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Thursday, 31 March 2011

MP’s news 79

Welcome ...

Welcome to this my 79th electronic news bulletin.

Last week the Government announced the budget for the coming year. I am confident that it will help families struggling with the cost of living by cutting income tax by an average £48 for millions, taking over a million more people out of paying tax altogether, cutting fuel duty immediately, postponing Labour's planned duty increase this April, scrapping their fuel escalator, and bringing in a fair fuel stabiliser by taxing oil companies more to stop future inflation rises in duty.

The budget is focused on boosting manufacturing, growth and jobs by cutting tax for businesses and entrepreneurs; scrapping burdensome regulations; radically reforming the planning system; investing in science and innovation; and providing more support for young people with an additional 50,000 apprenticeships and 100,000 work experience places.

And the Government are sticking to the clear and necessary plan - backed by the IMF, OECD and every major business body in Britain - to put the public finances back on track after Labour maxed out the nation's credit card. The fiscal plan is unchanged. We cannot go on spending £120 million a day on debt interest - more than we spend on schools and defence combined. Our children and grandchildren don't deserve to be lumbered with the consequences of Labour's profligacy.

Elsewhere the tumultuous events in Japan and across North Africa and the Middle East continue to exercise all our thoughts.

The determination of the Japanese people in the face of such catastrophe has been extraordinary. Our hearts go out to them.

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

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

Best wishes,

Edward Timpson
Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich

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I have recently ...

  • Met with representatives from North West Ambulance Service to discuss First Responders services in Crewe & Nantwich
  • Been interviewed by Supported Community Business of Crewe about the need to provide support for constituents with special needs to develop their own businesses
  • Been interviewed by local Redshift Radio in Crewe on their Polish hour
  • Attended a parliamentary reception for Action for Children & Barnardo's, promoting support for vulnerable young people
  • Attended All Party Group for Bingo to promote & support bingo clubs across the United Kingdom, especially here in Crewe!
  • Chaired a discussion forum at the Positive for Youth Summit - a Department for Education initiative to promote youth issues
  • Supported Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 with ambassador Sir Steve Redgrave view here
  • Met at a local farm with the National Farmers Union and local dairy farmers from across the constituency to discuss support for the dairy farming industry
  • Completed a training session for the London Marathon with instructor & ex-soldier Lee Riley, with a TV crew from ITV Granada
  • Attended & spoke to the Nantwich Rotary Club annual dinner in Hough
  • Attended a Cheshire East Council Young Persons event to promote opportunities for young people in Crewe & Nantwich and to celebrate many of the positive contributions they make.
  • Helped Nantwich in Bloom and children from Weaver Primary School plant new trees along the Weaver River in Nantwich
  • Attended a Nantwich Choral Society recital at St Mary's Church, Nantwich
  • Held a constituency surgery in Shavington
  • Spoken in the Budget debate and questioned both the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Education in the House of Commons Chamber where I was able to inform MPs of the dramatic improvements made by Haslington Primary School over the last year and a half.
  • Been interviewed by BBC Radio Stoke as the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers about the Government's announcement of £5m being made available for Local Authorities to set up Junior ISAs fir children in care, a result of a cross party campaign I have been involved with in partnership with Action for Children and Barnardos charities

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Photos & Video ...

Main Content Inline Small
  • Edward supports Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 with ambassador Sir Steve Redgrave

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

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Tory MPs Stephen Crabb and Edward Timpson prepare to run the London Marathon (and would appreciate your sponsorship!)

Conservative Home

Among the runners competing in the London Marathon in less than four weeks' time are two Conservative MPs, Stephen Crabb and Edward Timpson.

They will join more than 35,000 other runners on the 26-mile course through the capital on April 17th.

Stephen, a Government whip and MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, is entering for the third time and will be raising money for the Hope MS Therapy Centre in Neyland, Pembrokeshire, which serves people living with Multiple Sclerosis and other debilitating illnesses.

He tells me:

"The Virgin London Marathon is one of the largest fundraising events in the world and is a great opportunity to help raise money for small local charities. Every year several MPs manage to stagger round the 26 mile course and the atmosphere on the day is incredible. I will be pleased if I finish in under 4 hours, although this is still a long way off Matthew Parris’s record time for an MP of 2 hours 32 minutes in 1985. That was a phenomenally quick time for an MP to run it. My training is going well and is a welcome diversion from the long hours currently spent whipping the Health Bill."

To sponsor Stephen's run in aid of the Hope MS Therapy Centre, go to his fundraising website.

Edward Timpson, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, will be running his ninth marathon, raising money this year for Parkinson's UK.

He says:

"My first marathon was in 1998 and my best time is 3 hours 47 minutes. Ever since campaign literature during the Crewe & Nantwich by-election in 2008 committed me to running the London Marathon in 2009 I have managed to run every year in aid of both local and national charities including Homestart Cheshire, Supported Community Business based in Crewe and this year Parkinson's UK. An MP's lifestyle is not necessarily conducive to healthy eating and regular exercise, but by challenging myself to stagger 26 miles in one go once a year I hope I go some way to staving off the ravages of Westminster. However, this year I will not be putting my personal best time at risk."

To sponsor Edward's run in aid of Parkinson's UK, go to his fundraising website.

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt - a veteran of nine marathons - had hoped to make this his tenth, but duties as the minister responsible for the Middle East have understandably eaten into training time and stopped him being able to do it.

P.S. In the interests of promoting positive Coalition relations, I should also mention that the Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire, Jo Swinson, is running the London Marathon this year in aid of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. Click here to go to her fundraising website.
© 2011 Conservative Home

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Govt to fund Junior ISA saving for children in care

Money Marketing

Around £5m of Government funding will be made available to help fund junior Isa saving for children in care.

Junior Isas were announced by the Government as a replacement for child trust funds in October and are expected to be available from the autumn. Unlike CTFs, junior Isas have no Government contribution, however the Government is making £5m available to contribute into junior Isas for children in care.

Speaking at Treasury questions in Parliament today, Chancellor George Osborne said further details on the wider scheme will be released next week.

He said: “I know these children face particular challenges and I can tell the house the Department of Education will work with others to make the necessary funding available to ensure we can provide the support they serve. The sum of money involved will be around £5m.”

Bernado’s and Action for Children proposed to the Government that these accounts should be used to support savings for “looked-after” children and Osborne said the Government will work with the charities to develop detailed proposals on how the scheme will work.

Looked-after children are those subject to care orders or who are voluntarily accommodated in the care system.

Conservative MP and all party parliamentary group on looked after children and care leavers chairman Edward Timpson said the proposal enjoyed strong cross bench consensus and welcomed the announcement.

Shadow Treasury spokesman David Hanson said: “As ever the devil will be in the detail but I am certainly prepared to work with the charities and Treasury ministers to make sure we get a scheme which is effective.”

© Centaur Communications Limited or its licensors 2011

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Tax cash for care children savings

Press Association National Newswire

Children in care will be given tax-free savings accounts with cash from the Government, Chancellor George Osborne announced today.
The step means some of Britain's most vulnerable youngsters will have money deposited in their accounts from the taxpayer to help them start their lives.

Speaking at Commons question time, Mr Osborne told MPs today's announcement followed the unveiling last October of the Junior ISA for children, which will be available from this autumn.

Mr Osborne said: "We will work with the charities and interested parties to develop detailed proposals, funded by the Government, so that Junior ISAs can best support these children."

The Chancellor added: "Barnardo's and Action for Children have proposed these accounts be used to support saving for looked-after children.

"I know these children face particular challenges and I can tell the House the Department for Education will work with others to make the necessary funding available to ensure we can provide the support they deserve."

The coalition was keen to help youngsters cared for by local council social services departments, who often do not benefit from bank accounts set up by parents or other relatives.

Mr Osborne said he wanted the £5 million scheme running as soon as possible, saying previous governments struggled to provide "a decent level of care for children who we owe the greatest obligation".

He said the Government would outline details next week of how the accounts would work, adding: "We are going to provide the funding to make this a reality for looked-after children."

The Chancellor pledged the scheme would be implemented across the UK, even though it is run by the Department for Education, powers for which are devolved to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Tory Edward Timpson (Crewe and Nantwich), chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for children in care, hailed Mr Osborne's announcement, saying: "This proposal has widespread, cross-party support.

"The fact the Government made provision for the most vulnerable children in our society is extremely welcome."

Shadow treasury minister David Hanson told Mr Osborne Labour argued for such a scheme when the Government abolished the Child Trust Fund, and asked how much the Government would put into each account.

The Chancellor replied: "The exact design of the scheme now has to be determined with the charities."

Mr Osborne said he welcomed Labour's support for the scheme, adding Treasury officials would work with Opposition.
It was important that it was not too bureaucratic and the money reached those who "needed it most", he said.
"Let's work together and make the scheme work," Mr Osborne told Labour.

Speaking outside the Commons, Barnardo's chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said: "Barnardo's is extremely pleased to see the Government living up to its responsibility as corporate parent for children in the care system, who are some of the most disadvantaged children in our society.

"This modest investment into savings accounts for looked-after children will help these young people achieve their goals and avoid negative outcomes such as homelessness or falling into cycles of debt.

"We look forward to hearing from the Government about their wider financial package for vulnerable children and young people in the Budget."

Action for Children's chief executive Dame Clare Tickell said: "Action for Children congratulates the Government for taking the opportunity to provide savings accounts for children in the care system.

"Leaving care can be a frightening and isolating time and, in the absence of support from their families, this financial support will make all the difference to care leavers, helping them to stand on their own two feet as independent adults.

"We look forward to working with the Government to make it happen."

© 2011 The Press Association

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Major Choral Work In Nantwich

Crewe and Nantwich Guardian

A MAJOR new choral work will receive its world premiere by Nantwich Choral Society in St Mary’s Nantwich on Saturday March 26.
Even Such Is Time by Andrew Mildinhall takes the text of the Requiem Mass and intersperses it with poems by Walter Raleigh, Keats, Edmund Blunden, Elizabeth Jennings and others.

These reflect on the transitory nature of time, the futility of war, God’s love for humanity and the search for eternal life.

The chorus sing the text of the Requiem Mass and as each section unfolds the two soloists comment on it through the texts of the striking and imaginatively selected poems.

Also in the programme will be Gabriel Fauré’s much loved Requiem, which will be performed in his original 1893 version, which uses violas, cellos, harp, horns timpani and organ accompaniment.

The Northern Concordia Orchestra will accompany the choir and the soloists will be Christopher Booth-Jones and Nantwich-based mezzo-soprano Susan Marrs.

Composer Andrew Mildinhall is well known to local audiences.

Before returning to his native Norfolk to concentrate on composing he was previously organist at St Mary’s Church and until recently accompanist for Nantwich Choral Society.

His new composition has been commissioned by NCS and the concert will be supported by a generous legacy from a former member of Nantwich Choral Society.

Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson said: “It’s great that St Mary’s here in Nantwich is playing host to this new work.
"I’ve known the talent and dedication of Nantwich Choral Society for some time now, and I am sure they will do it justice.”

NCS music director John Naylor added: “The texts that Andrew has chosen are very thought provoking, the music he has composed is superb – dramatic, introspective, full of memorable melodic lines and poignant harmonies and delightful to perform.

“This new work is a worthy companion piece to Fauré’s well known Requiem and it thoroughly deserves to find a permanent place within the standard choral repertoire.

"I am convinced that this is a genuine opportunity for anyone interested in approachable and moving new music to be present at the first performance of something very special.”

For more details visit www.nantwichchoral.org.uk.

© 2001 - 2011 newsquest Media Group

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Crewe and Nantwich MP touched by plight of families of missing people

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has been hearing about what help is available for the families of missing people.

He was at an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting to hear Peter Lawrence, father of missing York chef Claudia Lawrence.
Mr Lawrence spoke about what more can be done to help families of missing people.

The meeting explored the practical and legal problems families face after a disappearance.

Attendees concluded that a parliamentary inquiry would be the best avenue to explore the issues raised.

Ann Coffey, who chairs the APPG on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, said: “Relatives who have endured the pain of a loved one going missing need as much help and support as possible with the practical and legal problems they face.”

Mr Timpson said: “An inquiry will help us understand the problems faced. Having a missing relative is terrible for any family so we need to make sure they get all the help they can.”

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd.

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British children facing care crisis

Press TV

The child care system in Britain is plunging into a crisis with an increasing number of children needing help and a declining number of carers to meet the need.

The number of British children who need care will increase by 35 percent or 61,000 over the next two years, according to new figures compiled by the Sunday Express.

Britain is also suffering from a 10,000 shortfall of foster carers which will probably get worse as a result of the government's spending cuts plans.

Meanwhile, a survey commissioned by the charity NSPCC Child Protection Awareness and Diversity Department says thousands of children as young as five have called ChildLine last year to complain that their carers were abusing them physically or sexually.

“Many children suffer in care. It is vital there are enough foster carers to meet the needs of this very vulnerable group,” said an NSPCC spokesman.

Furthermore, Conservative MP Edward Timpson has called for a “relentless recruitment drive for foster carers” and a “full and proper national review of residential care.”

“Sadly the continued shortage of foster carers as well as the high turnover of social workers means too many children in care are not getting basic requirements,” said Timpson who has campaigned for better care provision.

Many troubled children are dislocated sometimes several times during their life in care, because of the shortage of suitable and skilled carers.

© 2011 Press TV

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Words from Westminster

Edward Timpson, Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

It is estimated that about 1.4 million - nearly 5% per cent - of British motorists drive uninsured.
This is unacceptably high and we all know poses a great risk to all of us.

Cheshire is one of the top 20 hotspots for this type of crime, with 26,837 uninsured vehicles on its roads according to police figures.

Currently every responsible motorist pays an average £30 each year within their premiums to cover crashes involving uninsured drivers and it's also estimated that uninsured drivers kill 160 people and injure 23,000 every year.

I am assured that the Government intends to tackle this important issue. Why should responsible drivers like you and I be left to pay while criminals go largely unchallenged?

In addition to existing measures to tackle uninsured driving, which lead to the seizure of more than 400 uninsured vehicles by the police every day, a Continuous Insurance Enforcement scheme will shortly come into force.

Under the new powers it will be an offence to keep an uninsured vehicle, rather than just to drive whilst uninsured.

This means that, as enforcement can now take place not just for driving without insurance, but also for keeping a vehicle without insurance, there will be no place for illegal motorists to hide.

The scheme will work by identifying uninsured vehicles from a comparison of information held by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau and the DVLA in respect of registered vehicle keepers. Where identified, motorists will receive a letter telling them that their vehicle appears to be uninsured and warning them that they will be fined unless they insure it within a set period.
If the keeper fails to insure the vehicle they will be given a £100 fine – if the vehicle remains uninsured, it could then be seized and destroyed.

It's high time that the vast majority who play by the rules on our roads are not the ones made to suffer by the actions or inactions of the minority who don't.
This news marks a significant step forward in Crewe and Nantwich and elsewhere in the fight against uninsured driving.

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd.

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St Mary's Nantwich to stage choral world premiere

Nantwichnews

A major new choral work will receive its world premiere by Nantwich Choral Society in St Mary’s Nantwich on March 26.

‘Even Such is Time’ by Andrew Mildinhall takes the text of the Requiem Mass and intersperses it with poems by Walter Raleigh, Keats, Edmund Blunden, Elizabeth Jennings and others.
The chorus sings the Requiem Mass text and as each section unfolds, two soloists comment on it through the poems.

Also in the programme will be Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem which will be performed in his original 1893 version using violas, cellos, harp, horns timpani and organ accompaniment.
The Northern Concordia Orchestra will accompany the choir and the soloists will be former English National Opera star Christopher Booth-Jones and Nantwich-based international mezzo-soprano Susan Marrs.

Composer Mildinhall used to be organist at St Mary’s and an accompanist for Nantwich Choral Society.

His new composition has been commissioned by NCS and the concert will be supported by a generous legacy from a former member.

Crewe & Nantwich MP Edward Timpson will be among the audience.

He said: “It’s great St Mary’s is playing host to this new work. I’ve known the talent and dedication of Nantwich Choral Society for some time now, and I am sure they will do it justice.”

NCS Music Director John Naylor said: “The texts which Andrew has chosen are very thought provoking, the music he has composed is superb – dramatic, introspective, full of memorable melodic lines and poignant harmonies and delightful to perform.

“I am convinced this is a genuine opportunity for anyone interested in approachable and moving new music to be present at the first performance of something very special.”

© 2011 Nantwichnews

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MP Timpson backs new funds for Cheshire's potholes

Nantwichnews

Crewe & Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has welcomed funding of £100 million which will help councils like Cheshire easy repair potholes.

Mr Timpson said: “This money should make a real difference in Crewe and Nantwich to the huge number of drivers and cyclists.

“They are fed up with having to continually battle against dangerous potholes, enabling them to have safer and smoother journeys.”

The money has also been welcomed by the AA who say if the £100 million is used entirely for roads, it will repair 1.5 million potholes.

The money is in addition to the £831 million already provided to councils for road maintenance this year, and the £30 billion of
transport infrastructure spending the Government has committed to over the next four years.

© 2011 Nantwichnews

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Crewe & Nantwich MP welcomes cash to fix potholes on nation's roads

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicles

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has welcomed the Government stumping up £100m to help councils pay for pothole repairs after the icy winter caused terrible damage to the nation’s roads.

The money is in addition to the £831m already provided to councils for road maintenance this year and the £30 billion of transport infrastructure spending the Government has committed to over the next four years.

Mr Timpson said: “It should make a real difference to the huge number of drivers and cyclists who are fed up with having to continually battle against dangerous potholes, enabling them to have safer and smoother journeys.”

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd.

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Nantwich to stage world premiere of bold new choral work using music and poetry

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

A MAJOR new choral work will receive its world premiere by Nantwich Choral Society in St Mary’s Nantwich on Saturday March 26.

‘Even Such is Time’ by Andrew Mildinhall takes the text of the Requiem Mass and intersperses it with poems by Walter Raleigh, Keats, Edmund Blunden, Elizabeth Jennings and others which reflect on the transitory nature of time, the futility of war, God’s love for humanity and the search for eternal life.

The chorus sing the text of the Requiem Mass and as each section unfolds, the two soloists comment on it through the texts of the striking and imaginatively selected poems.

Also in the programme will be Gabriel Fauré’s much loved Requiem which will be performed in his original 1893 version which uses violas, cellos, harp, horns timpani and organ accompaniment.
Both works have the same rather unusual orchestration.

The Northern Concordia Orchestra will accompany the choir and the soloists will be Christopher Booth-Jones - for many years principal baritone of English National Opera - and Nantwich-based mezzo-soprano Susan Marrs. Susan is finding time for the local performance within a busy international singing career.

Composer Andrew Mildinhall is well known to local audiences. Before returning to his native Norfolk to concentrate on composing he was previously organist at St Mary’s Church and until recently accompanist for Nantwich Choral Society.

His new composition has been commissioned by NCS and the concert will be supported by a generous legacy from a former member of Nantwich Choral Society.

Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson is among those looking forward to the concert: “It’s great that St Mary’s here in Nantwich is playing host to this new work. I’ve known the talent and dedication of Nantwich Choral Society for some time and I’m sure they’ll do it justice.”

Commenting on the forthcoming performance, NCS music director John Naylor said: “We’re all so impressed and delighted with ‘Even Such is Time’. It will form the first part of our concert on March 26. The texts which Andrew has chosen are very thought-provoking, the music he has composed is superb – dramatic, introspective, full of memorable melodic lines and poignant harmonies - and delightful to perform.

“This new work is a worthy companion piece to Fauré’s well known Requiem and it thoroughly deserves to find a permanent place within the standard choral repertoire.

“This is a genuine opportunity for anyone interested in approachable and moving new music to be present at the first performance of something very special.”

© 2011 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd.

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Children with nowhere to go

Daily Express

BRITAIN’S child care system is in crisis with record numbers of children needing help and a desperate shortage of foster parents.

Frantic social workers say they have had to leave children in unsafe homes because there was nowhere for them to go and one child had to spend a night in hospital because no alternative bed was available.

An NSPCC report warns that even in care children may not be safe. The charity says that last year thousands of children, some as young as five, rang ChildLine to complain that their carers were abusing them physically or sexually.

The next two years are expected to see 61,000 children taken into care, a 35 per cent rise since the tragic case of Baby Peter came to public attention.

The surge in child care applications since the toddler’s death in 2007 has coincided with a shortfall of about 10,000 foster carers, a situation likely to worsen as funding cuts bite.

The figures compiled by the Sunday Express have alarmed child care experts. The NSPCC believes the escalating problem will put more vulnerable children at risk.

An NSPCC spokesman said: “Many children suffer in care. It is vital there are enough foster carers to meet the needs of this very vulnerable group.”

Conservative MP Edward Timpson, who has campaigned for better care provision, last night called for a “relentless recruitment drive for foster carers” and a “full and proper national review of residential care”.

He said: “Sadly the continued shortage of foster carers as well as the high turnover of social workers means too many children in care are not getting basic requirements.”

The shortage of suitable carers means that troubled children may be uprooted many times, sometimes several times in a single month. One child was moved 15 times during their life in care. Brothers and sisters are often forced to live apart.

The NSPCC said constant moves leave many children traumatised. One boy in a care home told ChildLine that staff ignored constant bullying.

ChildLine’s director Peter Liver said: “Every day, looked-after children talk to us about lives filled with pain and hurt. We hear from children who have been beaten or sexually assaulted while in care. Others feel abandoned or unloved by their new carers. Many have reached crisis point.”

The court advisory service Cafcass, said it received 8,239 new applications between April 2010 and February this year, an annual rise of 3.3 per cent.

Last year 53,934 children in the country needed a foster home, compared with 51,009 in 2007.

Figures compiled by the Local Government Association show that the dramatic increase in child protection referrals could see the number of new cases reach a record 61,000 by 2011/12, almost 35 per cent higher than in 2007/8.

© 2006 Northern and Shell Media Publications

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

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Extra £2 million to fill potholes welcomed.

 

Local Councillors have welcomed  an additional £2million grant from the Government to fill potholes.

Cllr. Brian Silvester said," We have had two of the worst winters ever on the run and they have taken their toll on our roads. We have reported many potholes in Wistaston, Willaston, Shavington and Rope and this extra money will help the Cheshire East Council deal with the backlog of repairs.

Cllr Jacquie Weatherill said," I am very grateful that the Government has been able to find this money for this important work at a time of severe restraint on spending. Potholes can be reported direct on the Council's website or residents can contact one of their local Councillors."

Cllr. Margaret Simon says;
"This is really good news. Our residents have helped us to identify potholes in our Ward that need urgent attention. With this much needed extra funding we should now be able to get more work done in our area."


Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

Rope Ward Councillor

Tel/fax 01270 567757

SPRING GARDEN SECURITY ADVICE

 

As temperatures start to increase and days get longer many of us take the opportunity to tidy up our gardens.  Now is an excellent time to double check that your garden is secure and implement extra security measures to assist you in keeping crime free throughout the spring and summer months.

·        Ensure that there are no weak points or gaps along fences and hedgerows that form the perimeter of your garden.  These provide easy access points and undermine the security that you have in place.

·        Try and keep wheelie bins locked up.  Bins can be used in two ways to aid an opportunist thief.  They can be moved to provide a convenient stepping stone over property boundaries or they can be used to carry stolen goods.

·        When planting, put heavy stones in the bottom of pots or planters to make them more difficult to be carried away.

·        If possible, anchor valuable garden ornaments or furniture to the ground.

·        Lock tools and ladders away when you are away from your property / overnight.  By leaving tools and ladders out you are providing an easy option for burglars as they can use these to gain entry to homes or outbuildings.  This also means that they don’t need to carry tools with them so if they are stopped by the police there is no evidence that they are going equipped to engage in crime.

·        Clever planting can enhance the security of your property as well as looking attractive.  Prickly bushes and plants can be located at vulnerable areas / entry points around your property to create a spiky barrier.

·        Burglars sometimes like to work undercover, therefore it is advisable to trim back any hedges, bushes or tall trees that might provide a convenient hiding spot for thieves.  This also increases the natural surveillance of your property meaning, in terms of schemes like home watch that, you can keep an eye on each others houses easier and report any suspicious behaviour as it happens.

·        Consider how you currently use lighting in your garden.  Are there areas that are too dark and might benefit from lighting?  Lights with motion sensors can be used to offer protection by covering specific areas of your garden or consider dusk till dawn lights to offer better overall lighting overnight.

·        Sheds and outbuildings need to be properly secured.  Many of us have a number of valuable items stored in such places and yet the security of these buildings often falls well below the security that we use on our homes.  Extend your house insurance to cover any valuable items or consider having your house alarm extended to cover outbuildings.  Property mark any valuable items and increase security by fixing them to the floor / wall or locking within a metal cage.

·        There can be an increase in thefts from sheds and outbuildings during spring and summer as people forget to lock them when they go out in the day or overnight.  This provides an easy option for thieves so make life as difficult as possible for them and ensure that you take the extra seconds to lock these buildings when not in use.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Cheshire East roads given £2m cash boost

 

Work on damaged roads in Cheshire East is being bolstered by more than £2m of grant funding from central Government.

The Department for Transport has announced it is releasing £200m as an exceptional payment to help with much-needed road repairs, following severe winter weather experienced across the country.

It originally pledged £100m in February, but has doubled this funding due to savings the department made earlier in the financial year. Cheshire East is receiving more than twice the amount it got last year.

The Council’s environmental services team handled an eight-fold increase in pothole reports in January and engineers have been assessing damage to pinpoint where carriageway defects are.

Phil Sherratt, Head of environmental services at Cheshire East, said: “We are delighted to have received £2,048,626 from the Department for Transport and Cheshire East intends to make every penny count.

“Our highway network suffered significant damage from the severe weather over the November and December period and, just last month, we pledged an extra £500,000 from our own budget to ensure urgent attention to the problem.

“This additional funding from the Department for Transport is very welcome and, over the coming months, we will spend the money wisely to repair our roads and enhance the Cheshire East environment.”

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

Crewe and Nantwich bin collections – recycling is sorted in one

8164 Bin Transformation 48 Sheet

It’s sorted in one – think silver, think recycling.

That’s the message from Cheshire East Council as the authority prepares to roll out its new recycling service as part of its waste and recycling transformation programme.

The authority has already outlined its plans to simplify various waste collection services throughout Cheshire East and introduce a three-bin system for the whole Borough.

This will be simpler, easier and more convenient for residents.

The emphasis of the transformation is on the silver bin, which will be used to collect all recyclables – including paper, glass, waxed cartons, foil and mixed plastics.

The three-bin system will mean the silver bin is used to collect all dry recyclables. The brown bin will be used to collect garden vegetation. Other waste that can not be recycled will be collected in the black bin.

If you have a green paper recycling bin, we will collect it for recycling in the run up to the new service’s launch on May 9.

This service will be simpler, easier and more convenient for residents – with only one collection day to remember. Recycling and green vegetation will be collected one week with black bin waste collected on the alternate week.

Now, as the Council looks to further boost its prolific recycling rate of 49.46 per cent, the full list of recyclable materials, which all Cheshire East residents will be encouraged to put in the silver bin, has been released.

It comes as the authority formally agreed a contract with UPM Shotton, in North Wales, who will process the recycling the Council collects and pass it on to local reprocessors to be recycled into new products.

Within 10 days of a newspaper being put in the silver bin, it will be on the news stands for purchase as a new newspaper.  

The materials that can be recycled in the silver bin, from May 9, are as follows:

•           Newspaper, magazines, junk mail

•           Glass (mixed)

•           Office paper (white and coloured)

•           Other paper including clean paper bags

•           Greeting cards

•           Envelopes including window type

•           Telephone directories including Yellow Pages

•           Wrapping paper

•           Junk mail

•           Cardboard

•           Egg boxes (card based)

•           Waxed cartons

•           Cans (steel and aluminium)

•           Aluminium foil

•           Aerosols

•           Mixed plastics (PET, HDPE, PVC, including plastic bags and containers)

Phil Sherratt, head of environmental services at Cheshire East Council, said: “We in Cheshire East have a fantastic opportunity to be even greener, more socially responsible and put a much wider range of dry recyclable materials all in one bin.

“I hope the introduction of this easier service will be warmly welcomed by the people of Crewe and Nantwich. Not only is the number of recycling receptacles being reduced but the system is being very much simplified.

“The aim is not only to boost our excellent recycling rate but also save money.

“We are now primarily a recycling service, not a traditional waste collection service and we believe that this is the way forward for the whole of Cheshire East.

“This scheme further underlines our real commitment to enhancing the Cheshire East environment.”

Phase one of the changes, which covers the former boroughs of Crewe & Nantwich and Congleton, begins in May. Phase two, covering the former Macclesfield borough, will start in October.

Awareness day highlights respect for service users

 

A day of events and workshops to promote the importance of respect and dignity in health and social care will be held next week.

The Dignity Awareness Day, which is being held by Cheshire East Council and other Cheshire East public sector care organisations, is on Wednesday, April 6.

The event will highlight the importance of treating care service users with respect and offering them more choice and control.  

The first half of the day will include drop-in sessions and exhibitions for anyone who wants to know more about enhancing dignity and respect in care.

Representatives from Cheshire East social care organisations – such as local NHS trusts, Cheshire Carers Centre and Cheshire East Council – will be on hand to explain their approach to dignity and respect issues.

There will be information stands on Demenshare – a Cheshire East Council and Age UK Cheshire-backed social networking site for those living with Dementia, information on assistive technology and effective infection control from local NHS trusts. 

The second half of the day will include workshops for health and social care professionals who want to enhance how they ensure dignity and respect for those they care for.

There will be best practice workshops on respect and dignity issues for those receiving dementia, hospice and general home care.

Guidance on personal budgets and the availability of resources and community activities will be provided by representatives of Cheshire East Council.

The Dignity Awareness Day will be held at Eagle Bridge Health & Wellbeing Centre, in Crewe. Professionals who would like to attend an afternoon session must book a place. For more information, call Claire Barker at Cheshire East Council on 01270 375 330 or email: claire.barker@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Phil Lloyd, Director of Adult, Community, Health & Wellbeing Services, said: “Cheshire East Council recognises that any individual who is in receipt of care services has a right to be treated with respect and dignity.

“The awareness day will be a great opportunity for local care workers and members of the public to come together, share ideas and find out more about how to enhance dignity and respect in care.”

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Starlings in Nantwich

 

Cheshire East Council is responding to concerns from Nantwich residents about the town’s winter starling roost.    

The Council’s Nantwich Local Area Partnership (LAP) is considering commissioning a study to investigate issues surrounding the Nantwich starling roost and potential short-term and long-term solutions.

The birds roost in the town centre during the winter months. 

The study would investigate how other places have addressed issues associated with large starling roosts.

It will potentially evaluate the pros and cons of various bird-scaring devices such as alarm calls, audio recordings and falconry, and look at the provision of alternative plantation sites for the birds. 

It is hoped that the investigation could provide the basis for a considered response to issues arising from the Nantwich roost and lead to the development of an action plan.  

As the law stands, starlings are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it illegal to intentionally kill, injure or take a starling or destroy an active nest. 

The ability of local authorities and other landowners to control starlings under licence was removed in 2005.

Kirstie Hercules, partnership manager at Cheshire East Council, said: “Although starling swarms can look wonderful, we understand that the smell and mess they leave behind is causing distress to the residents of Nantwich.

“However, managing starling roosts is a tricky exercise, requiring specialist knowledge and direction. We are looking at various ways to get this guidance and a comprehensive study, by those in the know, is one of them.”

Expect your poll cards any day now

Poll Cards 1

Poll cards will be landing on the doormats of voters across Cheshire East in the next few days.

The white poll cards and pink postal vote poll cards will be mailed to electors this week (week beginning March 28).

The election will be held on May 5 for Cheshire East Council and contested town and parish councils. A national referendum on the alternative vote system will take place on the same day. 

There will be separate ballot papers for each council election and the referendum.

Cheshire East Council Chief Executive Erika Wenzel, who will be the Returning Officer at the elections, said: “When you receive your poll card, check the details are correct and keep it to hand as it tells you where your local polling station will be and provides other useful voting information.

“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 all our daily lives.

“Now is the time to make sure you are registered to vote before the deadline on Thursday, April 14, and to apply for a postal or proxy vote.”

To find out if you are registered to vote, or to request a postal vote, ring the Council’s electoral services team on 0300 123 5016 or email them at: customerservice3@cheshireeast.gov.uk

To request voter registration forms, visit the Council’s ‘Registering to Vote’ webpage at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/voting or print off the online forms from: www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

This will be the first election using new electoral ward boundaries for wards in Cheshire East following a review by the Boundary Commission. This means there will be 82 councillors representing Cheshire East Council. 

The number of wards has changed from 27 to 52. Depending on electorate figures, some wards will have one councillor and some wards will have two or three councillors.

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

www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/elections

St Mary’s Primary School celebrates the census

Census man visiting St. Mary's RC Primary School, Crewe - Year 5 and 6 pupils

Pupils at St Mary’s Primary School in Crewe have been learning about the upcoming census.

The census takes place on March 27, with questionnaires now being delivered to homes across Cheshire East.

The Year Five pupils spent the day with Census Man, learning all about the 2011 Census and the history surrounding it.

The children looked at how life has changed in the hundreds of years since the very first census and how the details from past questionnaires can be used to find out more about local history.

They took part in a number of activities, such as; using slates and chalk to write down their times tables, writing a fictional diary of child living in 1911, designing clothes from the 19th Century and learning how to play marbles.

Cheshire East Census area manager, Liam O’Connor, said: “For the majority of the children, this was the first time they had heard of the census and can safely say they children had fun learning all about it. They were very welcoming and I want to thank them for their enthusiasm.

“I was very impressed at how quickly they got to grips with the subject, asking all manner of questions and getting involved with the activities.”

Vivienne Quayle Cheshire East Council’s Head of policy and performance said: “It would be unfortunate if the 2011 Census passes without children being aware of why it’s taking place and of its importance.

“Lessons like these take just a couple of hours and relate to all manner of subjects, including history and sociology. The feedback from the school was very positive and I would like to thank them for their involvement.”

Friday, 25 March 2011

Boer War memorial

queenspark 038

The Boer war memorial in the Queens Park is being excavated as part of the restoration and the old stones have been unearthed after being buried for years. Its not clear when it was buried but on the Queens Park site there are images of 35 years ago wit hit covered so its at least 35 years its been buried.

What was amazing was the bolts for the chains had been covered in crease and been wrapped around with material and they came out brand new with no sign of rust .

oldpark10

The restoration is on going so it will be interesting to see what else they find buried.

CALL FOR 20MPH SPEED LIMIT OUTSIDE ROPE PRIMARY SCHOOL

IMG_1862

 

Rope Ward Cheshire East Borough Councillors are pressing for a 20mph limit outside the Berkeley Primary School in Rope.

Cllr Margaret Simon says;

“Laidon Avenue is a  very busy road, particularly during the morning  rush hour. We believe that achieving a speed limit of 20mph would help drivers to focus on the need to take care in this area.”

Cllr Brian Silvester said,

"Keeping our children safe whilst travelling to and from school is of paramount importance and we will do everything we can to slow the traffic down outside the school and to make these roads safer for our residents. We are also suggesting that double yellow lines should be introduced at the junction of Rope Bank Avenue and Laidon Avenue to alleviate parent parking problems on this narrow junction which is also a bus route. Currently parked vehicles on this corner cause a lot of congestion because traffic cannot get through.”

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Adult social care staff recognised

Sandra Shorter Head of Care4CE and Phil Lloyd Director of Adults, Community, Health and Wellbeing with Care4CE staff who were presented with achievement awards at Macclesfield Town Hall

Staff at Care4CE – Cheshire East Council’s service for adult social care – were celebrating last week after receiving awards and accolades at specially-arranged award ceremonies. 

Care4CE provides day, respite and support services for adults in need of social care, such as those with physical and mental health needs. 

More than 100 staff members from Care4CE were awarded NVQs – a competence-based professional qualification – in subjects such as health and social care, and leadership and management in care services.

The award ceremonies, which were hosted by the Head of Care4CE Sandra Shorter, took place last Wednesday (March 16), at The Hilary Centre, in Crewe and Thursday (March 17) at Macclesfield Town Hall.  

Cheshire East Council’s special recognition award, called Aspire4Excellence, was also awarded to Care4CE’s lifestyle in partnership team, which works to make health and wellbeing services more accessible to adults with disabilities, and the reablement team, which helps adults with disabilities to lead independent lives.

Director of adult services Phil Lloyd said: “I am delighted to see the staff of Care4CE recognised in this way and I congratulate them on their achievements.

“Care4Ce does a superb job in providing adult support services. Professional development through qualifications such as NVQs will ensure that the team continues to do so.” 

Adult services transport restructure in Cheshire East

 

Cheshire East Council is to begin a two-year programme to develop new transport arrangements for people with disabilities and older people.

The Council has identified that its unusually large minibus fleet needs to be altered to cater for the needs of modern customers, who should be given the freedom to decide their own travel arrangements.

A three-month consultation with service users found that people value the door-to-door transport service and the physical assistance offered to them and they would generally be happy to pay more for a similar service.

Now, a phased programme to move away from the current transport system will start next month.

A range of services are to be developed and closely monitored to ensure they are feasible and meet the needs of customers.

The programme will be rolled out gradually in each Local Independent Living Team (LILT) area. Crewe and Nantwich, which is seen to have the most potential for market development, will begin in April.

Macclesfield starts in July, Congleton in October and Wilmslow in January 2012. Rural areas will be tended to from the beginning of 2012.

The aim is to move away from all strategically commissioned transport by March 2013, although Cheshire East has made it clear that no individual will have their current arrangements withdrawn without an appropriate alternative solution being available.

Phil Lloyd, Director of adult, community health and wellbeing services, said: “We have learnt that our current system works well, is highly valued and that some people would be prepared to pay more to keep it. However, it works out at nearly £4,000 per person, per year. We also accept that any changes need to be phased in.

“Despite this, it costs nearly £1.6m to provide these transport services to around 420 people. Some use it once a week and others more. However, the vast majority of older people do not use either the transport or the day centres.

“In light of this, we need to act responsibly and look at whether this is value for money but also to continue to help older people and those with disabilities to get out and  about and achieve greater quality of life. It is also very important for carers who need that respite break.”

Consultation found people were willing, on average, to pay up to £4.55 per one-way trip to their day care centres. With this in mind, the Council found it appropriate to increase the flat rate charge from £2 to £4 per one-way trip.

Some options being considered as part of the programme include developing volunteer services, accreditation of accessible taxis, concessionary travel for carers, escorted door-to-door travel and extended independent travel training. A full list of options is detailed on the Council’s website.

Full details of the consultation can be found at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/yoursayoncare

New care charging policy in Cheshire East

 

Service charges for social care customers across Cheshire East are to change following an extensive consultation.

As part of social care redesign and in keeping with the Government’s Personalisation agenda, Cheshire East is working to modernise the way care is provided and to give users the opportunity to choose their own solutions.

But the Council is also faced with a higher than average ageing population and, consequently, a soaring demand for social care services, combined with a severe economic climate.

Now, the Council’s Cabinet has unanimously agreed to set charges at a suitable level to remove significant subsidy from care prices. This will include Council overhead costs and collecting additional income from customers – but only those who can reasonably afford to pay.

However, the Council has listened to consultees and has decided not to apply the charging policy to carers’ services and will not increase the cost of a delivered hot meal.

More than half of the 4,000 people supported by Cheshire East will feel no impact of the changes as they are not able to contribute towards their care.

The 280 people currently paying the full cost of their care are likely to see a seven per cent increase in their charges and the 1,416 who are paying an assessed contribution will likely see an average four per cent increase, which equates to £1.58 per person.

There was a general acceptance from consultees that user charges had to increase but there was also a strong feeling that retrieving 100 per cent of disposable income as a contribution to care was not right.

Customers also generally accepted that flat rate fees for transport would have to increase to protect valued services.

Some of the changes and implications are as follows (more can be viewed on the Council’s website, details below):

· Moving to 97 per cent of disposable income as a contribution to care (up from 90 per cent);

· A one-off administrative charge will be made to those moving from their home into long term care and wishing to defer charges until their property is sold (approximately £400 to cover the costs of admin and legal time);

· Encouraging the use of direct debit for income collection as the preferred payment option in new cases;

· Maximising the use of the Empower card as the main method of receiving a direct payment.

Customers will continue to have the freedom of choice to meet their needs in the open market through a personal budget where required, provided for by the council.

Phil Lloyd, Director of adult, community health and wellbeing services, said: “It is with regret that these changes have had to be made. But we know they are the right way forward and will provide us with a sound and fair base to meet future challenges; which we know we will be faced with.

“We have tried to limit the impact on what is a vulnerable group of people as much as we are able to in the current climate. Many other councils have moved to 100 per cent of disposable income but we want to show that we do listen to our residents.

“We firmly believe that these changes will leave the council much better placed to provide a high-quality service at a fair price.”

Full details of the consultation can be found at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/yoursayoncare

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Crime News

Charity theft man sentenced
A 22 year-old man from Stoke-on-Trent was sentenced for stealing 1,000 charity bags from a former employer and using them to collect clothes from doorsteps in Nantwich for his own profit. He was sentenced at South Cheshire Magistrates Court on 16th February after pleading guilty to theft from an employer. He was caught with bags of clothes by PC Paul Edmonds from Nantwich NPU following reports of a suspicious vehicle in the Stapeley area of Nantwich.
PC Edmonds seized the charity bags and contacted Cure Leukaemia who the bags belonged to and made sure that they got all of the items that the people of Stapley had generously given.
He was given a Community Order, which orders that he carries out 60 hours unpaid supervised work within the next 12 months and £85 costs.
Cheshire police go online to tackle domestic abuse
Anyone who suspects that someone close to them is suffering from domestic abuse is being urged to speak out and report it.
As part of its domestic abuse campaign, which was launched to coincide with Valentine’s Day, Cheshire Police is encouraging people who are concerned that someone close to them is being physically or verbally abused to report it online.
The new online facility, which launched Wednesday 16th February allows relatives, friends, work colleagues or neighbours to voice their concerns by logging onto www.cheshire.police.uk

Please be aware of the following incident that occurred at Sainsbury's in Nantwich at 13:00 on 16/03/2011:
A female was approached whilst on the supermarket car park by a male believed to be Eastern European.  The male asked the lady for directions and while she was distracted cash and credit cards were stolen from her handbag inside her vehicle.  The cards were subsequently used to withdraw money from her account.
Please make members aware of this and ask them to be cautious and vigilant if approached by anyone, particularly at supermarkets.  If anyone approaches asking for assistance of any kind be mindful where your handbag is at all times and keep it close to you, with the zip at the front of you so you can be sure that no one can gain access to the bag without you noticing.  Equally, for any men, refrain from carrying your wallets in easy to access places such as in your back pocket - keep it in a zipped pocket on your jacket and again if approached be aware of where it is at all times.  Be reluctant to remove your purse or wallet to give out small change to anyone who has a sob story - in reality if they had a major issue at a supermarket / shopping premises they could go in an gain assistance from the store staff.  This is a way of bringing someone's wallet and purse to an easy point of access as often whilst chatting you may not put it away as securely or pop it in your pocket/on the car seat where it is more accessible.
As well as this incident, there have been a couple of other reports over the East of Cheshire where people have been distracted in similar circumstances:
At Waitrose (09/03/2011) in Sandbach, a lady was distracted by a smartly dressed, attractive female, 5ft 2",shoulder length, dark hair asking for some change stating that her car had broken down.  She later realised that her purse was missing and managed to stop her cards. 
At Sainsbury's in Wilmslow (16/03/2011) a lady was distracted on the car park by two females believed to be Eastern European.  The lady later found bank cards missing which had been used to purchase goods in retail stores.
If anyone witnesses any suspicious or out of the ordinary behaviour please contact the police asap with as much information as possible via 0845 458 0000.

 

PROTECTING THE FRONT LINE

The effects of the financial restraints being imposed on Cheshire Police and other police forces are receiving widespread media coverage, nationally and locally.
In the Cheshire Police area the budget has to be reduced by £35.4 million over the next four years.
The budget for the coming year has now been set by the Police Authority.
Below is an up-to-date account of what it will mean.
The Chairman of the Cheshire Police Authority, Margaret Ollerenshaw says the newly approved budget for policing Cheshire in 2011/12 is designed to prevent any damage to frontline policing.
‘Frontline’ policing includes officers, police community support officers (PCSOs) and staff who are seen in the community, detectives, crime scene investigators, traffic and firearms officers and less visible aspects of policing such as officers and staff who are protecting vulnerable people and teams handling large scale incidents.
Eleven million pounds of savings have been identified by reducing costs, changing the way the Force works, looking at the equipment we buy and reviewing the estate. We will have to reduce the number of officers and staff we employ in each of the next four years, but are taking steps to prevent service reductions.
Changing shift patterns will mean more officers will be on patrol during the evenings and at weekends when anti-social behaviour occurs. The Area Support Group, which includes police dogs and officers especially trained in public order, search and critical incident techniques, is now based across the policing area and not at Headquarters. These officers will undertake day-to-day policing when their specialist skills are not required.
The Constabulary has also developed plans that will reduce senior management ranks (Inspector and above), and Police Staff equivalent, bringing a saving of more than £2million in 2011/2012.
The way call handlers deal with calls is being reviewed to improve the quality of information taken during the first call. The aim is that, whenever possible, the issue can be resolved there and then or the best deployment of policing skills be selected at the first decision point.
The Force is also creating a combined business centre, incorporating human resources, information technology, finance and estates management. This will necessitate a major restructuring and an estimated 150 police staff job cuts.
There have been various media reports suggesting that some police stations are to close.
Margaret Ollerheshaw said, “The Authority gave the go ahead for more work to be done to review the police buildings we own. We will ensure that police services will not be withdrawn from any community location without ensuring that there is something else in its place. For example, this may mean that the police share premises with partners. That may actually be better for anyone who wishes to speak to the police, council, fire and rescue service or other service provider.”
The estates strategy lists a number of proposals in relation to selling and relocating police buildings.
These are, at this stage, only proposals. Each of them will be assessed following the production of a feasibility study and business case.
The feasibility study and business case will consider a cost benefit analysis whilst ensuring that local policing services are retained in the right places to serve the communities, through co-location with partner organisations such as councils and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Co-location opportunities are being explored for police stations at Great Sankey, Risley, Frodsham, Dragonhall, Poynton, Northwich, Congleton and Widnes.
Three police houses are currently for sale.  Willaston and Holmes Chapel police buildings are due to be put on the market for sale.  These are police offices, which are used as a base by some officers, and not police stations. They are not open to the public.
We are committed to a local police presence in all of our 19 neighbourhood areas.
Crime and anti social behaviour has been consistently reduced in Cheshire over the past years. The Police Authority will continue to monitor Constabulary performance and will be asking the public for their views throughout the year to check the effects of the changes.

No plans to close Nantwich Market Hall

 

Cheshire East Council has moved to assure market traders and shoppers in Nantwich that there are no plans to close the town’s market hall.

Concerns were raised that the Churchyardside market would close should Nantwich Town Council decide it cannot or does not want to manage local services such as the market hall, Civic Hall, allotments or play areas, for example.

But market managers say there are no plans to shut its doors. Cheshire East has always maintained that it will review other options if transfer to more local control cannot be achieved.

Phil Sherratt, head of environmental services at Cheshire East, said: “Nantwich Market is a major asset to the town and it remains open for business. It is a profitable market and it continues to be popular with shoppers and traders alike.

“Cheshire East Council is committed to growing and developing sustainable market towns and to giving people more choice and control over services and resources.”

Negotiations are ongoing to identify which services and functions could be run by towns and parishes across Cheshire East in an effective and responsive manner, which is in tune with local residents’ needs. Any transfer of services is planned for April 2012.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Councillor Celebrates 35 Years Dedicated Service

 

face photo

Councillor Brian Silvester is holding a social evening on the 25th March at Willaston Social Club to celebrate 35 years of dedicated service as a Councillor. During the evening there will be a raffle and an 'Auction of Promises' to raise money for local good causes, including Willaston Scouts and Willaston in Bloom, in memory of Mike Heywood, the former Chairman of the Willaston Parish Council.

Cllr Silvester said," This is a remarkable milestone in my life. There have been numerous highlights and successes and I will always treasure those.

I greatly enjoy serving as a Councillor. There are two main aspects of the role. Firstly I find it very satisfying to help constituents with their problems and concerns. Secondly it gives me an opportunity to improve and shape our local community.

I would like to thank all those residents who have voted for me to be their Councillor over the last 35 years. It is an honour to serve them. I would also like to thank the local Conservative Party members who have selected me to be their candidate.

I now look forward to the next 35 years !

 

Cllr. Silvester was first elected as a Crewe and Nantwich Borough Councillor and a Shavington Parish Councillor in 1976 at the age of 24. He is currently a member of Cheshire East Council representing the Rope Ward. He has served as the Leader and Mayor of Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council and Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council. He is the Conservative Candidate  for the new Willaston and Rope Ward on May 5th.

Entertainment for the evening will be by local Elvis tribute, Paul Larcombe and the winner of the local Star Quest competition 2008, Tim Gallagher.

CAMPAIGN FOR CONTROLLED PEDESTRIAN  CROSSING

Rope Borough Councillors have been campaigning for a pedestrian crossing in Rope Lane near to the junction of Bankfield Avenue for some years.

Cllr. Brian Silvester said,

"This is a busy road and a main route for pupils going to Shavington High School and The Berkeley Primary School.  Cheshire East Council did an assessment at our request and they concluded that the site meets the current criteria for a controlled crossing. It is estimated that the cost will be £90,000 so we will continue to lobby for the money to be made available to make Rope Lane safer for pedestrians and pupils of the two schools."

Cllr Margaret Simon says;

“I have been campaigning for a crossing point at this location for as long as I have represented the area.  Whilst other safety measures, such as traffic lights at both Wells Green and Rope Green Bridge together with a 30mph speed limit for the whole of Rope Lane, have been achieved during that time, a safe  crossing point at this location would be the icing on the cake”.

CALL FOR ACTION ON HEAVY TRAFFIC

Shavington Borough Councillors are giving priority to the lessening the damage of  lorries travelling unnecessarily through the village. Cllr Brian Silvester said," We are pressing for a weight limit on Chestnut Avenue  and Vine Tree Avnue in Shavington to stop lorries using these residntial parts of the village as a 'rat run'. Far too many of our residents have to put up with the noise,nuisance and danger of heavy vehicles. If the lorries  used the routes they should local residents would have a much quieter and safer life."

Julian Goodier Page, Conservative Candidate for the Shavington Ward said," Chestnut Avenue and Vine Tree Avenue are an accident waiting to happen...... It is a rat run, a route to school and a children’s centre, a bus route, it is narrow AND lethal in the ice because of the severe camber. A weight limit is long overdue before any more accidents are caused."

AMBULANCE SERVICE FAILS TO MEET RESPONSE TO 999 CALL TARGETS     Cllr Brian Silvester is calling on the ambulance service to improve their response times to call outs. He said,"The response targets for 999 emergency calls (75 percent of Category A calls within 8 minutes) are not met  in 5 of the 8 Crewe (CW) post codes. These are potentially life and death cases and such a poor performance is simply not acceptable. We have asked the Ambulance Service to inform us of what they will do to improve performance and Cheshire East Council will do what it can to assist to help the ambulance service to improve their response times."

Kenyan visitors depart following schools partnership tour

 

Kenyan teachers from more than 4,000 miles away wound up their 10-day tour of Cheshire last week.

Three representatives from the Njoro education district visited 10 schools in Cheshire East to share ideas on global education and to develop Global School Partnerships.

After taking in the sights and sounds of the county, the group met with Cheshire East councillors, officers and head teachers at Westfields, Sandbach, for a final time on Thursday, March 10.

This historic occasion marked the signing of the partnership agreement between Cheshire East schools and those in Kenya.

The visitors made the trip to all schools in the partnership plus a visit to Bentley Motors and South Cheshire College. This was all made possible thanks to funding from the British Council.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, said: “Our Kenyan counterparts had a splendid time in Cheshire in which ideas were exchanged by both visitors and local head teachers.

“Partnerships like these play a very important role in giving schools a global dimension to their curriculum.

“The project supports our vision to improve community life and cohesion by encouraging children to think more about subjects like diversity, globalisation, peace and sustainable development.”

The Cheshire East schools involved in the project are: Astbury St Mary’s Primary School, in Congleton; Rainow Primary School, in Macclesfield; Pebble Brook Primary School, in Crewe; Buglawton C of E Primary School, in Congleton; The Berkeley Primary School, in Crewe; Disley Primary School, in Disley; Lostock Hall Primary School, in Poynton; King’s Grove School, in Crewe; Brereton Primary, in Sandbach and Little Bollington Primary School, near High Legh.

Egerton Primary School, in Knutsford, is also involved in the project and has already established a link with the district.

The Global School Partnerships Programme encourages schools around the world to share effective practice on developing a ‘global’ dimension in their respective curriculums.

The visit followed a recent trip by Cheshire East school heads, who visited 10 schools in Njoro to help to develop school links. Alison Hooper, head at Egerton School, was selected to represent Cheshire East, along with Jenny Wagstaffe of Astbury St Mary’s Primary School and Mark Bertinshaw of Rainow Primary School.

Think weddings, think Cheshire East

 

Couples in the midst of planning their ‘big day’ will now have a new wedding venue brochure to help them with their choices. 

Cheshire East Council has produced a brochure called ‘Your Ceremony Your Choice’ to showcase the area’s outstanding wedding venues.

The brochure highlights some of Cheshire East’s approved ceremony venues, ranging from historic castles and stately homes to luxurious boutique hotels and even former monasteries.

As well as venue listings, the resource acts as a general guide for those planning a wedding or civil partnership, with tips and advice on booking registrars, giving notice and arranging witnesses.

The brochure is available in two versions – one for marriages and one for civil partnerships.

Each year registrars conduct approximately 1,500 ceremonies in 69 approved venues within Cheshire East.

With the average ceremony costing £20,000, weddings and civil partnerships contribute approximately £21m to the local economy.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “Last year saw a 14 per cent increase in the number of ceremonies in Cheshire East stately homes and hotels and more than 70 per cent of

these couples were not residents of Cheshire East. This is good to see and is testament to the great work of the Cheshire East Registration Service.

“It’s very important that we continue to attract weddings and civil partnerships to Cheshire East, not least because of the value they add to our economy.”   

Visit www.cheshireast.gov.uk to download the ‘Your Ceremony Your Choice’ brochure.

Careers fair to be held in Crewe

 

An event designed to encourage local businesses to employ local people comes to Crewe next month.

Jobs and careers fair ‘Just the Job’ will be held at MMU Cheshire in Crewe on Wednesday, April 6 from 1pm until 6pm.

Organisers are calling for companies to get involved and match their job vacancies to local people who are seeking to develop their careers or are keen to re-enter the jobs’ market.

The event is being organised by hosts Manchester Metropolitan University, South Cheshire Chamber, Cheshire East Council, Jobcentre Plus and Connexions.

It will include a free stall in the exhibitors’ market place to showcase businesses; opportunities to present businesses to prospective employees; advice on staff development and training and opportunity to develop and create networks with local companies and training organisations.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “In the past this event has proved a big success for both employees and local businesses. Exhibitors are offered a free stall and also get the opportunity to meet potential employees face-to-face.

“There will also be a host of business support agencies on hand and I would encourage any local companies interested to sign up. Events like this will help us grow and develop a sustainable Cheshire East.”

South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce manager, Paul Colman, said: “The Chamber welcomes the opportunity for any business, large or small, to not only present its recruitment opportunities to prospective employees but to also receive advice on staff development and training.”

Trevor Brown, business development manager at MMU Cheshire, added: “The university strives to meet the needs of local businesses and Just the Job fits perfectly with the university’s aims to work with local businesses, the public sector and the community.

“The event shows that local companies are supporting business growth in Cheshire East by employing graduates from their local university, retaining knowledge and expertise in the region.”

To reserve a stand or for more information, contact: Kerri Hassall at MMU Students’ Union on 0161 247 5729 or kerri.hassall@mmu.ac.uk

The event is open to all local employers on a first come, first served basis.

Nantwich youngsters showcase positive community work

 

Youngsters in Nantwich are inviting residents to come and see how hard they are working to improve the image of young people in the town.

Pupils from Brine Leas High and Malbank schools have put their heads together to come up with a range of ideas to promote the positive work youngsters do.

It is in response to a Youth Parliament survey, which found that young people feel they are often portrayed in a negative light by older people.

Now, the Nantwich Local Area Partnership (LAP) young people’s sub-group is hosting an event at the town’s Civic Hall on Friday, March 25, to give an update on their progress.

Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member with responsibility for performance and capacity, said: “It is pleasing to see that our young people are working in the best interests of their area. But they also know that the negative way in which they are perceived is very often unfair and they are to be commended for promoting the good work that they do.

“A range of work and activities will be included in this event, to help promote all of the positive work of young people and, more importantly, to focus on their aspirations for the future.”

A number of posters with six different designs are being displayed all over Nantwich to make older people stop and think about the true role youngsters play in society.

It is the beginning of a long-term Nantwich Education Improvement Partnerships (EIP) project and is young people’s priority for the Nantwich LAP.

Councillor Rodney Walker, chairman of Nantwich LAP, said: “Young people are often misconstrued but I have no doubt that this is totally wrong in most cases.

“Just the other day, I was walking towards Kiltearn Medical Centre, in Nantwich, and two young girls were walking towards me. I stopped to let them past and very politely they said ‘thank you’.

“I am delighted that this next assembly will be in the hands of the young people of the Nantwich area who are working hard on this project.”

Since it’s formation in 2009, Nantwich LAP has developed working relationships with agencies in the area in a bid to improve services.

Nantwich LAP will host four area assemblies per year, which will be themed around different topics and are open to everyone. It is important that members of the community use these events to put forward their ideas and points of view.

In addition to the area assemblies, the LAP has seven working groups – one of which is the young people group.

Nantwich Civic Hall is based on Market Street and the event takes place between 12.30pm and 2.30pm. Refreshments will be available.

For more information, contact Claire Wilson at: claire.wilson@cheshireeast.gov.uk or call 01270 685804; or contact sharon.angus-crawshaw@cheshireeast.gov.uk or ring 01270 685793.

Drive to cut term-time holidays

 

Cheshire East Council is urging parents not to take their children on holiday during school term-time.

As part of a wider drive to cut term-time absences, Cheshire East Council’s Education Welfare Service has produced a guide which highlights the importance of keeping children in school throughout the year.

The guide explains the legal obligation parents and carers have to ensure their children regularly attend school, how parents should apply to take their children out of class for a holiday and the penalties that may be imposed for ‘unauthorised’ absences during term-time.      

Research shows that children taken out of school may struggle to catch up on work they have missed. It may affect their test results and the progress they make at school.

Regular attendance at school is also a legal requirement. The Education Act 1996 makes it a criminal offence for a parent to fail to secure their child’s regular attendance at school.

Unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ for the absence, most requests will be classed as ‘unauthorised’.

Parents or carers who want permission to take their child out of school for a holiday must put the request in writing to the school, no later than three weeks prior to the planned trip. If there are any special circumstances for the trip, these must be explained in full.

The guide is available at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ews

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, said: “There are only 190 statutory school days in one year, leaving 175 days available to use for family holidays.

“Although we understand that the costs of holidays tend to go up during school holidays, we want the children of Cheshire East to get the most out of their education. With research showing that absences can have an impact on educational achievement, we hope parents will support us in this endeavour.”

Friday, 11 March 2011

Dole stopped form ESL48

We highlighted the stopping of peoples dole last week here and how they are putting lives at risk. It seems on the internet no one has ever had the formESL48 which the job centre must give you when they stop your dole. We have tracked down this form which gives you your rights and its here in picture format which you can click on to get it full screen or its in text format as well. I wonder if the advisors who have failed to give it out have their wages stopped for a clerical error in line with what they are doing to claimants

formesl48a

formesl48b

Form ESL48

Notes for Guidance
jobcentreplus
Part of the Department of Work and Pensions
Doubts may sometimes occur that affect a person's entitlement to. or payment of, Jobseeker's

Allowance and National Insurance contribution credits. For more information please contact

Jobcentre Plus.
Copies of the Jobseeker's Act 1995 and associated Regulations, which contain the law on

Jobseeker*s Allowance, can be found in some public reference libraries.
You may also ask Jobcentre Plus for more information on the law or for help with any points

not covered by these notes.

When and how will my allowance be affected:
Your allowance and/or credit of National Insurance contnbutions will either:
• continue to be paid/credited until the doubt on your claim is decided; or
• be withhetd until it is decided how this doubt affects your claim. If this is the case

Jobseeker's Allowance will not be paid under the normal rules for the period of doubt. You

may be able to apply for a payment of Jobseeker's Allowance under the Hardship provision.
The letter included with these notes explains which of the above applies.

How long will this take?
Your claim will be dealt with as quickly as possible. If we need extra information from you,

or your previous employer/training provider it may take longer to make a decision. If your

employer's/training provider's reply is likely to affect your claim you will be sent a copy

of the reply to allow you to comment. We will allow you seven days to reply but the sooner

you do so, the sooner the decision can be made. If no reply is received within seven days, a

decision will be made on the information available.
You should still reply to any enquiry that you are sent, regardless of any letters you have

received confirming your entitlement.

What happens if the decision is favourable?
If the decision is in your favour and you have continued to provide signed declarations as

instructed on your ES40JP, we will pay you any arrears of Jobseeker's Allowance that you are

due as soon as possible. If you have received payment of Jobseeker's Allowance under the

Hardship provision during this period we will deduct the amount from your arrears.

What happens if the decision is unfavourable?
If it is decided thai you cannot be paid Jobseeker's Allowance under the normal rules you

will be sent a letter giving you the reason for this and letting you know for what period you

will not be paid. You may be entitled to payment of Jobseeker's Allowance under the Hardship

provision.

What if you disagree with the decision?
You may ask for an explanation or apply for a reconsideration of the decision once it has

been made. The decision notification will advise you how to do this. However, it may help

your case if you are able to show that there was some information that was not known when the

original decision was made.

You can also appeal to the Tribunals Service.
If you wish to appeal, ask for leaflet GL24DWP "If you think our decision is wrong" at your

local Jobcentre Plus office. You should appeal within one month of the date at the top of the

decision letter. Leaflet GL24DWP contains details about the appeal process and what happens

at appeal hearings.

Where can you get help with your appeal?
You may be able to get free advice about your claim for Jobseeker's Allowance from one of the

following:
• Citizens' Advice - Benefit Advice Centres - local Law Centres - Trades Unions Staff

Associations - Solicitors (under the legal advice assistance scheme)
They may also help and represent you if you make an appeal.

What happens if you are in receipt of National Insurance contribution credits only?
If you are not entitled to, or have not claimed Jobseeker's Allowance, you must still satisfy

most of the same conditions before National Insurance credits can be awarded by the Secretary

of State. If it is decided that National Insurance contribution credits cannot be awarded you

will be notified by letter.

What if you disagree with the credits decision?
You may ask for an explanation or apply for a reconsideration of the decision once it has

been made. The letter will advise you how to do this. You can also appeal to the Tribunals

Service.

What if you are a member of a joint claim?
The decision notification will be sent to both of you in a joint claim. If you disagree with

the reason for the disallowance or sanction, either, or both of you can ask for an

explanation, or apply for a reconsideration of the decision.
Either or both of you can also appeal to the Tribunals Service. If this happens both of you

will be sent a copy of the papers that we send to the Tribunals Service and you will both be

entitled to attend the tribunal hearing. If you wish to appeal ask for leaflet GL24DWP "If

you think our decision is wrong".
ESL48JP Page 2 of 2

If it wasn't so serious the whole thing would be a comedy sketch. Some stupid facts are.

They stop your dole but dont tell you why you have to write a letter which they must reply to in 14 days to get details of the crime during this time you have no money.

You can then within one month appeal against it now this is were it get crazy. One person had his dole stopped for 2 weeks about £100. If he appeals then it has to be heard by 3 independent people and a lawyer must be there to advise on the law. The defendant may get help with travel expenses and he can be represented. Someone form the dole must be there to put their case.

So do the maths on this

They stop £100 there is  7 or more people at the hearing not counting all the work done at the office preparing the case etc lets be conservative and say each one cost £100 for the day so this stopping of £100 has now cost at least £800 and more than likely a hell of a lot more in true cost. if the claimant looses he can appeal again so there is another £800+ So it ends up costing the task payer over £2,000 to stop someone's dole. Its more likely to be over £4000 in total costs Does that make any sense to anyone?

If they find in your favour you get your dole back but this could take months and you are living on fresh air in the mean time with no other options but to turn to crime or prostitution. The claimant could be anyone a mother with a baby, a 59 year old ill person or anyone.

The job seekers law is here

 

if you have had this problem please add your comments.