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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Hands off Wistaton

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

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A new group called 'Hands Off Wistaston' has been setup to protect Wistaston's green gap against unnecessary, unsustainable and unwanted development following proposals from two property developers to build up to 1,800 new homes in Wistaston.

The group have launched a Twitter page (https://www.twitter.com/HandsOffCW2) and a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/HandsOffWistaston). 

Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones will be at the next Wistaston Parish Council meeting on 16th May, 7.30pm at the Memorial Hall on Church Lane. Please attend to send the message that we want to keep our Green Gap here in Wistaston. 

Road policing team showcase delights children with Down Syndrome

 

Cheshire Police received some excited visitors on Saturday 27 April when a group of children with Downs Syndrome were invited to meet the road policing team at Winsford Headquarters.

More than 40 youngsters from all over the county attended with their parents and carers to see the force′s cars and motorcycles.

The visit was organised by Road Policing Motorway Operations Inspector Liz Cunningham with Cheshire Down′s Syndrome Support Group volunteer, Julie Duff.

Inspector Cunningham said: "It was the ideal situation for the children because it was a controlled environment and we were able to cater for the children′s individual needs.

"Some of the children didn′t like the sirens, but others loved them."

The visit, which started at 10.45am, kept the children entertained for an hour and a half.

It was held as part of Cheshire Downs Syndrome Support Group′s annual fundraiser, Dosh For Downs Day, which encourages people to show their support by donating money and wearing odd socks.

Cheshire Police will support the event on Friday 3 May when all officers and staff will be encouraged to wear odd socks and donate to the charity.

It is hoped that the event will raise awareness about disability hate crime and how it affects the most vulnerable members of society, and encourage the reporting of incidents to the police.

Monday, 29 April 2013

YOUTH AMBASSADOR – The Facts

 

John Dwyer, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire sets the record straight about the Youth Ambassador post. John Dwyer said "There has been media coverage over the weekend about my intention to appoint a Youth Ambassador, some of which was reported incorrectly and I want to provide some facts.

I said in my pre-election campaign I would appoint a Youth Ambassador as the election process only addressed those people eligible to vote. I want to effectively engage with young people. This role is aimed at preventing young people from becoming victims of crime or to deter them from committing crime. 23% of Cheshire′s population are under the age of 18. It is important that they also have a say in the governance of policing.  There is important work to be done with young people as victims, in reducing re-offending but perhaps most importantly in safeguarding their wellbeing.  

The Youth Ambassador will work alongside the police, schools and young people′s organisations to help keep them safe from harm, drug and alcohol abuse and in other areas such as internet safety."

The job description and role profile were developed in partnership with organisations such as local authorities, youth services and youth offending team. Partners, the public and young people themselves were consulted in face to face meetings and in an on-line survey. The job has been independently assessed using the cross-industry national Hay Evaluation system at £23,799 per year.

Although we will not discriminate by age in the appointment process, it is unlikely that this will be a very young person as the Commissioner is looking for someone to fill the post who has significant experience of working with young people. The job description asks for the equivalent of 3 A’levels and 3 years youth work experience.

The appointment is by the Commissioner and is fixed until the next elections in May 2016.

The successful applicant will be subject to the usual security vetting required and CRB checked as required to work with young people. Their social media accounts will also be checked before being confirmed in post.

Rogue Trader Awareness Day 2013

 

Cheshire East Council has been working closely with police in Cheshire and the Environment Agency (EA) as part of an operation targeting rogue traders and bogus callers in the Knutsford area.

A day of action took place (Wednesday, April 24) with teams patrolling the A50 in High Legh and Mobberley Road (B5085) – both known to be major routes for traders in and out of Knutsford. There were also two ‘roaming patrols’ targeting suspected hotspots. 

Roadside checks, using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology, were used along both routes, with officers stopping vehicles to make a range of checks. This included trading documentation and identification, the use of illegal diesel, waste carrier licenses and traffic offences.

If traders were transporting any tools or plant equipment, this too was checked to ensure it wasn’t stolen.

Officers also conducted spot-checks at homes where it was obvious work was being carried out. Traders were checked to ensure they were following current legislation and the householder was asked if they were pleased with the work and if they thought they had been treated fairly.

During the course of the day consumer protection and investigation officers:

  • Spoke to 60 traders/ businesses;
  • Made 17 trade association checks (e.g. Gas, FENSA);
  • Spoke to seven residents, who were having work done, with checks made;
  • Handed out numerous business advice packs and promoted the Buy with Confidence scheme to businesses; and
  • Is carrying out further investigations into a charity clothing collector and a false trade association.

In addition, the police stopped 48 vehicles for a variety of motoring offences and prosecuted one person for driving without insurance.

The EA gave out seven advice and guidance packs around waste carrying. 

This is the third year that multi-agency operations to tackle rogue traders have been carried out in Cheshire East.

With a higher-than-average ageing population, the Borough’s residents are seen as more vulnerable to doorstep crime.

This is where residents are preyed upon by rogue traders, who charge large amounts of money for carrying out little or no work. In many cases the work is not even required.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cabinet member in charge of communities and regulatory services, said: “High-profile operations such as this are vital in keeping up the pressure on rogue traders in Cheshire East.

“I am pleased that we have managed to speak to so many businesses and carried out a number of checks.

“We want residents to feel confident when purchasing goods and secure in the knowledge that traders are law-abiding. These partnership operations go a long way to easing people’s fears as well as supporting legitimate traders.”

PC Andrew Baker, of Knutsford neighbourhood policing team, said: "During the operation, a number of traders passing through the area were stopped and checks were made to ensure that they were genuine and in keeping with the law.

"This resulted in a number of positive results and a large amount of valuable intelligence was gathered.

“The operation showed the benefit of joint agency working between Cheshire East Council and Cheshire police.

“We would like to thank any traders who were stopped during the course of the day for their patience and understanding.”

CONNECTING CHESHIRE SECURES FIBRE BROADBAND FOR 80,000 RURAL HOMES AND BUSINESSES

 

96 per cent of Cheshire premises to have access to fibre broadband

High-speed fibre broadband will be rolled out to around 96 per cent of Cheshire homes and businesses in the next three years under a £28.5m project between four Cheshire councils[1] and BT.

The Connecting Cheshire Partnership has secured funding to provide additional rural broadband infrastructure to over 80,000 premises that will build on BT’s on-going commercial investment in fibre across the county.

As a result more than 400,000 premises (around 96 per cent) across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington, should have access to broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps[2] by the end of 2016. Those premises in the remaining four per cent that currently experience low speeds will also see an uplift, as the project aims to deliver a minimum of 2Mbps or more to almost all homes and businesses.

The project will transform broadband speeds across Cheshire, narrowing the gap between speeds in urban and rural areas. According to Ofcom, the county’s average downstream speed is currently around 11Mbps, while approximately 12 per cent of the population receive less than 2Mbps[3]. BT was chosen by Connecting Cheshire following an extensive and thorough selection process.

The investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy and help to create or protect local jobs. A recent study[4] for Cheshire, Warrington and Halton estimated that full coverage of superfast broadband would generate a gross impact of £1.3 billion in gross value added (GVA)[5] over 15 years and create 11,500 jobs, with a further £330m of economic benefits to households.

BT was awarded the contract following a procurement exercise through the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework .The company is contributing £9m towards fibre deployment in ‘non-commercial’ areas, while The Connecting Cheshire Partnership is contributing £1.85m, with a further £4m coming from the Government’s BDUK funds and £13.6m from European Regional Development Funds (ERDF)[6].

  Openreach, BT’s local network division, will now start the work on the ground with engineers surveying locations around the county and analysing the best way to roll out the network. This initial survey work will take about eight months, so Connecting Cheshire should be in a position to announce which communities will be included in the first stage of the roll-out by December 2013. Connecting Cheshire and BT will work together to prioritise a strategic roll-out so that the whole county’s best interests are served.

Fibre to the Cabinet will be the main technology deployed. This delivers wholesale downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps.  Fibre to the Premises technology – delivering speeds of up to 330Mbps  – will also be deployed in some areas and will be available on demand throughout the whole of the fibre footprint, should local businesses want the ultra-fast speed it offers.[7]

Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, on behalf of the Connecting Cheshire Partnership said: “The award of this contract to BT marks the end of a comprehensive process to secure the best broadband deal for Cheshire.

“The four councils across Cheshire are committed to providing reliable high-speed fibre broadband for both our home and business users. From children doing homework, to caring for our elderly population and from social media, to ecommerce and home entertainment – fast broadband is the critical enabler. The social, environmental and economic benefits will be huge, making Cheshire one of the best-connected regions in the country.”

Tatton MP George Osborne said: “This is great news for not just my Tatton constituency but the whole of Cheshire. Extending the reach of fibre broadband is a real opportunity to provide a huge strategic boost to our urban and rural areas, for both homes and businesses to become better connected.”

Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Next Generation Access, added: “Cheshire has a large number of small and medium sized enterprises and a high volume of business start-ups, which collectively contribute a substantial proportion of the regional economy. The rollout of more fibre broadband will act as a powerful economic driver for these businesses.

“Ensuring enhanced connectivity is vital to secure future growth. Exploiting the strategic benefits of high-speed broadband across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington will deliver huge returns on investment. It is no longer enough to be connected, it must be fast, reliable and affordable to fully realise the county’s potential.”

BT’s network will be open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis and so Cheshire consumers and businesses will benefit from a highly-competitive market, in turn bringing greater choice and affordable prices.

For local businesses, the fibre broadband network will underpin the introduction of many new services and applications. Users will be able to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time and receive large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently. Computer processing and storage of files will also become more sophisticated and secure using ‘cloud computing’ technology. There will be faster back-up of computer systems and wider use of high-quality video conferencing within firms and between them and their customers.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Happy Birthday Jax the Alaskan Malamute

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This week has been Jax’s Birthday 1 year old above when we got him as a puppy Lots more pictures of him growing up on  Skydrive take a look. He even has his own Blog http://alaskanmalamutejax.blogspot.co.uk/

We are still trying to work out how big and heavy he will grow I have seen quotes they can reach up to 125lbs
Some even make 180lbs
They are handy if your car breaks down and you need a tow

Jax is following the Alaskan Malamute code which is

If I like its mine
If I saw it first its mine
If its in my mouth its mine
If I can take it from you its mine
If it looks like mine its mine
If I had it a while ago its mine
If you have something and put it down its mine
If I chew something up  the bits are mine
If it used to be yours get over it
If its broken its yours
If you get in my yard you aint getting out
My house my yard your ass another perfect day
Burglars please remove jewellery before entering as the dog cant digest them when he eats you

I dont chew old slippers only new ones

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Above You might get in the Yard But you aint getting out now 1 year old and about 8St and walks for 5 hours a day

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Miracles do happen but take a long time

 

We reported the case of over 16 months to replace a light bulb in Oxford st Crewe and broad St Crewe. Cllr Brian Sylvester has been on the case for months emailing weekly to get this sorted like a Jack Russell with a bone he didnt stop until they actual got the lights back on this week why it takes so long only God knows you shouldn't have to get a Cllr to fight for it lights should be put on very quickly

Drive to tackle potholes moves up a gear – so just ‘Tell Dave’!

 

Cheshire East Council has filled more than a staggering 21,643 potholes in our roads so far this year – and now the drive to tackle the problem is moving up a gear.

The warmer spring weather means repairs to the Borough’s 2,673km of highways can now really gather momentum – as it is far less effective to carry out repairs in wet and freezing conditions.

Cheshire East Highways’ team filled 21,643 potholes between January 1 and April 21 this year. We are on target to fill and repair more than 50,000 by the end of 2013.

And this is where you can play your part – you just need to ‘Tell Dave’.

So we can act swiftly to target the worst problems, members of the public are being encouraged to report all potholes to Councillor ‘Dave’ Topping – Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet member in charge of environment.

A Council report shows 400km of roads managed by CEC are in need of repair.

The authority is investing £25m in targeted road repairs and resurfacing works over two years. The aim is to prioritise the defects and roads that are in the worst condition and end the ‘cycle of decline’ in the road network.

Councillor Topping said: “We have been working really hard to repair the crumbling fabric of our roads – but there is still much to do. That is why we want people to report potholes to the council, so we can target the worst problems more effectively and quickly.

“Successive bad winters and flooding last summer have left our roads in a poor condition and we know what we have to do to keep the network in a safe condition and clear the backlog of repairs.

“A measure of our commitment is that we are investing £25m over two years to repair local roads – and this will have a major impact on improving road conditions for local people and drivers.”

Of the 400km of roads classed as defective in Cheshire East, 25 per cent are in Nantwich, 18 per cent are in Congleton, 18 per cent are in Macclesfield, 17 per cent are in Crewe, 13 per cent are in Knutsford, five per cent are in Poynton and four per cent are in Wilmslow.

You can report a pothole via the Council’s website at: www.cheshireeasthighways.org/ReportIt

Alternatively, ring the highways team on 0300 123 5020.

HS2 Exceptional Hardship Scheme consultation extended

 

Residents with an interest in how the high-speed rail line HS2 might affect their property or business now have three more weeks to take part in a consultation.

Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, has announced that the deadline for responses to the Exceptional Hardship Scheme for phase two of HS2 has been extended from April 29 to May 20.

Cheshire East Council continues to urge people to take part so they can have their say in addressing any impact the proposed line will have on residential properties and affected businesses.

In January, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced its initial preferred route, which runs through much of Cheshire East.

While welcoming the economic benefits the scheme will bring to the Borough, and also pushing for a dedicated HS2 rail hub in Crewe, the Council understands that it is not all good news for everybody.

Although the Exceptional Hardship Scheme consultation is not the formal consultation on the HS2 route and stations (this is due to start any time from July of this year), it is no less important.

Residents can take part in the consultation by visiting www.hs2.org.uk/have-your-say/consultations/phase-two/exceptional-hardship-scheme

If anyone is unable to access the internet, they can contact HS2 on 0300 123 1102 to order a hard copy by post.

There is also a wealth of information at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/hs2 where further detail on the route and exactly where it runs can be found. There is also a link through to the Exceptional Hardship Scheme consultation page.

Meanwhile, the HS2 public enquiries team is available on 020 7944 4908 or HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk

Competition winner spends day with PCC

 

Back in March, the Police & Crime Commissioner held a competition which gave someone in Cheshire the opportunity to sample what a day in the life of a Commissioner is like.

Malcolm Naylor was the winning entrant, and on Wednesday 24 April he came in and spent the day with John Dwyer.

Malcolm′s day started at 9am; he attended a Decision Meeting in which the Commissioner and senior officers from the Constabulary considered the Crime Prevention Fund, people and estates strategies. Malcolm observed John doing an interview with Heart FM regarding the Youth Ambassador recruitment.

Malcolm and John then welcomed some of the runners up of the competition at lunch time, with John participating in a probing question and answer session.

John said: "I′m happy that I had the opportunity to meet the runners up of the competition. I listened to the issues that they raised and the questions they asked. I hope that the answers I gave helped them to better understand my role as a Police & Crime Commissioner."

After lunch, Malcolm had his own private question and answer session with John followed by a tour of HQ (including Call Handling department and the Tactical Training Centre). Malcolm was then interviewed by BBC Radio Merseyside, who asked him how his day had been and whether he had enjoyed the experience.

Finally, to round off the day Malcolm accompanied John to a community forum in Weaver and Cuddington.

Malcolm said: "I was delighted to have won this competition. I entered because I wanted to know how Mr Dwyer would meet his five stated ‘priorities′. After spending the day with John, I was pleasantly surprised how transparent and accountable both him and his team are. I′m glad I had this experience, because I′ve had an insight into what his role is about."

John added: "I′m glad I had the opportunity to meet Mr Naylor and that the time he spent with me has been both worthwhile and a useful experience. I hope opportunities like this provide people with more information about the role of the Police & Crime Commissioner."

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Leisure volunteers scoop top award

 

Grassroots sport is alive and well in Cheshire East thanks to the leisure development volunteer programme that has just won a prestigious national award.

The team beat off competition from around the country to win Volunteer Project of the Year at the National Street Games Awards.

The Council scheme has now been running for five years with 120 regular volunteers giving a range of sporting opportunities to around 2,000 people.

A judging panel made up of leading athletes and sports journalists recognised the hard work and commitment of volunteers, as well as the innovation and development of the programme itself.

A specially-developed mentoring scheme gives volunteers the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and experience in a leadership role.

The programme has provided full and part-time voluntary positions for individuals who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) – funding training and qualifications that improves employability.

Volunteers are asked to give their input into developing the sports programme, to set up their own projects and to pass on their knowledge to others.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet member in charge of health and adult social care, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the hard work of our volunteers and the sports development team has been recognised and I congratulate everyone involved.

“The volunteers were instrumental in the success of key events last year such as the Olympic Torch Relay and the athletes’ homecoming events.

“It is the largest sports volunteer programme in the north west and it has excellent links with local schools, providing a route for pupils to get involved with volunteering.”

For more information on the volunteer programme, or if you would like to volunteer within your community, please contact the leisure development team on 01625 383790 or by email: volunteers@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Commissioner advertises Youth Ambassador Post

 

John Dwyer, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, is looking to appoint someone to act as a conduit between young people and the police.

John said, "My role as Commissioner is to be the bridge between the public and the police, and it′s important that our young people are not left out of that partnership. I want to appoint a Youth Ambassador, someone who has experience of working with young people to ensure they have a voice and can help me to shape the delivery of policing."

The Youth Ambassador′s role will not only provide young people with a point of contact to register their views, but they will also deliver key messages such as internet safety and the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Cheshire′s Youth Ambassador post is now being advertised on the Cheshire PCC website. The advert is running from today (22 April) till 3 May.

If you or anyone you know would like to apply for the Youth Ambassador post, visit http://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/for more information on how to apply.

Cheshire East Local Plan Alternative Site Option Consultation

 

A further four week consultation linked to the Local Plan is proposed from May 3, when views from the public will be sought.

The consultation will give members of the public a chance to have their say about some sites which have not previously been in the public domain. The decision to consult will be taken at a special meeting of Strategic Planning board on May 1 and confirmed by the portfolio holder.

Cheshire East Council is committed to a plan-led approach to development so we can secure the jobs, homes and infrastructure that the Borough needs for the future.

It also gives the best chance for full and proper debate on all the issues concerned and we are working to progress the new Cheshire East Local Plan in a thorough but timely fashion.

Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said:  “In order that we can be sure that we have properly considered all available options we are therefore bringing these sites to the public’s attention to ensure that the plan is robust.

“This does not mean the Council supports the development of these sites. We have reached no view at all on their merits at this stage and we are seeking people’s views because they have not featured in any previous stage of the local plan. These sites have been proposed by developers to achieve their business objectives.

“In creating a new plan we need to be sure that we have considered all reasonable alternatives in terms of our strategy and potential development sites. We have to ensure that alternatives are considered and will have to pass sustainability and environmental tests before any are accepted as part of our wider consideration of the Local Plan.

“Earlier in the year we had extensive consultation on our new Local Plan - and in response received well over 10,000 comments back.

“Some of these have proposed alternative development sites that have featured neither in the Draft Local Plan or the preceding Town Strategies.

“We therefore need to bring these sites to public attention and find out what the public think of them.

“We will be consulting on Alternative Site Options for four weeks, beginning May 3.

“I should stress that the Council is not positively proposing any of these sites for development at this stage - these are merely sites that have been presented to us as options.

“Rather than keep these under wraps we want to know what everyone thinks. 

“Many of these sites, I believe will be unacceptable but there may be some hidden jewels.

“We have formed no view as to the merits of these sites - so please gives us your views.”

A star-studded line-up ushered in a new, exciting era at Crewe Lyceum Theatre

Lyceum Theatre Crewe Gala evening.<br />21 April 2013<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Brian Conley, Jane McDonald and Keith Harris ensured the re-launch of Crewe Lyceum Theatre went off with a bang.

It outlined some of the typical high-class entertainment that theatregoers can expect to see at the Edwardian venue in the town centre.

The Lyceum, which celebrated its centenary in 2011, has been given a new lease of life under the management of HQ Theatres and Hospitality – the country’s second-largest regional theatre operator.

Cheshire East Council continues to part-fund the venue but with a much-reduced subsidy, ensuring a better deal for taxpayers.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “I am delighted with our new partners for the Lyceum and this is sure to be the beginning of a fruitful relationship.

“The venue is at the heart of the town and central to our plans to redevelop Crewe. Some big changes are ahead and we are working hard to give the town a much-needed economic lift with better housing, more businesses and better transport links.

“What I really hope now is that the people of Crewe and the surrounding area recognise what a tremendous facility they have on their doorstep and continue to use the Lyceum Theatre and be a part of its future.”

The foyers have been refurbished and a stylish new bistro has been created, which are now open daily. There are also opportunities for pre-theatre dining to add a touch of luxury to visits to the Lyceum.

And the venue’s programme just gets better and better – with comedians such as Jack Dee, Andy Parsons and Sean Lock all set to perform in coming months.

The traditional Christmas pantomime has also been announced, with Adam Woodyatt to perform as Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

The theatre will stage classical and popular music concerts, opera and ballet as well as national tours of well-known family shows and great stage plays and musicals.

Nick Thomas, chairman of Qdos Entertainment, the parent company of HQ Theatres and Hospitality, said: “The hugely-successful Live at the Lyceum event marked the beginning of our tenure of this historic theatre and there was no better way to showcase the venue than by the sensational line-up led by Brian Conley.

“We look forward to welcoming the people of Crewe and from beyond for many years to come and encourage the local community to make the most of their unique and beautiful Theatre.”

To take a look at the exciting new programme at Crewe Lyceum, visit www.crewelyceum.co.uk or call the box office on 01270 368242.

Residents reminded ‘Not sure? Don’t open the door!’ for National Rogue Trader Week

 

‘Not sure? Don′t open the door!′ is the key message being driven by National Rogue Trader Week to prevent the public from becoming a victim of doorstep crime. The national campaign is being supported by Cheshire Police and runs from 22-26 April.

This week is an opportunity for police, Trading Standards and other agencies to raise awareness about doorstep crime and to reassure the public that it will not be tolerated. Residents are urged to be alert to this type of crime, which includes those who go door-to-door offering unnecessary, overpriced or substandard gardening or maintenance work.

The campaign is being led by Operation Liberal, the national intelligence unit for distraction burglary and associated travelling criminality, as well as Trading Standards. The unit monitors intelligence on known criminals and organised crime groups who travel extensively throughout the UK to commit crimes.

Peter Goodman is the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead for Operation Liberal. He stated: "Rogue traders prey on the most vulnerable in society, conning them out of vast sums of money which in many cases are their life savings, for unnecessary and overpriced work."

The offenders often travel large distances in order to commit crime and evidence suggests that there are links between rogue traders and those who commit distraction burglaries.

Detective Superintendent Geraint Jones said: "National Rogue Trader Week provides an opportunity for us to help the public recognise doorstep crime and to encourage them to report it.

"Many door-to-door sellers are genuine, however, it is important that residents check the identity of any cold callers and do not allow themselves to be pressured into any sales that they are unsure about.

"Doorstep crime can have a devastating impact on victims, both financially and emotionally, and will not be tolerated in Cheshire.

"We urge the public to report any incidents of this nature to police on 101, or 999 if there is a crime in progress."

Tips to avoid doorstep crime

- Always check the identity of the doorstep caller by telephoning the company they are claiming to be from. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory

- Check whether traders are members of the Local Authority Assured Trader Schemes or the Government Trust Mark Scheme

- Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out on your property with a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trader

- Don′t agree to anything on the spot, or sign anything. Please also do not feel pressured into having any work carried out

- Never pay cash upfront and don′t ever go to the bank or cash point with a trader

Anyone with any information about rogue traders is urged to contact Cheshire Police on 101, or 999 if there is a crime in progress.

SUCCESS FOR COLLECTIVE ENERGY SWITCHING CAMPAIGN

 

More than 4,000 people took part in the hugely successful Collective Energy Switching campaign on April 9, the vast majority winning a better deal on their gas and electricity bills following auction.

More than 70 per cent of people who registered with the Big Community Switch received significant savings, averaging £111 per year. The highest average saving was on a ‘dual fuel online tariff’ and was £139 per year.

Many residents had already switched or were happy with their current tariff. The winning providers were Sainsbury Energy, Scottish Power and British Gas.

Cheshire East Council joined forces with a group of local authorities across the country, representing more than 160,000 people in all – the largest auction of its kind in the country providing greater buying power.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member in charge of prosperity and economic regeneration, said: “This has been such a worthwhile campaign. The slogan Get Together, Save Together really tapped in to a feeling of people power.

“The campaign reached more than 2,000 vulnerable people who really needed help with their energy bills, thanks to our various partners who helped us spread the message.

“A huge media campaign organised by Cheshire East Council also helped spread the message and ensured that as many vulnerable people as possible were able to take advantage of the offer.

“I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part and remind people to make sure that if they’re happy with the offer, to accept either by email or post as soon as possible. Of course, there’s no obligation to switch.”

People are asked to look out for their personalised offer by email or post over the coming weeks. Online registrants will need to click the ‘confirm’ button in their email and offline registrants will need to complete an acceptance form and return by post in the pre-paid envelope.  The deadline for returning these is May 8, 2013.

Anyone with any questions in the meantime should email: thebigcommunityswitch@ichoosr.com or alternatively call 0800 048 8285 (Mon to Fri, 8.00am until 5.30pm) The final date people can request their offer to be re-issued, either by email or letter, is May 3, 2013. For more information about the Collective Energy Switching campaign log on to: www.energytogether.co.uk.

Benefit fraudster ordered to repay more than £10,000

 

A man who fraudulently claimed more than £10,000 in benefits has been successfully prosecuted by Cheshire East Council and ordered to repay the money.

Michael Podmore, 48, claimed housing benefit, council tax benefit and jobseekers’ allowance totalling £11,753.51 as a single person between December 2009 and December 2012, when in fact his partner was living with him.

His partner had several jobs during this period – including one for Cheshire East Council. However, Podmore failed to declare this to both the Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Mr Podmore, 48, of Egerton House, Longridge, Knutsford, pleaded guilty to all the charges when he appeared at Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court (on April 12).

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order and ordered to carry out 250 hours’ unpaid work. The Council was awarded £650 costs and a compensation order was granted for the overpayment to be repaid at £185 per month.

Councillor Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of finance, said:  “This prosecution should send out a clear message: that Cheshire East Council will not tolerate benefit fraud taking money from hardworking taxpayers.

“The benefit system is there to help those who need it most. Abuse of this system can not be tolerated.”

Crewe Police appeal for witnesses to street robbery

 

Police are appealing for witnesses following a street robbery in Crewe.

Between 10pm and 10.30pm on Monday 22 April 2013 an 18-year-old man was walking along Earle Street near to the Broughton Arms when three men approached him and asked if they could see inside his bag.

They then blocked his path and he tried to get away by turning around, but one of them stood in front of him blocking his path again.

Another then punched him in the face while the third man took his bag. The victim then fled.

DC Bev Wilkinson said: "The victim received a small cut to his mouth but didn′t require hospital treatment. We would urge anyone who was in the vicinity at the time or knows the identity of those responsible to contact us."

The first man is white, 5′ 9", slim and was wearing a light grey hoodie.

The second man is white 5′ 11" tall, with a large build. He was wearing a black coat with a hood.

The third is white, 5′ 3" to 5′ 4" tall. He was wearing a black hoodie.

Anyone with information should contact DC Bev Wilkinson on 101 quoting incident number 91 22 of April 2013.

Alternatively, information can be given anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Gladman exhibition

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Gladman public exhibition (19-4-13) - a representative hears visitors views

Gladman held a public exhibition at Wistaston Memorial Hall on Friday 19th April 2013 (4-7pm). Gladman are proposing to build up to 330 homes on land, known locally as 'Witter's Field', in Wistaston: http://www.your-views.co.uk/wistaston/ . The 330 homes, with 30% affordable housing, would also include an area of public open space with recreational facilities. The Gladman event followed a public exhibition last Friday by the Muller Property Group who propose to build up to 1,500 homes in Wistaston: http://www.crewewest.com/ .

There were three representatives from Gladman (Andy, Kevin and Mike - no last names were provided) were present at the exhibition. There were twelve separate display boards with information relating to Wistaston and the proposed development. There was a box for feedback forms.

I did not hear anyone in favour of the proposal, other than representatives from Gladman. Objections I heard at the Gladman exhibition included the loss of an area frequently used by dog walkers, runners and walkers, the increase in congestion in Church Lane and surrounding areas from the single entrance/exit road for vehicles, confusion over who would live in the houses and where the jobs would come from to support them and the blight of an urban expanse in a currently rural setting.

There were also concerns that Muller and Gladman may be attempting to 'land bank' the field(s), as this type of land is more profitable to developers than brown belt.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

MP’s 134th news bulletin.

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Edward Timpson MP

Friday 19, April 2013

Welcome ...

Welcome to this my 134th news bulletin.

This month sees the largest income tax cut in a generation come into effect. Last week's rise in the income tax personal allowance brings to £9,440 the amount of money people can earn before they have to pay income tax.

That's a tax cut for 3,768 people who live in Crewe and Nantwich - and it really is good news.  This tax cut means that tax bills have been reduced by £600 compared to at the last election.  Many local residents on low incomes have been lifted out of income tax altogether.

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.

Best wishes, 

Edward Timpson
Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich

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Locally I have...

  • Welcomed the Department for Transport’s confirmation that Crewe Rail Station will benefit from the Government’s ‘Access for All’ programme, receiving substantial funding for access improvements.
  • Visited Pickmere Court, on Badger Avenue in Crewe, to meet the residents there and discuss their concerns as pensioners and older members of the community.
  • Hosted an advice surgery at my office in Crewe – I have a full timetable of constituency surgeries in the coming months, and anyone who would like to discuss a problem or issue of concern can make an appointment by contacting my office.
  • Cut the ribbon at the new Kia dealership at Grenson Motors on Middlewich Road: the latest franchise addition to this thriving local company’s offering.
  • Congratulated everybody at Crewe Alexandra Football Club on a historic victory, lifting the Football League Trophy at Wembley.
  • Met with Paul Colman, Chief Executive of the South Cheshire Chamber of commerce and Industry, to lend my continued support to the Chamber's work in promoting businesses here in Crewe and Nantwich.
  • Officially opened the new business premises of Magenta Moon LLP, a local, family-run Employment Law and Health & Safety consultancy.

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Westminster Report

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Read my most recent Crewe & Nantwich Talk

Click here or on the image.

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Photo News

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Cutting the ribbon at Grenson Kia

I was pleased to visit local business Grenson Motors recently, to see the latest addition to the 'motor village', and officially open the Kia dealership.

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

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Community News

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Google helps 30,000 UK charities grow via the Internet

  • Free web tools and training for charities in the UK
  • Designed to overcome resource barriers to  growth  and reduce the e-skills gap
  • Year-long initiative in partnership with Media Trust and Charity Technology Trust

Earlier this month, Google, in partnership with Media Trust and Charity Technology Trust, launched a new campaign to help 30,000 of Britain’s smallest charities boost their fundraising through online tools and the Internet.  The initiative has evolved from a successful programme that Google has run over the past few years helping nearly a quarter of a million small UK businesses grow online across the UK.

The ‘Grow Your Charity Online’ initiative will provide free training and tools: all charities in the UK are eligible. The initiative comprises an online learning hub, specialised training, workshops and live events that aim to bridge the e-skills gap and help charities harness the power of the Internet to amplify their reach, bolster their fundraising and boost their volunteer engagement. They will also have free access to online services that businesses pay for such as advertising and business apps for the first time in the UK. Those with few resources will also be able to download free training materials to help them make the most of the web.

Google will travel across the UK during 2013 to meet with charities face-to-face. It will also host a regular series of online educational events, allowing charities from across the UK to join advice sessions remotely. In addition to the tools, Google UK employees will dedicate a percentage of their work time towards the project, by volunteering their Internet expertise at various workshops over the year.

Matt Brittin, VP of Google’s Northern & Central European operations, said: “The web is essential for charities to access new tools to share stories, help people and raise money. Britain’s charities need sustainable, practical methods with which to help themselves grow and really make a difference, and Grow Your Charity Online aims to help these organisations ultimately succeed. We hope to engage with 30 000 charities through a suite of Internet tools and training, and encourage them to sign up today!”

Caroline Diehl, Chief Executive and founder of communications charity Media Trust, said: "Innovation and social enterprise underpin the work of small charities. Exploring opportunities to learn new skills to manage their online presence can enable them to change the world by giving a voice to communities and inspiring more people to make a difference, to get help, volunteer and donate. We are delighted that Google is supporting Media Trust’s plans to assist charities in communicating more effectively and creatively online. There are exciting times ahead as we look forward to engaging a talented group of Google staff as volunteers and mentors for a diverse range of charities from across the UK."

Richard Craig, CEO of CTT said: “Due to a lack of resources, very few of the charities we work with are able to take full advantage of what the internet has to offer to help them to achieve their missions. Without the time or money to invest in it, charities may miss out on the advantages that web analytics, online communications, promotional offers or even a YouTube page can offer them. We are pleased to join with Google and Media Trust in  launching The Grow Your Charity Online initiative, which we hope will reverse this trend. It will provide the information and technologies charities need to take full advantage of the Internet.”

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? Email me and your news could be here too!

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Nantwich Litter Group urges litter bugs to clean up streets

Nantwich News

Nantwich Litter Group volunteers have called on residents to stop turning areas of the town into “grot spots”.

The group is increasing in numbers, but needs more people to tackle the growing litter problem.  They say rubbish from takeaways, crisps, sweet wrappers, cans and bottles are having a major impact on the environment.

The litter group, which has been in operation for about two years, has made a significant contribution to tidying up the town, parks and open spaces.

Growing volunteer numbers has enabled the group to tackle many more “grot spots” on an ad-hoc basis, said a spokeswoman.

“Predictably the main litter problem encountered is from food and drink packaging such as takeaways, crisps, sweets, cans and bottles.

“Litter bins are provided and emptied by Streetscape, Cheshire East Council’s street cleansing department and should be used wherever possible.  Where no convenient bin is available then rubbish should be taken home for disposal. Litter is an unsightly, unhygienic and anti-social problem that affects everyone and is the responsibility of all.

“An appeal is made to all residents to play their part by picking up the odd item of rubbish that they may see in the street or outside their property and putting it in a nearby litter bin – every little helps.”

The next “Group Pick” is on Wednesday April 24 at 10am outside the Civic Hall.

New volunteers are always welcome and litter picking kit can be provided.  The session should last for approximately an hour followed by coffee and a chat.

Contact Team Leader Joyce Webb on 01270 626435 or email joycewebb47@hotmail.com

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Extra disabled access boost for Crewe railway station

Crewe Guardian

THE overhaul of Crewe Railway Station will be handed a funding boost by the Department of Transport.

The station’s present £6 million overhaul will be furthered by a share of the £35 million Access for All Programme, to address issues faced by disabled passengers using railway stations.

The DfT for will provide extra funding for disabled passenger access to the new car park, by means of a single lift to the existing subway.

The work will be completed by Network Rail in 2014.

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Family Nurse Partnership Programme launched in South Cheshire

Crewe Chronicle

YOUNG first time mothers in South Cheshire are to benefit from a new service that not only helps with pregnancy, but will provide support with parenting for the first two years of their baby’s life.

The Family Nurse Partnership Programme is aimed at first time mothers in Cheshire under the age of 19 and works with parents to ensure an informed journey into early years parenting.

The service, launched in Crewe, focuses on the health of both baby and mum, offers structured home visits and an opportunity to be supported by specially trained nurses from pregnancy until the child is two years old.

This unique service works with the strengths of young parents by building a long-term relationship with the family nurse to support positive changes in parenting, lifestyle, health and economic self-sufficiency.

Edward Timpson, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, and Minister for Children and Families, was at the launch to support the service.

He said: “More than 30 years of research has gone into the Family Nurse Partnership and I am delighted that young people in the local area will benefit from this service.

“I have long been a supporter of early-years initiatives and the care system. It is important to cement strong attachments between parent and child as quickly as possible, and not just for mums and dads play a hugely important role in a child’s life too.

He added: “I would like to congratulate the nursing team in getting this important initiative off the ground.”

Barry, a father from Crewe said: “Although I’ve got previous child raising experience, I am learning a lot from the family nurse, including the importance of attachment.”

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

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St Luke’s (Hospice) Cheshire pioneers revolutionary fundraising initiative – Care2Save

Care2Save to donate 100% - that’s every penny – of commission due to Care2Save from every sale to charity, of which 80% will go to any nominated cause close to the customer’s heart.

A revolutionary new website and service, set to transform the charity sector by creating an unprecedented new long-term multi-million pound income stream for good causes, is to be rolled out across the North West and then nationally by its pioneers, St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice.

The Care2Save service offers consumers highly-competitive quotes on home buildings and contents insurance, available to purchase by calling 0800 3167147 – and, in the near future, on the www.Care2Save.co.uk  website.

However, in a trailblazing move -100% of the percentage of the commission usually pocketed by a company for introductions, is given to charities – that’s every penny of the commission due to Care2Save.

This is not a gesture to encourage customers to buy. In fact 80% of the commission due to Care2Save from all purchases, which would traditionally go to a business to make more profit for shareholders, will go directly to the consumer’s charity of choice.

The remaining 20% also goes to charity, in the form of the ‘Care2Save’ Charitable Trust, which will distribute all profits to hospices and palliative care projects in the UK and around the world.

Cost of this donation to the customer – nothing.

Andrea Fragata Ladeira, Commercial Director of St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice and CEO of the Care2Save Charitable Trust, commented: “We are immensely proud of Care2Save which we are wholly confident will change the way people give to charity. Initially the site will be launched with insurance products, and this will be expanded over to time to other household utilities. The sky really is the limit.

“We all know it’s more difficult for charities to raise the money they need to continue making a difference. The generous people of the UK want to give and continue to do so but Government funding is stretched.

“Care2Save offers great products, excellent service and a competitive price and allows customers to give a gift that makes a real difference to any cause, close to their heart.

“What’s more your favourite charity will have a new source of crucial funds and this will continue for as long as you continue to renew your policy though Care2Save.

“Care2Save will be expanded nationally later his year so imagine the difference we can make. We believe that by giving to others, we will be successful.  We are just waiting for you to tell us who to give the money to.”

The charity has no shareholders to pay, a completely transparent and low cost structure, and is governed by a board of trustees who take no payment at all.

Mrs Fragata Ladeira adds: “It is our desire that the maximum amount of good comes out of this exciting charity. We hear so many stories about underfunded charities, and others concerning businesses behaving unethically.

“If we can create funding for charities to do more in our communities simply by choosing to buy through Care2Save then why wouldn’t we make that choice? 

“I hope very much that the community served by St Luke’s Hospice will go online and watch the animation which explains how Care2Save works www.care2save.co.uk and then pick up the phone and start making a difference to our ability to support the people of Mid and South Cheshire.

“At Care2Save we believe our success will be measured in terms of how much funding we allocate and the good that our funding supports, not by our turnover - There are no fat cats at Care2Save and there never will be.”

For more information about Care2Share visit www.Care2Save.co.uk.

WILL AND MARCUS GEAR UP FOR THREE-DAY LONDON TO PARIS FUNDRAISING CHALLENGE

L-R Blue Bell Crewe MINI Sales Executive Will Willis and Blue Bell MINI Wilmslow Local Business Development Executive Marcus Hoyle gear up the London to Paris cycle ride

Blue Bell Crewe MINI Sales Executive Will Willis and Blue Bell MINI Wilmslow Local Business Development Executive Marcus Hoyle are gearing up for a gruelling three-day London to Paris cycle ride, all in aid of The Manchester Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre.

Will, 32, who lives in Tarporley, and Marcus, 32, who lives in Lymm, plus six friends, are currently in training for the challenging 250-mile ride in memory of their close friend, Liz Gardner, who passed away following a long battle with the condition, aged 30 in 2010.

The team of friends, who admit that their usual exercise consists of ‘lifting pints and walking around pool tables’, have set themselves the target of raising £2,000 for charity, and are already well on their way to success, with more than £650 collected so far.

The Manchester Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, based in Wythenshawe, is one of the largest and longest established adult Cystic Fibrosis centres in the UK, with an international reputation for excellence and innovation.

It is a regional specialist unit and treats patients from all over the North West.

Will explains: “It’s a tough challenge and we’ll be covering around 100 miles a day. To motivate us, we want to bring back as much money as we can for a charity that is close to our hearts, The Manchester Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre.

“Liz had Cystic Fibrosis. A condition that meant she battled through everyday but she was a person that never once showed any day was a challenge.”

“The condition is one of the most common life-threatening genetic disorders, affecting around 8,500 people in the UK. Each week in the UK, three young lives are lost to Cystic Fibrosis.

“It primarily affects the lungs, with repeated chest infections and breathlessness, but also affects nutrition, diabetes, bones and joints. The many different organs that can be affected mean that optimal care requires input from a range of different specialists and, of course, that costs money.

“Any donation will be gratefully received. All proceeds will go directly to the wards that helped the wonderful Liz Gardner at the Wythenshawe Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre.”

You can sponsor Marcus, Will and the team by visiting their JustGiving fundraising page at http://www.justgiving.com/cycleforcysticfibrosis.

Sue Brownson OBE, Blue Bell Group Managing Director, commented: “Here at Blue Bell we’re all supporting Marcus, Will and the team. We’re sure they will complete the challenge in style.

“The Manchester Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre is an excellent cause which I know is very close to the team’s hearts so we’re right behind them.”

For more information on Blue Bell MINI Wilmslow visit the dealership on Dean Row Road, Wilmslow, SK9 2TA or call 01625 527527.

For more information on Blue Bell MINI Crewe visit the dealership on Gateway, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 6YY or call 01270 214800.

For more information about the Manchester Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre visit http://www.uhsm.nhs.uk.

Drug warning following three deaths in Macclesfield

 

Cheshire East Council and Cheshire Police are warning people about the dangers of PMA following three deaths in Cheshire believed to be linked to the drug.

Detectives are investigating the death of two women in Macclesfield and early indications suggest a key factor in the deaths is the Ecstasy-like drug ‘PMA’.

Rachel Clayton, 34, and Emma Speed, 30, were found dead at a house on Crompton Road on Sunday, April 7, 2013.

Toxicology results revealed evidence of PMA in their systems.

PMA was also found in the system of a 34-year-old man who was found dead in a caravan on Batemill Close, Macclesfield in February.

At this stage there is no evidence to suggest a link between the deaths.

PMA can be in tablet or powder form and is sold as a powerful form of Ecstasy. It is often referred to as ‘Mitsubishi Turbo’s’, ‘Pink Ecstasy’, ‘Dr Death’ or ‘Pink McDonalds’. The pills are the same size and shape as an ecstasy tablet and can be white, but are often pink and usually have the letter ′M′ on them, although the initials may vary.

The drug in the pill is actually an amphetamine known as ‘Paramethoxyamphetamine′ or ′PMA′. It is an illegal substance and possession, use or selling the drug is a criminal offence.
Although the drug can resemble an Ecstasy tablet, it does not have the same effect or take effect as quickly as an Ecstasy tablet and, as a result, users may take more of them believing there has been no effect and consequently put themselves more at risk of a fatal overdose.

Further complications can arise if the drug is mixed with alcohol.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet member in charge of health and adult social care, said: "The risks from taking potentially contaminated and unregulated drugs are very high.

"If you are concerned about someone you know who may be at risk or want help for yourself there are a number of services in Cheshire East which can help.

"You can access free confidential advice and information as well as the different types of treatment options that are available to you."

There have been a number of deaths across the country linked to PMA in the last 12 months and Cheshire Police is liaising with other police forces and sharing information and intelligence to establish any potential links or information about the source of where the drug is coming from.

Cheshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie said: "While we would always urge people not to take any illegal substances, I am particularly keen to emphasise the dangers and potentially life threatening consequences of PMA.

"We have now had three deaths in Cheshire which appear to be linked to the drug and therefore I feel I have a duty to warn people about the potentially fatal consequences taking this drug can have.

"It is our duty to join up with our colleagues in the health service and make as many people as possible aware of the risk this drug poses and to do all we can to ensure no one dies and prevent further heartache for any more families.

"If anyone has any information about who is supplying this drug across Cheshire I would urge them to contact police or Crimestoppers anonymously so we can respond to this potential risk and take them off the streets." 
Anyone with any information can call Cheshire Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Local students design road safety posters

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Local graphic design students have produced posters to help Cheshire Police raise awareness amongst young people about road safety.

The students, who are from Mid Cheshire College, designed the posters around the theme of drivers taking responsibility for the safety of their passengers. The best poster will be used in an upcoming road safety campaign.

Roads Policing Motorway Operations Inspector Liz Cunningham and Road Safety Officer PC Dave Murray attended the Mid Cheshire College campus in Hartford on Wednesday 16 April to reveal the winning design.

Hollie Pearson, 20, from Runcorn, took first prize for her poster, which incorporates an image of a crash test dummy with the message ‘don′t treat your passengers like dummies′.

She said: "I found the work interesting but very challenging. It will be an honour to see my work being used to help prevent further road accidents."

Inspector Liz Cunningham praised the work that the students had put into the designs: She commented: "It′s good to have ideas from the right target age group. If the young people like these ideas then we know we can connect with them."

PC Dave Murray frequently engages with young people on the subject of road safety. He said: "The posters will be a great asset when getting across distressing facts to young drivers."

Second place went to Caroline Lees from Wilmslow.

For more information on road safety, visit the Cheshire Police website: www.cheshire.police.uk.

Victim speaks out about stalking

 

Cheshire Police are running a stalking awareness campaign throughout this month which will coincide with National Stalking Awareness Day on Thursday 18 April.

The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness about the crime of stalking, to drive home the message that no one should have to tolerate harassment, and to advise victims about the support that is available to them.

The theme for National Stalking Awareness Day this year is ‘Know the Law, Use the Law′.

A victim of stalking has agreed to support our campaign as she hopes to use her experience to help others. Julie, 25, who lives in Cheshire, was stalked and harassed by a former partner after she left him following an abusive relationship.

Julie first met her former partner while at university but it wasn′t until a few years later that they got together. Her first impressions of him were that he was "charismatic, confident, and probably a bit of a bad boy." She said that despite the fact he came across as a bit arrogant, there were no warning signs about his future behaviour. "It was exciting because he was really attractive and I never thought that someone like him would be interested in me" she said.

"When we first got together he was a perfect gentleman. He swept me off my feet. At the time, I do remember thinking he was moving a bit fast. He′d come out with extravagant gifts. We were really in love and he seemed to be getting more and more attached - unnaturally quickly. Then it didn′t stop at being in love, it progressed past that to becoming obsessed. He would call me all the time.

"He became jealous because a lot of my friends were male and I was involved in sporting activities. Eventually, he became completely possessive to the point where it escalated from just jealousy to controlling everything I did.

"The violence started a month or two into our relationship when I was training for a marathon. I′d gone for a three hour run and he didn′t believe me that I′d been running for three hours and became violent.

"We were together for about a year and a half and the violence became quite bad. He′d threaten to use guns on me. I was never beaten horrifically but it was the controlling behaviour and emotional abuse that was the most damaging."

When asked if there was any behaviour which could be described as stalking during the relationship, she stated: "He would call me constantly, even if he knew I was at work or in lectures. I′d get 10 phone calls a day and if I didn′t answer, I′d get abusive messages accusing me of cheating."

Following an argument, she left him and returned to live at her parent′s house. It was then that the harassment worsened. She said: "When he realised that I wasn′t going to come back, the abuse actually escalated further, but obviously without the physical impact. I′d get constant text messages and phone calls, and the threats became worse. At one point I had more than 30 calls in a day.

"He did everything he could to try and get me to go back to him. He told me that if I didn′t, he was going to put a gun down my brother′s throat, that he was going to come and find me when I least expected it and that he was going to put naked pictures of me on the internet." Julie was trying to get into medical school at the time and he made further threats to tell every medical school in the country that she was known for taking drugs.

It was when the harassment escalated to this point that she came forward to police. Julie said: "It may seem strange to some people that I left it until then but it got to the point where I felt that if I didn′t do something, my family was going to get hurt. My family saved my life, if I didn′t have a family that I loved that much, I just wouldn′t have come forward."

After she reported the abuse to the police, her former partner was arrested and dealt with by the courts, and the stalking and harassment stopped. Still significantly affected by the events a year on, she is now trying to move forward with her life and feels that she is making steady progress. "I have to be positive and I want to use this experience to help other people. I would hate if I had gone through this and not stopped it from happening to someone else" she said.

When asked what advice she would give to other victims, Julie states that: "Even if you′re really scared, it′s important to report it to police. They can put you in a shelter and the person won′t know where you are. You′ll regret it if you don′t go as soon as you can, because you could end up in the same situation that I was in. The police put you in contact with support services as well which can be helpful. The support workers I had were fantastic and the support groups themselves are really good."

Julie also stressed the importance of gathering evidence about the harassment, stating: "The more evidence you can gather, the better. I recorded one of the abusive calls using another phone, with my own phone on loudspeaker. Anyone who is clever about their harassment won′t put it in texts and emails because they know it could be used as evidence."

Julie′s final message to victims is to report the abuse at the earliest stage possible. She stated: "Don′t sit there and think that you′re being silly, don′t make excuses or think ‘they′re just phone calls′ because it can get out of hand and it does have an impact on your life. It′s best to make the police aware so that at least the person who′s doing it can be cautioned and hopefully nip it in the bid."

For more information and advice about stalking and harassment, visit http://www.cheshire.police.uk/ or Upbeat at www.upbeat.uk.com/17plus. To report stalking or harassment, contact Cheshire Police on 101 in a non-emergency or 999 if you are frightened by someone′s behaviour or feel in danger.

More information about National Stalking Awareness Day is available at www.stalkinghelpline.org/about-the-helpline/nsad13. Support and advice for victims is available via the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.

Cheshire Police will be tweeting out messages of support on Stalking Awareness Day, which you can follow at @cheshirepolice and @upbeatcheshire.

HS2 Exceptional Hardship Scheme consultation deadline approaches

 

Cheshire East Council is reminding residents that an important deadline is looming on the high-speed rail line HS2.

By midnight on Monday, April 29, people must submit their views on the detail of the Government’s proposal to introduce a discretionary Exceptional Hardship Scheme for phase two of HS2 to address the impact on residential properties and affected businesses.

In January, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced its initial preferred route, which runs through much of Cheshire East.

While welcoming the economic benefits the scheme will bring to the Borough, and also pushing for a dedicated HS2 rail hub in Crewe, the Council understands that it is not all good news for everybody.

Although the Exceptional Hardship Scheme consultation is not the formal consultation on the HS2 route and stations (this is due to start any time from July of this year), it is no less important.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, explained: “You must make the Government aware of how this could affect homes and businesses in your area.

“Your parish or town needs to have a strong, united voice, so I recommend that anyone who believes they will be directly affected by HS2 takes the time to fill in this consultation form.

“Residents in places like Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire have remained united and strong throughout the development of phase one of HS2 and it is important that our communities do the same if we want to achieve the best outcome for residents and the Borough.”

Residents can take part in the consultation by visiting http://www.hs2.org.uk/have-your-say/consultations/phase-two/exceptional-hardship-scheme

If anyone is unable to access the internet, they can contact HS2 on 0300 123 1102 to order a hard copy by post.

There is also a wealth of information at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/hs2 where further detail on the route and exactly where it runs can be found. There is also a link through to the Exceptional Hardship Scheme consultation page.

Councillor Jones added: “In the meantime, I would like to thank all those who have given us their thoughts on HS2 in Cheshire East through our website, through the Facebook forum and over the phone. Do keep them coming in.

“We may not be able to reply to every representation but you can rest assured that your Council is listening to you and, on your behalf, we will be making sure that both the DfT and HS2 Ltd understand your concerns.”

Additional to the Exceptional Hardship Scheme consultation, residents can get involved in this important debate by visiting www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/hs2 and filling in our online web form, calling 01270 686022 or emailing hs2enquiries@cheshireeast.gov.uk

There is also a link to a Facebook page, where users can debate HS2 among themselves. The Council is monitoring this and will be extracting the comments made to help shape its argument to the Government.

Meanwhile, the HS2 public enquiries team is available on 020 7944 4908 or HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk

Cheshire Police support European speeding campaign

 

Cheshire Police will be targeting speeding motorists as part of a Europe-wide enforcement campaign.

The initiative is organised by the European Traffic Police Network, TISPOL, and will run from 15-21 April.

The purpose of the campaign is to raise the awareness of road users that reducing your speed can save lives.

According to the Department of Transport, exceeding the speed limit or driving at an inappropriate speed is a major contributory factor in around one third of all collisions on UK roads.

This means that each year inappropriate and excessive speed helps to kill 1,200 people and to injure over 100,000 more.

Road Safety Officer Dave Murray said: "The campaign provides an opportunity for us to raise awareness about the dangers of excessive and inappropriate speed on the roads.

"Excessive and inappropriate speed is a factor in a large number of collisions in which people are killed and seriously injured and we will continue to try to reduce those deaths and injuries by addressing the causes of collisions.

"We take the same approach to speeding all year around, both on and off the motorway. We will be supporting the campaign and the results will be passed on to TISPOL."

Cheshire Police are currently running a separate enforcement operation in partnership with North Wales Police which focuses on motorcycle safety.

Operation Caesar II provides a high policing presence across Cheshire in a bid to reduce motorcycle casualties and has been launched to coincide with a period when a high number of motorcyclists are likely to be on the roads.

Officers will be stopping and engaging with motorcyclists who commit moving traffic offences such as speeding and dangerous riding as well as anti-social offences such as excessive noise.

They will also be dealing with other road users who endanger the lives of themselves and others.

For more information and advice about road safety, visit the Cheshire Police website: www.cheshire.police.uk.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Robbery and Cold Callers

Police are appealing for witnesses following the robbery of a shop in Wistaston Road in Crewe.

At 8.08pm on Friday 1 March 2013, a man entered Owens General Store and approached a member of staff threatening her with a knife and demanding money.

The man then took a quantity of notes and fled the scene. He was last spotted heading along Flag Lane towards Batemans Court.

The assistant was unharmed but was left shaken by the incident.

DC Andy Dixon said: "We are making extensive enquiries to trace the person responsible for this and would appeal to anyone who may have information to contact us."

Anyone with information should contact DC Andy Dixon on 101 quoting incident 873 of 1 March 2013.

Alternatively information can be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please be aware of rogue traders/cold callers requesting you to sign up to a service using a direct debit. There has been an incident whereby a male claiming to be from a phone company has asked a resident to sign up to a service. The male knew the first four digits of the residents card number and was therefore encouraged to provide the rest.
Cards were cancelled by the resident following the visit and no money was taken however, it is worth remembering that if receipts etc. are disposed of in a waste bin they may contain the first or last four digits of your payment card as a proof of purchase.
A second incident which has occurred relates to an elderly resident being asked for directions by a female whilst unpacking shopping from her car. When the resident has returned to the vehicle after putting shopping into the house the female has been joined by a male also asking for directions. Later on that evening the resident has been informed by her bank of two large cash withdrawals since the encounter and has then realised that her bank card has gone.
Please ask residents to ensure that vehicles are locked when unattended even if for a short period.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

‘Those were the days’ - a trip down memory lane

 

Older people in Crewe are invited to share their memories during a special event designed to capture the lives and experiences of past generations.

‘Those were the Days’ is a project supported by Cheshire East Council and created to contribute to Crewe’s heritage, in particular the history of Crewe Railway Works.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet member in charge of health and adult social care, urged people to take part in the event later this month.

She said: “This is a wonderful oral history project that will enable older people to recall and share their memories and experiences of a vitally important period in Crewe’s past.

“The project will celebrate the lives, history and heritage of Crewe residents and will record family memories, language, traditions and working experiences, using the Crewe Railway Works as the focus for reflection.

“I would urge older residents in Crewe to take part in an enjoyable afternoon of tea and conversation with others who may have similar stories.”

Crewe Railway Works enjoyed its heyday between the 1930s and 1970s, when it was Crewe’s major manufacturing employer. The 'Works' is located in the St Barnabas Ward of Crewe and was the British Rail site responsible for building and repairing steam trains, electric trains and carriages.

The project has been made possible thanks to the Enterprise Education Alliance (EEA) which obtained the funding, enabling them to work with Cheshire Local Engagement and voluntary group, Crewe Senior Forum.

The project will provide an information and local historical resource that will allow future generations to use it as a tool and starting point for future projects.

The project will also contribute to Crewe’s World War 1 commemorations planned for next year.

The event, which is open to all residents in Crewe, takes place on Tuesday, April 30, at 2pm at Pickmere village for older people, Badger Avenue, in Crewe.

Council secures major £7.5m road boost for M6 junction 16 and A500

 

Cheshire East Council has secured a £7.5m boost which will relieve traffic congestion around junction 16 of the M6 near Crewe.

It is strong evidence of how Cheshire East Council and the Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Board (LTB) are working hard to bring funding into the region.

The improvement will involve widening all approaches to junction 16 and additional traffic signals on the M6 northbound slip road and A500 approaches. The Highways Agency has indicated this will reduce queuing and delays on approaches to junction 16.

It is one of 58 schemes nationwide which the Highways Agency will deliver to help boost the economy, reduce congestion and improve safety as part of its ‘strategic pinch point’ programme.

And it comes just two weeks after Cheshire East successfully bid for £2.7m of ‘local pinch point’ funding, which will go towards the Basford West spine road which will link the A500 at Shavington with Gresty Road in Crewe.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council and chairman of the LTB, said: “This is more great news for the area and is down to the hard work and lobbying this Council and the LTB does on behalf of the people.

“Our officers work tirelessly to ensure Cheshire East gets the best and we push the Government for more funding now than we ever have – and it is working.

“I am delighted to see the Government takes Cheshire East seriously as a place for investment and understands the need to improve the nation’s highway network.

“One of our key aims is for Cheshire East to have a strong and resilient economy and improving the roads in and around the Borough ensures that we will gain an even greater reputation as an excellent place to do business.

“This will also further our plan to make Crewe an economic powerhouse by 2030 and complements the All Change for Crewe programme.”

The scheme will also improve access to planned employment and other key development sites in Crewe and Stoke-on-Trent and surrounding areas. The improvement has the potential to support the delivery of around 5,800 jobs by 2020.

The work is due to take place in 2014 and be completed by the end of that year.

Now, Cheshire East is waiting to hear whether it has been successful in applying for a further £2.8m of local pinch point funding for a 600 metre-long widening of the A500 on the approach to the M6 at junction 16.

Nationally, the Highways Agency’s 58 schemes – representing an investment of £98m – will remove bottlenecks and keep traffic moving on England’s motorways and major A roads. They will be delivered by March 2015 and will bring an estimated £1.4 billion of economic benefit.

Crewe Community Hub to be launched next week

 

Crewe Local Area Partnership (LAP) aims to provide further support for the area’s charitable organisations by creating a community hub in the town.

Working together, partners have developed a unit in Crewe Market Hall, which is now ready to welcome community and voluntary groups and charities to use the space for up to one or two weeks at a time.

Through Crewe LAP, the Crewe Community Hub provides a free promotional space and encourages people to get involved in local events and volunteering.

It will be officially unveiled to the public on Friday, April 19, between 11am and 3pm.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cabinet member in charge of communities and regulatory services, said: “There is a need to re-energise any market hall stalls which are not currently occupied and this initiative will help to create a sense of community, and offer a dedicated space for all age groups to improve local engagement.

“It will also help groups to be more sustainable and raise awareness of the services they provide to the local community. The unit will be available to raise awareness of national and local campaigns run by Cheshire East or partner organisations.

“This supports the changing use of the market hall to be seen as a community facility, increase footfall for traders and provide a platform for people to be able to take on more responsibility for themselves.”

Crewe Community Hub was born when a range of volunteers decorated the market hall stalls at Christmas and the LAP and Cheshire East Council wants to thank all traders and volunteers who helped to get the hub on its feet.

To book a space in the hub, contact Dawn Clark, Crewe LAP manager, on 07970 533636 or Deb Lindop, local engagement officer, on 07736 694443.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

16 Months to change a light Bulb and counting

DSCF6556
December 2011 the above light in Oxford St Crewe was reported to the council we are still waiting for this to be fixed. You can see how dark it is and this is outside a mother and baby unit so struggling home with a young baby their lives could be in danger. Is this a record I cant believe it takes 16 months to change a bulb the only conclusion is that   the council discriminate against the west end of Crewe
DSCF6555
The second light in Broad St Crewe junction badger Ave right by traffic lights and out side an old peoples home this has been going on since December last year with Cllr Silvester has been writing email weekly to get this replaced and its still not been done. The email was sent on 15th December 2012 and still its not fixed
From: Jan Wright
Sent: 15 December 2012 00:38
To: SILVESTER, Brian (Councillor)
Subject: Re: FW: Lamp out - Column 36, Broad Street, Crewe.

There are now 2 more out in Broad st by the traffic lights right out side the old people home corner of Badger Ave.
The one in Oxford St corner Chell st which has been out and reported over a year ago is still out
How long does it take to change  bulb this is stupid the council have a duty of care which isnt being met. Why so long to get these light done?

Awareness day to recognise victims of stalking

 

‘Know the law, use the law’ will be this year’s message as Cheshire Police support National Stalking Awareness Day on 18th April. What makes the day so poignant this year is the fact that victims will have extra protection as stalking becomes a specific criminal offence for the first time.

Three charities, Protection Against Stalking, Suzy Lamplugh Trust and the Network for Surviving Stalking have joined forces with police and the Home Office to raise awareness about the issue by having a dedicated day.

Two new laws came into force on 25th November 2012, giving the police additional powers to protect the victim:

a) If harassed, e.g., contacting/attempting to contact, monitoring the victim (including online), loitering in a public or private place, watching or spying

b) If stalking instills fear, serious alarm or distress, e.g., emotional or psychological trauma which changes the way the victim lives their life.

The new criminal offences are designed to provide extra protection for victims; highlighting the serious impact that stalking can have on their lives and helping to bring more perpetrators to justice.

Additionally, under the new legislation, officers can search premises for evidence of stalking that will assist in bringing offenders to justice. The introduction of legislation that makes stalking a specific offence sends out a message to offenders, that stalking in any form is a crime.

DCI Nigel Wenham, of Crime Operations said that "Stalking Awareness Day provides a platform and with the new legislative acts in place, warns perpetrators about the consequences of stalking. The new offences will make it clear that any type of stalking will be investigated by Cheshire Police. Those convicted of stalking by following a person, loitering in any place, and contacting or attempting to contact a person by any means could lead to a term of imprisonment between six months and five years."

Cheshire Police will be supporting stalking awareness throughout April to highlight the underlying issues of stalking which will include a victim’s account of their own personal experiences. For more information, please visit www.cheshire.police.uk or http://www.upbeat.uk.com/17plus.

Commissioner takes to the web

 

The Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, has filmed his first webcast so he can let people know about some of the important decisions he has made.

John said: "I want to be an accessible commissioner. I know that not everyone can make my surgeries and put their questions to me, so I′ve decided to do these webcasts so more people find out about what I have been doing. In future, I will use these webcasts to answer people′s questions and listen to their views."

The webcasts will be filmed four times a year, with the next one scheduled for June. In the run up to this, the Commissioner wants you, the people of Cheshire to send in your questions.

You can send your questions in via the website (www.Cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved), via Twitter (@CheshirePCC) using the #askJohn, or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cheshirepcc).

When you submit your question, add your first name and what part of the county you′re from.

The deadline for submitting your questions will be 12 noon on the 31 May.

Due to time constraints not all questions will be answered during the webcast, however each question that is posed will get an answer which will be posted on the Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner′s website.

John′s first webcast can be found on the Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner′s website (http://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/).

Monday, 8 April 2013

Dangerous dog attack puppy Jax in the Queens Park

jazbridge2

Above Puppy Jax

Monday @ 2 oclock I was standing by the Gulf War memorial in the park talking to a lady with a Yorkshire terrier and another man watch by the gardeners. A larges German Sheppard came towards of the lead both are dogs were on leads. I explained to the owner dogs must be on the lead in the park. The next minute his dog savagely attacked the lady ran for her life fearing for her dogs safety. Fortunately my puppy is an Alaskan Malumute and was able to defend his self while the man made vain attempts to stop his dog. He eventual got hold of his dog but became abusive and still refused to put it on a lead despite being shouted at by the gardeners and walked off shouting abuse with it still off the lead there were 9 witness to the attack.

We went straight to the dog wardens office and explained what had happened and told them he was still in the park so they could catch him. In front of 4 witness they state.

Its not an offence for a dog to attacks a dog and wouldn’t do anything or call the Police.

The don’t patrol the park

The cant enforce not having a dog on the lead in the park even though its stated as a bylaw.

Its not the councils job to deal with this sort of problem.

We pointed to another dog running loose and they did nothing for 15 mins then drove round the dog was a 3 min walk away.

We want the dog wardens to undergo further training so they can do their job properly a quick look at the official Government site https://www.gov.uk/control-dog-public/overview

Shows it is a crime to have a dangerous dog loose, the council can enforce it and it is their responsibility. The site http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/controlling-your-dog-in-public

States Dogs which behave dangerously may be seized by the dog warden, and their owners prosecuted. The dogs may be destroyed if the magistrate considers that they are a danger to the public.

This man is a regular in the park and never has his dog on the lead he normally goes by the bandstand between 12:30 and 2 oclock as do many others off the lead. The posh man and women visit at these times of the day with a black Labrador off the lead and they claim the law doesn’t apply to them. As the children are off school still and the park is now used for young children for education purposes its vital the dog wardens get out of their offices and catch these people. If a child had been near when it attacked it could have easily been killed by such a big dog. Its noted by many users that a certain councillor visit the park every day and sets a bad example with her dog off the lead.

Overview From Government website

It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control:

in a public place

in a private place where the dog isn’t allowed to be (eg a neighbour’s house or garden without permission)

The law applies to all dogs.

Some types of dogs are banned.

Out of control

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

  • injures someone
  • makes someone worried that it might injure them

A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if:

  • it injures someone’s animal
  • the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

A farmer is allowed to kill your dog if it’s worrying their livestock.

Penalties

You can be fined up to £5,000 and/or sent to prison for up to 6 months if your dog is out of control. You may also not be allowed to own a dog in the future.

If you let your dog injure someone, you can be sent to prison for up to 2 years and/or fined.

If you deliberately use your dog to injure someone you could be charged with ‘malicious wounding’. The maximum penalty is 5 years in prison.

Dog Control Orders

Local councils in England and Wales can issue Dog Control Orders (DCOs).

These mean that in public areas with DCOs, you may have to:

  • keep your dog on a lead
  • put your dog on a lead if told to by a police officer, police community support officer or someone from the council
  • stop your dog going in certain places - like farmland or parts of a park
  • limit the number of dogs you have with you (this applies to professional dog walkers too)
  • clear up after your dog

DCOs don’t apply to private land if you have permission from the land owner or person who controls the land.

Penalties

If you ignore a DCO, you can be fined:

  • £50 on the spot (a ‘Fixed Penalty Notice’)
  • up to £1,000 if it goes to court

You can’t be fined if you’re a registered blind dog owner.

DCOs in your area

Local councils must let the public know where DCOs are in place.

Example If dogs aren’t allowed in a park, there must be signs saying so.

If the council plans to put a new DCO in place, it must put up a notice and publish it in a local newspaper and on its website.

The notice must tell you:

  • where the new DCO will apply
  • if there’s a map and where you can see it
  • where you can write or email to have your say - you should have at least 28 days

After 28 days, your local council will decide whether to go ahead with the DCO or change it. If there are lots of changes, the council will publish another notice, with the same timescales.

Report a dog

Anyone can report a dog and their owner to the police.

You can report a dangerous dog to your council’s dog warden service.

You can also report dog fouling to your local council.