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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