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Sunday, 27 February 2011

Cheshire East Council backs Budget to freeze Council Tax

Cheshire East Council backs Budget to freeze Council Tax, boost cash for children and vulnerable adults and nurture economic growth

Cheshire East Council has overwhelmingly backed plans to freeze Council Tax while boosting the coffers of services for children, the elderly and vulnerable.

Proposals in the Budget Report – passed by a large majority at the full Council – also aim to still further improve efficiency in delivering services, while helping nurture economic growth in the Borough. This is despite a 25 per cent cut in Government grants over four years,

The planned gross Council expenditure (funding available to services, less charges and fees for services) for 2011/12 is £597m. This is £4.8m lower than the previous year’s figure, £601.8m.

Cheshire East Council Leader Wesley Fitzgerald said: “I am pleased that this challenging but necessary Budget has been adopted. It follows a lot of hard work and some tough decisions.

“Cheshire East Council is well prepared. We have restructured and transformed services to create real efficiencies over the last two years. This work has continued as the Cabinet and managers worked hard to deliver the Budget, while protecting frontline services. This commitment will continue.

“The Budget recognises the need to meet a rising demand for Council services – particularly those involved in care of the elderly, protecting and enhancing the lives of children and repairing and improving our winter-damaged roads – against a backdrop of the Government’s tightening of public sector purse strings.

“We recognise that delivering high-value, low-cost Council services is essential to being more accountable to local taxpayers and helping grow and develop a sustainable Cheshire East.”

Proposals in the Budget Report include:

● No increase in basic Council Tax levels for 2011/12 – securing extra Government 

   funding of £4.4m (equivalent to increasing Council Tax by 2.5 per cent);

● £10.1m investment in Adult Services – to meet rising demand for frontline services 

   and give older and vulnerable adults greater choice and control over their lives;

● Raising about £2.1m by increasing taxes on second and long-term empty homes

    In Cheshire East – helping to boost moves to increase the number of empty 

    homes brought back into use to meet housing demand – reviewing single person    

    discounts on Council Tax and an increase in the number of homes built;  

● £0.1m extra for Children’s Services – increasing budgets to provide care for 

   children;

● £3.9m savings from the Places Budget – including transforming the way Council 

    transport is run and improving refuse collection efficiency;

● £11.1m savings in efficiency measures including proposed changes to conditions 

    of employment, reducing agency staff costs, targeting procurement savings,   

    greater management efficiency, improving use of the Council’s estate and   

    increasing energy efficiency;

● No proposed Supplementary Business Rates levied in 2011/12.

Councillor Fitzgerald added: “The Council’s spending is based on the needs of local residents and we will strive to make each pound go further.

“Using Government comparisons, the spending power for Cheshire East Council is only £753.31 per head. This compares with an England average of £1007.21. Value in Cheshire East is already high but we will continue to do more.

“The Council will continue to engage with Government to ensure it recognises the potential in Cheshire East. I also look forward to continuing our work with local partners and businesses to maintain Cheshire East’s position as a prosperous place with great potential.”

Cheshire East’s Sustainable Community Strategy, ‘Ambition for All’, sets out a 15-year vision. The Budget outlines the Council’s proposals that will support this vision.

The seven strategic priorities to achieve this vision are: to nurture strong communities; create the conditions for business growth; unlock the potential of our towns; support our children and young people; ensure a sustainable future; prepare for an increasingly older population; and drive out the causes of poor health.

Cheshire East to spend £500k on its winter-damaged roads

 

Repair work on Cheshire East’s damaged road network is being boosted with a £500,000 cash injection.

Yesterday (Thursday), councillors accepted a motion put forward by Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, to set aside the money to help fix the highways.

The Council’s environmental services team handled an eight-fold increase in pothole reports in January and it believes the funds are essential to prevent further damage.

Cllr Menlove said: “Early indications are that the damage to our roads will be very significant by the end of this winter unless steps are taken to arrest deterioration immediately.

“The Council is again responding to the challenge of severe winter weather and we believe this money will go a long way to repairing our roads in this financial year.

“Whilst the numbers of defects are expected to increase during winter months, the current levels of potholes and extent of carriageway deterioration is far beyond the resources available for road maintenance without the additional funding.”

It comes as Central Government announced £100m of funding to councils to help them deal with potholes and ravaged road surfaces, of which Cheshire East expects to receive around £860,000.

Cheshire East’s engineers have been assessing the damage to the network and have pinpointed where the carriageway defects are.

The £500,000 will be spent on reactive maintenance gangs to clear any back log of defects and keep the roads open and safe and investment will be made on roads on a priority basis.

Residents should report any defects to Cheshire East’s online fault reporting page at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk or on 0300 123 5020.

Cheshire East libraries mark World Book Day 2011

Sue Padgham librarian

Fans of all things books will be treated to FREE events at local libraries this March, which are being held to mark this year’s World Book Day.

World Book Day is an international celebration of books and reading, and is marked in more than 100 countries around the world. This year’s World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is on Thursday, March 3.

To mark the day, Cheshire East Council will be holding a number of events at libraries in Cheshire East. Details of some of the events are as follows: 

· Poynton Library, in Poynton, Cheshire, is holding a short story reading session of several nominated books, followed by a discussion and refreshments, on Thursday, March 3, at 2pm – 2:30pm. Members of the public can nominate a book for the readings by visiting www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/libraries

· Middlewich Library, in Middlewich, Cheshire, is holding ‘Senior Moments’ - a short story reading session and discussion, on Thursday, March 3, at 11am – noon. Refreshments will be provided.   

· Macclesfield Library, in Macclesfield, Cheshire, is holding a reading session of some of the winning entries in the Flashback Fiction writing competition, a regional short story writing contest, on Thursday, March 3 at 2pm.

· Nantwich Library, in Nantwich, Cheshire, is holding an afternoon of readings and discussion with author David Maidment, on Thursday, March 3 at 11am. David Maidment is the author of the acclaimed ‘The Child Madonna’. Refreshments will be provided. 

· Crewe Library, in Crewe, Cheshire, is inviting book fans to visit the library on Thursday, March 3 at 10.30am - 11.30am, to share thoughts on their favourite book. Refreshments will be provided.

· Prestbury Library, in Prestbury, Cheshire, will be holding a coffee morning on Friday, March 4 at 10.45am - 11.45am, to celebrate and discuss all things books. Refreshments will be provided.  

For details of other World Book Day events at Cheshire East Libraries, visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/libraries

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “As part of our vision to improve community life, the Council is always looking for ways to encourage local residents to visit and enjoy our superb libraries.

“These World Book Day events provide the perfect opportunity for people to take time out, meet new people and celebrate what they love most about books and reading.”   

More information on local libraries, including a link to the virtual reference library, can be found at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/libraries

More information about World Book Day can be found at: www.worldbookday.com

Changes to travel information provision in Macclesfield and Crewe

 

The travel information centres at the Crewe and Macclesfield bus stations are to close their doors on Friday (February 25). 

After full consideration, Cheshire East Council has decided to close the centres, which will result in a total saving of more than £50,000 per annum.

The decision to close the centres was made after last summer’s Government budget cuts, in which the Council looked at several cost-saving options. The option to cut funding for the centres was deemed to have the least impact, in comparison with cutting other services, such as reducing vital bus routes.

The decision was made after the Council was satisfied that adequate travel information is available through other sources.  Comprehensive and accessible public transport information is currently available through Traveline – a telephone information line (0871 2002233) and associated website (www.traveline.info).  Local travel information is also available on the Cheshire East Council website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

Plans for a Council-run free travel information telephone service have also been approved and will be implemented shortly. 

Tickets for coach travel are now available at a number of outlets. National Express tickets can be bought at the Macclesfield Tourist Information Centre, in Macclesfield Town Hall. Derbyshire Wayfarer tickets can be bought from drivers of the 58, 60 and 64 bus services and GMPTE Wayfarer tickets can be bought at Macclesfield railway station.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “In these challenging times, the Council has had to make some very tough decisions.

“We have strived to limit the impact of our reduced budget on Cheshire East residents. Closing the centres was deemed to have less of an impact than cutting our well-used bus services.

“Although we understand the concerns of those who rely on the centres for travel information, we are confident that the information available through other, more economically-efficient channels, is adequate.”

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Sam Plank RIP

 

We were very sad to hear of the death of Sam Plank. Sam was a legend in local broadcasting in this area, working for  three decades for Radio Stoke, Signal Radio, Focal Radio and Radio Moorlands.  Sam had a wonderful knack of putting people at their ease when he interviewed them and he always spoke on behalf of ordinary people. He made people proud of who they were and where they lived. He cared passionately about local issues and local people. He was a great friend of South Cheshire  and tireless in helping local good causes to raise funds. We will always remember the Mayor's Oscar Evening that he hosted with his wife Verity during our Mayoral year. It was a really uplifting, inspirational, happy evening. Sam and Verity also  hosted the local Star Quest 2008 and they made every contestant seem special.

We would like to pass on our condolences and sympathy to Verity and all of Sam's family and many friends.

We have lost a local broadcasting natural, a man with an infectious enthusiasm, who was a pioneer of local radio in our area.

Yours faithfully,

Cllr. Brian Silvester and Sheila Davies

Mayor and Mayoress of Crewe and Nantwich 2008/9

His funeral took place today

Fishing Anyone

 

DSCF2926

After the great West St floods I have had lots of complaints about the flood in town outside Santander. It would appear that putting the road hump in means water cant get the few feet into the grid. We even had birds having a bath in it last week and for the town centre it doesn't create a good impression for visotors

Friday, 18 February 2011

Crackdown on gold-buying companies

 

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has taken action against five companies that offer to buy gold from consumers by post, including one in Cheshire East.

Cheshire East Council initiated enquiries into CashMyGold, who are based in the north of the borough, after receiving complaints from across the country.

The OFT took over the action as part of a wider investigation into business practices.

During the investigation the OFT raised concerns that people were being locked into accepting the offer that had been made for their gold.

In particular, the OFT was concerned with the business practice of sending consumers a payment, which if not rejected and returned within restrictive time periods, meant that their ‘silence’ was taken as consent to the payment and their gold was melted down.

Three companies (CashMyGold, Cash4Gold and Postal Gold) have agreed to change their business practices following the investigation.

Two other companies (CashYourGoldNow and Money4Gold) have ceased trading after the OFT talked to them about changing their business practices.

The companies have agreed to make a number of changes to their business practices, including:

  • providing people with the option of receiving either a quotation for their gold which requires positive acceptance , or just a payment for their gold, and displaying both options, and the risks of each payment, clearly and prominently;
  • giving consumers clear information on the prices offered for gold, including the weight and carat of the items assessed; and
  • making clear when referring to the ‘high price’ or ‘top price’ paid for gold, that the prices offered to consumers are based on the scrap or smelt value of gold.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “I would like to congratulate the OFT for their work in this area. It is all too easy for vulnerable people to fall victim to poor business practices like these, especially during these tough economic times.

“I would also like to thank the Council’s Consumer Protection and Investigation Team for their close partnership working with the OFT.”

Heather Clayton, Senior Director of the OFT's Consumer Group said: “These days we see more and more new business models which involve consumers distance selling goods to firms. These options are good for consumers, providing business practices are fair.

“Where we see problems, however, we are keen to intervene early so that these markets develop with an appropriate level of consumer protection.

“Any companies operating similar business models must make sure they treat consumers properly and provide clear information on how the service operates so that people make informed decisions about whether they wish to part with their possessions.”

MP’s news letter 77

Welcome ...

Welcome to this my 77th electronic news bulletin.

The past week has been full of announcements to get Britain back on the path to growth, aspiration and better public services.

The newly published Protection of Freedoms Bill will protect millions of people from state intrusion and mark a return to common sense government. It delivers a commitment to restore hard-won British liberties and end the unnecessary scrutiny of law-abiding individuals.

The new Welfare Reform Bill will focus on encouraging people to get into work and reforming the welfare system to ensure that work always pays and no one can say they are better off on benefits.

The Government also announced the first payments to charities from the £100 million transition fund; this extra funding will help charities to prepare for new opportunities and help strengthen our communities.

The Secretary of State for the Environment announced her decision into the consultation on the future of forestry in England, and I am please to say the Government made the right decision by listening to the public and acting decisively but also with a view to ensuring that our forests have better protection and rights of public access in the future.

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 and for those with children on half term, enjoy!

Edward Timpson
Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich

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I have recently ...

  • Visited the De Vere Catering Academy for Apprenticeships in Crewe, as part of National Apprenticeship Week, meeting with young apprentices from Bentley Motors and elsewhere within the constituency
  • Held my own Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons to discuss improving educational outcomes for children in care (view here)
  • Met with representatives from Connexions Cheshire & Warrington, to discuss advice and guidance services across Crewe & Nantwich
  • Carried out house visits to constituents unable to attend my surgeries
  • Held a Constituency Surgery at Nantwich Library
  • Met with the British Youth Film Academy at Manchester Metropolitan University in Crewe, to find out what they have been doing in our area

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In the Commons ...

Adjournment Debate, 'Children in Care' - Thursday, 10th February 2011

Edward Timpson: Mr Speaker, I should like to begin by thanking you for granting this short but none the less invaluable and timely debate on improving outcomes for children in care. With Eileen Munro's final report on child protection due out in April, the spotlight on looked-after children in this country is rightly intensifying, as we strive to narrow not the gap but the chasm that still exists between the...

To read the full debate click here.

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Photos & Video ...

Main Content Inline Small
  • Edward supports a local fundraising initiative for Help for Heroes

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

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MP Edward Timpson offers his expertise to help authority support cared for children

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicles

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has been sharing his in-depth knowledge of working with cared-for children with local leaders.

There are more than 450 cared-for children in Cheshire East who are subject to care orders and voluntarily accommodated, whether that be in foster care or at home with their families.

Conservative Edward Timpson addressed the gathering of more than 20 people at Dalton House in Middlewich who are connected with virtual schools across Cheshire.

Cheshire East’s virtual school is a new development which provides training, advice and support for foster carers, teachers and social workers as well as working closely with agencies that support the children.

Mr Timpson talked about his role as chairman of an all-party parliamentary group for looked-after children and care leavers and also canvassed the views of the virtual school heads.

He has spent 30 years living with and working in the care system and is now leading an inquiry into cared-for children’s education.

His parents have fostered more than 80 children over the last 30 years, many of whom he grew up with.

Cllr Hilda Gaddum, cabinet member with responsibility for children and families, said: “This was a very productive session for Cheshire East’s Virtual School for Cared-for Children and I am extremely grateful to Mr Timpson for taking the time to address the group.

“This is a subject which is very close to his heart and is very much of concern to virtual heads in the North West. It was a useful exchange of information and ideas.”

“The session is another example of Cheshire East working with others to improve life opportunities and health for everybody in the borough.”

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd.

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Edward Timpson MP Speaks Up For Vulnerable Youngsters

Crewe Guardian

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has continued his fight to improve the lives of children in care by securing a debate on the matter in Parliament.

Thursday's debate saw Mr Timpson make a passionate case for the early intervention and a number of other measures that he and other experts believe could improve the care system.

Mr Timpson highlighted a number of worrying statistics concerning the outcomes for children leaving the care system, including the fact that half of all prisoners under the age of twenty-five were in care.

He said: "Looked-after children are four times more likely than others to receive the help of mental health services, nine times more likely to have special needs requiring assessment, support and therapy, seven times more likely to misuse alcohol and drugs, 50 times more likely to end up in prison, 60 times more likely to become homeless, and 66 times more likely to have children of their own who will need public care."

He called these statistics 'appalling' and said that the cost to society was immeasurable.

But he emphasised that this was about improving the system.

Mr Timpson knows about the good work done first-hand, as when he was growing up his family fostered 90 children and he has two adopted brothers.

He is also a patron of the charity Home Start Central Cheshire and used the debate to highlight their work.

He said: "I would also want to highlight the superb work done by Home-Start in my Crewe and Nantwich constituency and across the country to help families struggling with the demands of very young children.

"They deserve proper and longer-term support."

He concluded that there could be no quick-fix solution, and that cross-party commitment on the matter for at least a generation would be required for the best result.

In response Tim Loughton, Parliamentary under-secretary of state for education, paid tribute to Mr Timpson’s campaigning on the matter, calling his speech 'one of the best-informed adjournment debate speeches I have heard'.

He agreed with Mr Timpson that early intervention needed to play a key role, calling it a 'top priority'.

Afterwards Mr Timpson said: “I was greatly encouraged to hear the Government's response and have a pledge that they are fully committed to improving the lives of looked after children.

“It’s good to know that we’re all pulling in the same direction in our efforts to improve the system.”

© 2001 - 2011 Newsquest Media Group

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Shelter Needed For Crewe Homeless

Crewe and Nantwich Guardian

A CREWE homeless group said the area is in chronic need of shelter for those sleeping on the streets.

Homeless men over the age of 30 in the town find it harder than any other group to get the help and support they need.
That is according to new research by Crewe's 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 now planning to open a drop-in centre and homeless shelter in the town.

A group spokesman said the most pressing need is for a shelter, with a range of facilities suitable for temporary housing of the most vulnerable group - males aged over 30.

The group is now in the early stages of planning to raise funds, find premises, staff and furniture.

The group is looking for a major partner in the enterprise, for grant support, corporate backing and help from members of the public.

There will be limited employment opportunities on offer and a committed project leader will be appointed.

Group chairman Bernard Potter said: “Our first year has seen slow but steady progress and without underestimating the enormity of the task of setting up a new shelter in the face of stringent financial controls, and budgetcut backs, we are determined to press ahead with this important project”

Another need identified by the group is for a drop-in centre offering tea, friendly chats and advice, to supplement the one run by the Salvation Army three days a week.

One of the LATH members Nick - he did not want to reveil his real name - found himself homeless when he came to Crewe a few years ago, at the age of 42.

Although well educated, and articulate, Nick felt completely abandoned, with no one to turn to, and no roof over his head, he was forced to sleep rough on the streets, wherever he could find a bit of shelter.

Eventually, by exploring every avenue he could, he came across the charities Shelter, and the SSAFA, who provided temporary shelter, physical, and emotional support, and gradually dragged him back to self respect, employment, and self sufficiency.

Nick passionately believes that the work LATH is doing is vital to help that small group of men over 30 for who these vital facilities are currently non-existent.

The LATH group was formed in December 2009 and has the support of local MP Edward Timpson .

© 2011 Newsquest Digital Media

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Marathon Donation For Home-Start

Crewe and Nantwich Guradian

LOCAL MP Edward Timpson visited Crewe's Home-Start centre last week to hand over a cheque for money raised in last year’s London Marathon.

The MP completed his eighth London Marathon last April in just under four and a half hours, raising money for Home-Start and Supported Community Business.
He said: "I’m a naturally energetic person so I quite enjoyed the run but what’s most important is the money raised for these two charities.

"I’ve seen first-hand the great work they do in Crewe and Nantwich and I’m very proud to have raised money on their behalf."

Crewe-based Home-Start is a voluntary organisation, which has provided a lifeline for hundreds of troubled families for more than a decade.

Supported Community Business runs a workshop based on Crewe Gates industrial estate, which encourages people with special needs to explore the world of work and business.

The MP is a keen supporter of the work done by the two organizations and is a patron of both.

He raised over £1,000 for the charity and handed over the cheque outside his office on Victoria Street in Crewe.

Clare Robinson, of Home-Start, said: "We’d like to say a big thank you to Edward for his hard work in undertaking the London marathon and his kind donation and also for his on-going support of the work of Home-Start in Crewe and Nantwich.

“The money raised will go towards continuing our work of supporting local families with their young children, who need some additional support in.”

The MP, who hopes to run the Marathon again this year, added: “Both Home-Start and Supported Community Business do great work in our area and it is a privilege to be a patron of them both.

“Completing a marathon is a great feeling, but even better is knowing the money raised is going to really help people in need in our community here.”

© 2011 Newsquest Digital Media

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Improving outcomes for children in care

ePolitix

Ahead of his adjournment debate, Edward Timpson MP outlines the need for cross-party commitment to improve outcomes for children in care.

The facts are well known: In the UK, care-leavers are far more likely to end up long-term unemployed, with poorer mental and physical health, on drugs, on the streets, in jail, or as teenage parents than their peers.

A child in care will, on average, achieve a lower level of academic achievement than a child with Special Educational Needs.

Half of all prisoners under the age of 25 were in care, and half of all prostitutes have been in care.

The cost to the state of these scandalous statistics is estimated to be five times more than if a young person had left care with good mental health, stable and strong attachments, and qualifications. The cost to society is in many ways incalculable.

Having spent the last 30 years living with and working in the care system I know that, despite the best efforts of many care professionals and foster carers, it is far from perfect. That is why, as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, I am determined to help make it work better.

Six areas to concentrate on should be:

• Putting children first. Strengthen the accountability structures through clearer and more transparent lines of responsibility and a greater voice for the child so that decision makers know they will have to justify all their decisions against what is best for each child in their care.

• Getting in early. Graham Allen MP and the Rt Hon Frank Field MP have made compelling cases for intervening before problems become entrenched. I agree with them but it will need a radical cultural shift in local government at a time where pressure to make savings now could out way the rewards for being bold upfront;

• Getting smarter at sharing best practice. In reality we don’t have a single care system but a fragmented number of care systems spread across local authorities. Innovative practices that have strong evidence of improving outcomes, such as the Hackney Social Work Unit model, should be rolled out across the country;

• Putting education (from 0 – 25) at the heart. Stability in education for children in care and leaving care is almost as important as their stability in placement, as well as significantly improving their prospects of getting a job and moving into independent living;

• Improving the quality of social workers. Build on the Step Up To Social Work scheme by using the Teach First model to help raise the quality, retention and status of the profession. This will only have benefits if professionals are then freed up to go out and work with families rather than filling in forms;

• Widening the range and choice of care for children. A national review of residential care strategy is long overdue.

As recent research from DEMOS and the Centre for Social Justice demonstrates, there is no quick fix.

It will need a cross-party commitment to giving real priority to children in care over a generation.

It should be viewed as a benchmark of wider societal success.

Anything less will mean this scandal continues.

© 2011 Dod's Parliamentary Communications Ltd

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Crewe & Nantwich MP says crime website holds police to account

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has welcomed the Government-inspired website – www.police.uk.

The site provides data maps showing crime and anti-social behaviour at a street-by-street level. It means everyone can see what crimes are happening on their doorstep.

The MP said: “I’m very pleased the Government has demonstrated it is serious about cutting crime and anti-social behaviour in communities.

“By providing crime data in an open format that anyone can access, even from their mobile, we can all hold the police to account. We can ensure they deal with the issues that actually matter to us locally – not those decided by a Whitehall bureaucrat.”

© Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Local MP Edward Timpson pledges to support heart disease services in Crewe and Nantwich

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has pledged to support an improvement in heart disease services in the towns.

Meeting with representatives from HEART UK, Mr Timpson found out more about the importance of improving post-event care for patients.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the UK’s biggest killer, with about one in five men and one in seven women dying from the disease.

It kills about 94,000 people in the UK each year, equating to about 140 deaths in every parliamentary constituency across the country.

Mr Timpson said: “I want to thank HEART UK for raising these important issues with me and showing me a picture of heart disease services in Crewe and Nantwich.

“I'm committed to working with the local NHS and in parliament to ensure that heart disease services are coordinated and delivering for the local population.”

Wider use of clot-busting drugs has led to a reduction in mortality from CHD.

But less than 50% of patients are receiving cardiac rehabilitation – despite the fact that NICE guidelines recommend it is offered to all patients.

Mr Timpson's promise to support the development of services in Crewe and Nantwich means the area could soon be leading the way in improving these figures.

Jules Payne, chief executive of HEART UK said: “I would like to thank Edward Timpson for supporting the work of HEART UK in improving outcomes for people with heart disease.

“Coordination across the NHS, Public Health England and social care services is vital at both a national and local level to continue to deliver improved outcomes for heart disease and tackle the post-event care challenge.”

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd.

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

Prospective Foster Carers Invited to Open Evening

 

Have you ever considered fostering, but are unsure whether you have the right skills? Or perhaps you’d like to find out more about what is involved?

Cheshire East Council is holding an open evening for people who would like to learn more about the role of a foster carer.

The event, on March 7, takes place at Middlewich Community Church, 34-35 Brooks Lane, Middlewich, CW10 0JG. It will start at 6pm and last approximately two hours.

It aims to promote the fact that anyone over the age of 21 can foster, regardless of whether they are single, married or living with a partner, and whether or not they have children of their own.

People will be able to find out about the different types of foster care, including emergency overnight stays, short breaks for children with disabilities and long-term support until the young person reaches adulthood.

They can also learn about the support foster carers receive, which includes training, full ongoing support, an allowance to cover the daily costs of looking after each child and a skills-based fee.

The open evening is part of the Council’s continuing drive to recruit an extra 40 foster carer households to look after an increasing number of cared-for children.

Cheshire East Council along with Stockport MBC will also have a stand at Handforth Dean Shopping Centre on Wednesday 2nd and Friday 4th March between 10.00am and 3.00pm.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and families, said: “Currently there is a shortage of more than 10,000 foster carers in the UK.

“Sadly, the situation is no different in Cheshire East. We urgently need more people who can offer a secure and caring home for a child who cannot live with their own family.

“We hope this open evening will help us reach out to people who may have considered fostering but are unsure about what is involved, or whether they would be right for the role.

“There is no such thing as a typical foster carer. We need a diverse range of people with different skills and qualities so more children can be placed in the right home, reflecting the Council’s commitment to improving life opportunities for everyone in Cheshire East.

“Fostering involves much more than just providing a home for a child. Carers support youngsters, assist them to develop and grow and act on their behalf, alongside a team of social care professionals.

“I urge anyone who thinks they may have the skills to foster to come along to the open evening to find out more about this hugely rewarding role.”

Currently there are 180 foster carer households looking after more than 300 children in Cheshire East.

Anyone who is unable to attend the open evening can find out more information at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/fostering or by contacting the fostering and adoption team on 0300 123 3223.

Information is also available through the You Can Foster campaign – a regional fostering recruitment drive comprising 23 local authorities, including Cheshire East Council. Details can be found on the website at www.youcanfoster.org or by telephone on 0800 634 7052.

Don't Lose Your Voice At The Local Elections – Register Your Vote!

Erika Wenzel CEO of Cheshire East Council with the Registered to Vote messager

Cheshire East Council is calling on people to act now – so they don’t lose their vote at the local elections in May.

And the message is: If you can’t vote, you haven’t got a voice.

Residents are being urged to contact the Council to check that their details are on the official Register of Electors for 2011.

If you are not registered, you could miss out on being able to vote in the local elections on May 5 – when all 82 Cheshire East Council seats and more than 960 seats in town and parish councils are up for election.

There will also be a national referendum on the ‘alternative vote’ system, as part of the coalition Government’s agreement to put electoral reform to the ballot.

Cheshire East Council has been active in the drive to boost voter registration.

A van with large advertisement panels toured Cheshire East to promote a voter registration campaign last October. Bluetooth phone technology was also used to get the message to people’s mobiles as the van passed by.

Cheshire East Council Chief Executive Erika Wenzel, who will be the Returning Officer at the local elections, said: “Casting your vote is the lifeblood of our healthy and vibrant democracy.

“It is really important that people don’t miss out on the opportunity to vote and ensure they have a voice on the important local issues that affect their daily lives.

“Voting gives you a say on everything from roads and recycling, to education and climate change.

“The fact is, if you haven’t got a vote, you haven’t got a voice. I would urge everyone of voting age to take just a few minutes to ensure that they are registered to vote.”

To find out if you are registered, or to request a postal vote, ring: 0300 123 5016.

Alternatively email the Council’s democratic services team on: electoral.information@cheshireeast.gov.uk

To download voter registration forms, visit the Council’s Registering to Vote webpage at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/voting

For more information about the local elections and referendum vote, visit:

www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/elections

The closing date for the receipt of applications to register your vote is April 14.

Remember: registering your vote does not mean you have to – it just means you can if you want to.

Showcase your product or service at adult services exhibitions

 

Local businesses and organisations which are involved in public sector adult services are being encouraged to participate in a series of exhibitions.

Cheshire East Council’s Unlocking the Future 2011 road shows are being held to provide a one-stop-shop for adults with disabilities, and carers and families of adults with disabilities, who want to discover ways of improving their lives through innovative solutions and services.        

The road shows, which consist of a series of exhibitions, will tour Cheshire East throughout March.

Businesses and organisations that are involved in adult services - which can range from mobility and care services to leisure, health and wellbeing opportunities - are being invited to exhibit at the shows. 

The dates of the Unlocking the Future 2011 road shows are as follows:

  • Wednesday, March 16, at Congleton Leisure Centre, in Congleton, 10am – 5pm;
  • Thursday, March 17, at Victoria Community Centre, in Crewe, 10am – 7pm;
  • Tuesday, March 22, at Wilmslow Leisure Centre, in Wilmslow, 10am – 7pm;
  • Thursday, March 24, at Macclesfield Leisure Centre, in Macclesfield, 10 – 5pm.

Prices for exhibitors start at £50, with discounts available for multiple event bookings. There is no charge for registered charities to exhibit. For more information, contact unlockingthefuture@cheshireeast.gov.uk or call 0300 123 5500.

The 2011 exhibitions follows on from the success of Unlocking the Future 2010, which saw the launch of Cheshire East Council’s revolutionary Empower Card – a pre-loaded debit card for people who receive a personal budget for social care.

Councillor Roland Domleo, Cabinet member with responsibility for adult services, said: “This series of road shows is part of a push by Cheshire East Council to improve the quality of life for all of our residents by giving them more choice and enhancing access to services.  

“We want there to be as much on offer as possible, so I urge local businesses and organisations that are involved in adult services to get involved.”

Fun for all the family with Cheshire East this half-term

Matilda Goman

Fun for all the family is on offer at Children’s Centres across Cheshire East during half-term week (February 21-25).

A total of 10 events are being staged at various centres and will include a fun family fitness session, advice on healthy living, a Love Food, Hate Waste workshop and advice from the council’s family information service.

These half-term activities, aimed at the under 11 age group, will show how everyone can have fun and keep healthy at the same time.

They are being held at the following Children’s Centres:

Monday

  • New Street, Congleton – 9.30-11.30am
  • Crewe Road, Sandbach – 1-3pm

Tuesday

  • Hurdsfield, Hulley Road, Macclesfield – 9.30-11.30am
  • Ash Grove, Macclesfield – 1-3pm

Wednesday

  • Broken Cross, Parkett Heyes Rd, Macclesfield – 9.30-11.30am
  • Monks Coppenhall, Remer Street, Crewe – 1-3pm

Thursday

  • Oakenclough, Colshaw Drive, Wilmslow – 9.30-11.30am
  • John’s Wood, Community Centre, Longridge, Knutsford – 1-3pm

Friday

  • Dog Lane, Nantwich – 9.30-11.30am
  • Mablins Lane, Crewe – 1-3pm

The sessions will bring together different Council teams and NHS partners to provide a varied two-hour programme of events to promote healthy living in a fun and informative way, with events for all the family.

Everyone attending will be able to enter a draw for a family leisure pass at any Cheshire East Leisure Centre.

The events are part of the children’s centre’s promotional ‘What will you Discover’ campaign which will soon be promoted on buses and through ‘ad-bikes’.

The little girl featured in the campaign is three-year-old Matilda Goman, known as Tilly, and is a regular at Oakenclough Children’s Centre in Wilmslow.

For more information on these events, call 0800 408 2013.

Budget Report 2011/12:

Working Together to Improve Community Life – Cheshire East Cabinet backs freezing Council Tax, boosting cash for children and vulnerable adults and nurturing economic growth

Cheshire East’s Cabinet has backed plans to freeze Council Tax while boosting the coffers of services for children, the elderly and vulnerable.

Despite a 25 per cent cut in Government grants over four years, proposals in a Budget Report approved unanimously by the Cabinet also aim to still further improve efficiency at delivering services, while helping nurture economic growth in the Borough.

The planned gross Council expenditure (funding available to services, less charges and fees for services) for 2011/12 is £597m. This is £4.8m lower than the previous year’s figure, £601.8m.

The Budget Report is due to be put before the Full Council for approval on February 24.

Cheshire East Council Leader Wesley Fitzgerald said: “The Budget recognises the need to meet a rising demand for Council services – particularly those involved in care of the elderly, protecting and enhancing the lives of children and repairing and enhancing our winter-damaged roads – against a backdrop of the Government’s tightening of public sector purse strings.

“The Council is well prepared. We have restructured and transformed services to create real efficiencies over the last two years. This work continued over the autumn and early winter as the Cabinet and managers worked to deliver the Budget, while protecting frontline services.

“We believe changes can be made to increase accountability to the local area, its businesses and its citizens. We recognise that delivering high-value, low-cost council services is essential to this aim.”

Proposals in the Pre-Budget Report include:

● No increase in basic Council Tax levels for 2011/12 – securing extra Government 

   funding of £4.4m (equivalent to increasing Council Tax by 2.5 per cent);

● Raising about £2.1m by increasing taxes on second and long-term empty homes

    In Cheshire East – helping to boost moves to increase the number of empty 

    homes brought back into use to meet housing demand – reviewing single person    

    discounts on Council Tax and an increase in the number of homes built;  

● £10.1m investment in Adult Services – to meet rising demand for frontline services 

   and give older and vulnerable adults greater choice and control over their lives;

● £0.9m extra for Children’s Services – increasing budgets to provide care for 

   children;

● £3.9m savings from the Places Budget – including transforming the way 

   Council transport is run and improving refuse collection efficiency;

● £11.1m savings in efficiency measures including proposed changes to conditions 

    of employment, reducing agency staff costs, targeting procurement savings,   

    greater management efficiency, improving use of the Council’s estate and   

    increasing energy efficiency;

● No proposed Supplementary Business Rates levied in 2011/12.

Councillor Fitzgerald added: “Setting a Budget always needs balance and the Council must raise the necessary funds to meet the demands from service users. The authority’s spending is still based on the needs of local residents.

“Using Government comparisons, the spending power for Cheshire East Council is only £753.31 per head. This compares with an England average of £1007.21. Value in Cheshire East is already high but we will continue to do more.

“The Council will continue to engage with Government in this key year to ensure it recognises the potential in Cheshire East.

“I also look forward to continuing our work with local partners and businesses to maintain Cheshire East’s position as a prosperous place with great potential.”

The Budget Report follows a series of engagement events with key partners to more fully assess the impact of the Pre-Budget Report proposals presented last month.

Cheshire East’s Sustainable Community Strategy, ‘Ambition for All’, sets out a 15 year vision. The Budget Report outlines the Councils proposals that will support this vision.

The seven strategic priorities to achieve this vision are: to nurture strong communities; create the conditions for business growth; unlock the potential of our towns; support our children and young people; ensure a sustainable future; prepare for an increasingly older population; and drive out the causes of poor health.

Lisa Quinn, Cheshire East’s borough treasurer and head of assets, said: “The Council has managed an intense process to scrutinise the Budget proposals since June. I am satisfied that the final estimates, although ambitious, are robust.”

School music accolade up for grabs

Sandbach School at comp qual round

The finalists of a major school music competition have been announced and are now to battle it out in a final concert.      

The competition, which is being run between Cheshire East Council’s Cheshire East Music Service and renowned brass ensemble, Foden’s Brass Band, held a hotly contested qualifying round recently. More than 300 students from nine schools competed with short music performances.    

The schools that made it through to the final are Bollinbrook CE Primary School, in Macclesfield, St Mary's Catholic Primary School, in Crewe, Congleton High School, in Congleton and Sandbach School, in Sandbach.  

The finalists will compete at a special concert at Tenants’ Hall at Tatton Park, in Knutsford, Cheshire, on Friday, April 8, at 7pm. In groups of at least 10 students, each school will perform pieces in various arrangements, such as orchestral, big band and guitar.       

There will be two categories of awards – one for primary schools and one for secondary schools.

Portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, Councillor Andrew Knowles, head of Cheshire East Music Service, Rob Nash and composer in residence for Foden’s Brass Band, Andy Scott, will adjudicate the contest.

The contest will be followed by a performance by Foden’s Brass Band. The evening will conclude with the announcement of the winning school.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, said: “This contest is a superb way for the children of Cheshire East to showcase their musical talents in front of friends and family.

“A lot of hard work has gone into this competition, not least from the participating children and their teachers.

“I must say a special thank you to Councillor Andrew Knowles and Councillor Barry Moran of Cheshire East Council, who have both been the driving force behind this project.

“I wish all the participating children the best of luck.”    

The concert is open to the public. Tickets cost £10 and £7 for concessions, and will be available from February 21. Contact Charlotte Skelton at the Cheshire East Music Service on 01270 685963 for more information. 

Shop Doctor’s health check for Cheshire East retailers

Tim and Nikki Ball of Audlem Cyclesport with Shop Doctor Bill Smith and John Nicholson of Cheshire East Council

Village stores and town shops in Cheshire East will soon get a home visit from the doctor!

Bill Smith, the self-styled ‘Shop Doctor’, will give his diagnosis on any issues which are causing a headache for traders and also identify business opportunities.

Bill, who has a wealth of experience of working to help traders of all shapes and sizes, is available to all rural villages in Cheshire East.

He is also offering his services to independent retailers in Nantwich, Sandbach and Middlewich, where there are six places available in each town.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “Cheshire East Council will be using the expertise of the Shop Doctor to deliver a small number of one-to-one sessions and we hope that our businesses will take up this excellent opportunity.

“He will meet with the proprietors to identify key issues and discuss practical opportunities within the business for encouraging retail vitality and developing profitability.

“Cheshire East Council is committed to working with businesses to boost the economy and this support we are offering, in partnership with Bill, will help businesses increase customer spend, enhance visual impact, maximise display space and improve profit.”

Following the pre-booked appointments, each retailer will receive a ‘prescription’ report summarising issues and solutions identified during the consultation.

Nantwich retailers will receive their visits on March 22, Sandbach will be on March 23 and Middlewich on March 24.

The village shop sessions will be held on April 5, 6, 12 and 14 with the Shop Doctor visiting two shops per day on each of these days.

In addition, Bill will give a presentation to summarise the key points at a Shop Doctor masterclass, which will be held on March 23, at the Ramada Encore hotel, on Crewe Business Park, from 6.15pm-9.30pm. This is open to all businesses.

Appointments for all events are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For the town events, contact business engagement co-ordinator Jacqueline Wilson on 01270 685911 or email: jacqueline.wilson@cheshireeast.gov.uk

For more information on the village events, call Gaynor Bowen-Jones on 07824 599135 or email: gaynor.bowen-jones@cheshireeast.gov.uk before the end of February.

Lyceum Square Café

Crewe

The Crewe Local Area Partnership (LAP) is joining forces with community groups in Crewe to make the most of an empty building in Lyceum Square.

The Lyceum Square café is due to open soon, but before it does, the site has been given over to a one-stop shop, offering a variety of free activities and information sessions.

Some of the sessions on offer over the coming weeks include:

  • Friday, February 18, PCSOs Paula Davies and Charlotte Pound holding a police drop-in surgery;
  • Saturday, February 19, the Valley Gap Community Group promoting their work and how to get involved;
  • Monday, February 21, the Council’s Streetscape and Local Engagement Teams promoting the Crewe Clean Team, ward walks, art activity and area assemblies; and
  • Friday, February 25, people will be able to find out more about the upcoming Census and advice on how to complete it.

The drop-in promotional stall will be running until Saturday, February 26.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “This is an excellent scheme offering a variety of groups in south Cheshire a platform to promote their work and activities free of charge.

“This is a prime example of the Council working with others to deliver for the residents of Cheshire East.”

Councillor Margaret Martin, ward member for Crewe East, said: ““There is a wide variety of organisations involved and I hope that people will drop in and see if there is anything of interest to them.”

Step into Cheshire’s past this April

 

One of the region’s most popular archaeology events returns to Cheshire East this year, bigger and better than ever.

The Cheshire Archaeology Day will take place on Saturday, April 9, at Winsford Lifestyle Centre, in Winsford, Cheshire.  

The popular event, which returns after a two-year break, is organised by Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council, and is supported by Middlewich Town Council, the Cheshire Local History Association and the Chester Archaeological Society.     

This year’s packed programme includes a presentation by renowned archaeologist Dr Kevin Leahy from the Portable Antiquities Scheme, who will speak about the famous Staffordshire Hoard – the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found.

There will also be educational talks on local history themes, such as Cheshire’s once thriving salt industry and the Middlewich brine pump and shaft - the only intact pump over an original shaft left in Britain. 

Visitors will have the chance to view and handle Mediaval, Roman and post-Roman pottery and find out more about their origin. Books on local history will also be available for sale.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “The authority always strives to work with local partners to improve community life and offer educational yet fun events for all the family.

“Cheshire has a long history of archaeological research and conservation so it’s really good that we get to show it off in this way.”

Councillor Rachel Bailey, heritage champion for Cheshire East, commented: “The family event has lots on offer this year, with presentations on local history and a chance to handle authentic Roman and Mediaval relics.  It will be a fantastic event to

stimulate young minds.”

Tickets will cost £12 and £10 for concessions. Booking forms will be available from local libraries, museums and online at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk from late February to early March. Email Archaeology@cheshireeast.gov.uk for more information.   

New affordable housing level for Cheshire East developments

 

Housing developers looking to build in Cheshire East will soon be expected to meet new affordable housing requirements.

The authority currently uses three separate provisions for affordable housing, which were previously set by the former borough councils of Congleton, Macclesfield and Crewe and Nantwich.

Now, Cheshire East Council is looking to introduce a borough-wide requirement of a minimum of 30 per cent affordable housing provision which house builders must adhere to. It is estimated that over 1,200 additional affordable homes per year are needed in Cheshire East over the next four years.

The ‘interim planning statement on affordable housing’ is intended to be in place until Cheshire East’s Local Development Framework is adopted by 2013. The LDF will remain until 2030.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “Cheshire East has inherited three different planning policies for affordable housing from the local plans of the previous authorities.

“During the past 12 to 18 months, developers have increasingly sought to provide a significantly lower level of affordable housing on sites where they argue it is not viable, in light of the economic downturn.

“There is a lack of a clear framework for evaluating such issues, which is why this interim planning statement is very important. We are well aware that we are under increasing pressure to deliver affordable housing in many forms and to grow and develop a sustainable Cheshire East.”

The interim planning statement is intended to provide updated guidance on affordable housing provision and to ensure consistency when negotiating that provision. It will be used when determining planning applications and appeals.

Crewe and Nantwich and Congleton areas currently both seek a minimum of 30 per cent affordable housing and Macclesfield is 25 per cent.

The interim planning statement was discussed at Cabinet on Monday where members were unanimously in support. It is now set to be approved by full Council on February 24.

‘WEEE’ road show coming to a town near you

 

A new campaign to encourage local residents to take their small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) along to local recycling centres is taking to the road. 

The ‘Don’t bin it, bring it’ campaign, which is being run between Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council and the UK’s largest not-for-profit producer compliance scheme, REPIC, will be touring town centres in Cheshire East throughout February.  

Small WEEE items include anything that has a plug or is powered by batteries, such as irons and toasters. These items contain various metals and materials that are precious and can be recycled.

Not only will visitors to the road shows learn about types of items that can be recycled, they will also get a chance to enter a prize draw for a Wii console.

Details of the ‘Don’t bin it, bring it’ road shows in Cheshire East are as follows:

· Sandbach Market, in Sandbach, on Thursday, February 17

· Congleton Town Centre, in Congleton, on Friday, February 18

· Macclesfield Town Square, in Macclesfield, on Saturday, February 19

· Booth’s Supermarket, in Knutsford, on Monday, February 21

· Crewe Town Square, in Crewe, on Tuesday, February 22

· Nantwich Town Square, in Nantwich, on Wednesday, February 23

To be in with a chance of winning a Wii console, simply visit one of the road shows listed above and ask a representative for more information.

Councillor Rod Menlove from Cheshire East Council said: “When it comes to electrical or electronic equipment, we’re in the habit of recycling larger items like washing machines, but as for smaller items, a third of us still throw them in the bin. It’s been reported that we all have three old, broken or unwanted small electrical items lying about our homes, and the aim of this road show is to help raise awareness of how and where to recycle these items.”

Dr Philip Morton, CEO of REPIC, commented: “Cheshire East has already demonstrated outstanding levels of collection and recycling for household waste, so encouraging residents to take their end-of-life electronic equipment to designated collection points is the next step.

“The legislation which sets UK WEEE recycling targets has been in force for around four years now, and the targets we need to achieve as a nation will continue to increase as

time goes on. Therefore, it is important that people can easily identify which household items need to be recycled and where residents can take their unwanted equipment.”

If you want to find out more about what you can recycle and where you can recycle it, please visit www.recyclenow.com.

REPIC works with the Council’s to responsibly recycle Cheshire residents’ end-of-life electrical and electronic goods (everything from kettles and toasters, to fridges and TVs). For more information on REPIC, please visit www.repic.co.uk

Sunday, 13 February 2011

West St Floods

In West St people will soon be getting a fishing licence as there is so much water flooding the roads and pavements

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The above is the scene outside the late shop today you can see its dangerous as cars can aquaplane on that much water and pedestrians often get soaked as cars go past. Its like a lake stretching to Derby St.

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Out side Morris bike shop things are worse as here the pavement is also underwater and if you step into the road the water goes over your shoes. You will note that the floods match up the the disabled crossing points for blind people. and they shouldn't be put into this position were they will get soaked or hurt.

DSCF2914 

A bit further down West St and the problem is the same with big floods. It doesnt take very much rain to cause this. Lots of streets in Crewe suffer like outside Santander in the town. What makes West St different its not long ago that over £44000 was spent doing up the street with new pavements and road. The contractors have clearly failed to do a proper job on this and have set the angles wrong so the water doesnt drain away and most of it is in the disabled bits. I feel sure they should be made to come back and correct the cockup.

When will the council sort out all these flooded areas further down West st on the corner of Frank Webb the pavement floods every time we have rain and also opposite the off licence further down. I expect a lot of Crewe is suffering so lets get complaining 

BT Put lives in Danger

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Down West St and the corner of Glover St the BT ducting has collapsed and there are dangerous holes in the pavement like the one above. You can see its not just a small hole but a very deep hole if you fell into it you could do some serious damage. The hole in West St has been there for some time and is only covered by the fence which can easily blow about and away from the hole. Despite the hole being reported BT haven't made any effort to make this hole safe. Lets hope they do it before someone is seriously hurt.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Cheshire East to exercise increased control over homes plans

 

A new policy which will allow Cheshire East Council to exercise more control over potential new housing developments is set to be adopted.

This will help to manage the release of housing land to ensure there is a steady supply over the next five years – but with stringent new guidelines for incoming applications.

All new schemes will require that new housing should be energy efficient, contain 35 per cent of affordable homes and make contributions to highways development, alongside additional community benefits.

The interim policy will be kept in place until further sites are allocated for new homes in the development plan for Cheshire East – the Local Development Framework.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “The Council is faced with a statutory requirement to ensure there is a minimum of five year’s supply of land for housing development.

“Without the interim policy, the authority would run the risk of developers seeking permission on greenfield sites around towns and villages.

“This is all part of our key objective to grow and develop a sustainable Cheshire East.”

Once the policy is formally adopted, the Council will seek to deliver a minimum of 1,150 new homes annually.

The interim policy will focus land release for new developments in places such as Crewe, outside the Green Gap – supporting Cheshire East’s commitment to the future of the town and the Crewe Vision.

The redevelopment of previously developed land within settlements for mixed uses, including housing, will also be encouraged.

The policy relates directly to an interim affordable housing statement which is also set to be adopted.

Towns and parishes were consulted on the policy between November and December last year and councillors will discuss it at a Cabinet meeting on Monday. A final decision on the adoption of the policy will be made at a full Council meeting on February 24.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Clear Out Day in Crewe this Saturday

 

Residents in the west end of Crewe will have their chance to throw out any unwanted waste items this Saturday (February 12).

Cheshire East Council’s Streetscape team will be collecting all rubbish at various pick-up zones from 8am until 1pm on Clear Out Day.

A number of areas will be designated pickup zones for residents to drop off unwanted waste items. These will be cleared during the day.

This is the first of a series of clear out days to be completed in other parts of Crewe in the coming weeks (dates TBA).

Rubbish should be left at the following collection points:

  • Samuel Street sub-station – in front of the doors
  • Richard Street collection point – rear of church on West Street (side of 12 Richard Street)
  • Junction of West Avenue and Samuel Street – by the trees in front of 53 West Avenue
  • Rear of church, Adelaide Street, on grass area by garage site
  • Side of 2 Rigg Street – onto West Street
  • Rigg Street car park in front of 1-8 Ellesmere Place (side of 67 Rigg Street)
  • Walker Street – junction of Derby Street – by litter and dog bin.

The Crewe Local Area Partnership (LAP) is coordinating the event with the commitment and assistance of local partners including 3Cs, the probation service and Streetscape.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Vigilant library staff seize computer eavesdropping devices

 

Cheshire East Council has called in the police after eavesdropping devices were found on public computers in two of its libraries.

Vigilant council staff spotted the small ‘key logger’ snooping devices attached to computer keyboard sockets at the back of two computers used by the public in Wilmslow Library and one in Handforth Library.

The small devices, which look like USB flash drives, are legal but may be used illegally to snoop on users’ personal communication by recording every keystroke made – including potentially-sensitive material, like bank or credit card details.

Alert library staff seized two key loggers and handed them over to police, who are now investigating. A third device, spotted in the back of a computer in Wilmslow Library, disappeared before a supervisor could confiscate it.

The Council has now checked all its public computers in libraries and customer service points for key loggers and no more have been found.

ICT security has also been beefed up by having more frequent checks of equipment and ensuring all computer keyboards are now plugged into the front of machines –making any attempt at eavesdropping much more visible and preventable.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “Keeping library users’ personal details and communications private and secure is of paramount importance to Cheshire East Council. We take this matter very seriously indeed and are now awaiting police reports on their findings.

“The vigilance and swift actions of our staff is to be commended but we will not be complacent. We will take all practical steps necessary to protect people’s privacy and personal details and I urge the public to help us by being vigilant and sensible when using public computers at all times.

“If users have any concerns, they should alert our staff immediately.”

The interception of communications without lawful authorisation is a breach of section one of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Cheshire police spokesman Inspector Matt Welsted said: “I’m grateful to the library staff for their vigilance and encourage all holders of public access computer equipment to follow their lead.

“This is an example of how criminals have changed over the years to take advantage of technology and social trends.

“The good news is that incidents such as these are still very rare and easily prevented. If you think something is suspicious, then challenge it and tell us about it.”

If you are concerned that your personal details may have been illegally used or taken, contact Cheshire police on 0845 4580000.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

High Winds Close Crewe Market:

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The fire service out side the church on West st as they close the road

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High wind blow down the old ice cream factory in Underwood Lane. On Nantwich road the Royal Hotel stop the traffic as a sign comes loose just some of the devastation that took part in todays high winds

A spokesman for Cheshire East Council said: “Crewe’s indoor market was closed today to protect the safety of traders and the public because of the risk posed by the high winds.

“Two short wooden boards from scaffolding on the roof of the adjoining Municipal Buildings blew off onto the roof of the market this morning shortly before 11am.

“No one was hurt and the roof was not damaged. However, a decision was quickly taken to close the market on the grounds of safety to traders and the public. The market will remain closed until this risk has been removed and the wind has died down sufficiently.

“Four workers from subcontractors responsible for the scaffolding are currently on site ensuring all scaffolding is secure. They will remain there to monitor and maintain safety throughout the day.

“Council staff are also on hand to explain the situation to the public and keep them away from the market.”

Road Safety Improvement At Busy Road Junction Welcomed.

 

Borough Councillors for Shavington have welcomed the the extension of double yellow lines at the junction of Chestnut Avenue and Crewe Road. (See attached below)

Julian Goodier Page, Prospective Conservative Candidate for Shavington, said," This is a busy junction and cars parked either side of it  reduce the visibility to see oncoming traffic. The extended double yellow lines will make it safer for vehicles pulling out of Chestnut Avenue onto the busy Crewe Road." 

Cllr Brian Silvester said," This  was pressed for by the Parish Council and the Borough Councillors for Shavington, Cllrs Simon, Westwood and myself, adopted it as a priority. This improvement is long overdue and will be appreciated by local residents." Cllr Simon said," We worked with the Parish Council and Cheshire East Highways Officers to achieve these extra safety measures at the Chestnut Avenue junction and I welcome them."

Local Residents Win Fight Against Proposed Telephone Mast In Shavington

Shavington Borough Councillors Margaret Simon and Brian Silvester  and Prospective Conservative Candidate for Shavington, Julian Goodier Page supported local residents in their campaign against a proposed telephone mast in Shavington and are pleased that it has been withdrawn by the applicants Vodaphone. (See attached details)

Prospective Conservative Candidate for Shavington, Julian Goodier Page said," It was to be almost 50ft high on the edge of the main Crewe Road into Shavington and would have stuck out like a sore thumb at the entrance to the Cheshire Cheese Public House. A mast like this needs to be somewhere where it is less visible and less dominant to the street scene. The proposed siting was totally unacceptable.

Cllr. Silvester said," We had informed the Planning Officers that we would 'call in' the application so it would have been decided by the Cheshire East Southern Planning Committee. Thankfully this will no longer be necessary. I now call upon Vodaphone to find a more suitable site where it would not be so visibly intrusive."

Cllr Brian Silvester Tel 01270 567757

MP’s 76th electronic news bulletin

Welcome ...

Welcome to this my 76th electronic news bulletin.

This last week saw the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies backing the Government's strategy for cutting the deficit.

The IFS report made it clear that the Government should resist calls to loosen fiscal policy. The IFS also said the Government's plan to deal with the deficit in the current parliament is 'a sensible strategy' and 'should be more credible with international investors' than Labour's slower plan.

The week has also been witness to dramatic scenes in Egypt. The Government has been clear about the need for a transition to a broader-based Government that will produce real, visible and comprehensive change. President Mubarak has made some proposals to the Egyptian people but ultimately the real test will be whether the aspirations of the Egyptian people are met. One thing we can be sure of is that the eyes of the world are watching.

Closer to home I have been encouraged by the dramatic risen in employer-led Apprenticeships in our area during the last year. I will write more on that next week, but it follows the good news about the fall locally in Job Seekers Allowance claimants I wrote about in my column recently.

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 ...

  • Held a Constituency Surgery at my office in Crewe
  • Helped launch an information poster for the homeless in Crewe & Nantwich with local volunteer group, Looking After The Homeless
  • Supported a locally inspired national fundraising walk for Help For Heroes. To find out how you can join in with as well as sponsor the walk please contact: Glenn Lowe - glennlowe579@btinternet.com
  • Supported our local newspaper, the Crewe & Nantwich Chronicle with their new campaign supporting the community
  • Met with Cheshire Police Constabulary, with fellow Cheshire MPs, to discuss how we can support the police services across the county
  • Attended a Heart UK reception in Parliament, to raise awareness of heart disease and early treatment
  • Attended the British Airline Pilots Association in Parliament where I met with a commercial airline pilot from Crewe & Nantwich to help support the British aviation industry
  • Visited Hackney Children's Services in London, as part of my cross-party inquiry with Lisa Nandy MP, into the educational attainment of Looked After Children

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Photos & Video ...

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  • Edward supports Cancer Research campaign in Parliament

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

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MP raises Crewe nurseries closure in the House of Commons

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

THE plight of families who lost their deposits when three Crewe nurseries closed with less than 24 hours notice has ben raised in the Commons.

Families who paid for childcare at Pebble Brook, Underwood West and Monks Coppenhall daycare centres were left holding the baby after Excellence in Crewe, which ran them, went into administration. Many lost large deposits as well as childcare places when the nurseries closed.

Now Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has highlighted the issue during Business Questions.

He told the House: “Many families lost fees and deposits and had major disruption to their child care arrangements when the company running them went bust.”

He asked Leader of the House Sir George Young if the matter could be addressed to ensure better protection for families.

“May we have a debate to discuss how parents can be better protected, rather than being left exposed?”

Sir George said he would raise the issue with the relevant ministers.

Meanwhile parents have vowed to continue their fight to get back cash they had paid in advance.

Mum Belinda Canney is nearly £800 out of pocket and has moved her children to a nursery at Wistaston.

Her friend Nicola Heath said: “One of the parents went to a creditors’ meeting on Friday and we’re trying to get preferential creditors’ status.”

She added parents could not afford to lose money they had paid upfront and were meeting again tomorrow to see how best to progress the matter.

Meanwhile many of the staff who worked at the three nurseries are still seeking alternative employment after losing their jobs on Christmas Eve with one day’s notice.

One said she was still trying to come to terms with the devastation of losing her job at such short notice

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd.

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Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson praises family support scheme

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson held a special surgery at Malbank School for parents and carers of vulnerable children.

Mr Timpson attended the Nantwich school’s weekly Chatterbox Club, which offers support, guidance and advice to the families of the children, together with craft activities and seasonal workshops.

A pilot scheme last year proved successful and now the school wants to offer families a wider variety of support and activities.

The MP was on hand to talk to children and parents about a range of subjects and answer any questions they may have had.

He also learnt about the wider engagement the group has with the local community, including visits to Richmond Village to provide companionship to residents there.

Mr Timpson said: “I was made to feel really welcome by the parents, children and staff, and enjoyed getting stuck into some personal and political issues in equal measure with the toughest questions coming from the younger element!

“It was obvious how much all those involved get out of the club both in terms of self confidence and social interaction.”

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd.

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Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson backs radiotherapy awareness campaign

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson voiced his support for action on radiotherapy at an awareness-raising Cancer Research UK event in Parliament.

The event coincided with a Government initiative to improve the public’s understanding of the importance of radiotherapy.

Mr Timpson heard how radiotherapy has a bigger impact on curing cancers each year than all the new drugs put together.

The charity said a lack of awareness about radiotherapy’s importance is seriously hindering effective treatment in the UK.

Mr Timpson said: “Only 14% of UK people are aware that half of all cancer patients could benefit from radiotherapy.

“I’m concerned the UK is lagging behind other countries in making newer, more targeted radiotherapy technologies available to everyone.

“We need to work with the NHS and organisations like Cancer Research UK to tackle the inequalities in radiotherapy treatment in this country and make the service amongst the best in Europe.”

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd.

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MP quizzes health boss on South Cheshire ambulance services

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has quizzed Government bosses over the future of local ambulance services under the proposed NHS shake-up.

Mr Timpson, with Nantwich politicians and residents, has long been campaigning for better services for the town.

In response to Mr Timpson’s questions, Health Minister Simon Burns said:Š“Ambulance services will be commissioned through the GP consortia at the local level.

“What I think will develop is that just as ambulance services are currently commissioned for geographical areas in England through one Primary Care Trust, the consortia will appoint lead consortia to commission the services for that area.”

Speaking afterwards Mr Timpson said:Š“We may have won the battle in Nantwich, but the process really brought home to me the fact that it’s local people on the ground who know what’s best for their area.

“I’m pleased that the new Government is recognising that directing everything through Whitehall is not the answer.

“It’s local people and GPs, who can see the outcomes, who should be making the decisions.”

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd.

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Words from Westminster

Edward Timpson, Crewe and Nantwich Chronicles

Amidst all the discussion of the nation’s economy this week, there’s been some good news for locally.

New statistics show that the number of people claiming Jobseekers allowance in our area is at its lowest in two years with 2,095 people are claiming the out of work benefit in Crewe and Nantwich. This is down from a high of over 2,600 in February 2010.

This means that only 3.2% of working age residents are claiming, a statistic which compares favourably to the North West at 3.9%, as well as the national average of 3.5%.

Crewe and Nantwich people have always been resilient in the face of hardship, and these figures show just how determined people are to stay in the job market, as well as reflecting the stability of the local economy.

According to our local Chamber of Commerce, our region is continuing to see growth and job creation despite recent uncertainty over the cuts and the New Year’s tax rises made necessary by the absolute need to pay down the UK’s critical levels of debt.

These are difficult times, and although there is no room for complacency, jobs are still there for hard-working people.

Round here people have never been afraid to roll up their sleeves and get on with life, so it’s great to see them getting back to work and showing that Crewe and Nantwich are very much open for business.

© 2011 Trinity News North West and North Wales

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Edward Timpson MP Visits Malbank School In Nantwich

Crewe and Nantwich Guardian

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson held a special surgery at Nantwich's Malbank School last week for the parents and carers of vulnerable children.

Mr Timpson attended the school’s weekly Chatterbox Club, which offers support, guidance and advice to the families of the children, together with craft activities, seasonal workshops, and time for sharing life experiences over coffee and cake.

A pilot scheme last year proved successful and now the school wants to offer families a wider variety of support and activities.

The MP was on hand to talk to children and parents about a wide variety of subjects.

He also learnt about the wider engagement the group has with the local community, including visits to Richmond Village to provide companionship to residents there.

Mr Timpson said: “I was made to feel really welcome by the parents, children and staff, and enjoyed getting stuck into some personal and political issues in equal measure with the toughest questions coming from the younger element!

“It was obvious how much all those involved get out of the club both in terms of self confidence and social interaction.”

© 2001-2011 Newsquest Media Group

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Health Minister quizzed on NHS changes for ambulance service

Nantwichnews

Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has quizzed Health Minister Simon Burns on what the new restructuring of the NHS means for local ambulance services.

It comes after a long-runnung battle to allow Nantwich’s First Responder to retain blue lights, and to ensure extra ambulance cover for Nantwich and its rural surrounding villages.

Mr Timpson asked how the commissioning of ambulance services would work under the new GP commissioning regime.

Mr Burns said: “Ambulance services will be commissioned through the GP consortia at the local level.

“What I think will develop is that, just as ambulance services are currently commissioned for geographical areas in England through one PCT, the consortia will appoint lead consortia to commission the services for that area.”

Mr Timpson said: “We may have won the battle in Nantwich, but the process really brought home to me the fact it’s local people on the ground who know what’s best for their area.

“I’m pleased the new Government is recognising that directing everything through Whitehall is not the answer. It’s local people and GPs, who can see the outcomes, who should be making the decisions.”

© 2011 Nantwichnews

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MP Timpson praises Malbank School Chatterbox Club

Nantwichnews

MP Edward Timpson held a special surgery at Malbank School in Nantwich for parents and carers of vulnerable children.

Mr Timpson attended the school’s weekly “Chatterbox Club” which offers support, guidance and advice to the families of the children.

It also stages craft activities, seasonal workshops, and time for sharing life experiences over coffee and cake.

A pilot scheme last year proved successful and now the Welsh Row school wants to expand the support and activities available to parents.

Mr Timpson spoke to children and parents about a wide variety of subjects and answered questions.

He also learnt about the group’s work in Nantwich, including visits to Richmond Village to provide companionship to elderly residents.

Mr Timpson said: “I was made to feel really welcome by the parents, children and staff.

“I enjoyed getting stuck into some personal and political issues in equal measure with the toughest questions coming from the younger element!

“It was obvious how much all those involved get out of the club both in terms of self confidence and social interaction.”

© 2011 Nantwichnews

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Weston Primary's Chinese Links

Crewe and Nantwich Guardian

WESTON Village Primary School in Crewe welcomed local MP Edward Timpson last week to tell him about a special project they are taking part in with a school in China.

The Crewe and Nantwich MP met with head teacher Barbara Mitchell and governors to learn about the school’s new link with a school in Xi’an in China.

A short presentation and exhibition had been prepared about the Local Education Authority visit to China, and about the mutual benefits of forging links with schools in other countries.

The project aims to widen children’s experiences of different cultures and to appreciate and understand the diversity in societies both at home and abroad.

Mr Timpson also met Jan Webb, a teacher at the school who has received national and international recognition for her work in establishing such projects.

Mr Timpson said: "Since my last visit to Weston Village Primary they have clearly been working hard on developing close links sit countries right across the world.

“The potential benefits to the pupils are huge, whether it be by improving their geographical, linguistic and cultural knowledge or simply giving them a connection with a child the other side of the globe.

“Congratulations must go to Jan Webb for incredible achievements in setting up one of the recognised best projects of this kind in the world.”

© 2001-2011 Newsquest Media Group

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Concerns over Crewe nursery closures raised by MP Edward Timpson in House of Commons

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has highlighted the plight in the House of Commons of local families who lost cash and childcare places when three nurseries closed.

Parents who paid for childcare at Pebble Brook, Underwood West and Monks Coppenhall daycare centres in Crewe were left out of pocket and without childcare when Excellence in Crewe, which ran them, went into administration.

Speaking in the House of Commons last week Mr Timpson asked Leader of the House Sir George Young for a debate in Parliament to ensure better protection for families.

Sir George pledged to raise the matter with ministers at the Department for Business.

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd.

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Spectacular scenes in Nantwich for Holly Holy Day celebrations

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

Spectacular scenes in Nantwich for Holly Holy Day celebrations

CANNON booms and musket fire filled the air in Nantwich on Saturday with the traditional Holly Holy Day celebrations.

Hundreds of troops from the Sealed Knot Society marched through the town and descended on Mill Island for the annual Battle of Nantwich re-enactment, watched by thousands of spectators.

The town had been bustling with street entertainment and educational tours in the run-up to the event, which organisers say was as good as it’s ever been.

Holly Holy Day Society chairman Shaun Cafferty said: “There were no significant hitches, the weather was reasonable and attendances were about the same as last year, which was a record year.

“Traders in the town said business was well up and a lot had put on special events or food which added to the ambience. It’s good that we gave them something they could take advantage of and they responded.

“The crowd was easy to manage this year. We’d worked on getting people on to Mill Island quicker when the battle gets going, and we’re indebted to the Rotary Clubs of Nantwich and Crewe and Nantwich Weaver for their help with stewarding.”

Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson is a long-standing patron of the event.

He said: “I’m delighted that Holly Holy Day was such a success. This is good news for Nantwich people and Nantwich businesses.

“It’s great that our unique cultural offering can be so supportive of the local economy while keeping Nantwich on the map.”

As well as the parade and battle, there were performances by X Academy and Nantwich Players in the town centre, a Punch and Judy show, a children’s entertainer and 17th Century entertainment, including music and a musketry demonstration.

And plans for next year’s event will begin in just a few weeks when the Holly Holy Day society meets again.

Mr Cafferty said: “We’ll have a meeting in a few weeks and decide what worked and what could be improved for next year.

“A lot of people think Cheshire East or the town council pay for this event, but while we do get grant money from the town council, it’s the public turning up and paying and the input from local businesses that makes sure we can continue to stage this event each year.

“Next year it’s the 40th year of continual celebration of Holly Holy Day so we’ll try and turn that into a bit of a bigger show.”

Saturday was the first Holly Holy Day since the death of stalwart Melvyn Reynolds last year.

Mr Cafferty added: “It was nice for Melvyn in the last couple of years. He did a gradual handover and there were several years when he was ‘Mr Holly Holy Day’. He had to do everything himself at one point.

“Without him there wouldn’t have been that continuity and last year he had the luxury of enjoying the event without worrying about anything, and I’m glad we were able to give him that.”

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson