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Friday, 23 June 2017

Council acts to reassure residents over tower block fire safety


Cheshire East Council has moved swiftly with its partners in order to reassure people about the fire safety of high-rise blocks in the borough.

The authority has reviewed its own buildings stock and has contacted registered housing providers to seek their assurances that any of their high-rise properties meet strict fire regulations.

No properties have been identified as having the type of cladding that has been implicated in the Grenfell Tower blaze, in Kensington, London, on June 14, which led to at least 79 deaths.

Council officers are also working closely alongside fire brigade officers during site visits to high-rise properties in Cheshire East. No sites of concern have been identified so far.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This council was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in west London, and joins the nation in grieving for those who lost their lives. We also keep those who were injured, made homeless or otherwise affected by the fire, firmly in our thoughts.

“The council has acted swiftly to review its own properties, in order to reassure our local residents about the safety measures in place for similar buildings in Cheshire East.” 

The council’s facilities management team has robust systems in place with regard to fire safety measures in council-owned buildings, which are reviewed regularly. Moreover, all council buildings have fire alarms fitted and fire drills are carried out regularly.

Only one of the council’s buildings is more than six storeys tall (18m) and none of the authority’s high-rise buildings has external cladding.

A briefing issued by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed that every high-rise building in Cheshire is regularly inspected for fire safety by the service’s prevention and protection teams, accompanied by operational firefighters. These teams have been visiting all 21 high-rise buildings identified in Cheshire in recent days, to provide extra reassurance to local people.

Councillor Bailey added: “The council has joint responsibilities with other agencies, such as the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, housing associations and owners/tenants, for ensuring that various measures and standards are in place to ensure all buildings in Cheshire East are built, occupied and maintained to the very latest safety standards.

“In 2013, following a notice of motion, this council resolved to lobby MPs to promote any change to the building regulations to consider including sprinkler systems within new or adapted buildings. Indeed, following the resolution, we installed sprinklers into our own Lincoln House property in Crewe and a programme of works is due to start in the next few weeks to install sprinklers into each unit at our homeless hostel in Macclesfield.

“I would add that this council supports the calls for a public enquiry into the tragedy at Grenfell Tower and the events that led to that horrific blaze and would welcome any changes to the fire safety codes, law, guidance, advice or practice that would result in improvements in fire safety in such buildings.”

If you have concerns about the fire safety arrangements in your Cheshire East high-rise building, you should initially contact your housing provider. Further fire safety information can be found on the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service website – www.cheshirefire.gov.uk

Queen’s Speech signals green light for HS2 Crewe


Cheshire East Council has welcomed the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that the Bill for Phase Two of HS2, from Birmingham to Crewe, will be put before the next session of Parliament.

The Bill will include the right to compulsorily purchase land and for HS2 Ltd to develop applications for planning consent. It is anticipated the Bill could be heard before summer recess.

Cheshire East Council Leader Rachel Bailey said: “This announcement further justifies the business case made out by this council to bring high-speed rail into the borough, together with the enormous economic benefits this project will deliver in support of our plan-led approach to growth and to our partner councils in the wider sub-region.

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

“We will continue to press for a strategic hub station at Crewe, served by increased HS2 services to and from London, Birmingham and Manchester that will benefit from the station’s unrivalled 360-degree connectivity. In this way the economic benefits could then reach far beyond the political and regional boundaries.

The Bill is expected to be put before Parliament soon so that preparation work for the second phase of the project can begin.

The council will also press for high-speed connections to serve Macclesfield.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the project will help ensure the economy is ‘equipped with the world-leading infrastructure it needs to benefit from the opportunities of new technology’.

High-speed rail will significantly reduce journey times to and from London but its primary purpose is to increase capacity on an already overcrowded network.

HS2 is predicted to arrive in Crewe in 2027 with a further phase – Phase 2b to Manchester and northern hubs – scheduled for completion by 2033.

Flowers laid at site of Crewe crane collapse


Councillors from Cheshire East Council and Crewe Town Council have laid flowers near to the site of the tragic crane collapse in Crewe.

Emergency services were called to a new-build site on Dunwoody Way, in Crewe, on Wednesday afternoon following reports of a collapsed crane.

Sadly, two men died as a result of the incident. One man was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital with serious injuries, which are not believed to be life threatening.

Today, Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for finance and communities at Cheshire East Council, Crewe Town Council Leader Simon Yates and Crewe Mayor Diane Yates laid flowers near to the scene of the incident as a mark of their respect.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of this tragic incident. My sincere condolences go out to the families affected by this and I hope to write to them personally.

“As a result of the crane collapse, a residential property was damaged. I can confirm that officers from Civicance, a wholly-owned company of Cheshire East Council which provides building control services, did attend the scene at the request of the emergency services to assess the damage.

“The occupants of that property have made alternative living arrangements while the investigation into the incident continues.”

Cllr Yates said: “Our sympathies and deepest condolences go to the friends and families of those affected by this tragic incident on Dunwoody Way, in Crewe, on Wednesday. 

“We also extend our special thanks to the emergency services whose dedication and professionalism has been amazing.”

Inspector backs Cheshire East’s Local Plan development blueprint


A planning inspector has backed Cheshire East’s Local Plan for shaping future development in the borough.

It follows three years of public comments and submissions on the council’s proposed strategic blueprint for the borough’s development to 2030.

The report by Planning Inspector Stephen Pratt gives the Local Plan ‘a clean bill of health’ and means the council can now move ahead with the document’s formal adoption within weeks. The receipt of the inspector’s report brings the Local Plan examination to a formal close.

Importantly, his report says the Local Plan, once adopted, will secure ‘at least’ a five-year supply of housing land to meet projected need. This will provide a vital protection against inappropriate or unsustainable housing proposals from developers.  

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council said: “This is good news for Cheshire East and a major step forward for residents and businesses alike.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “The Local Plan is the council’s most important tool for shaping development in Cheshire East to 2030 – so this is great news.

“The council is grateful for the inspector’s report, which now enables us, after a lot of hard work by our planning team, to press ahead and adopt the Local Plan in a few weeks’ time.

“The 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. His report shows that any shortcomings identified in the process have now been rectified and, with the published modifications, the Local Plan now has a clean bill of health.

“There has been a tremendous response from our residents and other stakeholders during the extensive 13 rounds of public consultations on our proposals and I’m sure it has allowed everyone to feel they had the opportunity to have their say.

“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.”

The focus of public consultation earlier this year was on the changes the council proposed to the plan it originally submitted to the Secretary of State in May 2014, in    light of interim views by the planning inspector during examination.

This included additional and amended strategic site allocations to accommodate the larger scale of growth now expected and planned for in the borough.

The council received a total of more than 60,000 comments during the various consultations to arrive at the finalised Local Plan. This represents an unprecedented level of interest in a council consultation process.

The inspector’s new report fully supports the approach to housing, infrastructure and employment development across Cheshire East – rejecting both more ambitious and more pessimistic assessments of future needs.

Planning Inspector Mr Pratt said in his report: “I conclude that Cheshire East Council has adopted a balanced and rational approach to economic and jobs growth, which is both ambitious and aspirational, yet realistic and with a reasonable prospect of success.”

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

The report supports the council’s strategy of making modest amendments to green belt land and also endorses the other key policies regarding the maintaining of ‘green gap’ land between settlements.

The plan’s revised spatial distribution of development incorporates both the uplift in overall development and the need for additional growth in the northern towns. 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: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan

Weight loss success story for Cheshire East resident


Lifestyle and health services launched three months ago by Cheshire East Council’s ‘One You Cheshire East’ programme are already having a very positive impact on residents in the borough.

‘One You Cheshire East’ brings lifestyle and health advice services in the borough under one support system. It works to improve residents’ health, tackle health inequalities and reduce the load on the council and the NHS.

Tom Rigby, from Macclesfield, joined the ‘Re-shape’ group – one of the programmes commissioned by Cheshire East Council’s public health team, as part of the ‘One You’ offer – at Everybody Sport and Recreation’s Holmes Chapel Community Centre when it was launched in March.

Tom was finding it hard to run around the park with his kids, felt overweight and struggled to fit in his clothes. The impact of the programme has been almost immediate.

Tom said: “In just 11 weeks I’ve lost more than two stone. I fit my clothes better and have actually had to go down a size in my clothes, so I’ve got more energy and feel less stressed at work.

“There is no set target on the programme and there’s no pressure. It’s great to get information from trained nutritionists – people who know their stuff so you can trust what you’re given. The trainers are very motivational and that’s a big help as well.”

Topics vary each week from portion sizes, looking at fats and understanding more about sugars as people on the programme get a broad overview of nutrition.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “It’s terrific to hear about the success of people like Tom who have clearly got great determination to improve their health. I hope that his story can act as inspiration for anyone who is thinking about making that first step.

“The programmes that are running as part of the ‘One You Cheshire East’ programme are very inclusive and it is an extremely supportive environment to be in while trying to make positive life changes. So my advice would be: stop thinking about doing it and start actually doing it – as there’s room for everyone on the programmes.”

People can refer themselves on to our health programmes by visiting: https://www.oneyoucheshireeast.org/contact-us/

Dropped cigarettes cost litter louts £1,600 as council clamps down on offenders


Cheshire East Council’s ‘get tough’ approach to littering and fly-tipping has resulted in further successful prosecutions with fines and costs totalling £1,570 for two offenders.

Dr James Carey, 63, of Goulden Street, Crewe, was fined £80 with costs of £930 for dropping a cigarette in Earle Street in Crewe. He was also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge.

Carey admitted dropping the cigarette but denied leaving it. He pleaded not guilty to the offence of littering but was convicted after a two-hour trial.

In a separate prosecution, previously- convicted fly-tipper Oliver Bailey, 20, of Ruskin Road, Crewe, was convicted of two offences, for dropping and leaving cigarettes in Market Street, and at Grand Junction Retail Park, both in Crewe, in December 2016.

Bailey pleaded guilty by post and was fined £185 for each offence, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £130 and a victim surcharge of £30, leaving him with a total of £530 to pay.

The two cases came before Crewe Magistrates on June 14 and 15.

Cheshire East Council began its ‘Keep Crewe Clean’ campaign in September, employing a team of enforcement officers to prosecute incidents of fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “These court prosecutions reinforce our message that littering of any description will be dealt with robustly as we take steps to clean up Crewe, where many responsible residents have asked us to take tough action.

“While our actions may be unpopular and costly for some, we know that our tough stance is applauded and welcomed by the majority.”

These latest convictions take the number of successful prosecutions for litter to more than 150 since the council’s campaign began.

Fly-tipping, dropping litter and dog fouling are all environmental crimes which can be reported online at: cheshireeast.gov.uk/environment or by ringing 0300 123 5011. The website also contains lots of information to help residents with their waste and recycling.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Communities come together and celebrate memory of MP Jo Cox


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People from across Cheshire East gathered in glorious sunshine at a host of community events to honour the memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

The Great Get Together celebrations were backed by Cheshire East Council to encourage residents across the borough to join together in their communities at the weekend to share food, conversation and celebrate what we all have in common.

The events marked the first anniversary of Batley and Spen MP Jo’s murder on June 16, 2016. The council had made £15,000 available for community groups to apply for grants of up to £100 to come together and hold street parties – and 70 separate events were supported by the scheme in Cheshire East.

Grants were used to provide entertainment, food, decorations, craft materials, face paints and much more. The council waived its fees for licensing and road closures for these special community events.

The council also organised community events that weekend, with a fun afternoon and BBQ in Westminster Park, Crewe, drew around 800 people on the Saturday (June 17) and a pot-luck picnic and family sports in West Park on Sunday (June 18) which attracted around 400 people. Another council event at Macclesfield’s South Park also drew several hundred.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health, said: “A fantastic community spirit was shown right across the borough at a host of wonderful Great Get Together events, supported by the council, celebrating life and diversity in memory of Jo Cox at the weekend.

“Now, more than ever, we need to show support for our whole community and it was great to see so many people getting involved and meeting people from their neighbourhoods that they might not already know.

“As well as campaigning around diversity and human rights issues, Jo was also concerned about loneliness, which is an issue in our towns and rural areas.

“Connected people are happier and healthier and I can’t think of a better tribute to Jo than seeing so many people take the time to connect and celebrate living in our local community.”

Cllr Bates volunteered to be put in ‘the stocks’ and pelted with wet sponges at a Great Get Together event in Congleton on Sunday – raising £400 for the Ruby’s Fund charity for disabled children.

One local resident who attended the Great Get Together event in West Park, Macclesfield: “Watching local people support and attend the event was truly inspirational.”

Another resident said: “I have never seen so much community spirit.”

The council received successful grant applications from a range of community and neighbour groups including a Carers Great Get Together in Knutsford, The Great Get Together Tea Dance in Congleton, Cake and Craft Get Together in Scholar Green, Great Gardening Get Together at Allotments all over Cheshire East, Homestead Street P-A-R-T-Y  in Macclesfield and Balfour Buffet and Barbecue in Crewe –  plus many more.

Seahorse Swimming Club

Members of Seahorse Swimming Club, who are based at the Lifestyle Centre in Crewe, got involved with The Great Get Together on Sunday 18th June 2017, with a morning walk followed with a picnic. The walk was from Queen's Park to Nantwich (along the Greenway) and then back to the park for the picnic. Some took part in a less energetic walk around the park.

Neighbourhood celebrations were taking place throughout the UK during the weekend to bring communities closer together. This was the inspiration of Jo Cox, who was tragically killed on 16th June last year.

"The day was a huge success. Everyone enjoyed the social aspect of the event and participating in exercise. Those who got involved stated how they enjoyed the challenge of the walk. Others loved the fun of playing racket games in the park and entertaining each other, while some were pleased to spend time in the lovely surroundings of Queen's Park. The weather was glorious and it was pleasing to see the refreshments going down so well by everyone." - Gareth Roberts (Seahorse Secretary).

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Ansa celebrates 30 years of employee service


Employees at Ansa Environmental Services based in Middlewich, recently had a very special reason to celebrate.

Ansa, a wholly owned company of Cheshire East Council, was delighted to host events for 39 employees who have dedicated more than 30 years of service to local government and their communities. Special recognition ceremonies were held in Middlewich and Macclesfield, where the teams were presented with their certificates.

In total, the employees have amassed 1411 years of service between them, ranging from services such as parks, waste, business support, fleet and street cleansing.

The employee with the longest service was Joe Davies, who has recently retired after an incredible 47 years’ service to local government. He spent the majority of his career working for waste services in the north of the borough.

Chair of the Ansa Board of Directors, Councillor John Hammond, said: “It’s truly inspiring to see such dedication and experience from so many members of our team. With these events we have celebrated role models, whose loyalty, knowledge and service to their communities is invaluable to our Company. Of course, special recognition must go out to Joe, as 47 years of service is simply incredible.”

Ansa is fully committed to training and developing opportunities for staff to ensure such levels of long service and dedication continue and currently operates a highly successful apprenticeship programme. For further information, please visit www.ansa.co.uk.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

FiRELiNK eNewsletter for June 2017

Subject: FiRELiNK eNewsletter for June 2017 from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service


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

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

Message sent by

Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

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


Fundraising for Vicki

Vicki

Birchwood firefighter Vicki Griffiths recently had a serious accident in the gym, which has so far left her unable to feel or move from the waist down.

This brings Vicki a new challenge, so firefighters, staff and volunteers are fundraising to help with the cost of home and vehicle adaptations and other expenses to help her to live her life to the fullest.

Find out more - Fundraising for Vicki


Blue light open day 2017 - Ticket only event

Blue Light Open Day

On Sunday 16 July the doors of Cheshire Constabulary HQ will be thrown open for the public to see the good work that Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Police do around the clock.

The Blue Light Open Day is a hugely popular event that gives people a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the outstanding work of the county’s emergency services will run from 11.30am to 4.30pm.

Due to the growing popularity of the event, this year it will be ticket only. This is to manage the number of visitors, ensuring everyone can enjoy the day in a comfortable environment.

Tickets, which are free, will be available to book, via our website, from 12noon on Monday 19 June and are available on a first come, first served basis.

Find out more - Blue light open day 2017


Warning after tumble dryer recall

Tumble dryer after a fire

We are asking people to check the make of their tumble dryer after a full recall was issued by a manufacturer.

Beko has issued a safety alert about a potential fire risk of 3,450 of its condenser tumble dryers and told customers to stop using them immediately.

Find out more - Warning after tumble dryer recall


Drowning prevention - be water aware

Water rescue by firefighters

Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life changing, through near-drowning experiences.

Many people that drown just happen to be near water - such as runners, walkers and fisherman.

Find out more - Drowning prevention


Summer safety

Barbecue

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


The Royal Cheshire Show 2017

Children having a discussion about escape plans with a Cheshire firefighter

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will once again be at The Royal Cheshire Show, engaging with members of the public delivering vital road and fire safety information, along with the famous children's yellow helmets.

Find out more - The Royal Cheshire Show 2017


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

Crewe community groups get artistic to help fill vacant shop windows


Cheshire East Council has jointly commissioned an artist to decorate vacant shop windows to boost Crewe town centre.

It follows close collaboration with Crewe Town Council and local schools and community groups.

Ruth Piggott was successfully selected over numerous applicants to produce artistic designs for empty shop units in the town centre, having presented a strong case to reinvigorate these with a series of creative and visual displays.

To produce these designs, Ruth, founder of ‘Curiosity Creators’, engaged with school children from The Oaks Academy, adults from Alsager Partnership’s Memory CafĂ© and members of Crewe Heritage Centre.

All who participated helped to create and produce a series of Crewe-related visual images, displayed in the form of bunting. The window frames for the project were inspired by railway arches and Crewe’s Municipal Buildings.

Ruth said “Crewe has a lot to offer in terms of its history and heritage and I was lucky to have the opportunity to showcase this. It’s been great to work with a broad spectrum of different community groups, all whom have really excelled in helping to create something, which I think the town should be proud to display so prominently in the town centre.”

The artwork can be seen in both units on 1-11 Tower Way and number 36 Victoria Street. They are just some of the many new designs appearing to decorate vacant units in the area. These include the current vinyl projections from the Crewe Engineering and Design UTC and Crewe Lyceum.

The art and vinyl displays in the town centre are part of many initiatives that are being introduced in order to breathe new life into Crewe and fall under a wider, longer-term regeneration strategy that has started to be implemented.

Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member for regeneration at Cheshire East Council, said “Whilst this is just an interim measure before the redevelopment of the Royal Arcade commences, it is a fantastic example of the work we are undertaking to involve the local community in the regeneration of Crewe.

“There is plenty of work going on to help improve the town centre and we look forward to this coming to fruition over the next couple of months and coming years.”

Working alongside Cheshire East, Councillor Benn Minshall, deputy leader of Crewe Town Council, also echoed the importance of this latest project.

He said “We’d like to thank everybody involved for their fantastic creative contributions and hard work for this project. It is most important to us that the local community here have had a direct impact on the quality of their town centre.

“This is the approach we wiIl be taking for the exciting improvements we have planned for the development of Crewe in the near future.”

These latest projects come following the introduction of a series of successful measures in Crewe this year, including temporary free parking, the new Crewe Cosmopolitan Food Festival and a host of cultural and social events that are coming to the town later this summer.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Science Corner set to inspire trAction Crewe

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Crewe, Cheshire: As trAction Crewe gains momentum, more exciting activities join the line up of FREE Family fun on the 8th and 9th July. Located at the covered outdoor market Science Corner is the latest addition to trAction Crewe, and will feature engaging STEAM based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Manufacturing) workshops; with inspiring activities for all ages to enjoy . trAction Crewe is a futuristic weekend of FREE fun for the whole family to enjoy that comprises a vast range of activities, including astronauts flying high into the air, SoundAvan and stunningly beautiful arts activities and performances, thanks to Arts Council England and Cheshire East Council funding to bring this exciting arts activity to Crewe.

Science Corner is a new attraction at trAction Crewe this year and sees a number of local organisations join together to create a real sensory experience for visitors. Established to encourage visitor participation, Science Corner will include something for everyone to enjoy. We’ll be exploring future transport creating electromagnetic trains and prototyping drone technology with SHIFT, a programme of digital arts and creative technology across the borough. Activities include racing simulators, virtual welding, a Giant Operation Game, memory games and much more. A big wow factor is the very original and stupendous musical installation ‘Illumaphonium’, which is the first of its kind, and comprises a semi acoustic, semi automatic, multi-player musical sculpture made from sweeping arrays of illuminated chime bars, each of which respond to touch, with ever changing patterns of light and sound, spreading out like waves over the giant instruments surface, bringing people together into a fun and spontaneous music making experience. Tebbits and Co Commercial Solicitors are also sponsoring a children's workshop at the Science corner and Marketing and communications director at Tebbits & Co Commercial Solicitors, Ivy Wong Tebbits commented,

“We are delighted to take part in trAction Crewe and engage with the community that we serve. It is such a good initiative for attracting visitors and developing new audiences coming into Crewe Town Centre. This will invariably help to raise the profile of Crewe locally, as well as putting Crewe firmly on the cultural map”.

Chair of the Community and Environment comity, Cllr Minshall comments, “We are thrilled to have so many local and national organisations on board with trAction. With their help and support we can truly bring the community together in a fantastic celebration and make trAction a real sensory experience”. Cllr Minshall concludes, “It is fair to say that we anticipate that trAction will be one of the biggest festivals of its kind across Crewe and South Cheshire, and we hope to attract big crowds to join in with the family fun. We are very grateful to all our supporting partners, and wish to offer them a big thank you, who will be making Science Corner a real futuristic STEM experience, including Crewe Engineering and Design UTC, South Cheshire College, Higher Horizons, Tebbits & Co Solicitors, Reaseheath College, SHIFT and Cheshire East”.

SpareParts festival will also join trAction Crewe this year, with stupendous arts and performance activities including everything from urban parkour to Guinness World Record Holders BMX performances, all funded by Arts Council England and Cheshire East Council. SpareParts festival will also be on the move and landing into Fleetwood at TramSunday on the 16th July.

For more information visit www.tractioncrewe.co.uk and follow trAction Crewe social media to stay up to date with all the latest announcements with tag @TrActionCrewe #Gearup.

Council services to be showcased at top agricultural shows


Cheshire East Council will be shining the spotlight on its services at two of the borough’s largest agricultural events.

The council is proud to be a major sponsor of The Royal Cheshire County Show, in Tabley, near Knutsford, and the Nantwich Show, based at Dorfold Park, and will be welcoming visitors to its stand at both events.

The theme of this year’s council stand will be the authority’s 500 services, with interesting facts and figures and an ‘A-Z of the council’ forming part of the display.

There will also be a prize draw, deckchairs for visitors to sit back and relax on and an array of council vehicles, including a gritter, compact road sweeper, mobile children’s centre, mobile library, a countryside ranger service vehicle and a vehicle from Transport Service Solutions, a Cheshire East Council arms-length company.

Staff from the council’s fostering team and arms-length Skills and Growth Company and Transport Service Solutions will also be in attendance.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for rural affairs, said: “Every day our staff work hard to provide more than 500 services, helping to make Cheshire East a great place to live, work and visit.

“We want to celebrate this and show visitors to both events the range of those services, while also promoting everything else that is great about our borough.”

The Royal Cheshire County Show takes place on June 20 and 21 and the Nantwich Show is open to the public on July 26.

Visitors planning a journey to The Royal Cheshire County Show will benefit from a free bus service to and from the showground, which has been funded and organised by the council. The service will run to and from Knutsford and Hartford railway stations.

For more details about the shows, visit: royalcheshireshow.org or nantwichshow.co.uk

Vehicle Online Shopping Fraud

Subject: Vehicle Online Shopping Fraud


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

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

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Fraudsters have been advertising vehicles and machinery for sale on various selling platforms online. The victims, after communicating via email with the fraudster, will receive a bogus email which purports to be from an established escrow provider (a third party who will keep the payment until the buying and selling parties are both happy with the deal).
These emails are designed to persuade victims to pay upfront, via bank transfer, before visiting the seller to collect the goods. The emails also claim that the buyer (victim) has a cooling off period to reclaim the payment if they change their mind. This gives victims the false sense of security that their money is being looked after by this trustworthy third party, when in fact it is not and the money has gone straight to the fraudster.
Protect yourself:

  • When making a large purchase such as a new car or machinery, always meet the seller face to face first and ask to see the goods before transferring any money.
  • If you receive a suspicious email asking for payment, check for spelling, grammar, or any other errors, and check who sent the email. If in doubt, check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller.
  • Contact the third party the fraudsters are purporting to be using to make the transaction. They should be able to confirm whether the email you have received is legitimate or not.
  • False adverts often offer vehicles or machinery for sale well below market value to entice potential victims; always be cautious. If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Communities in Cheshire East to celebrate ‘The Great Get Together’ this weekend


Community groups and neighbours from across Cheshire East are set to celebrate ‘The Great Get Together’ this weekend to honour the memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

The council made £15,000 available for community groups to apply for grants of up to £100 to come together and hold street parties and community events. The aim was to encourage residents across the borough to join together, in their communities, to share food, conversation and celebrate what they have in common.

The events on Saturday June 17 and Sunday June 18 will mark the first anniversary of the murder of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox on June 16, 2016 and will celebrate her belief that we have more in common than divides us. 

A total of 67 grant applications were successful and the council is also supporting two larger community events in Crewe and Macclesfield.

It is anticipated that approximately 10,000 people will be taking part in the events on local green spaces, streets and cul-de-sacs, schools, scout huts, village halls, community centres and even at local landmark, White Nancy, where a Bollington Big Breakfast Get Together is being held. Events open to the public include: 

● The Bollington Big Breakfast Get Together – White Nancy, 8.30am on Sunday June 18. Many other events taking place also in Bollington;

● Carers’ Big Get Together – Crewe, The Georges, noon to 2pm, Thursday June 15;

● Carers’ Big Get Together – Knutsford, Jubilee Hall, 1pm-3pm,Thursday June 15;

● Great Get Together – Disley Community Centre, 1.30pm-4.30pm, Sunday June 18;

● Great Get Together Tea Dance – The Old Saw Mill, Congleton, 2pm-4pm, June 17;

● Great Get Together – Kettleshulme Village Hall, 6pm-11pm, Saturday June 17; and

● Fun in the Field, outdoor picnic concert – Wrenbury, field next to campsite on Cholmondeley Road, 2pm-10pm, Saturday June 17.

Grants are being used to provide entertainment, food, decorations, craft materials, face paints and much more. The council also waived fees for licensing and road closures for these special community events.

The authority is also organising two community events and all are welcome to attend:

Crewe – Fun afternoon and round-the-world, pot-luck picnic in Westminster Park, on Saturday June 17; and

Macclesfield – Pot-luck picnic and family sports, in West Park, on Sunday June 18.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health, said: “There is fantastic community spirit right across the borough and this weekend promises to be great fun for everyone.

“There are street parties, afternoon teas, sports, crafts, music and dancing events, celebrating life and diversity in memory of Jo Cox. Now, more than ever, we need to show support for our whole community and get out and meet people in our neighbourhood that we don’t yet know.

“As well as campaigning around diversity and human rights, Jo was also concerned about loneliness, which is an issue in our towns and rural areas. If you are holding or attending an event, perhaps think about whether there is someone who lives on their own in your neighbourhood, who would appreciate being asked to come along and join in.

“Connected people are happier and healthier and I can’t think of a better tribute to Jo than for us all to connect and celebrate living in our local community.”

More information can be found on the council’s website at:  www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/get-together

To get in touch with our communities team, ring 01270 685880 or email: partnerships@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Posters translated as part of council’s ‘No Rubbish Excuses’ campaign


Posters designed to educate and warn people about environmental crimes have been translated into five different languages as part of Cheshire East Council’s ‘No Rubbish Excuses’ campaign.

The campaign, which was launched in April, is part of the council’s efforts to tackle fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling, with activities primarily targeted at six fly-tipping ‘hotspot’ zones in Crewe.

Hard-hitting signs and stickers have been visible in those areas for several weeks now, including on alley gates, dog waste bins and litter bins, as well as around parks and the town centre. Bus and billboard advertising has also begun and will last for several weeks.

To ensure the campaign’s important messages about waste disposal reach as many residents as possible, the council has now had many of the campaign materials translated into Bengali, Brazilian Portuguese, Slovakian, Romanian and Polish. 

The languages were selected based on resident information collected during digital surveys in Crewe, which were carried out in the fly-tipping hotspot zones at the beginning of the year.

All of the posters are available to download from the council’s website and are also being distributed to various places across Crewe. In addition, targeted social media posts, professionally translated into the five languages, will be sent out over the coming weeks on Twitter and Facebook.

Both the campaign materials and social media messages have been produced with involvement from local residents and community groups.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for finance and communities at Cheshire East Council, said: “It’s important that all our residents have access to the correct information about responsible waste disposal and are aware that fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling are all environmental crimes and carry penalties.

“It is also important that all residents know how they can report incidents and information to us, so that we can work towards successful prosecutions.

“By making the decision to have these materials translated, we hope to be able to educate and engage with even more members of the community to help keep Crewe and the rest of the borough clean and litter free.”

The posters are available to download from the council’s website by visiting: cheshireeast.gov.uk/norubbishexcuses and clicking on the ‘There are no rubbish excuses’ tab.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Communities meet to resolve Travellers’ use of Barony Park


A cross-party working group of community members has met to resolve concerns over the use of Barony Park in Nantwich as a transit site.

A partnership of councillors from all parties and officers from Cheshire East and Nantwich Town Council, together with Cheshire police officers and residents’ representatives, met recently to address the issue of travellers setting up encampments on Barony Park.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “All partners are aware of this matter and how it impacts on local communities and are working together to explore possible solutions.

“At the meeting, the council and partners demonstrated their commitment to working with local people to address the public’s concerns.

“Cheshire East Council has established a working group with partners including the police, Everybody Sport and Recreation, and the local authority’s wholly-owned company Ansa, who are investigating options regarding the most appropriate precautions to be taken on Barony Field.”

Once these options have been investigated, Cheshire East will then consult with local residents to gain their views on the proposals.

Cllr Bates added: “As part of this process it was good to engage with the residents on this very emotive issue.”

If you wish to report any instances of illegal encampment please contact the council on 0300 123 5500.  For further information about gypsies and travellers visit the council web page at: http://bit.ly/2t2lsaI

Seahorse Swimming Club

Seahorse Swimming Club, which caters for people with disabilities, and is based at the Lifestyle Centre in Crewe has been honoured by royalty with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for 2017.

The award recognises the work of the volunteers and is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK for outstanding work done in their own communities.

The award was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation and the presentation of the award is made by the Lord Lieutenant, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.

Volunteers, Jackie Roberts and Steph Evanson (pictured), recently attended the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, and were thrilled to represent Seahorse at such a prestigious event.

“Everyone at Seahorse is immensely proud. The award is wonderful recognition of the dedication of all the volunteers at Seahorse, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year.” - Gareth Roberts, Secretary, Seahorse Swimming Club.

jackie and steph

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Wedding Services Fraud

Subject: Wedding Services Fraud


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

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

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

With the upcoming “Wedding Season”, and for those individuals who are considering making plans for next year and beyond, you should be aware of the potential risks of fraud involved. 
According to ‘bridesmagazine.co.uk’, in 2017 the average wedding cost spend is approximately £30,111.  This will be paid out to multiple vendors, including; photographers, caterers, reception venues and travel companies, to name a few.  Many of these services will require booking at least several months in advance and you may be obliged to pay a deposit or even the full balance at the time. 
Being aware of the potential risks and following the below prevention advice could minimise the likelihood of fraud:

Paying by Credit Card will provide you with protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, for purchases above £100 and below £30,000. This means that even if a Company goes into liquidation before your big day, you could claim a refund through your Credit Card Company.

Social Media - Some Companies run their businesses entirely via social media sites, offering low cost services.  Whilst many are genuine, some may not be insured or may even be fraudulent. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself;

  • Ensure you obtain a physical address and contact details for the vendor and verify this information.  Should you experience any problems, you will then be able to make a complaint to Trading Standards or consider pursuing via the Small Claims Court.
  • Ensure you obtain a contract before paying money for services.  Make certain you fully read and understand what you are signing and note the terms of cancellation. 

Consider purchasing Wedding Insurance - Policies vary in cover and can be purchased up to two years in advance.  They can protect you from events that would not be covered under the Consumer Credit Act.

Complete research on each vendor, ensuring you are dealing with a bona fide person or company.  Explore the internet for reviews and ratings and ask the vendor to provide details of past clients you can speak to. You should do this even if using companies recommended by a trustworthy friend or source.   

For services such as wedding photographers, beware of websites using fake images. Look for inconsistencies in style; Meet the photographer in person and ask to view sample albums. If you like an image from a wedding, ask to view the photographs taken of the whole event so you can see the overall quality.    

Remember, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is!

STATEMENT RE: group leaders’ response to London attack


The leaders of all political parties of Cheshire East Council,
Councillor Rachel Bailey,
Councillor Sam Corcoran,
Councillor Barry Burkhill,
Councillor Rod Fletcher,
issued a joint statement today saying:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones and have been affected in other ways by this terrorist attack.

“The attack in London, on Saturday night, was both pointless and horrific.

“We will be writing to civic leaders in London to express our own and the borough’s condolences.

“In Cheshire East, all council buildings will fly flags at half mast and we would urge businesses that have their own flags to do the same. We would also urge all residents and businesses to be vigilant. If people see anything suspicious, they should report it to the police.

“The council will continue to work with partners and communities to seek to ensure the safety of our residents.

“Cheshire East Council will join the national minute’s silence at 11am tomorrow (June 6). The public are invited to join council members and staff outside Westfields in Sandbach, the Old Town Hall in Macclesfield and in Memorial Square, Crewe.”

Councillor Arthur Moran, Mayor of Cheshire East, said: “I would echo the words of the leaders of Cheshire East. This is a very sad time. I would also like to pay tribute to the emergency services and medical staff who responded in such a heroic way.”

trAction Crewe announces new exciting activities


Crewe, Cheshire; trAction Crewe will be a blast with recently announced activities including: build your future car, ‘Crewecraft’, free bouncy castles, and smoothie bike activities, all taking place at the Crewe Lifestyle Centre and Crewe Library. trAction will take place 8th - 9th July, and will offer fun activities for the whole family for FREE.

The whole town is gearing up for the futuristic science and movement festival, with an exhilarating artistic programme put on by SpareParts festival, and countless workshops and activities, the atmosphere will be electric.

As part of SHIFT, celebrating digital discoveries across Cheshire East, a ‘Crewecraft' workshop will be featured at trAction in Crewe Library on a Saturday 8th July. Join digital artist, Gemma May Latham, and a group of young Minecraft builders to explore the heritage of Crewe through the blocky world. Throughout the series of workshops, you will be able to recreate archival town plans and architectural drawing from the Cheshire Archives, within the well-loved Minecraft game. The completed Minecraft World will become a tool for sharing the Heritage of the town as a resource in Crewe Library, and will bring to life the heritage of Crewe. This fab workshop has been funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Cheshire East Council, and everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy it for FREE – book through the library to secure a place @discoverSHIFT.

Cheshire East Council deputy leader Cllr David Brown, comments “This project will enable young people to become engaged in the history of Crewe town centre, while taking part in a fascinating educational project.” Workshops will take place at Crewe Library together with a number of public events, including Crewe’s trAction Festival in July. Cllr Brown continues, “The whole project is encompassed within the Council’s SHIFT programme, which celebrates and promotes digital learning, skills and development across the borough for all age groups”.

Crewe Library and Lifestyle Centre will be action packed, with ‘Design Your Future Car Competition’ also joining trAction, and taking place on Saturday 8th July at Crewe Library. Children aged 5 - 11 years old will have the opportunity to build their very own personalised cardboard box car and enter it in a competition for FREE. Competitors will be able to take their unique designs for a spin on the specially built test track and take part in the award ceremony supported by Bentley Motors at 1:00pm. Bentley Motors will judge the best car and provide prizes for the winner. Head down to Crewe Library on Saturday at 10:00am or 11:30 am to build your own cardboard box car.

Crewe and Nantwich Library Manager, Thomas Appleby comments, ”Crewe Library is really excited about being involved in this year’s Crewe trAction weekend. The library will be really busy with special events like the future car activity, and Minecraft sessions. It's great we can host these events for the Crewe Community and hope to see lots of people attending. It promises to be a great weekend!"

Also available on Saturday is a smoothie bike and bouncy castle in the Lifestyle Centre sports hall, from 12:00pm - 4:00pm. Sunday’s activities include the bouncy castle and the smoothie bike from 10:00am - 4:00pm. trAction Crewe will host a whole range of activities, which is FREE fun for the whole family to enjoy.

For more information please visit www.tractioncrewe.co.uk and keep up-to-date with all the recent announcements with #Gearup.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Badger Cull coming to Cheshire

Cheshire Cull Zone

See http://innocentbadger.com/cull-zones/cheshire-cull-zone/  for more details

Farmers in this area have recieved training for cage trap killing of badgers and have also done sett surveying, they expect to start killing late August.

The company set up to organise the killing is: Environment Clear Ltd
The people running the killing are:
Ray Brown,The Orchard Farm, Twemlow Lane, Holmes Chapel, Crewe, Cheshire, CW4 8DS
tel: 01477 532 220 mobile: 07866 938942

Ian McGrath, Grange Farm, Holmes Chapel Rd, Over Peover, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 9RD tel: 01565 722 762 mobile; 07973 681226

Stuart Yarwood,  Lower Medhurst Green Farm, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 4TA Tel: 01477 500 233

This map is based on the best information we have at the moment, it is taken from multiple reliable sources. If you have any information about farmers or shooting estates in this cull zone, please email: stopthebadgercull@gmail.com
cheshire

If you can help survey this area or would like to keep upto date please contact: https://www.facebook.com/cheshireagainstthecull/

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Welcome to my 177th news bulletin!

Welcome to my 177th news bulletin!

THE CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has launched the Conservative Party's 2017 General Election Manifesto—'Forward, Together: Our Plan for a Stronger Britain and a Prosperous Future'.
This detailed plan offers a clear vision for Britain not just for the next five years but for the years and decades beyond. It is a programme for government and a declaration of what we intend to achieve—with big, sometimes difficult, and long-term decisions that are right for our future and for future generations.
You can read more in my local manifesto newspaper by clicking here.
Our manifesto also contains a welcome commitment to education, and to my campaign for fairer provision, by confirming that, under a Conservative Government, no Cheshire East school will see its budget cut as a result of a new funding formula.
This, as I am sure you will all agree, is fantastic news for our schools, and shows that quiet, calm and concerted lobbying can yield real results for local residents.
You can read the full Conservative General Election Manifesto here.


Edward Timpson
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich
P.S. You can let me know your thoughts, any time, via my website:  www.edwardtimpson.com/myfeedback

FUNDING SUCCESS FOR CREWE & NANTWICH SCHOOLS

I am delighted that my campaign to convince the Education Secretary and the Prime Minister that school funding in Cheshire East needed to be fairer has been a success.

Not only has it been a success in Cheshire East, but it has been a success across the country, ensuring no school has its budget cut as a result of any new funding formula. An extra £4 billion will also be given to schools, as confirmed by the Conservative Party 2017 General Election Manifesto.

I would like to congratulate Theresa May for listening to my concerns, the other Cheshire Conservative MPs who campaigned with me, and all the teachers and parents who took the time to respond to the Government's public consultation.

Image may contain: text

Out and about on the campaign trail...

Thanks to everyone who has stopped for a chat in the constituency over the past few weeks. It has been great to hear your thoughts on both local and national issues. If we're yet to meet, do feel free to get in touch via my feedback form here.

Manchester Terror Attack

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the horrific terror attack in Manchester, their families and their friends, and I know local people share this sentiment.
Cheshire Community Foundation have set up a fund following the attack, with all monies raised going to help the victims and families. You can make a donation to this fund by clicking here.

12,000 people enjoy record-breaking Reaseath College Family Festival
Nantwich News:

More than 12,000 people poured into Nantwich to enjoy the carnival atmosphere of Reaseheath College’s Family Festival.

The action-packed festival, which offered hundreds of activities and displays, attracted the largest ever crowd.

Messages from families from 90 miles away praised staff and students, the range of activities and the organisation of the event.

Headline acts included The Company of Horsemen, who thrilled spectators with a stunt riding show, and Team Extreme, whose BMX stunt riders and skaters gave an exciting performance of acrobatics on wheels.
Other activities included tours of Reaseheath’s progressive technical training resources such as its Centre for Horticulture, Environment and Sustainable Technology, and its Food Centre.

Visitors also learned about the college’s current £31 million investment in new halls of residence, Sports Science and Performance Academy and an Advanced Agricultural Technology and Engineering Centre.
Reaseheath Principal Meredydd David said: “Our annual festival continues to amaze all that attend and this was Reaseheath at its very best.

"Our Family Festival gave visitors a fantastic day of activities, demonstrations and displays which were packed with fun and enjoyment and demonstrated some of the skills our fantastic students have".

UK unemployment rate falls to 4.6% - lowest in 42 years
ONS:

UK unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since 1975, as a record number of job vacancies are on offer, new figures show.

The UK jobless total fell by 53,000 in the period January-March 2017, and 152,000 across the year.
There are now over 31.95 million people in work in the UK - 122,000 more than for October to December 2016 and 381,000 more than for a year earlier - and the employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) is at 74.8%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Vacancies are also up, with strong growth in accommodation and food services sectors.

In Crewe & Nantwich, the claimant rate - at 2% - is significantly lower than regional and national averages.

Timpson's lobbying scores funding win for Crewe & Nantwich schools
Crewe Chronicle:

Tories including Edward Timpson have successfully lobbied the Prime Minister to review the Government's
proposed 'Fair Funding Formula'.

Proposed budget cuts for Cheshire East schools were outlined in a consultation document earlier this year, and this stirred parents and Cheshire MPs alike to lobby against the changes.

Mr Timpson, who until recently was MP for Crewe & Nantwich,
met Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Education, and Nick Gibb, the Minister for School Standards, in January and March, and followed this with a meeting with the Prime Minister, Theresa May, in April.

Commenting on the campaign and its success, Mr Timpson said:
“It became clear to me at an early stage that it needed to be fairer for Cheshire East, so I started a programme of formal and informal lobbying on the issue in Westminster, as well as encouraging as many of my constituents as possible to respond to the consultation.
"In addition to raising the issue with colleagues at the DfE, I also felt compelled to make representations to the Prime Minister and her policy-makers.
"I know how distressing these proposals were to parents, so I am delighted with my party's commitment to protect existing budgets, and its promise to invest a further £4 billion in our national school system".

Community cycling project launched in South Cheshire


A project to get more people cycling for fun, health and to reduce car usage was launched this week in south Cheshire. 

The project is the idea of Audlem and District Acting Positively for Transition (ADAPT) – a group of local volunteers. The group have already published 30 routes which can be used by cyclists of all abilities. 

ADAPT are committed to finding ways to enjoy living well today while safeguarding the future, encouraging more people to use their bicycles for both leisure and local journeys.

Funding for the project came from Cheshire East Council’s participatory budget scheme, which allocated £400,000 from the authority’s public health budget for local projects that improve the health of people living in their community.

To receive their £3000 grant, ADAPT presented their case and won support from 200 local people who attended the Nantwich and rural area participatory budget event held in January this year.

Comprehensive maps have been produced showing a total of 30 routes including:

· 6 through routes to nearby towns/destinations

· 10 circular leisure routes

· 8 other leisure destination routes

· 6 short local routes for beginners or quick rides

The maps also include other useful information such as where to eat and drink locally, places of interest, using towpaths and bridleways, advice for cycling safely and ways in which cycling can help with keeping healthy. ADAPT also run regular group cycle rides which follow the routes.

All of the maps can be downloaded via the Audlem Online community website. Printed copies are also available from the bike restoration room at St Paul’s Centre, High Town, Crewe, Crewe Lifestyle Centre and various pubs, cafes, shops, churches and the Overwater marina in Audlem.

Leaflets will be distributed in Nantwich town centre very soon. File downloads are also being made available on the website shortly so that people can load maps into their cycling apps on mobile devices.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for Finance and Communities, said: “I am thrilled to see another public health project come to life and benefit the local community.

“I love cycling and you always get a buzz to find a new route that you didn’t know about, especially when much of the riding is on the network of tracks and quiet lanes that we are lucky to have in Cheshire.

“It doesn’t have to be hard work to be healthy and stopping off at one of the local pubs for lunch or visiting places of interest is a great way to spend summer days.”

Council’s new design guide to set benchmark for housing quality in Cheshire East


Developers and their designers are now required to follow a new design guide to maintain a high standard for future housing schemes and developments across Cheshire East.

The Cheshire East Residential Design Guide has been formally adopted and launched to benchmark housing quality across the borough.

The guide is intended to ensure that all new developments achieve a high quality of design, reflecting local distinctiveness and characteristics, including the type of materials, natural features, surroundings and other connections with the locality.

The guide is a key Supplementary Planning Document, supporting the current and emerging Local Plans.

All new developments will be required to meet acceptable design standards to create high-quality, well-designed places.

The recommendations within the guide are tailored to be applied to future developments across the whole of the borough, in urban as well as rural communities.

The final document incorporates refinements arising from an eight-week consultation in 2016, involving 12,000 people, including developers, parish and town councils, designers and amenity groups.

Frank Jordan, executive director for place, said: “This design guide will help to set a benchmark for quality and a ‘sense of place’.

“While we want to see more imaginative developments that are pleasing to the eye, we would like to see designs that reflect the characteristics of the town, village and community in which they are situated.

“Where development is not of the requisite quality, then the design guide, in support of Local Plan policy, provides justification to refuse permission as part of the planning balance.

“Now adopted, it will form a material consideration when determining planning applications for new housing development.

“The guide will form an important part of a toolkit of measures aimed at assisting designers and developers to better understand the character of the borough and to deliver high-quality new development in the future.”

“The guide not only addresses the appearance of new housing, but also sets out a framework for an entire development, including landscaping, paving materials, public realm and open space.

It also makes recommendations on waste and recycling provision, thermal insulation and performance, and other aspects of sustainability that contribute to a quality of life.

The guide is aimed at a range of users, including the council, communities, developers and their design teams.

A limited number of reference copies of the guide will be available at council offices and at public libraries.

But the guide can be accessed more conveniently online at Cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan

First new parking machines installed in Cheshire East


Cheshire East Council is rolling out new ticket machines at its pay-and-display car parks across the borough which will provide residents, shoppers and visitors with a greatly improved service.

The first new pay-and-display machines were introduced in Crewe today and will provide a variety of quick and simple ways for people to pay for their parking.

The new machines will be far more robust and reliable and in time will accept all methods of payment, except banknotes.

The machines accept both £1 coins currently in circulation and will also be able to take contactless payments. Motorists will still be able to pay for their parking via the RingGo mobile payment app. Chip and pin for both debit and credit cards will soon be available as a means for payment.

As the old machines are unable to accept the new £1 coin, the council took the decision to start installing the new meters early and will address the issue with card payments as soon as possible. Card payments are expected to be available during June.

Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East cabinet member for infrastructure and highways, said: “The old parking meters had been in circulation for a very long time and we needed to modernise our parking offer.

“We are starting to instal the new meters in Crewe today and will be continuing the installation programme across the borough over the next six weeks.

“We have listened to our residents’ concerns about availability of appropriate means of paying and I believe that we now offer a very broad range of options, which will suit all purposes.”

Glen Williams with a new parking meter

You need a degree in computing to use one

Cheshire East Council backs new regulations for UK cigarette packaging


Cheshire East Council is supporting the introduction of a new, standardised packaging for all cigarettes in order to effectively promote the dangers of smoking.

These regulations came into force on May 20, and consist of larger health warnings which must cover 65 per cent of the front and back of packaging, one standardised brown-green colour and the prohibiting of misleading information on packaging, such as ‘low-tar’ or ‘organic’. This is alongside the discontinuation of cigarettes being sold in packets of less than 20.

Cancer Research UK confirms there is evidence that removing branding from cigarette packs reduces their attractiveness to children. So this alteration to packaging aims to combat the two-thirds of smokers who take up the habit before they are 18.

Smoking causes around 50 per cent of deaths from lung cancer, 80 per cent of deaths from bronchitis and emphysema and 14 per cent of deaths from heart disease. Any measures taken to reduce this death toll will greatly benefit the health and lifespan of people.

Due to the difficulty some find in stopping smoking, Cheshire East Council has set up ‘One You Cheshire East’ stop smoking services to provide free, friendly advice and support to local people.

These include services available in the community, which are open to any resident who wishes to stop smoking, alongside specialist services from the One You Cheshire East ‘Kickstart Service’ which are aimed at:

● Pregnant women and their partners – because smoking while pregnant can lead to premature birth, miscarriage, still birth and cot death;

● Mental health service users. Stopping smoking, if you have mental health issues, is as effective as antidepressants in improving your mood; and

● People who have been in hospital and have recently been discharged. As a patient you will find quitting makes you less prone to infection, helps you recover more quickly and your wounds heal better too.

Fiona Reynolds, director of public health at Cheshire East Council, said: “These new regulations are a positive step towards combating the serious health risks associated with smoking.

At Cheshire East Council, we know how difficult it is to kick the habit, which is why we’re pleased to provide a range of extensive help and advice services to support residents to quit smoking – totally free of charge.”

To receive help and advice from One You Cheshire East, all you have to do to qualify, is to live in the borough and be over the age of 12. To speak to someone about quitting smoking, please call 0800 085 8818, or visit the One You website at: www.oneyoucheshireeast.org.

Residents are also urged to take the online quiz on the website, to assess their daily lifestyle and advice on how they can improve their health.

Old school BMX bike

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Old school BMX bike fans converged on Crewe on Saturday 27th May 2017 for a social ride in and around the town.

Over fifty people gathered at Crewe railway station in the morning for the annual 'Chesh-Air' event, organised by the ‘Crewe and Cheshire old school BMX’ group.

They rode from the station to The Manor pub for breakfast, onto The Woodside pub, and then took a tree-lined route along the Wonderful Wistaston path to The Rising Sun pub.

Participants showed off their impressive BMX skills at the Platform 1 skatepark and the Shanaze Reade BMX track at Tipkinder Park.

They rode racing and freestyle vintage BMX bikes from the 1980s as well as modern BMX bikes. BMX brands represented included Ammaco, Diamond Back, GT, Haro, Hutch, Kuwahara, Mongoose, Puch, Raleigh, Rebel, Redline and Torker. 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize trophies were presented for the best bike.

Gary Mcbride designed a commemorative sticker, containing a grinning Cheshire Cat, which was given to each BMXer.

The event was open to all and bikers ranged in age from children to adults. There were participants from Crewe along with visitors from further afield including Sandbach, Nantwich, Woore, Cambridge, Clitheroe, Halifax, Middlesbrough, Norwich, Peterborough, Stockport and York.

The ride finished in the afternoon with a buffet meal at The Hop Hole pub.

'Chesh-Air' was organised by John Collins from Crewe, who rode his custom-built GT blue & chrome BMX bike. John said, “We once again had a great turnout for this years 'Chesh-Air' event. It was great see such a fantastic array of BMX bikes. I hope everyone enjoyed the ride and chat. We are always looking for new members, so please get in touch and join us on our next ride."

For further information relating to the ‘Crewe and Cheshire old school BMX’ group please visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1145537948806438/ .

Old school BMX rides take place throughout the United Kingdom and around the world. For further information relating to the UK old school BMX scene please visit: http://www.radbmx.co.uk/

Chesh-Air – old school BMX fans at Tipkinder Park