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Saturday, 19 August 2017

Virtual reality theatre performance in Knutsford to commemorate Alan Turing trial

The father of the modern computer is to be celebrated with a play and exhibition in Knutsford.

Fifty years after the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality and changes to gay rights in 1967, the trial of the mathematician and code-breaker, Alan Turing, is being interpreted as a live theatre performance and virtual reality exhibition in Knutsford.

Through Cheshire East Council’s Shift programme and Heritage Open Days, the story of Turing’s trial is now being told at The Courthouse Hotel, Knutsford – the same building where he was sentenced to chemical castration 65 years ago when it was known as the ‘Sessions Court’.

The Shift programme, which is also bringing international designer Wayne Hemingway MBE to Macclesfield for a talk next month, celebrates digital achievement in the borough and is supported with Arts Council funding.

The theatre production of the trial will be enhanced with a separate virtual reality experience, with the audience able to view aspects of the trial through headsets.

Re-Dock – the creative company from Manchester, which is putting on the live show and producing the virtual reality experience – is appealing for extras to appear in the filming of the performance to create the courtroom setting. The company is also looking for a courtroom sketch artist to take a front-row seat at each of the performances.

Filming takes place at the Courthouse Hotel on Sunday, September 3 from 3pm. There will be three performances: one on Friday, September 8 at 7pm and two on Saturday, September 9 at 2pm and 7pm. A virtual reality exhibition will also be taking place at the venue from September 7-10.

Re-Dock have worked closely with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community for this production as part of the Heritage Open Days’ theme ‘Unsung Stories’ which celebrates LGBT heritage and history.

This is the first time that anyone has attempted to cover the trial in a live performance and also the first time that the subject has been explored in the setting where the trial took place.

Alan Turing was an English computer scientist and mathematician who worked as a code-breaker at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. He died in 1954, aged 41, from cyanide poisoning.

The theatre production is the centrepiece of the four-day event, hosted by Heritage Open Days, which runs from September 7-10.

Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for tourism and visitor economy, said: “This is a rare opportunity for residents and visitors to view a show, which combines the best of modern technology in an outstanding venue of historic significance.

“I urge people from Knutsford and much further afield to embrace this chance to see the show and I hope that residents will also be able to assist the theatre group in helping out as extras.

“The Shift programme is producing some outstanding events and is something I am very proud of. The achievements of the digital and creative sector in the borough are vast and this programme is doing an excellent job in telling a wider audience.”

Heritage Open Days has commissioned Re-Dock in collaboration with Cheshire East Council’s Shift programme and The Courthouse Hotel with funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery. The event is also being supported locally by Knutsford Promenade Association.

Council to strengthen links with voluntary community faith sector

Making the best of the expertise ‘on our doorstep’ was the theme of the day as Cheshire East Council hosted a commissioning event for adults and children’s services.

The event, at Sandbach Town Hall was aimed at maximising the positive impact of how partnership working with the voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector ensures services are delivered to the heart of the borough’s communities. The council will continue to build partnerships with some of the most passionate and dedicated providers.

Cheshire East is focusing on four themes: reducing dependency; early help and prevention; skills and employment; and health and wellbeing, in order to reshape the way that the authority works and to create new and sustainable initiatives.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities and finance said: “Sharing expertise and working together is a big part of our strategy and events like this ensure that we are best placed to deliver those objectives in a timely fashion.

“We need to change the way we do things, unlock creativity and be innovative.  Working with the voluntary, community and faith sector will bring more cost-effective, flexible and responsive services that are delivered to our communities by people who are passionate about caring for those that need it most.”

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service August 2017 E-Newsletter - FiRELiNK

Subject: Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service August 2017 E-Newsletter - FiRELiNK

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

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

Message sent by

Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

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

Apply to be a Cheshire firefighter

Cheshire firefighters

Our latest wholetime firefighter recruitment campaign got underway on Monday 14 August.

The initial stages of the recruitment process will be undertaken online and the process will stay open until 4pm on Wednesday 30 August.

This method of recruitment is designed to make an initial assessment of the potential to work as a firefighter using a range of specifically designed questions examining the qualities and basic knowledge required for the role.

Find out more - Apply to be a Cheshire firefighter

Summer safety


Stay safe during the summer months, use the links below to access fire safety tips and advice:

Fire Station open days

Ellesmere Port Fire Station Open Day 2017

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service fire stations will be holding free fire station open days over the next few months.

Find out more - Fire Station open days

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

Find out more - Your local fire station

Biker Down courses

Biker down

If you were the first on the scene of an accident involving a biker, would you know what to do? Would you know who is most at risk, how to protect the area or whether you should remove the helmet of a downed rider?

Actions taken in the first few moments after an accident can be crucial in minimising injuries and can make a real difference to the lives of those involved, but there can be some uncertainty about what to do in these situations.

We are holding a number of free Biker Down training courses this year. For dates and details please visit our website.

Find out more - Biker Down

Keep your home secure during the holiday season

Subject: Keep your home secure during the holiday season

This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

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

Message sent by

Lisa Cooper (Police, Police Staff, Cheshire)

We’re already more than halfway through the summer break and over the coming week’s thousands of families will be off on holiday

With this in mind Cheshire Police is keen to remind people about the importance of home security.

Inspector Angela Marinari said: “The summer holidays are often a popular time families to take their annual holiday, whether that’s driving down to the coast or flying off to an exotic islands.

“With so many things to organise in preparation for your holiday, it’s easy to forget about your home security whilst you’re away – however it can be a very expensive item to forget.

“That’s why we’re keen to remind everyone of the steps they can take to help improve home security.”

There are a number of simple steps that everyone can take to make sure your home is secure whilst you’re away. These include:

Home Security:

Make sure you close and lock all of your windows and doors before you go leave the house.

Consider using a timer to set your lights and radio to come on while you’re away.

Don’t leave valuables including purses, handbags and car keys on display or near external doors

Consider security marking valuable items with your house number and postcode with a UV pen, or mark it using property marking kits which consist of a traceable liquid.

Ensure that garages and sheds are locked with strong padlocks and, ideally, fitted with an alarm

Consider installing outside lights - dusk till dawn lights with a low wattage bulb will give a constant light when needed. They switch on as it gets dark and turn off when it gets lighter.

Vehicle Security:

If you’re leaving your car at home make sure it’s secure and ensure that your keys are kept out of sight away from any windows and doors.

If you’re using airport parking make sure you don’t leave any personal items or letters within your vehicle.

If you ever use ‘Meet and Greet’ services make sure you keep hold of your house keys whilst you’re away.

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

Never leave anything on display in your vehicle - a bag on the back seat is enough to tempt a thief

Always remove your portable Sat Nav system including any support cradles and suctions pads that are fitted to the windscreen

Inspector Marinari added: “We can’t stress enough how important it is for people to be security conscious – especially during the summer months and whilst you’re on holiday.

“We are committed to tackling this type of crime but we need the continued support of members of the public.

“We would urge you to remain vigilant, report any suspicious activity in your area immediately and to address your own home security measures to make life even more difficult for opportunistic thieves.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call Cheshire Police on 101.

Cheshire East A-level students chalk up higher successes and beat national averages again!

A-Level students in Cheshire East have once again chalked up impressive results that are above the national average. This year sees new A-level and AS level qualifications being taken following the phasing in of revised syllabuses.

The borough’s 1,685 students received their results this morning and they have again achieved a provisional pass rate of 99 per cent, which is above the national average of 98 per cent.

The further breakdown of grades shows that the proportion of students achieving grades A* to A was 27 per cent, which is higher than the proportion nationally and well over half (54 per cent) achieved an A* to B grade. What is particularly pleasing is the continuing increase in the number of students achieving the highest grade of A* with 10% of Cheshire East students attaining this grade compared to a national figure of 8%

Councillor George Hayes, cabinet member for children and families, said: "This year's exam results, once again, are extremely impressive and I congratulate all the sixth-formers on their achievements.

“To continue to perform as an authority at the highest level year after year is a real credit to our schools in what continues to be a turbulent time for curriculum and assessment changes at a national level.

"I'd also like to offer my thanks to parents, teachers, school staff and governors for all their efforts. It will have been an anxious time for students and their families as they await the result of years of hard work and having that strong support network makes such a positive difference to our young people.

"Our learners have shown great drive to achieve the highest grades possible and maximise their potential, so I am very pleased to join them by celebrating the continued trend of improvement across the borough.

"I wish our young people all the very best for the future, whether they are continuing their studies into further or higher education, apprenticeships or putting their foot on the first rung of the ladder in the work place.

"We work alongside our wholly-owned Skills and Growth Company to help ensure young people have the appropriate skills and qualifications to consider the right career choice for them once they receive their results, so that they can make a full contribution to our successful local economy."

For more information about the company, visit

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Charity head-shave duo raise thousands

Tom Essex and Kerri Williams, with Ian Skaithe (right) from Head Injured People in Cheshire (HIP) Charity

Crewe-based friends Kerri Williams and Tom Essex who shaved their heads at a recent charity event have presented cheques totalling £2,720 to Kidney Care UK and Head Injured People in Cheshire (HIP).

As part of a “fifty before fifty” series of challenges, Kerri organised the head shave in memory of her mother, and local barman Tom also stepped forward to shed his golden locks for charity. 

Kerri, who works at Bentley Motors, drew up a list of fifty unusual and exciting challenges that have seen her take on the Acerbital Slide at the Olympic Park, brave the Velocity Zipline in North Wales, and complete the Crystal Maze in Manchester.

The charity hair cut took place at Crewe’s Crosville Club as part of an evening of celebration and fundraising. Rock and Pop band SWaY performed live, and local DJs played a wide range of music.

Kerri said: “Cutting my hair was drastic, but it’s always been something that I have wanted to do and it was a great way to raise vital funds for charity.

“It was for my Mum, and for kidney dialysis patients who go through four-hour treatment sessions, three times each week!

“I’m so grateful to everyone who attended the event and donated money. I can’t believe that we raised so much on the night, and more through the Just Giving website. 

“Tom had his hair cut in aid of Head Injured People in Cheshire, and it was wonderful being able to hand over the cheque to Ian Skaithe from the HIP charity in person.

“There are so many great people helping to run charities and they deserve all the support they can get.”

Kerri’s hair was donated to the Little Princess Trust who provide real hair wigs for children suffering with hair loss. 

Council to update and streamline its constitution to improve efficiency

Cheshire East Council is to update and streamline its constitution – the legal framework which governs the way the council operates and how its decisions are made.

The review will focus on refining current processes and procedures to maximise efficiency, governance and transparency.  It will result in the production of a new constitution that will provide greater clarity around how the council operates and enable greater community engagement with the democratic process.

Although the council has made regular updates, it has decided upon a fresh and holistic approach to developing a new constitution.

The council commissioned Bevan Brittan Solicitors – legal advisers to the public sector - to carry out an initial review of its current constitution and report back.

As a result, the council’s constitution committee has now appointed a sub-committee of eight elected members to progress the review and make recommendations for any changes that should be made.

Final proposals for a new constitution will go to full council for consideration.

The council’s Acting Chief Executive, Kath O’Dwyer, said: “We welcome the extremely helpful advice of our external legal advisers and will set in motion a comprehensive programme of work to review the current constitution, bringing together the recommendations and aspirations of elected members and officers.”

Councillor Andrew Martin, chairman of the constitution committee, said: “Our intention is that this review will ensure efficient and transparent decision making and make the democratic process more accessible to our residents, members of the council, officers, our partners and stakeholders.”

Talented local artist Christian Turner

Reporter Thanks. Jonathan White

Talented local artist Christian Turner, aged 23 from Sandbach, has produced an oil painting of Nantwich Town Square, which is available to buy as a card. The card can be purchased in Nantwich from Nantwich Square News (High Street), Special Cards (Market Street) and Inside Paradise (Oat Market). Christian plans to produce more scenes of Nantwich before the end of the year.

Christian, who has autism, has also painted scenes within Sandbach, as well as birds, marine life and has started experimenting with geometric patterns. Christian has been drawing since he was a child and studied A-Level Art at Sandbach School.

Christian said, "I really enjoy my work and I hope other people will enjoy my work as I continue into the future."

For further information please visit or contact him via email: or telephone: 07432116922.

Christian Turner with his oil  painting and card of Nantwich Town Square

Friday, 11 August 2017

New Testament Church of God (NTCG),

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

New Testament Church of God (NTCG), The Lighthouse Centre celebrated the 50 year Golden Jubilee Anniversary in August this year.

NTCG purchased their church building at 56 Stewart Street, Crewe in 1967.

The first NTCG public service in the UK was held in September 1953 in Wolverhampton. It was a result of the arrival of immigrants from the West Indies coming from NTCG, many of whom were committed Pentecostal Christians.

The NTCG church in Crewe became known as New Testament of God, The Lighthouse Centre, in 2014 as "We are called to be light in the midst of the darkness. The Lighthouse is the best modern day symbol that really captures our passion and vision."

Celebratory events included prayers, thanksgiving and worship, a gala dinner, tributes to founding members of NTCG Crewe, a community fun day and a Civic Celebratory service. A commemorative booklet and timeline banner were also produced to mark the occasion. The first pastor of NTCG Crewe - Rev Glenford Hutchinson from Florida USA - was present at the celebrations.

Congratulations messages were received from Bishop Headley Gayle; Bishop Donald Bolt, NTCG National Overseer; Councillor Diane Yates, Crewe Town Mayor; Dawn Clark, Community Development Manager, Partnerships and Communities, Cheshire East Council; Laura Smith, MP for Crewe & Nantwich; and Jennie Wakefield, Chairperson, Churches Together in Crewe.

Regular events taking place at The Lighthouse Centre are: Sunday (11am) - Youth and Childrens club; Sunday (3pm) - Family Worship Service; Wednesday - Prayer & Fast; Thursday (7pm) - Homeless meal; one Saturday a month - men's and women's prayer breakfast.

The Lighthouse Centre pastor Rev. David Edwards said, "Through God's help and the invaluable contribution and ongoing support of all our members, friends, volunteers and community partners, over the past fifty years we have been able to help meet the physical, social and spiritual needs of many within our community and we look forward to the future years of Ministry, Service and partnerships within this great town of Crewe."

For further details please telephone 01270 668996, mobile 07980011803; ntcgcrewe

The first pastor of NTCG Crewe -  Rev Glenford Hutchinson (left) with The Lighthouse Centre pastor Rev David  Edwards

Borough’s landlords face fixed penalties for poor tenant housing standards and potential fire risks

Cheshire East Council’s housing enforcement policy is to be strengthened to ensure residents in rented accommodation get the best housing standards with the right fire protection in place.

Private landlords, including social housing landlords, face civil penalties of up to £30,000 following the introduction of the 2016 Housing and Planning Act, which came into force in April this year.

Landlords can also be ordered to make rent repayments if inspections reveal sub-standard housing conditions or failures in safety protection measures, including fire protection.

The new legislation requires local authorities to develop and document their own policy on when to apply sanctions, with each case determined on its merits.

Civil penalties can be used as an alternative to prosecution for a number of offences under the 2004 Housing Act, including:

· Failure to comply with an improvement notice for hazards such as excess cold, falls, domestic and personal hygiene and fire;

· Offences relating to houses in multiple occupation;

· Overcrowding.

The civil penalties are different from fixed penalties in that they are applied after the landlord has failed to carry out corrective actions and all other procedures, including appeals, have expired.

While £30,000 is the maximum fine, civil penalties can be as low as £1,000 but will be calculated on the degree of culpability and potential or actual harm.

Rent repayment orders can also be applied where a landlord has failed to obtain a licence for a property in multi-occupancy, has threatened a tenant, illegally evicted a tenant or failed to comply with a banning order.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “We want to make sure as a council that landlords in the borough, and their tenants, are aware of the measures that are being taken to ensure that housing in the rental market is of a high standard and meets the required criteria for health and safety.

“Poor housing can lead to health risks, especially from damp properties, and in some cases it is children who can be placed at risk.

“As a council we take our responsibilities for housing standards in all sectors very seriously.” 

Further information about the Cheshire East Enforcement Policy as it relates to civil penalties for rented housing can be found at:

Thursday, 10 August 2017

HMRC scam

Subject: HMRC scam

This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

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

Message sent by

Sarah Marson (Police, PC, Crewe LPU Nantwich Beat Mgmt)

We have received reports of people receiving a pre-recorded message claiming to be from HMRC.
In it you are told to call 01613549940 to fix the problem, which is urgent.
Please ignore this message and report any concerns to Action Fraud-0300123 2040
Please share this information with any relatives/ neighbours who may be vulnerable to this type of scam.

Wistaston 'Duck Race

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The annual Wistaston 'Duck Race and Children’s Model Boat Race' takes place on Saturday 9th September 2017 at Joey the Swan recreation ground, Wistaston.

Stalls open from 1pm. Children’s Model Boat Race starts at 2:30pm. Duck Race starts at 3:15pm. Duck Race tickets = £1 each (available on the day). The event is organised by members of the Wistaston Community Council. The main sponsors are Wistonia Electrical & Security Ltd.

Duck marshal Jonathan White

Heavy goods vehicle on its side in Faddiley, Nantwich

Firefighters have rescued a casualty from an overturned heavy goods vehicle on Woodhey Hall Lane in Faddiley in Nantwich.
The casualty, the driver of the vehicle, was safely removed from the lorry on a spinal board using height safety lines and a ladder. The casualty was then taken to hospital.
Woodhey Hall Lane has been closed while the incident is dealt with.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area.
More information about this incident can be found on the Cheshire Fire and Recsue Service website:

Former children’s centre sold

A children’s centre which lay derelict for years has now been sold.

Cheshire East Council’s wholly owned strategic property company, Engine of the North, has finalised a deal to sell the former Redsands Children’s Centre in Willaston, near Nantwich.

Subject to planning, Richmond Care Villages will transform the site into a specialist centre of excellence in dementia care. The new facility will create 80 jobs and operate as a satellite campus to Richmond’s existing care village in Nantwich.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing and planning, said: This is a welcome opportunity for a respected care organisation to provide services to some of our most vulnerable residents.”

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Chairman of Engine of the North said: “We’re pleased to have exchanged contracts to sell the former Redsands Children’s Centre, for a development that will bring the site back into economic use and create new jobs locally.”

A planning application for the new care facility has been submitted to Cheshire East Council. Under the plans, Cheshire East would retain ownership of the land to the east of the former centre, which includes a pond and football pitch. The existing public footpath which runs along the eastern boundary of the site will be maintained.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Help needed to keep site going

For over 9 years I have run and In all that time I have paid for everything myself and used my own camera to take over 75,000 photos of the Queens Park and Crewe.

I am now 69 years old and on a pension and cant keep up the web site fees and my camera is past it so I am looking for support from my readers in the form of donation so the sites dont have to close.

Please spread the word and make a donation

Rugby team goes the distance

Crewe and Nantwich RUFC challenge

Members of Crewe and Nantwich RUFC completed an 86-mile challenge last week to raise funds for the rugby club and also make a donation to the ‘We Love Manchester’ fund.

Thirteen players and coaches from the club took on a cycle and walking mission that started in Carlisle and ended across the country at Heddon-on-the-wall, near Newcastle.

The challenge was completed inside twenty four hours, with those taking part cycling, then walking, before returning to the bikes for the final miles.

Jon Cockburn, Chair of Crewe and Nantwich RUFC, said: “We have completed numerous challenges of over the years, including the Three Peaks, Lyke Wake Walk, Coast-to-Coast and the Great Lakes.

“This year’s route took us across country and onto Hadrian’s Wall, so there was history as well as fitness and fundraising involved.

“The rugby club relies on donations and sponsorship, so the money we raise will help to upkeep vital facilities that all ages can use.

“With the recent Manchester tragedy fresh in everyone’s mind, we will also be making a donation to the We Love Manchester fund.”

The club effort was supported along the route by Neil Smith from Side by Side Care, who drove a mini bus to carry essential equipment and supplies.

He said: “I am a member of the club, and we love to support local organisations. This was a massive effort by all concerned, so supplying our company van was the least we could do.”  

The rugby club was joined by other local businesses who have supported the rugby club throughout the year, including Auto Vent, Trident Gas services and ARH Group.

Pledges are still being collected, but over £2700 has already been raised. 

Family FunZone unveiled for Nantwich Food Festival

The Nantwich Food Festival is gearing up to offer families and children a fabulous experience with Hall Smith Whittingham’s Family FunZone marquee set to delight all ages.

Additional sponsorship by the Cheshire legal firm has enabled festival committee members to create an exciting programme of activities for the anticipated 40,000 visitors. 

The new marquee will be located near HSW’s Nantwich office by Market Street, hosting a range of exhibits and entertainment under cover, and on the firm’s nearby lawns.

Roger Mills, festival director, said: “Having another major local company provide valuable marquee space is a huge boost for the festival.

“Crewe and Nantwich businesses have shown amazing support again, and their backing allows us to improve the festival offering each year.

“It’s a cliché to say that this year’s event will be the best yet, but we are all very excited and can’t wait to reveal some of the new attractions.”   

With a focus on children and families, the HSW Family FunZone marquee will stage dance and circus workshops in conjunction with local organisations.

RedShift Radio, Funsters and Dr Zig’s will be on hand to provide music, games, crazy bubbles and face-painting fun. 

Children can learn how to milk a cow, complete giant floor jigsaws that show where farm produce comes from, and experience mysterious “feely” boxes with hidden secrets.

KidzKitchen will introduce mums, tots and young foodies to some delicious cookery ideas, while older children can test their BBQ skills with a burger cook-off run by Clewlow Butchers.

There will also be old favourites such as hook-a-duck, hula-hoop, hopscotch and other traditional games that children and adults love to play. 

Angela Lewis, Marketing Partner at Hall Smith Whittingham, said: “We love the idea of staging activities that will engage all of the family, and encourage participation for anyone who wants to get involved.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with X Academy School of Performing Arts and other groups who will be running workshops in the marquee.

“Everyone at Hall Smith Whittingham believes in teamwork and supporting each other. That ethos is extended to the local community, so hosting one of the marquees is the perfect way to reach out and give something back.”

Entry to the Nantwich Food Festival marquees and exhibitions is free, with a varied programme of events, music and entertainment spread across the three days.

The Nantwich Food Festival takes place from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 September.

Further details about this year’s festival can be found on the official website

Communities come together for ‘play day’ at Queens Park

Services from across Cheshire East Council joined together with many local partners as Crewe got in the spirit of ‘National Play Day’ on Wednesday.

The national day, which started in 1987 with just a couple of events, is now the biggest celebration of children’s play in the UK. This is the second time that Crewe has hosted the event with Queens Park being the venue on both occasions.

The play day included activities such as archery, football, space-hopping, arts and crafts and den-building.

The team at Cheshire East also organised 10 minute ‘shake-up’ activities – a ‘Change4Life’ programme of exercises for children and young people.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities and finance, said: “I want to say a big thank you to everyone involved in making this event happen. It demonstrates why play is fundamental for children’s enjoyment of childhood, and vital for their health, well-being and development. 

“The event was a brilliant example of connected communities coming together and working in true partnership to deliver a fun and free event for children and families to enjoy.”

The council were supported by many different community groups and partners including Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Everybody Sport and Recreation, Friends of Queens Park, Creative Crewe, Active Cheshire and Cheshire East wholly-owned company, Ansa.

There is strong evidence that regular physical activity is associated with numerous health benefits for children. National guidelines recommend that children and young people should engage in moderate to vigorous activity for at least 60 minutes per day.

For more information, including hints and tips for staying active over the summer holidays visit or

Buildings grant success will be huge boost for Cheshire East schools

Cheshire East Council is working with 19 schools and children centres on capital programmes aimed at improving the quality of buildings, to promote the best learning environments for all young people.

Schools in Cheshire East will benefit from a £1m boost aimed at improving the environments in which children in the borough are educated.

Using a Department for Education capital grant allocation, the council has encouraged maintained schools to carefully consider their current building infrastructure and bid to the council for this funding. Schools have been encouraged to draw upon their own school funds to supplement this grant so that as many schools as possible can benefit.

In previous successful schemes, schools have targeted the remodelling of existing environments to create new learning spaces, improved accessibility for disabled learners, as well as providing new specialist surroundings to enhance the curriculum.

The grant funding can also be used to address repairs to existing defects as well as providing ongoing maintenance to keep buildings in good condition.

At a time when the shortage of funding for schools is often highlighted, this initiative shows the council’s commitment to maximising the return on capital grants. It also illustrates the positive relationships with schools, as it draws on the expertise of council staff, and the schools themselves to effectively manage this programme.

Councillor George Hayes, cabinet member for children and families said: “We all want the best learning environments for our children to achieve and develop to their full potential and this scheme illustrates how best to maximise the capital resources available to achieve that.

“I look forward to visiting schools after the summer break to see these new resources in place and to see learners and staff benefiting from this investment.

“This council is fully committed to providing sufficient school places and a variety of projects are underway.

“The future of school improvement has to be through highly effective collaboration and this programme illustrates how school leaders, governors and local authority teams can successfully combine their skills and resources to really make a difference for young people.’’

Lyndsey Atkins, headteacher at Goostrey Community Primary School, said: “We are delighted to be having a music room built. It will enable our music specialists to facilitate greater learning opportunities, allowing pupils to develop their talents and skills in a dedicated space.  We are looking forward to using it next term and seeing the many benefits it will undoubtedly bring.”

Sunday, 30 July 2017

High quality organisation sought for special educational needs school

Cheshire East Council, in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE), has launched a search to find a high quality organisation to run a new special free school in the borough.

It is anticipated that applications will be received from organisations such as multi-academy trusts and specialist charitable groups.

The council is one of only 19 local authorities in the country which are inviting applications to build and run a new special free school. More than 1,600 school places are being created as part of this new initiative.

This is an important step to expand the authority’s range of provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) within Cheshire East. It is part of a wider analysis of where SEND school places are required across the borough, in order to reduce travel to out of borough schools.

The council has identified a proposed site – the former Lodgefields School in Crewe – for the construction of a new school and is now inviting applications as part of a significant national drive.

Councillor George Hayes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “Reducing the number of children that are being educated in out of borough special educational needs schools is a priority for us.

“We are committed to an ambitious schools development programme that delivers innovation, choice and higher standards for parents.

“Local authorities need to have a broad range of provision to meet the special educational needs of children and young people in their area so that, regardless of individuals’ needs, they all have an opportunity to make good progress. This is what we are determined to do and this is what we will aim to achieve.”

Air Quality Monitoring

Cheshire East Council is taking action to improve air quality monitoring procedures in response to concerns raised at a Cabinet meeting on 12 July 2016.

A report, received at that meeting, stated: “As part of the preparatory work for the 2015 annual report and return to Defra, a number of data inaccuracies have been identified that impact on the 2015 report and the 2014 report which has already been submitted.”

The council monitors nitrogen dioxide levels at approximately 100 sites throughout the borough as part of its ongoing work to improve local air quality.

Following the report, the council’s internal audit team undertook a full review and issued a number of recommendations which led to the commissioning of an external investigation.

This external investigation is now complete and the council is considering its response to the findings and recommendations.

The high level findings are:

1) Serious errors have been made in the council’s air quality data for 2012, 2013 and 2014. It is clear that these errors are the result of deliberate and systematic manipulation of data from a number of diffusion tubes.
2)The council has been exposed to unacceptable risks to the security of its air quality data as a result of failings within the service to ensure that adequate processes, procedures and systems were in place to manage this data effectively.
3)These errors have caused a number of serious problems for the council. These are as follows:

· Incorrect data has been submitted to Defra in an annual statutory return, which will need to be corrected and published in the public domain.

· These errors and other methodological issues have resulted in a number of deficiencies in relation to Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) requiring adjustments to be made to the detail of the number of AQMAs.

· The errors may have affected the Detailed Assessments (DA) carried out to determine whether an AQMA should be declared.

· The errors have impacted on Air Quality Assessments undertaken as part of the process of considering planning applications.

4) The data sets that are aligned to the diffusion tubes that were and are now known to be altered are spread over a wide geographical area, which implies that the manipulation was not motivated by a wish to favour specific sites.
5) Phase 2 of the external investigation included a review of planning applications where publication of revised air quality data may have affected the planning decisions. The findings indicate that such planning applications are in the following towns:

· Nantwich

· Congleton

· Crewe

· Holmes Chapel

· Sandbach

The statutory return to Defra for 2016 (Annual Status Report) has been reviewed and quality assured as part of the investigation.  As such by the end of this month the council will be in a position to seek the approval of the Director of Public Health for both the 2016 and 2017 ASR submission to Defra. Both the 2016 and 2017 reports are based on corrected data and include actions as recommended by the investigation.

The Air Quality team have reviewed their internal processes and procedures to ensure that the risk of data adjustment is minimised. There are now a number of quality control measures in place.

Sean Hannaby, Director of Planning and Sustainable Development, said:  “On behalf of the council I would like to sincerely apologise in respect of these findings, we would like to assure everyone that we have done everything we can to rectify these failings. It is worth reiterating that in July 2016 the then Director of Public Health assured us that there are no immediate health protection measures needed as a result of these errors and I have been assured that this advice still stands.

“We appreciate that it has been a year now since we first reported these concerns, but it was important that we ensured a thorough review and investigation into this important matter.

“Significant work has been undertaken to ensure that there are now robust processes and procedures in place. The planning service is currently analysing the relevant planning applications to assess whether any additional mitigation measures are required. Our council website now contains the correct data and supporting information and our annual status report for both 2016 and 2017 containing the accurate data will be submitted to Defra within the next few weeks.

“Consideration is still being given as to the council’s response to the investigation's findings in relation to any HR issues.”

Waste Reduction Volunteers Wanted

If you are passionate about reducing waste and becoming a partner with the environment then why not become a Cheshire East Waste Reduction Volunteer? Whether it is getting knee deep in dirt and worms or simply talking about recycling and food waste, this is a very rewarding position and truly makes a difference to the environment. The project is delivered by Ansa Environmental Services on behalf of Cheshire East Council as part of its waste minimisation strategy.

The aim of the Waste Reduction Volunteer project is to reach out to the wider community and inspire the public to change their thinking about waste. Our team of dedicated Waste Reduction Volunteers attend road shows and deliver talks throughout the Cheshire East area, speaking to the public about recycling, home composting and food waste reduction.

Every month brings a fabulous new opportunity, whether it's delivering recycling talks to the community, working with school gardening clubs, or chatting about Love Food Hate Waste at food festivals.

Each volunteer receives training, travel expenses and membership of the Waste Reduction Volunteer Reward Scheme and in return will be invited to participate in a number of local events and projects, throughout the year, choosing from a range of activities such as delivering talks, supporting their local schools, attending large events and shows, holding workshops and demonstrations.

Ansa Director, Councillor Geoff Baggott, said: “The Waste Reduction Volunteers are a dedicated group of individuals, who are deeply passionate about reducing waste in the community. It is a fantastic, rewarding scheme and new volunteers will always be welcome to heighten the impact of the scheme even more.”
Lisa Lowe, Ansa’s Waste Reduction Volunteer Project Coordinator, added: "I find it very rewarding to work with such a motivated group of individuals. They amaze me with their enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of food and home composting. The project is designed to be insightful, educational but most of all fun. It is always rewarding when the volunteers talk to me about the experiences they have had on the many events they have been involved with."

If you think you have what it takes to become part of our friendly, enthusiastic team please contact Lisa Lowe, Waste Reduction Volunteer Coordinator on 01606 288 942 or email

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Help save the local badger from the cull

Can you help us help our badgers this autumn? #StopTheCull

Click here to support CATC badger saving fuel fund organized by CheshireAgainstTheCull .

Having enough funds for fuel is so important to keep badger protectors mobile during badger culls and going through a lot of fuel is easily done in this…

Join the badger patrol

International pavement art festival heads to Crewe

The streets of Crewe town centre will become the canvas for an international pavement art festival next month.

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend (26-27), around 30 artists will be heading to Crewe’s Market Square to take part in ‘Chalk It Up’, transforming the pavements into a riot of colour.

The artists, many of them multi-award winners and world renowned, will be arriving from across the globe, including from the United States, Mexico, the Netherlands, Italy, France and the UK.

They will use chalk pastels to create impressive 12ft x 16ft pieces of artwork and will be competing for a series of cash prizes. During the weekend there will also be opportunities for visitors to give pavement art a go themselves, as well as a children’s competition.

The festival is being organised by Urban Canvas – professional pavement artists from Liverpool – in collaboration with Cheshire East Council, which is funding the event in partnership with Crewe Town Council and local firm Whitby Morrison, renowned ice cream van manufacturers.

While it is the first time Crewe has played host to a festival of this type, the town has a long history of pavement art.

Councillor David Brown, cabinet member for arts and culture at Cheshire East Council, said: “Cheshire East has a rich cultural heritage and Crewe plays an important part in that. But while it is best known for being an historic railway town, it is fantastic that this festival will celebrate another feature of Crewe’s heritage – pavement art.

Pavement art originated in Britain and during the Victorian era, the artists, known as ‘screevers’, flourished around areas where tourists and business people passed through, such as railway stations. Crewe was no exception.”

The full details of the festival were revealed today during a launch event held at Crewe railway station. Crewe-based artist Christine Edwards gave passers-by a taste of the type of artwork they can expect to see, recreating one of the horses from a Salvador Dali painting on the station overbridge, near to the ticket barriers.

Christine is behind the intriguing pieces of copy art that have been appearing in Crewe town centre over the last few weeks, including artist Peter Howson’s ‘Drum II’.

She will be competing in the festival herself, having won first prize in the copy art category of the James Carling International Pavement Festival Liverpool 2011.

All artists – many of them known for 3D pavement art – will be working on their creations between 10am and 6pm on the first day (August 26) of the festival and the morning of the second, with judging then taking place during the afternoon.

On day one, visitors can add their mark to a giant chalk painting in Lyceum Square from 1pm-4pm. That evening will then see the UK premiere of ‘GESSO – the art of street painting’, a new documentary film about street and pavement art.

On day two, from 12pm-3pm, children can participate in a competition on Lyceum Square where there will be prizes for different age groups.

Visitors will also be asked to vote for their favourite piece of pavement art, with a prize for the winning artist.

Cllr Brown said: “We are looking forward to welcoming artists from across the world to Crewe and hope they will take inspiration from the borough’s distinctive attributes.

“We also encourage visitors of all ages to get involved in this exciting festival, which we hope will help to build Cheshire East’s international reputation as a destination for arts and culture.

“Pavement art is very much temporary – so don’t miss the opportunity to see the creations up close.”

The festival is part of Coloured Earth, a series of international pavement art events and festivals organised by Urban Canvas for the UK.

It is also supported by Toulon International de Street Festival, in France, and Festival Bella Via, in Mexico.

Confirmed artists include:

Vicente Rios Zarazua, Mexico.

Adry Del Rocio, Mexico (artist biography available).

Anthony Cappetto, USA.

Carlos Alberto Garcia, Mexico.

Cesar Polack, Mexico.

Christine Edwards, England (Crewe).

Hannah Bold, England.

Jean-Marc Navello, France.

Jennifer Chaparro, USA (artist biography available).

John Bulley, England.

Keith Fearon, England.

Ketty Grossi, Italy (artist biography available).

Laurellene, Sturtzer, France.

Mark Sheeky, England (Crewe).

Omar Saenz, Mexico.

Ruben Poncia, The Netherlands (artist biography available).

Cesar-PolackRuben-PonciaTeaser image piece 7



Landmark day as Cheshire East Council adopts Local Plan

Cheshire East Council has today sealed the formal adoption of its landmark Local Plan.

The decision comes after a planning inspector last month gave Cheshire East’s strategic blueprint for shaping development in the borough up to 2030 a ‘clean bill of health’.

Approval by a meeting of full council today follows three years of submissions and a total of more than 60,000 comments during 11 separate rounds of public consultation. This represents ‘an unprecedented level of interest’ in a council consultation process.

Importantly, the inspector, in his final report to the council, highlights that the plan provides a five-year supply of housing land to meet projected need. This is a key finding that will now support the council’s case against inappropriate or unsustainable housing proposals. 

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council said today: “It has been a long and sometimes difficult journey but we understood the importance of getting this blueprint right – and the adoption of our Local Plan is great news for the people of Cheshire East.

“The Local Plan is the council’s most important tool for shaping development in Cheshire East to 2030 – so today is a landmark for this authority, local businesses and our residents.”

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East cabinet member for housing and planning, said:

“The planning inspector acknowledged that our Local Plan was one of the most complex and consulted upon he had seen in his more than 20 years’ experience.

“There has been a tremendous response from our residents and other stakeholders during the very extensive rounds of public consultations and I’m sure it has allowed everyone to feel they had the opportunity to have their say on the plan.

“Our Local Plan has been shown to be both comprehensive and robust and will give the people of Cheshire East its best protection against unplanned and unsustainable development. It also gives shape to where future growth in housing, employment and infrastructure will be accommodated within our borough.”

Planning Inspector Mr Pratt said in his final report in June: “I consider the overall development strategy for Cheshire East, including the provision for housing and employment land, is soundly based, effective, deliverable, appropriate, locally distinctive and justified by robust, proportionate and credible evidence and is positively prepared and consistent with national policy.”

Sean Hannaby, the council’s director of planning and strategic development, said: “As a council, we are picking up the challenge from Whitehall to accelerate delivery of new homes to meet demand.

“Under our Local Plan we see a significant increase in our new-build to 1,800 homes per year. The plan also identifies more than 2,500 acres of land for housing – an area equivalent to around 2,600 football pitches

“We have already been building houses at an increasing rate to help meet demand, with completions totalling 1,760 homes in 2016/17 – a four-fold increase on the figure for 2010/11. On top of that we have 400 sites currently under construction and current planning consent for more than 20,000 homes.

“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the incredible hard work of our officers and members to successfully deliver a robust Local Plan for the people of Cheshire East.”

Cheshire East’s Local Plan includes provision for a housing requirement of at least 36,000 new homes and 380 hectares of development land, to reflect a stronger anticipated jobs growth rate of 0.7 per cent per annum.

The inspector endorsed all of the 60-plus strategic sites within the Local Plan, including larger-scale proposals, such as the North Cheshire Garden Village at Handforth.

He also supported the council’s strategy of making modest amendments to green belt land and the other key policies regarding the maintaining of ‘green gap’ land between settlements. However, less than two per cent of the borough’s green belt land will be affected by the increased development need.

For further information about the Local Plan, recent consultations and links to key documents, visit our website at:

Double success for lifelong learners

Cheshire East Council has received two excellent pieces of news which further emphasises its commitment to securing the best outcomes for all learners.

The national achievement rates tables (NARTs) have been published by the Skills Funding Agency which highlight key indicators of performance in education and training at 19 years and over.

This data is used by organisations across the country to benchmark their own targets and actual performance against other organisations, both locally and nationally.

Learners supported and monitored through the Cheshire East lifelong learning team have achieved the highest overall achievement rates across the Cheshire and Warrington areas. The Cheshire East rate of 94 per cent compares very strongly to the regional average of 78 per cent and a national average of 84 per cent.

The Cheshire East lifelong learning team was also subject to an Ofsted inspection in June with the final report letter recently being published.

The inspection continues to judge the quality of provision as ‘good’ and there were many positive comments within the report which promoted high student achievement, strong leadership and quality assurance processes across a range of providers and effective governance.  The Ofsted comments included:

‘You have ensured that learners continue to receive good quality education and training.

Learners benefit from teaching, learning and assessment which is of a consistently high

standard and which ensures that most make good progress’;

‘Managers use effective quality improvement strategies to ensure that the quality of courses, including that delivered by subcontractors, is of a good standard’; and

‘Experienced governors are determined to provide courses that support community improvements and work with the most disadvantaged people in the local area’.

Councillor George Hayes, cabinet member for children and families, said: “These two excellent outcomes for the council reflect our total commitment to supporting learners beyond school age in order that they have the necessary skills, training and qualifications for a successful transition into employment.

“Many of our learners, supported through the lifelong learning team, have varying levels of vulnerability and may not have succeeded well at an earlier age. To see them now achieve and develop new skills and abilities to go forward into employment is something which makes me very proud.

“I want to thank all the staff within the lifelong learning team and provider organisations who have worked very hard to support our students and also the learners themselves, who are maintaining such high success rates in Cheshire East.”

Chalk it up

Reporter Jonathan White

'Chalk It Up’, an international pavement art festival, was officially launched at Crewe Railway Station on Thursday 27th July 2017.

The festival will take place on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August 2017 in Market Square, Crewe.

Around 30 artists, many of them multi-award winners, will be arriving from across the globe, including from the United States, Mexico, the Netherlands, Italy, France and the UK to take part in the festival. They will use chalk pastels to create impressive 12ft x 16ft pieces of artwork and will be competing for a series of cash prizes. During the weekend, visitors will also be able to give pavement art a go themselves and there will be a children’s competition.

At the launch event, Crewe-based artist Christine Edwards gave passers-by a taste of the type of artwork they can expect to see at the festival, by creating a piece on the overbridge at the station.

Crewe-based artist Christine  Edwards

Monday, 24 July 2017

Wounded Badger Patrols

Wounded Badger Patrols play a vital role of saving badgers within a cull zone. These are 100% legal coordinated night and day walks along public footpaths within a zone.
Wounded Badger Patrol Cheshire is now setting up and they need YOU in order to be effective!
Please email to register your interest if you're able to join patrols within the proposed Cheshire cull zone this autumn. #StopTheCull #BadgerMonday

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Crewe Heritage Centre celebrated its 30th anniversary

Jonathan White, Wistaston

Crewe Heritage Centre celebrated its 30th anniversary on the weekend of Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July 2017, as it was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 24th July 1987. The centre was built to commemorate 150 historic years of the town of Crewe.

Crewe-built steam locomotive 46233 Duchess of Sutherland was on display (Sunday only), along with locomotives from Colas Rail, Direct Rail Services and GB Railfreight. The exhibition hall featured a newly repainted Class 87 locomotive 87035 Robert Burns, along with stands and displays.

All the Crewe Heritage Centre regular attractions were also 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.

Visitors travelled from the local area and further afield including Wales and Scotland to attend the event, which was enjoyed by hundreds of people.

Crewe built steam locomotive 46233  Duchess of SutherlandThe Crewe Heritage Centre 1987-2017  commemorate plaque attached to the APT

Cheshire East to salute the fallen of First World War’s Passchendaele

Cheshire East Council is to hold a ceremony of commemoration to mark the centenary of the start of the Third Battle of Ypres – more widely known as Passchendaele.

The Royal British Legion, other veterans groups, members of the public and dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire and Bishop of Stockport, will gather for a poignant ceremony and wreath laying at Wilmslow War Memorial, on Mill Street, at 2pm on Monday July 31.

Mayor of Cheshire East Councillor Arthur Moran will lead the tributes to the fallen on behalf of Cheshire East Council.

The First World War battle in Flanders was notorious for its terrible casualties and appallingly-lethal mud. Servicemen from across Cheshire were among the combatants and casualties.

The Cheshire Regiment alone lost 885 men in total during the battle, with 124 deaths on the first day. Of the 885, the youngest was 17 and the oldest 44.

The Third Battle of Ypres, which began on July 31, 1917, was supposed to see the Allies break-out to the Belgian coast to destroy German U-boat bases.

More than 4.5 million shells were fired in the two-week bombardment before the launch of the assault. But the attack soon floundered amid record heavy rains and unprecedented waterlogged mud that drowned horses, men and machines alike.

Passchendaele was the name of the totally destroyed village the Allies captured before the attack was called to an end on November 6, 1917.

The battle was one of the bloodiest of the war. In total, more than 325,000 Allied soldiers and more than 260,000 German soldiers were killed or wounded.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “There were many families in Cheshire who suffered the loss of a loved one during this appallingly difficult and brutal battle. So it is only right that now, 100 years on, we remember them and pay tribute to their great sacrifice.

“It is tremendously important that today’s generation, thankfully largely untouched by conflict, continues to remember and honour the sacrifice made during the First World War. We will remember them.”

The ceremony will be attended by Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire David Briggs, the Bishop of Stockport the Rt Rev Libby Lane and representatives of the Royal British Legion, Cheshire East Council, Wilmslow Town Council and other local community groups.

Ian Mac, actor and artistic director of the Jude Theatre Company, will perform a short monologue about life in the trenches at the ceremony. The singer Anna Meadmore will also perform the famous 1914 Ivor Novello song ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’.

Members of the public are warmly invited to attend.

The commemorative event is part of the council’s ‘Cheshire East Reflects’ four-year programme of remembrance of the sacrifice by the people of Cheshire East during the First World War.

Cheshire East will be marking a number of key anniversaries in the period up to November 11, 2018, when the centenary of the signing of the Armistice will be commemorated.

A530 Middlewich Road

Following yesterday’s emergency closure of A530 Middlewich Road, caused by a United Utilities water main burst, investigatory work has confirmed that there has been substantial structural damage to the main highway.

Both edges of the carriageway have collapsed and there is a risk of further collapse.

The council is faced with no alternative but to close the road completely in the interests of public safety.

The extent of repairs required could take between six and eight weeks to complete. Investigatory work is ongoing and so this timescale may change.

Middlewich Road will be closed between Alvaston roundabout and Marshfield Bank roundabout, and an advisory diversion route for all vehicles will be signed via the Nantwich bypass, the A500, David Whitby Way, Weston Road, Macon Way, Earle Street, Vernon Way, Dunwoody Way, West Street and Copenhall Lane.

The diversions will operate in both directions.

Access will be maintained for businesses and motorists are advised to plan their journey accordingly.

For further information visit:

Cheshire East Highways will also provide updates through its twitter account @cechighways

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Cheshire East Council scoops Green Flag and heritage awards

Cheshire East Council’s parks are some of the very best in the UK – and that’s official.

Cheshire East has been awarded Green Flags for its outstanding parks, an important element of the council’s commitment to ‘quality of place’ for the region.

The Green Flag award is given to authorities that deliver a parks service to an international standard. All parks are measured on how well they are maintained, how sustainable they are, along with their contributions to conservation and heritage.

However, there are also more diverse criteria that parks are measured on, which include areas such as how they are marketed and managed.

Significant investment in our parks in recent years has resulted in the Green Flag award standard being achieved by Queens Park in Crewe, Congleton and Sandbach parks along with the Moor in Knutsford, Bollington recreation ground, Brereton Heath local nature reserve, Tegg’s Nose country park and Tatton Park.

Tatton Park in Knutsford and Queens Park in Crewe have also received the Green Heritage Award, which is given to places that achieve a high standard in management and interpretation of a site with local or national historic importance.

The awards are recognition of outstanding partnership working both with other local authorities and community groups. They were presented at the Guildhall in Hull in an event attended by many northern authorities.

Councillor David Brown, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is deserved recognition for a lot of hard work and dedication, not just from our own teams at Cheshire East but also the army of volunteers and community groups that make achievements like this possible.

“The Green Flag is an international standard and the only national award for parks, so this is great praise for Cheshire East to be recognised in this way.”

Councillor John Hammond, chairman of Cheshire East’s wholly-owned company Ansa, which delivers parks services for the authority, said: “Green Flag is a prestigious parks award which benchmarks the national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK. So naturally, I am delighted with this success.

“All of these parks look beautiful at this time and I must thank all our friends groups and partners for their outstanding efforts and contributions to make this happen.

“It was particularly satisfying that Queens Park in Crewe was successful in obtaining the Green Heritage Award this year, following the recent refurbishment and investment. We do hope you will take time to visit and support your local park.”

Ensure you have your say on Cheshire East bus services consultation

Cheshire East Council is encouraging ‘you’ to have your say on the 10-week borough-wide consultation into proposed changes to subsidised bus services, including the ‘Little Bus’ flexible transport service.

The proposals would save more than £1.5m from the council’s budget. Cheshire East is urging the public to come forward and have their say before the consultation ends on Wednesday, July 26.

You can see the proposals and give your views online at: or pick up a consultation pack at libraries and customer service centres.

All opinions are welcome on the consultation proposals. Cheshire East is also encouraging members of the public who don’t use buses to share their views.

The proposed changes include no longer supporting buses on evenings and Sundays, as these are some of the least used of the authority’s subsidised services. This is being suggested in order to maintain more weekday and Saturday services.

Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “Changing the way services operate is always a very complex issue.

“Naturally, the council wants to weigh up the needs of all our service users for such an important consultation, so we are determined to take every possible opportunity to hear what the public has to say.

“We will still be investing more than £2m in subsidised bus services.”

Cheshire East to check council tax discounts for errors

Cheshire East is to run data checks on households claiming council tax discounts in order to find instances where incorrect awards have been made.

All households in Cheshire East claiming a single person’s discount of 25 per cent off their council tax bill will be checked for their authenticity using sophisticated data-matching technology.

This is part of an ongoing review to validate legitimate single person discount claims and identify and remove those being claimed in error.

A 25 per cent discount, worth a minimum of £250 a year, is given to anyone who claims to be living in a property on their own.

Cheshire East Council is now checking to see whether people are living alone, by cross-referencing with other sources of information about their household – such as, but not limited to, the electoral roll registers and financial sector information.

People failing to respond to two written requests for further information, in relation to their claim, will have it withdrawn from the beginning of the current financial year or from the date the discount was applied, if within the current financial year.

If during the review process, checks indicate that another adult is living at the address, the discount will also be withdrawn.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “We will be contacting all those we believe to be claiming incorrectly but, in the meantime, I would urge anyone who is claiming the discount and whose circumstances have changed, to contact us immediately by visiting the council tax section of the authority’s website or by telephoning 0300 123 5013.

“It would be advisable for individuals to let us know about changes in their circumstances, so it makes sense to tell us as soon as possible. Even if you were living alone when you received your bill for the year, if another adult is living with you now, we will need to re-calculate the amount you need to pay.”

Love Crewe Mission Week’

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

‘Love Crewe Mission Week’ took place in Crewe from Wednesday 12th to Sunday 16th July 2017 with a range of events in the morning, afternoon and evening.

There was a morning outreach each day from Wednesday to Saturday in Crewe town centre, where free drinks and prayer were offered. In the afternoon from Wednesday to Saturday there were clear ups in Valley Park and Orchard and Ford Lane alley and park. In the evening from Wednesday to Sunday there were events including ‘Where can I find hope?’ at Crewe Alex, a live music concert by indie-pop band ‘BrightLine’ in Queens Park, ‘Does God care about me?’ with inspiring speakers and live music on Crewe Town Square, ‘Where can I find healing?’ at Crewe Alex and on the final day there was a Celebration party at Crewe Alex.

All the events were free and the Love Crewe Mission Week was enjoyed by several hundred people.

The events were organised by ‘Love Crewe’ - - who are comprised of churches serving the Crewe area.

A representative from Love Crewe said, “Love Crewe was born out of a desire to see the town blessed and transformed. As the churches in Crewe we believe the heart of this change is each person experiencing the love of God through Jesus. This brings healing, forgiveness and real hope!”

For further information relating to Love Crewe, please contact Phil and Emma Howell on 07906616373.

Hope Church worship group perform  on Crewe Town Square

STATEMENT RE: HS2 Bill before Parliament

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We welcome the Hybrid Bill for Phase 2a of HS2, from Birmingham to Crewe, being put before Parliament. This is a key milestone for this ‘once in a generation’ rail project, which will see a Crewe hub station opening in 2027.

“This council also welcomes further recognition of the overwhelming case for a HS2 hub station in Crewe.

“We are pleased to see that the Department for Transport has launched a consultation on the Crewe HS2 hub station and related components. The council will consider the consultation proposals in detail to ensure our consultation responses reflect the best possible outcomes for Cheshire East residents.

“This council and the Constellation Partnership (a sub-regional group of neighbouring local authorities and local enterprise partnerships) now look forward to the opportunity to vigorously press the case for the enormous benefits to the economy that an enhanced HS2 hub station at Crewe – with unrivalled 360-degree connectivity and up to seven high-speed trains an hour serving Manchester, Birmingham and London – would deliver, not only to the sub-region but also to the Midlands, North West, Wales and beyond.

“I would also reiterate that we wish to see the highest standards of mitigation and compensation for those people and businesses affected by the route.”

Council acts to tackle parking issues on Crewe Business Park

Longstanding parking and transport issues on a thriving business park are set to be addressed following extensive consultation with businesses.

Cheshire East Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company is actively working with businesses on Crewe Business Park to help find solutions to the parking and commuting problems along Electra Way and surrounding areas.

A workshop was held in April to explore options to tackle a number of issues affecting staff and businesses. These included reducing parking violations – including triple parking and parking on the grass verges – improving public transport links to the site and steps to encourage car-sharing, walking and cycling.

Longer-term structural issues affecting access to and from the park and the opening up of additional offsite parking spaces, for example at the nearby MMU site, were also considered.

Arriva and D&G Bus were also involved in the workshop and are participating in the process, with new timetables, shuttle services and discounted ticketing options under consideration.

Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company said: “We are determined to help ease the parking and transport issues on Crewe Business Park and have been pleased with the excellent support, co-operation and innovation shown by all parties so far. I would urge all businesses on the park to come forward and share in the process of providing solutions”.

The Skills and Growth Company is working in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to help tackle congestion via the potential leasing of parking space on the Crewe campus site.

Shaun Evans, of Assurant Solutions, a large employer on Crewe Business Park, said: “We have been aware of the parking problems on the park for some time and it has been impacting negatively on our staff, visitors and neighbours. We are very pleased to work with the council to find solutions as soon as possible, which could also improve the wellbeing of our staff by helping them to use public transport, car share, walk or cycle to work.”

Improved better care fund to support adult social care and NHS

Cheshire East Council will receive a grant of £10.8m over the next three years, dedicated to the needs of the growing adult social care sector and the wider local health economy.

The expected positive impacts of this grant funding will lead to reducing pressure on the NHS, help people to stay at home for longer – which will include supporting more people to be discharged from hospital when they are ready and without delay – and ensure that local social care provision is supported appropriately.

This dedicated approach to adult social care outcomes is being delivered through the improved Better Care Fund.

Cheshire East Council’s adult social care services team is showing a vast improvement in the reduction of delayed discharges from hospitals. Working closely with two clinical commissioning groups, two acute trusts, community providers and GPs, this transformation work is already well developed and proving successful.

Adult social care teams in Cheshire East are also delivering more ‘area-based’ care. This allows health and social care staff to have a very clear community focus in their approach and to support residents in promoting their independence.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “There is an unprecedented increase in demand on adult social care in the borough and we are always looking at innovative ways to support our vulnerable residents.

“We have an ageing population, which we are determined to support the best we can by providing support to allow them to live in their own homes for longer and to have more choice and control.

“We also have a lot of younger adults who are transitioning to adult social care, many of whom have very complex needs. It is our foremost priority to ensure that a high standard of care is provided in a timely manner to our residents.

“This grant is a welcome boost to Cheshire East residents as we continue to deliver against our outcome of living well for longer.”

Monday, 17 July 2017

Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service July 2017 E-Newsletter

Subject: Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service July 2017 E-Newsletter - FiRELiNK

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

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Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

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

Award-winning month!

Award-winning month!

We are delighted to have won two prestigious awards - one for road safety and one for health and home safety.

Prestigious health award

Cheshire and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services have won a prestigious health award for their pioneering new scheme focusing on bowel cancer screening.

The two services' Safe and Well visits have won a Healthcare Transformation Award in the category of Improving Cancer Outcomes, alongside their partners Public Health England, NHS England (Cheshire and Merseyside) and Cancer Research UK.

Find out more - Fire and Rescue Services win health award

Tyre Safety award

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has won an award for their tyre safety campaign which they run in conjunction with a national charity.

The Service won a Tyre Safety award in the Community category for their work with partners TyreSafe in reducing the number of unsafe tyres on the roads in Cheshire.

Find out more - Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service wins Tyre Safety award

Care home company fined for serious fire safety breaches

A Cheshire care home company has been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £9,000 in costs after pleading guilty to serious breaches of fire safety regulations.

Four Seasons (No 9) Ltd is part of Four Seasons Health Care Group and pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at its Cypress Court Care Home premises on Broad Street in Crewe.

Find out more - Care home company fined for serious fire safety breaches

Summer safety


Stay safe during the summer months, use the links below to access fire safety tips and advice:

Summer road safety tips

Car on a country road in Cheshire

Long warm days can be the perfect opportunity to get out and about in your car. If you're planning a road trip, please read the information below for the most important things you need to check and do before you take to the road.

Find out more - Summer road safety tips

Fire Station open days

Ellesmere Port Fire Station Open Day 2017

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service fire stations will be holding free fire station open days over the next few months.

Find out more - Fire Station open days

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

Find out more - Your local fire station

Bradley Lowery at Memorial

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The people of Crewe honoured the life and achievements of Bradley Lowery at Memorial Square in Crewe on the evening of Friday 14th July 2017.

Bradley, from Blackhall Colliery in County Durham, passed away, aged six years old, on Friday 7th July 2017. He was a Sunderland football fan who was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer - neuroblastoma - when just 18 months old. He became Sunderland's club mascot and also "best mates" with his hero, striker Jermain Defoe. Bradley's brave fight against cancer inspired millions and has helped raise over £1 million for charity.

The event took place on the day of Bradley's funeral. There was a short speech from Shaine Tench about Bradley and what this young boy achieved and how he brought so many people together, followed by a two-minute clapping ovation. A hugging exercise then took place to symbolise Bradley bringing people together, then children at the event were invited to release ten helium-filled balloons.

A person dressed in a Mickey Mouse cartoon character costume attended the event, as Bradley was a Disney fan. It was also hoped that the Mickey Mouse brought comfort to children who didn't understand the situation in relation to Bradley.

There was also a donation bucket with all funds donated to the Bradley Lowery Foundation.

The event was organised by Shaine Tench, from Crewe, who said, "We came together as the great community of Crewe to show our support for Bradley and his family during their sad loss. Bradley was a hero to myself and many others."

Balloon release from Memorial  Square

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS)

Reporter Jonathan White

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS) are on the lookout for new members. TAPPS are based at St Andrew’s Church Hall on Bedford Street in Crewe and stage a programme of events throughout the year including a pantomime, two variety shows and summer play reading evenings. There is also an active social programme. If you would like to get involved with this lively group please contact Fred Allman via text/phone on 07968829999.

Their programme of events from July 2017 to January 2018 is:

-Friday 21st July 2017 (7:15pm) – Play reading evening – have a go at reading a part or just relax with a glass of wine and nibbles. Admission = £3. Membership scheme = £2.

-Friday 4th August (7:15pm) – Play reading evening – another chance for a chilled out evening - have a go at reading a part or just relax with a glass of wine and nibbles. Admission = £3. Membership scheme = £2.

-Saturday 9th September (11am) – TAPPS walk – a stroll around the countryside, followed by a pub lunch. Venue to be announced. Those in the membership scheme get £5 towards the cost of lunch.

-Tuesday 19th September (7:15pm) – Rehearsals begin for ‘Autumn Frolics’ – the TAPPS variety show.

-Friday 22nd September (7:30pm) – Trip to Crewe Lyceum Theatre to see ‘A Murder is Announced’. Like to join us? Please book your seat with Fred (see contact details below) by Sunday 9th July.

-Saturday 7th October (7pm) – Performance of ‘Autumn Frolics’ in St Andrew’s Church Hall. Tickets = £5 adults, £2.50 children.

-Friday 27th October (7:15pm) – TAPPS Annual General Meeting.

-Tuesday 7th November (7:15pm) – Rehearsals begin for TAPPS pantomime 'Aladdin’.

-Saturday 23rd December - Trip to Crewe Lyceum Theatre to see the pantomime 'Snow White' starring Cannon & Ball. Tickets = £26 (£21 for those in membership scheme) and closing date for booking is 3rd September.

-Friday 12th & Saturday 13th January 2018 - TAPPS pantomime 'Aladdin’.

TAPPS members Gwen Kinder and Julie  Blackhurst with panto props

Friday, 14 July 2017

Warning issued following hoax HMRC calls

Subject: Warning issued following hoax HMRC calls

This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

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Dan Hind (Police, Media, Chesh Engagement Unit)

Officers are reminding resident to remain vigilant following a multiple reports of hoax calls from people claiming to be from HMRC.
Over the past 24 hours officers have received three separate reports from residents in the Northwich area who have received calls from a man purporting to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
On each occasion the victim was told they were being investigated by HMRC for an outstanding tax balance and if they didn’t settle the balance then they would be arrested. The caller was then informed that if they paid the balance within two hours they will not be arrested, and then told that the balance could only be settled using iTunes vouchers.
The victims were then advised to visit a high street supermarket or electronics store to purchase the vouchers and then call back the hoax caller and provide them with the serial numbers from the vouchers to settle their debt.
Chief Inspector Simon Meegan said: “In each of these cases the victims have been told that they must purchase hundreds of pounds worth of vouchers or face the prospect of being arrested; which has caused anxiety and concern for all of the victims.
“Thankfully in all three cases the victims did not fall for the scam and no money changed hands. However, having been made aware of these incidents we are working closely with local supermarkets and electronics stores to help prevent vulnerable residents from purchasing large quantities of vouchers.
“I would also like to remind local residents that HMRC would never call you and ask you to settle a balance over the phone using vouchers. I advise anyone who believes that they may have been a victim to call us on 101.”
Anyone who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or have been a victim of fraud should call Cheshire Police on 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.