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Friday, 30 May 2014

Wildlife crime takes many forms, some of which involve extreme cruelty.


The main wildlife issues we are actively involved in combating include:

  • Destruction of wildlife habitats
  • Illegal trapping, shooting, snaring or poisoning of birds or animals
  • Badger digging/baiting
  • Poaching of deer, game or fish
  • Collecting wild birds' eggs
  • Theft of wild plants
  • Illegal international trade in wildlife

If you suspect a crime has occurred:

  • Do not disturb the scene by moving items or by walking about unnecessarily.
  • Do not touch dead animals or birds if you suspect they may be poisoned baits or victims - most of the substances used are extremely dangerous and you may put yourself at risk.
  • If possible, video or photograph the scene, or make a rough sketch.
  • Write down any vehicle registration numbers - don't trust them to memory.
  • Contact the police as soon as possible.
  • Remember that some animals and birds can be legally shot or controlled. Do not interfere with legally set traps or snares or damage hides, high seats or shooting butts.
  • Do not put yourself at risk: contact the police.

Animal cruelty

Cheshire Police investigate crimes involving badger digging, illegal trapping, snaring or poisoning. All badgers and their setts are protected in law by the Protections of Badgers Act, 1992. Anyone who takes, kills, or injures a badger or interferes with a badger sett, can be jailed for six months or fined up to £5,000.
Under The Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 it is an offence for a person to inflict any unnecessary suffering on a wild animal by acts including crushing, kicking and beating.
Police officers can deal with incidents relating to animal cruelty. Although we often liaise with the RSPCA and RSPB, we can prosecute for animal and bird offences.

Hunting

Hunting remains a very emotive issue, but Cheshire Police treats it no differently to other public order situations. Our priority is always to minimise the impact of any disorder that does occur, and to reassure the communities involved.
The continuation of hunt meetings is not illegal, unless the Hunting Act 2004 is breached. A person commits an offence if they hunt a wild mammal with a dog.
There are various activities that may appear to be hunting, which are in fact not breaching the Hunting Act 2004. These include trail hunting, hound exercising and flushing to guns. In addition, the hunting of rabbits and rats is not illegal if it takes place on land owned by the hunter or the hunters have the landowner’s permission.
It is not a police matter to determine what is or is not hunting. This can only be determined in court. The role of the police is to investigate alleged or apparent breaches of the Hunting Act, to gather evidence, and to pass that evidence to the appropriate authority to consider prosecution.
We encourage hunts to continue to inform the police of the intended times, dates and venues of legal meetings. In addition, we rely on members of the public to provide community intelligence about meetings where disorder may occur or where the Hunting Act may be breached.

Protected birds

All British birds, their nests and eggs are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, although there are a number of 'pest species' that can be controlled under certain conditions by authorised people. Offenders may be liable to a fine of up to £5,000 for each bird involved or up to six months imprisonment.

Protected animals

Certain rare animals, such as the water vole and otter, are also protected by this Act. Bats and great crested newt receive special protection under European legislation. Offenders may be liable to a fine of up to £5,000 for each animal involved or up to six months imprisonment.

Wild plants

Apart from their aesthetic value, wild plants are an essential part of the environment. They provide food and shelter and without them, insects, birds and other animals would be unable to survive.
All wild plants found in this country, are given protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it illegal to uproot them without permission of the landowner.

Illegal trade in endangered species

Endangered species, such as some parrots and tortoises, are protected under The Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997. They can only be sold legally if the seller is in possession of a licence issued by the Animal Health Agency. If you are considering buying a tortoise or any other endangered animal, you should only do so from a reputable breeder and you should ask for a copy of the licence.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

New FREE Computer Help Forum iHelpforum.com

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Its new a help forum that's FREE to help you with any computer problem. Its world wide 24/7/365 and deals with any computer problem with experts on hand for windows 7,8 Vista, networking and FREE removal of Malware, Spyware and Virus. No matter what your problem this friendly bunch will help  you with any computer, car or home problem. You pay nothing simple sign up at www.ihelpforum.com and get help any time of the day or night. Many of the staff have years of experience in their own expert areas as a member I have over 30 years in IT so you know you get the best advice form the team no matter what the problem. Is your pc running slow do you get pop ups wont start slow then get over to www.ihelpforum.com I will see you there as Samuria

Friday, 23 May 2014

Councillor calls on Council to take action against Council Leader

   

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester is calling on the Monitoring Officer of Cheshire East Council to reconsider her decision not to take action against the Council Leader and the Council over their clear breaches of the Local Government publicity and purdah laws.Please see e-mails below.

Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons) (Photo attached)

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor

Cheshire East Council

11 Rimsdale Close

Rope,Crewe

CW2 6RS

Tel/fax 01270 567757

Twitter @CllrBSilvester

Facebook Cllr Brian Silvester

From: SILVESTER, Brian (Councillor)
Sent: 22 May 2014 21:40
To: BRADLEY, Anita
Cc: SUAREZ, Mike
Subject: Cheshire East Council: Leader's 'Happy Easter' message

Anita,

             Thanks for your e-mail response. I am very disappointed in your decision. There has been a clear breach of S2 of the Local Government Act 1986 by the Council and Cllr Jones and you are not willing to do anything about it. You state that the apology was issued almost immediately. It wasn't. The press release was issued on the 17/4/14. I complained about it to you on the 24/4/14. You issued the apology on behalf of the Leader on the 29/4/14.I do not think that anything would have been done if I had not complained. (Could you please answer my earlier question  asking if the Labour Group complained and if so when?)It is frankly ridiculous to say that the apology was issued almost immediately when it was in fact 12 days after the offence was committed. The apology, which you issued to all members, on behalf of the Leader, made no reference to the breaking of the law in regard of the purdah period so there has been no apology for that breach of the law. The apology was only sent to members but not the public who had to pay  for the Leader's lawbreaking. Also there has been no apology at all from the Council to the public and to members for their two breaches of the law. We are still waiting for that.

I think it is quite wrong for you to have issued  the apology on behalf of the Leader, when at the very same time you were investigating him for the same breaches of the law that the apology was related to. For you to issue the apology at that time was wholly improper. Also there has been no apology to me because the Communications Manager told me the release had been done by the Leader himself when that was untrue.(See below)

In light of the above I would strongly urge you to reconsider your decision. In view of the fact that this matter is so serious I have copied the Chief Executive into this e-mail. If you do not reconsider I have no choice but to refer it to the Secretary of State.

I would appreciate if you could answer my earlier questions to you namely, 'What does the law say about potential penalties? Could you e-mail a copy of the law that relates to this? Does it involve fines and/or periods of imprisonment? Is it a criminal or a civil offence? Is it a matter that the Police should be informed of? Can a Council be fined for a breach or is it just individuals?

Best wishes

Brian Silvester

From: BRADLEY, Anita
Sent: 19 May 2014 16:45
To: SILVESTER, Brian (Councillor)
Subject: Easter Message

Dear Councillor Silvester,

I thank you for your recent emails in respect of the Easter Message issued by the Council on behalf of the Leader on 17th April 2014.  I apologise for my delay in responding to you due solely to a large volume of emails to deal with on my part.  When this matter was brought to my attention both the Chief Executive and I met with the Leader on 29th April 2014 to discuss the circumstances surrounding the issue of the Easter Message. 

The Message was issued by the Council, whilst there was no intention, as the Leader said in his Apology, technically one could argue that there is a breach of S2 of the Local Government Act 1986 by the Council.  As a result, in view of the discussion with the Chief Executive and the Monitoring Officer, the Leader issued an immediate apology to Group Leaders and all 82 Councillors to ensure that there was no misunderstanding.

In addition, it has been agreed that the Communications Manager will be held fully accountable for all future Press Releases and Statements issued by the Council during any Purdah Period.  In any event, for information, the Council is now in the process of recruiting a permanent Communications Manager who will be given the same instruction.

In view of the circumstances of this incident and the fact that an unequivocal apology was issued almost immediately, I do  not intend to take any further steps in relation to this matter.

You asked what the sanction was in respect of such matters.  It is possible for the Secretary of State to issue a Direction to a Local Authority where it is in breach of the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity.  I believe taking into account the actions taken by the Council to mitigate the potential breach and importantly avoiding further publicising the matter that any such Direction would be unlikely.

If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to telephone me.

Regards

Anita Bradley

Head of Legal Services

and Monitoring Officer

Westfields

Middlewich Road

Sandbach  CW11 1HZ

Tel: 01270 685850

The silliest thing about this is his apology was reported along with the Easter message so it went out twice

 

Residents urged to express their objections at Willaston planning appeal

  I am calling on Willaston residents to attend the planning appeal for 146 houses on land off Moorfields in Willaston.

Interested parties are invited to attend the Inquiry at Crewe Alexandra Football Club, Gresty Road, Crewe, CW2 6EB on Tuesday 17th June at 10.00am and, at the Inspector’s discretion, to give their views.(See below) The inquiry is scheduled for 4 days

Usually the Inspector will set a time-table on the first morning of the Inquiry for residents to speak. Residents are asked  to attend to show their strong objections to this application for houses in the Green Gap. All residents who wish to speak should e-mail Helen Skinner at PINS to let her know quoting the appeal reference (APP/R0660/A/14/2211721). The e-mail address is as follows helen.skinner@pins.gsi.gov.uk I have already asked for a speaking spot so I can voice the strong objections of my constituents.

Geothermal extraction takes a step closer

 

Plans for geothermal energy will take a step closer next month when the Council holds an open day to attract potential energy partners.

Geothermal is water that is naturally heated by the earth’s core and can be drawn up to the surface retaining a temperature of up to 100 degrees Celsius, potentially supplying hot water to nearby homes and businesses.

Geothermal has been discovered in vast quantities beneath the Cheshire basin, near Crewe, on public land and Cheshire East Council is eager to find the right partner to begin extraction.

The Council is holding an open day in Crewe for potential partners on Thursday, June 5 and interested parties are being asked to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire by mid-June, which can be found at www.thechest.nwce.gov.uk

The British Geological Society has identified the Cheshire Basin near Crewe as only one of six deep geothermal resources in the UK.

There are around 100 gigawatt hours a year (gwh) within a 2.5km radius of the proposed site in Leighton West and around 50gwh a year from just two sites within 1km. 

Earlier this year, Cheshire East Council was awarded £200,000 for geothermal exploration, representing the biggest grant in the country.

Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones said: “Along with our partner, we will be exploring the benefits of drilling down up to 5km and extracting water at temperatures around 100 degrees Celsius.

“If this is indeed successful, we could be looking at an opportunity to heat homes and businesses in the area with this new technology.

“This Council is committed to tackling energy poverty as well as reducing our carbon emissions. Low-carbon technologies, such as geothermal, are the way forward and will enable local energy solutions and self-sufficiency.”

The Council hopes to begin extraction with a suitable partner within the next 12 months, offering the successful partner a long-term lease and creating a revenue stream for the Council through rent and profits.

Benefits cheat who secretly had two jobs ordered to repay more than £11,000

 

A man who fraudulently claimed more than £11,000 in benefits has been ordered to repay the money and do 160 hours of unpaid community work.

A court heard Peter Walton claimed benefits after telling benefit officials he only worked part-time and was on low income. But in fact he secretly had two jobs – one part-time and one full-time – and was also receiving a company pension he had not declared.

Walton, 63, of Queen’s Drive, Middlewich, pleaded guilty at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court to two offences in relation to fraudulently claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

His offences related to his failure to declare a change in his financial circumstances and also making a false statement to gain benefit.

Magistrates sitting in Crewe heard (May 14) that Walton made claims with Cheshire East Council on the basis of his part-time earnings and low income. The information he supplied in support of his claim meant that he was entitled to assistance with his rent and Council Tax.

However, in August 2013, the Council received information that Walton had a second job which he had failed to declare. Further investigations revealed that not only had Walton failed to declare he was working full time but that, in addition, he also continued working part time for a total of 14 months.

Cheshire East Council’s benefit fraud investigation team also discovered that Walton had failed to disclose he was receiving an occupational pension at the time he was claiming benefits.

The court heard that Walton had fraudulently claimed housing benefit and Council Tax benefit totalling £11,532 between January 2010 and October 2013.

Magistrates sentenced Walton to carry out 160 hours’ unpaid work and he was told to repay the overpaid benefits. The prosecution was brought by Cheshire East Council’s legal team.

Councillor Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of finance, said: “This was a shameless case of someone cheating the system to get benefits they were not entitled to, at the expense of taxpayers.

“This prosecution, and others like it, sends out a clear message that we are an enforcing Council and will take action to protect our communities from those who break the law.

“In the 12 months up to April 2014, we successfully prosecuted 48 benefits offenders.  And, since April 1, the Council has already successfully prosecuted another eight benefit fraudsters.

“Benefit fraud will not be tolerated and we are committed to ensuring these offenders are brought to justice.”

If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, you can ring the confidential freephone fraud hotline on 0800 389 2787. You don’t have to give your name and your call will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Alternatively, you can report suspected fraud via the Council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Preparations in place for European elections on Thursday

 

‘Don’t forget to vote’. That is the message from Mike Suarez, Chief Executive of Cheshire East Council and Returning Officer ahead of Thursday’s elections to the European Parliament.

His elections team is making final preparations, which will see 281 separate polling stations open between 7am and 10pm to allow the Borough’s 280,000 potential electors to cast their votes.

Eight seats are available, representing the North West region, and voters will get to choose from a list of candidates put forward by the various parties.

Across the UK as a whole, 73 MEPs will be returned to sit in the 754-member European Parliament.

Ballot papers will be counted after polls close on Thursday, but the final announcement of the result will not be made until Sunday night. This is because some of the EU’s 28 member states vote on Saturday and Sunday.

The final results from across the North West will be announced at Manchester Town Hall on Sunday night, after the polls close across the rest of Europe.

Cheshire East’s Returning Officer Mike Suarez said: “Holding elections in a Borough as big as Cheshire East is no small undertaking. We are, after all, by population one of the top three largest unitary local authorities in the North West, along with Manchester and Liverpool.

“Our team has made careful preparations to ensure the poll goes as smoothly as possible.”

Mr Suarez added: “This is the final full election before next May’s General Election, which will also see local elections for the whole Council as well as parish council elections.

“In terms of organisation, everything is in place and my hope, as Returning Officer, is to see the biggest turnout possible. Don’t lose your right to vote.”

Benefits cheat ordered to repay £8,000 in payouts

 

A man who fraudulently claimed more than £8,000 in benefits has been given a two-year supervision order and told to repay the money.

Stewart McHugh, 45, formerly of Dandy Farm, Mill Lane, Prestbury, was further ordered to do 250 hours’ unpaid community work after being found guilty in his absence of two counts of housing benefit fraud.

McHugh appeared at Macclesfield Magistrates Court on May 13, 2014 – a day after being arrested. He had originally been due to appear before magistrates on May 2, but failed to attend.

The court heard McHugh had claimed housing benefit based on him being in receipt of jobseekers’ allowance.

However, an investigation by Cheshire East Council’s benefit fraud investigation team discovered that he had left the property for which he was claiming housing benefit and had also started work. The overpayment of benefits totalled £8,235.

McHugh was sentenced to a two-year community order with a requirement to do 250 hours’ unpaid work. He was further ordered to repay the overpaid benefits at £25 per week and pay £300 for the Council’s court costs.

McHugh has now moved to St Helens.

Councillor Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of finance, said: “Benefit fraud is quite simply wrong – and will not be tolerated by this authority.

“We are an enforcing Council and in the last financial year we successfully prosecuted more than 30 benefits offenders. We are committed to ensuring these people are brought to justice.

“This prosecution, and others like it, sends out a clear message that we will take firm action to protect our communities from those who cheat the system at the expense of honest taxpayers.”

If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, you can ring the confidential freephone fraud hotline on 0800 389 2787. You don’t have to give your name and your call will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Alternatively, you can report suspected fraud via the Council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

Cheshire East to challenge controversial planning decision

 

Cheshire East Council is to challenge a key controversial planning decision in the courts.

The authority, in light of the Elworth Hall Farm ruling, requested that top legal counsel advise the Council about scope for a realistic Judicial Review of the decision.

The Council is now pleased to announce that it does have scope to review and shall be asking the courts to review the controversial decision.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This was a very important planning decision, which was produced in a way which left many members of the public concerned.

“I am pleased to see that we will be asking a judge to review this decision – especially on the issue of our having a five-year supply of housing land.

“I have always promised the people of Sandbach, and of Cheshire East as a whole, that we will do everything we can to defend our greenbelt and green gap spaces – and this is no exception.

“We are committed to protect our countryside from unplanned, unwanted and unsustainable development.”

A planning appeal decision published on April 11, 2014, granted planning permission to Rowland Homes to develop land at Elworth Hall Farm, in Sandbach, to build 96 homes. Cheshire East Council had refused planning permission in February 2013.

A planning Inspector overturned the refusal (on April 11), arguing that the plans were sustainable development, that the benefits of the proposals outweighed any harm and that the Council could not prove it had five-years supply of deliverable housing land.

Cheshire East Council vigorously contests these claims.

Local hearing centre backs campaign for better understanding this Deaf Awareness Week (May 19 - 26)

 

A LOCAL hearing centre is appealing to the Crewe community to support the town’s deaf or hard of hearing population during this year’s national Deaf Awareness Week (May 19 - 26).

Specsavers Hearing Centre on Market Street is supporting the UK Council on Deafness’ annual campaign, which this year focuses on the message 'Equality in Communication for All’, and is committed to raising local awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by the deaf or hard of hearing.

According to the UK Council on Deafness, one in six people in the UK are deaf or hard of hearing.

Nearly 3.7million people of working age have hearing loss, 135,000 of which are severely or profoundly deaf. Furthermore, over 45,000 children in the UK are deaf.

Matthew McDonnell, hearing director at Specsavers Crewe says: ‘It’s vital that everybody understands the challenges faced by those with hearing difficulties, challenges which often leave people feeling frustrated, embarrassed, isolated and unconfident.

‘The majority of those who are partially deaf or hard of hearing can be assisted with the help of a hearing aid, but it’s thought that up to a million people who would benefit from wearing one remain undiagnosed, having failed to get their hearing regularly checked.

‘This Deaf Awareness Week, we’re backing the 'Equality in Communication for All’ campaign. This is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate the positive attitudes to deafness, and encourage even better social inclusion.’

‘Remember it’s important to have hearing checks as regularly as you would have a sight test, which is recommended every two years. This becomes even more important past the age of 55 when age related hearing loss is most likely to occur.’

To mark Deaf Awareness Week, the UK Council on Deafness is sharing the following advice to ensure people with hearing loss or deafness are treated equally. When speaking with a deaf person it is important to:

· Face the person when you are speaking to them, don’t turn away

· Speak clearly without shouting

· Repeat yourself if necessary

· Never say ‘it doesn’t matter’

· If that person doesn’t understand you, don’t give up

· Write it down or draw a picture

For further information or to make an appointment for a hearing test, call Specsavers in Crewe on 01270 250 707.

For more information about Deaf Awareness Week visit http://www.deafcouncil.org.uk/deaf-awareness-week.htm

Saturday, 17 May 2014

MP,s 150th news bulletin

Edward Timpson MP

Friday, 16 May 2014

Welcome

Welcome to this, my 150th news bulletin.

I have been doing some research into how our key hospital services have been performing in Crewe and Nantwich.  You may remember that I have done work experience myself in several different departments at Leighton Hospital, so I wanted to keep my knowledge current, and make plain to my constituents how the NHS is doing, both locally and nationally.

We had strong performance in A&E over the winter, despite attempts by some politicians to whip up a ‘crisis’:

  • A&E targets have been met for the last quarter and the last year as a whole –despite having over 1,000 more admissions each week than the previous year.
  • Average waiting times in A&E have fallen from more than 70 minutes under Labour to just half an hour.
  • Our A&E departments are treating on average 2,000 more people each day within four hours compared to the last government.
  • Labour’s Andy Burnham MP, who has repeatedly criticised NHS performance, missed the A&E standard for both winters when he was health secretary, as compared to this Government, which hit it for both.

At Leighton Hospital in Crewe:

  • The new Critical Care Unit is now open, with the first patients being treated in the new operating theatres last month.
  • The £22.8m project, which I lobbied the Government for, was completed within budget and has seen the creation of 14 critical care bays and eight operating theatres.
  • Women having babies at Leighton are provided with the safest possible care available, according to a recent independent assessment. The maternity unit scored 48 out of 50 to achieve Level 3 – the highest rating possible. This reflects the excellent standard of care my wife received when my three children were born there.
  • 99.6% of patients received their first treatment within 31 days of diagnosis, with 100% starting their second or subsequent treatments (drugs, surgery, etc.) within 31 days.
  • The majority of Mid Cheshire patients surveyed in the 2013 Adult Inpatient survey had a positive hospital experience and said that they were treated with respect and dignity.
  • The Trust has seen year-on-year improvements in the NHS Staff Survey.

Overall, the NHS continues to perform extremely well compared to Labour’s period in office, with:

  • 800,000 more operations carried out every year.
  • 23% more patients treated for cancer and a new Cancer Drugs Fund.
  • Mixed sex wards virtually eliminated.
  • Hospital infections halved.
  • Waiting times lower at 18, 26 and 52 weeks than at any time under Labour.

This performance is only possible because of much-needed reforms which are saving over £1bn every year in this Parliament in management costs, allowing the NHS to hire 1,700 more nurses and 7,000 more doctors than under Labour.

However Labour’s own management of the NHS has been brought sharply into focus given some worrying failures in the NHS in Wales:

  • The Royal College of Surgeons say that more than 150 patients have died on waiting lists at just two hospitals there.
  • A third of Welsh patients wait more than eight weeks for a scan, compared to just 1% in England.
  • Welsh A&E targets have been missed since 2009 and cancer waiting time targets have been missed since 2008.
  • The College of Emergency Medicine describes Welsh A&Es as being in ‘meltdown’, and the Welsh BMA have said ‘we are seeing a miniature Mid Staffs every day’.

Finally, we have made excellent progress on the compassionate care agenda. Not only is the Care Bill, which establishes in statute the Chief Inspector of Hospitals, almost law, but also:

  • There are 3,500 more hospital nurses since February 2013.
  • Fourteen hospitals in special measures are being turned around.
  • Opinion polling shows the number of people who think their NHS care is safe has gone up by 5%, and those who feel they are being treated with dignity and respect has gone up by 10% - both to the highest levels ever.

I am very much looking forward to going ‘back to the floor’ at Leighton Hospital again this year, to spend time working with the staff who go beyond the call of duty and make sure that our health in Crewe and Nantwich is cared for to the highest of standards.

Edward Timpson

Edward Timpson MP
Member of Parliament for Crewe and Nantwich and Minister of the 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.

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Locally, I have...

Willows Pre-school official opening
  • Cut the ribbon at the official opening (pictured, right) of the new building at The Willows Pre-School in Wistaston. The opening celebration, attended by Peppa Pig and Crewe Alex mascot Gresty the Lion, raised more than £1,300 for the Pre-School.
  • Joined in with representatives from Google, for a school assembly at Brine Leas, as part of the Well Versed internet safety school campaign.
  • Held two of my regular constituency advice surgeries - please call my office if you need to make an appointment to speak to me.
  • Visited Home Start, the family support charity, at their base in Crewe.
  • Opened the 'Everest Challenge' at South Cheshire College, where climbers of all ages, including my son Sam, scaled the wall to reach a combined height equivalent to Mount Everest.  The event raised money for national charity CLIMB (National Information Centre for Metabolic Diseases), based in Crewe.
  • Attended a meeting of the School Council at Mablins Lane Community Primary, answering questions from pupils and learning from staff how the school has improved and is going from strength to strength.

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Photo News

Photo - Edward Timpson MP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I met with the Children’s Heart Federation in Parliament recently, to learn about their 'Think HEART' campaign, to help improve the early diagnosis rates of children’s heart conditions.

You can read more about the campaign yourself at www.chfed.org.uk/thinkheart.

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Crewe's MP backs pothole fix funding

Crewe & Nantwich Guardian: Crewe's MP Edward Timpson has welcomed new Government funding for pothole repairs and urged Cheshire East Council to bid for support.

The £168 million Pothole Fund, announced in the 2014 Budget, has opened for bids from councils, with applications closing next month. The funding is enough to repair more than three million potholes across Britain, and comes on top of £10 billion already being given to councils in England for local roads maintenance between 2010 and 2021.

Local authorities who get funding will have to sign a pothole pledge setting out clearly how many potholes they will fix by March 2015 so that local communities can have confidence that action will be taken.

Mr Timpson said: "This is a great opportunity to improve the roads in Crewe and Nantwich and deal with the blight of potholes.

"I am delighted that Cheshire East Council is preparing its bid for this money. Investing in Britain's roads and infrastructure is a key part of the long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain.

"By fixing Britain's roads we are supporting local businesses, and making life that bit easier for the hardworking people in Crewe and Nantwich who rely on them to get around."

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Photo News

Photo - Edward Timpson MP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I joined children and parents at The Willows Pre-School, in Wistaston, for their fun day and official opening of their new facilities.

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Nantwich MP Edward Timpson hails latest crime figures for Cheshire

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Nantwich News: Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has welcomed new figures which show crime has fallen in Cheshire over the last 12 months.

Latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics show that since 2010, recorded crime in Cheshire has fallen by 16%.  Figures for the period from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013 show that overall total crime is down by 3.3%.

There have been reductions in violent crime, robbery, criminal damage, arson and vehicle offences. Increases have been recorded in burglary and theft from the person.

Mr Timpson said: "It is great news that crime has fallen in Cheshire.

"Local police officers in Crewe and Nantwich can be rightly proud of their success in cutting crime. The Government has cut police red tape and given them one simple target: cut crime. And that's what they are doing. This means people are safer on the streets, at home, and at work – helping to build better communities in Crewe and Nantwich."

Assistant Chief Constable Janette McCormick said: "Although overall recorded crime continues to fall across the county, Cheshire Police is not complacent and is committed to tackling all crime.

"Working with our partners we have focused on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour often driven by alcohol that can be linked to our town centres. It is therefore positive to see that violent crime has fallen, and is testament to the hard work undertaken by officers in tackling this type of crime.

"Crime of this nature will not be tolerated and the Force remains committed to tackling all forms of violent crime, especially domestic abuse. Theft from the person continues to be a concern, with an increase in the theft of expensive items such as iPods, iPads, mobile phones and laptops."

John Dwyer, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, added: "I am pleased to see the Constabulary continues to rise to the challenges I have set, crime continues to fall and some great work is being done by the Force."

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Firm shows MP its state of health

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Crewe Chronicle: Edward Timpson visited Crewe's Baywater Healthcare to find out how it's exceeded all its growth targets.

Baywater – an independent specialist supplier of homecare services to patients with long-term conditions – applies oxygen and health support.

It was the Crewe and Nantwich MP's first visit to the company since it changed its name from Air Products in 2013 and gave him the chance to speak to staff and learn about their different roles, while also participating in some of the day to day work done at the office.

After being introduced to the senior management staff, Edward was invited into Baywater's contact centre, where he had the opportunity to listen in on calls from patients requiring assistance.

He also assisted in placing orders for oxygen required by patients, which is then delivered by the company's engineers. The contact centre receives about 5,000 calls per week from patients and is staffed by 28 members of staff.

Edward also spoke to John Platt, a local patient who uses the home oxygen service, and John's engineer, Chris McHugh.

Chief executive Adam Sullivan said: "At Baywater, we pride ourselves on the excellent service we provide to patients in the Crewe area and it was great for Edward to experience this by meeting John and our team and learning about the unique patient focused service we provide.

"We've had a great year so far at Baywater, as we continue to grow the business and expand the company's telehealth services, where we use technology to monitor patients with long term illnesses helping them to keep their independence."

Eight temporary employees have now been offered full time contracts at Baywater, as the company continues to grow.

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

Crewe & Nantwich

‘Cheshire East revolution’ sees launch of Everybody Sport and Recreation Trust

 

Cheshire East Council has taken another major step towards its ambition of becoming a strategic commissioning council with the launch of the latest arm’s length companies running key Council services.

Cheshire East’s leisure service has been relaunched as an independent charitable trust called Everybody Sport and Recreation Ltd.

This is now responsible for running Cheshire East’s 15 leisure centres and swimming pools across the Borough as well as leisure development and partnership services.

Last month the Council launched two other arms-length companies to help bring about more innovative and commercially-astute services that better meet customers’ needs.

Waste and streetscene services are now run by Ansa, while bereavement services are being managed by Orbitas. Both are wholly-owned by Cheshire East but are run on a day-to-day basis by their own boards and managements.

Council Leader Michael Jones said: “I’m delighted to see the leisure trust up and running.

This launch is an exciting day for Cheshire East and another example of our moves to become a commissioning Council, with an innovative approach to providing better value for money for local people – putting residents first.

“We’re taking the financial challenge head-on. We’re working with staff, trade unions and our communities to provide a new way of running a council, unleashing innovation and entrepreneurialism, managing costs and improving our offer to customers.

“As part of the Council’s commitment to healthier living for residents we are also investing in the innovative creation of a new lifestyle centre in Crewe, which has just been granted planning permission.

“In future, no two councils will look exactly the same and seeking out new, innovative ways of providing services is now an essential feature of local government. Councils need to innovate rather than complain about budgets going down.

“This is certainly our view as we continue to deliver our Cheshire East revolution – which is about putting residents’ first.”

The launch of ‘Everybody’, following the creation of Ansa, and Orbitas is the latest phase of the Council’s strategy.  In July the Council is planning to launch a new alternative service delivery vehicle (ASDV) covering its public transport responsibilities.

Cheshire East is already a partner in a shared back office services company with neighbouring Cheshire West and Chester called CoSocius, running the two authorities’ HR, finance and ICT support.

Last year, it also established a development company, East Cheshire Engine of the North, to maximise value from the council’s land and property estate.

Everybody Sport and Recreation chairman Councillor Andrew Kolker said: “I am delighted to be working alongside such an experienced and dedicated board of directors.

“We’re looking forward to creating many opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of all Cheshire East residents and to do so with more efficient and exciting ways of working with the leisure services team.

“This new trust model means profits will be reinvested directly in to the provision of leisure services for Cheshire East residents.”

To find out more about the new leisure trust, visit www.everybody.org.uk or follow @EBLeisure on Twitter

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Don’t be a victim – fight back against the fraudsters!

 

Cheshire East Council is urging people to join the ‘fight back’ against fraudsters who are preying on households.

It comes as part of a nationwide campaign during ‘Scams Awareness Month’ to alert people to the threat posed by con artists. 

Fraudsters are ‘picking the pockets’ of up to four million people nationally each year, according to new research from Citizens’ Advice.

Cheshire East Council trading standards investigations service is warning that people in Cheshire East are being sized-up by devious conmen and conwomen, who are using different scams to get them to part with their money. 

Fraud offences in England and Wales rose by 25 per cent in 2013, compared to the previous year, with 207,252 cases reported to Action Fraud. In Cheshire East, the figure for reported cases rose 11 per cent.

Nationally, Citizens’ Advice has calculated up to four million people could be scammed each year as many frauds go unreported.

Scams Awareness Month runs until May 3, and Cheshire East Council’s trading standards investigations service is urging people to ‘fight back against the fraudsters’.

People are just as likely to be conned over the phone and via text messages as they are through letters, emails and websites. New analysis reveals:

● Over a third of scams (34 per cent) were over the phone;

● Almost a quarter of scams (24 per cent) were through visits to a web site;

● 16 per cent were letter or fax scams;

● One in ten scams were via emails.

Cheshire East Council is warning people to watch out for non-secure websites that ask for financial details. It’s important that people realise scammers are also at the end of the phone and on your doorstep.

Cheshire East residents have been reporting calls they have been receiving from callers purporting to be from Microsoft. The resident is tricked in to thinking there is a virus on their computer and it is going to cause a lot of damage if it isn’t removed.

Residents have been paying between £50 and £150 to these scammers to have the virus removed. No work is ever carried out and the virus doesn’t exist. People can totally free help with their pc and help removing any virus from http://www.ihelpforum.com which is run 24/7/365 with experts all over the world 

Counterfeit cashier cheques, fraudulent lenders offering loans to get hold of personal details, dating scams, ticket cons and computer hacking were among commonly-reported scams. Online shopping and auction fraud was the biggest single fraud type with almost 40,000 recorded cases.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cheshire East Cabinet member in charge of communities and regulatory services, said: “Our trading standards team is right on the frontline when it comes to protecting vulnerable residents from these fraudulent scams and the criminal scammers behind them.

“Pensioners and hard-up householders face invasion not only through their computers but also via their phones, letterboxes and on the doorstep.

“Scams Awareness Month helps raise awareness of the types of cons that are out there and offers a real opportunity to educate and inform our communities as to how to avoid falling victim to these callous and insidious schemes.”

What to do if you have been scammed:

● Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to help stop it happening to others;

● Often you can’t get your money back if you’ve been scammed, especially if you’ve handed over cash;

● If you’ve paid for goods or services by credit card you have more protection and if you used a debit card you may be able to ask your bank for a chargeback;

● Get advice and report scams to Trading Standards through the Citizens’ Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or online advice at www.adviceguide.org.uk

For more information about common scams, visit the Council website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

Leader’s letter to Prime Minister to secure jobs

 

Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones has written to Prime Minister David Cameron asking for ongoing support to Macclesfield and Alderley Park in order to secure science jobs in the area.

Councillor Jones said: “I want everyone to know that I find this bid very difficult because it should be down to shareholders’ views – of which, there are many in Cheshire East and the North West.

“However, it is important that the Council does all it can to ensure jobs are saved. I stand ready to meet all and everybody to preserve jobs and we are pleased that comments have been made pledging job security at Hurdsfield.

“The Council is working to support AstraZeneca and its current plans that will see the site become the European centre of excellence for research and design in the packaging of pharmaceuticals. It is important that we ensure that Pfizer understand this.

“It should not be forgotten that drugs packaging originally came to Macclesfield due to the dexterity of silk workers, who were used to dealing with small, precise instruments – a perfect match!

“Let no-one be in any doubt that MP David Rutley and I are fully aware of all implications – both positive and negative – and this is why we moved in the summer rapidly to find a new owner, because we saw the potential for a bid for AstraZeneca was there.

“We are absolutely committed to protecting and growing jobs in our science corridor and Hurdsfield is essential to that.

“The people of Macclesfield, who will always fight hard for jobs, can be comforted by the fact that we have had discussions with AstraZeneca on enhancing the Hurdsfield site for future growth.”

Couple who fraudulently claimed £21,000 in benefits are put under overnight curfew for six months – and told to repay the money

 

A couple who fraudulently claimed more than £21,000 in benefits have been put under a dusk-til-dawn curfew for six months – and face having to repay every penny.

Laura Dibbens, 30, and Melvin Jones, 28, both of Greenacres, Crewe, were sentenced at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court (on April 23) after admitting a string of offences.

Cheshire East Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will now order the pair to repay the benefits they illegally claimed.

Dibbens had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to four counts of dishonestly claiming benefits after failing to report a change in her circumstances.

Magistrates’ sitting in Crewe heard that her long-term partner, Melvin Jones, had joined the household but Dibbens had continued to claim income support, housing benefit and Council Tax benefit as a lone parent.

A probe by Cheshire East Council’s benefit fraud investigation team and the DWP found that Jones had joined Dibbens as her partner in August 2007 and he had supported the family financially.

The court heard that Jones was in work and had been earning more than £400 a week during the time Dibbens was claiming state benefits.

In failing to report this change and actively maintaining the claim Dibbens and Jones received state benefits of £21,104.

Jones had previously pleaded guilty to three offences of intentionally encouraging Dibbens to commit benefit fraud.

Dibbens and Jones were both sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months with an 18-month supervision order. The court also imposed a six-month curfew from 10pm to 7am. Dibbens and Jones were ordered to pay prosecution costs of £450 and victim surcharges of £100 each.

Sentencing Judge Hussain QC said: “Dibbens and Jones had claimed monies they were not entitled to from a safeguard provided by society and in doing this they had deprived others in real need at a time when society had limited resources.”

Councillor Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of finance, said: “This is a shameful case of a couple defrauding the public purse.

“Prosecutions such as this send out a clear message that Cheshire East is an enforcing Council – and will take firm action to protect our taxpayers from those who abuse the system.

“Benefit fraud is simply wrong and will not be tolerated by this Council. We can reassure the people of Cheshire East that we are committed to ensuring these offenders are brought to justice.”

If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, you can ring the confidential freephone fraud hotline on 0800 389 2787. You don’t have to give your name and your call will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Alternatively, you can report suspected fraud via the Council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

Monday, 12 May 2014

Marbury Merry Days’.

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

The 35th annual ‘Marbury Merry Days’ - http://www.marburymerrydays.co.uk -  two-day traditional country fair took place on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th May 2014.

The fair is organised by St. Michael & All Angels Parochial Church Council and takes places every May in the field next to St. Michael's & All Angels Parish Church and Marbury Big Mere, located 3 miles from Wrenbury (near Nantwich) in Cheshire.

The Vikings - https://www.facebook.com/vikingsonline - re-enacted battle displays with axes and broadswords, rowed a longship on the Big Mere and setup a living history village.

Other attractions and events included a craft & gift fair, trade stands, vintage motor cycles, classic cars, vintage tractors, stalls and tombola, cake stall, refreshments, ice cream, children’s activity area, Pinxton Puppets show, model aircraft flying display, dog & terrier racing (Saturday), GLOs Dance & Cheer (Saturday), Newfoundland dogs water display (Saturday), Fun Dog Show (Sunday) and Whitchurch Dog Display Team (Sunday). Attractions inside St. Michael's & All Angels Parish Church included a spinning demonstration, organ music and floral decorations.

Despite some wet weather over the weekend hundreds of people attended and enjoyed the event.

All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the St. Michael's & All Angels Parish Church in Marbury.

Next years ‘Marbury Merry Days’ will take place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May 2015.

Vikings and St Michaels and All Angels Parish ChurchWhitchurch Dog Display Team

The Magic of Musicals’

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

Crewe Amateur Musicals Society present ‘The Magic of Musicals’ on Saturday 17th May 2014 (7:30pm) at Nantwich Civic Hall. Tickets = £10 and are available from Nantwich Tourist Information and Mary Bolide on 07860370127.

The concert is to celebrate Crewe Amateur Musicals Society’s 90th anniversary, as the Society started at Crewe County Secondary School (The Old Students Association) in 1924.

The Magic of Musicals - Sat 17-5-14 - poster

Street Dance

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

A street dance crew from Crewe are heading to a European Championships and a World Championships after qualifying at a recent competition in Chester.

XCITE - George – Jacob – Ellie – Eden – Joseph with Jack

George Unwin, Jacob Edwards, Ellie White, Eden Vickers and Joseph Tasker, aged from 7 to 10, form the ‘XCITE’ street dance crew.  They took part in the UDO North Wales Street Dance Championships 2014 at the Northgate Arena in Chester on Sunday 4th May: http://www.udostreetdance.com/events/udonorthwalesstreetdancecompetition2014 .

‘XCITE’ crew competed in the 10 and under age category and beat off fourteen other crew's to finish in second place. They were judged on factors including timing, technique and difficulty of routine.

Their second place qualifies them for the World Championships in Glasgow in August 2014 and the European Championships in Germany in 2015.

‘XCITE’ crew are all members of Miss Caroline’s School of Dance and train twice a week at St Mark's in Crewe with their instructor Jack Robinson.

Caroline Foxley (Founder and Principal of Miss Caroline’s School of Dance) said, "We are extremely proud of XCITE. This was only their second competition so to achieve second place and qualify for the Worlds and the Europeans is a massive achievement. The hard work and dedication that the students, parents and Jack their teacher puts in has well and truly paid off. They are a shining example of our Schools talent and we look forward to their future success."

For further information in relation to Miss Caroline’s School of Dance and their dance schools in Crewe and Malpas please phone 07817511919 or visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-Carolines-School-of-Dance-Yoga/133329063451932

Saturday, 10 May 2014

'60's Mania!' concert at Nantwich Civic Hall.

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

'60's Mania!' took place at Nantwich Civic Hall on the evening of Friday 9th May 2014.

Female acoustic guitar duo ‘The Sunflowers’ opened the show and warmed up the audience by singing several classics including I'll Be Your Baby Tonight, Stand by Me, Homeward Bound, Brown Eyed Girl, Under the Boardwalk, Ring of Fire, Suspicious Minds and You're the One That I Want.

The Sunflowers were followed by ‘Meet The Beatles’ who performed several of the Fab Four’s hits including I Saw Her Standing There, Please Please Me, Do You Want to Know a Secret, All My Loving, I Want to Hold Your Hand, I Wanna Be Your Man, A Hard Day's Night, Can't Buy Me Love, Eight Days a Week, Yesterday, Twist and Shout, Ticket to Ride, Help!, Lady Madonna, and Hey Jude. Their set included a costume change and they were joined on stage by The Sunflowers for Get Back as the encore.

Meet The Beatles and The Sunflowers – Get Back encore

The dance floor was full with several audience members wearing 60s costumes including women wearing shift dresses, head band's and knee length boots and even a few men with a mop-top!

Well over 200 people attended the concert and for only £10 it represented excellent value for money.

Official photos will be uploaded to https://www.facebook.com/WarbleEvents .

'60's Mania!' was organised by Warble Events - http://www.warble-events.co.uk/ - in partnership with Nantwich Town Council - http://www.nantwichtowncouncil.gov.uk/ .

The next Warble event at Nantwich Civic Hall is ‘Souled Out’ for an evening of Soul and Motown classics with live entertainment from ‘Union Street’. Souled Out takes place on Friday 4th July 2014 and tickets (£10) are on sale now from Nantwich Civic Hall and the Nantwich Civic Hall Box Office (Tel. 01270 628633).

Meet The Beatles (after costume change) – l-r – Paul – George - Ringo - John

Have your say on the location of Cheshire’s historic archives

 

Cheshire East Council wants your views about the best place to locate the county’s historic archives and local studies service.

Around 5,000 people a year visit the Record Office, in Duke Street, Chester, and a further 3,000 people attend or participate in outreach events and activities run by the service.

However, the storage conditions for Cheshire’s unique and irreplaceable written heritage – which date from the 12th century to the present – are inadequate. 

The environmental conditions do not meet current standards and there is little expansion space for the growing collection held by the service. Customer facilities at the Record Office are cramped and increasingly do not meet customers’ needs. 

Councillors from Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East councils have therefore asked for a feasibility study into potential new premises – and want the views of the public.

The two councils are now holding a public consultation, in partnership with Warrington and Halton Borough councils and Warrington-based Livewire Community Interest Company, to gather views about locations being considered as a potential new home for Cheshire Archives and Local Studies service. This is your chance to have your say.

The following locations have been identified as potentially suitable for the archives and local studies service. These were chosen by elected members both CWaC and Cheshire East councils, advised and supported by officers. They are:

Chester: former Enterprise Centre, Hoole Road;

Crewe: town centre site as part of regeneration programme for the town;

Ellesmere Port: EPIC Leisure Centre;

Middlewich: town centre site as part of regeneration programme for the town;

Northwich: Watling Street council offices;

Winsford: Verdin Exchange.

The existing Record Office at Duke Street, Chester, will also be assessed to see if it is feasible to bring the building up to the required environmental standards and to create space to expand.

The aim of the consultation is to determine people’s views on the general location rather than specific sites. The results will be used to inform a decision later this year about a future home for the service.

A further consultation about the design of the new facility and the services provided will take place once funding has been secured. This funding would be sourced from both councils and possible external sources, such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The service preserves and provides access to the historic written record of the county of Cheshire.  The archives reflect the lives, interests and activities of Cheshire’s communities since the 12th century. The archives, maps, books and photographs include:

● Medieval charters granting rights to the Borough of Macclesfield;

● Cheshire earliest map of about 1540, showing farmland in Allostock;

● Cheshire’s earliest photographs, dating from the 1850s;

● Records of workers at the London and North Western Railway works at Crewe; and

● 19th-21st century records of schools, hospitals and courts.

About a million people visit the service’s websites every year and about 7,500 people each year make use of the service the archives and local studies service provides in libraries around the Borough.

Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of strategic communities, said: “This archive and local studies service is a fantastic resource for the people of Cheshire and it is important that you have your say about where it should be based and how it can best serve local people in the 21st century.

“I would urge people to take just a few minutes to fill in the online consultation questionnaire.”

The consultation runs until June 30, 2014. For more information visit the archives website at: http://archives.cheshire.gov.uk

Volunteers needed to support new project named The Ridge Rocks and Springs

 

Today, The Sandstone Ridge Trust has received £49,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting new project, The Ridge Rocks and Springs – a sandstone legacy, to be conducted over the next three years throughout the length of the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge. The Trust is now looking for volunteers from the local communities to join in the project, researching the lost quarries and wells of the Ridge, seeking out their stories and recording them for posterity.

The beautiful Ridge, where Cheshire rises from the plain in a series of rolling hills and dramatic sandstone cliffs, boasts a wealth of historic and natural heritage, from Iron Age hillforts to important heathland, and the project aims to understand how the sandstone and water supplies have enabled settlers, farmers and industrialists through the ages to develop this environment. The focus will be on quarries and methods of extraction, and on historic water supplies as well as springs with reputations for religious, magical or healing properties.

There will also be stories to be read from the many carvings on the rocks. The discovery of a boulder with prehistoric carving from Eddisbury hillfort during recent excavations raised the tantalising possibility that other rock-carvings may exist locally and the project will include examination of the rock faces for graffiti and other signs of human activity through the ages.  Much of this history is in danger: the rocks are eroding, quarries are being filled in, the wells are drying up and memories are fading. This is an important opportunity to rescue and record undervalued features of our history.

The volunteers will receive free training workshops to learn more about how to research these features of the Ridge and they will be able to take part in a variety of practical research and recording activities with progress-meetings and get-togethers to share and exchange information. The results will be made available through the publication of print and digital materials, guided walks and on-site interpretation panels.

Commenting on the award, Peter Winn, Sandstone Ridge trustee, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to continue the work of the recent Habitats and Hillforts project which was also funded by HLF. We are hoping that many volunteers with interests in local history will join the teams up and down the Ridge and help to raise awareness of what a beautiful and fascinating place it is.

Anyone interested in volunteering should visit the Trust’s website: www.thesandstoneridgetrust.co.uk, or e-mail: thesandstoneridgetrust@yahoo.co.uk

Sara Hilton, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “The Ridge contains hidden clues as to the way our ancestors lived and how this part of Cheshire developed into what it is today. By delving into this history, volunteers will not only expand their knowledge and learn lots of new skills, but it will also provide a unique record of the area for others to learn, enjoy and be inspired by.”

Mow Cop 'Killer Mile'

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

The 'Killer Mile' - http://www.mowcop.info/killermile/killermile.htm - took place at Mow Cop on the evening of Thursday 8th May 2014.

In this annual event a record number of over nearly 900 people started at Station Road and hauled themselves up hill to the finish at Mow Cop Castle.

The event is organised by the Mow Cop Residents Association - http://www.mowcop.info/residentsassociation/main.htm - and consisted of six races with the Junior Fun Run (up to 11 years) on a shortened course, followed by the full mile for Under 18's, Club Runners, Adult (over 18) Races 1 and 2 and Veterans (over 40).

Army Reserve team

The heavy rain in the afternoon dissipated and runners and spectators were bathed in sunshine for the whole evening. There were clear views across the Cheshire Plain towards Wales and Merseyside for those who weren’t racing and the evening was capped with a glorious sunset.

Several hundred spectators lined the route and gave encouragement to the participants. A team from the Army Reserve carried an object weighing over 60kg and a team from Trentham Boat Club put in an ‘oar-some’ effort to carry a rowing boat up the course. Several runners wore fancy dress including a squirrel and many were raising money for charity including Caudwell Children http://www.caudwellchildren.com . Lee Riley from Crewe ran in three consecutive races including one run carrying a 40lb rucksack. There were numerous representatives from running clubs including South Cheshire Harriers http://www.southcheshireharriers.org.uk/ and Congleton Harriers http://www.congleton-harriers.co.uk/ .

I took part in the Killer Mile myself for the first time this year and entered the Veterans (over 40) event. Unfortunately I was so engrossed in taking photos that I missed the start, so was the last person to start the last race! Before the race I got some excellent advice from an experienced runner who told me not look up and to keep my arms pumping. My personal challenge was to run the course without walking or stopping and I managed to achieve both. The organisation and marshalling was fantastic and the spectators were brilliant in their cheering and clapping to keep us all motivated. I covered the mile in twice the time of the course record over just over 6 minutes, but I was elated when I reached the top. I picked up my certificate of achievement and bought a Killer Mile T-shirt and hope to return again next year.

Start of Under 18s race

BBC Radio Stoke broadcast live from near the 'Cheshire View' pub at the steepest section of the route and interviewed several participants and spectators.

Race photos will be available from Bryan Dale http://www.racephotos.org.uk/ .

Race results will be published at http://www.mowcop.info within seven days of the event.

High-speed broadband arrives in Cheshire for 15,000 homes and businesses

 

The £28.5m Connecting Cheshire partnership today announced that its new fibre-optic network - bringing speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) - is now available to more than 15,000 homes and businesses. 

Residents and businesses can check availability of fibre broadband by contacting their broadband provider or by visiting the Connecting Cheshire website: www.connectingcheshire.org.uk

Reaching the first 15,000 homes and businesses was marked with May Day celebrations in Alderley Edge, Weaverham and Westwood in Warrington as the first areas switched on to fibre.

Connecting Cheshire, a partnership between BT and Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington Councils, aims to have made fibre broadband available to 80,000 homes and businesses by the time it is completed at the end of 2015.

This is in addition to BT’s commercial investment in fibre across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington and by the end of 2015 a total of 400,000 premises (around 96 per cent) are expected to have access to high-speed broadband.

Mike Blackburn, BT’s North West regional director, said the completion of the first phase of the partnership’s work within 12 months was an engineering triumph. 

He added: “The BT team are working flat out to bring high-speed broadband to Cheshire, Halton and Warrington.  This is a complex engineering task that will ensure people and businesses across Cheshire can have fibre broadband as part of their everyday lives and work.”

The first phase of the roll-out, set to transform the running of businesses and home lives for families, has brought fibre broadband to communities including Alderley Edge in Cheshire East, Weaverham in Cheshire West and Westwood in Warrington with more areas to follow in the coming months.

A team of more than 100 engineers and planners from Openreach, BT’s local network business, has taken on the challenge of bringing fibre to Cheshire. They will upgrade exchanges and networks with more than 875 miles of fibre-optic cable.  More than 400 new road-side cabinets will be installed as part of the project.

Fibre broadband has already transformed day-to-day lives across the UK – from children doing their homework to caring for our elderly people and from social media to e-commerce and home entertainment, fast broadband is a crucial factor.

Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for strategic communities Councillor David Brown said the network would boost the local economy, helping to create and protect local jobs. 

He said: “Access to high-speed access to the internet has never been more important, whether you are a small business wishing to build your company, a student taking advantage of online learning resources, an elderly person living on their own or a family making use of online shopping and entertainment or just keeping in touch with friends and family. In today’s rapidly-moving world, fast and sophisticated communications are absolutely vital.”

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.”

The new fibre network is open to all broadband service providers on an equal wholesale basis so households and businesses will benefit from a highly competitive market.

Key fibre facts for Connecting Cheshire:

· The Connecting Cheshire Partnership builds on BT’s commercial investment – providing additional fibre broadband to over 80,000 premises - so that 96 per cent of Cheshire homes and businesses – some 400,000 premises – will have access to fibre broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps by the end of 2015;

· The £28.5m project consists of £9m from BT, whilst the Partnership is contributing £1.85m, with a further £4m coming from the Government’s Broadband Delivery (BDUK) funds and £13.6m from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)*;

· Connecting Cheshire Partnership was launched in April, 2013, following the signing of the contract between four authorities (Cheshire East Council , Cheshire West and Chester Council,  Halton Borough Council and Warrington Borough Council) and  BT;

· A recent study for Cheshire, Warrington and Halton estimated full coverage of superfast broadband would generate a gross impact of £13bn in gross value-added (GVA) over 15-years and create 11,500 jobs, with a further £330m of economic benefits to households (source – Regeneris).

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Neighbourhood and Home Watch news

Lock-snappers stole my girlfriend’s car
On Saturday 22nd March, Mark Davies and his girlfriend went out for a meal but when they returned to their home, they found it had been broken into and their car had been stolen from their driveway. Mark’s insurance company stated that it would only replace the snapped locks with like-for-like replacements – meaning his home would be left as at risk as it was before the burglary. Read the full story here.
Police.uk – A toolkit for Neighbourhood and Home Watch
The police.uk website was launched in 2011 to provide the public with street-level crime and anti-social behaviour data for their local area. The Home Office has recently designed a toolkit to introduce Neighbourhood and Home Watch members to the police.uk website and have produced a number of publicity materials that can be used to help promote the site. Find out more here.
Master Locksmiths Association clarifies lock-snapping standards
You may have seen the episode of Watchdog Test House that aired on BBC One on Thursday 13th March 2014. It dealt with the issue of lock snapping.  Unfortunately some vital information didn’t make the final cut, which the Master Locksmiths Association later explained on their website here.
How sharing are you?
Streetbank, the UK’s biggest neighbourhood sharing website and supporter of NHWN, has just launched a campaign to raise vital funds to support its rapidly growing neighbourhood sharing movement. Read the full story here.
Points of Light
The Prime Minister has launched a new volunteering award - Points of Light. The programme is being managed by the Cabinet Office. The new award recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Read more here.
Scams Awareness Month 2014
Scams awareness month is about the fight-back against scammers - giving consumers the information, skills and confidence to spot and stop scams. It’s a great opportunity for consumers and campaigners to learn and share then take that knowledge into the year round fight against scams. More information about the campaign is available on our website here.
Be Cyber Streetwise
Be Cyber Streetwise is a campaign that aims to measurably and significantly improve the online safety, behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses. You can find out more by clicking here.

Fire Link news


Welcome to the May edition of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service e-Newsletter.


Take Extra Care - measures you can take during the strikes


The Fire Brigades Union have announced three periods of industrial action over the May Bank Holiday Weekend.
  • Friday 2nd May, between 12 noon and 5pm
  • Saturday 3rd May, between 2pm and 2am
  • Sunday 4th May, between 10am and 3pm
We are urging residents to 'Take Extra Care'
Please make sure you have a working smoke alarm installed in your home and know exactly how to get out of your home if a fire was to break out.
Find out more about our 'Take Extra Care' campaign

Bank Holiday safety advice


Please put safety first over the Bank Holiday weekend - use the links below to access tips and advice on road safety, barbecue safety, DIY safety, caravan safety and camping safety. Have a safe and enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend.
Read our Bank Holiday safety advice

Your views wanted on draft plans for a new fire station near M53/M56


Draft plans and designs for the proposed new fire station near to the M56 in Mollington have been unveiled by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The proposal is to build the new fire station on land off Powey Lane, Mollington. As well as a traditional fire engine, the station will also house a number of specialist vehicles to deal with risks specific to the local area in Chester and Ellesmere Port, such as heritage buildings and industrial complexes.
The location near to the motorway network will also provide these vehicles with ready access to respond to other incidents across the whole of Cheshire.
Your views wanted on draft plans for a new fire station near M53/M56

Deaf Awareness Week


Firefighters are using National Deaf Awareness Week (May 19-25) to ensure people who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right smoke alarms in their homes.
It is vital that those people have the right smoke alarm technology in their home to protect them and give them that valuable time to escape from a house fire.
A range of alarms have been designed specifically for the hard of hearing, including an under-pillow pad that vibrates when the smoke detector is activated.
Residents who are deaf or hard of hearing can book a home safety check by texting 'HSA' and your name and address to 07624 808300.
Find out more about deaf awareness week and services for people who are deaf

Boat Safety advice


Firefighters would like to raise awareness of boat fire safety during May. The number of boat fires on our coastal and inland waters is relatively low. However, when they do occur, they quite often have devastating consequences.
Due to the remote location of moorings, the fire and rescue service can experience difficulties in gaining access to an incident. On many occasions, these incidents result in the total destruction of the boat and to surrounding property.
Please use the link below to find view some simple advice to ensure your boating activities are a safe and enjoyable event.
Read our Boat safety advice
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Benefits cheats ordered to pay back more than £7,000 – and do 150 hours’ community service

 

A benefits cheat has been ordered to pay back more than £7,000 he fraudulently claimed – and sentenced to do 150 hours’ of unpaid community work.

Josef Karicka, 43, of Glover Street, Crewe, pleaded guilty at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court to a charge of fraudulently claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

Magistrates’ sitting in Crewe heard (April 17) that Karicka had claimed the above benefits since November 2011 on the basis that he was on a low income.

However, Cheshire East Council’s benefit fraud investigation team found that Karicka had, from the outset, been earning considerably more than he had been declaring to the Council.

These fraudulent claims led to Karicka receiving benefits totalling £7,090 to which he was not entitled.

Magistrates ordered Karicka to repay all the benefit money he had fraudulently received. He was further sentenced to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid community work, pay £250 court costs and a victims’ surcharge of £60. The prosecution was brought by Cheshire East Council’s legal team.

Councillor Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of finance, said: “Cheshire East is an enforcing Council – and prosecutions like this send out a clear message that will take firm action to protect our taxpayers from those who abuse the system for their own gain.

“Benefit fraud will simply not be tolerated and we are committed to ensuring these people are brought to justice.”

If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, you can ring the confidential freephone fraud hotline on 0800 389 2787. You don’t have to give your name and your call will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Alternatively, you can report suspected fraud via the Council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

Rogue trader ordered to pay more than £1,500 following successful Cheshire East Council prosecution

 

A rogue businessman has been ordered by a court to pay out more than £1,500 after admitting fraudulent trading.

South and East Cheshire Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Crewe, heard that driveways and paving trader Lee Potter unlawfully pretended to be part of a professional guild and failed to tell customers of their right to cancel contracts within seven days.

Lee Potter, 34, of High Farm, Eardswick Lane, Minshull Vernon, Crewe, who traded as Ultimate Driveways UK, pleaded guilty to five offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations Act of 2008.

He admitted three offences of using the logo of the ‘Guild of Master Craftsmen’ on his paperwork, website and adverts without the permission of the guild or meeting the qualifications for membership of the guild.

The court heard he misled two Cheshire East residents into thinking that he was a member while doing driveway work. He had previously been told by the Guild of Master Craftsmen to remove their logo from his business adverts.

The Guild of Master Craftsman aims to safeguard the interest of craftsmen and the public. It also ensures that the minimum qualifications for membership preserve the high standard of the guild by excluding the unskilled. They also have a conciliation service.

Potter also admitted two offences of failing to supply residents with their written rights to cancel the transaction within seven days, as required by law. The offences took place between May 2012 and October 2013.

Lee Potter was successfully prosecuted (on April 24) by Cheshire East Council’s trading standards investigations team.

Magistrates fined Potter £500 and ordered to pay £1,225 in court costs. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £50.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cheshire East Cabinet member in charge of communities and regulatory services, said: “Prosecutions such as this send out a clear message that we are an enforcing Council and will take firm action to protect our residents and communities from rogue traders. Fraud will simply not be tolerated.

“It is important, for everyone’s benefit, to raise awareness of rogue trading and fraudsters. Our plea to the people of Cheshire East is to ‘please be very wary of cold-callers and buying on the doorstep’.

“Trading standards operates an approved trader scheme called ‘Buy With Confidence’ and our officers can provide you with details of reliable local trades people to carry out work around your home and garden.

“Each trader accepted on to this scheme has been vetted by officers from trading standards for compliance with consumer protection laws and their trading history checked through customer references.”

Look out for the ‘Buy With Confidence’ logo and visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk or call 0300 123 5500 for more information. If you have a business and are interested in joining the scheme, call 01270 685900 or email tradingstandards@cheshireeast.gov.uk