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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Work begins on flagship £300,000 urban park project


Cheshire East Council is to start work on a flagship £300,000 urban park project.

The mixed play and green space scheme at Middlewich’s Fountain Fields park will include a new adult gym, redesigned play area, sensory garden and improved footpaths and seating areas.

The work, undertaken by the council’s wholly-owned, arms-length company Ansa Environmental Services, starts on Monday 4 June and will take about 10 weeks to complete. The Park will be closed while the extensive revamp is undertaken.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment, said: “This scheme is fantastic news for residents and visitors to Middlewich. It will be a great park for the whole community to be proud of and share in.

“This project is another example of the council listening to residents and working with local partners to deliver for the local community. I would also like to thank people for their patience and understanding while these extensive works are under way.”  

Fountain Fields is located off Queen Street in Middlewich town centre. The park is a well-used, flagship green space which is to get a new mix of play equipment and facilities.

In 2012, Cheshire East Council, Ansa, Middlewich Town Council and Middlewich Vision created a partnership with the aim of prioritising and coordinating maintenance and improvement of the town’s parks and play areas.

One of the outcomes was recognition of the need for substantial investment in Fountain Fields – so local residents were consulted to ask what they wanted to see in their park. The recent consultation showed there was significant support for a full park redevelopment focussed on creating an open space that can be used by all and takes inspiration from the heritage of Middlewich, including a canal narrow boat-themed imaginative play installation.

Ansa commissioned Wicksteed Playgrounds to provide a design for the park and manufacture the new equipment to be installed.

The extent of the work requires the park to be closed for the duration. Information about the park closure and planned improvement works will be made available on Cheshire East Council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk and via social media. Information signs will also be displayed on site.

An official opening event will be held after the work is completed. Details will be   available nearer the time.

The project has been funded via Section 106 capital funds for infrastructure as well as Cheshire East’s Council’s parks development fund.

Cheshire East calls for more people to register as foster carers


Cheshire East Council is looking for people to take on a highly-rewarding career and register their interest in becoming foster carers.

The appeal for more carers comes during ‘foster care fortnight’ – a national campaign  Cheshire East Council is fully supporting.

Fostering is a deeply fulfilling way of life, which anyone who has a passion for giving children the best possible start should consider. The council is very fortunate that it can already call upon many foster carers who have already made this fantastically rewarding life choice, who are out there doing it and making us proud.

Single carer Anne Bentley, from Poynton, said: “I enjoy the fun I get from being a foster carer, the simple pleasure I get from looking after children. The key lesson I have learned is that every child is different. I have learned to adapt and adjust to every child who has been with me. You find you change and grow as a person by being a foster carer.”

Karen and Robert Tulip, from Nantwich, already had children of their own and one of the most powerful emotions for them was the pride they felt when their foster children really connected with their own kids.

Karen said: “I enjoy being a part of a large family. I love the children wanting to spend time with you and the family at mealtimes, where we are all together and can talk about how our days have been. Just sitting and watching everyone trying to get their point across, learning to take turns and the conversation often going off at a tangent. They’re the moments I love.”

The decision to become a foster carer should not, of course, be taken lightly and the council understands that it is not always a smooth journey. To help the process, the council has dedicated support staff, only a phone call away, who are ready to provide help and answer any questions.

Margaret Sanders, a foster carer in Congleton, said: “We struggled with one of our early placements and didn’t ask for help straight away. Looking back on it, I think we were worried that people might think we weren’t any good if we asked for help. But we let it go on too long.

“When we did ask for help, Cheshire East was absolutely brilliant. Now, whenever we feel we are getting anxious about anything, we are not afraid to ask for some advice and support.”

Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Cabinet member for children and families, said: “Choosing to become a foster carer is a fantastic, rewarding life choice and this council will continue to prioritise our search to recruit more local carers from all backgrounds and experiences across the borough.

“People like Karen, Robert, Ann and Margaret are brilliant ambassadors for a life in foster care and I take my hat off to them for continuing to champion the cause. They are wonderful examples of excellent foster carers but we need many more like them and what better time to do that than during ‘foster care fortnight’.

“There are still more than 450 children and young people in care in Cheshire East and we are in much need of loving families to transform their lives.”

To learn more about becoming a foster carer, please call 0300 123 3223 or visit: www.foster4cheshireeast.co.uk

Cheshire East backs putting science at the heart of UK’s industrial future


The council leader has praised the prime minister’s industrial vision and says Cheshire East is ‘leading by example’ – attracting and nurturing hi-tech businesses.

Councillor Rachel Bailey was at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire East on Monday (21 May) to hear Theresa May say ‘UK global leadership in science and innovation is one of this country’s greatest assets’.

Cllr Bailey, welcoming the speech on Britain’s industrial strategy, said: “Britain has been a cradle of scientific achievement for centuries and here at Cheshire East, we recognise that such vision and innovation will be crucial for the creation of jobs and economic growth in the 21st century.”

Cheshire East is home to world leading hi-tech companies such as Waters, AstraZeneca, Bentley Motors and the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprize Zone – which includes the Alderley Park life-sciences incubator. It is also leading the way nationally in superfast broadband roll-out – with more than 95 per cent of homes and businesses connected.

The prime minister said in her speech at Jodrell Bank, in front of a backdrop of the iconic Lovell radio telescope: “Jodrell Bank is an icon of the UK’s tradition of scientific achievement and is today at the cutting edge of 21st century discovery. And as I look towards the future, that spirit of scientific inquiry, and its power to shape a better tomorrow, is at the heart of my vision.”

Mrs May announced that the government’s industrial strategy will make a commitment to take support for UK science and technology to ‘another level’.

She announced £7 billion in new public funding for science, research and innovation – the largest increase for 40 years.

The prime minister also announced the target of achieving a record 2.4 per cent of GDP invested in research and development by 2027. This could translate into an additional £80bn investment in the ideas of the future over the next decade.

Cllr Bailey said after the speech: “I agree with the prime minister that today the world stands at the threshold of a new technological age as exciting as any in our history.

“That’s why this council and its officers will not rest on the laurels of previous successes – but continue to work with our partners, both across the region and across industry, to take advantage of changes in how we live, work and do business, in order to reshape our regional and national economy and transform our communities in the years ahead.

“Key to this will be to the nurturing of people’s skills and delivery of modern infrastructure, such as fully-integrated HS2, to enable Cheshire East and the wider sub-region to deliver growth, jobs and rebalance the national economy.

“That way we can deliver a thriving modern economy and excellent quality of place for residents in a Cheshire East that continues to be a highly-desirable place to live, work, visit and do business.”  

The economy of Cheshire East is already one of the best performing in the country, with the value of goods and services (GVA) produced in the borough per head 27 per cent higher than the UK average (2015 figures) and the highest performing English economy outside London and the South East.

Jodrell Bank not only represents cutting-edge science but also its heritage is world-leading, with its education and tourism offer a significant part of its future.

Cheshire East has long had strengths in science and technology but one of the fastest growing sectors is its creative and digital sector with more than 2,000 firms that employ around 7,500 people, as well as internationally-renowned design and digital businesses and innovative digital programmes such as Shift.

Cheshire East’s high-growth sectors are expected to be digital and creative industries, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, automotive and agri-tech, building on the world-leading clusters that are already in the borough.

Champion Menna given freedom of the borough after Paralympic skiing glory


Menna Fitzpatrick, the visually impaired skier who slalomed her way to four winter Paralympic medals in Korea, will receive a further honour when she makes a guest appearance at Cheshire East Council’s mayor-making ceremony.

Menna, who turned 20 this month, was Britain’s most successful Paralympian in PyeongChang, and stunned the world with her achievements, picking up medals in four disciplines, claiming slalom gold, super combined silver, giant slalom silver and super-G bronze.

Supported by her official ski guide Jennifer Kehoe, Menna’s successes in Korea topped all her other achievements as a visually impaired Alpine skier. In 2016 she and Jennifer became the first British Alpine pair to win an overall vision impaired World Cup and went on to snap up more trophies in world events in Italy and Austria.

On Wednesday (May 23) she will take to the stage at the Tenants Hall in Tatton Park where she is expected to receive the Freedom of the Borough from the borough’s new mayor, Councillor Lesley Smetham, after hearing the official nomination from council leader Rachel Bailey.

Menna, a former student at Fallibroome Academy in Macclesfield, has only three per cent vision, yet can reach speeds of 100km per hour on skis.

Prior to Wednesday’s ceremony, mayor-elect Councillor Smetham, said: “It will be a truly great honour, as one of my very first duties as mayor, to present this remarkable young woman with the Freedom of the Borough of Cheshire East.

“Cheshire East is rich in sporting talent and these great athletes like Menna are rightly recognised by the borough for the hard work they put into their sport, the achievements they have made and the credit they bring to themselves and to this borough.”

Menna’s guide Jennifer Kehoe is not able to be at Wednesday’s event, but members of her family, school staff, friends and members of the Cheshire East sensory inclusion service, who have supported Menna, will be present.

Cheshire East Council leader Rachel Bailey said: “Only two years ago we honoured Sir Philip Craven, a Cheshire East resident and former president of the International Paralympic Committee.

“Menna is the latest in a long line of great athletes associated with Cheshire East, including Dame Sarah Storey, Victoria Pendleton, Beth Tweddle, Ben Ainslie, Laura and Jason Kenny and so many more and, as a council, we are so proud to be able to honour them in this manner.”

Menna receives a scroll of honour from the mayor and will be able to attend some public events as an official guest of the council.   

If you want to see what it is really like for Menna to ski with so little vision then you can watch the video ‘seelikemenna’ by following this link: https://bit.ly/2IKbbLN

Charity football match

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A charity football match and family fun day took place at the Cumberland Arena in Crewe on Saturday 19th May 2018.

‘The Everall Derby’ is organised by twin brothers Carl and Simon Everall and is played in memory of Gareth Jones, a talented footballer from Crewe who lost his battle to cancer at the age of just 31.

The GJ8 fund has paid for ‘GJ8’ to be trademarked and a GJ8 wall plaque in memory of Gareth Jones was unveiled at the Cumberland Arena during the event. Gareth wore the number 8 shirt when he played for Crewe Athletic. There was also a minute’s applause for Gareth prior to ‘The Everall Derby’ match and a balloon launch of the letters G, J and a number 8.

The football match for the Everall Cup contained local celebrities, professional players and ex-professional players including ex-Alex favourites including Nick Powell, Rodney Jack, Steve Jones and Nicky Maynard, former Stoke City striker Ricardo Fuller and ex-Manchester United player Danny Higginbotham.

A record attendance of 1,400 people saw Team Carl beat Team Si 5-3 with goals from Nicky Maynard (2), Ricardo Fuller, Nick Powell, Elliot Osborne, Ben Mills, Tim Sanders, and Si Everall.

The match was preceded by senior and junior football tournaments on the 3G artificial turf pitch and a mascots football game on the grass pitch. There was also family entertainment and refreshments.

It is the fourth occasion that the twins have organised the event. Over £4,000 was raised this year with all proceeds going to Ward 1 (Cardiac Ward) at Leighton Hospital, Friends for Leisure, Motor Neurone Disease Association and to local children’s football to buy new kits and equipment for several clubs.

Co-organiser, Carl Everall, said: “We were overwhelmed with the support of the community. Even with the FA Cup and a Royal wedding on the same day, we still smashed all our previous event totals. It was four wins on the run for Team Carl - my brother Si’s team didn’t have a chance. I could see his players worrying when they saw our line-up! Simon has to recruit better next time. For me, Lee Bell and Liam Lawrence were the star men, they controlled the game. I must give special mentions and credit to Davina Jones, Gareth Jones’ sister, who works harder than anyone as part of our group of volunteers and to Rich Jones from Crewe Lifestyle Centre - without his help and expertise in events, The Everall Derby wouldn’t be possible. I hope everyone enjoyed their day with us and look forward to seeing you all at the next event in 2020.”

For further information relating to the ‘The Everall Derby’ please search Everall Derby on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo portrait of Gareth Jones pitchside prior to The Everall Derby football match.JPG

Nicky Maynard challenges Danny  Higginbotham for the ball

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Council’s building control team sees more successes at regional awards


Cheshire East Council’s wholly owned building regulations company, Civicance, has seen three local developers pick up prestige awards, and head for the national finals in London.

The regional ‘Building Excellence’ awards celebrate quality construction work and good partnership working between house builders and the local authority.

With a total of 29 finalists from the borough in 15 different categories, Cheshire East developments picked up three overall winners and two ‘highly commended’ awards.

Knutsford-based Modern Unique Developments collected the award for best local builder or traditional craftsperson. They were recognised for their consistent high quality of craft and skills in the region.

Hulmerfield Hall at Sandbach Farm impressed the judges for its quality of build and the award for best individual new home went to Bartholomew Homes, Nigel Daly Design and James Harrison for this construction.

A partnership of Armitage Construction, Buttress, National Trust and SALT Architects took the category for best small commercial project for their project at Quarry Bank Mill in Styal.  They were recognised for their sensitivity to the local environment and how the design supported the commercial purpose of the building.

Civicance managing director Ian Bunn said: “These fantastic achievements highlight the commitment to building excellence in Cheshire East, and the benefit of strong, reliable working relationships between industry professionals and the local authority building control.

“Every year, the contribution to the awards from this region demonstrates the quality of the area’s house-building and construction sector.  Everyone involved shows a true commitment to quality and deserves this recognition.

“Our local building control team takes great pride supporting these nominations and we wish our winners every luck for the national awards later this year.”

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “This council recognises the high standards achieved by architects, designers and builders and it is fitting that those companies and individuals should also be recognised at regional and national level.

“I congratulate the winners and those shortlisted and I am grateful to the Civicance team for the excellent work that they do.”

The event – organised by Local Authority Building Control on behalf of all councils in the region – took place at the Emirates Old Trafford.

Highly commended awards went to Henderson Homes and Calder Peel Architects for Seven Steps, Wilmslow and to Seddon Homes for Campion Point, Sandbach.

To find out more about the services provided by Civicance and the full list of finalists visit: www.civicance.co.uk

Bumper Bank Holiday for Crewe

3 - Steampunk burlesque entertainment

Visitors to Crewe over the late May Bank Holiday weekend will enjoy a packed programme of entertainment when Steampunk and the Cosmopolitan Food Festival pitch up in the centre of town.

Steampunk is a fun and quirky celebration of science fantasy inspired by 19th-century fashions and industrial steam-powered machinery.

The Crewe streets will be transported back in time, with many visitors dressed in Victorian-style clothing. Distinctive top hats with futuristic goggles, colourful waistcoats, corsets, bustles and fabulous fascinators will all be on show.

Crewe’s cultural quarter, centred around Memorial Square and Christ Church, will host a range of free performances by established Steampunk celebrities.

Musicians, jugglers, story tellers, unicycle riders, fire performers and escapologists will delight crowds on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Fantastical Steampunk tales will be told at The Time Travelling Tea Tent on the church lawns.

The Crewe Lifestyle Centre is also part of the weekend. A three-day Steampunk market is being held in the sports hall, offering hundreds of unusual gift ideas and craft workshops.

There are also two ticketed evenings of music and cabaret at The Mals club near ASDA.

On Saturday 26 May, The Rhythm ‘n’ Roots band headline, performing classics from Bob Marley, UB40, John Holt and The Specials – all with a cunning twist. Other Steampunk favourites include the Retro Clones, burlesque Lux Delioux and Kessie Dixon.

Sunday 27 May welcomes The Filthy Spectacula, inspired by gypsy punk, dark cabaret and a hint of piracy. Montague Jacques Fromage flies in from America, while showman Greg Chapman brings his sensational illusions to stage. BB BlackDog, The Wattingers and Seedy Frills complete the entertainment.

On Sunday and Monday, between 10am and 5pm, the town centre streets will be filled with wonderful aromas as the Cosmopolitan Food Festival returns with an exciting selection of mouth-watering foods from around the world.

A chocolate infusion theme promises a range of cuisines with a sweet-tooth twist, including tasty favourites like Spanish Churros and even a chocolate-flavoured beer.

Market Square will have large racing go-karts, and music comes from Cheshire-based Photo Booth Smile who perform catchy pop classics.

Tickets for the evening Steampunk events are available on the official website www.crewe-steampunk-convivial.co.uk

Rail firm on track to expand

1 – TBM Rail's Neil Pointon (left) with director Neil Smith at the Crewe depot

A Crewe-based railway company has recruited a business development manager as it looks to the future to expand its passenger comfort services across the UK rail industry.

TBM Rail, based at Marshfield Bank Business Park, provides train toilet and tank servicing expertise. They also offer specialist seat cover dry-cleaning, electrical charge points, door sensors, washroom equipment and safety grab poles.

The company has grown considerably over the last decade and now supports train operators across the country.

Neil Pointon has joined the firm as business development manager to expand the range of products and services offered as the railway industry embarks on an exciting phase of change and investment.

Neil brings over twenty years’ engineering and railway experience to TBM Rail, having handled major accounts around the UK and mainland Europe.

For some time he has specialised in the supply and overhaul of brake equipment, working with most train operating companies.

He said: “The transport industry is constantly changing, and that’s part of the attraction – there is something new every day.

“At TBM Rail I will be looking for new opportunities both within the rail passenger and freight markets, offering spares management solutions to both.

“There are also ways that we can expand component cleaning services currently supplied to the industry, and also to bus and coach companies.

“Having a wealth of trusted contacts is a real bonus, but I am always keen to attend exhibitions and industry networking events to keep abreast of the latest developments.”

Neil Smith, TBM Director, said: “Neil has tremendous experience dealing with major railway companies, and his knowledge and contacts will bring a host of fresh opportunities to TBM Rail.

“That’s great news for Crewe and Cheshire as our growth will also boost the local economy.

“Over the years we have always recruited locally, encouraged training and career development. Neil brings skills to the business that will benefit the whole team here in Crewe.”

TBM Rail is currently working on other products and technologies to improve journeys for passengers. The ongoing digital transformation will open up new markets and provide a range of high-tech services to rail customers.

For further details about TBM Rail visit www.tbmrail.com.

*** ENDS ***

Photo attached:

1 – TBM Rail's Neil Pointon (left) with director Neil Smith at the Crewe depot

Notes to editors:

• TBM Rail was established in 2009 to provide cost-effective solutions for the railway industry

• TBM Rail cleans seating for train operators, including GWR/Hitachi Class 800 IEP fleet

• TBM Rail has cleaned over 175,000 seat covers for UK rail operators since 2014

• TBM Rail also services train toilet tanks at the Crewe base and at depots around the UK

Friday, 18 May 2018

Talented local artist Christian Turner

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Talented local artist Christian Turner, aged 24 from Sandbach, has produced new oil paintings of Nantwich. His new oil paintings are of a Battle of Nantwich re-enactment, Churche’s Mansion, Nantwich Aqueduct carrying the Shropshire Union Canal over Chester Road, Pillory Street, St Mary’s Church, Sweetbriar Hall on Hospital Street, The Bowling Green, and Welsh Row.

Christian has previously produced paintings in the town of Nantwich Town Square, Christmas in Nantwich, Cocoa Yard and The Crown Hotel.

All the scenes are available as a greeting card and a postcard and can be purchased in Nantwich from the Nantwich Bookshop and Coffee Lounge (High Street), Special Cards (Market St), Inside Paradise (Oat Market) and Magpie Cards (Cocoa Yard).

A shopping bag and a mug featuring his painting of Nantwich Town Square are available from his stall at the monthly Nantwich Farmers’ Market on the town square and via www.christianturnerart.com

Christian, who has autism, has also painted birds, marine life, geometric patterns and several scenes of Sandbach. Christian has been drawing since he was a child and studied A-Level Art at Sandbach School. Christian has a small art studio upstairs in Sandbach Art Room (High Street, Sandbach). Some of his artwork is also for sale at Art of Framing on Pillory Street in Nantwich: http://www.artofframing.co.uk/

Christian said, "I hope that people enjoy my latest artwork of Nantwich. I will produce more of my artwork on bag and mug designs in the near future and plan to produce a Nantwich 2019 calendar, which will be available towards the end of this year.”

For further information please visit www.christianturnerart.com or contact him via email: christian.turner@yahoo.co.uk or telephone: 07432116922 or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChristianTurnerArt

Christian Turner with a Nantwich  bag and card

An evening of Magic, Music And Mirth’

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

‘An evening of Magic, Music And Mirth’ variety concert took place on the evening of Saturday 12th May 2018 at the Wistaston Memorial Hall on Church Lane in Wistaston, organised by Diane Edge-Robinson and Colin Wood. This was live entertainment at its best with so many memorable acts.

Richard Batty was the Master of Ceremonies. The programme included Richard Batty on ukulele and performing a monologue, a series of sketches, Des Redfern on mandolin, Arthur Newton on accordion, Adrian the magician, David Clewes on harmonica, and singer Margaret Moran from Manchester.

The raffle was organised by Glenys White and Meurig Jones and raised £112.

The interval refreshments were organised by Audrey Astbury.

The event was filmed by the Crewe Movie Makers.

Eighty enthusiastic people were in the audience who joined in the finale of a rousing ‘We’ll Meet Again’.

Over £450 was raised in total with all proceeds going to the decoration of Wistaston Memorial Hall’s interior.

The Hall’s Chairman of the Management Committee, John White, thanked all those who had participated in making this concert a social and financial success with a wonderful community atmosphere. A standing ovation was given to Richard Batty for keeping the programme together in such a professional manner.

Adrian the magicianRichard Batty was the Master of  CeremoniesThe audience join in the rousing  finale of We ll Meet Again

Silent Soldiers’ unveiled at launch of 2018 Cheshire East Reflects programme


Three ‘Silent Soldiers’ have been unveiled in Cheshire East as part of this year’s programme of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The near life-size silhouettes of a ‘Tommy’ have been sponsored by Cheshire East Council in support of a national campaign by The Royal British Legion.

They stand as a tribute to those who did not return home from the conflict, which lasted from 1914-1918.

Their unveiling in Crewe town centre today by guests including Cheshire East mayor-elect Lesley Smetham, Cheshire East Council cabinet members, Royal British Legion members and creative producer Amber Knipe, marked the launch of the fourth and final year of the Cheshire East Reflects programme, which will culminate in November with two events called ‘When the Light Goes Out’.

Over the coming months, the Silent Soldiers will be used across the borough to promote the commemorative activities.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We’re really proud to be one of the few councils in the UK to have held a sustained programme of commemorative events throughout the four-year period, remembering those who gave their lives.

“The work that has been done, along with the activities planned for this year, will help ensure that the stories and artefacts, which tell the story of the First World War in Cheshire East, are preserved for future generations.”

The Cheshire East Reflects programme has seen participation from residents, community groups and arts organisations, as well as partners including the Imperial War Museum North. More than 25,000 people have attended events, participated in the programme or received a free schools workshop.

Over the coming months there will be further opportunities for the public to get involved, including taking part in a parade and helping with the making and sourcing of props, costumes, flags and banners.

The 2018 programme includes a free family concert at Tatton Park, Knutsford, on Sunday 26 August. Visitors are invited to take along a picnic to the event, which will feature the Staffordshire Military Wives Choir, Cheshire’s own Foden’s Band and Sacred Sounds, which tells the story of British India’s involvement in the First World War.

The final commemoration events, called ‘When the Light Goes Out’, will take place during Armistice weekend in November and will also be free to attend.

The first will be held in Crewe town centre on Saturday 10 November and will focus on the survivors of the war. It will include a parade inspired by Crewe’s 1918 Tank Week – part of a fund-raising campaign led by the government, which saw tanks touring England’s towns and cities – and a street concert featuring music from bands and choirs from across Cheshire East.

The second event will take place on Sunday 11 November, at Tatton Park, and will be based on the theme of ‘the fallen’. It will feature a piece of projection work created and inspired by archive and community sourced footage and stories about the war, a promenade performance and the launch of a newly-commissioned choral piece.

During a formal ceremony to mark the end of the First World War, a commemorative flame, which has been burning at Tatton Park since 2014, will be extinguished.

Cllr Bailey said: “Cheshire East Reflects has been a thought-provoking programme of work that has paid tribute to the tremendous courage and sacrifice of Cheshire’s soldiers.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the programme of activities so far and encourage residents to attend the events later this year as the centenary commemorations draw to a close.”

For more details about the programme of events and information about how you can get involved, visit: www.cheshireeastreflects.com

Silent soldier

Thursday, 17 May 2018

FiRELiNK eNewsletter - May 2018

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Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

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FiRELiNK eNewsletter - May 2018


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


Is your smoke alarm over 10 years old?

Encouraing residents to test smoke alarms

We are urging residents living in homes built between 1992 and 2008 to have their hard-wired smoke alarms replaced.

Research into their longevity has concluded that hard-wired as well as battery-operated devices should be replaced every 10 years, or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.

The manufacturing industry also recommends that smoke alarm detector heads should be replaced every decade.

Countless Cheshire homes are being protected by smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old, with misguided faith in hard-wired alarms being a particular concern.

Find out more - Is your smoke alarm over 10 years old?


Safe and Well Visits ‘an overwhelming success’

Safe and Well Visit

Groundbreaking work by Cheshire firefighters has resulted in nearly 4,000 people addressing health concerns.

On 1 February 2017 we launched an exciting new initiative, in collaboration with the NHS and local authority Directors of Public Health, to help improve the health of potentially vulnerable people.

The free Safe and Well Visits - for the over 65s and people who are referred to the fire service by partner agencies because they are considered to be at a particular risk - see firefighters and advocates provide far more than the traditional fire safety and smoke alarm advice.

Find out more - Safe and Well Visits ‘an overwhelming success’


Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Police launch drone project

Launch of the drone project

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Constabulary have joined forces to fund a state-of-the-art drone.

The drone - which is also known as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) - will be used to assist with police enquiries and fire incidents during a six month trial period to assess its capabilities and inform future plans. The DJI Matrice 210 has a powerful digital camera and a thermal imaging camera.

Three police officers and three firefighters have been trained and accredited to the CAA standards to pilot the drone, which will be used to support various operational activities during daylight hours in the trial period.

Find out more - Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Police launch drone project


Barbecue burns survivor shares story to help warn others

Barbecue

Four years ago the life of a Cheshire woman changed forever when a family barbecue went badly wrong, and she suffered horrific burns.

She has been left scarred by the incident but feels very lucky to be here today so now wants to help firefighters and warn other people to be extra careful.

Find out more - Barbecue burns survivor shares story to help warn others


Young people wanted for Prince's Trust Programmes

Prince's trust team during residential week

We're recruiting for Prince's Trust team members in Chester, Halton, Winsford, Crewe and Macclesfield.

Aged 16 to 25? Unemployed? Want to gain new skills and develop existing ones, to help you get back into employment or education?

For more information - Young people wanted for Prince's Trust Programmes


Fire Station open days

Ellesmere Port Fire Station Open Day 2017

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

Find out more - Fire Station open days

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

Find out more - Your local fire station

Message Sent By
Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

Love on the Rocks

Reporter  Jonathan White, Wistaston

Pebble artists have been painting bees on rocks to create a tribute on the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena terror attack. The worker bee is one of the best-known symbols of Manchester and came to symbolise Manchester’s resilience after the atrocity.

The ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston, Crewe & Nantwich’ and ‘Love on the Rocks Shavington, Wybunbury and Hough’ pebbleart Facebook groups have been painting their own bee designs on rocks along with the hashtag ‘#LoveMCRBees’.

They have painted dozens of bee rocks and will join in with over thirty other UK pebbleart groups involved in the tribute by leaving their rocks in designated areas - St Anne’s Square and Exchange Square - in Manchester on 22nd May 2018. Nikki Lunn from ‘Stockport Rocks’, who organised the tribute, will be handing out free #LoveMcrBees pencils and ‘Pebbleart Rocks, Bolton/Bury’ will be handing out bee-friendly flower seeds. It is estimated that in total there will over 1,000 bee rocks. Visitors will be asked to take a bee rock home as a remembrance gift.

Sharon Cattell, founder member of ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston, Crewe & Nantwich’, and ‘Love on the Rocks Shavington, Wybunbury and Hough’ said: “The bombing last year affected everyone, so when I saw Nikki Lunn’s idea on Facebook, I wanted to get involved with the tribute. I decided to organise it as an event on Facebook and arranged for the Lifestyle Centre in Crewe and the Swimming Baths at Nantwich to be drop-off points for anyone who wanted to submit a rock. The members have painted over ninety rocks. I will be taking them to Nikki for her to add them to the tribute.”

For further information please search ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston, Crewe & Nantwich’ on Facebook.

Manchester Arena terror attack  anniversary - worker bee pebbleart (1)

Thursday, 10 May 2018

charity bucket collection

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A charity bucket collection was held by Bloodwise at Tesco Extra on Vernon Way in Crewe on Friday 27th April 2018. £296.60 was donated by kind shoppers over the day.

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: “Bloodwise South Cheshire are indebted to Crewe Tesco Extra for allowing us to collect at their store on 27th April 2018. Tesco staff made us feel welcome and Tesco shoppers were generous in their giving. All monies raised in this way go directly into research of all Blood Cancers. Great strides are being made in the fight against Blood Cancer - particularly in Childhood Leukaemia. Thank you to everyone who supported us, it is very much appreciated.”

For further information relating to Bloodwise please contact Liz Boffey on 01948871250, or visit https://bloodwise.org.uk/

Bloodwise volunteer Fiona Crompton  collects at Tesco Extra Crewe

Warning issued after elderley residents targeted by scam

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Warning issued after elderley residents targeted by scam


Detectives are urging Cheshire residents to be vigilant after an elderly woman from Runcorn and an elderly man from Chester were scammed out of large quantities of money.
They both handed money to a courier for safekeeping after receiving a phone call from a man purporting to be a senior police officer.
The so-called officer told them that their savings had been targeted by thieves and were not safe in their bank accounts.
Cheshire Police’s advice on avoiding such scams is:
• The police will never ask you to become part of an undercover investigation or for you to withdraw money and hand it to them for safekeeping
• Be wary of any calls, texts or emails purporting to be from the police asking for your personal or financial details, or for you to transfer money
• If you are approached, or feel something is suspicious, hang up the phone and do not reply and then report it to police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. You should also inform your bank on its advertised number.
Detective Inspector Glyn Leech said: “We believe that victims are being targeted county wide by this scam, with us investigating reports of people being scammed in areas including Warrington, Chester and Macclesfield.
“I urge anyone else who has been targeted by this scam, or other similar scams, to report it to us on 101.”

Message Sent By
Dan Hind (Police, Media, Chesh Engagement Unit)

Sunday, 6 May 2018

'We love 90s House Live'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A 'We love 90s House Live' fund-raising concert took place at Studio Nantwich - http://www.facebook.com/studionantwich - on Castle Street in Nantwich on Friday 4th May 2018.

The event featured live dance music band 'House Jammerz' http://www.housejammerz.com/ making a return to the venue and they performed a range of the biggest and best-ever House tracks.

The gig was followed by an ‘I love the 90s’ club night until 3am.

Admission to the concert was free with all proceeds to Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity http://www.mchcharity.org/

Nigel Woodhouse, Director of Operations at Studio Nantwich said, "It is always a pleasure to hold an event that plays homage to the iconic age of Clubbing and dance music. The ‘90s saw the explosion of dance music, so to see the classic tracks played by such a professional band like House Jammerz giving them their twist never fails to entertain. We are pleased to support the Dementia Appeal for Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity in their fund-raising efforts."

House Jammerz perform at Studio  Nantwich (1)

ArtsLoco

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

‘ArtsLoco’ is a social group, formed in 2017, for anyone with an interest in arts, crafts, writing, poetry and music. There are no membership fees, so please turn up and participate. Members come from the Crewe & Nantwich area and beyond.

The group meet on a weekday evening every month at The Rising Sun, Middlewich Road, Wistaston.

At previous get-togethers, the group has enjoyed hearing poetry and short stories read by the authors, listening to singing and guitar music, sharing crafts, drawings and sketchbooks.

A representative from ArtsLoco said: “I love how casual and yet creative ArtsLoco is. Some people bring artworks with them to show or work on during the evening, others just come to watch, listen and chat.”

The next ArtsLoco get-together is on Monday 14th May 2018 (7-9 pm) at The Rising Sun, Middlewich Road, Wistaston.

For further information and future dates, please go to facebook.com/groups/cancancrewe

ArtsLoco - next event - Monday 14th  May 2018 - 7-9pm

Businesses encouraged to join Digital+ programme


Cheshire East Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company has launched a new business support programme called Digital+.

The Digital+ programme offers fully-funded support and advice to help small and medium-sized businesses maximise faster broadband and digital tools – such as cloud computing, digital marketing and social media – and adapt to wider issues, such as upcoming changes to data protection legislation.

The cornerstone of the Digital+ programme is a series of one-day seminars, which provide expert support in small groups and includes a bespoke audit of each participating business’s website.

Seminars on digital marketing or social media will take place on:

● 22 May – Digital marketing, at Wychwood Park, near Crewe;

● 24 May – Digital marketing, at The Cottons, Knutsford;

● 5 June – Social media, at Vale Royal Abbey, near Northwich;

● 12 June – Digital marketing, at Mottram Hall, near Macclesfield;

● 21 June – Digital marketing, at Mottram Hall, near Macclesfield; and

● 26 June – Social media, at Crewe Hall, Crewe.

To find out more and register your interest, visit www.digitalpluscheshire.co.uk

One business already reaping the rewards of the Digital+ programme is Direct Access, of Nantwich, a disability access consultancy.

Managing director Stephen Mifsud said: “We felt our existing marketing strategy was not working, so we needed to be ahead of the game and we now understand how important it is to get our voice heard through social media and how to be consistent with our branding.

“The Digital+ programme has been able to support us in a language we could follow and helped our social media campaigns go from being good to excellent.”

Cheshire East Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company said: “We believe the Digital+ programme is a vital opportunity to help businesses grow and adapt to the ever-changing world of digital tools, broadband and social media. With our support, businesses can maximise the benefits and transform the way they work.”

The Digital+ programme is the latest phase of the Connecting Cheshire programme, which has been rolling out fibre broadband to more than 100,000 homes and businesses across Cheshire since 2013.

Digital+ is available to eligible small and medium-sized businesses in Cheshire and Warrington and is part of the Digital 2020 programme supported by the 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme.

For Cheshire Branch formed


A For Cheshire branch of the For Britain Party has been formed and they recently met in Crewe. (See attached photo below) Chairman Cllr. Brian Silvester said,"We are planning to stand candidates in the Parish,Town and Borough Council elections in 2019. Cheshire East Council staggers from one crisis to another It is time to elect Councillors who will sort out the mess and put the Council on the road to success. The Tories on Cheshire East Council promised in 2015 NOT to increase the Council Tax. That promise was broken as soon as the election was safely won.The Council Tax has gone up every year since. Residents interested in standing for the Council should get in touch.via twitter @CllrBS

Cllr Brian Silvester

Chairman

For Cheshire Branch.

IMG_3610

Get involved in mental health awareness week


Mental health awareness week is fast approaching and Cheshire East is leading the way to make sure that people know where they can get support if they need it.

The theme for this year’s awareness week is stress. Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes and stress is widely considered to be an important factor in this.

Cheshire East has joined up with local partners to organise a week of activities in the borough, supported by a broad range of organisations including: the NHS, a number of housing associations, Everybody Sport and Recreation and several community voluntary services.

Activities to mark the week include:

● A ‘mindfulness’ session at Macclesfield Leisure Centre on Monday 14 May, from 7pm-8pm;

● Free mental health signposting event at Crewe Lifestyle Centre on Tuesday 15 May, from 10am-3pm;

● A ‘wear it green’ day on Wednesday 16 May;

● A Crewe central neighbourhood partnership event supporting younger people’s lifestyle choices – with music, arts, crafts and other information. The event is at Crewe Lifestyle Centre on Friday 18 May, from 6pm-8pm; and

● A community event at the United Reform Church in Wilmslow on Friday 18 May, from 4pm-6pm.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “The range of activities that are going on for mental health awareness week are really impressive and shows the added value that true partnership-working brings.

“We couldn’t be spreading this message as widely as we are if it wasn’t for the support of our partners. Stress is something that nearly all of us face at some point in our lives and, by tackling it together, we can hopefully reduce the impact of things like anxiety and depression and, in some instances, self-harm and suicide, which can follow.”

To keep in touch with what’s happening over the week, follow the hashtag #goodmentalhealth4Cheshire on Twitter.

Friday, 27 April 2018

FIFA 2018 World Cup Alert

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Action Fraud (NFIB)

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FIFA 2018 World Cup Alert


FIFA 2018 World Cup Alert

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from 14th June – 15th July 2018. The worldwide demand for match tickets, flight tickets, and somewhere to stay throughout the competition is expected to be significant. Those planning to travel should exercise caution when considering the purchase of tickets or accommodation because the event is highly likely to be targeted by fraudsters looking to take advantage of unsuspecting fans.

Fraudsters will likely be posing as;

- Official World Cup ticket vendors or private individuals attempting to sell on a match ticket via online marketplace.

- A fraudulent website or operator offering non-existent flights or other transport to host cities.

- An accommodation booking service, hotel or operator, offering seemingly convenient accommodation in one of the host cities for the duration of the game.

- Lottery or competition organisers claiming that you’ve won a prize or cash related to the tournament.

Action Fraud received over six hundred reports and intelligence submissions in relation to the previous World Cup so it’s vital that football fans exercise caution when considering a purchase or making a transaction.

Protect yourself:

  • Listen to your instincts: If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Fraudsters will use the promise of steep discounts to lure you into handing over your money or revealing personal/financial details.
  • Clicking on links/files: Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details, and never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
  • Visit the Action Fraud website and take a look at their Ticket Fraud, Holiday Fraud and Lottery Fraud advice pages before making any decisions or bookings.
  • For useful advice and information on the World Cup please visit the Government Guidance Pages: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/be-on-the-ball-world-cup-2018

Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

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

Tea at the Tower’

Reporter Jonathan White

The inaugural ‘Tea at the Tower’ guided circular walk took place on the afternoon of Sunday 22nd April 2018 from St Mary’s Church, on Monks Lane in Acton, near Nantwich. The walk was led by Nigel and Deborah Anderson who directed twenty-one walkers on a four-mile route through beautiful Cheshire countryside involving the Dorfold estate and the Shropshire Union Canal footpaths. The weather stayed dry and all participants were full of enthusiasm and praise. Future dates for ‘Tea at the Tower’ guided circular walks are: Sunday 20th May 2018 (1pm) and Sunday 3rd June 2018 (1pm). All walks start from St Mary’s Church, Acton.

‘Tea at the Tower’ - where drink’s and cakes are served (donations are gratefully received) - takes place EVERY Sunday afternoon (2:30-4:30pm) throughout the year at St Mary’s, Acton. Visitors also have an opportunity to have a guided tour up the church tower as far as the ringing chamber.

A representative from ‘Tea at the Tower’ said: “It is wonderful that the first-ever ‘Tea at The Tower’ walk was a success - the feedback has been fabulous. The ‘Tea at The Tower’ refreshments, which began in March 2017 and raise valuable funds for St Mary’s Church, Acton, is also very popular. EVERYONE is welcome to both the walks and the weekly community cafe”.

For further information, please visit: http://www.stmarysacton.com/

Walkers at St Marys Church Acton  for the inaugural Tea at the Tower guided circular walk

National adviser praises council support for care leavers


A national adviser has praised Cheshire East Council after a visit to supporting young people leaving care.

The visit from Mark Riddell MBE – the government’s national implementation adviser for care leavers – was commissioned by children’s minister Nadhim Zahawi, in response to a change in government legislation.

The changes require local authorities to take on new responsibilities relating to their work with children in care and care leavers, following amendments to the Children and Social Care Work Act 2017.

A care leavers’ adviser was appointed to provide some insight into how councils were instigating these new changes. Cheshire East was one of the first local authorities to be visited and the findings were very favourable.

Mr Riddell found that:

· There is now a higher percentage of care leavers who are in employment, education and training;

· Care leavers’ transitions into adulthood are well tracked;

· Care leavers’ needs are identified quickly and responded to;

· Specialist staff are employed to support care leavers reach their goals; and

· The model of delivery is strong, ambitious and being driven by a team of very passionate workers.

Councillor Gill Merry, Cheshire East Council chair of the corporate parenting committee, said: “This report is a great credit not only to the many determined and hard-working people employed within the care leavers team but also the care leavers themselves, who sometimes have to overcome very difficult starts in life.”

Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of this report which demonstrates what I already know – namely that we have incredibly committed and brilliant people working within the services we provide to children and young people in care and leaving care.

“We are not resting on our laurels, though, and we are looking forward to welcoming Mr Riddell back in the autumn, when he will be able to view even more improvements that we will have made by that time.”

Council and police swoop in crackdown on rural fly-tippers


Cheshire East Council and the police have joined forces to crack down on rural fly-tippers.

The swoop targeted problem ‘hot-spots’ in the borough, which have seen repeated illegal dumping of waste by offenders.

The joint ‘Operation Fly’ was part of the council’s continued crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

The activity focussed on known illegal dumping hot-spots in the Macclesfield borough communities of Sutton, Wildboarclough, Kettleshulme and Rainow.

A total of 14 vehicles were stopped throughout the day, with education and advice being given to 12 of the vehicles’ drivers. Two drivers were asked to produce waste documents within seven days after being unable to produce them on the day. Failure to do so will result in further action.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for safer communities and rural affairs, said: “This joint operation with the police sends out a clear message that anti-social and criminal fly-tipping will not be tolerated in Cheshire East – not in our towns and villages and not in our beautiful countryside.

“The council’s campaign to reduce fly-tipping is seeing results. With our campaigns team we have been working hard to educate people on the anti-social nature of such offences and, as a result, we have seen a reduction in the amount of waste that is being disposed of inappropriately in the borough. But some of our rural areas are seeing persistent problems.

“Unfortunately, there will always be some people who don’t listen to the strong messages and fail to heed our warnings. There is no excuse for this disgusting behaviour and this joint operation with police shows we will not stop pursuing people who have ignored our clear and consistent advice.”

Rural locations in the north of the borough (such as Sutton, Wildboarclough, Kettleshulme and Rainow) have seen a persistent problem with fly-tipping. These incidents, of around two or three a week, have been reported direct to the police and the council.

However, most cannot be further investigated due to the nature of their location and lack of evidence within the waste or lack of witnesses. Due to the volume of waste involved, it is suspected that some offenders may be travelling from outside Cheshire East to  illegally dump waste in isolated, rural locations.

Under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the law requires anyone dealing with waste to keep it safe, make sure it’s dealt with responsibly and only given to businesses licensed and authorised to take it.

Illegal waste disposal can be hazardous to the public, especially if it contains toxic material or asbestos. There could be a risk of damage to watercourses and soil quality from the dumped waste.

What you need to know about phishing

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Action Fraud (NFIB)

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What you need to know about phishing


TEXT VERSION:
What is phishing?

Fraudulently sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to trick individuals into revealing personal information, such as passwords and financial information. Phishing can also be carried out over text messages (smishing) and phone calls (vishing).

Links

Don’t click on the links in unsolicited emails and texts.

Attachments

Don’t open the attachments in unsolicited emails.

Your information

Don’t reveal personal or financial information as a result of unsolicited emails, texts or calls.

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

Pioneering Fairerpower celebrates its third anniversary


A pioneering energy supply scheme established by Cheshire East Council is celebrating its third birthday.

Since its creation in 2015, nearly 9,000 people have switched to Fairerpower and their total quoted savings adds up to more than £2m*.

Since its launch, Fairerpower has sought to reduce fuel poverty by offering competitive prices with high levels of customer care. And Cheshire East was the first council in the UK to sell power since the gas and electricity supply system was nationalised in 1948.

Recent figures show around 78 per cent of new customers save more than £100 when they switch to Fairerpower and the scheme has been very successful in helping those who had not previously switched energy providers – particularly more-elderly customers, who had been put off by the perceived complexity of switching.

To celebrate, anyone requesting a quote for their energy during May will be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad and a free one-to-one digital skills training session.

The scheme was also recently rolled out in Lancashire in a partnership with Preston City Council – and other regional local authority partners are set to join the scheme later in the year.

Since summer 2017, Fairerpower has been managed by the council’s wholly-owned, arms-length Skills and Growth Company. For more details see online at: www.fairerpower.co.uk

Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, said: “Fairerpower has gone from strength to strength. I am delighted to see that more customers across a broader geography are benefitting from lower energy costs, particularly some of our more vulnerable residents and those who may not have switched providers before.”

Tokyo Misfires

Reporter Jonathan White

The Friends of St Thomas More invite you to a charity music concert by local band ‘Tokyo Misfires’ on Friday 18th May 2018 (commencing 7.30pm) at St Thomas More Catholic High School, Dane Bank Avenue, Crewe.

Tickets = £10 (includes a pie & peas supper) and are available from the school office, or can be reserved via email: admin@st-thomasmore.cheshire.sch.uk

A bar will be available on the night.

Please note this is an adult only event.

All proceeds will go to the Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund.

'We love 90s House Live'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A 'We love 90s House Live' concert takes place at The Studio Nightclub & Entertainment Venue - http://www.facebook.com/studionantwich - on Castle Street in Nantwich on Friday 4th May 2018. Admission is free with donations to Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity http://www.mchcharity.org/

The event will feature live dance music band 'House Jammerz' http://www.housejammerz.com/ , 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 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 are free entry with any donations going to Leighton’s Dementia appeal - a worthy cause.”

House Jammerz will perform at The    Studio

More communities ‘get connected’ as eighth local hub is launched


Cheshire East has celebrated its eighth local community hub.

Belong Village, in Crewe, became the latest Connected Communities centre to open its doors to its neighbours offering support services and a convivial place to meet.

The centre – a retirement village on Brookhouse Drive, Crewe – joins the growing list of connected community venues in Cheshire East, where people can access vital information across a range of local services and enjoy a place to meet up.

Cheshire East Council has invested £150,000 to help community venues develop their services, as well as provide on-going support and training. The council is recognising 30 local places, including church halls, community centres and community cafes, each supported by a neighbourhood partnership representing a range of agencies, including the police, health services and the voluntary sector.

From coffee mornings, computer classes and line dancing, to learning a language, sharing a problem and support for stroke sufferers – there’s something for everyone.  Every centre will also have a computer tablet connected to our Live Well community information website, helping residents to easily find out what facilities and support are  available in the area.

Many local people living near the care village attended an open day last Saturday, enjoying the best spring weather so far.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “I am extremely pleased to see Belong Village become the latest of our Connected Communities centres.

“This venue is ideally placed to be a great community resource for residents in this area and will help combat social isolation. I would encourage anyone living in the vicinity to pop in and discover more about the clubs, services and facilities on offer, including a bistro where they can have a coffee and sit in the garden.

“The team here are friendly and welcoming and provide a great service to the local area. I would like to thank all our partners for making this open day a wonderful event and I want to thank all the centres for the marvellous work that they do.”

To find out more about Connected Communities in Cheshire East visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/communities or email communities@cheshireeast.gov.uk

People can also phone the council’s communities team on 01270 85880.

Eight of the 30 centres are now open.  They are:

· Audlem Community Hall, 12 Cheshire Street, Audlem CW3 0AH (Tel: 01270 811011);

· The Bridgend Centre, 104 Palmerstone Street, Bollington SK10 5PW (Tel: 01625 576311);

· St Johns Church, Wilwick Lane, Macclesfield SK11 8RS (Tel: 01625 612511);

· The Welcome CafĂ©, 146-147 Longridge, Knutsford WA16 8PD (Tel: 01565 750905);

· St Barnabas (Barnies), West Street, Crewe CW1 3HX (Tel: 07949 240371);

· Beechmere Extracare Village, Rolls Avenue, Crewe CW1 3FT (01270 747457);

· Poynton Civic Hall, Park Lane, Poynton SK12 1RB (Tel: 01625 872238);

· Belong Crewe, Brookhouse Drive, Crewe CW2 6NA (Re: 01270 561200).

Two more Connected Communities centre will be opening their doors in May.  They are Church of the Resurrection in Macclesfield and the United Reform Church in Wilmslow.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Training sessions show importance of air quality


Cheshire East Council held two events aimed at helping staff and councillors to better understand how air quality can impact on the authority’s work in different service areas.

As air quality has been the subject of significant interest recently, the training sessions were organised to provide a broad overview of how it is relevant in the borough and specifically the impact it can have on the planning process.

The training provided attendees the opportunity to:

· Understand why air quality is an area of national interest;

· Get a local perspective on air quality;

· Understand where air quality fits in within the National Planning Policy Framework;

· Be aware of when local or European assessments apply; and

· Learn about recent legal cases, where air quality was a decisive factor.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “I’m glad that we were able to put on these training sessions and that they were attended by such a broad range of professional interests within our authority.

“The sessions have allowed us to look objectively at how we deal with challenges around air quality and to look at the policies and strategies that other organisations have implemented.

“Although air quality is better in Cheshire East than many places, it is still an important issue and the training staff and members engaged with this week has provided food for thought about what more we can do.”

Council to consult on new local transport plan for borough


Cheshire East is to have a new local transport plan to help drive forward the economy and support key policies that promote the council’s core objectives.

The plan (LTP), which is about to go out to public consultation, will look at all forms of transport over the next five years up to 2023. It will be integral to the council’s approved Local Plan Strategy, which sets out the council’s framework for meeting housing, planning, social and infrastructure needs up to 2030.

The LTP will address pressures on the transport network and infrastructure as a result of housing and population growth across the borough, including HS2 in the Crewe area and the South East Manchester Multi Modal Strategy (SEMMMS) and Manchester Airport Relief Road to the north of the borough.

The LTP brings together a wide range of transport strategies and schemes, which have been developed over recent years into a single coherent framework. 

Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member for environment, said: “It is important to us that as many people as possible give their feedback through these important consultations.

“The local transport plan provides a framework for the future development of our transport and infrastructure across the borough to help us meet our core outcomes, including that people live well and for longer, that the borough has a strong and resilient economy and that the borough is a green and sustainable place in which to live, do business and visit.

“Our transport network aims to support the Local Plan through improved connectivity, a better quality of life and enhanced quality of place.

“We also need to consider our connectivity with key economic centres, such as Manchester, Liverpool, North Wales and the Midlands, in order to best manage the impact of traffic growth around our towns, commuter routes and motorways.” 

The LTP will also consider developments within neighbouring authorities, including Greater Manchester, through the Semmms strategy. A recent consultation in Cheshire East asked residents to comment in key transport issues and options in the north of the borough.  The full draft Semmms strategy will be consulted on in the near future and residents may also wish to comment on this.  

The local transport plan will be open for public consultation and residents and all interested parties are encouraged to take part. The consultation runs for eight weeks from Tuesday 1 May 2018, through to Monday 25 June 2018.

As part of the consultation, there will be the opportunity to attend drop-in sessions across the borough and meet with staff to learn more about the local transport plan in face-to-face discussions.

In addition, residents and businesses can obtain response forms from local libraries and council offices. Completed forms should be returned to: Freepost Plus RSJJ-YTHC —CHZK, Research and Consultation, Cheshire East Council, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach, CW11 1HZ.

To find out more about the local transport plan visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localtransportplan

'Ultra 90's'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

'Ultra 90's' - http://www.ultra90s.com/ – returned by popular demand to the Crosville Club on Chester Street in Crewe on Friday 20th April 2017.

Ultra 90’s are the UK's first and only 90's dance tribute show.

The band featured vocalists, a keyboardist, a guitarist, and a drummer.

Musical genres covered during their two-hour set were dance anthems, club classics, old skool garage, house, happy hardcore, drum & bass and hip hop.

Their set recreated songs by artists including Snap!, Robert Miles, Corona, Rozalla, 2 Unlimited, Urban Cookie Collective, Fugees, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, Baby D, Faithless and The Prodigy.

This is Ultra 90’s tenth year of touring and they have performed alongside Chesney Hawkes, D:Ream, Damage, 911, East 17, Livin’ Joy, N-Trance, Snap! and So Solid Crew.

The show was accompanied by video projections and a light & laser display.

There was also a DJ set preceding and following the show.

Ultra 90’s return to the Crosville Club on Friday 9th November 2018. For further information please visit: http://www.ultra90snightout.com/

Ultra 90s perform at Crosville Club in Crewe (2)

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Council to inject further £5m into borough’s care sector to support elderly and vulnerable adults


Cheshire East Council is to invest a further £5m to pay for domiciliary and residential care services across the borough to help address the growing pressures from the adult social care sector.

The council will begin a new procurement process with independent care providers, including the domiciliary, residential and nursing care sectors, later this month. The council is proposing a six per cent increase in the current contract rate for nursing and residential care.

It is proposed to introduce a maximum contract rate of up to £18 per hour for domiciliary care, from the current rate of £14.20.

The extra funding will take the council’s budget for the adult care sector to around £80m.  The uplift in fees paid for domiciliary care packages and care home beds will apply to all new contracts.

The council recently commissioned an independent review into the cost of care across the borough and the needs of its residents, as well as the challenges faced by the independent care sector.

Cheshire East Council’s cabinet agreed the additional funding at its meeting today (Tuesday). 

The rise in funding is part of the authority’s obligation to ensure a sustainable provider market with sufficient high quality services to meet the borough’s care and support needs.

Currently, the council spends in the order of £49m each year to support residential and nursing care in the independent sector in addition to funding domiciliary care for adults in their home.

Domiciliary services cost the council in the region of £25m, including direct payments, the process that allows a resident to purchase their own care package directly with funding from the local authority.

Councillor Janet Clowes, cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “Cheshire East is now one of the highest ranked authorities in the North West in terms of care fees.

“That’s because we value the work that carers and the care sector do and we want to protect our older people and vulnerable adults.

“To do that we must have a sustainable provider market, whether it is an independent service carrying out personal care in the home or a residential care provider from whom we commission beds for the elderly and infirm, or those in need of more intense dementia care.

“The Care Act requires authorities to provide choice that delivers outcomes and improves wellbeing and one of the council’s core outcome strategies is to see our residents living long and healthy lives.”

Mark Palethorpe, acting executive director of people, said: “We want to shift from a ‘time and task’ process in the domiciliary care provision to an outcomes focus, with staff paid a fair wage and see investment in the provider sector.

“It is important too that we have a robust and healthy independent residential and nursing care sector so that residents in Cheshire East, who need to move to a care home, will be confident in the knowledge that the home is of a high professional standard.”

Cheshire East takes action to help rough sleepers and avoid homelessness


Cheshire East has restated its commitment to tackling the issue of rough sleeping and homelessness in the borough by approving a new three-year strategy at cabinet today.

The new draft strategy has four key areas of focus:

· To help secure appropriate, affordable accommodation for the homeless;

· To take steps to prevent homelessness;

· Avoid rough sleeping wherever possible; and

· Ensure appropriate support to help people stay in their accommodation.

The statement came as new figures showed the levels of rough sleeping were increasing across the country. Estimated figures for November 2017 showed the number of people sleeping rough in Cheshire East was 21. This is up from 12 in 2014, the last time the council undertook an estimated count.

The announcement of the new strategy follows a range of recent initiatives launched by the council to tackle the problem and the completion, in December, of a nine-week consultation.

The council has been working with a number of groups and organisations to develop ways to reduce the problem of homelessness and provide the right services for the homeless and rough sleepers.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing planning and regeneration, said: “Rough sleeping is a national issue and Cheshire East is not immune to these pressures.

“Thankfully, we have a very low number of people sleeping rough in the borough. However, one person sleeping rough is still one too many.

“Homelessness is an issue that we are determined to deal with in the most positive and sensitive way. Statutory bodies, the voluntary sector, charities and faith groups, as well as local businesses and local residents, have all been involved in contributing to our homelessness strategy.

“The council is determined to tackle the harmful effects of homelessness, such as the impact on family life and children, an individual’s physical and mental health, including the loss of self-esteem and confidence and the loss of employment.

“While homelessness in the borough has risen, from a very low base, this is put down to a number of factors, including family or tenancy issues, rising rents and benefit cuts. However, the number of cases where homelessness has been prevented, has also risen year on year.”

Cheshire East Council approves five-year housing strategy


Cheshire East Council has approved a new housing strategy – setting out the aims and resident focused outcomes for housing until 2023.

The strategy fulfils the council’s ambition for jobs-led, economic growth across all areas and the acknowledgement that ‘housing is essential’ to support this continuous growth.

Driven by the council’s Local Plan, the housing strategy highlights the provision for a housing requirement of 355 new affordable homes each year of the strategy. By working in partnership, the council will facilitate this requirement, providing homes of the right type and in the right place to continue its ambition for good quality of place and the health, wellbeing and quality of life for our communities.

Cheshire East’s ‘guarantee’ to residents is to have a place to live which supports their health and wellbeing and contributes to a better quality of life. The council recognises that good quality, safe and affordable housing is essential to meet this goal.

The strategy aims to stimulate the housing market, support regeneration to support quality of place, improve the housing offer for an ageing population, support jobs-led growth and support the council’s medium-term financial growth strategy.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “Our new housing strategy contains our ambitions for facilitating the delivery of affordable housing alongside a robust, well-managed rental and sales market.

“We have made the decisions with feedback and engagement from residents to ensure the best possible outcome for housing that meets the needs of Cheshire East.”

Council expecting to launch New Homes Bonus scheme this summer


Cheshire East Council is progressing the final framework for the New Homes Bonus scheme, which will determine the way in which a new community fund will be shared among qualifying areas within the borough.

Introduced this financial year, the scheme will see up to £2m distributed for local projects and community needs, linked to the number of new homes built in the borough and the empty homes brought back into use.

A council task group is drawing up a final design for the New Homes Bonus Community Fund and a report is expected to go before the council’s cabinet in June. Allocations will be apportioned in line with the recognised highways areas of Congleton, Crewe, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Nantwich, Poynton and Wilmslow.

Communities, supported by elected ward members, will have the chance to bid for funding for projects that address local priorities. Funding is based on an acceptable submission of ideas through the bidding process.

The recommended minimum allocation is £10,000 but bids must meet a specific set of criteria, including the need to meet one or more of the council’s six strategic outcomes. Some examples discussed by the task group and the council’s overview and scrutiny committee were:

· Community sport schemes;

· Community transport schemes;

· Community library provision;

· Allotments;

· Homelessness prevention;

· Road safety.

All bids would be scored for their community value, volunteering, outcomes and value for money. Bids are not required until the scheme is formally launched in the summer and more information will be published nearer the time.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for finance and communication, said: “The New Homes Bonus Community Fund is designed to ensure that all parts of the borough benefit from the significant housing growth we have seen in recent years.

“We will be inviting communities, with the help of elected ward members, to engage with how services are delivered at a local level and put forward their ideas for how they would like to see the money spent.

“This funding is not in any way connected with local developer contributions for highways schemes or other infrastructure needs. 

“There is a national and local demand for new homes and the New Homes Bonus Scheme is an incentive to councils and communities to help meet that demand.”   

More than 5,600 homes have been built in Cheshire East since 2011and the funding allocations will be weighted to reflect those areas of the borough where large scale house building has taken place.

Tea at the Tower’

Reporter Jonathan White

‘Tea at the Tower’ takes place at St Mary’s Church, on Monks Lane in Acton near Nantwich, every Sunday afternoon (2:30-4:30pm) throughout the year. Hot drinks and cakes are available and are payable by donation. Visitors also have an opportunity to have a guided tour up the church tower as far as the ringing chamber. ‘Tea at the Tower’ began in March 2017 and raises valuable funds for St Mary’s Church. For further information please visit: http://www.stmarysacton.com

This Sunday 22nd April 2018 ‘Tea at the Tower’ have also organised a guided circular walk. The walk will leave St Mary’s Church at 1pm and will last between one and two hours, so walkers can be back in time for tea! All are welcome. To reserve your place please contact Stephan on 01270 624135.

Tea at the Tower guided circular  walk - Sunday 22nd April 2018

Monday, 16 April 2018

Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Investments and Fake Endorsements

Action Fraud (NFIB)

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Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Investments and Fake Endorsements


Fraudulent websites alleging to offer cryptocurrency investments are dishonestly using the image of Martin Lewis, the founder and editor for moneysavingexpert.com, as an endorsement for their companies.

The adverts using Martin Lewis to promote illicit schemes can be found on social media and other websites. Clicking on the advert takes you to the full article where Martin Lewis image is presented along with fake quotes recommending investments in bitcoin and other digital currencies with the fraudulent “company”. Alternatively clicking on the advert will take you to a page where you are required to input your contact details, the suspect company then phones you and encourages you to invest.

Martin Lewis has published a warning to the public saying “I don’t do adverts. If you ever see one with my face or name on it, it is without my permission, and usually a scam”. The full article can be found here; https://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2018/03/13/martin-lewis-spread-word-dont-believe-scam-bitcoin-code-bitcoin-trading-ads/?_.

Similarly these fraudulent websites are also misusing images and fabricating recommendations from the investors on Dragons Den. These adverts also claim the investors on the panel trade in cryptocurrencies using their services to try and legitimise their company.

What you need to do

  • Don’t assume it’s authentic: Professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts don’t indicate that an investment opportunity is genuine. Criminals can exploit the names of well-known brands or individuals to make their scams appear legitimate.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: A genuine bank or financial organisation won’t force you to make a financial transaction on the spot. Always be wary if you’re pressured to invest quickly or promised returns that sound too good to be true.
  • Stay in control: Avoid unsolicited investment offers, especially those over cold calls. If you’re thinking about making an investment, get impartial advice from an independent financial adviser – never use an adviser from the company that contacted you, as this may be part of the scam.
  • Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Crewe firm scoops national rail award


Crewe-based TBM Rail beat off stiff competition to win a Product Innovation Award at a prestigious national railway awards night in London.

The firm, headquartered at Marshfield Bank Business Park, invested three years developing a slimline power socket with USB slots to help rail operators improve services for passengers.

The devices have been fitted to fleets of trains operating between Humberside and London, and most recently on the TransPennine route.

The UK Railway Industry Awards (UKRIA), organised by the Railway Technology Magazine, was held at the purpose-built event venue Battersea Evolution.

The awards evening pitched TBM Rail alongside established industry giants like Siemens and Network Rail in their category.

Neil Smith, TBM Director, said: “It was a fabulous gala showcase for the rail sector and a great reward for everyone at TBM Rail.

“Much of our work goes unnoticed, such as seat cover cleaning, toilet tank services and nylon coatings applied to the hand rails that aid safety in carriages.

“The power sockets we developed have grabbed the public’s attention. They fit into most carriage walls, so even some of the older train stock has been upgraded to give passengers the power they need for mobile phones and laptops.”

TBM Rail is already working on other products and technologies to improve journeys and enable the UK’s train operators to give more value to travelling customers.

A range of high-quality washroom appliances and advanced door sensor switches will soon feature on routes across the country.

Find out more about TBM Rail at www.tbmrail.com

Online Marketplace Fraud Advice For Sellers

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Action Fraud (NFIB)

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Action Fraud has received several reports indicating that sellers of items on online marketplace websites are falling victim to fraud by bogus buyers. Typically, the bogus buyers contact the seller wanting to purchase the item for sale and advise they will be sending the requested amount via PayPal or other electronic payment method. The seller then receives a fake, but official looking email stating they have been paid more than the asking price and to send the difference back to the buyer’s bank account. In reality, no money has ever been sent to the seller; the bogus buyer has spoofed an email and purported to be an online payment company. All contact is then severed with the seller.

It is important to remember that selling anything could make you a target to these fraudsters however the NFIB has identified that those offering sofas, large furniture and homeware are particularly vulnerable.

Protection Advice

Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic. Remember criminals can imitate any email address. Stay in control. Always use a trusted payment method online, such as Paypal, and have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for payment like bank transfers.

Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision.  Always verify that you have received payment from the buyer before completing a sale.

Listen to your instincts.  Criminals will try and make unusual behaviour, like overpaying, seem like a genuine mistake.

Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)