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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

STATEMENT RE: Monitoring officer


A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council, said: “The council’s Director of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer, Bill Norman, has today tendered his resignation with immediate effect.  Mr Norman’s resignation has been accepted. Recruitment to the permanent position of Director of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer will be progressed as soon as is practicable.

The Chairman of the Investigation and Disciplinary Panel said: “The IDC met today and, as a result of this resignation, has concluded its business with regard to Mr Norman.

Cabinet connects with local communities


Cheshire East Council’s cabinet has toured the borough this autumn – meeting local community groups and visiting the newly-appointed Connected Communities centres.

The tour was designed to give cabinet the opportunity to see the results of various projects and initiatives and also get to hear first-hand some of the challenges that people and communities have in their areas.

This autumn cabinet has visited:

● Macclesfield’s Senior Citizens’ Hall;

● Queens Park, Crewe;

● The Georges Community Centre, Crewe and the over-50s club

● The Welcome Café, Knutsford (Connected Communities centre);

● Congleton Town Hall;

● St John’s Church, Weston Estate, Macclesfield (Connected Communities centre); and

● Audlem Village Hall (Connected Communities centre).

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of the council, said: “As the team taking decisions on behalf of local communities, it is absolutely vital that we keep in touch with what’s happening on the ground and see where things are working and where there needs to be improvements. 

“Sometimes the decisions are really tough ones – but knowing our communities well and working with them really does make a big difference when it comes to doing the best for everyone living and working in the borough.”

The council set out its Connected Communities Strategy in December 2016. This explains how the vision to make the borough a great place to live, work and visit is linked to how the council will work with communities to ensure that the right services are in the right places.

The council also pledged £150,000 to support the opening of 30 Connected Communities centres across the borough, encouraging local neighbourhood partnerships and community centres to increase the number of services available at their centres and provide a valuable local resource for everyone. Each centre also helps people to access the council’s new ‘Live Well’ community website, where there is information and contact details for a whole host of local groups, support services, leisure and health activities.

The Rev Tim Robinson, of St John’s Church, Weston Estate in Macclesfield, said: “Becoming a Connected Communities centre is already paying dividends.

“Having Cheshire East cabinet hold their meeting at St John’s, and find out what is going on at this local venue and how we are aiming to serve this community, is providing us with confidence to do even more.”

Wishing Well Project general manager Charles Maines said: “We were pleased to welcome Cheshire East cabinet members to The Georges Community Centre in Crewe. It is always good to meet with our councillors and showcase the great work our team do here at Wishing Well.”

Cllr Bailey added: “We would like to say thank you to all those people in our communities who work or volunteer to make local services ‘happen’ – to provide care, support, friendship, health and fun to so many people in our area. It is something which is inspiring to witness and be a part of.”

For more information on the council’s work in communities, including neighbourhood partnerships and the new connected communities centres, visit the council’s website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/communities or email: Communities@cheshireeast.gov.uk or phone 01270 685880.

Council leader salutes staff as icy blast grips borough


Almost 1,000 tonnes of salt were used to treat Cheshire East’s roads over the weekend after heavy snow and freezing temperatures hit the borough.

Snow began to fall in Cheshire East on Friday, with much of it seen in the south and west, as well as on high ground.

Since then, highways teams have been working round the clock to keep the network moving and have continually been monitoring the weather conditions.

On Saturday, highways teams carried out four full treatments of the network and hand gritted in town centres. Yesterday, treatments were carried out in the morning and afternoon, with four routes in the south receiving an additional treatment.

Highways teams also stepped in and ploughed along the A534, near the Bickerton Poacher, after a small number of vehicles became stuck in the snow.

Today, the network has already received one full treatment and all main routes are currently clear. Hand gritting is also being carried out in town centre and footpaths are being checked.

The council’s adverse weather desk has also been in action 24 hours a day over the weekend.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, “I’d like to thank staff for their hard work over the weekend in helping to tackle the effects of the heavy snow and freezing temperatures on our roads.

“While we’ve already used almost 1,000 tonnes of salt to treat the road network, we will be receiving fresh deliveries today and later this week and still have more than 4,000 tonnes in stock.

“Almost 750 miles of road are treated each time we grit but we cannot ensure that all roads will be clear of snow and ice. I therefore urge residents to take care in adverse driving conditions or when out walking.

“I’d also like to remind motorists that when we treat the road network, the salts are not fully effective until they are ‘activated’ by vehicles.”

The Met Office has advised that daylight temperatures across Cheshire East will be between 0C and -2C today, falling to between -4C and -10C overnight. Tuesday is expected to be another cold day.

Cllr Bailey added: “It was great to see so many families out enjoying the snow this weekend. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone copes well in cold weather, so keep in touch.

“Elderly friends, family members and neighbours may need extra help and support and I’d urge residents to check in on them where possible. A quick phone call could make all the difference to them.”

To keep up to date with gritting operations, or to view the gritting routes, follow Cheshire East highways on Twitter at: @CECHighways or visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/winter

The service can also be contacted on 0300 123 5020 for any enquiries or to report debris on roads and other hazards.

Businesses offered free advice to help solve their funding puzzles


Cheshire East Council is inviting businesses from across the borough to learn about the business support and funding available for growth projects.

The free-to-attend lunchtime event on 25 January, provided by the authority’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company, will have guest speakers discussing the funding available to help your business grow.

The event will cover the practical support available to improve your chances of securing finance, as well as the government-backed lending scheme Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), which has been set up to provide more than £400m of investment to businesses.

After the speakers there will be a networking lunch, where there will be an opportunity to meet with a range of funding and business support specialists.

Speakers at the Alderley Park Conference Centre event will include representatives of The British Business Bank, The Skills and Growth Company’s ‘access 2 finance service’ and successful grant applicants, who will share their experience of applying and receiving grant funding. This will include a panel discussion from the speakers, with a question and answer session.

Nantwich-based Frank Olsen Furniture will be one of the businesses taking part following their £25,000 funding from the NPIF, which is helping fuel their growth and create new jobs.

To book on the event, which will run from 11.30am to 2pm at Alderley Park, go online at: www.skillsandgrowth.co.uk/events

Alternatively, call the Skills and Growth Company on 0300 1235001.

Cheshire East Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, said: “This event offers expert insight and advice into the range of support available to businesses looking to grow.

“Securing the right finance needed for growth can be difficult and we hope this event will help businesses to build upon their successes by showcasing the range of financial support available to them.”

Winter Wellbeing – accessing the right health services for your needs


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

This week, we urge residents to make sure they access the right health services for their needs.

During the winter months, health services can become overwhelmed through greatly increased demand.

To help limit the impact, it’s important that you are aware of which service is right for you at a given time. The advice is to:

● Call NHS 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it is not a life-threatening situation. You can also call NHS 111 if you're not sure which NHS service you need;

● Call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk;

● Visit a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit if you have a minor illness or injury (cuts, sprains or rashes) and it can’t wait until your GP surgery is open;

● Ask your local pharmacist for advice – your pharmacist can give you advice for many common minor illnesses, such as diarrhoea, minor infections, headache, travel advice or sore throats; and

● Make an appointment with your GP if you are feeling unwell and it is not an emergency.

If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious – get help from your pharmacist. The sooner you get advice the better.

If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics or other medication, don’t forget to pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start, as many GP surgeries and pharmacies will be closed during that time.

Make sure you also speak to your pharmacist about medicines you should have in stock to help get you and your family through the winter season. Also check to see if older neighbours, relatives and friends have the medication they need.

If you do need help over the holiday period, when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 or visit: www.nhs.uk, where you can be directed to a local service that is open.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for health at Cheshire East Council, said: “Residents have a range of services they can access if they feel unwell or need advice during winter. But it’s important that the services they do access are appropriate to their needs.

“You can do your part in helping to take the strain off health services by stocking up on medication before the Christmas holidays, keeping an eye on vulnerable members of the community and ensuring you get help and advice as soon as you start to feel unwell.”

For further winter wellbeing advice, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section. Advice can also be found on the council’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/cheshireeastcouncil and on Twitter at: @CheshireEast

Residents can help friends and neighbours, who do not have internet access, by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.

FiRELiNK for December 2017 from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Servcie

Subject: FiRELiNK for December 2017 from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Servcie


This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

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


Christmas safety

Santa climbing into a fire engine

Give Santa a helping hand this Christmas by following his Christmas safety tips. Many of the things we enjoy during this festive period, such as the fairy lights, candles, paper hats and decorations, can all be fire hazards when proper care is not taken.

Find out more - 12 days of Christmas - fire safety tips


Don't drink and drive

Santa offering road safety tips to a motorist in a car

The annual Christmas Drink Drive crackdown in Cheshire has been launched with a warning to motorists for the festive period.

The key message to drivers is: If you are driving don't drink! If you plan to have a drink this Christmas, please leave your car at home.

For more information - Don't drink and drive


Winter driving safety tips

Of all the seasons, winter requires the most care and preparation if you're to stay safe.  Please be prepared in case the bad weather strikes in your area of Cheshire.

In snow or icy conditions, it will take longer to stop - always drive at a speed appropriate for the conditions.

In winter it's even more important to check your vehicle is well maintained and serviced.

For more information - Winter driving safety tips


Winter warmth - keeping warm keeps you well

Safe and well visit

Being snug and cosy in your home will help protect your health.  Being too cold can cause serious problems for your breathing and lead to bad chests.  Sitting for long periods of time in a cold home puts pressure on your heart and blood circulation too.  This can lead to very serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Older people who may be frail or have existing health conditions are particularly at risk.

We are asking everyone to remember the needs of friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk.

For more information - Winter warmth - keeping warm keeps you well


Have your say on our draft plan for 2018/19

The consultation on our draft Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) for 2018/19 is underway and will last until Tuesday 2nd January 2018. During this time we will consult with the public, key partners and stakeholders and members of staff.

The draft plan follows on from the Service’s second Emergency Response Review, which was initially consulted upon last year and is underway at the moment. Work to examine several options as part of that review continues and are explained in further detail in the draft Plan and summary document, which can be found on our website.

Find out more - Have your say on our draft plan for 2018/19

Farmers Grant Fraud Alert

Subject: Farmers Grant Fraud Alert


This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Farmers Grant Fraud Alert

Payment Diversion Fraud

The purpose of this alert is to provide knowledge and prevention advice to farmers in order to protect themselves from falling victim to ‘Payment Diversion Fraud’. CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) payments are expected to be paid to farmers in December 2017. Information on last year’s payments are easily obtained via the government website allowing fraudsters to know when and how much potential targets will receive.

Fraudsters who purport to be a trusted senior colleague or established customer may request that you change their direct debit, standing order or amend a bank transfer so that the payment can be diverted to a bank account which is in control of the fraudster. Fraudsters will often make the request under the pretence of a highly sensitive or urgent transaction.

Contact is made via phone, letter but most commonly via email (personal or work address) used by the organisation or employee (which has either been spoofed or hacked). The fraudster then provides bank account details into which the monies should be paid.

PROTECTION AND PREVENTION ADVICE:

  • Ensure all staff, not just finance teams are aware of this fraud.
  • Always verify email payment changes to financial agreements with the organisation directly using established contact details you have on file. If called ask the caller to give you a main switchboard number for you to be routed back to them. Alternatively, hang up and call them back using established contact details you have on file.
  • Have a system in place which allows staff to properly verify contact from their CEO or senior members of staff; for example having two points of contact so that the staff can check that the instruction which they have received from their CEO is legitimate.
  • Always review requests to change ‘one off’ payment requests. Check for inconsistencies or grammatical errors, such as a misspelt company name or a slightly different email address. Ensure computer systems are secure and that antivirus software is up to date.

Christmas Carol concert in Crewe

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The Wistaston Singers performed at a Christmas Carol concert on the afternoon of Saturday 9th December 2017 at St Stephen’s Methodist Church on Gainsborough Road in Crewe.

Phil Houghton was the Musical Director and organist and also introduced each carol and soloist. Ann Farrington was the accompanist.

Carols sang by the choir and congregation included ‘Once in Royal David's City’, ‘What Sweeter Music’, ‘See Amid the Winter's Snow’, ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘Silent Night’, ‘While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks’, ‘Torches’, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, ‘It Came Upon the Midnight Clear’, ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’, ‘Gabriel's Message’, ‘White Christmas’, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’, ‘Christmas Lullaby’, ‘Good King Wenceslas’, ‘Coventry Carol’, ‘O Holy Night’, and ‘O Come, All ye Faithful’. The finale was a rousing ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’.

Refreshments were served during the interval.

Proceeds from the concert will go to St Stephen’s Methodist Church and choir funds.

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 21st century. They perform up to five concerts a year at various venues in south Cheshire, plus one concert out of area. 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 always welcome and further details may be obtained from Choir Secretary Jill Oakes, Tel: 01270 662940 and email: jillandjohnoakes@uwclub.net

Musical Director Phil Houghton  conducts The Wistaston Singers

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Christmas Fair’

Reporter J White

An annual ‘Christmas Fair’ took place on Saturday 2nd December 2017 at St Andrew's Church on Bedford Street in Crewe.

The fair had a Victorian theme and there were numerous stalls including a tombola, games, jewellery, cheese, jams, cakes and a prize raffle. Children were able to visit Father Christmas and receive a present from him. There were also children’s activities. Sound Sensations and Pick & Mix provided live musical entertainment. Refreshments were also available. Money raised from the stalls will go to St Andrew's Church funds.

Revd Lynne said: “We've been delighted with the level of support the Fair has received from so many members of the wider community.  We decided this year to offer not only free entry but also free face-painting and visits to Father Christmas, so there have been lots of happy faces here. Huge thanks to all those who have come along and to Fred Allman and the fantastic team of volunteers who organised and made the event run so well."

Forthcoming Christmas events at St Andrew's Church are: Sunday 17th December 2017 (Carol Service, 4pm), Friday 22nd December (Community carol singalong in the church garden – refreshments afterwards, 6pm), Christmas Eve (Sung Parish Communion, 9:30am; Christingle and Crib Service, 4pm; Midnight Mass, 11:30pm); Christmas Day (all age Christmas Communion, 9:30am) and Friday 29th 4pm-Saturday 30th December 3pm 2017  Experience Christmas!   A live telling of the Christmas Story guided by a friendly innkeeper plus lantern making, Muppets, pizza and much more.  All events and activities free of charge.

Weekly services at St Andrew's Church are: Sundays (Said Communion, 8am; Worship and Communion - coffee is served after this service - 9:30am; Evensong or Sung Eucharist, 4pm), Tuesdays (Said Communion, 9am; Open informal worship with coffee and cakes, 6:30pm), and Thursdays (Said Communion - coffee and cakes afterwards, 10am). Saturday Café takes place every week 12noon to 1:30pm with soup, sandwiches & cakes in a relaxed atmosphere.

If you would like to learn more about the work of St Andrew's Church, join the choir or volunteer for any of their community projects please contact Revd. Lynne Cullens on 01270 569000 or lynne.cullens@gmail.com


Human fruit machine stall

Council to consider new streamlined constitution


Cheshire East Council is to be asked to approve a new constitution – to update and streamline the legal framework of the authority and make it more user-friendly.

More than 60 of the 82 elected members of the council have directly engaged in the process, which sees the constitution comprehensively reviewed for the first time since the authority came into being in 2009.

A local authority’s constitution sets out the rules and processes which the council must follow. It determines how decision-making committees are constituted, how decisions are made and how the work of the council is put under the microscope through scrutiny committees and the ‘call-in’ procedure.

The new constitution, if approved at a meeting of full council on December 14, will be posted on the council’s website. 

Councillor Paul Findlow, cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services, said: “We have listened to all the views of members and officers of the council and we have received the expert advice of consultants Bevan Brittan solicitors.

“We believe that the proposed new constitution, which will be flexible and subject to further change where necessary, is fit for purpose, follows best practice and is set out in language that we can all understand.

“I would like to thank all those members and officers who have worked together to modernise and revise this important legal framework for the council.”

The new constitution has been whittled down from 500 pages to less than 300. A report to the council says that while the new constitution will not necessarily meet all of the aspirations of every elected member, it represents a major success and demonstrates how the political groups and officers of the council have worked together to make long-awaited improvements to the way the council operates.

Cabinet agrees steps to boost adult social care services


Cheshire East Council is set to make a number of changes to improve the way it delivers adult social care.

Cheshire East Council is significantly increasing spending on adult social care – investing £10.9m in 2018/19. However, the council faces a significant financial challenge – due to reductions in government grants, rising costs and increased demand for care services.

The council’s aim is to boost the quality, capacity, flexibility, choice, impact and value for money of these services – to deliver the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

The cabinet today backed proposals to recommission care at home, residential care and respite care. This is usual local authority practice.

It also voted to carry out a review of respite care provision, with wide stakeholder consultation, to identify ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness and reduce low occupancy of block-booked beds. 

There are more than 40,000 residents in Cheshire East who look after or give support to family members, friends or neighbours because of mental health issues, disability or problems due to old age.

The council currently spends £37.4m a year on accommodation with care services within the borough and a further £13m on highly-specialised provision in other local authority areas. Additionally, it spends about £13.5m a year on care at home services plus £13.7m on Supported Living services, where housing and support are provided separately.

Respite care

Councillor Janet Clowes, cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “Carers have told us that they want an alternative respite offer to the bed-based services that are currently available. The council is now carrying out a review and consulting with carers and other stakeholders about how the alternative respite provision should be delivered, in order to more effectively and efficiently provide the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

“So, as part of a review of respite provision, we will look at different models of respite support to ensure greater choice and flexibility for service users – such as short breaks and supported living, home-based services, Shared Lives support and respite in an extra-care housing setting.

“The current offer of respite care was intended to enable carers to access respite in a variety of geographical locations. However, there are issues with low occupancy and, as

the system operates on block provision (where providers get paid a block amount of money even if the beds are not occupied) it means that some beds are going unoccupied. There is, therefore, a need to review the current provision, to ensure it delivers real choice, value for money and the best outcomes for respite care users.

“Subject to consultation, some beds are proposed to be ‘block purchased’ to be available all year round to continue to provide geographical coverage across the borough – together with additional beds purchased as and when necessary to meet demand and in the appropriate location. The new provision would begin in October 2018.”

Care at home

The council is to change the way it commissions care at home (domiciliary care) for our local residents. This service will be for adults with less complex care and support needs residing in Cheshire East.

There is a need to transform the care and support offer to ensure Cheshire has greater capacity and flexibility – and an improved range of services that deliver value for money for our residents.  The council is working with local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to explore options to jointly commission care and support services delivered to residents in their home. 

Cllr Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for health, said: “In Cheshire East, we face an ageing population and the borough needs to increase the capacity and capability of care services that enable people to remain living at home longer, reduce the need for a move to a care home and provide timely and appropriate care.

“With our partners, we need to ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate high-quality care and that, together, we encourage care services to improve the care and support they deliver.”

Residential care

Cheshire East is also set to change the way it commissions residential care for people who receive financial support for their care from the authority. Under the new proposals, providers of residential homes will be asked to sign up to a ‘framework’, which will ensure they deliver the highest possible quality, care and support.

Residents who receive financial support for their care will be placed in care homes that meet the quality standards required by the authority. Residents who are already placed in care homes will not be expected to move.

The council is working with South Cheshire and Eastern Cheshire CCGs to ensure the seamless provision of care and support during the transition to new provision which will take place in 2018.

Cheshire East Council has a duty under the Care Act 2014 to promote the efficient and effective operation and sustainability of the care market for the borough.

● If you require further information about care at home contact the council’s Danielle Stuart 01625 374207. For accommodation with care, contact Jonathon Evans on 01270 686403. For information about the review of respite care, contact Jane Stanley-McCrave on 01270 375119.

Cheshire East Council secures three fly-tipping penalties


Cheshire East Council has been successful in securing three fines in a fortnight for fly-tipping.

The penalties come as a result of investigations from Cheshire East’s community enforcement officers in Crewe’s West Street, Mill Street and Swinnerton Street as the council continues its crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

The £400 fixed penalty notices were issued in a two-week period after the council and local communities worked closely together to identify problem areas and provide information.

In all three cases, accurate information from residents living in the immediate areas led to questioning of the offenders and, ultimately, the issuing of fines.

In one of the cases, CCTV footage was used to identify dumped gas bottles, which also led to two other people being given formal warnings.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for safer communities, said: “The council’s campaign to reduce fly-tipping is now truly beginning to see results. With our campaigns team we have worked hard to educate people on the anti-social nature of this offence and, as a result, we have seen a reduction in the amount of waste that is being disposed of inappropriately in the borough.

“Unfortunately, there will always be some people who don’t listen to the strong messages and fail to heed our warnings. There is no excuse for this disgusting behaviour and these three penalties show that we will not stop pursuing people who have ignored our clear and consistent advice.”

Monday, 4 December 2017

Santa Claus has taken time off

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Santa Claus has taken time off from his busy schedule to meet and hand out presents to boys and girls.

He has setup a Nantwich branch of his Grotto upstairs in the attic of the Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge - http://www.nantwichbooks.co.uk - at 46 High Street in the centre of Nantwich.

Santa will be in Nantwich from 11am to 3pm every Saturday and Sunday in December, up to 17th December 2017.

Price = £3 per child, or £5 for two, and each child will receive a small gift from Santa.

It’s the ninth year that Santa has setup his Grotto in the premises.

The event is organised by the Rotary Club of Nantwich http://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/homepage.php?ClubID=305

Money raised will go to the Rotary Club of Nantwich’s allocated good cause.

Rotary Club of Nantwich – Santas Grotto 2017

Investigation and disciplinary committee decision


Cheshire East Council’s investigation and disciplinary committee reconvened today (4 December, 2017) to further consider concerns about officer conduct.

The committee reviewed its previous decisions regarding the chief operating officer and a decision has been taken to suspend him.

The chairman of the investigation and disciplinary committee, said:  “We would stress that suspension is a neutral act taken in the interests of both the council and the individual. It would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage.” 

Appropriate arrangements will be put in place to ensure that the responsibilities of this role are covered.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Inner Wheel Club of Crewe

Reporter J White

l-r Anne Thompson Joint President  Inner Wheel Club of Crewe and Sue Protheroe Treasurer Inner Wheel Club of  Crewe


Inner Wheel Club of Crewe have been filling and collecting shoeboxes over the past several months as part of the ‘Rotary Shoebox Scheme’ http://www.rotaryshoebox.org/ .

Other local groups that have contributed to the Rotary Shoebox Scheme are Haslington Boys’ Brigade, The Dingle Primary School, Vine Tree Primary School, Rotary Club of Crewe and various individuals.

This year has been a bumper year with 247 boxes filled and sent. The shoeboxes will be distributed to children and teenagers in Eastern European countries.

Anne Thompson, Joint President, Inner Wheel Club of Crewe, commented: "Thinking of youngsters receiving no presents on their birthday or Christmas made us sure this was a project we would adopt this year."

Inner Wheel is a group of lively minded women who meet once a month for a meal and to decide on various charitable projects. For further information please visit: https://www.innerwheeldistrict5.com/

Bentley Manor Care Home Grand Christmas Light Switch On!


Are you on Santa’s naughty or nice list this year?

This weekend, Saturday 2nd December, marks a very special weekend for residents and families at Bentley Manor Care Home, Crewe. Not only does the home welcome special guest Laura Smith MP to switch on their Christmas lights but Santa will be in his grotto, with a full complement of  elves, and everyone will have the opportunity to discuss their Christmas lists with him!

This magical Christmas event will be made even more special with the Co-Op brass band kindly attending and playing traditional Christmas music and carols in the garden, which has been especially lit for the Christmas season. Mulled wine and hot food will be served and all are welcome.

Both staff and residents have been working hard to ensure that the home, the gardens and all of the 5 Christmas trees have been beautifully decorated and also, staff and residents have entered into the true spirit of Christmas and been busy thinking of others as this Christmas time approaches. The home has been collecting food parcels for the Salvation Army and residents have been knitting blankets for the dog’s home!

All are welcome to attend this real community Christmas event between 5 – 7.30pm at Bentley Manor Care Home, Sherbourne Road, Crewe CW1 4LB

For further information please contact:

Lee Riley-Owns     01270 259630

Home Manager

Bentley Manor Care Home

Harbour Healthcare

Winter Wellbeing – the 12 scams of Christmas


Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.
This week, we are warning residents to beware of the ‘12 scams of Christmas’.

Fraudsters use the festive season as an opportunity to take advantage of others and each year millions of people in the UK fall prey to con tricks.

Scams come through the post, over the phone, by text message, online and face to face.

Anyone can fall victim, with older and vulnerable adults more at risk. That’s why Cheshire East Council’s trading standards officers are urging people to beware of the ‘12 scams of Christmas’:

1) Online shopping: Fraudsters place adverts on websites and send you emails with offers. Clicking on the links may embed viruses on to your electronic device and scammers can then collect your personal data. Always use reputable websites when buying things online. You should also use different passwords for online accounts and look out for the secure padlock in the website’s address bar when making payments.

2) Christmas e-cards: Cyber-criminals are creating their own e-cards, which you do not want to open as they may contain a virus. Be wary of emails from unknown accounts and report them as spam to your provider.

3) Loan sharks: If you do need to borrow some money this festive season, always use a reputable lender.

4) Social media offers: Fraudsters use popular social media sites to advertise offers in the hope people will click on the advert and be redirected to a bogus website, which often contain viruses.

5) Fake delivery notifications: Fraudsters send emails and postcards appearing to be from the Post Office, or other courier companies, saying you have a parcel to collect. They ask you to call them or click on a link and provide personal information to verify the delivery, which gives the scammer your details.

6) Fake goods: The festive period is a popular time for fraudsters to sell counterfeit goods. The items will more than likely be of poor quality and unsafe. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.

7) Ticketing fraud: Only buy tickets from reputable websites that are secure and show a padlock icon in the address bar.

8) ‘Free’ vouchers or gift cards: There are plenty of adverts on the internet, especially on social media. Many are scams and ask for personal details that scammers can use to access your bank accounts.

9) Service station ‘bargains’: Fraudsters commonly offer electrical items for sale, such as televisions, in car parks at service stations for a bargain price. They will show you a genuine item and when you agree to buy it, they give you a boxed television, which is broken. By the time you have checked it at home, it’s too late.

10) Fake charities: Some people may use the season of goodwill to trick you into giving money to a fake charity. Legitimate charities will have a charity number, which you can verify with the Charity Commission.

11) Banking scams: Scammers may call pretending to be from your bank, stating your card has been compromised and asking for your security or personal information. Never give out your full PIN number or security passcodes and check your bank account regularly for any unknown transactions.

12) Fake bank emails: You may receive an email appearing to be from your bank or insurance company, saying they have a gift for you. Check the URLs of emails to ensure they are genuine before clicking on any links and contact your bank direct. Scam emails are usually littered with spelling and grammatical errors.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration, which includes responsibility for safer communities, said: “We hope our ‘12 scams of Christmas’ advice will help residents to stay one step ahead of fraudsters.

“The effects of scams on victims can quite often be devastating, so it’s important that people are vigilant, especially at this time of the year when scams are more prevalent.”

For further winter-related advice, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section. Advice can also be found on the council’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/cheshireeastcouncil and on Twitter via: @CheshireEast

Residents can help friends and neighbours, who do not have internet access, by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.

Do you speak Patois, Bajan, Hausa, Igbo, or Yoruba?


Adoption Counts are appealing for the African and Caribbean Community to come forward to adopt

Manchester’s and East Cheshire’s regional adoption agency – Adoption Counts, are urging people from the black African and Caribbean communities in the area to come forward and consider adoption.

Children of a black African and Caribbean background often wait longer to be adopted, alongside sibling groups of two or more. While Adoption Counts, the regional adoption agency for Manchester, Cheshire East, Trafford, Salford and Trafford local authorities, has had over 300 enquiries since they launched in July 2017; they are finding it particularly challenging to find adopters who will consider black African and Caribbean children.

While these children may wait longer, black adopters often find a match with their child or children sooner. We welcome mixed couples as well as single people, and it doesn’t matter if you are co-habiting, divorced or widowed, regardless of your sexual orientation.

Sue Westwood, Regional Adoption Agency Manager says:

“Adoption Counts wants to hear from anyone who feels they could offer a child a warm and loving home. The black African and Caribbean community are well known for their family values, compassion and strong community networks”.

Valerie E Campell, Advisor, Children’s Advocate and Community Worker, says:

“It’s increasingly difficult to find adopters in the African and Caribbean community.  There continues to be a persistent lack of available adopters to provide loving homes for our children. Adoption Counts aims to raise awareness in the community with the view to providing a resolution.  It is seeking to secure potential adopters for our Black and Caribbean children.  Our children deserve to have a safe and secure home and the right to prosper in their own community.”

As well the life changing and amazing experience of being an adoptive parent, our adopters will receive vital support and training to help them understand the experiences their children may have faced. We also have support groups for adults and activities days for the children to meet others who have been adopted.

Anyone interested in finding out more about becoming adopters in and around Stockport, Manchester, Salford, Trafford and Cheshire East should contact Adoption Counts on 0300 123 2676 or visit www.adoptioncounts.org.uk.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Care firm supporting Weston Christmas Lights


A Cheshire care firm is backing the Weston Christmas Light Display this year and will be taking many of its clients and staff to enjoy the dazzling illuminations that help to raise funds for The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.

Side by Side Care based in Nantwich has joined other local kind-hearted companies who are supporting organiser Graham Witter. He has put together the festive light display at Carters Green Farm, Jack Lane in Weston since 2013.

Each year, beginning in early October, Graham starts the process of checking, testing and arranging thousands of lights to deliver a spectacular show that delights visitors year-on-year.

The festive display, including 3D animated figures, LED lights and inflatables, was originally put together for his late sister, Jessica. Despite having Cardio-facio Cutaneous syndrome, severe epilepsy and many complex health problems, she loved the sight and sound of the Christmas lights.

Sadly, Jessica, aged 18, passed away in December 2015, so Graham decided to continue the festive spectacular in his sister’s memory. Jessica visited the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice each year for respite care, so this local charity seemed a perfect cause for Graham’s fundraising event.

To show his appreciation, Graham continues to raise vital funds for the organisation and this year hopes to top an amazing £30,000 with the help of sponsors, a festive competition and public donations.

Side by Side Care’s Registered Manager, Matthew Proctor, is delighted to be backing the event, and both staff and clients are excited about visiting the Weston light display.

He said: “We offer home-based care services to a range of different people, some in the final months of their life. But seeing an amazing Christmas light show is something to keep everyone smiling.

“The staff and clients have been chatting about the display for weeks and the office has already been dressed with decorations and lights of our own. Everyone has Santa hats and Christmas jumpers at the ready!

“Perhaps more than most, we fully appreciate what incredible support the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice offers to families, so it’s great to be giving something back and offering Graham a little sponsorship.” 

Across weekends during December, and in the days leading up to Christmas, Santa will also be in his Grotto at the farm to greet children and have Sleigh Selfies taken with visitors.

The Christmas light spectacular runs every day from Friday 1 December to Thursday 28 December, from 6.15pm to 9pm every evening.

For more information about the festive display, visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/westonlightdisplay

Council set to boost flexibility and impact of adult social care services


Cheshire East Council is set to improve the way it delivers adult social care.

Cheshire East Council is increasing spending significantly in adult social care – investing £10.9m in 2018/19. However, the council faces a significant financial challenge – via reductions in government grants, increased demand for care services and rising costs.

The aim is to boost the quality, capacity, flexibility, choice, value for money and the positive impact on the lives of people supported by these services – to deliver the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

The cabinet is due to consider proposals to recommission care at home, residential care and respite care when it meets on December 5. This is usual local authority practice.

Respite care

A review of respite care provision, with wide stakeholder consultation, is also proposed, to identify ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness and reduce low occupancy of block-booked beds. 

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “The current offer of respite care was intended to enable carers to access respite in a variety of geographical locations.

“However, there are issues with low occupancy and, as the system operates on block provision (where providers get paid a block amount of money even if the beds are not occupied) it means that some of the beds are remaining unoccupied.

“There is, therefore, a need to review the current provision, to ensure it delivers real choice, value for money and the best outcomes for respite care users. Subject to consultation, some beds are proposed to be ‘block purchased’ to be available all year round to continue to provide geographical coverage across the borough – together with additional beds purchased as and when necessary to meet demand and in the appropriate location.

“Carers have told us that they want an alternative respite offer to the bed-based services that are currently available. The council is now carrying out a review and consulting with carers and other stakeholders about how the alternative respite provision should be delivered, in order to more effectively and efficiently provide the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

“Therefore, as part of a review of respite provision, we are looking at different models of respite support to ensure greater choice and flexibility for service users – such as short breaks and supported living, home-based services, Shared Lives support and respite in an extra-care housing setting. The new provision would begin in October 2018.”

Care at home

The council is proposing to change the way it commissions care at home (domiciliary care) for our local residents. This service will be for adults with less complex care and support needs residing in Cheshire East.

There is a need to transform the care and support offer to ensure Cheshire has greater capacity and flexibility – and an improved range of services that deliver value for money for our residents.  The council is working with our local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to explore options to jointly commission care and support services delivered to residents in their home. 

Cllr Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for health, said: “With our partners, we need to ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate high-quality care and that, as partners, we encourage care services to improve their care and support.

“We face an ageing population in Cheshire East and the borough needs to increase the capacity and capability of care services to enable people to remain living at home longer, reduce the need for a move to a care home and provide timely and appropriate care.”

Residential care

Cheshire East also proposes to change the way it commissions residential care for residents who receive financial support for their care from the authority. Under the proposed new system, providers of residential homes would be asked to sign up to a ‘framework’, which would ensure they deliver the highest possible quality, care and support.

Residents who receive financial support for their care will be placed in care homes that meet the quality standards required by the authority. Residents who are already placed in care homes will not be expected to move.

Cllr Clowes said: “Cheshire East Council has a duty under the Care Act 2014 to promote the efficient and effective operation and sustainability of the care market for the borough.”

The council is working with South Cheshire and Eastern Cheshire CCGs to ensure the seamless provision of care and support during the transition to new provision which, if agreed, would take place in 2018.

● If you require further information about care at home contact the council’s Danielle Stuart 01625 374207. For accommodation with care, contact Jonathon Evans on 01270 686403. For information about the review of respite care, contact Jane Stanley-McCrave on 01270 375119.

Cheshire East Council among winners at Marketing Cheshire Awards

 

Cheshire East Council has scooped a top tourism award for one of its landmark events at the Marketing Cheshire Awards.

The annual awards, held at Chester Racecourse, celebrated the achievements of Cheshire-based organisations in a glittering ceremony and united some of the most popular tourist attractions in the county.

Cheshire East’s visitor economy was worth £895m in 2016, with 3615 people employed - (full time equivalent 2840).

Cheshire’s Stage Three of the Tour of Britain took place in September 2016 and departed from Congleton, before concluding in Tatton Park, Knutsford. The event generated more than £3.5m for the local economy and 300,000 visitors flocked to towns, villages and local venues in the borough to watch the race.

The organisation of this large-scale event required joint working between many different internal departments at the authority, such as colleagues in highways, public health, communications, and planning, with the cultural economy team taking a lead role to unite the efforts of all stakeholders.

Many other partners including Cheshire police also helped to ensure that the event was a great success. The collaborative efforts of these stakeholders were recognised through this award and displayed the council’s ability to host major public events safely to a high standard.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for finance and communications, who accepted the award, said: “This award is testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone who helped to organise the Stage Three Tour. It brought significant financial and economic benefits to the borough, including a lasting legacy of cycling in the area. The race also received fantastic support from town parishes and local communities, who decorated the route throughout Cheshire East and turned out in full force on the day.

“I am delighted that we have been recognised with this award and to have been able to have joined in the shared celebration of Cheshire’s thriving economy on the night.”

Children rebuild Crewe’s heritage and architecture in Minecraft

Christ Church Tower

A group of young people came to Crewe Library to celebrate the completion of a project to build ‘Crewecraft’.

The town has been recreated with the popular video building game Minecraft, as part of an educational project, part-funded by Cheshire East Council.

CreweCraft, has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with an award of almost £26,000 from the Young Roots Programme – a funding stream to help young people aged 11 to 25 explore their heritage – made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.

To celebrate the completion of building Crewe in Minecraft, 13 young people from Crewe and their families went to a celebration event on Saturday which was also attended by  Mayor of Cheshire East, Councillor Arthur Moran.

Minecraft has captured the imagination of young people who play the computer game to develop their creative and digital skills.

Youngsters aged 10-15 took part part in a series of workshops to recreate Crewe’s historic buildings in three-dimensional digital formats.

Cheshire East Council’s cultural economy team delivered the project with the support of public libraries, Cheshire Archives, Crewe Town Council and the Crewe History Society.

Using the rich archive about Crewe, through Minecraft, young people learnt about the history of the town as they recreated old buildings and landmarks from old town plans and photographs within a digital world, built to scale.

Cllr Stockton, said: “This has been a terrific project which has truly got young people into the spirit of learning about their heritage in a way that relates to them on an everyday level.

“What they have achieved since the programme started shows me that with the right tools for learning and a fascinating subject matter, there’s no ceiling to what they can do. These youngsters should be very proud of their achievements.”

The project is part of the council’s Shift programme, which celebrates and promotes digital learning, skills and development across the borough for all ages.

Participants have developed strong team-working abilities and communication skills, while library staff also learnt new digital skills through the Minecraft map.

Pupils and teachers from Beechwood Primary School attended sessions to take part and learn about the heritage of their local area.

A completed Minecraft map will be available for young people to explore alongside photographs, video and archive material, at Crewe Library from January.

Council launches draft housing strategy and seeks residents’ feedback


Cheshire East Council is consulting on a proposed new housing strategy, setting out the authority’s vision and priorities for housing until 2023.

The council is profiling the value and importance of quality housing in people’s lives, wellbeing, communities and the economy. The consultation begins today (Monday) and continues into the New Year.

The borough’s Local Plan includes provision for a housing requirement of at least 36,000 new homes and 380 hectares of land for business, general industrial and storage and distribution uses up until 2030.

This is to reflect a strong anticipated jobs growth rate of around 1,600 jobs per year, or 31,400 by 2030. Nationally, it is estimated the country needs to build more than 250,000 new homes each year.

Cheshire East has a strong ambition for jobs-led economic expansion and housing is seen as essential to support this continuous growth. The council wishes to see that homes built across the borough are of the right type and are built in the right place, offering a range of high-quality housing that is affordable and meets the needs of young people, families and older residents.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “Our proposed new housing strategy contains our ambitions for facilitating the delivery of affordable housing alongside a robust, well-managed rental and sales market. We welcome the opportunity for our residents to engage with us so that we can develop our thinking further on this important topic.

The draft housing strategy consultation continues until Monday, January 8, 2018.

To view and contribute to the consultation visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/housingstrategyconsultation

or email the strategic housing team at: housingpolicy@cheshireeast.gov.uk or contact strategic housing on 0300 123 5500.

Monday, 27 November 2017

The Rotary Club of Crewe Christmas Sleigh

Jonathan White, Wistaston

Rotary Club of Crewe - Santa  Float

The Rotary Club of Crewe Christmas Sleigh with Santa will be making its annual visit to the streets of Crewe, Wistaston and Haslington in the run up to the big day.

Santa’s full schedule is as follows:

Monday 4th December 2017 - 17:30 Start from The Woodside and cover Elm Drive estate Emmerdale and Windermere.

Tues 5th 18:00 Start from New Life Centre and covers Brookhouse, Salisbury, Manor Way, Bedford St., Earnest St. Claighton Ave.

Weds 6th 17:15 Start from Mountbatten Court and covers Alton St, Moreton Rd, Readesdale, Valley Rd, Langley Dr, Stewart St.

Thurs 7th 17:30 Start from The Georges and covers Bilton Way, Sunneybank, Marshfield Lodgefield Snowden Coppenhall Lane.

Fri 8th 17:30 Start from The Elms Covering Coronation St, Springfield Gardens, Lime Tree Ave, Acacia Ash Rd.

Sat 9th 16:00 Start from the New Life Centre covering Fuller Dr, Broadleigh Way, Charlecote, Westbury, Dunhelm, Millrace. Whitlow.

Mon 11th 18:00 Start from School Crescent covering the Coleridge Way Estate, Bentley Close, Stephenson Dr, Lea Ave.

Tues 12th 17:30 Start from Layby covering Primrose Ave Estate.

Wed 13th  17:30 Start from St Stephens Church covering Ruskin Rd Dane Bank Gainsborough Rd.

Thurs 14th 18:00 Start from Sedgmere Ave covering the Sedgmere Ave and Parkers Rd estates.

Fri 15th 17:30 Start from Yew Tree Rd covering Wistaston Poets estate, Princess Dr, Sandringham, Sandilands, Church Lane.

Sat 16th 16:30 Start from Laidon Ave covering Wistaston, Laidon Ave, Merryvale, Edgewood, Ropebank  Glaisdale.

Sun 17th 16:30 Start from Beechmere covering Rolls Ave, Farmleigh Dr and estates.

Mon 18th 18:00 Start from Cosey Club Haslington and covering Haslington.

Tues 19th 17:45 Start The Captain webb and covering Underwood Lane North, Kestrel, Sherringham, Mablins Lane Wareham, Bleasdale.

A tracker is being used again this year so you can check when Santa will be close to you.

Rotary Club of Crewe are also collecting outside local supermarkets:

Sunday 17th December 2017 - ASDA 10:00 - 14:00.

Thursday 21st ALDI (Nantwich Rd) 09:00 - 19:00

Friday 22nd MORRISONS (Crewe) 09:00 - 19:00

Saturday 23rd TESCO (Crewe) 08:00 -14:00.

Organisations and charities will be invited to apply for funds in the new year.

A Rotary Club of Crewe representative said, “It is a pleasure to see the smiling faces of the youngsters and at the same time raise money to support organisations in the town."

The Crewe Christmas lights switch on

Reporter J White

The Crewe Christmas lights switch on took place on Friday 24th November 2017 in the town centre.

Entertainment on the Market Square was from 5pm to 9pm and included music from TheFunkyChoir.com, Ruskin High School Choir, Ruskin High School Dance Team, Jay Adkins – magician and illusionist, a fire performer, singer Thomas Teago and music from a Zoo DJ. Silk 106.9 helped to compere the event.

There were activities for children and families with a Santa’s Grotto, face painting, Christmas characters, and a mini-funfair.

Crewe Cosmopolitan Food Festival 2017 @ Christmas added a festive flavour to Market Street and Queensway with numerous food and speciality stalls.

Several shops in The Market Centre and throughout town stayed open late, many with Black Friday bargains on offer.

Laura Smith, Labour MP for Crewe and Nantwich and Councillor Diane Yates, Mayor of Crewe thanked everyone for attending the event and supporting the town.

Following a countdown the lights were switched on at 7pm by Councillor Diane Yates, Mayor of Crewe and two special guests – Jade and Millie.

The switch on was followed by a spectacular firework display by local company Blitz Fireworks.

DJ Tony from Zoo kept the crowd in an upbeat mood by playing several classic dance music tunes.

The event was organised by Crewe Town Council in partnership with Silk 106.9 and was enjoyed by thousands of people.

For information relating to future events in Crewe visit: www.crewelife.net

Councillor Diane Yates Mayor of  Crewe welcomes the crowdFire performerFirework display by local company  Blitz FireworksLaura Smith Labour MP for Crewe and  Nantwich thanks everyone for attending the eventSinger Thomas Teago performs on the  stageThe Grinch tries to switch on the  lights and launch the fireworks before the countdown

Shopping Online Safely

Subject: Shopping Online Safely


This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)

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Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Shopping Online Safely

How To Shop Online Safely
Check the web address

Always check you’re on the correct website. Criminals can set up fake websites that have a similar design and web address to the genuine site.

Is it a secure connection?

Web pages you enter personal or financial details into should display a locked padlock sign and have a web address that starts with https. This means your connection to the website is secure.

Phishing

Don't click on links or attachments within unsolicited emails. The number of online shopping related phishing emails increases significantly during the holiday period.

Bank transfers
65% of Action Fraud reports during the 2016 Christmas period were linked to online auction sites. Don’t pay for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.

Event showcases new initiatives to tackle domestic abuse


Cheshire East Council staff, service users and partner agencies joined together to inspire and challenge one another to improve the ways domestic abuse and sexual violence are responded to.

The event held at Middlewich Community Church, which was themed around ‘change’, was organised by the Cheshire East Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership (CEDSAP) and marked White Ribbon Day (November 25), otherwise known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Those who attended the event listened to the experiences of people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence and considered how the services being offered could be changed as a result.

How services can work better together and how people with complex and multiple needs are being supported were discussed, as well as how services are working with those who harm to ‘change the root cause’ of the problem and increase the safety of both adults and children.

Attendees also learned about new tools and resources available to support very young children and those in school and heard from Saskia Ritchie, chief executive of Cheshire Without Abuse.

The charity has been supporting families affected by domestic abuse for 40 years and marked this milestone during a gala dinner earlier this month. During the gala they chose to celebrate the commitment of six individuals, agencies and organisations, who they believe make a significant difference locally in helping to tackle domestic abuse – CEDSAP was one of them.

Saskia said: “Over the last 40 years we are proud to have forged strong relationships with partners as a core member of Cheshire East Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership.

“Events such as this provide an invaluable opportunity for us to get together, share learning and explore new ways of working, so that together we can help more people open the door to safety and support them through the challenges they face.

“Service users are the experts in what help and support is needed, so it’s also important that they help shape all that we do.”

The partnership’s long-term vision for tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence was launched today (November 24). Attendees also heard about Operation Enhance, an early-intervention initiative being undertaken by Cheshire police and the Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) service.

The initiative runs during weekends and Monday daytimes – often the peak periods for reported domestic abuse incidents – and allows the police and IDVAs to see victims in the immediate aftermath of an incident, when they need support to think through their choices and plans to be safe.

A dedicated police officer and an IDVA jointly assess the domestic abuse incidents reported and carry out face-to-face follow-up visits to each victim, providing specialist information, advice and support.

The initiative builds on the range of services already offered in Cheshire East that support both those who are affected by domestic abuse – victims and their families – and those who need to change abusive behaviours.

Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “Domestic abuse can happen to anyone – no matter who you are, your gender, background, what you do or where you live – and tackling it remains a top priority in Cheshire East.

“Events such as today’s inspire new conversations about how we can work with services, users and our partners to help people as early as possible in their experience of an unhealthy relationship – encouraging them to take the first steps to support.”

If you are affected by domestic abuse or you are concerned for someone else, call Cheshire East’s domestic abuse hub on 0300 123 5101 at any time. In an emergency, always call 999.

For more information about White Ribbon Day, visit: www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk

Check your Christmas/New Year bin collections


Cheshire East Council and its environmental services company Ansa are reminding residents to check the dates for their Christmas and New Year waste collections.

Only some households will be affected. For many households, their waste service will continue uninterrupted.

The changes will only affect households whose waste and recycling collection service falls on a Monday or Tuesday.

This year, Christmas Day falls on a Monday, while Tuesday (Boxing Day) and the following Monday (New Year’s Day) are traditional Bank Holidays, meaning there will be no waste collection service on those days.

Residents are asked to watch out for the sticker that will be placed on their bins.

Households affected by the temporary changes will have their collections brought forward or slightly delayed. All waste and recycling collections will return to normal from Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member for environment, said: “Once again the council has kept the interruption to the festive period household waste collection service to the absolute minimum.

“I would urge residents whose collections would normally take place on a Monday or Tuesday, to make a note of the changes in order to help our refuse teams to work as efficiently as possible.

“The festive period traditionally generates far more domestic refuse than usual and so I would encourage householders to help us by making use of our recycling centres when necessary and where possible.”

The council’s household waste recycling centres are open during the holiday period – with the exception of Christmas Day – and residents are urged to make use of the sites to dispose of recyclable and non-recyclable waste, apart from food waste.

For more information about household waste collections during the festive period visit: http://online.cheshireeast.gov.uk/MyCollectionDay/

To check on the council’s household waste recycling centres go to: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/recycling

Faith and hope brings Cheshire East communities together


Cheshire East Council was proud to host a multi-faith conference that brought together people of all faiths and representatives from many local organisations across the area.

The aim of the event was to enable people with a wide range of views and experiences to have a frank, open and honest conversation about all aspects of community life in Cheshire East, with particular focus on race, religion, diversity and access to services.

Cheshire East Council leader Councillor Rachel Bailey attended the conference (on Saturday, November 18) and the keynote speaker was the Rev Charles Kwaku-Odoi, of Manchester Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Network. He shared valuable lessons and advice from their work in the city, where people have overcome challenges following the terrorist attack in Manchester earlier in the year.

One of the key messages was the importance of connecting organisations so they work together, particularly health services and other vital services supporting people at times of crisis and emergency. The Rev Kwaku-Odoi also stressed the importance of learning from others in the region and sharing expertise.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, who spoke at the event, said, “Everyone in Cheshire East has the right to feel safe and to live healthy and peaceful lives. There are now more than 100 languages spoken by residents in our diverse community, so it’s vital that we enable people to share their knowledge and experiences to see where we can work better together.

“I think it’s important to know that we don’t need to be experts to contribute to improving things in our community. Being a mother, carer and retired nurse all help me to bring my unique perspective to supporting local communities and everyone has something to contribute. So, please, do get involved.”

Highlights from the event, held at South Cheshire College, included speakers sharing their experiences of ‘my life in Crewe’.

Elena Cholakova-Pereira is a volunteer ‘Community Connector’, who helps people in her community connect with local services and each other. Elena gave a very powerful talk about the many barriers people can face when trying to access services.

Examples ranged from people struggling with being able to navigate electronic telephone answering services to requiring different forms of registration and documentation before being able to get the help needed – as sometimes this can take many weeks to resolve.

Jubeyar Ahmed, secretary of the Shah Jalal Mosque in Crewe, has lived in Crewe for more than 20 years and spoke of the many nationalities of people who are Muslim and attend the mosque.

Jubeyar encouraged everyone to help improve community relations by celebrating local diversity and enjoying life together in Crewe. Sadly, in recent times, there has been some racial tension and Jubeyar encouraged everyone to try and understand others and build strong, tolerant communities.

The Rev Jennie Wakefield, chair of Crewe Churches Together, shared local experiences of church staff and volunteers helping homeless people in the area and how inspired she was that volunteers always stepped up and supported people who needed help.

All of the conversation and feedback from the faith and hope multi-faith conference will form part of a community cohesion action plan, which is being led by Cheshire East Council.

If you are interested in helping to make things better in your local community, please get in touch in the first instance with Loreen Chikwira, community cohesion manager for Cheshire East Council, at: communities@cheshireeast.gov.uk     or phone 01270 685880.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Employment Fraud Alert

Subject: Employment Fraud Alert


This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

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The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified a number of reports where job seekers are being targeted by fraudsters trying to obtain personal and banking details from them, or requesting money to secure accommodation.

Individuals registering with job seeking websites or searching for jobs on The Student Room website are being contacted by bogus recruitment companies/businesses asking them to complete application and interview forms which request personal details and banking details, as well as copies of identity documents.
In some instances the applicant is invited along for interview, either in person or over the phone, to make the process look as legitimate as possible. This is impacting on students and graduates looking for work both in the UK and overseas. Some job seekers, as well as divulging personal details, have paid money to the fraudsters in order to secure a bogus rental property alongside the job offer.

How to protect yourself:

  • Check emails and documents from the recruiter for poor spelling and grammar – this is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.
  • If visa fees are mentioned, ask the embassy representing the country where you believe you will be working how to obtain a visa and how much it costs. Check that the answers the potential employer or recruiter gave you are the same – if they’re not, it may be a sign of fraud.
  • Carry out thorough research to confirm that the organisation offering you the job actually exists. If it does exist, contact the organisation directly using contact details obtained through your own research or their website to confirm the job offer is genuine.

What to do if you’re a victim:

  • If you think your bank details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately.
  • Stop all communication with the ‘agency’ but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.
  • Warn the operators of the job website you used that their site is being used by fraudsters.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Wistaston Scout Group

Reporter J White

Wistaston Scout Group have produced a fundraising 2018 calendar.

Wistaston Scout Group l-r – Emma Bowkett (Cub) and Gerald Newbrook (Honorary President) with the 2018 Wistaston Calendar

The calendar is the idea of Ellie Newbrook, aged 17 from Nantwich, who is a Young Leader at the Wistaston Scout Group.

Ellie is the granddaughter of Gerald Newbrook who is an original member of the 35th South West Cheshire (Wistaston) Scout Group, a former District Commissioner and is now an Honorary President. Gerald was the first Scout in the South West Cheshire group in 1958 and is still involved in Scouting.

Ellie collated several photographs featuring scenes of Wistaston through the seasons and she has skilfully edited them into a 2018 Wistaston calendar.

The calendar is available from the new Wistaston Co-op Food on Crewe Road in Wistaston, Premier on Kings Drive in Wistaston and A.T. Welch on Hospital Street in Nantwich. Price = £6.50 each or 2 for £10.

Proceeds will all go towards completing Wistaston Scout group's new Scout Centre off Elm Close in Wistaston, so that the next and future generations can experience everything that scouting has to offer.

The facility will be used by 35th South West Cheshire (Wistaston) Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, along with an Explorers (14-18 year olds) group.

Jo Bowkett, Secretary, Wistaston Scout Group said, “We are very proud of Ellie who has produced such a lovely calendar which is proving very popular and is raising much needed funds for the Group’s New Scout Centre. We are also very grateful to local photographers Jonathan White and Simon J. Newbury who have generously allowed us to use their photographs and to the local businesses who have sold them on our behalf.”

Cheshire East Council launches consultation on draft Crewe HS2 Masterplan Vision


Cheshire East Council has today launched a public consultation on its draft Crewe HS2 Masterplan Vision.

The questionnaire is available via the council’s website (see link below).

The masterplan vision document aims to provide a strategic framework for the town, showing how current regeneration plans for Crewe could be built upon through future development, investment and infrastructure to maximise the transformative economic benefits of an enhanced HS2 hub rail station at Crewe.

The draft masterplan vision is based on government deciding to deliver both enhanced rail infrastructure and a hub station at Crewe capable of serving up to seven stopping high-speed HS2 trains per hour, with direct services to Manchester, Birmingham and London.

Together with a programme of investments in the town centre, hub station surrounding area and local highways network, the vision shows how Crewe could be truly transformed for the benefit of communities across the borough – creating potential diverse employment, housing, retail, leisure, cultural and educational opportunities.

The masterplan vision would support the creation of almost 40,000 new jobs over the next 30 years in Crewe alone and facilitate additional economic growth across the surrounding towns in Cheshire East and its Constellation partners in neighbouring authorities.

It would also look to create a new commercial hub around the station housing more than 350,000sq metres of new commercial floor space and deliver an additional 7,000 homes, above existing plans, by 2043.

The public consultation is open until 5pm on Friday January 12, 2018, and you can respond with your feedback on the masterplan vision either by:

● Completing the online survey, which should take 15 minutes, via the link: https://surveys.cheshireeast.gov.uk/s/HS2VisionConsultation/

● Emailing Hayley.Kirkham@cheshireeast.gov.uk ; or

● Writing to Hayley Kirkham, Head of HS2 Growth, Cheshire East Council, 6th Floor, Delamere House, Delamere Street, Crewe, CW1 2JZ.

For any queries about this consultation, contact customer services on 0300 123 50 32.

The six-week consultation follows unanimous approval by Cheshire East Council’s cabinet on November 7 and will be the first phase of the consultation process. The draft masterplan vision will also be shared with key stakeholder groups for their feedback and comments.

FiRELiNK Enewsletter For November 2017

Subject: FiRELiNK Enewsletter For November 2017 From Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service


This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

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


Have your say on our draft plan for 2018/19

The consultation on our draft Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) for 2018/19 is underway and will last until Tuesday 2nd January 2018. During this time we will consult with the public, key partners and stakeholders and members of staff.

The draft plan follows on from the Service’s second Emergency Response Review, which was initially consulted upon last year and is underway at the moment. Work to examine several options as part of that review continues and are explained in further detail in the draft Plan and summary document, which can be found on our website.

Find out more - Have your say on our draft plan for 2018/19


Emergency Services Christmas Carol Concert 2017

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Cheshire Constabulary and North West Ambulance Service are coming together once again for a annual Joint Emergency Services Christmas Carol Concert.

This a FREE event with all welcome, so please bring your family and friends along to Chester Cathedral to join us for the Carol Concert on Tuesday 28th November 2017.

Find out more - Emergency Services Christmas Carol Concert 2017


Brake Road Safety Week

We're supporting Brake Road Safety Week from 20th to 26th November 2017 and the theme this year is Speed Down Save Lives.

In the UK speeding is still a major problem. It causes needless crashes, untold suffering and stops people living safe and healthy lives. That is why we are encouraging everyone to Speed Down Save Lives for Road Safety Week 2017.

Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead – such as a child stepping out from between parked cars - it is a driver’s speed that will determine whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t stop, how hard they will hit.

Find out more - Brake Road Safety Week


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

Black Friday electrical safety advice

Firefighters are warning consumers to shop carefully on Black Friday (24th November) and avoid fake electrical products as they present a serious fire risk.

Find out more - Black Friday electrical safety advice

SEAHORSE SUPPORT PUDSEY


Members of Seahorse Swimming Club in Crewe dressed up in yellow clothing and chipped in money to support Children in Need at their swimming session on 16th November 2017. Some swimmers wore yellow swimwear, t-shirts or socks and one swimmer wore a Pudsey onesie. The swimmers had fun with a ‘best splash’ competition and a 'survival’ taster by removing some of their clothing in deep water. Over £50 was collected on the night with a view to raise more at the Christmas Party. Everyone had a great time with lots of fun and it was pleasing to support a great cause.

Picture attached - Seahorse swimmers and helpers

DSCN3805

Winter Wellbeing – be a good winter neighbour


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

This week, we urge residents to be good winter neighbours.

As the weather turns colder, neighbours who are older or have health problems may need your help and support.

They may not be able to go to the shops, attend hospital appointments or pick up prescriptions when the weather is particularly bad, so please think about what you could do to help them.

Here are a few tips on how to be a good winter neighbour:

● Check on elderly or vulnerable members of the community to make sure they are safe and well;

● Make sure they have enough food and medicines to prevent them having to go out in very cold or icy weather;

● Give them your telephone number so they can contact you for help;

● Check their home is warm enough – living rooms should be heated to 21°C and bedrooms to 18°C; and

● Keep drives and footpaths clear of snow and ice for your neighbours.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for health, said: “Checking in on friends, family members and neighbours this winter can make all the difference to them. A quick phone call or a knock at the door can prevent people from feeling lonely and helps to ease pressure on urgent and emergency health services at a critical time of the year.

“Cheshire East Council and its partners are also here to help throughout the year and there is a wealth of information and support available.”

Residents are also urged to always be on the lookout for signs that something might be wrong with a neighbour, friend or vulnerable member of the community.

Warning signs include:

Milk still out on the doorstep late in the day;

● Newspapers and post stuck in the letterbox;

● Curtains drawn during the day;

● Lights on during the day;

● A home in darkness when there should be someone at home;

● A dog barking all day or the cat scratching to be let in; and

● Bins not put out on collection days.

More information and advice about the care and support available for adults in Cheshire East can be found by visiting: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell and clicking on the associated tab. The resource directory will also help you find support in your local area.

For concerns about the welfare or safety of an adult, call 0300 123 5010
(8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays) or call 0300 123 5022 at all other times, including bank holidays.

If you have concerns about the welfare or safety of a child, call 0300 123 5012 (option three) and you will be directed to the appropriate team. If it is an emergency and you need to contact someone out of hours, call our emergency duty team on 0300 123 5022.

This time of the year can sometimes lead to greater family tensions. If you are affected by domestic abuse and need assistance, or have concerns about someone else, you can call 0300 123 5101 – available 24 hours a day – email: cedap@cheshireeast.gov.uk or text on 07771 941 464.

For further winter-related advice, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section. Advice can also be found on the council’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/cheshireeastcouncil and on Twitter at: @CheshireEast

Residents can help friends and neighbours, who do not have internet access, by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Council unveils its Pre-Budget Consultation Report 2018-21


Cheshire East Council has published a budget report that starts a conversation with residents and other stakeholders about its financial plans for the next three years.

Its Pre-Budget Consultation 2018-21 sets out initial proposals for how the council could target resources more effectively and save money – while achieving a balanced budget. 

It includes a proposal to earmark £2m from the New Homes Bonus scheme which communities would decide how to spend, according to their own priorities.

Cheshire East will now invite feedback from residents, businesses, councillors, staff, town and parish councils and other stakeholders to inform decisions. This consultation will be an ongoing process over the next three years.

The consultation takes place against a challenging national background of an overall public sector deficit – which is being partly met by big reductions in government grants to councils – and rising demand for both adult social care and children in care.

For Cheshire East, this means expected reductions of central government grants, inflationary costs and rising demand totalling more than £70m over the next three years.

The council proposes to meet this financial challenge via a mix of tax increases and changing our service offer. The aim is to make the council financially self-sufficient – by reducing its reliance on central government revenue support grant from £40m in 2015/16 to nil in 2020.

It is proposed to increase Council Tax by 4.99 per cent to invest in essential frontline services. This would add up to £1 per week to the average household Council Tax bill.

Importantly, three per cent of the proposed tax rise will boost services for the vulnerable elderly. It follows a similar 4.99 per cent increase in 2017 and a 3.75 per cent increase in 2016, after five years of Council Tax freeze.

Once again, tough choices will have to be made to ensure Cheshire East can target services to people who need them most. Locally funding services puts control back with local people but also comes with the responsibility to fund them in a sustainable way.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “Funding local services is a huge challenge for councils across the UK as revenue budgets continue to come under severe pressure. This is due to the combined effects of rising inflation, increased demand for services – especially those for adult social care and children in care – and reductions in government funding.

“In Cheshire East the number of residents receiving care and support from adult social care is increasing by four per cent a year and the number of children in social care placements has increased by 17 per cent in the last year, in line with other councils.

“This council will always prioritise services for vulnerable people, despite the financial challenges. This means other services will have to deliver savings. Robust action is being taken across the authority to reduce budgetary pressures and ensure balanced finances – as we have successfully done in previous years. And we will be lobbying the government to ensure future financial settlements will continue to allow us to achieve this, while protecting essential frontline services.

“Against this extremely challenging financial climate, however, it is pleasing to report that the council has continued to perform strongly, delivering positive results in each of the six priority areas identified in our Corporate Plan and continuing to provide value for money – delivering more than 500 services for residents.

“Cheshire East is a high-performing authority and a great place to live, work, visit and do business. Our residents enjoy good living standards and, when they need help from the council, we are consistently recognised as providing excellent services.

“We are aware, however, that local areas have differing priorities and, to support this, the pre-budget report contains a proposal to set aside £2m of income from the New Homes Bonus over the next two years. This proposal would allow local communities to determine how this money should be spent and will be very interested to hear the views of local people on whether this proposal should be set in to the final budget.”

Jan Willis, council director of finance and procurement, said: “This council continues to look for innovative ways to make every pound deliver the best outcome for local people.

“We have a responsibility to work with councillors and other key stakeholders to balance the council’s budgets. There is, however, a fine balance between making efficiencies and still enabling quality services to meet residents’ needs.

“This consultation process presents a good opportunity to develop a resilient set of proposals that strike an appropriate balance between service offer and affordability. I encourage everyone to have their say on these proposals and the executive would welcome any new ideas that would help with the financial challenge and achieve the best outcomes for our local residents.”

To view the council’s pre-budget consultation report, visit the council’s website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

Alternatively, pick up a copy from your local council customer service point or library.

If you have any comments or queries please e-mail: shapingourservices@cheshireeast.gov.uk

The deadline for comments to be included in the consultation report is January 12, 2018, although comments submitted after that date will still inform the ongoing consultation.