Search This Blog

Contact the Blog

Send your news and pictures to the blog here jan@janwright.co.uk

Contact the Crewenews by using our form click here

Phone the Blog 0794-1728819

Join me on the forum below as I am on the staff as Samuria 24/7/365 worldwide support all FREE

 PC Help Forum

'

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Brotherly Love? You Can Count On It


Adopting two children, let alone one, was a life changing decision for Steven and James, who adopted two brothers, aged two and five with Adoption Counts – the new regional adoption agency for Manchester, Stockport, Salford, Trafford and Cheshire East.

National Adoption Week runs from 16th – 22nd October and in 2017 the campaign is encouraging families to adopt sibling groups.

“James and I both have siblings and knew that we would want our child to have them too. It is an obvious help for the child to be placed with their sibling and it can be a help for them to have each other. It also means you only have to go through the adoption process once.

The children were different ages when they were removed from their birth families. Their past experiences are very different and this is mirrored in their personalities and behaviour, which at times can be challenging; but the support we had from our social worker has been invaluable. They love football, swimming and running, and we’re both especially proud of their ability to express themselves so well.

We are three years in now, and we’ve had some great times such as holidays, first day of school, Christmas etc. You receive lots of training, support and advice and the rewards have been amazing. We just can’t imagine our lives without them.”

Adoption Counts is the second regional adoption agency to be established in the UK. This incorporates local authority adoption services for Stockport, Manchester, Trafford, Salford, Stockport and Cheshire East as a new integrated service.

The aim of the regional adoption agency is to provide children with the right adopters at the right time, reduce waiting times, improve timescales, matching, preparation and adoption support, and to approve those equipped to meet the needs of children waiting.

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.

Council to consult on revised home to school travel policies


Cheshire East Council has agreed to consult the public on a suite of policies for supporting travel to school. 

The proposals would bring the authority in line with many other councils locally and across the country, who have already reviewed their school travel policies in accordance with national statutory government requirements.

The consultation will make clear what travel support the council is required to provide and seek views on what, if any, exceptions it should consider.  Any proposals for exceptions to be considered need to be supported by a clear rationale.

Within the policy there is the proposal to extend direct payments, so that parents who are eligible for travel support can make their own transport arrangements if this is a lower-cost option.  Also proposed is a new training scheme to support young people who have an education, health and care plan, where appropriate, to travel independently to school.

One example within the proposals includes, 8-11 year olds, who at present are given transport to school if they live more than two miles away from their nearest school – where in most other areas, that support is only provided to journeys of three miles or more. 

Currently, children and young people in Cheshire East are given free school transport if their parents have a disability. Elsewhere in the country, this is not offered.

These changes, if ultimately introduced, would reduce the council’s annual £8.9m spend on school transport by up to £570,000 over the next two financial years, aligned with the council’s medium term financial strategy.

Councillor George Hayes, cabinet member for children and families, said: “I would encourage everyone to tell us what they think and provide suggestions on what exceptions the council should consider and why.  This consultation is an opportunity to influence the policies before they are adopted by the council.”

The consultation period runs from Wednesday, October 18, to Friday, November 24.  All the details can be found at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk  in the ‘Have your say’ section or by calling 0300 123 5012.

Take up of borough’s leisure services reaches record levels as investment helps to keep residents active


The take up of leisure services offered by Cheshire East’s charitable trust Everybody Sport and Recreation has reached an all-time high – as more and more residents follow a fit and healthy lifestyle.

The borough’s 13 leisure facilities saw an annual attendance figure of 3.10 million in 2016, beating the previous year’s figure of 2.8 million, while membership of Everybody Sport and Recreation saw a 36 per cent leap in membership to more than 14,800.

There have been more than one million attendances by children under 16.

A report to Cheshire East Council’s cabinet says the trust is key to the delivery of a range of services and ‘outcomes’ for local residents, in particular the outcome that ‘people live well and for longer’.

The trust – which was set up by Cheshire East Council to manage its sports and leisure service. It employs more than 750 staff, who deliver not only leisure and sports development but who also perform the management of the borough’s many facilities.

They also help young people to stay safe on our roads through the ‘Bikeability’ scheme, funded by the Department for Transport, who awarded the trust additional funding of £590,000 to continue the safe-cycling training scheme through to 2020. Staff trained some 5,600 young people in cycling skills in 2016, a substantial proportion receiving training through school visits. 

The trust was established in 2014, with a board of 11 people, including two Cheshire East councillors and a chief executive. In April 2016 it took over the management of the £16m award-winning Crewe Lifestyle Centre, the borough’s first multi-purpose leisure and mainstream services building housing a public library, family and day-care centre.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for health, said: “Everybody Sport and Recreation are to be congratulated on their achievements since taking over responsibility for the borough’s leisure and sports offer in 2014.

“But there is far more to the trust’s success.  Securing the new ‘One You’ Cheshire public health contract, which is valued at £2.5m over five years, reinforces the message that the council – and the trust – wish to see our residents enjoying long and healthy lives with access to quality sports and leisure amenities.

“The high number of children accessing our facilities is very pleasing to see.”

Councillor Andrew Kolker, chairman of Everybody Sport and Recreation, said: “In addition, we have also developed a new leisure and recreation hub at Holmes Chapel Community Centre, we have a new catering arm ‘Taste for Life’ at Wilmslow Leisure Centre and Crewe Lifestyle Centre, plus motivational awards, training and apprenticeship schemes for staff.

“We also look forward to the completion of the £8.8m investment in upgrading the Congleton Leisure Centre, a project due to be completed in 2019 and following on the heels of new gym facilities at Sandbach Leisure Centre, which is due to open this month.

The trust has recorded more than one million visits by children under 16 with 7,000 young people taking part in the ‘learn to swim’ scheme. The trust also helped to deliver carers and family holiday activity programmes and 446 cared-for children took part in swimming, gym and class activities.

To find out more about Cheshire East Council’s sports and leisure offer through Everybody Sport and Recreation go to: http://everybody.org.uk/

Secretary of state backs Cheshire East’s Local Plan in major appeal


The secretary of state has backed Cheshire East Council’s Local Plan and dismissed a major planning appeal by a developer.

The contested scheme was for a mixed-use development including up to 900 new homes on the former Gorsty Hill golf course, near Crewe.

Today, the secretary of state for communities and local government backed Cheshire East’s position that planning permission be refused for the controversial proposals.

In his decision letter, the secretary of state gave ‘significant weight’ to the policies of the council’s recently adopted Local Plan for the protection of the countryside. He also found that, via the adoption of the plan, the council is able to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land.

The lack of a five-year housing supply has been an important factor in appeals being successful for unplanned development in the borough over recent years.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this decision. It is a vindication of our stand against unplanned development.

“The secretary of state has strongly backed the policies of the recently-adopted Local Plan. He has also agreed that the council is now able to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land through the Local Plan.

“This is a very welcome return to plan-led decision making. It is also a ringing endorsement of the council’s efforts to put in place a robust, up-to-date Local Plan which gives the people of Cheshire East its best protection against unwelcome unplanned and unsustainable development.”

Council calls for ban on alcohol advertising on TV before 9pm


Cheshire East Council has called on the government to restrict alcohol advertising on TV.

The authority’s cabinet today called for a 9pm watershed for such adverts in order ‘to protect children and young people from the influence of alcohol advertising’.

The cabinet also restated its call for a minimum-pricing strategy to be introduced as part of measures to help reduce drink-related harm in our communities. The council is to work with other authorities in Cheshire and Merseyside to lobby government on this issue.

Cabinet endorsed council proposals to reduce alcohol consumption via a range of early intervention and prevention activity as part of the Cheshire and Merseyside Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

Alcohol has been identified as one of the leading causes of ill health among local communities. The chronic effects of heavy drinking include cirrhosis of the liver, coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer and strokes.

Today’s moves follow Cheshire East spearheading the launch last week of an initiative to reduce drunkenness across the borough. The ‘Drink Less, Enjoy More’ campaign is primarily aimed at young people aged 18-30 and warns they risk having their night out cut short as bar staff may refuse to serve them – or ending up in casualty or a police cell.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for health said: “We need to protect people – especially our children and young people – from being bombarded with images of alcohol consumption and from easy access to cheap drink promoted by stores.

“Alcohol misuse costs Cheshire East public services more than £136m a year – which is £369 for every man, woman and child living in our borough. And it’s not just the financial cost: alcohol misuse has devastating effects on individuals, their families, friends and local communities. It is a national problem – and it needs action.

“It is clear that self-regulation by the drinks industry is not working and we need government intervention to protect our children from harmful exposure to alcohol marketing. We know this advertising contains content and messages that appeal to children and that, due to exposure to this, children drink more and start drinking at an earlier age.

“There is also a clear link between price and the consumption of alcohol – this is why this council feels that the introduction of a minimum-pricing strategy can form a key part of wider plans to tackle the diverse problems caused by alcohol misuse.

“A great deal of work is being done with our health and wellbeing colleagues across the North West, and we think coordinated action is the right and most effective approach.”

Under proposals backed by cabinet today – which follow a notice of motion moved by councillors Sam Corcoran and Dorothy Flude in July – the council is to write to ministers to urge the government to impose a 9pm watershed for alcohol advertising on TV. 

Evidence suggests that minimum pricing for alcohol would most likely reduce the consumption of heavy drinkers, who tend to choose cheaper drinks. It is expected that consumption among younger people would also be reduced by cutting access to ‘pocket money-priced’ drinks.

Any minimum-pricing structure would need to be implemented through either national legislation or local bylaws. It is felt that a regional consensus would be vital for any local bylaw to succeed, as drinkers could easily travel to neighbouring authorities to buy cheaper drinks.

A minimum-pricing strategy would apply to all licenced premises, including pubs, off-licences and supermarkets.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS) staged an 'Autumn Frolics' variety show on Saturday 7th October 2017 at St Andrew's Church Hall, Bedford Street, in Crewe.

The show featured people from the local community in a variety of acts including dance, acting, singing and music. There were also refreshments during the interval and a raffle.

Proceeds will go to local charities and also provide some funding for their forthcoming panto.

Show Co-ordinator Fred Allman said, “This has been our best variety show yet, and has included people from the local community who have been encouraged by the success of past productions. We're now look forward to our panto 'Aladdin' which will be staged in January 2018."

TAPPS was formed in November 2014 to stage a panto for the local community in the St Andrews church area. Since then the society has grown and includes many people from the local community and further afield, working together with church members. Since the formation the society has staged three pantos, three variety shows and hosted play reading evenings throughout the last three summers. Some members have been involved in dramatic presentations in St Andrews Church. The society enjoys a social life with theatre trips, country walks and other events throughout the year. TAPPS is non-profit making so any money goes to charities and the church - so far TAPPS have given away over £1,500.

For further information relating to TAPPS please phone Fred on 07968829999.

Cast and production team

Cheshire East Highways welcomes latest graduate and apprentices


Cheshire East Council’s highway service is helping young people pave the way to a career in transportation with the latest intake of apprentices and a graduate.

Since the launch of the apprentice scheme in 2012, 34 apprentices and four graduates have joined the highways service on a two-year programme, providing individuals with the skills required for the delivery of highways services in Cheshire East.

This year’s recruits include five young apprentices, from the Crewe and Macclesfield areas, employed in the highway service with four in highway maintenance, one in business administration and a graduate in highways structures.

Apprentices rotate between departments within the highways service and supplement their on-the-job training with studies at local colleges. Successful completion of the apprenticeship and course secures permanent employment with Cheshire East’s highways team.

Councillor Glen Williams, deputy cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “We are delighted to welcome a new group of enthusiastic young people and are committed to training the future of young professionals as we continue to deliver highway improvements throughout Cheshire East.

“The apprentice and graduate scheme has proved successful in growing highway skilled staff since it began in 2012. Ongoing training and support is provided to the individuals and we look forward to working together to help them gain their qualifications.”

Business administration apprentice Maddison Murphy, from Crewe, said: “I’m really looking forward to developing my career in highways and progressing with the training opportunities available. I’m keen to learn and meet new people to give me valuable experience for a future in highways.”

Apprentices and graduates account for seven per cent of employees at Cheshire East highways, exceeding the average in this industry.

Cheshire East Council’s highway service is delivered by Ringway Jacobs, which has committed to the development of young people through its membership of ‘The Five Per Cent Club’. This is an organisation that encourages public and private companies to have five per cent of their UK workforce made up of young people on structured training such as apprenticeship and graduate schemes.

Council launches new homelessness strategy consultation


Cheshire East Council has unveiled its vision of providing affordable housing to lead to a better quality of life for some of its most vulnerable residents.

The three-year homelessness strategy will go out for consultation on Monday, October 16 and the council is urging people to engage with the strategy via a survey on the authority’s website.

The strategy has four key priorities:

· To help people who are homeless to secure appropriate, affordable accommodation;

· To enable more people to remain in their home and prevent them from becoming homeless;

· To provide interventions so that nobody has to sleep rough; and

· To ensure that appropriate support is in place to help people to maintain and sustain their accommodation.

The council has improved on its number of successful interventions to prevent homelessness year-on-year since 2014. This figure, which was 577 in 2014, had risen to 878 by 2016.  For the first quarter of 2017, that figure was 268, suggesting that there will be an an even higher level of interventions for the current year

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “Homelessness is a frequently misunderstood concept. It is a lot more than simply people who are sleeping rough.

“Many people are vulnerable to losing their home and it is vital that this council continues to do everything within its power to support those at risk of doing so.

“We have been extremely successful in finding accommodation for homeless people through the schemes that we commission and will continue to find appropriate solutions for our residents who find themselves in this situation.”

Cheshire East Council’s homelessness team is currently working towards the National Practitioner Support Service gold standard.

Dash cam footage traps unlicensed taxi driver


Cheshire East Council has thanked a Nantwich taxi driver for providing his ‘dash cam’ footage to help trap an unlicensed operator.

Javeed Iqbal, of Coronation Street, Tunstall, Stoke on Trent, was plying for trade on a Hackney Carriage stand in Swine Market, Nantwich. He did not have a licence to operate in the borough.

And he didn’t know that he was being watched.

Another driver – properly licensed by the council, who does not wish to be named – used his dashboard camera in his taxi to record Iqbal’s Stoke on Trent licence plate.  He then forwarded the information to the council’s enforcement team.

Iqbal pleaded guilty to the offence of unlawfully plying for hire within Cheshire East borough and a second offence of allowing his vehicle to wait in a designated Hackney Carriage stand.

Iqbal was fined £133 for each offence by South Cheshire Magistrates at Crewe, with £600 costs and a £30 victim surcharge, making a total of £896.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member with responsibility for enforcement, said: “I want to thank and applaud the taxi driver, who provided us with the important video evidence that helped to bring about this prosecution.

“The licensing enforcement team at Cheshire East is clamping down on taxi operators who are not licensed to operate in the borough and, as a consequence, may not be insured.

“This case sends out a powerful message to those operators who flout the taxi licensing laws in Cheshire East. This practice not only puts the personal safety of their passengers at risk but also deprives the borough’s responsible and regulated drivers of business.”

Anyone with information about unlicensed taxi operators or drivers who appear to be picking up fares outside their area should contact the Cheshire East Council enforcement team on 0300 123 5015

Winter Wellbeing – have you had your flu jab?


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 reminding residents of the importance of getting their flu jab.

Cheshire East Council is urging people to get their flu jab as soon as possible.

While some people might think flu is a bad cold, flu can be a severe illness that can lead to serious complications, particularly in winter.

People at increased risk of severe illness if they catch flu are older people, the very young, pregnant women, those with long-term health conditions – particularly chronic lung or heart disease – and those with a weakened immune system.

Health and social care workers are also urged to protect themselves and, importantly, their patients and clients, by having the jab.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “The flu jab is the single most effective way to protect yourself and those around you and is especially important if you are at increased risk of severe illness if you catch flu.

“While most healthy people generally recover within a week, it can lead to serious complications, like pneumonia and bronchitis, which require hospital treatment. Every year, hundreds of people die from this preventable disease.

“The best time to get vaccinated is in autumn before the flu season starts. So please have your jab as soon as possible, to avoid catching flu and spreading it to others.”

Those eligible to receive a free flu jab on the NHS are:

● People aged 65 or over;  

● All pregnant women;

● People living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility;

● Those in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill;

● People aged from six months to less than 65 years of age who have certain medical conditions (including diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, heart problems, chronic neurological diseases and conditions such as Parkinson’s, chronic respiratory disease and those with a weakened immune system);

● All two and three-year-olds (nasal spray vaccine); and

● All children in school years reception, 1, 2, 3 and 4 (nasal spray vaccine).

Dr Matt Tyrer, health protection lead at Cheshire East Council, added: “Flu is a highly-infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly, such as fever, tiredness and aching joints.

“As the flu bug changes every winter, it’s very important that people are immunised each year, as the flu jab protects against the strains that will be circulating.

“Please don’t delay getting the flu vaccination – speak to your surgery as soon as possible.”

Household contacts of anyone who has a weakened immune system are also recommended to have the flu vaccine.

For advice and information about the flu vaccination, including whether you are eligible for a free jab, speak to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist or visit: www.nhs.uk/staywell/

For further winter-related advice, visit: www.facebook.com/cheshireeastcouncil and www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/winter

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.

Council to give free tendering training to boost local businesses


Cheshire East Council is to hold a series of free workshops to help business people learn how to win public sector contracts.

The award-winning procurement training events are being provided by the council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company and are targeted at local businesses in Cheshire East.

The aim is to show small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) how to ‘get started’ in the bid process and how to produce a tender for both local and central government work. The workshops are suitable for businesses new to the tendering process or looking to improve how they tender. 

The latest procurement workshops, which aim to cover the whole process from start to finish, are:

● Let’s get started – on Tuesday, November 7; and

● The ‘invitation to tender’ process – on Tuesday, November 14.

The first workshop is an introduction to the tendering process, which will show how the framework for public sector tendering operates, how to navigate it and how to prepare for tendering opportunities.

The second workshop will explain the best-practice procedures and structures that you should put in place in your organisation to make sure your bids are as professional as possible and also how working in consortia can provide further opportunities.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “Tendering for a public sector contract can seem a daunting prospect but these free workshops provide excellent, practical guidance to help businesses develop their bids.

“We are always interested in receiving tenders from local businesses and organisations and these free workshops can significantly help to simplify and demystify the process.

“We are keen to support local firms and businesses and work to ensure that as many of our quality services as possible are provided locally while continuing to deliver value for money for the people of Cheshire East.

“Cheshire East spends in the region of £260m of public money annually on contracts, supplies and services with third parties.”

Both workshops will take place at: South Cheshire College, Dane Bank Avenue, Crewe, CW2 8AB and will run from 7:45am-11am.

Places are strictly limited and businesses are advised to attend both events in order to get the most benefit and understand the whole process.

To book a place on this two-part training workshop, visit: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/public-service-procurement-workshops-tickets-38430726337 or email: info@skillsandgrowth.co.uk

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Don’t miss out on having your say about tackling dog fouling


Don’t miss your chance to have a say on potential moves to crack down on dog fouling and dog control in Cheshire East.

That’s the message from Cheshire East Council – which is holding a public consultation to seek residents’ views around the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) specifically to tackle dog fouling and dog control across the borough.

The authority has already had more than 1,000 responses – but the deadline of October 10 is looming fast.

The proposed PSPO would enable the council to more-effectively combat dog fouling and introduce certain dog control requirements. The council recognises that most dog owners are responsible and would like to thank them for their continued support in helping to keep public areas clean.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “We are a listening council and we want to hear people’s views on our proposals to encourage responsible dog ownership.

“So if you want your voice to be heard, it just takes a few minutes to fill in the survey online. This is an important issue and the council wants all parts of the community to have a say in shaping the policies that help make Cheshire East such an attractive place to live, work, locate a business and visit.”

What are the main features of the proposed PSPO?

The PSPO would allow the council to:

● Tackle dog fouling in all public places within Cheshire East borough;

● Allow authorised officers to tell a dog owner/walker to put and keep their dog on a lead if necessary, for example, if their dog was showing aggressive behaviour;

● Issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of up to £100. A failure to pay the FPN may lead to prosecution and a potential maximum fine of £1,000, as would more serious breaches of the PSPO.

Why do we want to introduce this new PSPO for dog fouling and control?

Cheshire East Council has a statutory duty to keep land clear of litter and refuse (including dog fouling) and a duty of care for dealing with waste. The authority also has a duty to take action against irresponsible individuals who fail to clear up after their dogs on land which is open to the public. Not only is dog mess highly unpleasant, it is also a hazard to health – particularly to children.  

Introducing the PSPO would allow the council to replace and extend the existing dog controls and byelaws. This will give a consistent approach across the borough to dog fouling as well as introduce dog control requirements, to encourage responsible dog ownership, to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy our open areas, country parks and public spaces safely.

Consultation details

This consultation began on September 12 and runs until October 10, 2017. Before bringing the PSPO into effect, the council will consider the responses to this public consultation. If the PSPO is brought into effect, the council would publicise this ahead of the implementation date.

Link to consultation survey:  Dog fouling and control PSPO survey

The link will be on the homepage of the council’s website www.cheshireeast.gov.uk in the ‘Have Your Say’ section.

Help to fill in the survey

If you need further information or help with the survey, please ring our anti-social behaviour team on 0300 123 50 30 or email them at: safer@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Further leap in visitor numbers for Cheshire East


New figures show Cheshire East’s visitor economy is on the up again as more tourists and business people choose to take up hotel rooms in the borough.

Cheshire East’s hotel sector saw another rise in business in August 2017, according to the latest figures issued by the borough council’s visitor economy team.

Room occupancy rose by 3.7% in August compared with August 2016. The borough’s hospitality industry recorded a 81.1 per cent occupancy rate compared to 78.2 per cent in 2016. The average hotel room rate also rose – from £59.67 in 2016 to £61.30 in 2017. 

The sector’s August performance exceeded the average occupancy rate for Manchester and for Cheshire and Warrington as a whole. It now has its sights on exceeding the performances of popular destinations such as Chester and Liverpool. 

Despite a slow start to the year, the latest figures underline the continuing popularity of the borough as a visitor destination, ‘staycations’ and business visitors.

Earlier this month, Cheshire East Council released figures showing a 6.3 per cent overall jump in revenue to the visitor economy in 2016, now said to be worth around £900m to the borough’s hotel and guest house sector.

The council aspires to have a visitor economy worth £1bn by 2020.

Councillor Glen Williams, cabinet support member with responsibility for tourism and the visitor economy, said: “These figures are undeniable proof that the borough’s hospitality sector is on target to achieve our goal of £1bn value by 2020.

“As a council, we continue to do all we can to support the events and attractions that draw visitors into the borough, while at the same time promoting the right kind of climate and economic environment to enable the hospitality sector to grow and thrive.”

Cheshire East Council will once again host the Tour of Britain international cycle race next year, a thrilling spectator event which sucked in £3.5m into the borough in 2016.

Host of events in celebration of Libraries Week

A whole host of events and activities are being lined up across Cheshire East in celebration of Libraries Week.

Taking place from October 9-14, Libraries Week is an annual showcase of the creative, innovative and diverse activities that libraries have to offer.

Throughout the week, Cheshire East libraries will be holding a variety of events for all ages, including a Lego club, library discovery trail and rhymetime and storytime sessions for children, e-reading sessions, current affairs discussions, coffee mornings and a murder mystery event for adults.

Councillor Peter Groves, cabinet member for libraries at Cheshire East Council, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to join in with Libraries Week and it is a great opportunity for our residents to discover the range of services and resources, which are available to access at Cheshire East’s libraries.

“Our libraries are not just about borrowing books – residents can also borrow items such as games and DVDs, take part in activities and access computers. Thousands of e-resources can also be accessed via our website, such as e-books and e-magazines.

“All our libraries have customer service points, where people can find out information about council services, access planning applications online, present benefit claims and more.

“I hope Libraries Week will encourage even more people to visit our libraries and access the fantastic facilities on offer.”

For a full list of activities, please visit your local library, check the library’s dedicated Facebook page or visit: cheshireeast.gov.uk/libraries

While many of the events are free, places are limited and booking in advance may be necessary.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

'Autumn Frolics'

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS) are staging an 'Autumn Frolics' variety show on Saturday 7th October 2017 (7pm) at St Andrew's Church Hall, Bedford Street, Crewe. Tickets: adults = £5, children = £2.50, family ticket (2 adults 2 children) = £12. The show will feature people from the local community in a variety of acts. Proceeds will go to local charities and also provide some funding for the panto ‘Aladdin’ to be staged in January 2018. For further information please phone Fred 01270 652638 or 07908819848.

SEAHORSE'S GALA SUCCESS


Seahorse Swimming Club have retained the Frank Hough Trophy as overall winners of the Halliwick North West Regional Gala. They competed against swimmers from Aquadis Swimming Club (Ellesmere Port) and Sailfin Swimming Club (Sale) in a close contest at the Lifestyle Centre on 23rd September 2017.

Seahorse won a total of 22 medals - 15 gold, 6 silver and 1 bronze. Gold medal winners qualify to represent the North West Region at the Halliwick National Gala at Southgate, London, on 14th October 2017.

The Deputy Mayor of Crewe Town Council, Councillor Dennis Straine-Francis, presented the medals and trophies to the swimmers.

"In a close contest where the Seahorse swimmers showed lots of effort and determination it was pleasing to see them come out as overall winners. The Deputy Mayor was thrilled to see the swimmers show so much pleasure and pride as he presented them with their medals. He also congratulated all the volunteers involved with the gala." - Gareth Roberts (Secretary).

The Halliwick Association of Swimming Therapy promotes swimming for people with disabilities and the galas give swimmers opportunities to take part in competition, which are run on timed-handicapping, where swimmers compete on the basis of their ability in the water.

Seahorse medal winners:

Zack Beeston (silver, gold), Rosie Borowski (gold), Carson Bruce (bronze), Ethan Carroll (silver, gold), Hollie Cooke (gold), Josh Cramer (gold), Oliver Daley (gold), Shea Dutton (silver), Paul Edwards (2 x gold), Jonathan Harrison (silver), Neil Jones (silver), Tracy Jones (silver, gold), Mark Mansell (2 x gold), Sean Savage (2 x gold), Erin Yoxall (2 x gold).

Seahorse Sept 2017

STATEMENT RE: Fire at Macon House, Crewe


Macon Way and Grand Junction Retail Park have been reopened following yesterday’s fire at Macon House.

The building, which is currently disused, is owned by Cheshire East Council and is in the process of being demolished.

Road closures and a cordon were put in place as a matter of public safety after the fire broke out due to heavy smoke and concerns about the risk of asbestos contamination.

While we must stress that the risk to the public was very low, the safety of our residents is our upmost priority and asbestos monitoring was carried out in the area this morning.

Following the monitoring, air contamination levels were deemed by experts to be below the level for concerns and both the retail park and Macon Way were reopened at just after 11am.

As a precaution, further monitoring is being carried out at premises located in the immediate vicinity of Macon House.

We thank residents and businesses for their patience while the closures were in place.

Under 30s across region urged to drink less and enjoy more


An initiative to reduce drunkenness in Liverpool is being extended to Merseyside and Cheshire.

‘Drink Less Enjoy More’ is primarily aimed at 18 – 30 year olds and warns that they risk having their night out cut short as bar staff may refuse to serve them.

The initiative has been run in Liverpool since 2015, but now Public Health teams across Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, Halton, Warrington, St Helens, Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East are rolling it out as well.

The aim is to encourage young people to cut back on how much they drink at home before going out – so-called ‘pre-loading’ - as well as how much they consume when visiting bars, pubs and clubs.

Drunkenness can have immediate health consequences such as alcohol poisoning, and can contribute to sexual violence, accidents and violent crimes. It places a large burden on health, police and other public services.

The ongoing Drink Less Enjoy More communication programme uses radio, digital and outdoor advertising near shops, pubs and bars, with posters and other literature displayed in bars.

The initiative aims to raise awareness of the 2003 Licensing Act, which states it is illegal to:

· Buy alcohol for someone who is clearly drunk

· For bar staff to serve someone who is clearly drunk

Both offences are punishable with a fine of up to £1,000 and premises found to be serving people who are clearly drunk are also at risk of being stripped of their licence – but local research shows only half of people are aware of the law. 

Fiona Johnstone, Interim Director for Strategy and Partnerships in Wirral and Alcohol Lead for Merseyside and Cheshire, said: “We have been encouraged by the success of Drink Less Enjoy More in Liverpool which is why we are now expanding it wider across Merseyside and Cheshire.

“We will be working in partnership with bars to provide training to raise awareness of the law and help bar staff to confidently refuse to serve people, ensuring people stay safe and have a good night out.”

“Research conducted in Liverpool City Centre shows a significant drop in the number of bars people serving drunks, down to 36% in 2016 from 84% in 2014 before the initiative started.

Councillor Paul Brant, Cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “This is about reducing the strain on public services such as the police, ambulance staff and hospitals at a time when they are already under massive pressure.

“We know that many people travel into the city from surrounding areas so it makes sense to spread the campaign more widely.”

Communication of the Drink Less Enjoy More programme features a range of advertising including posters with text conversations between friends to illustrate how their night out could be ruined if they ignore the law, including: “Dean, don’t get too smashed mate! We won’t get served anywhere later” and “Looks like an early taxi home for us lads. They won’t serve us because Ryan’s bladdered…Gutted L.”

Police and licensing teams will be actively working with bars to promote compliance with the laws in order to reduce drunkenness across Merseyside and Cheshire

Superintendent Mark Wiggins from Merseyside Police said: DLEM isn't aimed at those who drink responsibly - it's there to help identify the minority of people who have had too much alcohol and could end up being a danger either to themselves or others. People need to ask themselves whether they want their night to end early because they’ve been refused entry to a bar due to them having consumed too much alcohol too early. Drink sensibly and enjoy your night out with friends otherwise you may ruin their night out too if they have to take you home early.
"Merseyside Police is committed to reducing violent crime and making the streets safe and the continuation of this initiative with our partners should help to make Liverpool and our surrounding towns even safer places for locals and visitors alike to enjoy a night out."

More information can be found online at www.drinklessenjoymore.co.uk, liking on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drinklessenjoymore or following on Twitter @drinkless_enjoy

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Search to find new junior recycling champions begins


As a new academic year begins, so does the hunt for Cheshire East’s next junior recycling champions.

Every year, schools in Cheshire East nominate a selection of fellow pupils as junior recycling officers. A junior recycling officer (JRO) encourages the ‘3 Rs’; reduce, reuse and recycle, within their school and community.

The JROs do this, with guidance from Ansa’s waste education officer, by preparing and delivering recycling-themed assemblies, running competitions and setting up recycling schemes within their school.

All primary and special schools are invited to join this scheme, which is run by Cheshire East Council’s wholly-owned arms-length company, Ansa.

At the end of the academic year, the JROs are invited to attend a ceremony where they give a short presentation on the work they have done to help boost recycling in their schools. A team of judges then choose the winners. This year, the event was held at Reaseheath Hall, in Nantwich.

At July’s event, Knutsford’s St Vincent’s Catholic Primary pupils Eli Winter-Roach and Madalein Ford became Cheshire East’s junior recycling officers of the year.

Madalein and Eli impressed with their presentation, which highlighted many of the recycling initiatives they led throughout the school year. Highlights included their recycling fashion show and their design of a flower garden for RHS Tatton – with hedgehogs made from recycled bottles. 

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Engaging with young people at an early stage on the importance of recycling and the benefits it brings to our communities is so important today.

“Giving young people the responsibility of sharing with their peers the experience of what they have learned is the best way of spreading that message as widely as possible.

“The children who take on roles as junior recycling officers are a great credit to themselves, their schools and their communities.”

Councillor Steven Hogben, a member of the Ansa Board, who was also a judge at the event, said: “I enjoyed meeting the junior recycling officers and was very impressed with the work that they have done in their school to educate their fellow pupils about recycling.”

The hunt for the 2018 junior recycling officer of the year has already begun with Ansa’s waste education officer visiting interested schools.

One of the first competitions available to the potential JROs is to design a recycling-based card that will be used as Ansa’s staff Christmas card.

For more information about the junior recycling officer scheme, visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/recycling and search for junior recycling.

A 'Ladies Fashion Show & Pop Up Shop'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A 'Ladies Fashion Show & Pop Up Shop' fund-raising event takes place at St Mary's Church Hall, Church Lane, Wistaston on Saturday 14th October 2017. Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 7:30pm. Tickets = £5.

Clothing available to try on and buy - ex high street fashion at 50% or more off. There will also be a charity raffle and refreshments will be available.

All proceeds will go towards Wistaston Scout Group's new Scout Centre, in Bluebell Wood, off Elm Drive, Wistaston.

Wistaston Scout Group caters for around 120 young people and has around 25 leaders and helpers. The Group's old Scout Hut had reached a state of disrepair so the Group have had to rebuild it to keep going. For the past year the Group have been meeting at different venues with equipment stored in different places, so they are desperate to raise the funds to finish off and move into their new Scout Centre.

For tickets and further information please email wistastonscoutgroup@outlook.com or visit A.T. Welch (Hospital Street, Nantwich).

Exterior of Wistaston Scout Groups  new Scout CentrePublicity poster

1980's Electronica tribute band 'Electro 80’s'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

1980's Electronica tribute band 'Electro 80’s' - http://electro80s.co.uk/ - performed a fund-raising concert at 'The Studio Nightclub & Entertainment Venue' - http://www.thestudionantwich.co.uk/ - in Nantwich on Friday 22nd September 2017.

The concert took place in the music and stage area on the middle level with additional viewing available from the balcony area around the top level.

Electro 80’s arrived on stage shortly after 10pm and performed a two-hour set recreating songs by artists including Gary Numan, OMD, Visage, Tears for Fear, Kraftwerk, A Flock of Seagulls, Howard Jones, Depeche Mode, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, and The Human League. Their show was accompanied by robotic dancer 'Man O' Chrome' and a fantastic light display. The finale was Soft Cell's 'Bed Sitter'.

The concert was followed by a DJ set.

Entry was by donation and the £265.50 raised will go to St Luke's Cheshire Hospice https://www.stlukes-hospice.co.uk/ in Winsford.

Nigel Woodhouse, Director of Operations at The Studio, said, "Electro 80's provided excellent entertainment and we hope everyone had a great night. We are pleased to support St Luke's Cheshire Hospice in their fund-raising efforts."

Electro 80s perform on stage   (2)Green from Electro 80s with Man O   Chrome

'Wheels of War: Past & Present'

Reporter  Jonathan White, Wistaston.

The annual 'Wheels of War: Past & Present' military vehicle show took place on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September 2017 at Crewe Heritage Centre on Vernon Way in Crewe.

The show featured military vehicle displays, trade stalls, model displays, and a tombola. There was musical entertainment on Saturday daytime from the South Cheshire George Formby Ukulele Society and on Sunday daytime from vintage vocalist Ruth Washington.

On the Saturday night a 1940's themed big band dance party took place in the Centre’s Exhibition Hall with live music from The Wychcraft Big Band.

Numerous people wore 1940’s clothing over the weekend.

Crewe Heritage Centre, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in July this year, was open to visitors including its three signal boxes, the Advanced Passenger Train, model railway displays and layouts, static locomotive displays and rides on a miniature railway http://creweheritagecentre.org/ .

The event was organised by Crewe & District Military Vehicle Club in support of Help for Heroes http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/ .

Crewe & District Military Vehicle Club meet on the last Tuesday evening of each month at Hops Belgium Bar in Crewe. New members are always welcome. For further information please visit http://www.cdmvc.co.uk/

Vintage vocalist Ruth   WashingtonVisitors view some of the outdoor   exhibits

Public now able to view plans for A500 dualling scheme


A pre-planning consultation has begun allowing residents and stakeholder groups to view the proposed scheme for dualling the A500 road between Crewe and junction 16 of the M6.

Cheshire East Council unveiled its initial preferred scheme in May (2017), proposing the most suitable option would be to widen the road to the south, rather than the north.

Detailed plans and exhibition materials have now been made public. The consultation runs until November 1. It is proposed to turn a 3.3km length of the A500 between the M6 and the Meremoor Moss roundabout into dual carriageway.

The council is seeking the views of parish councils, stakeholder groups, commercial transport operators and road users.

By widening the highway to the south, instead of the north, the scheme will protect a popular ecological site known as ‘the duckaries’. It would also mean less disruption to power lines and underground utility services, while also avoiding any construction impact on the recently-developed ‘pinch-point’ improvement scheme to the north.

Dualling the A500 has been a long-standing ambition of the council as it will enable a smoother flow of traffic between the M6 and Crewe. It is seen as a key infrastructure project, which is essential to support housing and employment growth around Crewe, as outlined in the Local Plan and in the vision for the Constellation Partnership.

It will also create a much-improved access link for HS2 construction traffic.

The £57m scheme will eventually go through the planning process and a business case developed to secure government funding.

To view the scheme in detail, visit the Cheshire East Council website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/a500dualling

National award for council’s home adaptations service


Cheshire East Council’s home adaptations service has landed a top award for the way it has streamlined access to grants for essential home adaptations for people with disabilities.

The service received the award for its innovative work in prevention and early intervention and its holistic approach to supporting disabled people to live independently at home.

The council picked up the ‘home adaptations service of the year’ award at a prestigious event held at the House of Lords.  The annual ‘home improvement agency’ awards are organised by Foundations, a national body funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Cheshire East Council has streamlined the way it delivers disabled facilities grants by cutting red tape, admissions to hospital and residential care.

The council recently increased the ceiling for grants from £30,000 to £50,000, enabling peopleto invest in adaptations more suited to their disabled needs.  It also made it easier for residents to obtain loans for carers and the extended family of disabled children, as well as moving to a more suitable property where circumstances make this a more sensible option.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “I am delighted that our success in this very important sector of council work has been recognised at national level.

“Cheshire East Council has a core policy to promote long and healthy lives and to enable people to live independently and safely in their own homes.

“Relieving the pressure on health services and social care is a crucial role for this council and it is rewarding for the staff involved to see their work recognised with this award.”

Home improvement and handyperson service providers are local organisations dedicated to helping older people, the vulnerable and people with disabilities to live in safety and with dignity in their own homes.

Services are focused on ensuring that existing housing is fit for purpose and that vulnerable people, predominantly home owners, are able to continue to live independently for as long as possible.

Cheshire East residents urged to take up the ‘Stoptober’ challenge


Are you up for taking the Stoptober challenge to get fit and healthy and improve your general wellbeing?

‘Stoptober’ – the campaign that has inspired 1.5 million people to quit nationally since 2012 – gets under way on Sunday (October 1) and is being supported by Cheshire East Council.

Stoptober is a national 28-day stop smoking campaign. Research shows that people who successfully stop smoking for four weeks are five times more likely to stop for good than those who don’t participate in the campaign. 

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “Stopping smoking is a crucial way in which a person can improve their health quickly. When you quit, blood pressure is reduced, it’s easier to breathe, your skin looks better and you feel better because of improved blood circulation levels.

“While smoking rates have reduced in the borough, 13 per cent of adults in Cheshire East still smoke. I urge these people to access the stop smoking support available through One You Cheshire East, a health initiative which helps local residents to live better, healthier and longer lives.”

Sam from Macclesfield is typical of many smokers that have quit using stop smoking support available across Cheshire East.

She said, “I became a smoker at 18. The main reason for starting smoking was peer pressure. It was a cool thing to do at the time and we didn’t really know anything about the harm it caused.

“Many people say they’re going to stop when there’s a less stressful time, when they’ve completed something or they will stop for somebody else – but it doesn’t happen.

“Now I can breathe. It’s a different world. I can smell and taste things better and I’m a bit more confident around people because I know I don’t smell. Bit by bit, I can see how my breathlessness improves when I am walking with my dog.

“Some people say because I’ve smoked that long the damage is already done.  But I can see that my body has started to heal and I can feel that.

“I try to recommend the stop smoking service to any smoker I meet. Any chance and I’ll take it!”

Currently, more than 40,000 adults like Sam still smoke in the borough. Cheshire East Council is tackling this issue by providing support through One You Cheshire East, which provides expert support and advice about quitting the deadly habit.

From the free ‘Stoptober’ app, One You gives support for people looking to quit. It’s available on the App store and Google Play store and provides motivation and expert support, advice on how to deal with cravings and keeps track of how much money you’re saving by not smoking.

In order to speak to someone at One You Cheshire East about quitting smoking and to get advice – including the use of e-cigarettes – ring your local stop smoking service free on 0800 085 8818, or visit the One You website at: www.oneyoucheshireeast.org

MEDIA RELEASE - Cheshire East to pay its sleep-in care staff arrears



Cheshire East Council is today announcing proposals to backdate pay to staff following a landmark legal ruling on the National Minimum Wage.   This ruling applies to rates of pay for workers who are required to work ‘sleep-in shifts’.  This is where an individual is required to be on duty and is considered to be ‘at work’ even if sleeping.

The landmark employment tribunal ruling in May this year ruled that the charity Mencap and others had underpaid its staff by giving them a flat-rate overnight sleep-in allowance, rather than  paying at or above the national minimum wage for each of those hours, even if asleep.  This ruling is currently subject to appeal, but Cheshire East Council is complying with the law as it stands now. The ruling typically applies to care staff sleeping-in in overnight shifts in care homes or in individuals’ homes as carers.  Those care staff may have been able to sleep through the night, but were available to be woken in the night and provide care as necessary.

The ruling will apply to employers including charities, commercial residential and nursing home operators and councils all over the country.  It will affect Cheshire East Council, just as it does every other council employing staff providing such social care and other such overnight sleep-in roles.  Cheshire East Council is today announcing that it has completed its initial assessment, reviewed its policy, and is proposing a solution moving forwards to our staff trade unions and the individuals concerned.

The majority of staff the council has identified as affected over the last two years are in the Care4ce domiciliary care team, as well as a handful of other roles including some staff at Tatton Park. All affected staff will receive a letter confirming the payments due and how it was calculated as well as receiving their arrears of pay going back two years in their October salaries.

Councillor Paul Findlow, cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services said: “We have undertaken an extensive review to establish exactly who this ruling affects and how much each individual is owed.  Cheshire East Council is a responsible employer – we respect and value all our employees and want to ensure that they are paid fairly for the valuable work they do.”

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Monday, 25 September 2017

Vote for Cheshire East’s parks as the nation’s favourite!


Salute your Cheshire East park as one of the nation’s favourites by voting for it in the ‘People’s Choice Awards’.

This year, an army of experts awarded a record-breaking 1,797 Green Flag Awards to the UK’s very best parks and green spaces. The scheme is now asking the public to vote for their favourites.

Green Flag-recognised parks in the borough, that are maintained by Cheshire East Council’s wholly-owned company Ansa, include: Sandbach and Congleton parks, Bollington Recreation Ground, The Moor in Knutsford and newly Green Flag Heritage accredited Queens Park in Crewe.

People can also vote for many of the borough’s other parks, including Tegg’s Nose in Macclesfield, Tatton and Brereton Heath local nature reserve.

As well as being natural spaces that the council is very proud of, the borough’s parks also play a vital role in providing real benefits to public health. 

You can find your nearest award-winning parks at www.greenflagaward.org. To vote for your favourite, simply find it on the map and click the vote button. Once you’ve voted, why not encourage others to get involved too?

Voting closes on Saturday, September 30, with the top 10 winning sites being announced on October 11.

Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member with responsibility for parks and tourism, said: “To become a People’s Choice winner would be an incredible boost to the borough. Our parks are right up there with the best in the country, so there’s absolutely no reason why Cheshire East shouldn’t be recognised this time.

“This is a great chance for people to show how much their park means to them. So please make your voice heard and vote now!”

Ansa chairman Councillor John Hammond said: “We were delighted to have received Green Flag Awards for a number of our parks. If one is named as one of the nation’s favourites, it would be a culmination of the hard work and dedication our staff put into maintaining them and would show how much our parksare valued within our community.”

Last year saw tens of thousands of people voting for their favourite park, with winners coming from all across the UK, from London to Lanarkshire.

Nominate your Local Hero today!


Cheshire East Council will once again be the key sponsor at the Local Hero Awards organised by Silk 106.9.

For the first time in its 20 years, the glittering ceremony will take place in Crewe at the Crewe Hall Hotel, on Thursday, November 9.

The event is being run in partnership with Silk 106.9 and will recognise the achievements of Cheshire East residents in 11 categories, ranging from awards for an ‘act of courage’ to ‘carer of the year’.

The Mayor of Cheshire East, Councillor Arthur Moran, will also attend to present the winner with the Pride of Cheshire award.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health, said: “Recognising and celebrating the achievements in our communities in this way brings a lot of pride to our borough.

“At last year’s awards we were reminded of the bravery of our residents through the posthumous winner of our Pride of Cheshire award, which went to Tom Jackson, from Congleton. His selfless actions trying to defend a young girl from an attacker ultimately led to his untimely death – but such actions continue to remind us of the strength and courage of those within our very community.

“The community spirit in Cheshire East is as strong now as it has ever been, so I am looking forward to seeing many of our residents get some deserved recognition.”

Nominations for all the categories remain open until Sunday, October 22. You can put someone forward by visiting Silk 106.9’s website at:

http://www.silk1069.com/local-hero-awards-2017/

Police Investigation


Cheshire East Council can confirm that concerns about allegations of manipulated air quality data have been referred to Cheshire Constabulary. This is a result of the council’s ongoing work to address these concerns thoroughly and transparently.

In addition, the council has referred concerns about allocation of public funds in making a grant to Berkeley Academy and also concerns about land purchases to the police.

Police have now confirmed that they will be investigating.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Leader of the Council said: “It is vital that these serious matters are dealt with fully and that if there has been any wrongdoing it is exposed.  While a police investigation is a serious matter, I would like to reassure residents that the council itself has brought these matters forward in order to put things right. 

“We will ensure that council services continue to be delivered to the high standards that residents have come to expect.

“As these matters are now subject to criminal investigation, we are unable to give more information at this time.”

INFORMATION BULLETIN


Cheshire East Council is developing proposals to bring the last remaining stretch of the A500 between Crewe and Junction 16 of the M6 motorway up to dual carriageway standard.

The improvement will ease congestion on this important route and facilitate growth in and around Crewe.

The council is now ready to share the outline design, and is seeking the views of local people and users of the road to ensure that we get the best scheme possible.

You can view the proposals and meet members of the project team at The Village Hall, Radway Green Road, Barthomley, CW2 5PE on Saturday September 23 9am – 4pm.

The consultation will run until November 1.

Council launches second consultation on levy to boost development infrastructure


Cheshire East Council has launched a second consultation on a proposed planning levy to help fund new community facilities and infrastructure.

The funds raised would be used to support local development set out in the authority’s Local Plan.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) would be payable once new developments start construction and is calculated per square metre of eligible floor space.

CIL would complement the long established system of Section 106 agreements, whereby developers are required to help fund developments’ supporting infrastructure, such as roads, schools and medical facilities.

Following initial consultation in the spring and updated market evidence, the draft charging schedule sets out the council’s position on potential future CIL rates in the borough.

The CIL consultation sets out the various charging rates that would apply for new development, alongside different charging zones throughout the borough. These zones are based on the costs and viability of new development, rather than the cost of new infrastructure.

The draft charging schedule divides Cheshire East into five charging zones for residential development – ranging from a zero rate in many built-up areas through to £168 (per square metre).

Business development and new shops are proposed to be zero rated, apart from retail development at Handforth Dean and the Grand Junction Retail Park, in Crewe.

Government is currently reviewing the national operation of CIL and is expected to announce the outcomes of this review and any changes in its autumn Budget statement. In developing a CIL charge, the council intends to keep its approach to CIL under review in the light of any future changes to its overall operation.

The consultation runs for six weeks from Monday (September 25) until November 6, 2017. Full details can be found via the council’s website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing and

planning, said: “Our borough is growing and, following the successful adoption of our Local Plan, we want to ensure that sufficient funding is in place to pay for new community facilities – the roads, schools and recreational spaces that residents will need in future.

“A Community Infrastructure Levy provides one way of contributing to infrastructure and is a fair and consistent method of funding. I would like to thank our residents, businesses and other stakeholders for providing their responses on our initial proposals on the CIL last spring, which have been taken account of in this updated work.

“We are keen to engage with all stakeholders with an interest in new developments to ensure we set the right rates for the different parts of our borough. As a council we recognise that future changes may be proposed by government in the autumn statement regarding CIL and this work puts us in a good place to respond to any changes in the overall operation of a Community Infrastructure Levy.”

Council extends pioneering Fairerpower energy scheme to Lancashire


The Skills and Growth Company, Cheshire East Council’s latest arms-length company, has taken its successful energy offering to Lancashire under the brand name Fairerpower Red Rose.

Established in 2015, the Fairerpower scheme is a not-for-profit partnership between Cheshire East Council and Ovo energy.

With more than 8,000 customers switching to date, customers have benefitted from a whopping £2.1m in savings on their annual gas and electric bills.

And now more than 600,000 Lancashire residents will be offered the opportunity to reap the benefits of a local energy offering with ‘Fairerpower Red Rose’ – managed by the Skills and Growth Company in partnership with councils across Lancashire.

Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, said: “I am extremely pleased to announce the launch of Fairerpower Red Rose, following the success of the Fairerpower scheme in Cheshire.

“Our aim is simple, to alleviate fuel poverty for residents of Lancashire by helping more residents to switch energy providers and offer award-winning customer service.” 

Both Cheshire and Lancashire residents who sign up to Fairerpower will benefit from: potential average savings of over £1001, no exit fees2, three per cent interest reward paid to pay monthly customers on all credit balances, up to £1,0003 and award-winning customer service4.

Switching only takes a few minutes, to find out how much you can save and how to switch, please go to www.fairerpower.co.uk

Monday, 18 September 2017

Murder in Cheshire

Lots of innocent badger will be murdered in Cheshire as the badger cull comes to Cheshire.

Join the local group and help to save the badgers  We need information if you know any farms who are culling or see any cages being delivered or information on shooters locations you can fill in the form and let use know http://www.crewetown.co.uk/inform.htm 

badgerfin

Here are some facts behind the badger culling:

  • Free shooting has been applied as a killing method as it is the most "cost effective". In fact, this method is also the most questionable and inhumane method of killing badgers as minimum training and supervision is requested from the culling companies. In recent years reports have shown that 7.4%-22.8% of badgers took more than 5 minutes to die.

  • None of the badgers killed during the current trials have been tested for TB, making both healthy and infected animals become targeted. Thus with no data published on how many killed badgers are infected with TB, effectiveness of culling is highly questionable.

  • “perturbation effect” can result in wide spread of TB as survivors of the killed badgers might roam more widely causing spread of TB into new areas. The trial from 2007 concluded that culling badgers: “can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain” (You can find full trial in here)

  • Extending badger culling into new areas: South Devon, North Devon, North Cornwall, West Dorset, and South Herefordshire creates an even greater threat for the badger population in England.



DISTRESSING footage of a caged badger bleeding to death has emerged as campaigners say it reveals the cruel reality of Britain's culling.

The clip shows a large badger, found in Devon last week, with bloodied fur trapped in a cage in an apparent breach of strict culling rules.

 Footage shows a large bloodied badger bloodied trapped in a cage in an apparent breach of strict culling rules

Stop The Badger Cull


Footage shows a large bloodied badger bloodied trapped in a cage in an apparent breach of strict culling rules

The animal, believed to have been caught at night, was still in the trap at 1.20pm the next day, animal group Stop The Badger Cull said.

Activists claimed its body was still warm to the touch.

It comes as the government last week issued licences to cull more badgers to tackle Bovine Tuberculosis.

The scheme was expanded this year to 11 new areas in Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Cheshire, and could see up to 33,000 badgers killed.

 Queen's Brian May slammed the bloodthirsty methods calling it a 'criminal waste of taxpayers’ money'


Queen's Brian May slammed the bloodthirsty methods calling it a 'criminal waste of taxpayers’ money'

Queen guitarist and campaigner Brian May slammed the bloodthirsty methods calling it a "criminal waste of taxpayers’ money”.

Commenting on the sickening footage he said: “I’m sure I’m not alone in finding these pictures very painful. It’s pitiful to see these magnificent creatures being destroyed.”

 Campaigners say caged trapping 'cannot be done humanely'

Stop The Badger Cull


Campaigners say caged trapping 'cannot be done humanely'

He added: “The case for killing wildlife as part of a strategy for cleaning up herds of cattle is incredibly weak, and a huge doubt hangs over this policy. Yet this government ploughs ahead as if they are blindfolded.

“This is a tragic waste of ­innocent lives, which will not help farmers or cattle, and it’s a criminal waste of taxpayers’ money.”

Opponents say culling is inhumane and vaccinating badgers would be more effective in preventing TB's spread.

 Strict culling rules states they must not have any 'unnecessary suffering'

Stop The Badger Cull


Strict culling rules states they must not have any 'unnecessary suffering'

Jay Tiernan from Stop The Cull said: “This makes a farce of the idea it is being done to stop disease because protocols are being ignored across the cull zones.

“We are seeing evidence now that caged trapping cannot be done humanely. The people undertaking the cull are amateurs and have scant regard for animal welfare.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, states: “Cage traps set to catch must be checked and any badgers caught must be dealt with as soon as practicable after dawn the following day.

"Operators have a legal responsibility under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 not to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal under the control of man – this includes a wild animal held in a trap."


MYTHBUSTERS

Myth: Badgers are the main source of TB in cattle

Truth: The population of badgers with TB is relatively small. With that being said, only 5.7% of all bTB outbreaks have been the direct result of transmission from badgers to cattle. This equally means that 94.3% of all bTB outbreaks come from alternate sources. Badgers, however, are still the subject of unrelenting culling campaigns that cannot possibly eradicate bTB if they only cause 5.7% of all bTB outbreaks. We believe that 5.7% can be significantly lowered, if not removed altogether by an effective vaccination strategy and testing of badgers. At the Badger Trust we believe that the source of the other 94.3% of outbreaks needs to be the primary focus of DEFRA’s strategy.

Myth: Culling is the most effective way to reduce bTB outbreaks in cattle.

Truth: As already mentioned, only 5.7% of bTB outbreaks in cattle are caused by direct transmission from badgers. Spending 50 million of taxpayer funds to kill mostly healthy badgers cannot possibly eradicate bovine tuberculosis as 80% of the culled badgers do not carry TB. We firmly believe that a vaccination and testing strategy for badgers would have a much better effect and most of that 50 million could go towards an effective strategy against the main causes and transmission of bTB. It has already been shown in Wales that tighter control on cattle movements, regular and thorough testing has shown a drop of 30% in bTB incidents. Similarly, vaccination programmes in humans has led to human TB being largely wiped out. There is no reason a similar strategy could not work for cattle and badgers alike. Currently, Welsh herds are 94% bTB free without culling badgers.

Myth: Badgers being culled have TB and are a risk to cattle

Truth: The truth is simple, 80% of the badgers being culled in England and Wales do not carry TB and vaccination programmes can effectively lower the risk and even prevent these badgers from ever

carrying TB. The risk to cattle from getting bTB from badgers is already low. Scotland is a great example of this; in the 1980s badgers in Scotland that were victims of traffic accidents were tested for TB. While 1 in 48 tested positive the incidents of bTB in cattle were extremely low and often linked to cattle coming in from England, Wales and Ireland. Despite TB in badgers, the strict testing of cattle and import controls meant that in 2009 Scotland was declared bTB free.

Myth: Badgers that carry TB are in pain, suffering, and will lead to a slow and painful death.

Truth: Most badgers that test positive for TB will be latent carriers. This means that they are not suffering any symptoms. They may be infected with TB but do not have the disease and a very small percentage will ever develop symptoms. Any animal that is in pain and suffering should be addressed by a trained veterinary professional.

Myth: The Badger Trust cares more about badgers than it does cattle

Truth: The Badger Trust is made up of individuals, volunteers, and staff who are passionate about the welfare of many animals in addition to badgers. While our mission is to protect, conserve, and educate the public about badgers and their habitats we do not wish any harm to come to other species. We understand that farmers have a duty of care to their cattle and are just as passionate about their cattle as we are about badgers. For both the health and safety of cattle and badgers we would like to see a constructive and viable solution to the TB crisis. At the Badger Trust we feel that the government is simply appeasing farmers and not giving them the solution they need and deserve. The science has made it clear that culling is not an effective strategy and that other combinations are more effective. To put it simply bTB is a complex issue with complex answers, there is no one simple solution or the issue of culling (that has happened for decades) would have surely been solved by now. We wish to see a solution that doesn’t appease one cause at the expense of another and that gives long lasting and viable solutions to the bTB crisis with as few cattle and badgers killed as possible.


have friends

The 22nd ‘Annual Community Duck Race

Reporter  Jonathan White, Wistaston

The annual Duck and Boats’ races were postponed on 9th September because of the inclement weather – too wet for ducks!

The 22nd ‘Annual Community Duck Race and Children's Model Boat Race’ took place on Saturday 16th September 2017, at the Joey the Swan Recreation ground in Wistaston. The guests of honour were the Rose Queen and her Attendant.

The event was organised by members of the Wistaston Community Council. The sponsors were Wistonia Electrical & Security Ltd with a generous local charity donation from the new Wistaston Co-op.

The event was officially opened by the Wistaston Rose Queen (Jessica Doano) and her Attendant (Elise Kennerley).

44 model boats were entered into the Children's Model Boat Race and 640 plastic duck race tickets (£1 each) were sold and entered into the Duck Race.

Proceeds will go to the funds of Wistaston Community Council, Wistaston Memorial Hall & Community Centre, and several local charities.

There were also 15 stalls featuring local charities and organisations, selling an assortment of goods or advertising their activities.

Several hundred people attended the event, which took place in warm sunshine.

Here are the results in full:

Children's Model Boat Race (44 model boats entered):

a) Best designed children's model boat (judged by Wistaston Rose Queen, Jessica Doano and her Attendant, Elise Kennerley):

1st – ‘Blue torpedo' by Ollie and Toby from Wistaston who won £10 and a trophy. They said "We like our boat. We hope it will be the fastest boat".

2nd place – 'The queen of hearts' by Mia.

3rd place – ‘Viking longboat’ by Harry and Isabelle.

b) Children's Model Boat Race:

1st – Jessica Chesters who won £10, plus a trophy donated by Herbert Locke MBE.

2nd place – Wilson Hadzik who won £8.

3rd place – Perdita Jones who won £6.

Duck Race (640 tickets sold):

1st – No.283 – Natasha Nuttall who won £100, plus a trophy donated by Les Fothergill, a past Wistonian of the Year.

2nd – No.467 – Liah Wood - £50.

3rd – No.623 – Maisie Pownall - £25.

There was an enthusiastic commentary on both races by Dane Chaplow, with ongoing excitement and incident around every corner as ducks and boats bobbed and weaved along the obstacle course.

A representative from Wistaston Community Council said, “This was our first attempt at organising the Duck Race, which has been a popular, community event for twenty-two years. We were able to follow the long-standing procedures from the past and thank, most sincerely, all the volunteers who made it a quacking success. We were pleased that it was a sunny day, following the wet postponement on 9th September. We are so grateful to the sponsors - Wistonia Electrical & Security Ltd, the new Wistaston Co-op and Crewe Movie Makers.”

Best designed childrens model boat winners with Wistaston Rose Queen and Attendant.JPG


Aerial view of the event at the  Joey the Swan Recreation groundStart of Childrens Model Boat  RaceStart of Duck Race

1980's Electronica tribute band 'Electro 80s'

1980's Electronica tribute band 'Electro 80s' - http://www.electro80s.com/ - will perform a fund-raising concert at 'The Studio Nightclub & Entertainment Venue' in Nantwich on Friday 22nd September 2017.

Electro 80s will recreate songs by artists such as Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Gary Numan, Duran Duran, Ultravox, Devo, Soft Cell and The Human League.

Entry is by donation and money raised will go to St Luke's Cheshire Hospice https://www.stlukes-hospice.co.uk/ in Winsford.

Nigel Woodhouse, Director of Operations at The Studio, said, " It is always a pleasure having Electro80s playing the venue, as their professionalism along with their ability and energy always makes for a great show. The concert is free entry with donations going to St Luke's Cheshire Hospice. It will be a feel good night to relive the electronic music age of the 80s."

The Studio - Electro80s

Friday, 15 September 2017

Dementia Reablement Service attracts Japanese interest


Cheshire East Council’s acclaimed dementia reablement service has attracted international attention.

Mr Tsuneo Inoue, an authority on long-term older people care in Japan, met with service members and team leaders to learn more about the work carried out by the council to support residents living with dementia, their carers and families.

Cheshire East is one of the few councils in the country to deliver bespoke intervention and support for families and individuals, where the onset of early-stage dementia has begun to impact on their lives.

An evaluation report by Liverpool John Moores University said of the service: “It has successfully arrested decline and provided a stabilising effect on a general sense of wellbeing and overall quality of life.”

Mr Tsuneo, a lecturer in social protection policy at Doshisha University, met with Neil and Linda McKellar, from Sandbach.  Mr McKellar was diagnosed with vascular dementia two years ago and found out about the council’s reablement service while visiting a memory cafĂ©.

He also met with Councillor Janet Clowes, cabinet member for adult social care and integration. 

Councillor Clowes said: “Cheshire East Council’s dementia reablement service seeks to set the highest standards in the way in which we support our residents with dementia and their families.

“Dementia is one of the biggest challenges faced by all local authorities and, as a borough with an ageing population, we want to make sure that all those people affected by dementia receive all the professional support they deserve.

“Helping people to live well and for longer is a core strand of the council’s health and wellbeing strategy. It is about supporting independence and quality of life.”

Cheshire East Council’s dementia reablement service was set up in 2015 and handled more than 500 referrals in its first 11 months of operation. That number has now risen to 1,572.

Municipal authorities in Japan are faced with similar challenges to the UK when assessing how best to support people with dementia. Cheshire East’s model is an early intervention short-term process, in which trained professionals prepare a support plan to help those with early dementia and their carers to access a wide range of services, including technology and dementia-friendly shops, supermarkets and leisure activities.

The service seeks to empower people with early dementia to have the confidence to manage independently and to bring about a quality of life for them and their families.

For more information about Cheshire East Council’s dementia reablement service visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/dementiareablement

Spoken Word film speaks volumes about attitudes to adults at risk of abuse


A powerful short film, produced through Cheshire East Council, which highlights the concerns faced by ‘people at risk’, has been praised by national experts.

Spoken Word is a poignant ‘talking heads’ video in which several people, who access services talk about their experiences of adult abuse, prejudices and patronising attitudes.

They describe the distress and anxiety this can cause them.

Dr Adi Cooper, a leading authority on adult safeguarding, is the latest expert to praise the film, which was produced by service users of the Cheshire East Safeguarding Adults Board.

She has just published her latest book – co-edited with Emily White – and has included text from the film.  Dr Cooper said: “The ‘Spoken Word’ video communicates powerfully some straightforward messages about how important it is to hear what is being said by people who not always listened to, about their lives and what is important to them.

“We have used their words, at the start of our new book, about safeguarding adults to make it really clear to all the readers that talking with – and listening to – people comes first in all adult safeguarding work.”

The Spoken Word is based on a poem produced by adults at risk who came together in workshops to discuss the personal experiences they had encountered in everyday life.

They then delivered their powerful and moving messages directly to camera at the Axis Arts Centre, part of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Crewe Campus.

Since going public, the film has received great acclaim from social and health care professionals, mental health and adult abuse experts around the country.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult integration, said: “I am very pleased that this film has been so well received by other agencies around the country and that it will be used in the training programmes that are so vital to ensuring that staff working with vulnerable adults have all the professional skills required to care for their service users.

“Rarely do we get to hear the true experiences and thoughts of vulnerable adults from their own lips and this short film sends out a very powerful message to us all that they are equal members of society and deserve respect, kindness and care like everyone else.”

The lasting message from the film is clear, powerful and poignant – Speak Up, Speak Out, Stop Adult Abuse!

Adults at risk that have viewed the film have also commented on how it has encouraged them to report their concerns to their adult social care service.

The film can be viewed on the Cheshire East Safeguarding Adults Board website at: http://www.stopadultabuse.org.uk/home.aspx

Cheshire authorities work to reduce fraud


A new initiative to safeguard vulnerable residents in Cheshire will be launched on Monday.

Cheshire East Council’s trading standards team is joining forces with the police, the three other Cheshire borough councils and financial institutions to identify customers who are being defrauded, and to implement safeguarding procedures to prevent the loss of funds.

The four authorities involved in providing the banking protocol are Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington Councils.

The scheme has been developed to protect our vulnerable residents. It is a sad fact that criminals will prey on our most vulnerable residents and pressurise them into paying extortionate amounts for goods and services that they don’t need.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities and health, said: “Financial fraud is a modern problem which this authority will stop at nothing to challenge.

“This shouldn’t be and isn’t just an issue for the police to tackle. Cheshire East Council’s trading standards team has had a number of successes protecting consumers from things like online fraud, doorstep crime and scams and has shown that working together in partnership can make a really positive difference.

“Along with our colleagues in the other partner authorities for the banking protocol, we will do all we can to protect people in Cheshire.”

The trading standards team, who are a key partner on this project, will be ensuring that financial sector staff receive further training to identify suspicious transactions.

For further information on the banking protocol, please call Cheshire East Council’s trading standards team on 0300 123 5015.

SEAHORSE SWIMMING CLUB HONOURED WITH QUEEN'S AWARD

Seahorse 2

Volunteers at Seahorse Swimming Club have been honoured by Royalty with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for 2017.

The award was made on behalf of the Queen by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, Mr. David Briggs MBE on 7th September at the Lifestyle Centre. The award is equivalent to the MBE and the highest award a voluntary group can receive. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

The voluntary-led group, which cater for people with disabilities, was formed in 1956 at the Flag lane Baths. The aim of the Club is to encourage its members to gain confidence in the water, learn to swim and further develop their skills.

Seahorse volunteers Jackie Roberts and Steph Evanson attended the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in May with other award winners from across the country, where they were in the company of the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

Seahorse has over 80 members which include swimmers and volunteers. They meet on Thursday evenings at the Lifestyle Centre. The 25 volunteers of all ages provide a safe and pleasant environment for the swimmers. Their roles vary from assisting swimmers in the pool, encouraging them from the poolside and helping behind the scenes by organizing galas, social and fundraising events.

Joining the volunteers for the presentation was the Mayor of Cheshire East Council, Cllr Arthur Moran and the Mayor of Crewe Town Council, Cllr Diane Yates. John Lea from Mornflake Oats and Rotarians Neil Fearn (President), Ray Stafford MBE and Frank Baldwin were also present to offer their congratulations, as well as several former volunteers, which included Mrs Margaret Platt who is one of Seahorses’ founder members.

“Everyone at Seahorse is extremely proud to receive this award. It is recognition for the commitment and enthusiasm of all the volunteers who have helped out. The Club relies on volunteers and it’s thanks to them that people with disabilities are given opportunities to exercise, socialize, have fun, freedom and a challenge in the water which is often denied to those who are unable to move freely." - Gareth Roberts, Secretary.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Cheshire East steps closer to state-of-the-art history centre


Cheshire East has taken a big step closer towards the creation of a new state-of-the art history centre to host the region’s archive.

Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, a shared service of Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC), needs a new home as its current one in Duke Street, Chester, is no longer fit for purpose.

Under proposals approved by Cheshire East’s cabinet today – and set for consideration by CWaC’s cabinet tomorrow – the archive would be rehoused in two new bespoke history centres, with one in Crewe and one in Chester.

These would be climate-controlled environments to house the collections, better display them and make them more interactive and accessible to the public.

The archive ranges from the middle ages to the present day and includes archives that would fill 8km of shelving from businesses, schools, hospitals and local clubs and organisations. In addition, it has tens of thousands of photographs, maps and books covering all aspects of Cheshire’s history.

The £13m joint scheme, if approved, would see each authority contribute £4.2m each with the remainder of the money being sought via a bid for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Crewe’s history centre would be located at the old library site in the town centre. The proposed site for Chester’s new history centre is the former Business Enterprise site on Hoole Road.

Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Council deputy leader and cabinet member responsible for archives, said: “I am delighted both cabinets have backed proposals to replace the current facility, which is no longer fit for purpose for the long-term preservation of our unique archives. These two new history centres in Crewe and Chester would be key to delivering an accessible, up-to-date and improved joint archive service.

“It’s an exciting proposal not just for Crewe but for the whole of Cheshire East in terms of its potential to greatly improve the offer to residents and making our unique and precious archives far more accessible for Cheshire East residents and visitors alike. It would also provide a place for our extensive railway and engineering archives – which are a nationally significant collection and central to the story of Crewe’s development.

“With an HS2 hub station coming and the council working with partners to deliver an impressive £48.3m investment in regeneration of the town centre, these are exciting times for Crewe.”

Under the proposals the new centres would incorporate facilities for exhibitions, events, research and more space for volunteers, while also allowing for the better preservation of the county’s rich written heritage. The proposal also sees the service developing plans to make the archives more accessible throughout the county through an expanded outreach programme and digital access.

The Crewe history centre would specifically reflect the story and heritage of the communities of Cheshire East. This would include: a large gallery space to host cultural exhibitions of regional and national interest, workshops and talks; railway/engineering archives for Crewe and the local region; access to film and sound archives; local newspapers and photographs, supervised access to archive materials not on display and a potential home for the Family History Society of Cheshire, with access to its genealogical resources and expertise.

Subject to a successful bid for HLF funding, the proposed new facilities would open by 2023.