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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Happy Xmas

 

Happy Xmas to all our readers

MP’s 145th Bulletin

Edward Timpson MP

Tuesday 24, December 2013

Welcome

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Welcome to this, my 145th news bulletin.

My Christmas Report is being delivered across Crewe and Nantwich, and you can click here or on the image to read about the winners of my Christmas card competition, and one or two of the important things that have stood out since my last constituency-wide report.

As we look towards 2014, I would like to wish all of my constituents a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me, or if there is anything I can do to assist you.

With best wishes,

Edward Timpson
Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich

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Locally I have...

  • Met with representatives of the No to Hazelbank Development Action Group, who are campaigning against overdevelopment in Haslington and Winterley.
  • Spoken at the presentation of certificates to schools awarded the School Games Kitemark in South Cheshire.
  • Attended the launch of the Family Matters service in Crewe.  This service, paid for by the DWP Innovation Fund, is provided by local solicitors Hall Smith Whittingham and assists parents who are separated with issues affecting their children.
  • Held two of my regular local advice surgeries - contact my office, if you need to make an appointment to speak about any issue or concern.
  • Been to Wistaston Green Primary School to congratulate staff and pupils on their 'Outstanding' Ofsted report.
  • Visited Sainsbury's in Nantwich, where staff have been raising money for the Wingate Centre as their nominated local charity.
  • Presented prizes to the two winners of my 2013 Christmas card competition at a special ceremony at the Municipal Buildings in Crewe.

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Photo News

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Congratulations to the winners of my 2014 Christmas Card competition - Louise Taylor, age 9, from Millfields Primary School in Nantwich, and John Hodgins, who lives at Cypress Court Care Home in Crewe.

You can see all of my photos by visiting my website.

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Community News

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6,000 can get help to heat home

Crewe Chronicle: As households prepare to face the cold winter, new research reveals 6,000 homeowners in Crewe and Nantwich are eligible for assistance from their energy supplier with heating their homes.

The findings from Home Heat Helpline show that a total of 3.6 million households across Great Britain qualify for help.

Some 13% of homes in Crewe and Nantwich are entitled to relief from energy companies this year. Households that qualify include low-income pensioners, disadvantaged families with children or those with a disability, or any household that lives in one of the most deprived areas.

Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson said: "Forecasters are predicting a cold winter ahead, and many people who are elderly or on low incomes may not know where to turn for help and advice on keeping their homes warm.

"The best way for people in Crewe and Nantwich to prepare is to act now, and call the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 to see if they're eligible for assistance."

Angela Knight, chief executive of Energy UK, said: "The research speaks for itself – some local authorities have close to half of all households eligible for help from their local supplier.

"we need to look at ways to improve efficiency to keep homes warmer and energy bills lower. A free, confidential call to the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 can be made in minutes and can save up to £300 per home."

Support includes insulation and boilers, with many elderly and low income families qualifying for the £135 Warm Home discount on energy bills.

Do you have community news to share? Are you involved in any projects that could be of help or interest to local people in Crewe and Nantwich? E-mail me and your news could be here too!

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MP welcomes road investment

Crewe Chronicle: Edward Timpson MP has welcomed the announcement of roads investment for 2014. In total £1.9bn will be invested in Britain's roads in 2014, supporting nearly 10,000 jobs.

In the North West £485m will be invested in 38 schemes under construction in 2014, supporting 994 jobs.

Mr Timpson said: "Under Labour our area lost out on decent investment in roads. Today's announcement of £485m of investment for roads in the North West will help to deliver the modern infrastructure we need locally.

"Here in Crewe and Nantwich, people will benefit from the £9.5m that is being invested in the Basford West Spine road, the A500 widening and the M5 Junction 17 improvements. This is fantastic news for people in Crewe and Nantwich. It will give a welcome boost to the economy, supporting 44 jobs in our area.

"It will also cut congestion and reduce journey times, helping the hardworking people who use the roads every day."

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Foster children may stay with carers until age 21

Children in care in England will be able to stay with their foster families until their 21st birthday, rather than having to leave at 18, Edward Timpson has said. The Department for Education is imposing a legal duty on councils to provide financial support for those who want to stay longer with foster carers.

Edward, the Minister for Children and Families, has pledged £40 million over the next three years to fund the plan.

It will be introduced during the final stages of the Children and Families Bill next year.

Edward, whose own family fostered nearly 90 children, said: "I know from the many foster children I grew up with how crucial it is for them to be given sufficient time to prepare for life after care."

The Who Cares Trust, which campaigns for and supports children in care and young people leaving care, said the move was "absolutely fantastic news for thousands of young people in foster care" and represented "the most significant reform to the support children in care are given in a generation".

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

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Hands Off Wistaston update

 

Hi everybody,

Just a quick note to update you all on the latest developments and what’s been going on over the past couple of months:

The Gladman application has been rumbling on with a few delays to the date for Cheshire East to make a decision on the application. The good news is that the application will be decided on 8th January and the agenda for that meeting has now been published which recommends that the Council REFUSE the Gladman application. This is great news and is testament to everyone’s effort in signing petitions, raising objections and making people aware of what is going on, including the Parish Council, local Cheshire East Councillors and the local MP.

We’ve also been made aware in the last couple of days about a proposal for approx. 150 homes off Wistaston Green Road that has been brought about by Harlequin. Those of you who live around Langdale Rd, Bowness Rd etc may have already received a leaflet. This is the same plot of land that was the subject of the further consultation in the summer by Cheshire East (Site H), at which point residents (and Cheshire East) very clearly said that the land was not suitable for development.

The application is still in the very early stages yet so it has not been submitted into Cheshire East. Any objections to the proposal need to be sent to consult@sat-plan.co.uk by 10th January. All you need to state at this stage is that you object/oppose to this development. We’re aware that the window for comments is pathetic given the festive period, so be rest assured that will be raised further down the line.

The short consultation on the Pre-Submission Local Plan has now finished and the Council are considering all the feedback and preparing the final local plan for submission early next year. Thanks to everyone who responded in support of the proposed new Green Belt area in Wistaston. The quicker the local plan is put into place the sooner we are all protected from speculative developers trying to make a quick buck by building on Green Gap and Green Belt land.

Will update everybody after the 8th Jan when we’ll have an idea of what is happening next with Gladman and the Harlequin proposal too.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

The proposed Gresty Oaks development of 880 houses

  The proposed Gresty Oaks development of 880 houses is on land bounded by Crewe Road, Rope Lane, Gresty Lane and the A500, mainly in the Parish of Rope in my Ward. I am very disappointed that the Cheshire East Council (CEC) have not decided this application in the required time and it is now going to be decided by appeal in Bristol and then by the Minister. The application will still come to the Strategic Planning Board, probably at the end of January/beginning of February, for them to decide if they are to oppose the appeal. The final decision on the appeal is being taken by the Minister because it is such a large strategic application. If the Council opposes the application, the public inquiry into it would probably be around May 2014. It would  have been far better if the decision had been made by CEC Councillors who know the area rather than distant and remote inspectors and Ministers  who do not know the area.

If this application was passed it would almost double the population of  the Rope Parish which is simply unacceptable. It would virtually destroy the Green Gap and the beautiful open countryside between Rope and Shavington and would be the latest step towards  joining Crewe up with its surrounding villages. Most  people are aware of the ugly urban sprawl in places like Stoke on Trent and we do not want that on our doorstep. Rope Lane is the main route to Shavington High School and Crewe Road is the main route into Crewe. Both roads are congested and dangerous now at peak times. To have over 1600  cars  a day added to the traffic movements can only lead to horrendous highway congestion and add to the accident and pollution problems. The developers are promising infrastructure investment to serve the proposed huge increase in the population of  Rope. Unfortunately we know from experience in Crewe and Nantwich that community facilities promised often don't materialise until years after the houses have been occupied, if at all.

In summary there are good planning reasons to refuse this application even though there is not a 5 year housing supply and a Local Plan in place. I strongly feel that applications like this should be refused. It is detrimental to the open countryside, impinges massively on the green gap between our towns and is unsustainable.

Yours sincerely

Brian Silvester  (Photo attached)
Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor

Cheshire East Council

Tel/fax 01270 567757

Twitter @CllrBSilvester

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Winter Wellbeing – winter ‘what’s on’ guide

 

Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we look at what people can do to make new friends and stay warm and well in Cheshire East during winter.

You don’t have to stay at home to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

A vast array of activities are on offer to people of all ages throughout Cheshire East and now might be the best time to take advantage.

From tai chi to coffee mornings, Pilates lessons to senior citizens’ lunches, there is plenty to do.

And they can be enjoyed in warm, safe environments where people can socialise and make new friends.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet member in charge of health and adult social care, said: “We may all feel less inclined to get out and about when the weather is cold but, following a short journey, there are a lot of activities which people can get involved in across all our towns and villages.

“Many are free of charge and some are available at a small price. Also, our health improvement team runs a variety of programmes alongside different partners, such as the Be Steady, Be Safe classes.

“These sessions provide a social opportunity to restore confidence, maintain independence, reduce falls and improve mobility, strength, balance and flexibility.”

Sean Reynolds, the chair of the Cheshire East Adult Safeguarding Board, added: “Most of us can now expect to live very much longer than our parents did and this provides opportunities to extend our contribution to family and community life – and this could be as carers, grandparents or volunteers.

“It helps to keep ourselves as fit, alert and healthy as possible, particularly during the cold, dark winter months. The Adult Safeguarding Board welcomes the efforts of the Council to publicise the wide variety of voluntary and private-sector programmes available to Cheshire East residents.

“Unfortunately, older people can also be victims of various forms of abuse, often in their own homes. The more social contact they have outside, the greater the opportunities for them to seek advice and support.”

For those who do like to get out, Macclesfield’s popular Treacle Market takes place on Sunday, December 29 from 10am until 3.30pm in the town’s Market Place, and there is an antiques and collector’s fair happening on the same day until 4pm at Wilmslow Leisure Centre, which costs no more than £2.

A senior citizen’s lunch club also takes place at Knutsford Methodist Church during the festive period, call Amanda Vickers on 01565 652251 for more information.

Many more activities can be found in Cheshire East’s comprehensive guide of things to do at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/whatson

To find out more about falls prevention and healthy living in Cheshire East, please visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/fallsprevention

Saturday, 21 December 2013

£7m spent but, years after, Queens Park still not finished

 

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester is calling on the Cheshire East Council to get their act together over Queens Park Crewe.

He said," It is beyond belief that over £7m has been spent but, several years after, Queens Park is still not finished.(See below and attached) Basic requirements, like accessible footpaths to allow people to walk around the park, have not been provided. Many of the footpaths have not been finished off and the west end of the lake has had no footpaths for over two years. It is incredible that almost four times as much has been spent on consultants compared to the amount spent on footpaths.(See below)On one of the pavilions (which cost a total of £1.6m) there still isn't any downspout so the water wets you as you walk under the veranda.(See attached photo)

Since the ill conceived redundancy of the Park Wardens, there has been an increased level of lawlessness in the park. Kids on bikes, copious levels of litter, repeated criminal damage, motorbikes being ridden across the lake bridge and dog owners encouraging their dogs to attack waterfowl.

The park needs to be finished off properly and it needs to be policed efficiently. The original intention was to return the park to its former glory but urgent action is now needed if that is to be achieved."

Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor

Cheshire East Council

Tel/fax 01270 567757

Twitter @CllrBSilvester

----- Original Message -----

From: FOI East

Sent: 12/20/13 03:32 PM

I am pleased to provide some further information attached for you, as supplied to me by the Queens Park Manager.

Also, Mr Broughton has provided me with the following information:

See project cost summary.

QP Anticipated Final Costs

Lodges

£249,650.00

Clock Tower

£24,345.00

Boer War

£27,000.00

Bridges & Lake

£1,850,354.00

Bandstand

£157,540.00

Monkey Hut

£23,111.00

Lake Dredge

£336,578.00

Railings Gates

£382,810.00

Play Area

£210,736.00

Coronation Valley related issues

£51,358.00

Footpaths

£382,000.00

Soft Landscaping

£95,358.00

Demolitions

£66,347.00

Pavilions

£1,625,800.00

Drainage

£81,565.00

Play Shelter

£28,541.00

Consultants

£1,493,986.00

Lighting & Furniture

£2,198.00

Preliminary works & Permissions

Preparation of HLF Grant

£458,000.00

      £52,000.00

£7,599,277.00

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester has welcomed the decision by Cheshire East Council (CEC)  to carry out an on street parking review in Willaston and implement it (See below).

He said, " I have been pressing for this for several months. Roads in Willaston are congested and dangerous at peak times. Parking is a nightmare for many Willaston residents because many of the terraced houses do not have off road parking and have to park in the street. To make matters worse CEC have allowed Meadow View to be developed without adequate parking provision for the houses and this has just exasperated the situation. Recently some buses had to divert from the centre of the village because the congestion was so bad they could not get through with the bus. (See photos below showing irresponsible parking at the junction of Meadow View and Wistaston Road) I am hopeful that the review will result in action that helps to alleviate the constant parking chaos in the centre of Willaston.In the meantime I have asked the Police to take action against those minority of irresponsible motorists who park their vehicles in a dangerous way near to a junction or in front of driveways. So far the Police have taken no action and I fail to see why they are not tackling this problem

    I was delighted that Willaston had once again won a Silver Gilt Award in  the best small town category for the  second year running in the North West in Bloom Competition, falling just short of the Gold Award winners. Awards like this are hard won and only gained by the dedicated hard work of a small number of volunteers in the Willaston in Bloom group, which is ably led by Parish Councillor and Britain in Bloom Chairman Wayne Lewis together with John Flackett, Julie Lewis, Jim Waring, Maureen Nash et al. It goes without saying that everyone within the village of Willaston is overwhelmed  and grateful for their outstanding efforts that make the village look so beautiful. Thanks are also due to the Parish Council for their financial support year on year.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Lethal Soft Drink

drink

Bike Marking

Please be aware that on Saturday 21st December local officers will be available on Crewe Square between 10am-12pm for a free Bike Marking Event.
A post-Christmas event will take place at the same place and time on Saturday 11 January 2014.
This is an ideal opportunity to bring along any new or old bicycles.
Police Crime Reduction Advisor, Mark Cotton said: "Now is a great time to mark up new bikes bought for friends and family at Christmas. We are urging as many young people as possible to come along and have their bike security marked − it acts as a deterrent to would-be thieves and is also a good way of identifying a bike if it is ever stolen and later recovered.”
"We do recover many, which we suspect are stolen, but we are often unable to trace the owners as there are no security markings on them. This makes it very difficult for us to trace who the bike belongs to as there is very little to go on."
Police are encouraging anyone who owns a bike to reassess their current security to reduce their chance of falling foul of thieves.

  • Cyclists are being reminded to remain security conscious and to follow a few simple security tips:
  • Keep your bicycle locked away and out of sight when not in use - ideally in a shed or garage that is fitted with heavy duty locks.
  • Invest in a good quality bike lock for when the bike is in use and left for a short period of time.
  • Do not attach the bicycle to something which could easily be moved or cut and try to leave it in a well-lit area where there are a lot of people around.
  • Report any suspicious activity in your area to police immediately.

Winter Wellbeing – loneliness and social isolation

 

Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we look back at the recent ‘Link, Act, Connect’ events that were organised to help tackle loneliness and social isolation.

Loneliness and isolation are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and worse than obesity, according to the Campaign to End Loneliness.

And with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt stating that the country has ‘utterly failed to confront’ the problem of loneliness, Cheshire East Council has been working closely with colleagues from Cheshire East Citizens Advice Bureau North and the Go Project, together with other partners in the Ageing Well programme, to develop this initiative to address the problem locally.

A number of organisations and community leaders have made ‘pledges to act’ as part of ‘Link, Act, Connect’ support events, which took place at Richmond Village, in Nantwich, and Tytherington Family Worship Church, in Macclesfield.

A strategy is now being developed locally to tackle social isolation – said to affect 800,000 people in England, who identify themselves as lonely.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Winter Wellbeing spokeswoman, said: “I am delighted to say that we had a marvellous response at these events, with around 30 organisations and representatives actively sharing ideas and experiences.

“A range of pledges were made, which means that information from the events will be shared more widely. Proposed initiatives include developing Street Associations*, breakfast groups and luncheon clubs. Other attendees will be organising visits and invitations to neighbours, who would otherwise be alone around the Christmas period.

“Of course, this is just the start of a longer journey but the Ageing Well programme board can now shape a strategic approach to tackling social isolation in Cheshire East for older people, people with disabilities and families who are without support networks.”

Sean Reynolds, chairman of the Cheshire East Safeguarding Adults Board, added: “It is Christmas and this is a time that we naturally want to be surrounded by families and friends.

“But research says that, nationally, five million people state that television is their main form of company. This is something that needs to be addressed.”

The ‘Link, Act, Connect’ events are part of an initiative being run by a task group  established by the Ageing Well programme board (and headed by Jacquie Grinham (CEO Cheshire East CAB North) and Carolyn McQuaker (Go Project) to address loneliness and isolation more consistently (in the winter months and beyond).

The Board is keen to engage with other community leaders who want to learn new ideas about how to reach more people who feel alone.

Toby’s Last Stand

Toby Robinson

A glorious era comes to an end this Friday (December 20).

For the past five years Crewe’s music scene has enjoyed a real shot in the arm, with some of the world’s finest bands gracing the town’s stages.

And, arguably, much of it would not have been possible if it weren’t for Toby Robinson, head honcho at Volume PR and senior promoter of its regular sessions at Crewe’s premier music venue, The Box.

Whilst Volume will continue to bring some of the best up-and-coming talent and established touring artists to The Box now and in the future, Toby bows out of the music scene with Volume’s Land Stand of 2013 this Friday.

And, after overseeing some 700 gigs, he feels this Christmas was the right time to go. Toby explained: “Running the Volume gigs at The Box is without doubt the best thing I have ever done and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. But, you can hang on a little too long can’t you?

“It’d been on my mind a short time to move on to a new stage of my life and I wanted to go whilst I was still really enjoying it. I never wanted to get to a point where I didn’t get excited about going to work before deciding to jack it in. It means I’ll always look back on it all with fondness.”

During Toby’s reign, the likes of Funeral for a Friend, Hadouken!, Ash, The Twang, The Bluetones, The Joy Formidable and Idlewild have graced the stage at the much-loved venue, on Pedley Street.

Not only has this given Crewe’s night-time economy a lift, it has provided an excellent and long-overdue local platform for some of the town’s talented bands to shine.

And it was not always just about The Box. The Volume Festival, first staged in 2008, has been a regular feature over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend and included a number of bars and pubs throughout the town, providing them with an added boost.

Regular followers of the ‘IndieAtTheBox’ Facebook page will have seen the daily updates throughout December as a sentimental Toby relives his favourite moments since The Box’s first ever gig on Saturday, August 9, 2008.

Toby said: “We’ve had some big bands here, but I got a bigger buzz out of bringing the obscure bands to Crewe, like Dinosaur Pile Up and Future of the Left. The town had never witnessed acts like that before and it was doing something a bit different that motivated me.

“The Limelight, for example, had a great community feel about it and the M Club had the ability to bring the much bigger bands to Crewe, but I’d like to think The Box helped to create an original music scene of its own and hopefully a lasting legacy.”

Toby says working with the likes of Sgt Wolfbanger, Bleached Wail, Sumo Kings and Troops of Mafeking gave him some of his most treasured moments in his quest to put Crewe on the musical map.

“The relationship you build with the local bands is what I love the most – that is how friendships are formed. As much as I enjoyed the nights with the bigger bands, they felt more like a business transaction.

“And it’s always a pleasure seeing the local bands sell out the venue. Kill the Doctor did it, as did Blitz Kids. Occasions like that make it all the more worthwhile.

“I’m going to miss it and I’d really like to thank all the people and the bands themselves who put the effort in to help create a buzz around The Box, they all know who they are.”

Six bands will play at Volume’s Last Stand of 2013 and have promised to send him off with a show to remember. It features a headline slot from Troops of Mafeking with support from Moving Moscow, The Eyres, Forecast, Josh Walker Band and Holly Pender.

Tickets are £5, visit www.theboxcrewe.co.uk

Monday, 16 December 2013

Wistaston Community Council's annual 'Christmas Concert'

Wistaston Community Council's annual 'Christmas Concert' took place on the evening of Friday 13th December 2013 at St Mary's Church Hall, Church Lane, Wistaston.

The concert featured the Wells Green Choir with their Musical Director Myra Wood and musicians from Shavington High School's Concert Band with their Curriculum Leader of Music Mr Clark.

Carol's sung by the audience were Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night, I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas and Winter Wonderland.

There was also a raffle with nineteen prizes.

Festive refreshments were available during the interval.

The event was a sell-out and was also attended by Mayor of Cheshire East Councillor Dorothy Flude and her consort Alex Flude.

The event was also supported by The Woodside public house and H. Clewlow Butchers.

Dane Chaplow, Chairman, Wistaston Community Council thanked the choir, the band, Councillor Flude and her consort for attending and the audience for their support. He gave a special mention to former Wistaston Community Council President Geoff Armitage, who helped organise the concert for many years and is an integral part of the Wistaston community. Geoff is currently ill, so all present wished him a speedy recovery.

All the profits from this event will be donated to children’s charities.

The Wistaston Community Council desperately requires new members to help organise next year’s Christmas Concert, as well as other Wistaston-based events such as the Spring concert, Summer Fete, Flower and Produce Show and the Fireworks Display. Please visit http://www.wistastoncommunity.co.uk for further information if you would like to join.

Wells Green Choir

Christmas houses in Crewe, Wistaston and Nantwich.

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

I enjoy the Christmas lights in the Crewe and Nantwich town centres, but I also really enjoy the over-the-top Christmas lights and decorations (including the occasional inflatable decoration) that some local homeowners setup each year. Their electricity bills must be sky high, but they never fail to bring a smile to my face.

My favourites so far in Crewe are in Ravenscroft Road, two houses opposite each other in Alton Street (Queens Park end), a twenty foot plus lit Christmas tree in the front garden of a house on Jesmond Crescent, Salisbury Avenue and Melford Close.

My favourites so far in Wistaston are in Westfield Drive, Brookland Avenue, Lear Drive and Field Lane.

My favourites so far in Nantwich are in Cope Avenue, Davenport Avenue and Barony Road.

My most favourite Christmas house this year is located in Vincent Street in Crewe - across the road from Frankie & Bennys and just down from Neptunes Fish & Chip Shop. The owner has decorated the ground and first floor frontage of their house in a wide selection of lights and Christmas scenes and has also decorated the interior of their property. They’ve clearly spent a lot of time and effort in choosing and setting up their displays.

I’ve uploaded all my photos to Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanawhite/sets/72157638706738945/

Crewe - Vincent StreetNantwich - Barony Road

Do other readers have their own personal favourite this year?

South & Mid Cheshire Tennis League.

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The final week of Winter matches of the South & Mid Cheshire Tennis League were completed on Sunday 15th December 2013. Local teams participating include Audlem, Hightown, Nantwich, Wistaston and Wrenbury. The top team and bottom team in each division have been promoted or relegated respectively. From January 2014 these teams will form the Spring league. Fixtures, results and tables are updated during the year via the League website: http://www.smctennis.co.uk

Wistaston Tennis Club

Friday, 13 December 2013

NEW PROPOSAL FOR CREWE LIFESTYLE CENTRE UNVEILED

 

The ambitious proposal for a Lifestyle Centre in Crewe has taken a leap forward with the Council now poised to seek planning permission in the New Year to build on the area around the Christchurch car parks.

The proposed site would realise a bold vision to combat alarming health inequalities in areas of Crewe, meaning many people actually die a whole decade earlier compared to other areas in the borough.

A series of public engagement workshops will be launched in the New Year to allow members of the public to have their say on the proposals before planning permission is sought in late January.

The proposed centre will house an eight -lane 25metre pool, plus a large teaching pool, sports courts, state-of-the-art fitness suites, new library facilities, and children and adult social care services.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Michael Jones, said the new site had undergone extensive investigations for its suitability.

He said: “Finding this proposed site is a major step forward and we can now begin to consider submitting a planning application to see if this is possible.

“The planning process will have to take into account a number of factors, including highways.

“We want local people to be fully engaged with what’s going on and that’s why I’ve proposed to have an engagement process where people can make suggestions and say what they think about the proposals. We will also be working closely with local members.”

  • Artists’ impressions of the project will be available for the public to view at Crewe Library from December 19.

Council announces £100,000 boost for Cheshire East’s war memorials

 

Cheshire East Council is to provide £100,000 to fund repairs and refurbishment of First World War memorials across the Borough.

Next year sees the hundredth anniversary of the start of the Great War, which shattered Europe and much of the wider world from 1914 to 1918.

Council Leader Michael Jones today publicly announced the new fund at Full Council.

Parishes and the Royal British Legion will be able to apply directly to the Council for funding for the repair works.

Councillor Jones, who made the announcement at a meeting of Full Council, said: “I have immense respect for those who gave their lives for their country in the Great War, as I have for those who erected and maintain memorials to their sacrifice.

“I am delighted that this Council is able to put forward £100,000 to fund repairs and refurbishment of these important local community monuments.

“We must never forget the depth of loss sustained across our Borough and our debt to previous generation’s self sacrifice in the name of liberty and duty.”

The First World War saw the deaths of an estimated 17 million combatants and civilians with around a further 20 million wounded.

War memorials sprang up in towns and villages across Cheshire East and the whole of Britain and beyond as a way to commemorate the sacrifice of combatants for their communities and country.

For more information about applying for this funding for war memorial repairs, contact the Council’s partnership support manager, Tina Jones, on 01270 685811.

Winter Wellbeing – homelessness

 

Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we look at how the Council and its partners support homeless people.

Being homeless can be a frightening, disempowering and debilitating experience, especially during the winter months.

Those who find themselves in this situation are much more likely to be victims of crime and other kinds of abuse, both from other homeless people and members of the public who recognise their vulnerability.

Cheshire East Council, and its partners in all sectors, recognises the risks to the health, wellbeing and safety of this important minority and works hard to keep as many people off the streets and in warm, comfortable accommodation as it can.

Its housing options team is on hand to assess all cases to try to offer suitable accommodation for anyone deemed to be a homeless person.

This is particularly important during cold spells – when the weather is predicted to be zero degrees or below for three consecutive nights, the Council has a duty to ensure that accommodation is offered to those who need it.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cabinet member in charge of housing, planning, economic development and regeneration, said: “It is always extremely regrettable to see anybody suffering hardship of this kind and unable to find themselves a home.

“With this in mind, I would urge anyone who has seen someone sleeping rough in Cheshire East to contact our housing options team without delay.

“If a person is threatened with homelessness or is homeless tonight, then a housing options advisor will carry out an assessment to determine what duty, if any, they are owed under the Housing Act.”

Generally, homeless people are those who have nowhere to stay or will have nowhere to stay within the next 28 days. People also considered homeless might:

· Have no accommodation in this country or anywhere in the world to occupy;

· Have the right to live in a property but cannot gain access;

· Live in movable accommodation, like a boat or a caravan, but with nowhere permanent to moor or park;

· Have accommodation but, due to some exceptional circumstances, it would be unreasonable to continue to occupy this;

· Live separately from someone with whom they would normally reside, because there is nowhere they can live together; or

· Have a home but fear violence from someone.

Further evidence of an applicant’s specific circumstances, or a visit to current accommodation, may be required.

Cheshire East Council’s housing options team is available on 0300 123 5017 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, except for Tuesdays and Thursdays when the lines open at 11am. Those who find themselves with no accommodation outside of these hours should call 0300 123 5025.

For more information, visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/housing

Record numbers of people hop on the one1ink bus in Crewe

 

Record numbers of people are taking advantage of a door-to-door bus service linking them to Crewe’s key employment and retail sites.

Thanks to £1m worth of funding sourced by Cheshire East Council and operated in partnership with D&G Bus, an increasing number of people in Crewe every month are now choosing the one1ink service, with around 2,300 individual journeys being made each week.

This is over four times more than the 500 individual journeys that were made in January this year, when the service began.

It links the north of the town and Bentley Motors to the south and Crewe Business Park, calling at the bus station in the town centre, Grand Junction Retail Park and Crewe Railway Station.

Now, the Council is asking: ‘Have you one1inked yet?’ Zoe Pemberton, 25, of Queen Street in Crewe, has.

She said: “I use one1ink to get to work on the business park on Electra Way. I don’t drive so it is the only way I can get to work on time after the school run without using taxis.

“I like using the bus service because it is regular and makes it less hassle to get to work.”

Councillor David Topping, Cabinet member in charge of the environment, said: “The one1ink service is very special to Crewe and is the start of something we hope to expand to enable more residents to use the bus service to get to work, hopefully taking more cars off the roads.

“I have met a few of the regular one1ink users and one told me it was like a lifeline to her and others tell me it is an excellent service ‘in every way’. I am sure the people of Crewe will continue to use it as a key mode of transport to get around the town.”

He added: “This is all part of our Smarter Ways to Travel campaign and All Change for Crewe to help people in the town choose more sustainable ways to make their daily journeys.

“By using public transport or cycling, walking and car-sharing, people can save money, improve their health and fitness, reduce traffic congestion and CO2 emissions to improve air quality and make Crewe a healthier place for everyone.”

Crewe is becoming increasingly congested but 60 per cent of all journeys to work are made by car, although nearly half of all commuting journeys are less than five miles.

Only 12 per cent are made by walking, eight per cent by car sharing, six per cent by cycling, three per cent by bus or coach, two per cent by train and one per cent by motorcycle. A total of seven per cent of Crewe residents work at home.

It is hoped that one1ink, with its fleet of high-specification buses with more comfortable leather seating and free Wi-Fi access, will have some impact on these figures.

Central Government funding for the service was achieved through the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).

The Council was awarded more than £3.5 million through the fund to implement a range of sustainable transport measures in Crewe, of which the new bus service is the first.

For more information on one1ink, visit www.allchangeforcrewe.co.uk/bus

Monday, 9 December 2013

Nantwich Festive Fun Run.

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

Nantwich Festive Fun Run 2013

The Nantwich Festive Fun Run took place on Sunday 8th December 2013. Nantwich Young Voices

- http://www.nantwichyoungvoices.co.uk - sang carols before the start to put the runners and spectators gathered on Nantwich town square into the Christmas spirit. The race was sponsored by 1st Choice for Homes http://www.1stchoiceforhomes.com . Online community radio station RedShift Radio - http://www.redshiftradio.co.uk/ - compered the event. There was a warm up from the staff of Total Fitness - http://www.totalfitness.co.uk/ - , followed by a quick reminder of the 2 kilometre route before the participants moved to the start line for the 11am set off. The first runner (dressed in a fetching tiger onesie) crossed the finish line in around 7 minutes 30 seconds with the second placed runner just a few seconds behind. There were people dressed as Santa Claus, Mrs Claus, Elves, a Snowman and even a few Santa dogs! Each participant received a medal, a mince pie from Chatwins http://www.chatwins.co.uk/ and goodie bags from Total Fitness and Hanley’s http://www.hanleysconfectionery.co.uk/ . All proceeds from the event will go to Hope House Children's Hospices http://www.hopehouse.org.uk

I have uploaded all my photos to Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanawhite/sets/72157638488587553/

The Ultimate 80’s Christmas Party at Nantwich Civic Hall.

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

'The Ultimate 80’s Christmas Party' took place at Nantwich Civic Hall on Saturday 7th December 2013. The stage was bedecked with reminders of 1980s such as oversized Rubik's cubes and posters from TV series Baywatch and the movie Back to the Future.

A tribute to Madonna opened the show and warmed up the crowd by singing several of her classic hits from the 80s including 'Like a Prayer', 'La Isla Bonita', 'Like a Virgin', 'Into the Groove', 'Material Girl', 'Borderline' and 'Holiday'.

Madonna tribute

She was followed by live four-piece band 'The Skulls' - http://www.theskullsband.co.uk – who energetically performed numerous classic 80s hits from artists such as Depeche Mode, A-ha, Van Halen, Europe and Bon Jovi. I saw several air guitars in use during the rock section! They also performed modern hit records, along with a selection of seasonal Christmas classics.

Several audience members wore 80s costumes including a Freddie Mercury, a Michael Jackson, an Adam Ant and a Cyndi Lauper, along with several shell suits, tutus and leg warmers. 

The audience were encouraged to use Twitter to tweet their photos using the hashtag #80spartynight and official photos will be uploaded to https://www.facebook.com/WarbleEvents .

The event finished with a disco from midnight to 1am.

The tickets were only £10 for this sell-out event and represented excellent value for money.

The Ultimate 80’s Christmas Party was organised by Warble Events - http://www.warble-events.co.uk/ - in partnership with Nantwich Town Council - http://www.nantwichtowncouncil.gov.uk/

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Wistaston Singer’s ‘A Christmas Carol Extravaganza’

Wistaston Singer’s ‘A Christmas Carol Extravaganza’ takes place on Saturday 14th December 2013 (3pm start) at St Stephen’s Methodist Church, Gainsborough Road, Crewe CW2 7JX. Tickets = £6 including a buffet at the interval. Proceeds to St Stephen’s Methodist Church and Wistaston Singers. Come along and join us in singing your favourite Christmas carols.

Wistaston Singers were originally formed by members of the choir at St Mary's Parish Church Wistaston in May 2000 and now numbers over forty members singing four-part harmony music. The choir perform a variety and eclectic choice of music ranging from choral church music and anthems, Gilbert and Sullivan items, music from the shows, music from modern composers such as John Rutter covering from the 17th century to the 21st century. The choir members are amateur singers who rehearse and perform for their enjoyment of music and singing.

New members are welcome and further details may be obtained from Choir Secretary Jill Oakes, Tel: 01270 662940 and email: jillandjohnoakes@uwclub.net

Wistaston Singers - A Christmas Carol Extravaganza - Sat 14 Dec 2013

Friday, 6 December 2013

The day the wind blew

DSCF7652

Lots of problem with the wind today a tree comes down in Queens Park a few more feet it would have gone into the cafe.

DSCF7660

Victoria Ave and a tree blocks the road as it fell right across the road. Marshfield roundabout was closed as was Newcastle road. Lots of smaller trees and sign were blown about as well. The M6 was closed at the viaduct and stoke to Stafford section as well

Selfless acts heralded at Cheshire’s Local Hero Awards

 

Acts of courage, special achievements and community champions were all celebrated as part of the Local Hero Awards.

A packed auditorium (on Thursday, November 28) learned about some truly selfless acts as part of the awards, hosted by Cheshire radio station Silk 106.9 and supported by Cheshire East Council – one of which was the story of an 11-year-old boy who saved the life of one of his two severely disabled brothers.

The quick-thinking actions of Harry Norton, of Macclesfield, were enough to save six-year-old Caymen when he suffered a fit in the back of the family car as their mother, Angela, was driving.

He calmly gave mouth-to-mouth resusitation to rescue Caymen who, along with older brother Reims, 13, suffers from a rare drug-resistant form of epilepsy, which leaves them with autism and physical and learning disabilities.

Harry, who can administer the oxygen his brothers need to survive fits if Angela is not in the room, knows that at any moment an episode could lead to his brothers’ being rushed to intensive care for several months.

Harry said: “Not every 11-year-old has to look after two brothers that can’t talk or walk, or wakes up to his brothers screaming or having seizures. I worry about them both all of the time.”

Harry’s selflessness and ability to help his family has also allowed him to help raise a staggering £80,000 for a children’s charity and the Seashell Trust thanks to his moving speeches and artistic talent.

He has also managed to achieve top marks in his SAT exams, despite keeping a close eye on his family.

The audience also learned how Kenneth Woolley, of Poynton, has given 40 years of his life to volunteering in his community, including being a Special Constable, a volunteer for St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross and also a first responder for the North West Ambulance Service.

The awards took place at the Tytherington Club and was hosted by Silk’s David ‘Ditchy’ Ditchfield along with special guest, Cheshire East Council Mayor Councillor Dorothy Flude, who was one of the judges.

Councillor Flude said: “This was an incredibly inspirational evening and I am delighted to have been invited to present the Pride of Cheshire Award on behalf of Cheshire East Council.

“Our aim at Cheshire East is to be constantly working together to improve community life, and every single one of our award winners has demonstrated those qualities, enhancing the community and the lives of others not once or twice a year but week in week out for their community and those they care for.

“Every nomination we received has been such as shining example to us all of how truly fantastic the people of Cheshire are and we are constantly reminded of the selfless dedication and hard work put in by literally thousands of people, young and old throughout the area.

“I also want to pay tribute to Silk 106.9 for its outstanding contribution to community life, by not only hosting the Local Hero Awards but also promoting local news, sport, businesses and social events. It does a fantastic job and we are fortunate to have it as one of our local radio stations.”

David Flavell, station manager at Silk 106.9, said: “We are immensely proud to host the Local Heroes awards each year and humbled by the many stories we receive by way of nominations from across East Cheshire.

“As we head towards the Christmas season, it is a timely reminder of all that is good in humanity, acts of selfless generosity abound, immense courage often in the face of unspeakable adversity, ingenuity, creativity – the list goes on.

“I’d like to thank all our sponsors, not least Cheshire East Council, our overall sponsor, for their support, without which this very worthwhile celebration of those who contribute so much to our community couldn't take place.”

There were 12 categories in all:

Act of Courage

Winner: Ruby Marlow – Macclesfield

Eight-year-old Ruby has overcome tragic circumstances to retain a very positive outlook on life. She remained in plaster from six weeks of age until she was four, after being diagnosed with hyper-mobility, which causes pain and discomfort in the joints. This hampered her natural development and meant she could not walk straight for some time. Having not often experienced regular contact with her parents, and suffering the death of her mother earlier this year, Ruby continues to have a ‘twinkle in her eye’. She is an active member of Macclesfield Disability Swimming Club and is the club mascot for Macclesfield Academy Cheerleading Group.

Neighbour of the Year

Winner: Zoie McGrath – Macclesfield

Zoie lives at Upton Priory and is said to have brought her whole community together with the generosity of her spirit. She helps by offering food, a cooker to one person who did not have one and arranged a barbecue for her neighbours. She is described as having a ‘big heart’.

Champion Child

Winner: Harry Norton – Macclesfield

An 11-year-old boy who saved the life of one of his two severely disabled brothers and helped to raise £80,000 for charity.

Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Kenneth Woolley – Poynton

Kenneth has given 40 years to voluntary work in his community, including being a Special Constable, a volunteer for St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross and also a first responder for the North West Ambulance Service. He does emergency life support training and has trained more than 1,500 over 14 years and has installed four defibrillators in his hometown and trained 40 people how to use them.

Parent/Guardian of the Year

Winner: Yvonne Farrington/Ian Tomkinson – Crewe

Yvonne and Ian have been foster carers for 15 years, 13 of those were spent caring for children with disabilities. They are soon to adopt a little girl and are described by their nominator as ‘highly-motivated’ and ‘dedicated’ and an inspiration to other foster carers. They have also successfully moved children on to loving, adoptive homes yet remain in touch with them.

Carer of the Year

Winner: Angela Hodder – Ellesmere Port

Angela cared for her mother, Tess, for seven years despite suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, getting up at 6am every day to feed her and tend to her needs. Tess had survived breast cancer but later had liver and skin cancer and suffered severe dementia – but Angela gave up everything, including her job, to spend every day with her mother, allowing her to retain her dignity when NHS support wasn’t always available.

Best Use of Technology in Business

Winner: Axon IT – Macclesfield

A young, expanding company which has increased its number of staff over last 12 months and achieved Microsoft Gold partner status. It has a hi-tech premises in Macclesfield.

Teacher of the Year

Winner: Lorraine Renfrey/Gaye Holmes – All Hallows Catholic College, Macclesfield

This duo’s nominator describes them as going ‘above and beyond’ what might be expected of a teacher, encouraging one pupil to achieve despite adversity.

Young Achiever of the Year (15-25 years)

Winner: Dane Swindells

Dane organises the annual Loominus Festival in Macclesfield and presents the Music Vibe show on Silk FM – some achievement for a young person.

Social Enterprise of the Year

Winner: Andy Lomas – Congleton

Andy is Dane Housing’s neighbourhood director, whose nominator describes his attitude as ‘first rate’ and actions as ‘way above what might have been expected’ when helping a Dane Plus Housing tenant. He makes life much more tolerable for the majority of tenants.

Sports Person of the Year

Winner: Neil Gunn – Macclesfield

A volunteer who has managed the Macclesfield Run England group for the past three years, encouraging others to start running, some who never thought it possible due to illness. He also organises the Macclesfield half marathon, raising thousands of pounds for East Cheshire Hospice and is part of the Macclesfield Harriers.

Pride of Cheshire Award

Winner: Graham Alcock – Sandbach

Graham organises the Sandbach Christmas lights with a small group of volunteers, is the show director of Sandbach Transport Festival and is the chairman of the talking newspaper for the blind and other disabilities in Sandbach.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

First communities to benefit from Connecting Cheshire’s multi-million pound fibre broadband roll-out are announced

 

More than 15,000 premises are set to benefit from the first phase of investment in new fibre broadband networks across Cheshire, it was announced today.

From the end of March 2014 onwards, high-speed broadband will become available in more than 30 mainly outlying and rural communities across Cheshire.

During the first phase, faster fibre broadband will be available for the first time in the following communities, where the majority of homes and businesses will be able to connect to the new network:

Cheshire East Council

Acton

Alderley Edge

Allostock

Aston

Brereton Green

Cranage

East of Crewe*

Holmes Chapel*

Hough

Nantwich*

Peover

Plumley

Twemlow Green

Warmingham

Wrenbury

Wybunbury

* These areas will also see additional fibre roll-out building on the commercial coverage in phase one.

Details of the planned roll-out were announced at a briefing held at Oulton Park, in Little Budworth, near Tarporley, attended by community representatives, councillors, business leaders and digital champions from around Cheshire.

The £28.5m Connecting Cheshire broadband programme will be delivered by Openreach ­– BT’s local network business to bring fibre broadband to more than 80,000 additional premises.

This will build on the existing fibre networks already provided by BT’s commercial investment that will enable 96 per cent of Cheshire premises to access high speed-broadband over the lifetime of the programme.

Maps and coverage information on the Connecting Cheshire website are available to provide greater detail on the areas that can expect fibre coverage to arrive under the first phase.

Additional information is now also available showing the proposed timescales for areas in the second and third phase of the programme, which are expected to see fibre availability from summer 2014 onwards for phase two, and from winter 2014 onwards for phase three.

Local residents and businesses can check the coverage by visiting www.connectingcheshire.org.uk/check-availability to find out more. [1]

Bringing fibre to Cheshire is a massive engineering challenge for BT, with a team of more than 100 planners and engineers working to upgrade exchanges and networks including laying more than 875 miles of fibre-optic cable – more than the distance between Land’s End and John O’ Groats – by spring 2015. More than 400 new roadside cabinets will also be installed as a new root and branch fibre-optic network is rolled out.

Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, on behalf of the Connecting Cheshire Partnership, said: “I am delighted to announce which communities will soon be able to benefit from fibre broadband, I urge everyone to check our maps to see where and when we will be making fibre available.

“We have been working hard for more than three years to get to where we are today. This is an exciting time for Cheshire and the beginning of a journey that will see our communications landscape completely transformed. This is great news and will help boost local businesses and the creation of jobs across Cheshire.”

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT Group, said: “This is a very exciting step forward for these communities because faster broadband can benefit everyone.

“Whether you’re a small business wanting to stay in touch with customers and suppliers, or parents with children using the internet for homework and playing games, whatever you do online, you can do it much better and faster with fibre broadband.”

“Fibre will have a significant impact on the local economy. We know, for example, that small businesses form a key part of the local economy in rural areas. Faster broadband breaks down the barriers to doing business in the digital world like online trading, which helps to empower those small businesses to find new markets, sell new products, try new models and compete on an equal footing with larger businesses.”

Sir Howard Bernstein, vice chair of the North West European Regional Development Fund local management committee, said: “This programme will help local businesses make the most of superfast broadband, improving performance and helping to create and safeguard jobs.

“It will provide a major boost to the Cheshire economy and the North West European Regional Development Fund programme is pleased to be supporting it financially.”

To view the Connecting Cheshire broadband rollout information and coverage map visit www.connectingcheshire.org.uk and click the Check Availability tab.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Grumpy’ Jack Dee blasted by Council Leader Michael Jones

 

Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones has urged comedian Jack Dee to ‘cheer up, get on a train and come up here’ after running down Crewe in a media interview.

Speaking with Chris Evans on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show last Friday, Jack Dee said he ‘just can’t be bothered’ to go to towns like Crewe.

When he was challenged by Warrington-born Evans, he added: “You think ‘Crewe, that’s just down the road’, but its miles away and when you get there there’s actually nothing to do the next day.”

Michael Jones said: “Jack’s famous for his grumpy demeanour, but he should cheer up, get on a train and come up here and see for himself how we’re the best connected town in England, with superb road, rail and airport links, while HS2 will mean London is less than an hour away.

“Crewe is a working town with a fabulous cultural offer and even though I’m a great fan of Jack, he really is living in the dark ages. The serious point is that these sorts of jibes damage the town’s brand and make it harder to attract inward investment.

He added: “Jack now hosts ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue’ on Radio 4 – and when it comes to his knowledge of Crewe, I couldn’t have put it better myself.”

 

Excerpt from Jack Dee on Chris Evans’ Radio 2 Breakfast show, November 29, 2013. (1.54 mins). Dee is being interviewed about his new tour...

Jack Dee: “I ran out of market towns and stuff. There are a few places where I thought ’oh I just can’t be bothered to go there’. There’s just no point. There are places like Crewe. I have been there, but, you know, you’ve got to be careful about where you go in the end.”

Chris Evans: “Why do you not want to go to Crewe? What’s wrong with Crewe?”

Jack Dee: “Honestly? And I’m not particularly just talking about Crewe...”

Chris Evans (interrupting] “Well it sounds like you are?”

Jack Dee: “Well I am actually, I specifically mentioned Crewe there didn’t I? It’s a lot further than you think it is, apart from anything...”

Chris Evans [interrupting] “Not by train?”

Jack Dee: “No, well it depends on where you start from. It is a long, long way away, Crewe. You think ‘Crewe, that’s just down the road’, but its miles away and when you get there there’s actually nothing to do the next day.”

Winter Wellbeing – stock up on free winter reading

 

Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, residents are urged to make use of their libraries during winter.

With the colder weather very much upon us, Cheshire East Council would like to remind people that its libraries are at hand for those who want to stock up on their free winter reading.

Residents are being encouraged to take advantage of the chance to borrow free books from the area’s libraries.

Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member in charge of strategic communities, said: “With temperatures dropping, it would be a good idea to stock up on your reading material this winter.

“Our libraries are excellent and offer a warm, safe environment. Not only can you borrow books, you can also borrow music and films for a small charge.

“Many of our libraries are now much more accessible with the most up-to-date technology.

“They also have computers, which can be used free of charge, and most of our libraries can also help you to get on the internet and use email and social media. Council services and details on community events can also be accessed.

“Libraries provide more online services than ever before. You can reserve and renew library books without leaving your home as well as accessing the ‘virtual’ reference library or listening to classical music through the libraries subscription to Naxos.”

Monthly reading groups are held in libraries across Cheshire East. Those interested are advised to contact their nearest library for more information. The authority also has a mobile library which takes books for all ages into the rural areas of Cheshire East.

Sean Reynolds, chair of the Local Adult Safeguarding Board, said: “Cheshire East Adult Safeguarding Board welcomes any initiative to assist its most vulnerable people, especially during the winter months, to feel warm, healthy and safe.

“It is often harder to find things to do during the winter period, particularly outdoors. Reading is one answer to this and being able to renew loans without having to leave the home is likely to be welcome by many older and disabled people. The people of Cheshire East have high-quality facilities on their doorstep.”

Book loans can be renewed from home by calling 0845 148 0148 or visiting www.cheshireeast.gov.uk and typing in ‘libraries’ into the search engine.

Cheshire East libraries are always looking for volunteers to help people get online or help at library events. The Council is appealing to those with time to spare to contact their local library for more details or call 0300 123 5018.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Nantwich Christmas lights switch-on.

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

Childrens mini-funfair

The Nantwich Christmas Lights switch-on took place on Saturday 30th November 2013 on the Town Square. During the day there was festive music provided by local online community radio station The Cat - http://www.thisisthecat.com/ . There was entertainment in the evening from the Malbank Festive Choir and Britain’s Got Talent dancers AJ and Chloe. Father Christmas also took time out of his busy schedule to make an appearance, although he had to stop the Grinch from cheekily stealing his presents! Nantwich Town Council's Deputy Mayor, Councillor Christine Farrell - http://www.nantwichtowncouncil.gov.uk/ - thanked the sponsors and everyone who attended for supporting the event. A ten-second countdown ensued before TV Vet Steve Leonard turned on the lights, which were followed by a spectacular firework display by local company Blitz Fireworks - http://www.blitzfireworks.com . There was also a children's mini-funfair, festive stalls and refreshments.

Spectacular firework display

Other events in Nantwich included carol singing from Wistaston Singers, along with mulled wine and mince pies at the Cocoa Yard in aid of St Luke’s Hospice.

The event was enjoyed by several thousand people.

Rotary Club of Nantwich Santa’s Grotto 2013.

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

Rotary Club of Nantwich - Santas Grotto 2013

Santa Claus has taken time off from his busy schedule to meet and hand out presents to local children. He has setup a Nantwich branch of his Grotto upstairs in the attic of the Nantwich Bookshop - http://www.nantwichbooks.co.uk - at High Street in the centre of Nantwich.

Santa will be in Nantwich every Saturday and Sunday in December from 10am to 4pm. The remaining dates are 7th/8th, 14th/15th and 21st/22nd. Price = £3 per child, or £5 for two children. There are gifts for boys and girls.

It’s the fifth year that Santa has setup his Grotto in the Nantwich Bookshop. The event is organised by the Rotary Club of Nantwich (Foundation Committee).

This year's money will go to Nantwich-based charities, as well as towards the global eradication of Polio: http://www.endpolio.org .

Rotary Foundation Chairman Herbert Rowsell said, “We are once again very grateful to Steve and Denise Lawson, the owners of Nantwich Bookshop, for their continued help and support in allowing us to raise money for worthwhile causes”.

MP’s 143rd news bulletin

Edward Timpson MP

Friday 29, November 2013

Welcome

Welcome to this, my 143rd news bulletin.

As we look towards January and the new year, a number of constituents have contacted me to share their concerns about the changes happening within the European Union next year, particularly the entry of Romania and Bulgaria into the labour market that we share with the rest of Europe.

My view is clear: we need a considered, long-term plan to fix the EU's immigration system – and to control immigration from Romania and Bulgaria.  Properly controlled immigration can benefit us hugely as a nation, and it is right that the UK should continue to attract the best and brightest talent from across the world, in all fields, to work, set up businesses, to study and research. Controlled immigration means more money coming into our economy - but we know that we can't afford to have uncontrolled immigration.

In 2004, the previous government made the decision that the UK should opt out of transitional controls on the new EU member states.  They had the right to impose a seven-year ban before new citizens could come and work here, but Labour refused it. And when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU, Labour had not learned the lesson. The other major lesson they didn’t learn was that failures in immigration policy were closely linked to welfare and education – if it does not pay to work, or if British people lack skills, that creates a huge space in our labour market for overseas migrants to fill.

Thanks to the current Government, we are taking back control – and net immigration has been reduced by a third so far.  Recent statistics show that the long-term trend is towards less immigration, and better-controlled immigration.  I hope you will also be reassured to know that the Government is:

  • Training our own young people to fill jobs by providing record numbers of apprenticeships, demanding rigour in schools and building a welfare system that encourages work.
  • Changing the rules so that no one who comes to this country will be able to claim work benefits for the first three months.  If after three months an EU national needs benefits, they will only be able to claim for a maximum of six months unless they can prove they have a genuine prospect of employment.
  • Putting in place a new minimum earnings threshold, which if migrants don’t pass they can’t access benefits such as income support.
  • Not allowing newly arrived EU jobseekers to claim housing benefit.
  • Removing people who are not here to work and are begging or sleeping rough.  They will be barred from re-entry for 12 months, unless they can prove they have a proper reason to be here, such as a job.
  • Clamping down on those who employ people below the minimum wage, with a fine of up to £20,000 for every underpaid employee – more than four times the fine today.

This is what we can legally do within the limits of the treaties that the Labour government signed Britain up to.

But I also believe it is time for a new settlement with Europe.  One which recognises that although free movement is a central principle of the EU, it cannot be an unqualified one.  So, as part of our plan to reform the EU, Conservatives in government will work with others to return the concept of free movement to a more sensible basis. We will then let Britain decide by putting that reformed Europe to the British people in an in-out referendum.

Best wishes,

Edward Timpson
Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich

Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me, or if there is anything I can do to assist you.
You can forward this bulletin on to your friends and family, who can sign up themselves by clicking here for my website.

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Locally I have...

  • Attended this year's Remembrance Day services in both Crewe and Nantwich.
  • Celebrated the achievements of students at Sir William Stanier School, at their Year 11 Awards Evening
  • Met with the NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Newly authorised by the NHS, the 'CCG' is made up of local GPs and their practices, and it has taken over the important role of commissioning healthcare in the Crewe and Nantwich area.
  • Visited the Berkeley Primary School in Wistaston, to talk to pupils studying History about Parliament and the Government.
  • Held one of my regular advice surgeries, at the Beechmere Extra Care apartments in Crewe. I try to make myself available for surgeries across the Crewe and Nantwich area, so if you'd like an appointment to speak to me, or if you have a suggestion for somewhere I might hold a surgery, please do get in touch.
  • Met with representatives of Sportscape, a Community Interest Company, which has recently been awarded a grant by the Big Lottery Fund. The money will be used to run a project called "On Your Marks" in the Gresty Road area, during school holiday periods.
  • Participated in the Children's Commissioner's Takeover Day at MMU Cheshire. This local event is part of a national day, organised by the Children's Commissioner, enabling children and young people to have the opportunity to be involved in working alongside adults and in local and national decision making.  In our case, running the university for a day!

...and in Westminster, today is hopefully the final day dedicated to debating the EU Referendum Bill in the House of Commons.  I have represented Crewe and Nantwich constituents by voting in favour of this vital piece of legislation.  The Prime Minister wants to give the people of Britain their say, in a full, in-out referendum on Britain's membership of the EU - you can read more about this important campaign at the "Let Britain Decide" website.

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Westminster Report

Edward Timpson MP Westminster Report

Read my most recent Crewe & Nantwich Talk

The latest edition of my Westminster Report has been delivered across Crewe and Nantwich. Click here or on the image to read a copy.

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Photo News

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On 21 November, I joined in with the Children's Commissioner takeover day at MMU Cheshire.

You can see all of my photos by visiting my website.

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Community News

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Cheshire PCC alert

Cheshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner, John Dwyer, is urging everyone in the county to sign up to the new alert system. The system allows you to receive regular information from him, the Constabulary, Fire & Rescue service and other public services in Cheshire.

“Communicating with the public is an important part of my role,” said John Dwyer. “I know that people are busy and I want to offer as many ways as possible for people to keep in touch with what I’m doing and to have their say about policing.  I want to encourage people to sign up to this alert system, as it enables them to be kept up to date not only with what I’m doing, but with any major incidents and local news for their local area.”

The Alert system is free and simple to use. Once you have registered you will be able to select how you would like to receive information (either by phone, text or email).

To join Cheshire PCC Alert visit www.Cheshire-pcc.gov.uk.

Do you have community news to share? Are you involved in any projects that could be of help or interest to local people in Crewe and Nantwich? E-mail me and your news could be here too!

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Pupils taking over campus

The Sentinel, 20 Nov 2013: School pupils will be taking over a university campus for the day to gain an insight into decisions which affect student life.

Young people from Crewe's Kings Grove School and Springfield School will be spending tomorrow at Manchester Metropolitan University's base in the Cheshire town.

They will be shadowing staff from the post room up to the boardroom and working with student ambassadors. The pupils will also take part in a panel discussion with senior academic staff and children's minister Edward Timpson, who is MP for Crewe and Nantwich.

The event is part of national takeover day, which is coordinated by the office of children's commissioner Maggie Atkinson.

Dennis Dunn, dean of the Cheshire faculty of MMU, said: "We are delighted to invite the children to find out how the university ticks and to give us feedback about their experiences.

"We hope that some of them will be interested in becoming advisers to our childhood and youth studies degree programme and that some will also be attracted to coming to work or study with us in the future."

It is one of a series of events that young people are getting involved in across Staffordshire and Cheshire to mark takeover day.

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Business boost for the North West

Crewe Chronicle: Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has welcomed new figures that indicate the number of private sector businesses in the North West has increased by 46,395 over the past three years.

Edward said: "These figures are great news for everyone in Crewe and Nantwich who wants to work hard and get on in life. Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of the British people, our economy is now turning a corner.

"There is still more to do, and that is why in 2014 the Government will slash the jobs tax on all businesses with a new £2,000 employment allowance. this will see 450,000 small businesses paying no jobs tax at all. I am committed to securing a recovery that works for all hardworking people."

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

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Father Christmas Hits the Road for Annual Festive Tour Aboard Iconic St Luke’s Bus

Luke Grotto inside

Father Christmas will be touring Cheshire in style this festive season thanks to St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice.

The big man in red has exchanged his traditional reindeer and sleigh for the comfort of the hospice’s now iconic Luke the Bus, a former London Routemaster bus, luxuriously restored by long-term St Luke’s supporter Bentley Motors, which has been transformed into a glittering Santa’s grotto for the festive season by a kind-hearted team of staff and students at Mid Cheshire College.

The generous team at the Northwich-based college also went above and beyond this year to also wrap 300 presents which will take pride of place to be handed out to children in Santa’s beautiful travelling home.

Youngsters are being invited to hop aboard and visit Father Christmas as the bus makes its way across South and Mid Cheshire over the festive period.

Entry to the touring grotto is £3 per child and every child will receive a present.

St Luke’s Head of Corporate & Community Development, Di Eeley, commented: “We’re delighted Father Christmas has taken time out of his busy schedule to meet as many of Cheshire’s children as he can.  Make sure you and your family don’t miss the chance to meet Father Christmas aboard the amazing Luke the Bus.

“The Grotto looks fantastic thanks to the excellent and incredibly generous work of the team at Mid Cheshire College and will be coming to a location near you, so it’s a perfect event for the whole family.”

For full dates and times of the St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice Luke the Bus Santa’s Grotto tour see table below:

The Luke the Bus Santa’s Grotto visits:

Date

Time

Middlewich Artisan Market

Wheelock Street , Middlewich, Cheshire, CW10 9AB

30.11.13

10.00am – 4.00pm

Nantwich Health Centre Christmas event

The bus will be positioned outside Marks and Spencer,

Beam St, Nantwich CW5 5NX

2.12.13

From 11.00am

Sandbach – Christmas Market and Lights Switch On

High Street, CW11 1AH

6.12.13

4.00pm- 7.00pm

Hartford Victorian Christmas Festival

St John's Church Centre, School Lane, Hartford, CW8 1NP

7.12.13

9.00am-2.00pm

Crewe Belong Village Christmas Fair

Brookhouse Dr, Crewe, Cheshire CW2 6NA

15.12.13

12.00pm- 2.00pm

Alsager Farmers Market

Alsager Civic Centre, Lawton Road, Alsager, ST7 2AE

21.12.13

9.00am-2.00pm

Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Crewe Christmas lights switch-on

Jonathan White

Firework display by local company Blitz FireworksMayor of Crewe Councillor Irene Faseyi - assisted by K T Perry - turned on the Christmas lights

The Crewe Christmas lights switch-on took place on Thursday 28th November 2013 on the Town Square. There was entertainment in the evening from jazz musician Tom Seals and Katy Perry tribute K T Perry. Father Christmas also took time out of his busy schedule to make an appearance. The Mayor of Crewe Councillor Irene Faseyi, assisted by K T Perry, turned on the Christmas lights which were followed by a firework display by local company Blitz Fireworks (http://www.blitzfireworks.com), with rockets launched from the roof of the Crewe Town Clock. K T Perry sang ‘Firework’ during the display. There were also children's fairground rides, a candy floss stall and a large outdoor market. Hundreds of local adults and children attended the event. The switch-on also marked the start of late-night shopping in Crewe over the festive period.

I’ve uploaded all my photos to Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanawhite/sets/7215763815957932

Wistaston Singers

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Wistaston Singers

Wistaston Singers are performing at several events over the next few weeks:

- Saturday 30th November – 5:30pm start – Carol singing before the Nantwich Christmas Lights Switch on at the Cocoa Yard, Nantwich for Macmillan Cancer Support. http://www.nantwichtowncouncil.gov.uk/04/11/2013/hello-world-5-106/

- Thursday 5th December – 5:30pm start – Singing on Crewe Town Square (by Marks & Spencer) for St Luke’s Hospice. http://www.stlukes-hospice.co.uk/events/remembering-your-loved-ones-light-up-a-life-crewe/

- Saturday 14th December – 3pm start - Christmas Carol Extravaganza - St Stephen’s Methodist Church, Gainsborough Road, Crewe CW2 7JX. Tickets = £6 including a buffet at the interval. Proceeds to St Stephen’s Methodist Church and Wistaston Singers. Come along and join us in singing your favourite Christmas carols.

The Wistaston Singers were originally formed by members of the choir at St Mary's Parish Church Wistaston in May 2000 and now numbers over forty members singing four-part harmony music. The choir perform a variety and eclectic choice of music ranging from choral church music and anthems, Gilbert and Sullivan items, music from the shows, music from modern composers such as John Rutter covering from the 17th century to the 21st century. The choir members are amateur singers who rehearse and perform for their enjoyment of music and singing.

New members are welcome and further details may be obtained from Choir Secretary Jill Oakes, Tel: 01270 662940 and email: jillandjohnoakes@uwclub.net

Cheshire East welcomes new law to cap payday loan costs

 

Cheshire East Council leader Councillor Michael Jones has welcomed a new law to cap the cost of payday loans.

This week, the Government announced it is to introduce the law following practical steps taken by Cheshire East Council to ban access to the top 50 payday lending websites on its public computers, one of the first councils in England to do so.

Councillor Jones said: “It is good to see the Government is following our lead and will now introduce strict laws.

“We want to protect the most vulnerable of people from falling into the trap of borrowing money at astronomical rates of interest.

“We took our own steps to tackle these companies after being inundated by complaints from the public. I’ve even been told about one woman borrowing £100 and ending up with a £17,000 debt. It is scandalous.”

One payday loan firm was found by councillors to be charging interest of more than 5,850 per cent.

Just last month, the entire Cheshire East Council Cabinet and many councillors signed up ‘en masse’ to become members of the local Cheshire Neighbours Credit Union (CNCU) in its fight to take on ‘rip-off’ payday loan firms.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which takes over regulation of the sector in April, already has the power to cap the cost of payday loans and has proposed several new rules intended to protect consumers.

But in an amendment to the banking reform bill going through parliament, Chancellor George Osborne has ‘put a duty on the FCA’ to use its powers to impose a cap and called it a ‘logical step’.