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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Highway improvement work planned in Nantwich

Cheshire East Council is to carry out highway improvements on a key route in Nantwich to improve the condition of the road and to boost pedestrian safety.

From Sunday 25 March, Cheshire East’s highways teams will improve pedestrian and road safety through an upgrade of the zebra crossings, resurfacing and new road markings.

The improvements will be carried out on Station Road and Prachitts Row and the majority of the work will be completed before Easter weekend and before the start of the Nantwich Jazz Festival, after which work will continue at Millstone Lane, with resurfacing and lining.

To maximise use of the closure, maintenance activities will be coordinated alongside the resurfacing. Pavement works, barrier repairs, sign repairs and gully cleaning will take place in accordance with Cheshire East’s approach to ‘total’ road enhancement. This approach aims to minimise future maintenance visits and limit closures and disruption.

Paul Traynor, Cheshire East’s strategic commissioning manager for highways, said: “This is a busy area of Nantwich, with pedestrians using it as one of the main routes into the town, along with two supermarkets, local businesses and the train station – so the zebra crossing upgrades will help to make it more pedestrian friendly.

“Enhancing the safety for pedestrians and drivers on Cheshire East roads is of paramount importance to us and the resurfacing and relining work will improve the condition of the road.

“We are advising people to plan their journeys accordingly and I would like to thank them in advance for their patience.”

The council intends to minimise disruption as much as possible. Temporary signals will be in place on Station Road and Prachitts Row between 25 March and 29 March between 9.30am and 3.30pm and road closures will take place on three separate evenings. This will enable highways teams to carry out carriageway resurfacing and lining safely, while access to properties and emergency vehicles will be maintained at all times.

The work will involve road closures to protect the safety of members of the public and workforce. Signed diversions will be in place and diversion routes can be found online at

Local residents and businesses have been notified and access arranged around the works. Staff will be on hand to provide help and advice as the first point of contact for members of the public.

Keep up to date with the latest developments from site via the @CECHighways twitter account and online at

Any queries can also be directed to the council’s customer contact centre on 0300 1235020

No shortage of housing supply at Cheshire East

Cheshire East Council is more than pulling its weight to ease the national housing crisis – according to recent figures. 

At a time when the prime minister has launched changes to the National Planning Policy Framework with the aim of addressing a historic shortage of new homes across England, Cheshire East Council has taken significant steps to provide the homes local people need.

Sean Hannaby director of planning and environment for Cheshire East Council, said: “We are taking a multi-faceted approach to improving housing supply with a series of measures to ensure homes get built.”

The following is a list of some of the key achievements the council has made with regard to its housing supply:

· The Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy allocates some 990ha for new homes – that is the equivalent of around 1,400 full-sized football pitches.

· At the last annual assessment (31 March 2017), the council had granted planning permission for more than 20,441 homes through the planning application process – that is more homes than Sandbach, Alsager and Middlewich combined.

· Housing completions have risen year-on-year from 614 homes in 2012/13, to a record 1,763 homes in 2016/17. Provisional figures indicate completions will exceed 2,000 homes in 2017/18.

· Progress on existing housing sites is exceeding expectations. In the last financial year, 10 major housing sites recorded housing completions more than 50 per cent higher than expected. By December 2017, 37 per cent of major residential developments, starting on site since April, did so ahead of anticipated schedule.

Mr Hannaby said: “With the scale of housing land available and the excellent progress being made on many existing housing sites, the council is clear that it can demonstrate more than five years of available housing supply.

“With so much land already available, we need to concentrate on getting homes built, not releasing yet more land into the system. This is why we are determined to challenge erroneous appeal decisions, tackle the small minority of developers who aren’t building – and work positively with those in the housing industry who are ‘cracking on’ and building the homes people need.”

Mindset4Success event provides support for boys across Cheshire East

More than 170 boys from 17 schools across Cheshire East attended an inspirational event recently called Mindset4Success. 

The aim of the event was to support the boys in year 10 and 11, aged 14 and 15, to build self esteem, develop a positive mind set and re-engage them with their education.

The day was facilitated by Pete Lowe, former head of education and performance management at Manchester City Football Club. Pete now runs a successful company, First Team, which supports business and individuals in maximising performance.

The Mindset4Success programme is a partnership between Cheshire East Council and secondary schools across the borough and was led by Sarah Burns, headteacher of Sandbach School.  The day focussed on what it means to be a winner and consisted of five sessions:

1. Accepting responsibility;

2. Having dreams and being motivated to succeed;

3. Having self-belief;

4. Learning to manage pressure; and  

5. Being persistent people and never giving up.

Jacky Forster, director of education and 14-19 skills at Cheshire East Council, said: “This fantastic event was born from our education and skills board, a partnership including the council, all primary, secondary and special schools, early-years settings and further/higher education organisations. Our aim is to champion the culture of the Cheshire East family of schools, developing and shaping effective and sustainable ways of working, to benefit all learners.”

Sarah Burns, headteacher at Sandbach School, said: “The day was a huge success and I’d like to thank everyone who took part. The next steps are for each school to work with their students and provide support to allow the objectives of the programme to be achieved.” 

Pete Lowe, director of First Team, said: “It was a privilege to work with students, mentors and the wider team behind the initiative to benefit from stepping outside the classroom and consider the factors that contribute to a winning mind set.

“We can learn so much from adversity, taking responsibility and recognising our innate resilience. The conference is just the start of the programme to enable students to work with their mentors and to bring their learning into day-to-day life, in order to create lasting change.”

Charity bucket collection

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A charity bucket collection was held by Bloodwise at Aldi on Station Road in Nantwich on Friday 16th & Saturday 17 March 2018.

An impressive £541.68 was donated by kind shoppers and staff over the two days.

All proceeds will go to blood cancer charity Bloodwise. Bloodwise fund world-class research into all types of blood cancer & provide information & support to those affected.

Liz Boffey from Bloodwise (South Cheshire) said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Aldi shoppers who have been so generous in their giving. I would also like to thank the staff at Aldi who made us all feel so very welcome. All monies raised will go directly into the research of all blood cancers.”

For further information relating to Bloodwise please contact Liz Boffey on 01948871250, or visit

Bloodwise volunteer Ben Reinhardt  at Aldi Nantwich

Fund-raising tennis tournament

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A fund-raising tennis tournament took place at Wistaston Jubilee Tennis Club, Church Lane, Wistaston on Saturday 17th March 2018 to raise money for Sport Relief:

In previous years club members have held a tennis tournament and a 12 hour ‘Tennisathon', raising hundreds of pounds in the process.

This year for the biennial charity event there was a round-robin format doubles tennis event and a fund-raising raffle.

Each participant paid a fee to play against each other. Despite a cold wind and the occasional snow shower eight players (four pairs) contested 42 games.

The winning pair were Eric James and Rob Sheffield who retained their title from the last event in 2016 and received a shield, donated by Concorde Trophies, from co-organiser George Raiswell.

George Raiswell, a student at Cheshire College South & West (Crewe Campus), organised a raffle with a hamper and individual prizes kindly donated by club members and local businesses (Cheerbrook Farm Shop, Snugbury’s Ice Cream, Mick the Chips).

In total £38 was collected for Sport Relief, which raises money to help vulnerable people in both the UK and the world's poorest countries.

A representative from WJTC said, "We would like to thank all members who participated in playing and organising the event. It was a good day of tennis in difficult weather conditions."

Sport Relief 2018 participants pose  on court

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Egg-citing Easter Fun at Tatton Park

Egg-citing Easter fun awaits you at Tatton Park with a host of activities between Good Friday, 30 March and Easter Monday, 2 April.

In the Mansion Chef Albert Joubert is preparing an eggs-traordinary dessert to celebrate Easter in style, but he is missing several vital ingredients. Can you harness your sleuthing skills to help him find them before the pudding is spoilt? Once you’ve located them all you can help Chef Joubert add the finishing touches to this remarkable pudding! And tots can have fun too as they look out for the chicks that have hidden in the Mansion – watch out they seem to be have escaped to the state rooms as well as the servants’ quarters!

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without a trail in the great outdoors! Look high and low for the Easter egg pictures through Dairy Wood Way and spell out a seasonal word for the chance to earn your chocolate treat. The race is on in the Gardens as you take on friends and family in our fun egg and spoon race and Easter egg rolling competitions. Challenge your loved ones and see who will emerge victorious!

Down at the Farm we’re discovering more about your favourite foods! See how your Easter eggs are made in our new cookery room and take the recipe to try at home. Meet our adorable newly hatched chicks and watch Berry the Jersey cow being milked and her milk turned into butter by Aunt Mary. There’s a prize for the best designed Easter egg each day so let your imagination run wild! And of course there are Easter eggs to be discovered across the Farm – will you be able to find them all?

In the courtyard we’ll also be offering more family-friendly activities and delicious home-cooked food in our award-wining tearoom and restaurant. And if you’re looking for any last minute Easter gifts you’re sure to find them in our fabulous gift shops and Easter Shopping Fair in the Tenants’ Hall featuring artisan food producers, craft, fashion, home furnishings and much more. The Fair is open from Saturday to Easter Monday only.

Public to have their say on plans for Middlewich Eastern Bypass

A six-week consultation will take place to get the public’s feedback on the preferred route for the Middlewich Eastern Bypass.

The scheme would, if approved, unlock key sites for housing and employment.

As part of the consultation, which begins on Monday 19 March, Cheshire East Council will also host three public engagement events, where the project team will be available to discuss the options and answer any questions.*

The team will be keen to hear people’s views and any suggestions they may have for improving the project, which is intended to relieve the town of serious traffic congestion while also unlocking land for new homes and employment sites.

Completion of the road will be the realisation of a long-standing ambition to remove heavy through traffic from the narrow streets of the town centre.

A consultation brochure will be available at the events, at Middlewich Town Hall, the public library and the town’s leisure centre during normal opening hours. It can also be viewed online.**

The council secured £46.8m government funding for the £58m scheme, successfully competing against funding bids for similar projects in other parts of the country. The balance would be met from the council’s capital budget and from developer contributions. 

Cheshire East Council proposes the construction of a 2.7km, 50mph, single carriageway from the Salt Cellar Roundabout, on the A54 to Booth Lane, to the south of Middlewich. It is hoped to see construction begin in 2020, with completion around the end of 2021. The project will be subject to the normal planning process.

The road would incorporate a cycleway and footway and a limited number of junctions to strategic sites, including improved access to the new waste transfer station at Cledford Lane.

Following a number of studies and surveys, the council is now in a position to make its preferred option available for public viewing. All comments and feedback received will help to refine the final scheme, which would be put before a planning committee in the summer of 2018.

Constructing the bypass would unlock key development sites that would have the potential to create 1,160 new homes and up to 6,500 new jobs.

Sean Hannaby, Cheshire East Council director of planning and environment, said: “Middlewich town centre suffers from severe traffic congestion due to the growth in heavy vehicle traffic using the A54 and A533, which meet in the town centre.

“We are fully aware of the disruption and inconvenience suffered by residents and businesses in Middlewich as a result of this long-standing issue, which has been worsening over many years.

“Cheshire East Council is determined to address this problem through a bypass option to the east of the town and we would like the views and feedback of as many people as possible in order to arrive at a scheme that the council, local residents and the businesses of this busy town.

“A proposal for a Middlewich Eastern Bypass is included in the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy and the Cheshire East Local Transport Plan. The former Cheshire County Council secured initial planning permission for a scheme in the 1990s but, unfortunately, financial constraints halted its progress.”

Various surveys and assessments are already under way, including air quality, noise, ground investigations, ecological impacts and flood-risk planning.

The consultation period runs for six weeks starting 19 March 2018 and closing at midnight on 29 April. Any comments received before or after these dates will not be included in the consultation process.

*Three public engagement events will take place at St Mary’s Church Hall, 2 King Street, Middlewich on:

· Wednesday 28 March 2018 (2pm–8pm);

· Saturday 14 April 2018 (10am–3pm);

· Thursday 19 April 2018 (2pm–8pm).

** Members of the public can also view the brochure and respond to the consultation at:

or email

Or by post at FREEPOST RTUK-RBLY-XUBT, Middlewich Eastern Bypass, 5 First Street, Manchester, M15 4GU.

All responses must be received by no later than 11.59pm on 29 April 2018.


Crewe and Nantwich MP Laura Smith visited the Lifestyle Centre recently to observe members of the Seahorse Swimming Club during their weekly swimming session.

The club, which caters for people with disabilities, were very successful during 2017. As well as being awarded the Queen’s Award of Voluntary Service, they also enjoyed success at the regional and national Halliwick Galas.

Ms Smith was given a brief account of Seahorse by long serving volunteer and vice chairman, Michael Roberts. She also observed and interacted with the swimmers while they enjoyed their swimming session and chatted to the club officials and the families of the children.

Laura Smith commented: “What an absolute pleasure it was to attend Seahorse and to meet all of the members and the fantastic volunteers. The atmosphere in the Lifestyle Centre pool was wonderful, with people with varied disabilities and of mixed ages all having fun and taking part.

The volunteers do a marvellous job but as always more are needed, and I would encourage anyone who likes to swim to look into volunteering at this fantastic club for an hour a week.

Seahorse Swimming Club represents everything that is good about our communities. The benefits for people with disabilities are endless. I was genuinely moved speaking to the swimmers, their families and the volunteers.”

Club Secretary Gareth Roberts said: “It was so pleasing to see our local MP showing so much interest in Seahorse during her visit. Our members were thrilled to chat to her and show off their skills in the water. She praised the Club for its achievements and also complemented the volunteers for their efforts and dedication.”

Seahorse was established in 1956 and offers a valuable service to people with disabilities in South Cheshire. They meet every Thursday evening at 7.00pm at the Lifestyle Centre and rely on volunteers to carry out their activities. Anyone who would like information about volunteering can contact Gareth on 01270 629958.

Picture: Laura Smith MP (on the right) with volunteers Jackie Roberts and Nicole Lawson at a recent Seahorse swimming session

Laura smith at seahorse

Cheshire East flies the flag to mark Commonwealth Day

Cheshire East Council has held a ceremony to celebrate Commonwealth Day.

Civic dignitaries, local schoolchildren and members of the public looked on as the Commonwealth flag was raised outside the authority’s Municipal Buildings, in Crewe, at 11am today (March 12).

It was just one of many hundreds of Commonwealth flags flown at significant, strategic and eye-catching sites across the UK and beyond.

The flag flying helps to celebrate the true values of the Commonwealth as an increasingly multi-cultural world seeks unity, understanding and tolerance.

This year Commonwealth Day precedes the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London, when the leaders of 53 independent member countries will meet to address key global challenges and agree how to work together for the welfare and common good of its 2.4 billion citizens.

Mayor of Cheshire East Councillor Arthur Moran led the flag-raising ceremony in Crewe, joined by children from Pebble Brook, Underwood West and Edleston primary schools.

Cllr Moran said in his address: “Joining together as members of one worldwide Commonwealth community and valuing the personal dignity and worth of every citizen, we raise this flag today as a visual symbol of the strong ties of kinship and affinity we cherish.

“We affirm our commitment to upholding the values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, to serving one another in a spirit of respect and understanding and to advancing development, democracy and cooperation locally, nationally and internationally.”

The gathered audience responded: “Our pledge is to support the Commonwealth, working together for a future in which there is freedom and justice and prosperity for all, with peace and understanding between peoples and nations.”

Queen Elizabeth II, who is head of the Commonwealth, was due to attend a multicultural, multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey today to mark Commonwealth Day.

The Queen has sent a Commonwealth Day message to Gold Coast Australia where the 2018 Commonwealth Games begin next month.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS) performed the pantomime 'Aladdin' at St Andrew's Church Hall, Bedford Street, Crewe in mid-January this year. Aladdin made a profit of £927. The profits from the pantomime were divided between St Andrew's Church funds, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Salvation Army, Crewe.

Members of the panto cast and crew were present at a buffet and cheque presentation evening on 2nd March 2018, with cast members wearing their costumes. A cheque for £300 was gratefully received by Clare Bloor from Macmillan Cancer Support. A cheque for £300 will also be given to the Salvation Army, Crewe.

Fred Allman, TAPPS director/organiser, said "This year the profits from the pantomime were divided between St Andrew's Church funds, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Salvation Army, Crewe. Since the formation of TAPPS in September 2014 we have given away over £2,000 to the church and charities."

As well as the annual panto TAPPS stages two variety shows and summer play reading evenings each year. There is also an active social programme. If you would like to get involved with this lively group please contact Fred Allman via text/phone on 07968829999.

TAPPS 2018 panto present a cheque  to Clare Bloor from Macmillan Cancer Support

Nantwich Jazz, Blues & Music Festival

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The Studio on Castle Street in Nantwich are hosting two consecutive days of fund-raising concerts during the annual Nantwich Jazz, Blues & Music Festival.

The first day of the Festival on Thursday 29th March 2018 features 1980's Electronica tribute band 'Electro 80s' who will recreate songs by artists such as Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Gary Numan, Duran Duran, Ultravox, Devo, Soft Cell and The Human League. Doors open at 8pm.

The second day of the Festival (Friday 30th March) has performances from musical duo ‘Baxter’, rockabilly band ‘Vavoom’ and the world's leading Bon Jovi Tribute band ‘The Bon Jovi Experience’. Doors open at 6pm.

Entry on both days is by donation and money raised will go to Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity’s Dementia Appeal:

Nigel Woodhouse, Director of Operations at The Studio, said, "We are really looking forward to our two charity events this Easter.  It gives people like myself that grew up in the ‘80s the chance to relive their youth for a night or two. Doing these events for the Leighton Dementia Appeal is a fantastic and worthy cause. Dementia has touched so many of my friends with elderly parents and it is a great feeling to give a little bit to help.”

The 22nd Nantwich Jazz, Blues & Music Festival will feature performances by more than 150 solo performers and bands at venues across the town over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (29th March-2nd April 2018):

The Studio - Electro80s

Cheshire East welcomes new report on HS2 in Crewe

Cheshire East Council has welcomed a report that shows support for increased HS2 connectivity and more frequent high-speed train services to and from Crewe.

Today the Department for Transport published the results of the consultation ‘Crewe Hub: options for building on existing connectivity’, held between July and October last year.

The council welcomes the publication of these results, which sought views on alternative scenarios for a Crewe hub that would enable additional HS2 connectivity at Crewe and bring other locations in the north on to the HS2 network, including Macclesfield – rather than existing proposals (in the Phase 2a Hybrid Bill) allowing only for two HS2 trains per hour at Crewe linking only to London.

It is clear from the responses that there is strong support for an alternative solution at Crewe with enhanced HS2 connectivity and a new northern junction allowing HS2 trains to return to the HS2 network north of Crewe and enabling direct high-speed services between Crewe and both Manchester and Birmingham.

The council, its partners and the Constellation Partnership, have long advocated that the regional transport, economic and regeneration benefits of HS2 to the area and beyond are dependent on securing the right solution for Crewe.

This means a new hub station capable of handling up to seven HS2 trains per hour, each way, and a new northern junction, allowing Crewe and the region to benefit from direct HS2 services to London, Manchester and Birmingham from Crewe.

This is clearly echoed more widely, with 114 consultation respondents in favour of more HS2 services at Crewe and only nine against and 109 in favour of a new northern junction with just 16 against.

This significant support towards the council’s vision for a Crewe hub has led the Department for Transport to make the following changes to the phase 2a scheme from Birmingham to Crewe:

● The provision of 400m platforms, extending Platform 5, to allow for the splitting and joining of HS2 services, which also opens opportunities for HS2 services from London to Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent and Macclesfield;

● A more efficient design for the station to provide an enhanced passenger experience;

● A change to the design of the rail layout to improve operational performance of trains and reduce the impact on freight services.

Frank Jordan, executive director for place at Cheshire East Council, said: “This is very welcome and yet more positive news which highlights the wider connectivity and economic benefits of having an enhanced Crewe hub for HS2.

“The arrival of HS2 at Crewe by 2027 provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver nationally significant transformational economic growth and regeneration – not only to Crewe but also to the whole of the sub-region.

“An enhanced Crewe hub station would be the catalyst to deliver this growth, jobs and investment opportunities for Crewe and our partner councils and LEPs in the Constellation Partnership as well as the wider Midlands and North Wales regions.

“The provision of 400m platforms at Crewe is welcomed by the council as this will provide the capacity at Crewe to allow for HS2 classic compatible services from London to serve Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Macclesfield. This is excellent news for Macclesfield and sees the town join the HS2 network. The council will seek to work with the future West Coast Partnership franchisee to look at the opportunities for Macclesfield to be served by HS2 from 2027, six years earlier than phase 2b, as well as options for this service to extend north to Manchester.

“Government has stated that these modifications would not preclude Crewe’s ability to handle five to seven HS2 trains per hour if a new northern junction were delivered and would also allow for growth on the regional links to Crewe, such that they could each accommodate three to four regional services per hour. This would support the ambitions of the Constellation Partnership and other partners, including Growth Track 360, for improved regional connectivity to the Crewe hub and would unlock wider growth opportunities.

“The council is pleased to read of government’s support for the council’s vision for the Crewe hub and regeneration around it, as well as its partnership work and the vision for the Constellation Partnership set out in the Crewe HS2 Masterplan Vision and the Constellation Partnership’s Growth Strategy.

“However, there is still more to do to realise the vision for the Crewe hub and the council and our partners will continue to work with Network Rail and government to look at possible options to deliver a Crewe hub that would support these ambitious plans, not just for Crewe but for the wider region and beyond.

“The council and our partners will continue to make the case to government for the delivery of an enhanced Crewe hub by 2027, capable of serving up to seven HS2 trains per hour and for a new northern junction to be included as part of the phase 2b scheme.

“It is essential that we secure full commitment from government to the hub and northern junction to positively respond to the feedback to the consultation and realise the vision for Crewe and the Constellation Partnership.  As the government’s response within the report notes: ‘A well-integrated and high-quality Crewe hub is key to ensuring the maximum benefits are realised from the proposals’.”

FiRELiNK e-Newsletter - March 2018

Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

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FiRELiNK e-Newsletter - March 2018

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

Fourth award in a year for our Safe and Well visits

Chair of Cheshire Fire Authority Cllr Bob Rudd collects iESE 2018 Working Together Award for Safe and Well inititiative

Lifesaving work by our firefighters working with health professionals has won a fourth award in the first year of the innovative and ground breaking Safe and Well programme.

The collaboration between Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, NHS and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, has won the Working Together Award at the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards 2018.

Find out more - Fourth award in a year for our Safe and Well visits

Praise for firefighters who dealt with a serious school fire

Firefighters tackling a fire at a school in Northwich

Firefighters who dealt with a serious fire a school in Northwich have been praised for their actions.

More than 50 firefighters from across Cheshire spent several hours tackling the fire at the University of Chester Academy Northwich (UCAN), which was reported at approximately 6am on Sunday 25 February.

The fire caused a substantial amount of damage to the building, however by working closely with the school’s Principal, firefighters were able to salvage vital equipment from the building.

Find out more - Praise for firefighters who dealt with a serious school fire

National Fire Chiefs Council National Sprinkler Week


It’s National Sprinkler Week from 12 March, a National Fire Chiefs Council campaign that is being supported by Cheshire firefighters.

We will be encouraging landlords, housing associations, business owners and schools to consider retro-fitting sprinklers in buildings where people are most at risk from fire.

Staff from the Service will be engaging with local businesses, social housing landlords and schools in the area, raising the profile of sprinklers and dispelling some of the myths that surround these types of fire suppression systems.

Find out more - National Fire Chiefs Council National Sprinkler Week

Hoping to raise bucketloads for charity

Charity car wash in Runcorn

Our firefighters will be splashing out with car washes throughout March in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity.

Crews will be rolling up their sleeves and taking to buckets and hoses to shine up the county’s cars along with providing drivers with vital road safety advice. Firmly established on the fire and rescue service calendar, the National Car Wash is the charity's largest national fundraising event of the year.

All funds raised go to The Fire Fighters Charity, the UK’s leading provider of life-enhancing services for serving and retired fire service personnel and their families.

Find out more - Hoping to raise bucketloads for charity

High Potential Development Scheme

Firefighters tackling a fire

Are you enthusiastic, dedicated and keen to step into a vocation like no other? If yes, then read on - as a career with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service might be for you!

We are currently looking for talented first or second year degree students who would like to apply for our High Potential Development Scheme - a programme to develop our managers and leaders of the future.

This is your opportunity to join and potentially shape one of the country’s leading fire and rescue services.

Find out more - High Potential Development Scheme

Change your clocks and test your smoke alarms

Encouraing residents to test smoke alarms

The clocks go forward at 01:00am on Sunday 25th March 2018 - as British Summer Time officially starts.

When you change your clocks, please check your smoke alarms too.

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

Message Sent By

Council signals crackdown on dog fouling and anti-social owners

Signs are going up to remind people of Cheshire East Council’s new beefed-up powers to crack down on dog fouling and dog control – to help keep our parks, nature reserves and open spaces pleasant for all.

It follows overwhelming public support for tougher controls put forward by the council during its recent borough-wide consultation.

The council introduced the new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) on 1 November 2017, specifically to tackle dog fouling and dog control across the borough.

New signs are now being installed across parks, nature reserves and open spaces to remind everyone of the new rules and to warn dog owners they could be fined for failing to pick up after their dog or keep their dog under control.

Fiona Reynolds, director of public health for Cheshire East, said: “We want everyone to enjoy the Cheshire East countryside and make the most of our beautiful parks, nature reserves and open spaces this spring.

“To ensure areas are safe and clean for everyone to use, we have to be strict about asking dog owners to keep their dogs under control and to pick up after their dog. Failing to do this could see dog owners fined between £100 and £1,000 under the new Public Spaces Protection Order.

“Most people are very responsible when walking their dogs and are happy to keep to these simple rules and we thank them for helping us to maintain pleasant green spaces for all to enjoy.”

The main features of the PSPO allow the council to:

● Tackle those that fail to pick up after their dog in all public places within Cheshire East


● 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; and

● Issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £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 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 young children. Roundworm eggs found in dog mess (toxocara canis) can easily be picked up by children. This causes stomach upsets, sore throats, asthma and, in some cases, blindness. 

Introducing the PSPO last November allowed the council to replace and extend the existing dog controls and byelaws. This gives a consistent approach across the borough to dog fouling and introduced dog control requirements to encourage responsible dog ownership and ensure that everyone is able to enjoy our publicly-accessible open areas, woodland, heath land, country parks and public spaces safely.

A national survey found 95 per cent of Britons are worried about the amount of dog fouling. The council recognises that most dog owners are responsible and clean up after their pets but a small minority continue to cause problems.

Click on the following link to see a short video clip of Mark Arnold, our countryside ranger at Brereton Heath local nature reserve, talking about why the PSPO is so important:

To see the full details of the public space protection order visit:

For more information or to report issues relating to environmental crime, visit: or ring the council on 0300 123 5011.

A talented local rugby player

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A talented local rugby player has been chosen to receive training at an elite level club.

Christine Lawson - photo by Denise  Lawson

Christine Lawson, aged 17 from Crewe, started playing rugby only two years ago. She was born in South Africa and was inspired to play by her father - Steve Lawson - who regularly participated in the sport when they lived in South Africa.

Christine currently plays on the flank for the Ladies XV team at Crewe & Nantwich Rugby Union Football Club, who play their home matches at the Vagrants Ground in Willaston near Nantwich, in the National Challenge North West 1 league.

She is also a member of the Cheshire RFU Senior County Ladies team, who train at Winnington Park, near Northwich, having played several times for Cheshire RFU Under 18s.

In late February this year she attended a trial for Firwood Waterloo Ladies RFU team in Bootle near Liverpool. As a result, she has been picked to receive training at the club’s centre of excellence at Litherland Sports Park. Firwood Waterloo Ladies play in the Tyrrells Premier 15s, the top tier of the women's English rugby union domestic league system. The club also has links with the England Women’s RFU setup.

Christine has also played in the Cheshire Under 17 and Under 18 girls cricket teams and played in the Cheshire Under 17s girls hockey team but chose to follow her dream of playing rugby. She hopes to inspire other girls to participate in sport as statistically, by the age of 17, more than half of girls have stopped playing sport altogether.

Christine said: “I am very glad to receive training at this high level. I also thank the coaches and players at Crewe & Nantwich Rugby Union Football Club who have helped me get this far."

Matt Baty, Ladies Coach at Crewe & Nantwich Rugby Union Football Club, said: “Christine was forced to play at a different Club last year due to the lack of players in her age group at Crewe and Nantwich. Fortunately, this year she has been able to play up to the Over 18s due to a change in the league regulations and has slotted right in! It can often be a big step up from juniors to adults due to the difference in the size and physicality of the players, but Christine has been one of the first names on the team sheet since the start of the season. She has a very bright future in the game and we’re very lucky to have had her at Crewe & Nantwich RUFC this season”.

For information relating to Crewe & Nantwich Rugby Union Football Club please visit: , or search Crewe and Nantwich Ladies RUFC on Facebook.

Christine Lawson - photo by Denise Lawson.jpg

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Being neighbourly in this cold weather

Neighbourhood Watch

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Being neighbourly in this cold weather

Neighbourhood Watch isn’t just about preventing crime - we’re a movement with neighbourliness at our heart and with this cold weather dug in we wanted to send a friendly request to our supporters to check on any elderly or vulnerable neighbours if you can.

Many people are waiting out the weather at home and some won’t have been able to get out for several days now so a friendly knock from a neighbour is welcome. Maybe they need a pint of milk or a can of beans to get them through to the thaw, or a path swept or their dog walked?

Of course your safety is important too – so please think about that and only venture out if you can do so safely.

Thanks to all our supporters for your neighbourliness and all that you do - in good weather and bad -  for your communities.

To find out more about Neighbourhood Watch click here.

Cheshire East Youth Parliament members elected in local ceremony

Two young people from Crewe and Poynton have been elected to represent Cheshire East for the UK Youth Parliament.

Tyler Everall and Jake Crossley were selected as the final Cheshire East candidates, at a ceremony held at Congleton Town Hall (on February 28) after receiving the most votes from their peers.

More than 4,000 votes were cast in total and both individuals will represent the views of young people from across the borough, taking responsibility for organising events and campaigns, meeting MPs, lobbying for change and appearing in the media. 

In order to become elected the eight competing candidates, aged 11-18, had to present a series of speeches to parents, carers and professionals, sharing their views on issues affecting their community.

As part of his speech, Tyler, 15, spoke out about his passion for the LGBT community, highlighting how keen he is to represent young people in Cheshire East and to ensure that their voice is heard.

Jake, 13, focussed on his passion for campaigning for equal funding in the North West, saying: “I’ll cooperate with as many people as possible to make this work.”

Prior to the event the eight semi-finalists had been campaigning in schools, colleges and youth provisions across Cheshire East, covering topics such as LGBT awareness, mental health, curriculum for life and safer communities. 

Jake added: “I’d like to thank all the youth support staff and teachers, who’ve helped me to prepare for this, as well as my friends and family who’ve supported me all the way.”

Tyler said: “I am truly excited to have this opportunity to work with many amazing people, especially the new UK Members of Youth Parliament and Jake, my fellow representative for Cheshire East.”

Young people in Cheshire East have been participating in UK Youth Parliament over the past 10 years, with successful candidates taking topical and local issues to the House of Commons alongside other national representatives.

New members of UK Youth Parliament are voted for on a bi-annual basis, and the election season takes place from November to March. 

Mark Palethorpe, acting executive director of people at Cheshire East Council, said: “Both candidates have worked really hard to win this election within the Cheshire East constituency and have demonstrated impressive dedication throughout the process.

“Their passion for bringing local issues to the forefront and ensuring their views are heard at such a young age is nothing short of inspiring. I’m so proud that we have had so many of our 33,000 young people in Cheshire East who want to make a difference in our community.”

Commercial property market confidence remains high in Cheshire East

Commercial property take-up in Cheshire East is soaring with a record-breaking £118.5m of investment property deals last year – more than three times the total for 2016.

The strong signs of growth in the commercial property market during 2017 were presented to property professionals today at an event hosted by the Cheshire East Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company.

The figures are from a commissioned commercial property review by independent property consultants BE Group.

The office market included the development of new offices for Radius Payment Solutions in Crewe worth £12m and moves to the Alderley Park campus agreed with Cyprotex and Royal London – the latter helping to safeguard up to 1,200 jobs in the borough.

The most high-profile investment deal was the purchase of the BAE Systems’ facility at Radway Green, near Crewe, by a consortium of Korean investors for £56m.

Director of BE Group Vince Sandwell said: “The 2017 figures represent further evidence of the attractiveness and quality of Cheshire East’s property portfolio on an international scale and in particular the evidence of strong demand for high-quality industrial space, where demand is outstripping supply.”

Julian Cobley, managing director of the Skills and Growth Company, said: “We believe that the commercial property growth during the past 12 months will continue and set further growth during 2018, retaining our position as a strong and diverse economic powerhouse.

“With the support of the Skills and Growth Company, businesses can look confidently to further sustainable growth and success in the future. My objective remains to ensure Cheshire East continues to be one of the UK’s best places to live and invest in.”

Further details and an executive summary of the commercial property review is available at:

Helen Kay, from Nantwich

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Helen Kay, from Nantwich, is researching the relationship between poetry and dyslexia/dyspraxia as part of her MA in Creative Writing course at Manchester Metropolitan University.

She is staging an exhibition about dyslexia, dyspraxia and poetry at Crewe Lifestyle Centre from 4th to 11th August 2018. The exhibition aims to record the experiences of people with dyslexia and dyspraxia and to show that many are highly creative. 

Helen would like to hear from people with dyslexia and/or dyspraxia. She would welcome a short poem, a piece of flash fiction or even an audio or video clip about any aspect of dyslexia/dyspraxia – people’s gifts or experiences and the experiences of those around them.

If you would like to submit a piece for the exhibition, please send your name, age and a short sentence about yourself, giving your consent for the work to be used in a display or film to be shown in a public place, by 1st May 2018 to Helen via: . Please state if you wish to remain anonymous.

Helen Kay said: “I would love to hear from people with dyslexia/dyspraxia. It would be great if people could send me either a poem or a piece of flash fiction about any aspect of their experience. Audio and visual submissions are also welcome. The aim is to incorporate these into the exhibition.”

Researcher Helen Kay

Happy and prosperous New Year for borough’s hotel sector

The New Year put a smile on the face of the hotel and hospitality sector in Cheshire East as latest figures show a 6.3 per cent rise in occupancy rates on the same month last year.

The percentage of rooms let rose from 57.3 per cent in January 2017 to 60.9 per cent in January 2018. With January tending to see a post-Christmas lull, the figures are an encouraging sign that the borough’s visitor economy remains strong.

Further evidence can be found in the revenue figures, with the average daily rate paid per room increasing by 1.2 per cent and the overall revenue generated per room put at 7.6 per cent more than for the same month in 2017.

The occupancy figures are a strong indicator of just how well the hotel sector in Cheshire East is performing against other visitor destinations, such as Chester, Cheshire West and Liverpool.

Chester saw a 7.1 per cent increase, while Liverpool and Manchester experienced a marginal fall off in business.

Frank Jordan, Cheshire East Council’s executive director of place, said: “It is very pleasing to see that this element of the borough’s visitor economy continues to perform well.

“As a council, we recognise the importance of this sector to the economy as a whole, making Cheshire East a great place to visit and to stay.”

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Council updates its housing allocation policy to help the homeless and armed forces personnel

Cheshire East Council is reviewing and updating its policy for the allocation of social housing in order to meet the requirements of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, which comes into force on 3 April, 2018.

Proposed changes, including priorities for the homeless and armed forces personnel, will be subject to approval by the council’s cabinet.

Cheshire East is committed to putting its residents at the heart of council policy and continues to develop better outcomes for residents facing challenging circumstances.

The council’s revised ‘Common Allocations Policy’ is intended to ensure the best use of social housing stock within the Cheshire East area and give residents a place to live that supports their health and wellbeing and contributes to their quality of life.

In future, people assessed as not having security of tenure, who are living in overcrowded conditions, or whose current accommodation is affecting a diagnosed medical condition, will be placed in a higher category.

Serving and former armed forces personnel, who are already housed but in need of different accommodation, will also be placed in a higher category.

Some changes to the policy will affect pregnant women, who will now move into a higher priority category once the child is born. People seeking social housing will also need to have been resident in the borough for two years or have a local connection such as employment in Cheshire East.

Those people allocated social housing will have to wait 12 months before applying for a move to different accommodation, unless there is a change in their circumstances.

Social housing providers will be allocating an equal number of units in multiple-unit blocks of flats to working people.

All social housing tenants and residents awaiting allocation are advised to check as to how the changes may affect them.

Karen Carsberg, strategic housing manager for Cheshire East Council, said: “It is very important that we do everything we can as a local authority to help the must vulnerable people in our communities. We will continue to ensure that housing is allocated fairly and objectively.”

Cheshire East Council believes that all its residents should have the opportunity to live in decent accommodation in a pleasant environment.  Last December the council consulted on its strategy for tackling homelessness – due to be adopted in March, 2018 – and also the council’s housing strategy, which outlined the long-term vision for increasing the number of new affordable homes.

The council has also introduced a new policy to penalise private landlords through the courts, if necessary, when tenants are forced to live in sub-standard conditions or are put at personal risk.

The new policy can be viewed on the council website at:

A six-week period of consultation, which started yesterday, runs up to Tuesday 10 April.

Comments can also be emailed to the council via or in writing to Cheshire East Council, Research and Consultation Team, 2nd Floor, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach, CW11 1HZ.

Haslington bypass to close on Sunday

A road which links to the Crewe Green roundabout, will close during the day on Sunday 4 March to allow the safe removal of roadside vegetation.

The Haslington bypass (A534) will close from 9am-3:30pm. Diversion routes will be displayed on the day and advanced warning signs are already in place.

All other routes linking to the roundabout will remain open.

To keep up to date with the scheme, please visit the Crewe Green roundabout page on the 

council’s website: where you can also view the latest monthly newsletter for the scheme.

Cheshire East scores highly for first choice secondary school places

Cheshire East Council has worked with the borough’s schools to offer first preference places to more than 94 per cent of secondary school applicants this year.

This is more than 0.5 per cent up on last years figure and 10.86 per cent better than the 2017 national average of 83.5 per cent. In total, 98.5 per cent of Cheshire East residents are being offered a place at a school of their choice for September 2018. Last year, the figure was 97.73 per cent.

The number of applications received for school places in Cheshire East remains high in 2018, with a total of 4,853 applications received. These included 4,004 from Cheshire East residents.

Mark Palethorpe, acting executive director of people at Cheshire East Council, said: “This is more great news, for parents and pupils, about our excellent education provision in Cheshire East.

“To be able to say to such a high proportion of parents that they have been given their first choice of school for their child is further recognition of our first-class education service we provide in the borough. This is a really outstanding achievement by our team in what continues to be a challenging landscape.

“We know that access to a school of choice is a really important issue for families and our record demonstrates, once again, that Cheshire East is a great place to live and to learn.”

Jacky Forster, director of education and skills at Cheshire East Council, said: “Schools in Cheshire East have a nationally recognised and well-deserved reputation for excellence, with 94.4 per cent of our secondary schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. Proof of this is the significant number of applications we receive from outside the borough.

“Because of this, and our desire to offer parents places in a local school of their choice, extra resources have been made available to make this possible.”   

The council has a continual programme of reviewing school capacity across the borough to take account of housing developments and the increasing demand for places in some areas.

● Further information on secondary school place decisions for September 2018 is available on the council’s website at:

A musical harmony of adoption for Tom and Dan

The best advice for anyone who is LGBT and considering adoption? Talk to  others in the same situation say Tom and Dan, who adopted their musical little boy at just eight months old. Dan has been running Proud 2be Parents; an organisation for LGBT parents and parents to be for over 10 years now, and say that adopting their son has been the best thing that’s happened for them.

From 5th – 11th March Adoption Counts, the regional adoption agency for Manchester, Cheshire East, Trafford, Salford and Stockport local authorities is celebrating LGBT Fostering and Adoption Week, and is encouraging all sections of the community to come forward and adopt. You can be gay, transsexual, bi-sexual, single, in a same sex relationship, in a civil partnership or co-habiting – all applications are very welcome and treated equally.

“Tom and I both knew we wanted children from the beginning and adoption came to be the natural process moving forward” says Dan, whose mother was also adopted.

“Our son is growing into a little character and particularly loves music, songs, story and rhyme, and his favourite activity is going to his toddler friendly music maker session at a Manchester nightclub! He also loves swimming and family days out, and couldn’t contain his excitement when seeing all the animals for the first time on a recent trip to Knowsley Safari Park. Although family days are great it’s the little things that count, like patting the family dog on the sofa, eating all the meals we cook for him and night time cuddles before bed. All these moments make it all worthwhile and just melts your heart.”

Although Dan found the process daunting and they were initially nervous as a same sex couple, Adoption Counts couldn’t have been more welcoming and supportive.

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 For more information on Proud 2be Parents visit

Willaston resident completing ten marathon runs to beat blood cancer

Reporter J white

A resident of Willaston, near Nantwich, in Cheshire is training hard to raise money for blood cancer charity Bloodwise, . Bloodwise fund world-class research into all types of blood cancer & provide information & support to those affected.

Paul Dean, 37, is running 10 marathons in 10 days from 25th May this year in memory of his father, David, and two friends Mark and Will, who all succumbed to the illness. His challenge starts in Skegness on the Lincolnshire coast of the North Sea and continues west over a distance of 262 miles, (26.2 miles per day), finishing in Llandudno on the North Wales coast.

Paul Dean said: “I first attempted this challenge 3 years ago. Unfortunately, I suffered an ankle injury that meant I was only able to complete 100 of the 262 miles. I have trained slightly differently this time and hope that the change in routine will help me to complete the event. Last time I raised approximately £3,500. My target this time is to surpass that figure, I would love to reach £10,000, to match the 10 marathons and 10 days.”

Matt Lawley, Head of Sports Events at Bloodwise, said: “We are constantly inspired by the stories of those fundraising for us and the dedication of our supporters like Paul. Every penny raised for Bloodwise will help us in our mission to stop people dying and make patients’ lives better.”

To find more information, follow updates or to contact Paul, go to

To sponsor Paul please go to

Paul Dean trains for 10 marathons  in 10 days

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Leighton spine road plan would unlock sites for homes and jobs – have your say!

Cheshire East Council is to consider proposals for a package of road schemes, including a new spine road and junction improvements, which would unlock key sites for business, jobs and housing in north-west Crewe.

Plans for the ‘North West Crewe Package’ are about to go public and would also provide an important new route to Leighton Hospital.

Cheshire East Council’s strategic infrastructure team is about to unveil the plans in detail at a number of public engagement events to be held in March.* Residents, businesses and all other interested parties are invited to give their feedback to the council.

Improvements would be carried out to associated junctions to provide access to development land.

The highways project represents yet another significant step in the council’s strategy for the regeneration of Crewe in preparation for the arrival of HS2 in 2027. The package of road schemes would be subject to the statutory planning process later this year.

A new highway, almost two miles long, would be constructed between Smithy Lane and Minshull New Road, unlocking several sites for much-needed housing and employment development. It would also connect with the A530 Middlewich Road to the north.

Cheshire East Council’s Local Plan Strategy outlines the need to build 7,700 homes and provide 65 hectares of employment land in Crewe up to 2030. The North West Crewe Package identifies two development sites – Leighton West and Leighton. They offer potential development for 1,350 homes plus five hectares of employment land, as well as creating a new local neighbourhood hub, incorporating nursery, school and community facilities.

The highways package would include significant improvements to the local road network to meet the additional demands generated by the growth in housing and business. These would include building a series of roundabouts and new junctions.

A further key feature of the scheme is the delivery of improved access to Leighton Hospital for emergency vehicles, staff and visitors. Once completed, it would also offer close connections to HS2 at Crewe.

Frank Jordan, Cheshire East Council’s executive director for place, said: “This is an important public engagement process and we hope that as many people as possible will take part and give us their feedback.

“The scheme, if approved, would help to support the expansion of local businesses and commercial development opportunities, creating jobs. It would also open up strategic housing land, as well as create a new emergency route to and from Leighton Hospital.

“This scheme represents a further element of the whole Crewe regeneration package in preparation for the arrival of HS2 high-speed rail in 2027.”

Funding for the North West Crewe Package would come from the National Productivity Fund (£5m) and the Housing Infrastructure Fund (£10m) with the balance coming from developer contributions and Cheshire East Council.

*A four-week public engagement will include three public exhibitions:

· 13 March 2018 – Legends Health and Conference Centre, Bentley Motors, Sunnybank Road  2 – 8pm

· 17 March 2018 – Leighton Academy, Minshull Road 10am – 3pm

· 22 March 2018 – Legends Health and Conference Centre, Bentley Motors, 2 – 8pm

To provide feedback on the proposals, further information will be made available from 5 March at:

The public engagement begins 5 March and ends 3 April 2018 and any comments received after the 3 April will NOT be included in the engagement process.

Cheshire East passes balanced budget and injects more cash into borough’s roads

Cheshire East Council has passed a sound budget to protect frontline services and deliver value for local people.

A vote by full council today backed several key financial reports that put the authority on course to deliver balanced finances in 2018-19, while protecting key frontline services and delivering on its strategic outcomes for residents.

The council also voted to invest an additional £7m in highways in response to concerns over the condition of some of the borough’s roads.

The council also voted to protect its highways budget from further cuts adding an additional £2m to the capital budget to invest in the borough’s roads maintenance programme.

The final government grant settlement, announced recently, will allow the council to spend a further £907,000 in adult social care and £37,000 on its homeless strategy – aimed at preventing rough sleeping and keeping people in some form of accommodation.

Leisure centre users in Crewe and Nantwich will continue to receive a refund for car parking in two council car parks – Snow Hill, Nantwich and the library car park in Crewe.

Council Tax will increase by 5.99 per cent in 2018-19. This adds £1.39 per week to the average household Council Tax bill. A Band D property bill will rise from £1,324.92 to £1,404.28 – an increase of £1.53 per week.

Importantly, three per cent of the tax rise will boost services for the vulnerable and elderly.

The decisions follow a pre-Budget Consultation 2018-21, launched in November, which set out initial proposals for how the council could target resources more effectively and save money – while achieving balanced finances. 

A key proposal sees the council earmark £2m from the New Homes Bonus scheme to be used in our communities, via a method under consideration.

Following extensive consultation, the revenue budget will be balanced for 2018-19 with net revenue spending of £268.8m and total capital investment of £326.1m identified over the next three years. A total of £197m is estimated to be spent over the next three years on maintaining and improving our highways network.

Cheshire East invited feedback from residents, businesses, councillors, staff, town and parish councils and other stakeholders to inform its proposals and decisions. This consultation will be ongoing over the next three years.

As a listening authority, the council reflected on people’s comments and amended some of its proposed savings before today’s budget vote. These included:

· £7m added to capital highways improvement programme to address public concern about local roads;

· A decision to keep all libraries open – axing proposals to close those in Alderley Edge, Disley and Prestbury.

The budget-setting meeting of council took place against a challenging national context of an overall public sector deficit, which is being partly met by big reductions in government grants to councils, and rising demand for both adult social care and children in care.

For Cheshire East, this means expected reductions of central government grants, inflationary costs and rising demand totalling more than £70m over the next three years.

The council will meet this financial challenge via a mix of tax increases and changing its service offer. The aim is to make the council financially self-sufficient by reducing its reliance on central government revenue support grant from £40m in 2015/16 to nil in 2020.

Tough choices have to be made, once again, to ensure Cheshire East can target services to people who need them most. Locally funding services puts control back with local people but also comes with the responsibility to fund them in a sustainable way.

Jan Willis, Cheshire East Council’s interim executive director of corporate services, said: “These financial reports and budget outline how the council has continued to build on the solid achievements of recent years and continues to maintain robust financial health.

“The year ahead presents a number of challenges for all UK local authorities, as increasing demand in care services for children and adults, plus other pressures, are compounded by falls in government funding – a funding reduction totalling £14.8m this year for Cheshire East and set to fall by a further £11.9m in 2018/19.

“In Cheshire East, the number of residents receiving care and support from adult social care is increasing by four per cent a year and the number of children in social care placements has increased by 17 per cent in the last year, in line with other councils.

“The council’s net expenditure on adult social care services was almost £100m in 2016/17, which is three-times the spending on any other service area. This council will continue to prioritise services for vulnerable people, despite the financial challenges. However, this means other services will need to deliver savings.”

Council urges parents to look out for scarlet fever

Cheshire East Council is urging parents to know how to spot the signs of scarlet fever.

It follows a rise in cases being seen by doctors across the North West region.

The symptoms of scarlet fever are a fine pinkish or red rash that feels similar to sandpaper – in conjunction with a sore throat, headache and fever. If your child has these symptoms it is recommended that you see your GP or call NHS 111.

Scarlet fever is one of the diseases that usually spreads at this time of year – but a higher number of cases than expected have been seen so far in 2018. It mostly affects the under-10s and is less common in teenagers and adults.

Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness but it spreads from person to person very easily and, if untreated, can have some more severe complications. It is diagnosed by a GP and treated with antibiotics.

The spread from person to person can be slowed down or stopped by thorough hand washing and by keeping children off school for at least 24 hours after their GP has started them on antibiotics and until the child is well enough to go back.

It is best for antibiotics to be started early so that complications, such as pneumonia, can be avoided and to stop the illness from spreading.

Dr Matt Tyrer, health protection lead at Cheshire East Council, said: “Although scarlet fever is a mild illness it spreads very easily. With more cases than usual being seen this year it’s very important for parents to recognise the signs, so that their children can be treated early.

“Scarlet fever usually starts with a sore throat, fever and headaches. The rash usually starts on the chest or tummy before spreading over the body and is rough to the touch, like sandpaper. It used to be more common than it is today – however, GPs have been seeing more cases than usual this year.

“If parents think that their child has the symptoms of scarlet fever we urge them to contact their GP, so that they can be assessed and treated as soon as possible. It’s also important that the children are kept out of school at least 24 hours after starting taking the antibiotics.”

For more information about scarlet fever and its symptoms, visit the NHS webpage at:

School Fraud - Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Fraud – Schools Targeted

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has seen an increase in recent weeks in the volume of CEO Fraud reports whereby schools are the targeted victim. This has resulted in substantial financial losses for several schools that have fallen victim to this type of fraud.

A school is targeted by a fraudster who purports to be the Head Teacher / Principal. The fraudster contacts a member of staff with responsibility for authorising financial transfers and requests for a one off, often urgent, bank transfer to be made. The amounts requested have been between £8,000 and £10,000.
Contact is made by email and from a spoofed / similar email address to the one the Head Teacher / Principal would use.


  • Ensure that you have robust processes in place to verify and corroborate all requests to change any supplier or payment details. Get in touch with the supplier (or internal colleague) directly, using contact details you know to be correct, to confirm that a request you have received is legitimate.
  • All employees should be aware of these procedures and encouraged to challenge requests they think may be suspicious, particularly urgent sounding requests from senior employees.
  • Sensitive information you post publicly, or dispose of incorrectly, can be used by fraudsters to perpetrate fraud against you. The more information they have about you, the more convincingly they can purport to be one of your legitimate suppliers or employees. Always shred confidential documents before throwing them away.
  • Email addresses can be spoofed to appear as though an email is from someone you know. If an email is unexpected or unusual, then don’t click on the links or open the attachments. Staff should not be allowed to check emails or use the internet with administrator accounts.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Monday, 19 February 2018

Pancake Party

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Parishioners and visitors enjoyed a ‘Pancake Party’ on the evening of Shrove Tuesday (13th February 2018) at St Andrew's Church Hall on Bedford Street in Crewe.

The pancakes were supplied and cooked by church members. The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS) provided a cabaret style entertainment to the audience after they’d eaten their pancakes.

Shrove Tuesday is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter.

Weekly services at St Andrew's Church are: Sundays (Said Communion, 8am; Worship and Communion - coffee is served after this service - 9:30am; Evensong or Sung Eucharist, 4pm), Tuesdays (Said Communion, 9am; Open informal worship with coffee and cakes, 6:30pm), and Thursdays (Said Communion - coffee and cakes afterwards, 10am). Saturday Café takes place every week 12noon to 1:30pm with soup, sandwiches & cakes in a relaxed atmosphere.

If you would like to learn more about the work of St Andrew's Church, join the choir or volunteer for any of their community projects please contact Revd. Lynne Cullens on 01270 569000 or

Pancake Party - the audience await their pancakes

NFORMATION BULLETIN – By-election for Bunbury ward

A by-election for the Bunbury ward of Cheshire East Council is set to be held on 22 March.

The deadline for candidates who wish to stand in the election is 4pm on Friday 23 February 2018. Nomination papers must be hand delivered to:

The Returning Officer
Elections Office
Macclesfield Town Hall
Market Place
Cheshire, SK10 1EA.

Nominations may be delivered on any day (excluding weekends and bank holidays), between 10am and 4pm – but not later than 4pm on 23 February.

If the election is contested, the poll will take place on Thursday 22 March 2018 between 7am and 10pm.

Any changes to, or cancellations of, existing postal or proxy vote records and new applications to be treated as postal voters, must reach the Electoral Registration Officer, either by hand at the Elections Office at Macclesfield Town Hall or by post at the Elections Office, Macclesfield Town Hall, c/o Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 2BJ by no later than 5pm on Wednesday 7 March 2018 if they are to be effective for this election. You must allow sufficient time for posted applications to be received in the Elections Office by the deadline.

All new applications for proxy voting arrangements must reach the Electoral Registration Officer, either by hand at the Elections Office, Macclesfield Town Hall, Market Place, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 1EA, or by post at the Elections Office, Macclesfield Town Hall, c/o Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 2BJ by no later than 5.00pm on Wednesday 14 March 2018, if they are to be effective for this election.  You must allow sufficient time for posted applications to be received in the Elections Office by the deadline.

For further information, please visit the council’s website at and look under the council and democracy link.

Cheshire East Council calls on dog owners to ‘get a grip’

Cheshire East is calling on dog owners to ‘get a grip’ and ensure their pets don’t harm livestock and nesting birds.

Dogs worrying and attacking livestock is a serious problem, having a major emotional and financial impact on all involved.

Many attacks occur during the lambing season and during nesting time. It is vital that dogs are kept on leads – especially during these times.

Cheshire East Council animal health and welfare team, Cheshire police and the countryside rangers have launched a joint campaign to reduce incidents in the borough.

They have drawn up a checklist of dos and don’ts. For dog owners these include:

● Your dog should never be unaccompanied outside of your home. Many incidents of

worrying and attacks occur when owners are not present;

● You have a legal responsibility to ensure your dog is secure and cannot escape and

cause problems;

● Consider using alternative routes away from livestock, where possible;

● Keep your dog on a lead in enclosures containing livestock (walkers are advised to release their dogs however if threatened by cattle, so that they can get to safety separately); and

● Pick up after your dog and dispose of faeces responsibly – in a bin or take it home for disposal. Dog faeces contain parasites that are harmful to sheep and cattle. 

Farmers should:

● Display notices that advise dog walkers of livestock in fields and ask the public to keep

livestock safe by keeping their dogs on leads; 

● Ensure notices are up to date and removed if not required;

● Report all incidents of livestock worrying and attacks to the police by ringing 101.

Mark Palethorpe, Cheshire East Council executive director of people, said: “Dog owners have a duty to be responsible, considerate and obey the law regarding their pets. I would remind everyone that it is a criminal offence for an owner or person in charge of a dog to allow it to worry livestock. 

“The majority of pet owners are responsible – but all should be aware that, as a last resort, a landowner or someone acting on their behalf, has the legal right to shoot a dog to protect their property, under the Animals Act 1971.

“Please keep your dog on a lead, where livestock is grazing or there could be a threat to ground-nesting birds. Any dog, regardless of breed, has the potential to chase and worry livestock. Do not let it be your dog.”

If you allow a dog to worry livestock you may be prosecuted or fined and ordered to pay compensation.

For more information on this issue visit:

Council’s urgent warning of ‘unsafe’ motorbike helmets

Cheshire East Council has issued an urgent recall of some motorcycle helmets over safety fears including helmets likely to have been sold for use by children.

The council has issued urgent recall notices to the Cheshire-based importer, known as Quads Inn, which is a trading name of Hough Mill Development, Lea Forge, Wybunbury, Cheshire.

Two of the models have been found not to comply with safety standards* while the third model of helmet failed to comply with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) standard.

Some helmets failed rigidity and impact absorption testing.

It is believed that all of these helmets have been sold by Quads Inn on Amazon and eBay and a small number of helmets may have been sold through the company’s own website

Anyone who has one of these helmets is advised to stop using the helmet immediately!

Details of helmets which have failed safety tests:

· Qtech/Jix – Q7/FF007 Full-face motorcycle helmet twin/sun integrated sun visor  labelled on the chin strap E9-13.10312;

· Qtech/Jix – Q998 Motorcycle flip-up front helmet and double visor. Sold in various colours – marked on the chin strap with E9-05.1810. Serial numbers from 34.842.801 to 34.849.200;

· Qtech/Jix – FF601/JX-F601 Kids off-road/motocross/BMX crash helmet known as FF601/JX-F601. Sold in various colours – no batch or serial code but with descriptions such as Sporting, Black Knight and Ninja. 

Sean Hannaby, Cheshire East Council’s director responsible for regulatory services, said: “These helmets were batch tested in an accredited, independent laboratory and a number of them failed to meet the required safety standards.

“The council has, therefore, issued recall notices to the importer, and is urging anyone in possession of one of these helmets to make them unwearable, preferably by destroying them.

“Our trading standards officers have gone to enormous lengths to track down likely purchasers through eBay and Amazon and other outlets.  We would urge anyone who believes they may have bought one or are using one of these helmets, to check through Cheshire East Trading Standards or through Citizens Advice.

“We believe that these helmets could present a serious risk in the event of a road accident, while the helmets sold for use by children do not meet the safety standards to be permitted on UK roads.”

Cheshire East Council is also taking steps to alert other retailers and wholesalers across Europe through the Rapid Alert System (Rapex), which enables the quick exchange of information between European countries.

Since issued with the recall notice, Quads Inn has ceased trading meaning that the business will not be able to refund consumers in line with the recall measures.

Anyone requiring further information about the recall should contact Cheshire East Trading Standards on 0300 123 5500 or email

Further information about obtaining refunds from businesses no longer trading can be obtained from Citizens Advice on 03454 040506 or via their web site.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

'We love 90s House Live'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A 'We love 90s House Live' concert takes place at The Studio Nightclub & Entertainment Venue - - on Castle Street in Nantwich on Friday 2nd March 2018. Admission is free with donations to Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity

The event will feature live dance music band 'House Jammerz' , making a return to the venue, on stage at 9:30pm and performing the biggest and best House tracks ever.

The gig will be followed by an ‘I love the 90s’ club night from N-Trance original member ‘DJ Kuta’ until 3am.

Nigel Woodhouse, Director of Operations at The Studio said, "The House Jammerz are an incredible act that takes you right back to the biggest decade of dance music the UK has ever seen - I was lucky enough to be a Customer and a Club Manager through this iconic decade. We also have the pleasure of DJ Kuta doing our 90s only after-party - he was an N-Trance original. We are free entry with any donations going to Leighton’s Dementia appeal a worthy cause.”

House Jammerz will perform at The  Studio

British man Jim Matthews

British man Jim Matthews who fought AGAINST ISIS abroad is to be charged with terror offences by the Met Police. It is the first charge of its kind in the UK.

This is utter madness He was fighting AGAINST ISIS. ISIS is a death cult that wants to kill us. In the meantime Brits who fought WITH ISIS abroad are allowed back into the UK, where they are a potential threat to us and some are offered Social Housing The whole world has gone mad Stark raving mad

The Prime Minister has said use of drone strikes to kill UK citizens who fight FOR ISIS abroad was“necessary & proportionate”and that she would authorise such strikes in future.

So it's alright for the Government to kill UK jihadis abroad but if a Brit goes abroad and kills one he is thrown in the clink?

During the Second World War many Brits went to fight with French Resistance against the Nazis.

When they came back, if they did, they were treated like heroes They weren't thrown in prison This Tory Gov has totally left leave of its senses

UK is home to up to 35,000 fanatical Islamists. With 3,000 of them “worrying." And this stupid Tory Gov wants to lock up a man who went abroad to fight AGAINST ISIS Beyond belief Why isn't the Government locking up the jihadis in the UK? They really are a threat to us.

The 'For Britain Party' would not let ANY jihadis return to the UK. All the other parties would allow them to return. The other parties are putting the human rights of jihadis BEFORE the safety of us Brits.

Cheshire East awarded £20m housing infrastructure funding

Cheshire East Council has been awarded nearly £20m of government funding to unlock the infrastructure required to deliver new homes in Macclesfield and Crewe.

The council’s wholly-owned development company, Engine of the North, worked closely with the authority’s strategic infrastructure team to land the successful bid.

The government grant is a portion of the £2.3 billion of housing infrastructure funding (HIF) which has been made available nationally to local authorities via Homes England, to support the delivery of 100,000 new homes across the country.

Half of the funding awarded to Cheshire East will go towards a £19.5m new link road, as part of the South Macclesfield Development Area scheme that was granted planning permission last August. The route will open up the site and improve connectivity around Macclesfield for the community.

The remaining £10m will support the strategic infrastructure team to deliver a new link road as part of the Leighton Green scheme in Crewe. The site could deliver up to 850 new homes with around 400 of these on the southern part of the site, within Cheshire East Council’s ownership.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “We’re delighted with the news of HIF funding that will support the delivery of new homes, economic growth and employment opportunities for Cheshire East.

“The funding will bring certainty to the South Macclesfield Development Area project that, due to some constraints to the site, requires significant up-front infrastructure and remediation costs. The site has long been identified for growth by providing new housing alongside employment, retail, community, recreation and sporting facilities, as well as significant green infrastructure.”

Cheshire East was awarded the highest amount of HIF funding in the North West and the second highest nationally.

Homes England assessed all bids through a competition process. The allocation of funding to all successful bids will be subject to further financial checks and due diligence.

Council helps to secure three-year arts investment around popular transport heritage events

Sandbach Transport Festival and ‘TrAction’ Crewe will both benefit from a significant financial investment over the next three years, following successful 2017 pilot events to introduce more families to the arts.

Cheshire East Council, in conjunction with Crewe Town Council, Sandbach Transport Festival and Fleetwood Festival of Transport, has secured a £528,467 Arts Council grant to help stimulate enthusiasm for the arts through SpareParts:Accelerate, a three-year engagement programme targeting communities where the arts is considered to be under-represented.

SpareParts:Accelerate will be a prominent feature of the two colourful carnivals in Sandbach and Crewe, setting out to involve people who would not normally consider the arts as something for them.

This year, the two events will be even bigger and better and will include a wider programme of school and family workshops together with additional features aimed at raising the profile of both towns.

Themed around transport through the ages, SpareParts:Accelerate will feature the customary parade of imaginative and wacky creations, adding humour and entertainment to both carnivals which, by tradition, celebrate the rich heritage of the borough’s transport connections.

The Arts Council grant will help Cheshire East Council and the Fleetwood Festival to deliver a number of arts-based workshops in schools and communities, introducing adults and young people to new creative skills and encouraging future participation.

A principle objective of the whole project is to deliver economic benefits for both towns and contribute to the skills development of adults, young people and children through the arts. 

Festival director of SpareParts:Accelerate Adam McGuigan said: “The support of Arts Council England is invaluable to us. We can be more ambitious with the programme and participation opportunities. We have some incredible artists for 2018 and we look forward to announcing more detail in the near future.”

Organisers hope the input of SpareParts:Accelerate will attract more spectators, particularly from further afield, driving forward the local economy while introducing visitors to a variety of creative opportunities.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East cabinet member for cultural economy,, said: “These are truly fantastic, creative events not just celebrating the borough’s links with transport, but also raising the profile of the arts as a form of education and entertainment.

“The funding is particularly exciting as it will allow for additional activities in the run up to the festivals so that each community can be more involved, creating performances and mobile artworks that will sit alongside the professional street performers.

“It will also enable the appointment of a participation manager who will work with schools and community groups to build engagement and sustain the festivals in future years. 

“I would like to thank all our partners who have worked hard to secure this grant and I can announce that Cheshire East Council is also investing £30,000 over three years to support this entire arts programme.”

The Sandbach Transport Festival 2018 takes place over two days Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 April, while TrAction Crewe takes place on Saturday 7 July.

Elsie Alcock, from Sandbach Transport Festival, now in its 28th year said: “Sandbach is a transport town.  Its recent history is embedded in the road haulage industry with Foden and ERF once big employers in Sandbach.  This is excellent news and we would like to thank all those involved in helping to secure this funding.”

Crewe Town Council leader Simon Yates said: “We are thrilled. The funding will enable us to add more fun and excitement to Crewe’s ‘TrAction’ event and to work with schools and community groups to get added local involvement, especially in the parade, which should become a major feature of the day.”

To find out more about Sandbach Transport Festival see:

To find out more about TrAction Crewe see:

Cheshire East Council is to consult residents on ways to promote healthier and greener travel to schools

The authority agreed at a cabinet meeting last week to consult on its sustainable modes of travel to school (Smots) strategy for six weeks, starting on Thursday (15 February). 

This important document sets out how the council can support schools to promote healthier and more active travel and reduce congestion on local roads, improve air quality and road safety.

For many children, young people and their parents, travel to schools within Cheshire East is an essential aspect of daily life, with options including walking, scooting, cycling, public transport and car sharing. Walking and cycling are proven to be good for physical and mental health and the council wants to work with schools and parents to promote more physical activity to help create stronger, healthier and more vibrant communities.

Cheshire East is encouraging schools and colleges to have a travel plan – a document which sets out the measures and initiatives they will use to reduce car journeys and promote other ways of getting to school in safer, healthier and more environmentally-sustainable ways. 

The sustainable modes of travel to school strategy  was prepared following a review of school travel plans and found the following issues:

  • Cars parking on both sides of the road outside the school, limiting visibility for pedestrians;
  • Inappropriate vehicle speeds outside school and in the surrounding area;
  • Limited footpaths on non-designated available walking routes to school; and
  • Lack of suitable, secure cycle-parking spaces.

Frank Jordan, executive director of place at Cheshire East Council, said: “Our draft Smots strategy identifies current travel patterns and the barriers parents encounter when they want to travel in a more sustainable way.  It proposes a range of mechanisms and support from the Council to help schools address these barriers.

“Before adopting the strategy, we are asking for comments and feedback to find out if schools and residents and our partners agree with the document’s aims and content.”

The consultation opens on 15 February and closes on 29 March. For more details and to complete the online survey, visit: email: or ring 0300 123 5500.