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Sunday, 29 October 2017

Pebbleart

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

‘Pebbleart’ is making an artistic impact in the Crewe and Nantwich area.

The Pebbleart project was started in Morecambe by a woman called Jacky Burns with participants encouraged to paint a rock, write Pebbleart on the back and then hide it in the hope of making a stranger smile when they find it.

Pebbles from craft shops or public places are taken home and painted with acrylic paints or permanent pens. The pebbles are then hidden or placed in public places such as next to a path, a park bench or even on a high street.

Anyone who finds a painted pebble can leave it where it is for someone else to find, rehide and take a photo of it for a Facebook group page, or take it home and keep it if they wish.

A national ‘Love on the rocks uk’ Pebbleart Facebook group now has 40,000 members and has resulted in local Facebook groups being started across the United Kingdom in recent months.

Sharon Cattell from Wistaston has setup a ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston (Crewe & Nantwich)’ Facebook group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/283759602126716/ - for people to post the location and a photo of local Pebbleart.

Sharon said, “I discovered the ‘Love on the rocks uk’ Facebook group and thought that Pebbleart was a great way to entertain my children with combining painting when its wet and walking when its dry. The children love to do arts and crafts and also love walking. We have hidden Pebbleart in Wistaston, Wolstanwood, Delamere Forest and Cat Bells in the Lake District. Plus, we even hid one in a Hobbycraft! I setup the ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston (Crewe & Nantwich)’ Facebook group to hopefully get the local community involved. We love to see when someone posts where Pebbleart has been found and a photo - hopefully it makes the finder smile as well.”

Pebbleart in Nantwich - photo by  Sarah CattellPebbleart ready for distribution -  photo by Sarah Cattell

New drop-in gentle movement sessions for older adults in Crewe


Cheshire Dance is inviting residents from Crewe and the surrounding area who are living with dementia, those with early onset dementia and those keen on prevention to come and join us with their loved ones or carers to move in a fun and relaxing environment.

The perfect choice for Social Prescribers, dance and movement is a popular physical and social activity; it’s like an elixir, packed full of the things we love about life.  Alongside the more obvious physical and social aspects, Cheshire Dance wants us to know that it’s good for our brains too, they want to encourage the residents of Crewe to dance, which greatly enhances the quality of life; something that dementia can steal from people living with the condition, as well as from their loved ones and their friends too.

According to research, studies indicate that regular dancing once or twice a week lowers the risk of cognitive decline.  A robust 21-year study amongst older people, undertaken by Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECM) in New York City showed that ‘Of any activity that you do, regular dancing was found to offer the most protection against dementia, offering a 76% risk reduction.’

Further studies too are showing that people living with dementia and their families are seeing benefits to their quality of lives, whether playful moving at home or taking part in an organised class.  In a recent Arts4Dementia project in London the benefits of dancing lasted for a week or more, for some right up until the next session the following week.  Whilst not a guarantee, dancing is clearly a good choice of hobby as we get older. 

In THIS Moment - Dance and Dementia Project (which has been created in partnership with Cheshire East Council (Cultural Services), Leighton Hospital and Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and supported by additional investment from Cheshire East Council Participatory Budgets scheme (Public Health) for Crewe based community sessions) has three main strands:-

  • The first strand launched last November introducing weekly dance sessions on the rehabilitation ward, 21b at Leighton Hospital, facilitated by Lead Dance Artist, Jody Morgan.  Here the patients are generally 70+ and are transitioning out of hospital after illness or surgery. 

  • The second strand has seen the project roll out into the community, with three regular sessions running in and around Crewe with the following aims:- 

  • To contribute to the prevention of the early onset of Dementia 

  • To offer people a way to live well within dementia friendly communities 

  • Finally, Cheshire Dance is designing a movement resource for families to use at home.  With the music on, the resource encourages the whole family to play, move and to enjoy the moment together. 

Teacher of community session Shirley Brocklehurst of Cheshire Dance says "Sheila and Derek have been married for 60 years.  Derek is his wife’s main carer and socialising and keeping active has become difficult and understandably they both feel lonelier.  So how lovely is it to see them waltzing on the dance floor like they used to, enjoying precious time together.  The tea dance is all about reducing social isolation as residents are feeling the joy and excitement from being able to access a community activity welcoming of dementia - there is magic in the medicine of music and dance as it stimulates memory and helps to keep people active.”

“I really enjoyed the gentle exercises, moving muscles, just doing a little bit, getting your shoulders moving. You’re sitting or in bed a lot usually. I think the breathing exercises too are very good at helping you relax.” Participant

“Patients were more engaged than normal, it was interesting to find out different information about each other and see them come out of their shells more. It was a really enjoyable session.” Rebecca, Staff Nurse

Details of all the sessions including the cost and how to book on in is detailed below:-

Chance to Dance:-

Tuesday’s from 3.30-4.30 pm – Belong Village, 20 Brookhouse Dr, Crewe CW2 6NA - £3.50 per session

Thursdays from 10.30 to 11.30 am - The Wishing Well, The Georges, Crewe - £3.50 per session

Pickmere Tea Dance:- 

15th November and 13th December from 1.30 – 3.00 pm - Pickmere Extra Care, Rose Terrace, Crewe CW1 3ET – Session is free refreshments will be provided

For information on all the above sessions call 07760428554 or email shirley@cheshiredance.org

Phishing - How to protect yourself

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Businesses celebrate at Nantwich Food Awards


Nantwich Food Awards - winners

The Nantwich Food Awards were staged last week at the town’s Civic Hall, with a Gala celebration of local businesses that have delivered outstanding products and services to customers.

Local food and drink lovers voted online in their thousands in recent months to select the best eateries, speciality producers and customer service champions.

The awards recognise businesses that promote the South Cheshire region, and follows the annual Food Festival that brings over 40,000 visitors to Nantwich every September. 

The evening kicked off with live music from Callum Wright & Oli Ng and the soulful sounds of Charmaine Baines and her band, Matrix Club Matrix, made it a party atmosphere to remember.

Close-up magician Russ Appleby wowed guests with some clever trickery around the tables, and a photo booth was provided by the Bazaar Media Group to capture special memories.

An excellent buffet was produced by the award-winning South Cheshire College Academy Restaurant, while Rodney Densem Wines kindly supplied champagne for category winners. Concorde Trophies provided the unique awards, and McCarthy’s Salon offered additional prizes.

The awards organiser, Nanna Pedley, said: “The Nantwich Food Festival and Nantwich Food Awards go from strength to strength, but they are only possible with the ongoing contribution from hundreds of volunteers and generous local businesses.

“The awards ceremony recognises the outstanding contribution made by the excellent food and drink businesses in the area, but it’s also a way to thank everyone who has been involved in staging the showcase events, including the outstanding group of volunteers.

“Holding the evening at the Nantwich Civic Hall this year makes it extra special as it’s such an important venue at the heart of the historic town.”

In attendance for the prestigious evening were The Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, M.B.E., K.St.J., the Mayor of Cheshire East, Councillor Arthur Moran, the Mayor of Nantwich, Councillor Penny Butterill, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, Laura Smith, and Chairman of South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Shaun Cafferty

VIPs, guests and nominees waited eagerly for news from the judges as the seven category winners were announced. Results were as follows:

Best Restaurant (including Hotel Restaurants): Romazzino

Best Pub with Food: The Leopard

Best Café or Coffee Shop: Ginger & Pickles

Beer Champion: Beer Dock, Nantwich

Best Newcomer: Deadwood Smokehouse

Best Local Producer: Snugburys

Excellence in Customer Service: Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge

There were additional awards for people who took part in competitions at the Food Festival in September.

A special presentation was also made by the organising committee to Roger Mills who has stepped down from his position as a Director. To celebrate his long-standing association with the festival, and to acknowledge his never-ending hard work, he was given the honorary position of President.

Festival Directors Chris Farrall and John Coulter said: “Roger has given so much over the years to help the festival become the success it now is. He is known throughout Nantwich as someone who is prepared to give his time and knowledge to help others.

“Running the annual festival is an ongoing commitment across twelve months of the year, so it’s right that he enjoys time to pursue other interests. We know that Roger will always be available to offer advice and support when needed."

Further details about the food awards, the annual food festival and how to get involved can be found on the official website: www.nantwichfoodfestival.co.uk.

Rail firm gets scout centre on right track


Crewe-based Train Bits & More (TBM) has donated bathroom equipment and expertise to help the Wistaston 35th Scout Troop complete their new scout centre and community facility.

The new-build, located off Elm Close in Wistaston, has been constructed to replace the old building that became outdated and unsafe.

TBM has supplied washroom and toilet equipment and helped to transport materials during the build phase that has also seen many other companies and volunteers offer support.

Neil Smith, TBM director, has enjoyed working with the group for over year, offering help on several fronts.

He said: “My lad is part of the scouts, so I know how important these organisations are to the community. They are run by dedicated volunteers and parents. They can always do with a hand.

“TBM supplies a range of products and services to transport operators, and that includes washroom facilities for trains and coaches. So donating a few toilets, sinks, dryers and some facilities for people with disabilities was the least we could do.

“We also move some large engineering items for our customers, so we have vans and lorries available to help the scouts get the job done.”

Gerald Newbrook, Honorary Group President, has been involved with the scout group for nearly sixty years.

He said: “I was the first scout here when this unit was formed in 1958. There have been a lot of changes since then but we have always stuck together and ensured there’s a facility here.

“The original hut burnt down in 1969, but we soon had a new building up and running. That served us well, but in recent times it wasn’t suitable and didn’t meet the high standards expected of community buildings.

“The time was right to plan for the next sixty years. We now have a super community centrepiece.”

The new centre has taken nearly two years to build, costing around £265,000 in total. This has been achieved by generous donations of cash, time and materials by individuals and Cheshire companies.

John Bennett, Group Scout Leader, added: “It’s been a tremendous effort by so many people to get this far.

“There are a few final jobs to complete, some joinery and then gaining the necessary health and safety certificates.

“We are confident that the new centre will be fully open before Christmas, and we’re planning a special official opening ceremony to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Wistaston Scout Group in June 2018.”

For more information about the Wistaston 35th Scout Troop visit their website: www.wistastonscoutgroup.org.uk.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Gold for Oliver at National Championship Gala


Seahorse Swimming Club’s Oliver Daley came away with a gold medal in the Halliwick National Championship Gala in Southgate, London, on 14th October 2017 as winner of the Men’s 25m race. Oliver was part of the North West team that won a tally of seven medals  – two gold and five bronze.

Other Seahorse members who won medals were Erin Yoxall (bronze in the girls 25m), Rosie Borowski (bronze in the girls 50m), Zack Beeston, Ethan Carroll, Jamie Cramer and Erin Yoxall (bronze in the junior relay) and Paul Edwards, Tracy Jones, Mark Mansell and Sean Savage (bronze in the senior relay).

“There was stiff competition at this year’s championship with only seconds between first, second and third place in many of the races. All the swimmers gave a really good account of themselves and were a credit to Seahorse and the regional team.” - Rob Dutton (Chairman).

Seahorse are based at Crewe's Lifestyle Centre and are affiliated to the Halliwick Association of Swimming Therapy, which develops the teaching of swimming to people with disabilities.

Oliver Daley

Council Leader announces changes to her cabinet


At full Council on Thursday October 19, 2017, Councillor Rachel Bailey, Leader of Cheshire East Council, announced changes to her cabinet which include councillors Peter Groves and George Hayes stepping down from their cabinet positions.

Councillor Jos Saunders, ward member for Poynton East and Pott Shrigley, takes on the children and families portfolio. There are a number of other changes to the portfolios of other cabinet members to accommodate the responsibilities of the democratic and public engagement, assurance and ICT portfolio. The key changes are:

· Cllr Liz Wardlaw – Deputy Leader Health, also customer operations, public engagement and libraries;

· Cllr Ainsley Arnold – Housing, Planning and Regeneration, also trading standards, licensing, environmental health and air quality;

· Cllr Janet Clowes – Adult Social Care and Integration, also safer communities;

· Cllr Paul Findlow – Corporate Policy and Legal Services, also civil protection and emergency planning, democratic services and corporate risk management;

· Cllr Paul Bates – Finance and Communication, also bus service review, car parking (interim), ASDVs;

· Cllr Don Stockton – Environment – formerly Assets and Regeneration – now including local transport plan, car parking and cultural services.

Councillor Bailey said: “I am very grateful for the contribution which both Peter Groves and George Hayes have made through their work in the cabinet.

“Councillor Peter Groves has served on the cabinet in a variety of roles, including the portfolio brief of finance in what are well recognised as uniquely challenging times for local government funding.

“Councillor George Hayes started as my deputy cabinet member in children and families before going on to become the cabinet member for children and families. He has been a passionate advocate for the young people of Cheshire East.  I’m pleased that Cllr Hayes will continue leading The Skills and Growth Company, as he has done throughout its successful first year of operation."

Speaking on the announcement, Councillor Groves said “It’s been an interesting and at times challenging journey, dealing with the media and working to improve our communications with residents and getting to grips with new IT systems, which will help us become even more effective going forward.

“I have also enjoyed the challenges involving the council’s democratic process and dealing with risk and complaints, and emergency planning. I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to all at Cheshire East Council who have helped and supported me, both officers and members.

I would also like to wish the leader Rachel Bailey and the cabinet every success going forward.”

Cllr Hayes added “I have loved every minute of serving children and their families through my work at Cheshire East Council since I was first elected in May 2015.

“During this time, we have made some remarkable achievements, sustaining examination results at all key stages above national averages, remaining in the top 20 local authorities for the percentage of Good and Outstanding schools and having the lowest number percentage of young people not in education, employment or training (Neets).

“Our work surrounding the ‘Emotionally Healthy Schools’ programme should also not go unrecognised - rolling out to schools across the borough in order to ensure that our young people truly get the best start in life. I remain dedicated to serving children and their families through my continued involvement, primarily as a school governor.

The leader and cabinet have my support, as I focus on the Skills and Growth Company, and we all strive forwards for Cheshire East and our residents.”

Winter Wellbeing – prepare your home for winter


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

This week, we remind people that there are numerous checks that can be completed which can minimise the affects of bad weather.

Advice includes:

● Insulate pipes and drain off outside taps to prevent frozen pipes.

● Know where your stop tap is and make sure you can turn it on and off with ease.

● If you are going away, consider asking a friend or neighbour to check on your house regularly. That way, if you have a burst, it will be discovered early.

● Leave your heating on if the weather is forecast to be freezing.

● Insulate your loft or walls to keep the heat in. Free and impartial advice about energy saving measures, grants and discounts is available from the Save Energy Advice Line on 0800 043 0151.

● Fit draught proofing to seal any gaps around doors and windows.

● Get your boiler serviced regularly by a qualified engineer. Remember, for gas boilers, check that your engineer is Gas Safe registered. Oil-fired heating needs servicing too.

● Be prepared for clearing ice and snow this winter – have a snow shovel, brush and grit or salt ready.

● If a member of your household is of a pensionable age, has a disability, is chronically sick, has hearing and/or visual difficulties or you have a child under eight years old, you may be eligible for free services. You can contact your energy supplier to check whether you are eligible for free or priority services. Suppliers have a duty of care to households with customers who may be vulnerable regarding their energy supply.

● Winter is also a good time to be aware of what to do if electricity supplies go off. Don’t assume that suppliers will know that power supplies are down – call them and have your name, postcode, house number and telephone number handy.

● Winter is also a good time to know what to do if you have a burst pipe. If you do, collect the water in a bucket and switch off your central heating. Turn off your stop tap and turn on your sink taps to drain your water system. Don’t touch wiring or switches which you suspect may have been affected. If in doubt, turn off your electricity at the mains and call a plumber. For more information, call 0845 746 2200 or visit the United Utilities website.

● Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained, ensure that embers are properly put out before you go to bed and always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for health, said: “We know that winter can be a daunting time of the year for some people but there is support out there for residents to access to help them stay warm, well and safe.

“Throughout winter the council will be issuing advice and information to help our residents to prepare for the colder weather. I’d also urge residents to keep an eye on friends, family members and neighbours who may need a little extra help during the colder weather.”

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

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

Winter looms and council highways teams geared up for all weathers


Cheshire East Council’s highways teams are all geared up to face whatever winter weather throws their way in the coming months.

Cheshire East highways’ dedicated winter service starts at the end of October and preparations are well underway should the temperature plummet or strong winds impact on driving conditions.

Recent autumn storms saw gangs clearing the roads of fallen trees and other debris and from next month, the service’s full-on cold-weather response programme swings into operation.

Salt stocks are high and the service’s fleet of 19 gritters are on standby and ready to be mobilised throughout the winter season. Gritting routes are planned and include the recognised high-level roads to the east of the borough, where snow and ice tend to have the most severe impact in extremely cold weather.

Councillor Glen Williams, deputy cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “Using digital technology and Met Office weather warnings, we constantly monitor changes in weather and are able to anticipate sub-zero temperatures and the need to grit our roads. Major transport routes and access routes for emergency services and other key routes, are a priority.

“Although we grit a significant proportion of the borough’s 2,700 kilometres of highway, we cannot ensure that all roads will be clear of snow and ice.

“Residents and motorists can be reassured that if things turn unpleasant we are ready to respond.  This is also the case where storms and heavy rain can lead to fallen trees and flooding. 

“We urge residents to take care in adverse driving conditions or when out walking.”

Cheshire East highways work closely with neighbouring authorities to ensure that a consistent level of service is provided to roads that cross council boundaries.

Residents and commercial operators can keep up to date with gritting operations by following Cheshire East highways on Twitter @CECHighways or they can go to: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/highways

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

Crewe and Macclesfield roads get huge boost


On the day that Cheshire East Council announced that the £58m Middlewich bypass would go ahead, there was more excellent news for residents in Crewe and Macclesfield as well.

The authority has been successful with two national productivity investment fund bids totalling £8.5m, which is in each case a major step towards improving the local road networks in both towns.

In Crewe, the funding will go towards new roads and junctions that will ease congestion in the north of the town near Leighton Hospital and the Bentley factory.

In Macclesfield, the funding will go directly towards improving the busy Silk Road and Hibel Road junction in the town.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Fresh off the back of the news that we have been successful with our funding bid for the Middlewich bypass, this is another terrific boost for two of the other major towns in our borough.

“This funding is a big step towards providing much needed relief to some of the more congested areas around Crewe and Macclesfield. Alongside the council’s own funding and that from developers, it will bring further economic advantages to the borough in the form of job creation.

“We will also be able to better meet the housing provision needs of residents of Cheshire East by enabling delivery of vital new development.”

Construction on both schemes is scheduled to get underway within the next two years.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Modelling Jobs Advanced Fee Fraud Alert

Subject: Modelling Jobs Advanced Fee Fraud Alert


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The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed that Fraudsters have been setting up fake adverts on social media (including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and job browsing websites to dupe people into believing they are recruiting for prospective models.

Once victims show interest in the job, the fraudsters contact potential victims on the false promise of a modelling career and subsequently advise the victims to come in for a test shoot.

The fraud can then potentially be carried out in two ways;

Firstly, the fraudsters can pressurise the victims in sending an upfront fee to book a slot for the test shoot. Once they have received the upfront fee, the victim will never hear from the fraudsters again.

The second possible method is that the fraudsters will take the advance fee that the victim sends for a photo shoot and arrange a photo shoot with the victim. After the photo shoot, the fraudsters will contact the victim after a few days and convince them that their shoot was successful and offer them a job as a model. The victim will then be asked to sign a contract and pay another upfront fee, usually to secure the modelling contract.

Fraudsters are also creating fake adverts for supposed modelling opportunities for children which do not exist. Fraudsters will inform parents or guardians that a potential career in modelling awaits their child. This tactic convinces the parent or guardian to sign up their child and send an advance fee.

The suspects will also convince the victim that in order to become a model, they will need to have a portfolio. The fraudsters will recommend a number of packages and stress that if a package is not paid for in advance, the process of becoming a model cannot continue.

Over a two year period (September 2015 – August 2017), an average of 28 reports of advance fee modelling frauds have been received per month by the NFIB. In August 2017, 49 Action Fraud reports of this fraud type were received and may continue to rise. The total loss in August 2017 alone was over £71,000.

Tips for staying safe:

  • Carry out your own research prior to paying any type of advance or upfront fee.
  • Be wary if you are asked to pay for a portfolio, as many legitimate agencies will cover that cost.
  • Don't give your bank account details or sensitive information to anyone without carrying out your own research on the relevant agency.
  • 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.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Its Autumn in the Queens Park

DSC02545

DSC02532

More branches falling and still Cheshire East have taken no action to make the park safe these are big enough to kill but they dont seem to care. The MP is now looking into the case

DSC02402DSCF2813DSCF2819DSCF2844DSCF2854DSCF2870

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Council secures £1m European funding for its ambitious energy programme


Cheshire East Council has secured £1m of European funding to help establish a landmark community heating pilot scheme.

The European Investment Bank funding will help create the borough’s first district heating schemes and accelerate the development of large-scale energy storage combined with smart grid technology.

The investment will contribute to setting up the heat networks and help fund feasibility studies and development activities to give the pilot programme the best chance of success. It will include market testing and supply chain development.

Cheshire East is the first non-city region to receive funding for this type of project and will act as a pilot for similar schemes by other local authorities in the UK and Europe.

District heating schemes – also known as heat networks – are a system for distributing heat generated in a central location for residential and commercial heating requirements across a local area. Smart grids are electricity supply networks that use digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in usage.

This specialist technical assistance grant from the European Union’s long-term lending institution was provided under the European Local Energy Assistance (Elena) scheme, managed on behalf of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Having previously received support from the government for our heat network projects, it is hugely encouraging to obtain backing from the European Investment Bank. This shows we are at the cutting edge of the local energy supply agenda.”

Jonathan Taylor, vice president of the European Investment Bank, said: “We are pleased to support Cheshire East’s aspirations to reduce energy use and help accelerate the development of innovative local energy projects. This represents the EIB’s first support to a predominantly rural borough in the UK and will help to cut energy costs for both residents and local businesses.’’

The Elena project is managed by Cheshire East Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company on behalf of the authority.

Cheshire East Council responds to storm Ophelia


Hurricane Ophelia passed through Cheshire East last night bringing strong gale force winds to the borough.

Once a yellow warning was issued by the Met Office prior to the storm, Cheshire East highways team was fully prepared with additional resources and worked through the night to ensure the safety of road users.

Approximately 40 reports were received from the public, ranging from fallen branches and trees, debris in the road and fallen power lines. Teams worked to reopen all major routes, including the A50 in Cranage and the A49 in Ridley.

There were a number of minor road closures. However, all closures that were implemented on key routes were cleared overnight.

Councillor Glen Williams, deputy cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “The priority was to protect the safety of residents and road users, so it was important to clear the key routes and all other routes when safe to do so. All major roads have now reopened and our teams are continuing to clear up any remaining debris and damage.”

The council’s highways team is monitoring all remaining minor road closures and is working to make roads safe. It is also removing any trees that were felled yesterday.

The council is asking the public to report any issues, via the customer contact centre, by calling 0300 123 5020. This will allow the authority to ensure that each report is appropriately logged and responded to.

Council welcomes Royal London decision to relocate to Alderley Park


Cheshire East Council has welcomed the news that insurance giant Royal London will remain in the borough and will take up the opportunity to relocate to Alderley Park.

The announcement (Thursday) ends speculation around the future location for the company and means that up to 1,200 high-skilled jobs will stay in Cheshire East, with the potential to generate far more employment opportunities at its current base in Wilmslow.

The council’s wholly-owned Skills and Growth Company has taken the lead n making the case as to why the company should stay in the borough.

The news was announced to staff and management at the Wilmslow site this morning.  Cheshire East Council leader Rachel Bailey was also informed and broke the news at this afternoon’s meeting of full council in Macclesfield.

Councillor Bailey said: “This is excellent news and I wish to thank Royal London for demonstrating its faith in and loyalty to the borough by choosing to stay in Cheshire East.

“Royal London has recognised that our expanding economic base, together with the skills and talents of our working residents, combine to offer a sustainable and successful future for the company based in Cheshire East.

“I wish to thank Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company and its managing director Julian Cobley for the hard work they have put in to this matter.

“They will continue to work with Royal London through the relocation process and offer support to help the business thrive.

“The name of Royal London has been a part of the employment and economic fabric of Cheshire since the company moved to Wilmslow from Manchester in the early 1980s, and, therefore, it is so reassuring to learn that this prestigious company will continue to be based in the borough.”

Royal London also announced today that Royal London Asset Management will remain committed to its Wilmslow site and hopes to see its masterplan come to fruition.  This includes mixed-use commercial, retail and housing opportunities – subject to planning – which would have the potential to create a further 1,500 to 2,000 jobs.

Neil Kilshaw, head of group facilities and estate transformation at Royal London, said: “It has long been recognised by Royal London and by Cheshire East Council that our existing buildings in Wilmslow no longer meet the needs of a growing modern business like ours.

“We have thoroughly investigated a range of possible sites, including remaining at a redeveloped Wilmslow campus or moving out of the borough. Our exhaustive search has convinced us that Cheshire East and Parklands, at Alderley Park, is the best possible location for our business and our staff.”

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “Not only do we see Royal London stay in Cheshire East, but we also have a golden opportunity here to generate new jobs, including specialist skills in financial and technical services.

“We look forward to seeing Royal London’s plans in more detail.”

Royal London will move to the Parklands office complex where staff will have access to family-focused amenities, modern sports and gym facilities and the benefits of an expansive rural location comparable to their existing home at Wilmslow. The move is expected to take place before 2020.

Royal London is the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company.

The current Royal London site is a strategic site allocation in the Local Plan. The ambition is to develop the site as a ‘living campus’, to create a thriving environment for business, as well as opportunities for living, employment and leisure.

Cheshire East responds to bus services consultation


Cheshire East Council has responded to the borough-wide consultation on subsidised bus services with a set of proposals, which retain day-time buses for 99 per cent of residents.

The proposals, which are to be discussed at the council’s environment and regeneration scrutiny committee on Monday, would save more than £1m from the council’s budget. Cheshire East received more than 3,900 replies to the consultation and has improved its plans for services as a result.

The planned changes maintain weekday and Saturday services, though the council proposes to no longer support buses during evenings and on Sundays, as these are some of the least used of its subsidised services. 

The plans would also phase any changes to ‘little bus’, to ensure there is a safety net for anyone who cannot get access to another local bus service.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “Changing the way services operate is always a very complex issue. The council has weighed up the needs of all service users after our in-depth consultation. 

“We have tried to strike the best possible balance between making savings and protecting vital services for residents.” 

The views of the scrutiny committee are a vital part of the overall decision-making process. Cabinet is due to consider a set of recommendations on the bus review at its meeting on Tuesday, November 7.

Any changes to services would not take place before April 2018. After any changes, the council’s proposals would mean that the authority would still be investing more than £2m per year in subsidised bus services.

Monday, 16 October 2017

FiRELiNK eNewsletter for October 2017 from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Subject: FiRELiNK eNewsletter for October 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)

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Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

FiRELiNK eNewsletter for October 2017 from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

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


Cheshire fire cadets ready for Nepal trip

New school
Following two years of fundraising, a group of our fire cadets are heading to Nepal to help finish off much needed classrooms at a village school.

The group have raised £70,000 for a project to build six classrooms on the side of a school in Kangel, which is in the Solukhumbu District in the Sagarmatha Zone of North-Eastern Nepal.

For more information - Cheshire fire cadets get ready for Nepal trip


Are you ready for winter?

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

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

Candle fire safety

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

Find out more - Candle fire safety

Get your chimney ready for the winter

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

Find out more - Get your chimney ready for the winter

Is your car ready for winter?

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

Find out more - Is your car ready for winter?


National Burn Awareness Day

National Burn Awareness Day takes place on 18 October. The aim of the day is to raise awareness and reduce the number of burns and scalds each year.

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

Find out more - National Burn Awareness Day


Change your clocks and check your smoke alarms

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

The clocks go back at 2.00am on Sunday 29 October and, as summer time officially ends, we're asking people to prepare for the autumn and winter by checking their smoke alarms.

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


Diwali

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to offer fire safety advice to people celebrating Diwali on 19 October.

Diwali is known as 'Festival of the Lights' and sees an increase in the use of 'divas' or oil lamps. It is believed that light signifies goodness therefore various lamps are burnt throughout the day and into the night to ward off darkness and evil.

Statistics show that there is an increased fire risk during Diwali, because of divas, candles and fireworks - but by taking just a few simple precautions you can  reduce the risks for yourself and your family.

Find out more - Diwali


Bonfire Night - list of organised bonfires in Cheshire

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

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

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

Cheshire East Council in top three in the UK for Neets!


Cheshire East Council has scaled new heights by achieving the third lowest level of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) in the UK.

The council, which has consistently held the best figures across the North West region now sits only behind Harrow London Borough Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly – which, in comparison, has a very small sample of people to monitor – in national government statistics.

The figures reflect a new government measure combining the Neet figure with what is referred to as the ‘not known’ figure.

Under the new measure, there are only 2.2 per cent of Neets and ‘not known’ young people in Cheshire East. This compares to a national average of six per cent.

The council’s youth support service has been a key part of the success in achieving this record low level of Neet figures. Working closely with colleges, employers and training providers, it has targeted support for those most in need through early intervention, enabling young people to gain the levels of skills and confidence needed to enter the employment market.

Councillor George Hayes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families said: “These new national figures are a great credit to the young people in the borough, who bring so much positive energy to our authority.

“I am also particularly thankful to those officers and partners who aid and promote this success.

“This council’s commitment to give all young people the best start in life together with our drive and ambition will continue to push the economy forward, creating further opportunities both now and for many generations to come.”

Young people must now stay in education, employment or training until they are 18. This means that each council has a responsibility to keep Neet levels low by the provision of youth support programmes.

Garden waste collection put to bed for winter


The garden waste collection service in Cheshire East will be suspended again this winter to cut unnecessary costs and rationalise resources.

Cheshire East Council’s wholly-owned environmental services company Ansa will suspend collections of garden waste from Sunday, December 3, 2017, through to Sunday, February 11, 2018.

Residents are asked to check the council’s website for information about the ‘last’ and ‘next’ green waste collections in their area.

Any green waste during this period can be taken to one of the council’s household recycling centres. 

The interruption applies to green waste only. Collections of normal household waste, including recyclables, will continue.

Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member for assets and regeneration, said: “I am grateful to our residents for their continued cooperation with this annual change to our waste collection service and wish to thank them in advance for their support.

“This is for a short period only during the winter months and it does make sense to suspend the green waste collection when, traditionally, there is so little garden waste for our operatives to collect.

“Our household recycling centres are open every day except Christmas Day and we would urge residents to dispose of any garden waste at one of these centres during this period.”

Residents wishing to find out more detail about the suspension of green waste collections in Cheshire East should visit: http://bit.ly/2gsf3S8 or the online calendar on: http://online.cheshireeast.gov.uk/MyCollectionDay/

Cllr Brian Silvester leaves UKIP

Cllr Brian Silvester leaves UKIP

and will now serve as a 'For Britain' Councillor.


Rope Parish Councillor Brian Silvester has left UKIP and will now serve as a 'For Britain' Councillor.


He said, " The new UKIP Leader has made the party indistinguishable from the other parties. He says he will not cap immigration and is happy to have a transition period after we leave the EU.He has also dropped the ban on the burqa.


I joined UKIP to get out of the EU, not to be half in and half out.

I joined UKIP to have net ZERO immigration not to have an open door that never closes.

I will join 'For Britain' because it is a party that believes in the policies that UKIP have just jettisoned and many other common sense policies.


I will join 'For Britain' because it is the only party that will take action to tackle the growing threat from the Islamisation of the UK.

I will join 'For Britain' because it has an exceptional and brave Leader in Anne Marie Waters. As leader of 'For Britain' she will be the voice for all those millions the other parties have ignored and patronised for far too long."


Cllr Brian Silvester

07760147609

UKIP dead in the water after leader say he will kill badgers with his bare hands

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/15/ukip-leader-claims-could-kill-badger-bare-hands/amp/

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Brotherly Love? You Can Count On It


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Council to consult on revised home to school travel policies


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cast and production team

Cheshire East Highways welcomes latest graduate and apprentices


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Council launches new homelessness strategy consultation


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

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

The strategy has four key priorities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dash cam footage traps unlicensed taxi driver


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winter Wellbeing – have you had your flu jab?


Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.
This week, we are reminding residents of the importance of getting their flu jab.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

● People aged 65 or over;  

● All pregnant women;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Council to give free tendering training to boost local businesses


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the main features of the proposed PSPO?

The PSPO would allow the council to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consultation details

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

Link to consultation survey:  Dog fouling and control PSPO survey

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

Help to fill in the survey

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

Further leap in visitor numbers for Cheshire East


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Host of events in celebration of Libraries Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

'Autumn Frolics'

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

SEAHORSE'S GALA SUCCESS


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

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

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

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

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

Seahorse medal winners:

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

Seahorse Sept 2017

STATEMENT RE: Fire at Macon House, Crewe


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

· Buy alcohol for someone who is clearly drunk

· For bar staff to serve someone who is clearly drunk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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