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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

'Annual Hall Quiz'

The Wistaston Memorial Hall and Community Centre 'Annual Hall Quiz' for the Fred Lorimer trophy will take place at the Wistaston Memorial Hall and Community Centre, Church Lane, Wistaston, Crewe on Friday 30th October 2015 starting at 7:30pm. Entry fee is £8 per team of four. Refreshments included. There will be a raffle. For further information please contact: John White, Tel: 01270 - 661484.

Wistaston Annual Hall Quiz -  Fred Lorimer trophy

Remembrance Day Service?

 Reporter  Jonathan White, Wistaston

A Remembrance Day Service will take place on Sunday 8th November 2015 at 3pm at the Wistaston Memorial Hall, Church Lane, Wistaston.

During the service one of the sixteen World War 2 heroes from Wistaston will be remembered: Lieutenant Ronald Arthur Hulse, Royal Artillery, who died on 17th June 1944, aged 29 years old. If you have any further information please contact John White, Tel. 01270 - 661484.

The Memorial Hall Committee is dedicated to managing the 66 year old building to ensure that the memory of sixteen Wistonians who perished in WW2 is not forgotten.
IMG_8328

The ‘Cat & Fiddle’ road in the top ten most improved roads in Britain

 

The A537 Cat & Fiddle Road in Macclesfield has dropped out of the list of persistently higher risk roads and is now amongst the top ten improved roads in Britain, according to the Road Safety Foundation EuroRAP results for 2015.

Investment from Cheshire East Council and partners has resulted in a number of road safety improvements to promote safe use of the previously dangerous, six-mile stretch of road to deliver a reduction in the number and severity of road traffic incidents.

The investment has seen the upgrade of safety barrier systems and introduction of ‘motorcycle friendly’ barriers, a 50mph speed limit and installation of average speed cameras, all supported by regular routine maintenance activities including resurfacing and road marking renewals.

The Road Safety Foundation list the A537 as the fifth most improved road in Britain based on comparison of collision data between the 2008-10 and 2011-13.

Improved roads are ‘those where there has been a statistically significant reduction in the number of fatal and serious crashes over time’, with the Cat & Fiddle Road seeing a 77 per cent decrease in fatal and serious collisions. 

This achievement in reduction of road injuries has been recognised by Andrew Jones MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport). 

Cheshire East Council Leader, Michael Jones, said: “Promotion of the safe use of our roads by all road users is an absolute priority. We will continue to encourage responsible use of the A537 to ensure this significant drop in collisions is maintained.”

The A537 has featured in all previous EuroRAP survey results in the list of persistently higher risk roads.  The road has entered the most improved table after seeing a significant reduction in the number of serious crashes from 31 to 7 between 2008-10 and 2011-13.

A Halloween fundraising event

 Reporter Jonathan White

A Halloween fundraising event is taking place at a house on Holland Street in Crewe this Saturday 31st October 2015 from 6pm to 10pm. Richard and James Stack will dress up their front and back gardens with decorations including skeletons, pumpkins and ghouls. There will be directional signs and pumpkins on Holland Street to the house on the day. Entry by donation. All proceeds will go to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Police Spam Email

Subject: Police Spam Email


This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

There is email in circulation that appears to have been sent from a legitimate Lancashire Constabulary email address. The email appears to come from ‘Lyn Whitehead’ and is asking the recipient to pay an invoice that is attached to the email.
The email has not been generated from inside the Constabulary or by the Constabulary. This email has not been sent from Lancashire Constabulary. A third party supplier to the Constabulary has had their data breached, as a result of the breach this Lancashire Constabulary email address has been spoofed and used to generate spam to recipients far and wide.
This type of email is commonly referred to as spam, and if you have received it you MUST NOT open it. Instead delete it from your email system to avoid infecting your device.
Protect Yourself:

  • Do not click or open unfamiliar links in emails or on websites
  • Make sure you install and use up-to-date anti-virus software
  • Have a pop-up blocker running in the background of your web browser
  • If you have opened the attachment and ‘enabled macros’ it is very likely that all your personal data will have been breached. You MUST change all your passwords for personal accounts, including your bank accounts.
If you believe you have become a victim of this get your device checked over by a professional.
If you think you have been a victim of this type of email you should report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre. www.actionfraud.police.uk
If you do make a report please provide as much detail as you can about the email and any effects it has had on your computer. Additionally if your Anti-Virus software detects any issues in relation to this email please provide us with the details.
More information can be found on Lancashire Constabulary website
http://www.lancashire.police.uk/news/2015/october/email-virus-alert.aspx
You can get more advice on this by visiting the following websites:
The most common Internet Scams are updated on http://www.cyberstreetwise.com/common-scams

Talk Talk Cyber Attack

Subject: Talk Talk Cyber Attack


This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Cyber Attack
Talk Talk, the phone and broadband provider, has been the victim of a cyber attack on their website commonly referred to as DDoS – distributed denial of service attack. This has led to hackers accessing Talk Talks servers and stealing personal data, which could affect over four million customers. It is currently unknown exactly what data has been stolen but Talk Talk has stated that there is a chance that some of the following data could have been accessed:

  • Name and addresses
  • Dates of birth
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Talk Talk account information
  • Credit card and banking details

Protect yourself
  • Be wary of any emails claiming to be from Talk Talk asking for additional information such as passwords even if they are able to tell you specific account details – this could be a phishing email and sent to gain access to your account.
  • If you have opened an email attachment please ensure you change the passwords for all your bank, email and online shopping accounts.
  • As well as e-mails be wary of any telephone calls claiming to be from Talk Talk that ask for additional information or want to gain remote access to your computer. Again they may tell you specific details about your account. If you get such a call do not give any details, terminate the call, use a separate telephone line/mobile phone and call Talk Talk back on one of their known numbers to ascertain if the call is genuine.
  • Monitor your bank accounts for any unusual activity that you believe may be fraudulent.

The Wistaston Community Council Fireworks Display

The Wistaston Community Council Fireworks Display takes place this Saturday 31st October 2015 at the Eric Swan Sports Ground (The Brittles) behind Wistaston Church Lane Primary School.

Entry is by donation.

The fancy dress and pumpkin competitions will be judged at 6pm at the Eric Swan Sports Ground. This will be followed by the fireworks display at 6:30pm.

Wistaston Scout Group will be providing refreshments and will be serving burgers and hot dogs as well as hot and cold drinks.

Any profits from this event will be donated to Wistaston Scout Group.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to changes in the regulations for closing roads for public events, there will not be a procession this year.

Wistaston Fireworks - promotional photo

Reaseheath Apple Festival

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The annual Reaseheath Apple Festival was held on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October 2015, at Reaseheath College - http://www.reaseheath.ac.uk - in Nantwich.

This free event took place in the College's 'Crop Shop' and featured dozens of different varieties of apple. The apples on display were sourced from Reaseheath College and an orchard located between Nantwich and Whitchurch.

There was the opportunity to taste and buy several varieties of apple. Visitors could also buy or bring their own apples and use an apple pressing machine to collect the juice.

Retired Reaseheath lecturers Derek Jones and Harry Delaney were on hand to identify different apple varieties and offer fruit growing advice.

There were also a variety of plants for sale. Numerous information leaflets and display boards advertised the wide variety of courses available at Reaseheath College.

The Canal & River Trust - https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/ - had a stand and invited new members to join.

Reaseheath’s fruit garden was also open to allow visitors to view fruit trees on a variety of root stocks grown under different systems.

Refreshments were available in the 'Bootzone' restaurant/cafe.

Apples grown at Reaseheath College saleVisitor Mark Ray inspects some of the apples

Council supports increased powers to Energy Ombudsman

 

Cheshire East Council is backing the recent announcement of increased powers to the Energy Ombudsman.

The powers will strengthen the Energy Ombudsmen’s role to help customers who are being treated badly identify and to address systemic industry-wide problems.

Cheshire East Council partnered with OVO Energy earlier this year when they launched Fairerpower to Cheshire East residents. One of the key aims is to ensure residents have access to excellent customer service and low tariffs.

Fairerpower partner OVO Energy has been given a five-star customer service rating by consumer watchdog Which?.

Which? rates 22 UK gas and electricity suppliers after the biggest publicly-available survey of its kind. It gathered opinions from more than 9,000 energy customers and rated energy suppliers on a range of measures, including customer service, value for money and accuracy of bills.

Each energy supplier receives a customer score based on their overall satisfaction and the likelihood they would recommend it to a friend.

OVO are fourth out of 22 and only four per cent behind the overall leader.

The three companies above OVO are all much smaller, with significantly fewer customers and much higher tariffs than OVO and Fairerpower.

Councillor Rod Menlove, board member for Fairerpower, said: “I welcome these extra powers for the regulators. We are really proud of how Fairerpower and OVO are shaking up the energy market in Cheshire East.

“This Council does not believe people should be forced to choose between heating and eating. So far, 60 per cent of Fairerpower’s customers have never switched before, so you can’t say fairer than that.”

Fairerpower pay monthly customers get:

● Potential average savings of £258 a year (see note 1);

● Ability to fix contracts for 12 months

● No exit fees; leave at any time

● Three per cent interest reward paid on all credit balances up to £1,000 (see note 3);and

● Award-winning customer service

Fairerpower pay-as-you-go (PAYG) customers get:

● Potential average savings of £75 a year (see note 2);

● Free energy monitor that shows credit and usage;

● Smart meter as standard; and

● Award-winning customer service.

Cheshire East Council is also in discussions with housing associations to extend the benefits of fairer, competitively priced energy to even more residents.

OVO also topped 10 of the 12 award categories at the 2014 uSwitch Energy Awards, including value for money and customer service.

They also topped the 2014 Money Saving Expert poll for customer service, with 82 per cent of customers giving OVO a ‘great’ rating.

To see how much you could save go to www.fairerpower.co.uk or call 0800 408 6701 (Pay monthly) or 0800 408 6705 (PAYG)

Northern Gateway partnership launched to spearhead region’s economic growth and fuel the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse

 

Today sees the launch of a landmark partnership scheme to spearhead economic growth in the region and give a huge boost to delivering new jobs, homes and investment. 

The Northern Gateway Development Zone will supercharge economic growth and the Northern Powerhouse by connecting with the Midlands Engine to capitalise on the economic potential of HS2.

The Northern Gateway Partnership is a ground-breaking collaboration of seven local authorities – including Cheshire East Council – and the Cheshire and Warrington and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). 

It aims to unlock major new growth and investment opportunities which could deliver more than 100,000 new homes and 120,000 new jobs by 2040 by creating a new growth zone at the gateway to the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine.

To drive the project forward, the two LEPs have signed a concordat committing them, supported by the wider network of local authority partners, to work together to ensure plan-led sustainable targeted growth and optimise the benefits of HS2 investment.

The Northern Gateway spans Cheshire and North Staffordshire including the city of Stoke on Trent, Crewe and the A500 corridor.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is a really exciting project that will be hugely economically significant – not just regionally but nationally.

“It marks a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help realise the full economic potential for the Cheshire/Staffordshire region that investment in HS2 brings. Moreover, a Northern Gateway Development Zone would help supercharge the Northern Powerhouse and help successfully rebalance the economy of UK plc.

“We are confident this joint growth strategy will become a national exemplar of strategy-led regeneration and development to deliver really significant jobs and growth.”

The partners working together to deliver growth opportunities include the two LEPs, Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council, Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and Stoke-on-Trent Council.

The Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin MP, has previously confirmed his intention to introduce a dedicated hybrid bill to bring HS2 to the North of England sooner than planned, subject to further analysis and decisions on the preferred route.

The prospect of this investment in HS2 to the North is the catalyst for this new growth-focused partnership.

The Northern Gateway partners are also committed to capitalising immediately on the Cheshire/Staffordshire region’s unique position as the bridging link between the Midlands Engine and the Northern Powerhouse.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost CBE said: “Staffordshire and Cheshire are in a pivotal location at the heart of the UK, linking the Midlands Engine with the Northern Powerhouse.

“This innovative new partnership represents a great opportunity with massive potential by working together to benefit local people by bringing jobs and growth to our area.”

Christine Gaskell, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said: “The Northern Gateway Partnership will put the North and the Midlands in a strong position to deliver nationally significant economic growth, capitalising on the opportunities and investment that will be generated by HS2.

“Committing to work across boundaries and regions will enable us to work together in a joined up and strategic way, with the backing of Government, to maximise our role in delivering the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine.”

HS2 presents a ‘once in a generation opportunity’ to become an engine for growth across the UK – not only providing 360-degree North, South, East and West rail and road capacity and connectivity across regions but also stimulating new jobs and investment across the region and beyond.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Car Theft

Subject: Car Theft


This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Victoria Fearnley (Police, PCSO, Crewe LPU Centre PCSO)

We are asking motorist to be mindful of what they are leaving in their vehicles. We have had several reports of thefts from Motor Vehicles.
Crime Prevention Advice

Stealing cars and other vehicles has become a way of life for some criminals. These are involved in organised vehicle crime principally to profit from re-selling stolen vehicles (cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, etc.) and parts.

Stolen vehicles can be used in other types of crime, for example during armed robberies. Whilst the sale of stolen vehicles and parts can be used to fund other types of crime.

A few types of car crime include:

  • Vehicle cloning
  • Stolen vehicles
  • Stolen number plates 
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Theft of personal belongings from vehicles.

Thefts from vehicles

Leaving personal items in a parked car makes it more attractive to criminals. Most vehicle crime is opportunistic and therefore preventable. Here are some tips that will help you to protect your vehicle and deter potential thieves.

Don’t tempt a thief
  • Never leave anything on display in your vehicle; a bag on the back seat is enough to tempt a thief
  • Always remove your portable Sat Nav system including any support cradles and suctions pads that are fitted to the windscreen
  • Remember to wipe the mark off the windscreen
  • When you leave your car, close all windows including your sunroof and ensure that your car has been locked
  • Never leave credit cards or cash in the glove compartment
  • Don’t leave the vehicle documents in the car
  • Mark items such as CD players, and sat nav systems with your postcode or vehicle registration using a special security marker
  • Turn off the Bluetooth, on any of your items, as thieves can use this to target specific cars
  • During colder days, don’t leave the car running to defrost on the drive. Sit in it whilst it defrosts
  • Use theft resistant number plates.
  • If your vehicle doesn’t have electronic immobilisers, install steering wheel locks which are inexpensive and easy to fit
  • If you don’t have an alarm, get one fitted by a professional
  • Get a lockable petrol cap. Some new cars have these as standard.
  • When you leave the car always remove the key from the ignition and lock all doors – it only takes a few seconds for a thief to jump into your car and drive away
  • At home, never leave your car keys, or house keys, near a door or window. Some thieves use a fishing rod or magnet on a stick to steal them through the letterbox
  • When you’re out and about ensure your keys aren’t exposed – it’s all too easy to leave them on a counter top or in an open handbag.
Use security devices to deter a thief
  • If your vehicle doesn’t have electronic immobilisers, install steering wheel locks which are inexpensive and easy to fit
  • If you don’t have an alarm, get one fitted by a professional
  • Get a lockable petrol cap. Some new cars have these as standard.
Keep your keys safe
  • When you leave the car always remove the key from the ignition and lock all doors – it only takes a few seconds for a thief to jump into your car and drive away
  • At home, never leave your car keys, or house keys, near a door or window. Some thieves use a fishing rod or magnet on a stick to steal them through the letterbox
  • When you’re out and about ensure your keys aren’t exposed – it’s all too easy to leave them on a counter top or in an open handbag.

Parking

Where you park can make a big difference to the safety of your car and your personal belongings.

If you have a garage, use it. Always lock your car and your garage door. If you don’t have a garage, park on your drive or on a well lit street.

Thieves always like to steal from cars which are parked in places where they run the least risk of being seen. Avoid parking in places that are concealed from public view.

Hate Crime

Subject: Hate Crime


This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Victoria Fearnley (Police, PCSO, Crewe LPU Centre PCSO)

Stand up and report hate crime

Hate Crime PosterDo people target you with abuse or violence because of your appearance? Sexual orientation? Gender identity? Race? Religion?

You wouldn’t let people get away with crimes such as burglary, so why let them get away with hate crime?

Cheshire Police and John Dwyer, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire are supporting Hate Crime Awareness Week - which began on Saturday 10 October - and want to encourage victims to come forward and report the crime either to police or a third party reporting centre.

Deputy Chief Constable Janette McCormick said, “Hate Crime is a very broad term and as well as encouraging people to report it, we also want to increase people’s knowledge on the issue so they know what it means, and how and where to report it.
“Nationally, it’s recognised that hate crime is under reported. Here in Cheshire we had 765 hate crimes reported to us, and we believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Cheshire Police takes hate crime seriously and I want to reiterate to victim’s out there that if you come and talk to us, we’ll listen to you and provide the care and support you need as you progress through the process. We’re here for you when and where you need us, so please report hate crime and help us to help you.”
John Dwyer, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said, “Hate Crime Awareness week, once again helps us to raise awareness and give people the courage to speak about the prejudice they have been subjected to. Here in Cheshire, Hate Crime is under reported. This could be for a variety of reasons, but through my investment in specialist victim services I am doing everything I can to ensure that victims can feel confident in reporting hate crime and the correct help and support is available for those who need it.”

What is a hate crime?

Hate crime is a criminal offence committed against a person, or property that is motivated in whole or in part by the offender’s hostility towards someone based on a personal characteristic. This can include:

  • Disability
  • Faith/Belief
  • Homophobic
  • Racism
  • Transphobic

Hate crime can be reported to the police using 101, or in an emergency 999. However, if you don’t feel comfortable talking to the police, you can report it online via True Vision or at a third party community reporting centre.

Last month

Subject: Last month


This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Victoria Fearnley (Police, PCSO, Crewe LPU Centre PCSO)

Last month we took 28,139 calls for Cheshire. Of those calls 7811 were emergency calls made to 999.
92.7% of our emergency calls were answered within 10 seconds.
We recorded 3,862 crimes.
We made 1587 arrests
We ran Operation Impact which resulted in 49 warrants over four forces. This resulted in 30 persons being charged with offences.
We have secured convictions for rape totaling 104.5 years so far this year.
Operation Shield has seen approximately 300 DNA kits being delivered as part of phase two of the operation. Operation Shield has helped towards a 34% decrease in burglaries in targeted areas.

Pension Scam Alert - Cape Verde

Subject: Pension Scam Alert - Cape Verde


This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has been alerted to a pension scam whereby cold callers continue to target members of the public aged 50 to 60 years old to release and transfer their pension early. Suspected firms who advertise and arrange pensions are offering investments in alternative commodities such as hotel developments or property in Cape Verde, and operate as unregulated collective investment schemes.
Often, the cold calling ‘pension companies’ involved are neither regulated nor qualified to give financial advice and classify themselves as a ‘trustee’, ‘consultant’ or an ‘independent advisor’ and offer exceptionally high return rates for investors. 
Some victims have signed documents that authorises a limited company to be set up using their personal details, including utilising a Small Self–Administered Scheme (SSAS). Whilst SSAS accounts and limited companies are essential for legitimate schemes, the fact that victims are unaware that this will happen suggests that the scheme may not have been fully explained to them, increasing the likelihood that there may be an element of fraud involved.
Protect yourself:
Further advice can be found at:
http://www.fca.org.uk/your-fca/documents/protect-your-pension-pot
http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/financial-services-products/pensions/protect
http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/individuals/dangers-of-pension-scams.aspx
Ensure that you request that the risks and growth rates are explained and that you fully understand them before transferring your pension
Check whether the pension arrangement company is registered with the FCA. Registered companies can be checked using the FCA register online at: https://register.fca.org.uk/
Remember that if the offer seems too good to be true, then it generally is
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

Overturned tanker on M56 near to Helsby

Subject: Overturned tanker on M56 near to Helsby


This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Caroline Jones (Cheshire Fire, Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

Overturned tanker on M56 near to Helsby


Firefighters are at the scene of a road traffic collision involving a tanker which has overturned on the M56 near to Helsby.
Nobody is trapped in the vehicle.
A cordon has been set up while emergency crews deal with the incident.
Drivers are advised to avoid the area.
The motorway has been fully closed between junction 11 (Daresbury) and junction 14 (Hapsford).
For more information about this incident, please visit the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service website:
http://www.cheshirefire.gov.uk/news-events/incidents/ongoing-incident-overturned-tanker-on-m56-hapsford

Council Tax Scam

Subject:


This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Fraudsters have been phoning victims telling them that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and are entitled to a rebate. They normally say that this rebate should be worth about £7,000. Once the victim is convinced, the fraudster tells them that in order to receive the rebate they will need to pay an administration fee in advance. The payment they ask for varies between £60–£350. The victim provides the details and makes the payment, but then is no longer able to make contact with the person they spoke to on the phone. When they phone their council about the rebate and the fact that they are in the wrong tax bracket, the council will confirm that they know nothing about it and that they have been contacted by fraudsters.
The fraudsters have mainly been targeting both male and female victims who are aged 60 and over and live in the Sussex area, but it is likely that the fraudsters will also start to target victims in other areas.
Protect Yourself:

  • Never respond to unsolicited phone calls.
  • Your local council won’t ever phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate. If you receive a call of this nature, put the phone down straight away.
  • No legitimate organisation will ask you to pay an advanced fee in order to receive money, so never give them your card details.
  • If you think you have been a victim of fraud, hang up the phone and wait five minutes to clear the line as fraudsters sometimes keep the line open. Then call your bank or card issuer to report the fraud. Where it is possible use a different phone line to make the phone call.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

Emergency teams land ‘Pride of Cheshire’ award for courageous response to Bosley mill blaze

 

Emergency services who responded to the devastating fire and explosions at a wood flour mill in Bosley, Cheshire in July received the ‘Pride of Cheshire’ award at a glittering ‘Local Heroes’ night hosted by Silk FM and Cheshire East Council.

All three services, North West Ambulance Service, Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue took to the stage at The Tytherington Golf Club and Spa to receive their awards as the Mayor of Cheshire East, Cllr Hilda Gaddum announced the award winners, immediately prompting a standing ovation.

The audience of over 130 people were reminded of the horrifying events on July 17, when two explosions destroyed much of the mill causing a huge fire, which raged for several days.

Four people died in the incident and ambulance crews airlifted one person to hospital in Birmingham and ferried two others to hospitals in Whiston and Stoke.

Two other awards went to people and businesses affected by the fire.

Sylvia Jenkinson received the ‘Neighbour of the Year’ award for starting the Bosley fund, which now exceeds well over £100,000, and the two village pubs, the Harrington Arms and the Queens Arms were recognised for opening their doors to the community, emergency services and media for several weeks following the fire at all times of the day.

Chief Inspector Robert Dickinson, who accepted the award on behalf of Cheshire Police said afterwards:  

“These were extremely challenging circumstances for all the emergency services involved and I have nothing but praise for my team and everyone involved in the fire fighting and search and rescue operation.

“The teamwork extends beyond the emergency service workers to the people of Bosley who were present on the day and in those days that followed – their support and cooperation; whether providing a place to conduct briefings, offering food and drink, or just offering a kind word to the officers was invaluable.

“It’s often said we are at our best in a crisis and having a well-rehearsed emergency response plan, which was effective and efficient, gave a structure to one of the most dynamic incidents I have been involved in since joining the police.

“This was a dreadful tragedy in which four people lost their lives and we must remember those individuals and their families.”

Mayor, Councillor Hilda Gaddum, said: “It was a very emotional event, with some very moving stories.

“We are all grateful to the emergency services for their hard work, dedication and courage during the Bosley fire and explosions and for their continued commitment in the weeks that followed.

“And throughout this dreadful episode, they never failed to kind, courteous and sensitive to the community and all those affected.”

The event was the 18th annual Local Hero awards and a raffle held during the evening, raised over £400 for the Bosley appeal fund.

Award winners were as follows:

Young Achiever, Sophie Brookbanks (Wilmslow); Champion Child, Luke Chapman (Stockport); Act of Courage, Elizabeth Corfield (Congleton); Sports Person of the Year, Lucy Herbert (Macclesfield); Neighbour of the Year, Sylvia Jenkinson (Bosley); Parent/Guardian of the Year, Ann Price (Winsford); Teacher of the Year, Lauren Stout; Social Enterprise, Danny Towns (Macclesfield); Carer of the Year, Sandra Wardle (Macclesfield); Volunteer of the Year, Louise Williamson (Macclesfield); Business of the Year, Harrington Arms and Queens Arms (Bosley); Pride of Cheshire Award, Emergency Services of Cheshire.

To view photographs from the event visit the Cheshire East Council Flicker Page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/cheshireeastcouncil/

The event was co-hosted by Silk 103.9’s Drive presenter Dane Swindells and Cheshire East Council’s Trevor Green (pictured).

Striking new artwork brightens up town centre area once dubbed a ‘grot spot’

A vandalised walkway has been strikingly transformed – thanks to a Council-backed initiative to put public art back into Crewe town centre.

Cheshire East Council joined forces with Crewe Town Council and local schools to overhaul the image of the main walkway connecting Queensway to Crewe bus station.

The walls had been regularly defaced by graffiti and it was a ‘grot spot’ that blighted the town’s image.

Now the walkway has undergone a striking major makeover – which was officially unveiled yesterday (Monday).

The bright mural was designed by pupils from Edleston Primary and Wistaston Church Lane Academy and it aims to restore civic pride in the town and promote a good first impression of the town to visitors.

The repeat design was created after youngsters were asked to shape an artwork inspired by what Crewe means to them. The project, completed by a professional artist, also aimed to portray the history and culture of the town.

The stencilled mural features references to Queens Park, Bentley Motors, Crewe Alexandra FC and the railways. It also depicts the Rolls Royce V12 Merlin engine manufactured in Crewe and Joseph Locke, the engineer and pioneer of railway development who jointly designed and delivered the Grand Junction Railway.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of regeneration and assets, said of the revamped walkway: “This is an excellent scheme and one that this Council has been delighted to encourage and support.

“This authority is committed to improving the living environment, leisure offer and public amenities in Crewe and is investing heavily to deliver a town centre local residents can be really proud of.

“Our commitment to Crewe and its people has already seen us secure millions of pounds of investment for the town centre through the new Lifestyle Centre and the University Technical College, which will both open in 2016.

“There is also the prospect of significant investment and growth should Crewe be selected for a new HS2 North West gateway rail hub – as well as several major road projects to improve connectivity for businesses, residents and visitors alike.

“We are passionate in our belief that we can forge a role for Crewe that is based on it being a vibrant and attractive destination for people to spend quality leisure time together.”

The new mural is part of improvements to the wider Royal Arcade side, which Cheshire East Council acquired in May this year. The Council has already taken major steps towards realising a bold new scheme to transform Crewe town centre.

The authority has announced it will start the process to appoint a developer to work with it to create a mixed-use town centre development on part or all of the Royal Arcade site. 

The condition of the town centre walkway was initially highlighted by local resident Sean Moulton to the site’s previous owners, Redefine International, and also by residents in the ‘Your Town Your Choice’ public consultation managed by Cheshire East Council. This survey highlighted the area as one that required immediate improvement and which has suffered from vandalism in the past.

Councillor Kevin Hickson, chair of the economic development committee at Crewe Town Council, said: “Crewe Town Council is very pleased to have supported this project to improve a well-known grot spot in the town centre.

“Although the area is earmarked for future development, it would have been wrong to have left the arcade in the condition it was in. 

“We note the role of the civic activism of local people in initiating this work and encourage everyone in Crewe to get involved in improving both the town centre and their local area.  Let us all take pride in our town rather than talking it down.”

Council backs campaign to seek adopters for over fours

 

Cheshire East Council, in its partnership role with Four4Adoption, is urging more couples in the borough to open their homes to an adopted child, especially children of early years.

The theme for this year’s National Adoption Week is ‘too old at 4,’ with the aim to highlight the need to find adoptive families for children from aged four and upwards.

Cheshire East Council Leader, Michael Jones said: “It is a sad fact that couples looking to adopt are more likely to adopt a very young infant, rather than be prepared to give a home to an older child.

“This means that many young children find themselves in long-term care and that is not a good thing.

“Out adoption service has been rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted and having sufficient prospective adoptive families for children entering our care system, is key to our ongoing success.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member for children’s services, said: “There will always be children and young people who, through no fault of their own cannot live with their birth parents.

“We want to place these children in a loving, permanent family home.

“We continue to seek out suitable couples not only for older children and sibling groups but also for children from an ethnic background and for those with additional needs.”

Four4Adoption is a partnership body comprising Cheshire East Council, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford Councils.

Residents who may wish to find out more about adoption and how to become an adopter can contact the adoption team on 0300 123 3223 or by going to www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/adoption

You can also go to the Four4Adoption web site at www.four4adoption.co.uk

Cheshire Constabulary is ‘Outstanding’

Subject: Cheshire Constabulary is ‘Outstanding’


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Cheshire Constabulary is ‘Outstanding’
Today, Her Majesty′s Inspector of Constabulary has announced that Cheshire Constabulary is ‘outstanding’ for a key aspect of its PEEL inspection.
PEEL stands for the police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy programme.
As part of its annual inspections HMIC reviewed both the financial and workforce planning of all forces across the country whilst examining the wider issues of cost, capability and productivity.
The Force is one of only a handful across the country that has been rated ‘outstanding’ for efficiency.
The report concludes that Cheshire is ‘exceptionally well prepared to face its future financial challenges’. It states that innovation, forward-thinking and sound financial management have helped to future proof policing in Cheshire.
Chief Constable Simon Byrne said:  “This is great news for Cheshire Constabulary and recognises the hard work and achievements of every officer and member of staff.  This is a first for the force and something that we should all feel very proud of.
“In a period of sustained budget reductions, it is critically important for every police force to make efficiencies while focusing on reducing crime and keeping communities safe.  What matters to the people of Cheshire is the number of police officers on the streets and, as a result of the changes implemented, 130 extra police officers are being re-directed back to the front line and 53 extra are being recruited.”
The inspection, which took place in May, focused on how efficient Cheshire Constabulary is at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
Further information is attached.
Full details of the inspection can be seen on the HMIC website.

Council launches free wi-fi service to library users

 

Cheshire East Council is to give free wi-fi access to library members.

The service will be available across all of its 16 libraries for all library opening hours.

Members can simply log in using their existing membership number and password/PIN. Anyone who isn’t a member can easily join free of charge.

In addition to wi-fi they can then take advantage of a wealth of free resources. To join you just need to bring in one proof of identity showing name and address.

The service is part of the Council’s aim to help people get on line more easily through a modern library service and promotes digital inclusion across Cheshire East.

The service will adopt the security filtering as on its public network in order to safeguard young people.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cabinet member in charge of communities, at Cheshire East Council said: "I’m really pleased we are making it even easier for many people across Cheshire East to get online.

“The Council is committed to promoting a digital economy and residents can access a whole of range of services from our website as well as the wider internet in a safe and secure way. It’s another example of the way we are putting residents first.”

Cheshire East leading the way with Neighbourhood Plans – to give local people a real say and boost protection from unsustainable development

 

Cheshire East Council is leading the way supporting communities’ efforts to prevent unsustainable and unplanned development.

The Council has now formally working towards the preparation of 24 Neighbourhood Plans from across Cheshire East – with four already at an advanced stage.

In terms of active plan making, Cheshire East is leading the way in the north of England and is the eighth most active Borough in the country.

And an application has been made which will create the largest joint neighbourhood area in the country – 10 parishes at Wybunbury.

It follows Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones’ support for a programme to enable communities to deliver neighbourhood plans across the Borough – to help shape development in the local area.

Neighbourhood Plans enable local people to have a say in the development they would like to see in the area in which they live.

Each plan goes through a final six weeks of public consultation before being scrutinised by an appointed independent examiner.

A positive examiner’s report would then mean the plan can progress to a local referendum, when local people will be given the opportunity to vote and bring the plan into effect.

The policies in an adopted Neighbourhood Plan are then given their full weight in deciding planning applications.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of housing and planning, said: “It is great to see Cheshire East is leading the way. Neighbourhood Plans are vitally important tools to enable local people to develop policies to address planning matters that affect not only their interests but also their wider health and wellbeing.

“These plans allow communities to take ownership of local planning policy, which directly impacts on many aspects of their lives.

“Neighbourhood plans are a key part of Cheshire East’s real commitment to putting ‘residents first’ and being ‘a listening authority’ – and we fully support communities in putting them in place.”

The Council has been actively working with 27 communities to bring forward neighbourhood plans and is encouraging many more to do so.

Specialist planning support provided by Cheshire East is paying dividends with four plans currently proceeding to independent examination. Moreover, Sandbach, Audlem and Bunbury all finalised their draft Neighbourhood Plans within a year.

For more information on Neighbourhood Plans visit the Council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk or click on the following link for the Neighbourhood Planning Website

An extra 10,000 homes and businesses to get superfast broadband in latest roll-out across Cheshire region

 

Superfast fibre broadband will soon be available to an extra 10,000 homes and businesses across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington – thanks to a second phase of roll-out by Connecting Cheshire.

The new cabling work, to boost the network coverage, has already started and will see more than £6m invested by summer 2017 to provide fibre broadband technology to many areas that were unable to benefit from previous roll-outs.

The phase 2 funding* has been provided by Government, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington councils and supplemented by funding from BT. Rural areas such as Arley, Burleydam, Gawsworth, Huxley and Wincle will join the fibre fast lane for the first time as the network is extended.

Additional coverage will also be provided, building on the coverage provided during phase 1, in some remaining urban areas, while more rural and outlying areas such as Malpas, Cholmondeley, Bunbury and Mobberley are set to benefit.

For full details of the areas included, to download detailed maps and details of a public information event on November 6, visit: www.connectingcheshire.org.uk

To date, the Connecting Cheshire Partnership with BT has given more than 85,000 premises access to high-speed fibre broadband.

The majority of its phase 1 roll-out is already completed and most remaining areas are planned to be completed by December. Any remaining areas from phase 1 are expected to be included alongside in the phase 2 build programme.

The partnership is currently actively seeking further funding to include even more areas outside its current plans and to improve speeds in areas where the technology is less effective and speeds are lower.

Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is fantastic news for residents as we will be able to reach more premises with fibre, particularly those rural areas where some of the lowest speeds remain.

“We are determined to ensure that faster broadband is available to as many premises as possible so that the social and economic benefits can be realised – not only for our businesses but for people of all ages.”

Mike Blackburn, BT regional director for the North West, said: “BT has provided a further £1.8m to boost the reach of the new roll-out of this truly transformational technology. 

“And, in addition, the Openreach engineers have done a superb job, in such a short space of time, to ensure that so many more homes and businesses in Cheshire can benefit from a more connected society.”

Monday, 19 October 2015

‘Words and Music Festival’ in Nantwich

Reporter  Jonathan White, Wistaston

The 8th annual Words and Music Festival - http://www.wordsandmusicfestival.com/ - took place in Nantwich from Monday 12th to Sunday 18th October 2015. Headline acts included Barbara Dickson, Gruff Rhys, Thea Gilmore, The Christians and poet Kim Moore. Performances took place in eight venues in the town with a range of chargeable and free events. On Saturday there was a free 'OXJAM Saturday on The Square' event to raise money for the aid and development charity Oxfam http://www.oxfam.org.uk/ . OXJAM featured The Blue Yellows, Weaver Vocal Group, Jim Farmer, James McGrath, Young Voices, Love Music Trust Sinfonia and The Reads. Sunday was poetry day and included a presentation to the winners of the Words and Music poetry competition, a reading from Kim Moore and a Poetry Slam.

Nantwich-based singer/songwriter Tim Lee, who performed acoustic ukulele and guitar sets at ‘Bloom’ said, “I've really enjoyed played at the Words and Music Festival this year. It's such an encouraging environment, both from the audience and from other performers who will come to your gigs and give you their support. It's becoming more and more difficult to find gigs that will support original songwriters, let alone one that actively encourages creativity, so I'm honoured to play it and have enjoyed every minute.”

A poet performer at Poetry SlamNantwich-based singer/songwriter Jonathan Tarplee, who performed solo and with his band The Blue Yellows, said "There are two things I really love about this festival - firstly it's absolute focus on original writing; songwriting, poetry and comedy. Secondly, the chance to see some huge names in really close-up venues, your heroes are there, right in front of you! Gruff Rhys was especially inspiring for me, he was pushing boundaries on so many levels, including the relationship between performer and punter. His show was enchanting, beautiful and hilarious, a rare combination!”

Jonathan Tarplee and his band The Blue Yellows perform at  OXJAM

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Couple conned taxpayers out of £44,000 in benefits – falsely claiming she was a hard-up ‘single mum’ and he was ‘just her landlord’

 

A couple fraudulently pocketed more than £44,000 in benefits after pretending she was a ‘hard-up single mum’ and he was just her landlord.

Now the pair have narrowly escaped serving a jail sentence and will have to pay back in full the money they fraudulently claimed during more than five years of deceit.

Lisa Podmore, 32, and Paul Hodkinson, 30, both of Larch Avenue, Basford, Crewe, were both sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years when they appeared before Chester Crown Court (October 2, 2015).

The Court heard that Podmore claimed housing benefit, Council Tax benefit, income support and child tax credits from September 2008, saying she was a lone parent with no income and that she had no relationship with her landlord, Hodkinson.

However, Cheshire East Council’s benefit investigation team and investigators from the Department for Work and Pensions discovered Hodkinson was not her landlord but in fact her partner, who was living with her and supporting her financially.

The court also heard Hodkinson had assisted Podmore to make the fraudulent claims by completing a false confirmation of rent document for Podmore to provide to the Council to support her claim for housing benefit, which listed him as the landlord for her property.

In actively maintaining the false claims for benefits, Podmore and Hodkinson admitted fraudulently pocketing £44,143 in benefits over a period of five and half years.

In addition to the suspended jail sentence handed down by the court Podmore and Hodkinson were ordered to complete 150 hours’ unpaid work and will now have to repay in full the benefits they fraudulently claimed.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of finance, said: “This is a shocking case and the successful prosecution of this pair reinforces the message that benefit fraud will not be tolerated by this authority.

“We are an enforcing Council and committed to ensuring that such offenders are brought to justice.

“This case highlights that cheating the system only leaves perpetrators much worse off in the end. We proactively investigate cases like this to prevent fraudsters taking money away from those who genuinely need help.”

Since January 1 this year, Cheshire East Council has uncovered more than £980,000 in benefit fraud and prosecutions have led to 51 criminal convictions.

The Council has also imposed 38 penalty notices and issued 45 cautions. All the fraudulently received monies are being recovered and repaid by the offenders.

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 reshapes information technology services

 

Cheshire East Council will continue its progress on re-shaping its digital future following a decision to take information technology services back in-house.

CoSocius was set up in May 2014, between Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester councils, to provide essential business services with the opportunity to trade commercially. Prior to this, a shared service agreement existed, which saved significant money for taxpayers.

But with an ever-changing landscape in digital technology, it has been agreed there is an opportunity to re-think service delivery against a backdrop of changing technologies.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Michael Jones, explained: “CoSocius was a joint venture and all that we are doing is bringing this service back in-house. 

“CoSocius may begin trading in the future once again but now is the time to re-think the business model and ensure we are benefitting from opportunities presented in a shifting market.

“We know that since Ansa – one of our most successful wholly-owned companies (WOCs) – was formed, bin collections have been more efficient than ever before.

“Everybody Sport and Leisure, our new leisure trust, is set to develop more leisure services over the next decade because it has the freedom and flexibility to innovate – and this is what is so important.

“All councils must innovate to become less financially dependent on central government funding – and we are leading the way on this and will continue to do so.

“This is about delivering more for less and providing better services for our residents. Our staff have never had such an opportunity to innovate in such a way and for staff, who are on that journey with us, morale is high as a result.

“There is now an opportunity for staff to work with us to shape their own future.”

Following a review, a decision was taken by the Cheshire shared services joint committee to bring services currently provided by CoSocius back under the remit of Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester councils.

The ICT service will now be provided by Cheshire East to both councils and the finance and transactional HR services will be provided to both councils by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Staff working in these services, will be transferred to one of the two councils starting in April 2016 or sooner. In the meantime, CoSocius will trade as normal.

Dave Hudson, managing director of CoSocius, said: “The committee acknowledged that CoSocius had made progress in a number of areas and contributed to the success of other areas of both councils. However, the changing environment meant that many aspects of the company’s original agreed business plan had needed revisiting.

“I would particularly like to thank all the staff at CoSocius for their significant contributions and hard work over the last 18 months.”

Sunday, 11 October 2015

New mural in Crewe.

Reporter . Jonathan White, Wistaston 

A stencilled mural has been painted in a repeated pattern onto the face of the main walkway of the Royal Arcade in Crewe town centre. The walkway connects Queensway to the Bus Station and had been vandalised with graffiti. Local teenager Sean Moulton brought its plight to the attention of property developers Redefine International.

The mural contains drawings by pupils from Edleston Primary School and Wistaston Church Lane Academy and includes the Bentley Motors logo, Joey the Swan, Queens Park, a train, a football and Joseph Locke who was the civil engineer responsible for laying out the original town.

This regeneration project is supported by Crewe Town Council and Cheshire East and the artwork was adapted by One Red Shoe.

It will be officially unveiled to the public on Monday 19th October 2015.

Crewe mural - Royal Arcade walkway (1)

Saturday, 10 October 2015

River Rhine Bike Ride

Reporter J White

Ben Reinhardt and Jim Forkin, from Crewe and Willaston respectively, have cycled the length of the River Rhine - a total journey of 922 miles.

They started their ‘Riding the River Rhine’ journey at the source of the Rhine in the Swiss Alps at Lake Toma, and during fifteen days in September they followed the river as it flowed through Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France to its mouth into the North Sea at the Hoek van Holland in the Netherlands. They contended with heavy rain and high temperatures; whilst maintenance issues included a new wheel, a new tyre, five punctures, along with a rebuilt front axle and pedal crank.

Their magnificent achievement has thus far raised over £900 for the charity Bloodwise (http://www.bloodwise.org.uk , formerly known as Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research).

Ben, who is also a committee member of Bloodwise (South Cheshire Branch), said, “Myself and Jim had to battle the elements, the issues with our bikes and the terrain. However, it was worth all the effort as we have raised several hundred pounds for Bloodwise. We would like to thank all the generous people who sponsored us for our ride, as we know that it will help the charity to continue to find cures for blood cancers.”

Liz Boffey, Chairwoman of Bloodwise (South Cheshire branch) said, "Bloodwise South Cheshire are incredibly indebted to Ben and Jim for their awe-inspiring bike ride. Their ‘Ride The Rhine’ challenge has been achieved on time and is a fantastic tribute to all their hard work. Every penny that is raised goes into researching all the 137 blood cancers.”

Ben and Jim are still accepting sponsorship money, so if you would like to sponsor them online please visit: https://bloodwise.org.uk/fundraising/riding-river-rhine

Riding the River Rhine – l-r – Ben and Jim arrive at  the North Sea

Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service October 2015 E-Newsletter - Firelink

Subject: Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service October 2015 E-Newsletter - Firelink


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


Are you ready for winter?

Most incidents in the home can be prevented by using common sense and taking precautions.  Winter, particularly, can be a dangerous time with the higher than usual use of candles, electrical appliances and more hazardous roads.

The Service supports national initiatives that help our communities to understand just what precautions they can take to keep them and their loved ones safe.  Here are ones we have been supporting since the last newsletter.

Candle fire safety

With the days growing darker and winter setting in, a few candles scattered round the room can lend a warm glow to an evening. But with candle fires resulting in around 350 casualties each year, we would like you to take extra care with candles this winter - nearly 40% of all fires started by candles result in a death or injury.

Find out more - Candle fire safety

Carbon monoxide awareness

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can be fatal or cause permanent damage to your health.  CO is produced when carbon fuels don't burn completely. It has no smell or taste and, in large quantities, it can kill very quickly. 

Find out more - Carbon monoxide awareness

Electrical fire safety

Electrical appliances have become a staple of modern life - from fridges and phones to toasters or the TV, it's hard to think of how we would get by without a few electrically-powered essentials.

Find out more - Electrical fire safety

Get your chimney ready for the winter

With the colder, winter months looming, people will begin to start using open fires and their chimneys again.  In order to keep you and your family safe from fire, you need to take necessary steps such as ensuring your chimney is swept regularly, depending upon what fuel you burn and we would urge all householders to have a working smoke alarm in their home.

Find out more - Get your chimney ready for the winter

Is your car ready for winter?

Cheshire firefighters will be out and about around the county, offering drivers the chance to have their cars checked before the colder weather sets in. Along with partner agencies, firefighters will be carrying out free safety checks on cars as part of their continuing campaign for safer roads in Cheshire.

Find out more - Is your car ready for winter?


Change your clocks and check your smoke alarms

Cheshire residents are being urged to check their smoke alarms as they prepare to turn the clocks back.

The clocks go back at 2.00am on Sunday 25th October and, as summer time officially ends, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to prepare for the autumn and winter by checking their smoke alarms.

Find out more - Change your clocks and check your smoke alarms


Bonfire Night - list of organised bonfires in Cheshire

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to encourage residents to attend an organised bonfire this year, because most injuries throughout the bonfire period occur as a result of people building their own bonfires, and setting off their own fireworks.

If you would like to add a community bonfire to the list on our website, please email digital-media@cheshirefire.gov.uk

Find out more - Bonfire Night - list of organised bonfires in Cheshire

Bonfire Night safety tips from Fireman Sam

Follow Fireman Sam's top 10 safety tips to make sure you have a safe Bonfire night.

Here's a fun way to make sure your family is safe on Bonfire Night - watch this series of videos to take some tips from Fireman Sam.

Watch the Bonfire Night safety tips from Fireman Sam


National Burn Awareness Day


National Burn Awareness Day takes place on 21st October 2015. The aim of the day is to raise awareness and reduce the number of burns and scalds each year. 

Cheshire firefighters fully support Burn Awareness Day’s goal of preventing injuries

Find out more - National Burn Awareness Day


Fire Station open days

Two of our fire stations are holding free fire station open days in October. Widnes Fire Station Open Day on 10th October and Alsager Fire Station Open Day on 25th October.

Find out more - Fire Station open days

Find out about your local fire station - where it is, what open days or special events they are holding and how to get in contact with them.

Find out more - Your local fire station

Council sets out intentions for future consultations and engagement on Local Plan

 

Cheshire East Council has set out its intentions for future consultation and engagement on its Local Plan.

It came on the first day of the resumed hearings of the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy examination (Tuesday, October 6).

If, as expected, all goes according to schedule with the hearings held during October, the Council intends to hold a period of full public consultation over the winter. This

consultation will address:

● New and amended strategic sites;

● Suggested revisions to Local Plan (chapters 1-14, 16 and 17, plus appendices).

The timing of any consultation will be subject to satisfactory progress with the examination process this autumn. Further interim views are expected from the Inspector during the second half of November, which will then guide subsequent stages.

It is anticipated that the outcome of any consultation over the winter will be available to inform a further set of resumed hearings in the spring (2016). This will deal with any further issues on strategic growth and development, plus a number of sessions on individual sites.

Assuming progress continues to be made, a further period of consultation will also follow the publication of proposed modifications later in 2016.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member in charge of the Local Plan, said: “This Council is committed to ensure that development is appropriate, planned and sustainable. Moreover, we understand the need to thoroughly engage with communities and stakeholders.

“The hearings held during October will consider if the evidence prepared by the Council properly addresses the Inspector’s concerns.

“It’s only if it does that will it be appropriate to put forward the material for consultation. Once we have that indication from the Inspector, we will welcome everyone’s views on the evidence and revisions that flow from it.

“We will also be seeking views on a selection of new sites to help meet the increase in homes and jobs across the Borough. It is important to state that there is not a preferred list for development at the present time – but rather an indication of the sites currently under consideration. ”

Council joins forces with Cheshire Anti-Slavery Network to tackle rising problem

 

Cheshire East Council is teaming up with partners across Cheshire to tackle modern slavery with a two-week campaign around World Anti-Slavery day on Sunday, October 18.

The campaign will raise awareness that modern slavery is on the rise with a 47 per cent increase in the number of victims in the UK since 2012. It includes sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, forced labour and domestic servitude.

Slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. The facts around the scale of the problem are disturbing and include:

  • Every fourth victim is a child;
  • Sexual exploitation accounts for 42 per cent of victims with 20 per cent of these being children;
  • Labour exploitation accounts for 36 per cent of victims with 75 per cent of these being men; and
  • One in 10 are victims of domestic servitude, with a chilling 24 per cent of them being children.

Common areas of labour exploitation include factories, food processing plants, labouring, restaurants and agriculture. The signs of the various types of slavery are often hidden making it hard to recognise potential victims.

Victims can be any age, gender, ethnicity or nationality. Common signs include:

· Appearance – does the person look unkempt, malnourished and withdrawn? Are they injured? Do they were the same clothes and lack personal possessions?;

· Behaviour – do they appear withdrawn and frightened, unable to answer questions and speak for themselves? Can they speak English?;

· Fear of the authorities – are they scared of the authorities and emergency services?; and

· Medical care – do they have old or serious untreated injuries or medical conditions.

Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “There’s a misconception that modern slavery is a problem that doesn’t affect the UK. Slavery is closer than you think and we all have an important role to play in being vigilant to the signs and reporting concerns to the police.

“I would encourage everyone to have a look at the modern slavery website www.modernslavery.co.uk to be aware of the signs.

“If you have suspicions, and if it’s urgent, you can call the police on 999 or if it’s not urgent call 101. Alternatively call the modern slavery helpline on 0800 0121 700. Reporting your concerns could literally save a life.”

415 EU citizens allocated social housing in Cheshire East in last 10 years.

 

UKIP Cllr Brian Silvester has criticised the amount of social housing in Cheshire East (CE) that is going to EU nationals.

He said, “In last 10 years 415 EU citizens have been allocated social housing in Cheshire East and there are another 401 on the waiting list. At the present time there is a huge demand for social housing. There are 7067 on the waiting list, including 1508 over age 55 and 16 ex armed services (See attachment and below)

I think priority should be given to British born residents. It is the policy of UKIP that those coming to work in the UK should have accommodation arranged before they come. They should not be taking up homes that should be for the local population, most of which have lived in the area all their lives. I feel particularly strongly about EU citizens being given priority for over member of the armed services who are seeking accommodation. The armed services risk their lives to protect us and it is our duty to look after them when they are in need.

Sadly whilst we are a member of the EU,citizens of the EU have the same right to apply for social housing as the indigenous population. We can only change that by voting to leave the EU when the referendum comes.”

Cllr Brian Silvester

UKIP Councillor

Warning to be vigilant following reports of drink spiking incidents in Nantwich

Subject: Warning to be vigilant following reports of drink spiking incidents in Nantwich


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Police are investigating a series of alleged incidents that appear to be linked to drink spiking in the Nantwich area.
A number of incidents have been reported to Cheshire police, and officers are currently investigating the circumstances.
Patrols have been stepped up on peak evenings to offer reassurance and a visible presence to ensure revellers can enjoy their evening safely. Officers are also engaging with Leighton Hospital, North West Ambulance Service, local taxi drivers and staff at licenced premises to raise awareness and encourage reports of vulnerable people to be made to the police.
Crewe Local Policing Unit Chief Inspector Gareth Lee said: “We have taken a number of calls in the last week reporting incidents that are thought to be linked to possible drink spiking. We are taking these reports seriously and, working closely with local licensees, we’re conducting a thorough investigation into each.
“At this point we are trying to establish the full circumstances, but I would remind everyone that Nantwich still remains a safe and enjoyable night out for the vast majority of people.
“Thankfully, incidents of this nature are generally rare but they can and do happen so I would urge anyone who is planning an evening in the town to be vigilant and stay safe.”
Tips to help avoid falling victim to this type of crime include:
• Keep a close eye on your drink at all times, and never leave it unattended
• Do not accept drinks from strangers – ensure you know exactly what your drink is and where it came from
• If drinking from a bottle, keep your thumb over the top
• Stay among your friends and look out for each other
If you suspect that you or a friend has been targeted, or you have witnessed anyone acting suspiciously in this way, please contact Cheshire police on 101. If you someone you know is experiencing the effects of a spiked drink, call 999 immediately.

CEC Leader’s reaction to Prime Minister’s conference speech:

 

Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones has welcomed the Prime Minister’s promise to build a further 200,000 affordable homes, as outlined in his keynote speech today.

The Borough, which is hailed the ‘best place to live in the North West’ for the second year running, has re-branded itself as a major contender for growth since its inception in 2009.

The Council is confident its bid to host an HS2 transport hub at Crewe will see an extra £3.5billion plus investment into the Borough, with neighbouring councils set to benefit also.

More jobs mean more homes will be required and the authority is already gearing up for opportunity to deliver plan-led growth through its many initiatives and investment programmes.

Councillor Jones said:  “We are already delivering low-cost homes as part of our development growth plans and it’s important to have the right homes in the right place at the right price.

“We are looking to supply low-cost homes to the market through our Affordable Homes Company.

“The Prime Minister’s promise to deliver the backbone of what this Borough needs – in terms of housing to support our rapid growth and to help the more vulnerable in society – is welcome news.”

“The Prime Minister’s speech leads the way forward to tackle the problems of today – emphasising our social liberalism. In simple terms: everybody matters and everybody now has hope and everybody should be safe and must be safe – and that is what we heard today.

“The details are bigger than the words. Cheshire East fully supports the prioritising of safeguarding, the prioritising of housing and prioritising of creating opportunity for all – and we are looking forward to helping achieve and implementing the targets signalled in the Prime Minister’s speech today.”

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Freecycle Alert

Subject: Action Fraud - Freecycle Alert


This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Fraudsters are targeting online advertising platforms where items are acquired for free. The fraudsters will list items on the website and advise any purchasers that they have recently moved from the area they were originally living in and can arrange a courier to dispatch the items for a fee.
The payment requested for this service is usually via Money Transfer such as MoneyGram or Western Union, or an e-money voucher. The items they were promised are not received and any attempts to contact the individual to gain a refund are unsuccessful.
Protect Yourself:

  • Stay within the auction guidelines stipulated on the website.
  • Ask to view the item in person.
  • Be cautions of making advance payments to a stranger via Money Transfer or e-money products.
  • If the item advertised seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

Crewe by the Wistaston Singers.

Reporter  Jonathan White, Wistaston

The Wistaston Singers performed a fund-raising concert on the evening of Saturday 26th September 2015 at the Parish Church of St Andrew on Bedford Street in Crewe.

Phil Houghton was the Musical Director and also introduced each song and soloist. The programme included soloists Fred Allman, Chris White (ukulele), Phil Houghton (church organ), Ann Farrington (piano) and Jane Hale (flute). Fred Allman, Linda Walker and Liz Wood were involved in various duets.

The choir sang Sound ye Trumpets (Clarke), Get Me to the Church on Time (Lerner & Loewe), My Fair Lady compilation (Lerner & Loewe), Can You Feel the Love Tonight (John), Flying Free (Besig), Deep Harmony (Parker), You’ll Never Walk Alone (Rodgers), tribute to Queen compilation (Brymer), South Pacific compilation (Rodgers & Hammerstein), Love Changes Everything (Lloyd Webber) and A Clare Benediction (Rutter).

The audience were invited to participate in If You Were the Only Girl In the World (Ayer), Singin' in the Rain (Freed), You Made Me Love You (Monaco), Jerusalem (Parry) and Cwm Rhondda (Hughes).

Refreshments were served during the interval. The £185 raised at the concert will go to the Church restoration fund.

Musical Director Phil Houghton said, “We were delighted to sing at St Andrew’s Church and thank them for their hospitality. It was an evening that was enjoyed by all and we thank everyone for their support.”

The Wistaston Singers remaining concerts this year are at Port Sunlight on Saturday 7th November and a Christmas Concert at St Stephens Church, Gainsborough Road in Crewe on Saturday 12th December (3pm).

Wistaston Singers at the Parish Church of St Andrew - Sat  26-9-15 (2)

The Wistaston Singers were originally formed by members of the choir at St Mary's Parish Church, Wistaston in May 2000 and now number over forty members singing four-part harmony music. The choir perform a variety and eclectic choice of music ranging from choral church music and anthems, Gilbert and Sullivan items, music from the shows, music from modern composers such as John Rutter encompassing from the 15th century to the 20th century. They perform up to five concerts a year at various venues in south Cheshire. The choir is also available to perform at weddings in the area. The choir rehearse weekly in the parish rooms of St Mary's Church, Nantwich on a Wednesday evening from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. New members are welcome and further details may be obtained from Choir Secretary Jill Oakes, Tel: 01270 662940 and email:jillandjohnoakes@uwclub.net

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Benefit cheats ordered to repay £15,000 fraudulently claimed in scams

 

Two fraudsters who falsely claimed more than £15,000 in benefits between them have been successfully prosecuted by Cheshire East Council.

The pair will now have to repay in full all the benefits they claimed by deception.

Amanda Edge, of Marshfield Avenue, Crewe, pleaded guilty before South and East Cheshire Magistrates Court, sitting at Crewe (on September 30, 2015), to falsely receiving housing benefit, Council Tax benefit and Council Tax support totalling £7,565 to which she was not entitled.

Edge, 44, had claimed the benefits on the basis that she was on a low income. However, an investigation by Cheshire East Council’s benefit fraud investigation team found she had not declared to the authorities that her income had increased – and had fraudulently claimed the benefits for more than four years.

Magistrates sentenced Edge to complete 60 hours’ unpaid community work. She was also ordered to pay £575 court costs and a £60 victim’s surcharge and will have to repay in full the overpaid benefits.

In a separate prosecution, Jenna Goodall, of Harrison Drive, Crewe, pleaded guilty before Crewe magistrates (September 23), to obtaining housing benefit to which she was not entitled.

Goodall, 28, had falsely claimed the benefits saying she was on a low income. However, an investigation by Cheshire East Council’s benefit fraud investigation team discovered she had failed to declare an increase in her earnings.

In failing to declare this, she was overpaid state benefits totalling £7,571.

Magistrates ordered Goodall to pay a fine of £495, prosecution costs of £500 and a £49 victim’s surcharge. In addition, she will have to repay in full all the benefits she fraudulently received.

Both prosecutions were brought by Cheshire East Council’s legal team.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet member for communities, said: “We are an enforcing Council and we are committed to stopping people from unlawfully helping themselves to taxpayers’ money.

“Benefit fraud will not be tolerated. The defendants in these cases thought they could get away with claiming benefits they were not entitled to – but they were making a very big mistake and will find themselves worse off as a result.

“They have ended up with criminal convictions for a serious offence of dishonesty and now each face a big bill to repay the money they have fraudulently claimed.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy towards benefit fraud because we are determined to ensure that the benefits system works for people who really need help.”

Since January 1 this year, Cheshire East Council has uncovered more than £890,000 in benefit fraud and prosecutions have led to 30 criminal convictions.

The Council has also imposed 24 penalty notices and issued 24 cautions. All the fraudulently received monies are being recovered and repaid by the offenders.

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

MP’s 165th Bulletin

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to this, my 165th news bulletin.Broadband switch-on at Hunsterson

I recently had the opportunity to attend the switch-on of fibre-optic broadband services to homes in Hunsterson, one of the growing number of communities that have benefited from the Government's plans to extend superfast broadband connections to as many homes and businesses as possible.
The Government and local councils like Cheshire East are investing £1.7 billion of public money to bring these fast connections to places that would otherwise miss out. In August, it was announced that we had reached 3 million homes and businesses in the UK, over and above those already reached through commercial roll-out programmes.
I thought you might like to know what progress we have made in our local area. Crewe and Nantwich is part of the Connecting Cheshire programme, which has been allocated more than £6.1m of government funding for the first two phases of the Superfast Broadband Programme.
In Crewe and Nantwich constituency there are 49,984 homes and businesses. Of these, the estimate is that currently 45,046 premises have benefited from superfast coverage through commercial roll-out.  A further 3,585 will receive it by June 2017 under the taxpayer-supported programme, of which 2,988 have received coverage so far.
In the three months to June specifically, 1,172 premises gained broadband coverage as a result of the Phase 1 and/or Phase 2 projects, in postcodes across CW1, CW2 and CW5 – swiftly followed by the homes served by the ‘remote node’ I visited in Hunsterson.
That’s great news for residents who have already been connected, and a big step towards 100% complete coverage for our area.


Edward Timpson MP
Member of Parliament for Crewe and Nantwich
Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me, or if there is anything I can do to assist you.

Since my last e-mail, I have...

  • Attended this year's biggest-ever Nantwich Food Festival, and congratulated Deborah Robb and her team of organisers, who have made the event such a great success.
  • Unveiled the brilliant artwork created by the pupils of Hungerford Primary Academy for the newly-refurbished waiting room at Hungerford Medical Centre
  • Taken my family to the first 'Crewe Chronicle Family Fun Day', organised by our local newspaper and supported by a fantastic selection of local groups, performers and businesses.
  • Met with Daid Terry, Principal of the new Crewe University Technical College, which is now accepting applications from young people for admission in September 2016.
  • Visited Sir William Stanier School, to catch up with students and staff.
  • Met with Alison Ross, Police Inspector for the Crewe LPU, the local policing unit that covers Crewe and Nantwich.
  • Visited Ruskin High School, where I was pleased to be a guest at their Macmillan coffee morning, which raised more than £830 for this important charity.
  • Held two of my regular constituency advice surgeries - remember, you can get in touch if you would like to speak to me about any issue of concern.

Hungerford Medical Centre

Photo: New waiting room at Hungerford Medical Centre
I was pleased to officially open the refurbished waiting room at Hungerford Medical Centre, including the unveiling of this artwork by the talented pupils of Hungerford Primary Academy, whom the practice commissioned to brighten up the area.

Parliamentary expenses watchdog apologises for mistake
You might have read recently that IPSA, the agency that scrutinises MPs' expenses wrongly included me on a list of MP debtors. IPSA's Chief Executive wrote to me to apologise for their mistake and to set the record straight, for which I am grateful.
Read more:

Hungerford Medical Centre

Photo: Cheshire MPs meet police chief constable and commissioner
With other Cheshire Members of Parliament, I met Chief Constable Simon Byrne and PCC John Dwyer in London recently, to talk about the work that is going on across the County to keep our crime rate as low as possible.
You can get updates from our local police in Crewe and Nantwich by following @PoliceCrewe on Twitter, and if you have any concerns about crime or community safety locally that you would like me to look into, I would be very happy to take them up with our police force.

MP backing Royal Mail dog attack campaign
MP Edward Timpson has backed Royal Mail’s Dog Awareness drive, following news of 11 attacks on postmen and women in the Crewe and Nantwich constituency.

Bentley gearing up for £40m expansion
Bentley Motors has submitted the first planning application for its multi-million pound expansion plans, creating 300 new jobs at Pyms Lane.

Citizens Advice services praised
Edward Timpson MP has praised staff and volunteers at Crewe Citizens Advice. Edward met people from across Citizens Advice at a recent event in London.

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