast sky.

Then the assembled crowds clapped and cheers went up from the toddler’s family.

One balloon seemed to hover for longer than the rest – the balloon in the shape of the figure 2 was extra poignant as little Leo died just days before his second birthday.

Among the crowd of family, friends and well-wishers were a number of Crewe councillors, a former Crewe & Nantwich Mayor Steve Roberts and local MP Edward Timpson.

Mr Timpson said afterwards: “This morning’s celebration of Leo’s life and the huge support from the local community brings home how widespread the sense of loss is felt. My thoughts are with the family.”

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Crewe has second worst postal service in mainland Britain, official report says

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

SOUTH Cheshire residents and businesses are getting the second worst postal service in mainland Britain – and that’s official.

Latest figures released in Royal Mail’s performance report shows only 88.9% of first class post was delivered on time in the third quarter of the year.

This puts the CW postcode area at 120th in a table of 121 main postcode areas in England, Scotland and Wales. Only Wigan has a worse record.

The figures correspond to a time when the Weston Road sorting office closed and work was transferred from Crewe to Warrington.

The move involved about 600 workers transferring amid protests and warnings the service would suffer.
This week Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson said: “We don’t need an official report to tell us how bad the service has become for Crewe and Nantwich. This has been the most common complaint that I have received in recent months.

“This is hitting everyone hard, from businesses to residents and the visually impaired who, upsettingly, are not receiving their talking newspaper tapes.

“I always told Royal Mail that the postal service would suffer when they decided to take so many jobs away from Crewe, but they didn’t listen. I have requested a meeting with senior management as soon as possible to discuss the issue.”

A Royal Mail spokesman said the quality of service report referred to July to September, when the mail centre in Warrington was experiencing temporary teething problems which have been addressed.

“More recently, we have made essential changes to our delivery operation in Crewe and we apologise to any customers who have experienced mail delays while these changes bed in,” he said.

“We continue to work hard with our staff in delivery and processing to ensure all our customers receive the quality of service they rightly expect.”

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Brine Leas High School pupils in Nantwich present poverty petition to MP Edward Timpson

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

STUDENTS from Brine Leas High School met their MP last week to present a hand-print petition campaigning against world poverty.

Edward Timpson received the petition, which encouraged the Government to remain committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals set in 2000.

Year 7 pupils Olivia Clark, Malin Audermaher, Daniel Skellon and Fin Preston heard about the campaign when St Mary’s Church rector Peter Chantry came into school to take assembly.

The Rev Chantry said: “Around the world so many people live without the basic necessities that we take for granted, like access to clean water, medication and education.

“The Millennium Development Goals were set to help the poorest people out of their poverty.
“I’ve been encouraging students at Brine Leas and members of St Mary’s Church to join the campaign and to draw around their hand to add their weight to the appeal.”

Mr Timpson received the petition at his Crewe office and told the pupils about the Government’s programme of Overseas Aid, stating that the Government remained committed to achieving the goals set.

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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MP Edward Timpson visits Sainsbury's store in Nantwich

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson made a special visit to Sainsbury’s in Nantwich to find out about the store’s charity activities.

Mr Timpson chatted to staff at the Middlewich Road store and learned how they support the community and charities through fundraising.

He was particularly interested in the success of the Active Kids programme, which has helped to donate sports, cooking and gardening equipment to schools in Nantwich.

Active Kids has helped to donate £100m worth of equipment to schools and community groups across the UK since the initiative began in 2005.

The Nantwich store’s school programme was of great interest to Mr Timpson especially the promotion of Fairtrade products, healthy eating, waste reduction and protecting of the environment

Store manager Pete Jones said: “Sainsbury’s prides itself on being a great place to work and we are delighted to have shown Edward how active we are in the local community”.

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Haslington bakery celebrates 10th anniversary

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson was special guest at an afternoon tea to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a Haslington bakery.

Mr Timpson cut the celebration cake before chatting to customers and suppliers at Food for Thought Bakery as he enjoyed a glass of champagne and food laid on by bakery owners Judy McNeill and Lee Allen.

Lee said: “The bakery was set up 10 years ago and provides food that has no chemical additives.

“It has gone from strength to strength producing not only craft-made bread and cakes but also supplying best quality home- cooked meats, local cheeses and bakery prepared salads, grills and pies, etc.”

Food for Thought is a regular attender at Nantwich Farmers’ Market and various craft fairs.
Its take-out business has grown and includes business and leisure buffets as well as celebration cakes and other food.

The owners thanked their customers and suppliers.

“Here’s to the next 10 years,” said Judy. “With many thanks to our loyal customers and suppliers for the last 10.”

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Big plans unveiled for Holly Holy Day in Nantwich

Nantwichnews

Organisers of the annual Holly Holy Day celebrations in Nantwich hope next month’s event will be bigger and better than ever before.

The event, which commemorates the 1644 Siege and Battle of Nantwich, was expanded last year to provide a broader appeal and a bigger sense of occasion in the town.

As well as the parade and battle re-enactment on Mill Island, there will be town centre entertainment and attractions throughout the day.

These include stage performances by X Academy and Nantwich Players, and a Living History exhibition and mounted troopers parading through the town.

Further plans include a hog roast, Punch and Judy Show, children’s entertainer, and 17th Century entertainments, including live music and a musketry demonstration.

Holly Holy Day Society’s Shaun Cafferty said: “The general consensus was the atmosphere and sense of occasion in the town was fantastic.

“Morning activities added to the traditional parade and battle and offered alternative amusement for those who didn’t necessarily want to stand in a cold muddy field for their fun!

“People really embraced the event. Businesses did well, reporting 25-30% increases in trade on the day.”

Four times as many people attended last January’s event than in previous years.

Crewe & Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has been patron of the event for several years.

He said: “It really puts Nantwich on the map and provides a much-needed boost for local businesses who may be experiencing a post Christmas slump.”

Mr Cafferty added: “We are hoping even more shops enter into the spirit by doing something special, or wearing period costumes.

“As well as celebrating Nantwich’s rich history, it’s all about bring some fun and colour into the town at an otherwise dull time of year!”

It takes place on Saturday January 22 from 9.30am in the town centre, with the battle re-enactment on Mill Island from 2pm.

For more information visit www.hollyholyday.org.uk

© 2010 Nantwichnews

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South Cheshire postal service one of worst in Britain according to new figures

The Sentinel

RESIDENTS and businesses in South Cheshire are suffering the second-worst postal service in mainland Britain.

Latest Royal Mail performance figures show posties in the CW area delivered 88.9 per cent of first-class mail on time between June 7 to September 5.

It means only residents in Wigan have a worse postal service across the 121 main postcodes in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Nationally an average of 93.7 per cent of first-class mail arrived on time, ahead of Royal Mail's 93 per cent target.

In Stoke-on-Trent 92.2 per cent of first-class post was delivered on time.

Politicians and business leaders today blamed the poor CW performance on the closure of Crewe's Royal Mail sorting office on August 16.

Work from the Weston Road depot was transferred to Warrington, along with 600 jobs, after an 18-month fight to keep the Crewe centre open failed.

John Dunning, chief executive of South Cheshire Chamber of Trade, which campaigned against the closure with Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson, said: "The service to businesses in the Crewe area since the closure of the sorting office has been absolutely appalling.

"Both Edward Timpson and I have written to Royal Mail to complain and lots of businesses have called us to say they have suffered delays.

"Royal Mail has assured us that it is getting things back on track and we wait to see evidence of that."

Mr Timpson, below, who wants to meet Royal Mail, added: "We don't need an official report to tell us how bad the service has become for Crewe and Nantwich.

"I always said the postal service would suffer when Royal Mail decided to take so many jobs away from Crewe, but they didn't listen."

Ollie Slinn, Communication Workers' Union delivery representative for Crewe, said that workers are determined to get the service right following the closure of the Crewe sorting office. He said: "Royal Mail is going through a difficult period of modernisation.

"I'm still a postie, but our way of working has totally changed.

"The mail now comes pre-sorted sequentially from Warrington and we are working in twos rather than on our own.

"It's been a more difficult transition than any of us expected and we're asking the public to be patient."

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "The latest quality of service report covers June to September when our new mail centre in Warrington was experiencing some temporary teething problems which have now been addressed.

"We have made essential changes to our delivery operation in Crewe and apologise to any customers who have experienced mail delays."

The Sentinel reported in September how 94.1 per cent of first-class mail was delivered on time in the ST area between March 22 and June 6. In the CW area, 92.1 per cent of post was delivered on time.

© 2010 The Sentinel

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

Pioneering Cheshire East project reaches awards final

demenshareaward

Cheshire East Council is celebrating after one of its pioneering projects was a finalist in the International Dementia Excellence Awards.

DemenShare – a social networking facility dedicated to people whose lives are affected by dementia – was shortlisted for a national Design Innovation Award.

Although not winning the title, the Council is delighted that a project which is in its very early stages has already been given national recognition.

The awards are designed to recognise organisations and individuals who have worked to improve the quality of life of people with dementia.

Councillor Roland Domleo, Cabinet member with responsibility for adult services, said: “DemenShare enables people to come together online to discuss the ways in which dementia affects their lives and 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.

“We did not win this award, but we are extremely proud to have been a finalist so soon after launching the project. It shows that our work is being recognised in a positive light.”

Cheshire East is leading what is an exciting new way of helping all those affected by dementia and it is hoped it will make a positive impact on peoples’ lives.

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

The awards celebrate the important work being undertaken to support people with dementia internationally and are a celebration of innovation and good practice.

The website can be found at www.demenshare.com

Be a good neighbour to the elderly and vulnerable

 

Cheshire East Council is urging people to be good neighbours during the bitterly-cold weather – and keep an eye out for the elderly and vulnerable.
Neighbours may be in need of help, especially if they are elderly, disabled, or have a chronic illness.

The signs to look out for are milk bottles or newspapers not taken in, mail not being removed and curtains remaining drawn throughout the day.
Keeping warm can be a problem for everyone, particularly older people. Being a good neighbour is important at any time but particularly in winter, when distress or illness can be caused by the cold.

It is estimated that more than a million elderly people will spend a cold Christmas alone in the UK this winter.

If you have concerns about someone’s welfare, phone them or call round. A few minutes spent having a cup of tea with a housebound or live-alone neighbour breaks the monotony of a lonely day and can make the world of difference.

Here are some key tips for keeping warm this winter:
● Try to keep a constant temperature of 21C (70F) throughout the house;
● Make sure your home is well insulated, use draught excluders and keep curtains closed, but do not block up air vents;
● Take a little exercise every day;

Wear several layers of clothing rather than just one thick one, as this is more insulating;
Wrap up warm before going out, wear gloves, a hat, cap or head scarf.

Keep warm but keep safe. Portable heaters should be kept away from curtains and furniture and not used to dry clothes. Always unplug electric heaters before going out or going to bed.

Cheshire East Councillor Roland Domleo, Cabinet member with responsibility for adult services, said: “Winter is a particularly challenging time for our vulnerable and elderly residents. Being a good neighbour can help reassure this section of our community and help save lives.”

Cllr Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “Popping in to check that vulnerable neighbours are warm and safe during the severe winter weather can take just a few minutes a week and bring real reassurance and comfort to people.

“I would urge everyone to make an extra effort to keep a friendly eye out this winter for sick, infirm and elderly neighbours.”

If you have concerns about an elderly or vulnerable person during the cold weather, ring Cheshire East Council’s social care team on 0300 123 5010.

But it is not just elderly and infirm people who need to take extra care during the freezing conditions.

In the event of severe winter weather, it is important that you follow the emergency advice and ‘Go In, Stay In, Tune In’.

Be aware of any severe winter weather warnings for your area to ensure you have enough time to prepare. You can find these at www.metoffice.gov.uk. Also, listen out for weather and travel bulletins on your local radio stations.

In addition you should: only make necessary journeys; allow plenty of extra time to reach your destination; make sure your vehicle is in a suitable condition to make the journey and tell someone where you are going.

Keep an emergency ‘grab bag’ in your car. It should include appropriate clothing, a blanket, shovel, windscreen scraper, mobile phone and charger, water and snacks, jump leads and tow rope.

Drive safely – appropriate low speed, low revs/higher gear, no sudden braking, allow the engine to slow the vehicle where possible, allow plenty of distance between vehicles and make no sudden manoeuvres.

Cheshire Local Resilience Forum recently launched a new public awareness-raising campaign about coping with weather extremes and other emergencies called: Help us to Help you, Be Prepared for Emergencies.

Copies of the information leaflet are available from many venues, from libraries and leisure centres to health premises and hospitals.

The Cheshire Local Resilience Forum leaflet is also available online. Visit www.cheshireresilience.org.uk and click on the how to prepare/emergency pocket leaflet link.

As the freeze continues, householders, who may be concerned about their heating bills, can get free energy-saving advice about from the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512012.

40 meg Super Fast Broad Band

Have you seen the BT invasion of the town? BT are rolling out the new broadband which will give a minimum of 25 meg download speeds and often as high as 40 meg download with 8 meg upload. The exchange is due to be enabled by 31st December 2010 and what they are doing now is rolling out Fibre optics to the green BT boxes. Virgin run Fibre to your house but BT only run it to the green box nearest to you and then the last bit is wire.

This is a major step forward as most people in Crewe will get the max speed of 10 meg and some as low as 1 meg at the moment so we look forward to a fast new year on the net

Council tweets leisure updates this Christmas

 

Fitness buffs will be able to log on to Twitter to check if their gym has survived the weather over Christmas.

Cheshire East Council has embraced the social networking website to provide residents with an easy way to find out if leisure facilities across the area are still open.

Customers are advised to log on to the Council’s winter alert service at www.twitter.com/cecleisure for the latest updates.

Meanwhile, residents are urged to check the opening times for their local gym or fitness centre over the festive period. From Christmas Eve until January 4, Cheshire East’s leisure facilities will operate reduced opening hours due to lower demand.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “Cheshire East Council is going to use as many modern means of communication available as possible to relay information.

“Customers are advised to check with each centre before their visit in case of changes to activity timetables. On non-bank holiday days we have tried to retain a minimal level of service in each area.

“It is important that we operate in a cost-effective way during these financial times by not opening buildings when there is little demand.”

Members of the Cheshire East ‘Everybody’ fitness scheme, who joined since April 1, are reminded that they can use their membership at any leisure facility in the authority area.

During extreme weather conditions, opening times may also change from those listed.

Christmas opening details are now available for leisure facilities at: www.everybody.org.uk

Creative writers in Cheshire East commended

 

A creative writing competition has found that Cheshire East has some of the North West’s best wordsmiths.

Flashback Fiction, part of a Pages Ago history reading promotion, was a writing contest open to anyone living in the region.

Almost 250 people entered the competition. They were asked to weave a historical tale of no more than 500 words. Story settings ranged from ancient Egypt to Victorian workhouses and bomb shelters in the Second World War.

Cheshire East received the highest number of entries, which were of a very high standard and showed creative interpretation of the historical theme.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “Pages Ago was a promotion of history reading taking place in public libraries and historic venues across the North West from May to November. The promotion included a varied range of author visits, readers’ days and events with a historical theme, as well as this writing competition.

“History can sometimes be forgotten so I am extremely pleased to see that people are very keen to read about it.

“Cheshire East submitted the most entries across the 23 North West regional authorities and they were all of a very high standard. Congratulations go to our winners and a big thank you to all those who took part.”

Stories, which were submitted at www.time-to-read.co.uk, have been judged locally. The winners will now go forward to be considered for a regional prize.

The overall regional winner will be chosen by Professor Patricia Duncker, author of novels such as Hallucinating Foucault and Miss Webster and Cherif and is professor of contemporary literature at the University of Manchester.

The regional winner will be announced on December 15. The local winners chosen to go forward are:

Over 16: Sally Lowden, Macclesfield, with Silktown Story. A story in a local setting, capturing the landscape. A tale of ambition and lost opportunity, guiding a 21st century reader back into the past.

Under 16: Harry Green, Cranage, with The Gates of Oblivion. A strong opening to a story set in 1047, marking the beginning of a journey. It makes the heart beat faster and has a contemporary theme which will engage the reader.

Becky Paley, Crewe, highly commended with Forgotten Child. A well-written story with good use of language and excellent imagery, creating a vivid picture that leaves people wanting to know more.

Irene Challender, Bollington, highly commended with Serving Madame. A skillfully-written story, with good character building leading to a shock ending.

Time to Read, a partnership of librarians engaged in reader development in public libraries across the North West, received Arts Council Grants for the Arts lottery funding to support this project.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

MP news letter

Welcome ...

Welcome to this my 71st electronic news bulletin.

Last week the Government set out plans to ring-fence the public health budget.  We are putting local authorities in the driving seat to deliver health improvement.  

We are doing this because people living in the poorest areas of Britain today die 7 years earlier on average than people living in richer areas.  We have amongst the highest obesity rates of any country in the world, and more than 1 in 6 people still die before their 65th birthday.  Labour’s approach failed.

Please 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 ...

  • Attended an Enterprise Presentation at Wychood Park delivered with aplomb by pupils from Shavington Primary School
  • Attended the St Luke's Hospice Light Up a Life Ceremony in Crewe town centre
  • Spoke in the House of Commons on the deterioration of the Crewe and Nantwich postal service since the closure of the Sorting Office in Crewe, and on the need to improve referral systems in the NHS
  • Gave interviews to local radio and TV on the recent £8 billion railway investment announcement and how it may benefit Crewe in the long term.
  • Met with theChildren's Rights Director, in Parliament
  • Met with representatives of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, in Parliament
  • Held a constituency surgery at Leighton Primary School
  • Met with representatives of Ruskin Sports College to discuss school sports programmes
  • Attended the quarterly meeting of the North West Ambulance Service, in Nantwich, to discuss progress of the First Responder scheme.
  • Supported the family & friends of Leo Messam, with a memorial balloon release on Municipal Square in Crewe.
  • Attended the St Luke's Hospice coffee morning fundraiser at Church View Surgery in Nantwich

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Photos & Video ...

Main Content Inline Small

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

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South Cheshire postal service one of worst in Britain according to new figures

The Sentinel

RESIDENTS and businesses in South Cheshire are suffering the second-worst postal service in mainland Britain.

Latest Royal Mail performance figures show posties in the CW area delivered 88.9 per cent of first-class mail on time between June 7 to September 5.

It means only residents in Wigan have a worse postal service across the 121 main postcodes in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Nationally an average of 93.7 per cent of first-class mail arrived on time, ahead of Royal Mail's 93 per cent target.

In Stoke-on-Trent 92.2 per cent of first-class post was delivered on time.

Politicians and business leaders today blamed the poor CW performance on the closure of Crewe's Royal Mail sorting office on August 16.

Work from the Weston Road depot was transferred to Warrington, along with 600 jobs, after an 18-month fight to keep the Crewe centre open failed.

John Dunning, chief executive of South Cheshire Chamber of Trade, which campaigned against the closure with Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson, said: "The service to businesses in the Crewe area since the closure of the sorting office has been absolutely appalling.

"Both Edward Timpson and I have written to Royal Mail to complain and lots of businesses have called us to say they have suffered delays.

"Royal Mail has assured us that it is getting things back on track and we wait to see evidence of that."

Mr Timpson, below, who wants to meet Royal Mail, added: "We don't need an official report to tell us how bad the service has become for Crewe and Nantwich.

"I always said the postal service would suffer when Royal Mail decided to take so many jobs away from Crewe, but they didn't listen."

Ollie Slinn, Communication Workers' Union delivery representative for Crewe, said that workers are determined to get the service right following the closure of the Crewe sorting office. He said: "Royal Mail is going through a difficult period of modernisation.

"I'm still a postie, but our way of working has totally changed.

"The mail now comes pre-sorted sequentially from Warrington and we are working in twos rather than on our own.

"It's been a more difficult transition than any of us expected and we're asking the public to be patient."

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "The latest quality of service report covers June to September when our new mail centre in Warrington was experiencing some temporary teething problems which have now been addressed.

"We have made essential changes to our delivery operation in Crewe and apologise to any customers who have experienced mail delays."

The Sentinel reported in September how 94.1 per cent of first-class mail was delivered on time in the ST area between March 22 and June 6. In the CW area, 92.1 per cent of post was delivered on time.

© 2010 The Sentinel

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Nantwich Air Cadets invite MP to take part in fundraising bikeathon

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich Edward Timpson got on his bike to help the Nantwich Air Cadets in the squadron’s annual sponsorship event.

The cadets held the pedal relay marathon at Total Fitness in Macon Way, Crewe, to raise funds for future activities including Duke of Edinburgh Awards expenses and expeditions next spring.

Commanding Officer Mr Malcolm Hilditch said “I’d like to thank Total Fitness for the use of their fitness suite and the cadets who complete the Land’s End to John O’Groats trip in one day as a combined challenge. Also thanks to Mr Timpson, who completed several miles.”

Mr Timpson said: “I’ve always liked to keep fit myself, so I’m delighted to be doing a few miles to help raise some money for the Air Cadets.

“Congratulations to everyone who has taken part today, and many thanks to all the donors.”
The squadron is currently recruiting new members, and encourages young people aged 13-19 to join up.

They meet on Mondays and Thursdays from 7-9.30pm at the rear of Davenport Avenue.

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Families urged to sign up for charity Santa Dash in Crewe

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

Families urged to sign up for charity Santa Dash in Crewe

THE race is on for families to sign up to this year’s Santa Dash in Crewe.

The family fun run and Santa dash takes place in Crewe town centre on Sunday, December 12 at 11am.

It raises much-needed funds for Hope House Children’s Hospice.

Diane Aplin, of Hope House, said: “We want as many people as possible to take part in the event.”

The run has the support of Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson.
The cast of Aladdin, this year’s panto at Crewe Lyceum, are also backing it.

Last year more than 100 people dressed up as Santa and ran, jogged or walked the one-mile course around the town, raising £10,000.

The hospice wants more people to take part this year and is encouraging them to register at the Hope House Shop in Market Street.

Runners pay £12.50 to register and for that they receive a free festive suit, either a Santa or snowman.

They can also bring up to three children free of charge who can dress up in their own fancy dress.

Everyone is encouraged to raise a minimum of £20 sponsorship.

For further details go to the Hope House website at hopehouse.org.uk or phone 01691 691691.

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Crewe And Nantwich MP Edward Timpson Backs Adoption Campaign

Crewe & Nantwich Guardian

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson is backing calls for more families and individuals to come forward as potential adopters.

The MP is supporting the latest efforts by leading adoption agency Adoption Matters Northwest to find more homes for some of the 4,000 children currently in care.

Some of the children have waited years for the chance to start a new life with a new family.

Mr Timpson, currently involved with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Adoption and Fostering, has two adopted brothers, and his parents have fostered more than 80 children during the last 30 years.

He is backing Government aims to speed up the adoption process and reducing the waiting times for prospective adopters and the children in care.

Mr Timpson congratulated Adoption Matters North West on the success of its themed poetry competition, the latest initiative by the agency to raise awareness of the shortage of adoptive parents.

“This is a great way of getting people of all ages to think about adoption a major social issue,” said the MP The competition, which ran throughout October, received some 200 entries from promising poets across Cheshire.

The competition asked people to develop a poem on this year’s theme of ‘belonging’, something which resonates with the MP.

He said: “As someone who has two adopted brothers, I congratulate Adoption Matters Northwest on their creative way of getting people engaged and talking about adoption “Any way we can help inspire and enlighten people’s understanding of adoption is welcome.”

Norman Goodwin chief executive of Adoption Matters Northwest, added: “We are delighted Edward Timpson has given us his support as he truly understands the issues surrounding adoption.”

© 2010 Newsquest Media Group

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Cheshire East's leading rival political parties have united behind an ambitious vision for the regeneration of Crewe

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

The leaders of the local Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties joined the Mayor of Crewe to sign a historic ‘Concordat’ in a public show of joint support for moves to turn Crewe and the surrounding area into an ‘economic powerhouse’ by 2031.

The landmark signing at Crewe’s newly-revamped Lyceum Square was witnessed by councillors and Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson.

Over the past year, consultants have identified what they believe needs to be done to ‘unlock’ the huge potential of the town and surrounding area and turn it into a leading player in Britain’s 21st century economy.

This vision is called ‘All Change for Crewe’.

Now political rivals have joined forces in a landmark move to help make this ambitious vision a reality.

The Concordat says: “We, the undersigned, hereby commit our wholehearted support to the regeneration and development of Crewe.

“We recognise the clear evidence of why regeneration is needed and the tangible opportunities on which to build a Crewe that will be more productive and positive for all its residents, businesses and visitors.

“We fully recognise Crewe as one of Cheshire East’s spatial priorities through a range of short, medium and long-term initiatives and strategies.”

It was signed by Conservative Cheshire East Council Leader Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald, Labour Group Leader Cllr Dorothy Flude, Liberal Democrat Group Deputy Leader Cllr Rod Fletcher (Lib Dem Leader Cllr Ainsley Arnold was unavailable) and Mayor of Crewe Cllr Jacquie Weatherill.

Cllr Fitzgerald said: “The signing of this Concordat demonstrates the determination across the main political parties of the council to achieve an ambitious and lasting regeneration of Crewe.

“This unity of purpose is highly significant, highly unusual and truly historic – and shows the importance which all the major political parties place on this hugely-important project.

“It also shows, beyond doubt,, that the people and political leaders of Crewe mean business.”

Cllr Fletcher said: “As someone who has worked in Crewe for over 30 years, I’m highly delighted we’re moving forward. I hope we can progress this regeneration as quickly as possible.”

Cllr Flude said: “The ‘Vision for Crewe’ is a very important document. It’s important to the people of Crewe and it’s also important the people of Crewe attend the public engagement roadshows to give their feedback and opinions.

“Crewe is Cheshire East’s most important town. It’s the town with the youngest population, the town with excellent road and rail links and the town with much of Cheshire East’s industry and diverse business parks.

“It’s important we look to the future with the development of Basford and the revamping of the railway station, which will bring a much-needed vibrancy to businesses and the whole ethos of the town.”

Mayor Weatherill said: “This Concordat is highly significant and a cause for real optimism.

“It shows the strength and depth of commitment across the political spectrum and whole community to revitalising both Crewe’s economy and its attractiveness as a place to live. This is a landmark day.”

Consultants have identified how the council and its partner agencies can unlock what they see as the unique potential of Crewe over the next 20 years.

The focus is on increasing economic productivity and performance, which is underpinned by five key strategic themes, which are to:

l Radically improve strategic transport links and create a state-of-the-art broadband internet network;

l Develop a more diversified ‘knowledge economy’ that attracts and keeps hi-tech firms and skilled workers;

l Enhance the attractiveness of Crewe as a place to live and work – including boosting schools and local transport and expanding the town’s population;

l Develop key underutilised sites – including the Basford East investment site, Crewe rail station and the town centre;

l Improve the town’s public image and leadership.

A revamped Crewe train station and town centre and the completion of the Crewe Green Link Road will be at the heart of several major projects planned to revitalise the town and the surrounding region.

Attracting more educated, skilled and ambitious workers to Crewe “would boost the economy and be central to plans for the town to become a dynamic regional centre by 2031”.

The aim is to increase the economy by £850m per year by 2031.

Cheshire East has been holding a month of public engagement events and has an online questionnaire to seek residents’ views on the priorities for regeneration.

There’s less than a week to take part now as the closing date for feedback. The on-line questionnaire deadline is December 6.

The final round of public consultation events are today and tomorrow.

There’s a meeting tonight (Dec 1) at South Cheshire College from 5.30pm to 7.30pm and another at Crewe Library tomorrow from 2-4pm.

For further information, visit the council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/allchangeforcrewe

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Bobby Charlton @ MMU

Crewe Blog

MMU Cheshire welcomed World Cup legend Sir Bobby Charlton to its campus recently to open a new £10m sport science centre. Local Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson was also in attendance at the opening. It is the first step in a £50m project which intends to help crewe become a major university town. Facilities at the centre include a 50 station gym, an artificial turf pitch and two four-court sports halls. Mr Timpson greeted the opening enthusiastically: “Let’s get the word out to prospective students that we’ve got world-class facilities here in Crewe, and that it’s a great town to come to study in.”

Sir Bobby also said he hoped the facilities would encourage students to sporting success: “This is going to be fantastic for students and the community in Crewe. I enjoyed my visit to Crewe when MMU started work on the campus and I'm looking forward to going down this Friday to see the finished product.”

MMU Cheshire Dean, Dennis Dunn, said: "We now have a busy, vibrant campus with superb facilities and growing links with Crewe and its people. It is important for the town that higher education is healthy and successful here, and we hope people will get involved with us, whether through sports and arts or through learning."

© 2010 Crewe Blog

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The Letterbox Club

Crewe Blog

A six-month scheme that has boosted reading and writing amongst cared-for children in Cheshire East has proved so successful that it will run again next year. The Letterbox Club is a national project that involves monthly parcels of books, games and stationery being sent to school pupils’ homes. A celebration event was held at Monks Coppenhall Primary School in Crewe, on November 11, to mark the end of this innovative project. Crewe MP, Edward Timpson, was the special guest. The event highlighted the way in which foster carers, schools and other professionals work together in supporting cared-for children both inside and outside of school. In total eight Year 6 students in Cheshire East were part of the scheme. It helped smooth the transition from Year 5, and also provided them with things to do during the summer holidays. Funding for next year has already been secured, and the scheme will expand to include cared-for pupils in Year 3 across Cheshire East. The Letterbox Club was started by Leicester University and is managed by the Booktrust. It aims to raise educational standards among cared-for children and focuses on English and Mathematics.

© 2010 Crewe Blog

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All Change For Crewe - Political rivals united in historic move to back regeneration

Crewe Blog

Cheshire East’s leading rival political parties have united behind an ambitious vision for the regeneration of Crewe. The leaders of the local Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties joined the Mayor of Crewe to sign a historic ‘Concordat’, in a public show of joint support for moves to turn Crewe and the surrounding area into an ‘economic powerhouse’ by 2031. The landmark signing, at Crewe’s newly revamped Lyceum Square, was witnessed by councillors and Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson.

Over the past year, consultants appointed to advise the Council, working with key stakeholders, have identified what they believe needs to be done to ‘unlock’ the huge potential of the town and surrounding area and turn it into a leading player in Britain’s 21st century economy. This vision is called ‘All Change for Crewe’.

The Concordat was signed by Conservative Cheshire East Council Leader Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald, Labour Group Leader Cllr Dorothy Flude, Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr Ainsley Arnold (signed on his behalf by Deputy Leader Cllr Rod Fletcher) and Mayor of Crewe Cllr Jacquie Weatherill. It says: “We, the undersigned, hereby commit our wholehearted support to the regeneration and development of Crewe, as set out in the ‘All Change for Crewe’ reports. We recognise the clear evidence of why regeneration is needed and the tangible opportunities on which to build a Crewe that will be more productive and positive for all its residents, businesses and visitors. We fully recognise Crewe as one of Cheshire East’s spatial priorities through a range of short, medium and long-term initiatives and strategies.”

Consultants have identified how the Council and other partner agencies can unlock what they see as the unique potential of Crewe over the next 20 years. A revamped Crewe train station and town centre and the completion of the Crewe Green Link Road will be at the heart of several major projects planned to revitalise the town and the surrounding region. Attracting more educated, skilled and ambitious workers to Crewe would boost the economy and be central to plans for the town to become a dynamic regional centre by 2031. The aim is to increase the economy by £850m per year by 2031.

Cheshire East has been holding a month of public engagement events and has an online questionnaire to seek your views on what the priorities for the regeneration of Crewe should be. And there is still time for you to play your part – before the closing date for feedback, on Monday 6th December. The final round of public consultation events will be held at:

South Cheshire College, Monday 29th November, 11am - 1pm
Crewe Railway Station, Tuesday 30th November, 8am - 11am
South Cheshire College, Wednesday 1st December, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Crewe Library, Thursday 2nd December, 2pm - 4pm

For further information, visit the council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/allchangeforcrewe and complete our online questionnaire by the deadline of Monday 6th December.

© 2010 Crewe Blog

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

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Crime news and advice

Out & About – Shopping for Gifts
Although Christmas is a happy time for many of us, be mindful that criminals also enjoy the opportunities that the festive season can often present to them.  Please be mindful of this advice over the festive period:
Whilst out shopping for Christmas and during the January sales, consider carefully where you are parking with regards to lighting and security.  Is the area well lit and would you feel safe returning to your vehicle alone in the dark if it is in a quiet area?  Is there any CCTV coverage in the area to offer extra protection?  Wherever possible, try not to return to your vehicle mid trip to leave presents in your boot and if you need to be mindful of anyone suspicious who may be loitering or watching you place the presents in your boot.  A boot full of presents or sale items would make a nice gift for an opportunist thief.
New Gadgets
For those of us who receive new gadgets such as satellite navigation systems, new phones and Bluetooth able items such as laptops take extra care when trying out your new toys!  Ensure that you wipe away the sucker ring from the windscreen after using your Satellite Navigation System as this signals to a would be thief that there has been a system in the vehicle.  Remember to switch of your Bluetooth when not in use as even if laptops and phones are locked in the boot where you believe them to be secure, criminals can use Bluetooth to indicate to them there is a Bluetooth device in their vicinity.
At Home
Although it is a fair bet that most households will have Christmas presents within them, try not to advertise the position of your gifts.  A Christmas Tree with presents under it is a festive sight, however it may also offer an incentive for passers by on the look out for easily accessible presents to steal, so try not to leave presents in places where they are easy to view from the window.
Once you have opened your gifts make a note of any serial numbers and store in a safe place and also property mark your items in case of future thefts.  It is always worth taking a photograph (alongside a ruler to give an idea of size) and recording a description and approximate value of any precious items as a precaution both for identification and insurance purposes if stolen.
Keep any empty boxes from Christmas presents out of your bin until recycling day.  Wherever possible, break the boxes up and secure them together.  Boxes and wrapping can provide burglars with ideal information about what new items have come into the property over Christmas.
If you are attending Christmas & New Year parties ensure that you make your house looked occupied whilst out by leaving lights on.  If you are out on several regular occasions try to vary the lights you leave on so there is not an obvious pattern when you absent from your property.  Consider investing in a timer switch from a DIY store so that some lights will come on automatically if you are back after dark.
Personal Safety
Whilst out and about socialising try to remain vigilant and keep an eye on your personal possessions such as phones, handbags and wallets.  Take control of your own possessions, it is often easy to leave your bag on the floor or your phone on the table presuming that someone else, such as a friend, will stay with them - wherever possible try to keep your personal possessions with you because you will definitely look after them.  Don’t carry your wallet around in your rear trouser pocket where it easily accessible for someone to dip into your pocket unnoticed whilst in a busy environment.
Always make someone aware of where you are intending to go on your night out and when you plan to return.  Plan how you are getting to and home from your venue before you go so you know you have a safe way to get home.  If using a taxi firm always pre-book the firm and don't be tempted to hop into any taxi's that are touting for trade.  Always ensure that someone else knows what taxi firm you have booked with and that they have a contact number for them.

 

Hoax postal and phone scam reminder to residents

Cheshire East residents are being asked to ignore a chain email about an alleged postal and phone scam.

The Council’s consumer protection and investigations team is reminding people they should not be alarmed by the message which warns people to be wary of a Postal Delivery Service (PDS) scam which could cost them more than £300.

But officers are also urging people not to forward the email in case it contains a virus.

The email message states that a card is put through front doors from a company called PDS. It is alleged that the card states delivery of a package has not been possible. A phone number is given on the card: 0906 661 1911. The email is warning residents not to phone the number as this could cost £315.

PDS was shut down in December 2005 and its operators fined £10,000, meaning the service is no longer running.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “For one reason or another, this email tends to be circulated every year around Christmas time and has done since 2005. I urge residents to ignore it and not forward it to others.

“But if anyone does receive a delivery card through the letterbox which they believe is not genuine and asks the recipient to dial a premium rate number, they can contact the premium rate phone service industry regulator PhonepayPlus for information.”

PhonepayPlus is on 0800 500 212 (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm) and further guidance is available at www.phonepayplus.org.uk/output/FAQ.aspx

 

 

Please be aware of the latest credit card scam :-
This one is pretty slick since they provide Y O U with all the information, except the one piece they want.
Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.
One of our employees was called on Wednesday from "VISA", and I was called on Thursday from "MasterCard".
The scam works like this: Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank) did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for £497.99 from a Marketing company based in London ?" When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from £297 to £497, just under the £500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?"
You say "yes". The caller continues - "I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 0800 number listed on the back of your card (0800-VISA) and ask for Security.
You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"
Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works the caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card." He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers." There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say, "No," the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up.
You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of £497.99 was charged to our card.
Long story - short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or MasterCard directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.
What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a "Jason Richardson of MasterCard" with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening .