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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.

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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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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.

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

Magazine Advertise Debt Alert

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Action Fraud (NFIB)

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Victims receive a telephone call from someone purporting to be a bailiff enforcing a court judgement, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The fraudsters state the debt originates from the victim not paying a magazine advertisement subscription.

A variety of magazine names and publishers are being used by the fraudsters, who also commonly use the names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents such “Scott Davis”, “Stephen King” and “Mark Taylor”. These are names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents employed by debt enforcement companies.

The fraudsters request that the debt be repaid by bank transfer. If the victim refuses, they threaten to visit the victim’s home or place of work to recover the debt that is owed.

Once the money has been transferred, victims are not provided with receipt details of the payment or contact details. Later when victims make enquiries, they’ll discover that the debt did not exist, and often that no advertisement was placed.

This type of fraud is nationwide. Since 2017, there have been 52 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud. From the reports received, there are a range of different businesses and individuals being targeted.

Protection Advice:

1. Listen to your instinct: just because someone knows your basic details, such as your name and address, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.

2. Stay in control: always question cold callers: always contact the companies directly using a known email or phone number.

3. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: a legitimate company will be prepared to wait whilst you verify information.

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.

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)

Outbuildings thefts



Around the hours of midnight of Tuesday 3rd and 4th April 2018 there have been a number of burglaries in and around the Audlem, Bridgemere area. Entry has been gained into remote outbuildings where items such as power tools have been taken.
If you have seen any suspicious vehicles in the area please call 101 ( Cheshire Police)
Make it difficult for them lock gates, secure doors on outbuildings and sheds and consider other forms of security.

Message Sent By
Sarah Marson (Police, PC, Crewe LPU Nantwich Beat Mgmt)

FiRELiNK eNewsletter - April 2018

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Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

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


Apprentice firefighters return after helping school children in Nepal

Apprentices and leaders outside the school

Children’s education in a remote village in Nepal has been changed for generations thanks to a group of Firefighter and Community Safety Apprentices from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS).

11 apprentices and three leaders flew out to Kathmandu from Manchester on March 10th and spent 16 days in Nepal trekking to, and working on, the project to provide a new school for children who previously had little or no chance of an education.

Find out more - Apprentice firefighters return after helping school children in Nepal


Drowning prevention - be water aware

Water rescue by firefighters

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

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

Find out more - Drowning prevention


Bikers urged to spring into action for a safe year on the roads

Biker down
With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, bikers all over Cheshire are getting in gear to hit the open roads again.

For many motorcyclists the onset of spring signals the start of another year of two-wheeled delight and has them eagerly dusting off their leathers following the frosty frustrations of winter.

But Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging them to make sure they are up to speed on safety advice before returning to revving up their bikes on Cheshire’s roads.

Find out more - Bikers urged to spring into action for a safe year on the roads


Hoping to raise bucketloads for charity

Charity car wash in Runcorn

Our firefighters will be splashing out with car washes throughout April 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 pe

Sunday, 1 April 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 - http://www.facebook.com/studionantwich - on Castle Street in Nantwich on Friday 27th April 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 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

2018 Wistaston calendar

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A 2018 Wistaston calendar raised £712.97 for the Wistaston Scout Group. The calendar was the idea of Ellie Newbrook, who is a Young Leader at the Wistaston Scout Group. Ellie collated several photographs from Jonathan White and Simon J Newbury featuring scenes of Wistaston through the seasons. Ellie skilfully edited them into the 2018 Wistaston calendar.

Further funds were raised at St Mary’s Church Hall in Wistaston via a fashion show and ‘An evening with Steve Leonard’ from Leonard Brothers Veterinary Centre event.

All proceeds have gone towards completing Wistaston Scout Group's new Scout Centre off Elm Close in Wistaston, so that the next and future generations can experience everything that scouting has to offer. The facility is used by 35th South West Cheshire (Wistaston) Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, along with an Explorers (14-18 year olds) group.

Jo Bowkett, Secretary, Wistaston Scout Group said: “We are so proud of Ellie Newbrook and what she has achieved in producing such a lovely calendar of Wistaston and raising money for the Group. We have been very fortunate to have the support of our local community and businesses both for the calendar and for our fundraising events. We look forward to being able to celebrate the Group’s 60th anniversary this year in our brand new Scout Centre.”

For further information relating to the Wistaston Scout Group, please email John Bennett (Group Scout Leader): Gsl@wistastonscoutgroup.org.uk or visit: http://wistastonscoutgroup.org.uk/

Wistaston Scout Group - new Scout  Centre

Crewe Passion Play

Reporter J White

Crewe Passion Play took place in Crewe town centre on Good Friday (30th March 2018).

The play was organised by Love Crewe - http://www.lovecrewe.co.uk/ - which is composed of several churches serving the Crewe area.

The re-enactment recreated the sequence of events from the entry to Jerusalem, the Passover Meal, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Crucifixion to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The event lasted two hours and began with a gathering prayer at St Mary’s Church, then weaved around Crewe town centre, including Victoria Street, the Square and Market Street, before concluding at Victoria Square.

Each sequence was narrated, contained hymns and was accompanied by guitarists. Hundreds of people attended the event.

The event was supported by Crewe Town Council and WHSmith along with volunteers and on-lookers.

Celebrations will take place in local churches over the Easter weekend.

I have uploaded all my photos to a Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanawhite/albums/72157667261553718

Crewe Passion Play at Victoria  Square - the crucifixionCrewe Passion Play proceeds along  Market Street

Cheshire East ‘Emotionally Healthy Schools’ project receives high praise at national awards


A multi-agency project aimed at improving the mental health of children and young people across Cheshire East was highly commended in the national Local Government Chronicle awards at a ceremony held in London last week.

The ‘Emotionally Healthy Schools’ project has been running for two years and is supported by a number of agencies, including Cheshire East Council, local schools, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership, NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, NHS South Cheshire CCG and the charities Visyon and Just Drop In.

The project focuses on improving resilience across schools and aims to develop teaching staff to ensure they meet the mental health and wellbeing needs of their students.

At the ceremony, more than 1,000 of the most senior figures in British local government celebrated the sector’s greatest innovators. The event was hosted by journalist and Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, with 20 award categories presented to councils who are doing the most to innovate to ensure they best serve their residents.

Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “We are pleased and proud to have received a special commendation in the LGC awards for our work in promoting emotionally healthy schools.  The project is an innovative and direct response to address the mental health needs of the children and young people of Cheshire East. This special commendation would not have been received without the hard work and determination of our partners in schools, health and the third sector.

“Special mention and thanks needs to be given to Keith Simpson of Middlewich High School whose passion and drive resulted in over 75% of our schools engaged in the project and it is anticipated that by December 100% of our schools will be on board.”

Keith Simpson, the strategic lead for the project and head teacher of Middlewich High School said: “Today is not a rehearsal for our young people.  The ‘Emotionally Healthy Schools’ project aims to allow every young person to thrive in our ever complex, ever changing world. This strategic coordinated approach has united the local authority, education, health and the voluntary sector in providing our young people access to appropriate and timely responses ranging from maintaining a healthy mind to dealing with acute crisis.

“By working in partnership and training adults on the front line the impact has been that they are now better equipped and more confident in providing suitable advice and support.  This has streamlined the access to health services meaning they are more able to function with high risk young people, while early help and prevention is being taught through schools and other learning organisations.”

One young person, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: “More than anything else in the world, every teenager just wants to feel ‘normal’ so that they can fit in. The ‘Emotionally Healthy Schools’ project has taught us that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ as everyone is different and we all think and feel in different ways.”