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Friday, 15 February 2019

Roy Price training

Reporter Jonathan White
Roy Price, aged 51 from Crewe, is progressing well with his gruelling training in readiness to cycle the 900 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) in May later this year. His ride is to raise money for cancer charity ‘The Joshua Tree’, who support North West families living with the life-changing experience of childhood cancer, .
On 6th February 2019 Roy completed his longest training ride yet, when he rode the 50 miles from Crewe to Prestatyn in North Wales. He chose this particular date, as it marked one year since he lost his wife - Ruth Price - from secondary breast cancer. He finished he ride at ‘Crispy Cod’ in the town, as this was a café that Ruth liked to visit.
Roy has been raising money in memory of his wife for the past twelve months. Roy, along with friends and supporters, have already raised over £8,500 for local charities via wheelbarrow pushes, a garden party, a charity night, a tombola, a raffle and by Roy hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro - the highest mountain in Africa.
Roy is being supported during his training and during LEJOG by Rob Simpson from Simpson & Edge Garage in Nantwich. The Railway Hotel in Nantwich have sponsored Roy’s cycle clothing and Rob’s crew clothing. Roy has the word ‘Simba’ on the back of his cycling shirt as this was the nickname given to him by his Tanzanian guides when he ascended Mount Kilimanjaro, due to a large lion tattoo on his left arm - Simba is the fictional character who appears in Disney's The Lion King.
After his ride to Prestatyn, Roy Price said, “The weather was absolutely horrendous when I set off, as it was raining quite heavily, and the wind was strong too. Plus, I’d only got as far as Wardle when I hit a huge pothole, which blew my front tyre and nearly threw me off my bike! Fortunately, Rob Simpson was behind me in the support van and helped me change my wheel. Despite jolting my neck and back I decided I was OK to carry on. A section of the route took me along the Chester Millennium Greenway, which was scenic, but for several miles I was against a very strong wind, it really was like being on an exercise bike! I had to make regular stops to take on fluid as it was so windy it was dangerous trying to take a drink whilst I was moving. I was tired but elated when I made it to Wales. However, it will help in my fitness for Land’s End to John O’Groats.”
To donate to Roy’s Land’s End to John O’Groats fundraising ride please visit:

Cheshire East launches consultation on HS2 related development

Cheshire East Council is moving forward with plans for the arrival of HS2 by launching a six-week consultation on the type of development that could be seen around Crewe railway station.

The draft plans, set out an emerging development strategy and key policies as the next step in preparing an area action plan around Crewe station , and once fully agreed, they will allow the council to manage development and support the regeneration of the area prior to HS2’s arrival.

HS2 provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for Crewe and the wider borough. The plan, currently being developed, supports a long term vision for Crewe. This enables the most immediate opportunities around the railway station, and ensures related growth and development is ‘plan-led’.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “I’m excited at the potential and opportunities that HS2 will bring to Cheshire East from 2027. While eight years seems like a long way off, we need to be prepared and plan now to deliver the best outcome for our residents, communities and businesses.

“The Crewe station hub area action plan builds on our previous work for the Crewe masterplan and continues to show government that the right hub at Crewe station will bring opportunities to Crewe and to many other parts of the borough.

“As a council, we do not want to limit what the opportunities are going to be in the area when HS2 arrives. Throughout this consultation, we are working with the community and local businesses, so we have a plan that reflects the ambitions of the local area.

“We continue to work alongside government, Network Rail and strategic partners to deliver our vision for the area. Maximising the potential benefits of an enhanced HS2 hub station at Crewe, and getting this emerging plan right, is the best way to achieve this.

“I would encourage everyone to take a look at the draft plans and contribute to this consultation.”

The consultation is open for six-weeks, ending at midnight on 26 March 2019. Further details can be found on the council’s website at under ‘consultations’. 

Lonely Hearts Romance Fraudster Alert

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Action Fraud (NFIB)

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Lonely Hearts Romance Fraudster Alert

Lonely Hearts Romance Fraudster Alert
The NFIB have become aware of techniques used by romance fraudsters against people using dating sites. Not only will they steal your heart they will steal your money and your identification.
When you think you’ve met the perfect partner through an online dating website or app, but the other person is using a fake profile to form a relationship with you. They’re using the site to gain your trust and ask you for money or enough personal information to steal your identity.
A dating fraudster, previously involved in deceiving people that wanted a friendship explained how they would create fake accounts with social media platforms so that their details matched and could be searched. By appearing to be a real person their fake persona could be corroborated by prospective partners searching their background and believe them to be genuine. The fraudster said:
“People like to live in fairy tales to say it won’t happen to me. I make sure all my conversations are bespoke. I will show insecurity myself about trusting people and this helps allude to them that I’m genuine.”
The fraudster will also utilise as many accessible online research tools to explore people’s information for their own personal gain or sell onwards. The fraudster elaborated and explained:
“I use various online directories to find out about the person. Once I have enough, I use it to milk everything I can using their details or sell them on to other fraudsters via the dark web”
When asked how people could check if a person is real. The romance fraudster offered advice for others searching for a relationship. They told us that after you see a picture of them:
“Ask for them to send you another photo of themselves posing with their thumbs up or waving. It’s like a form of 2 factor authentication and makes it hard to do if it’s not an original picture”
What you need to do
· Avoid sharing too many personal details when on online dating profiles. Revealing your full name, date of birth, or full home address may lead to your identity being stolen.
· Never respond to any requests to send money, or have money transferred into your account by someone you don’t know and trust. These types of requests should always raise a red flag. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it.
· Pick a reputable dating website or app, and use the built-in messaging service. Fraudsters want to quickly switch to social media or texting so there’s no evidence of them asking you for money.

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


Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity is holding a ‘Fashion & Fizz’ evening to raise funds for its ‘Everybody Knows Somebody’ dementia appeal.

Those attending the event will be treated to four glasses of sparkling wines and Prosecco from around the world, supplied by Nantwich based wine merchants Rodney Densem Wines. The fashion for the evening will be provided by independent retailer Bella Boutique which has stores in Sandbach and Northwich.

Carole Salmon, MCH Charity Community Fundraiser said, ‘The evening will be great fun and we are delighted to be supported by the team at Bella Boutique. We’re passionate about making sure that people who attend our events have a really good time, so along with the fizz and fashion there will be stalls, a luxury raffle and delicious nibbles courtesy of our good supporters M&S Simply Food, Nantwich. There’ll also be a full bar and the event ticket gives free entry on the night to The Studio nightclub just down the road from the venue, for those who want to continue the party after we finish!’

The event takes place on Friday 8 March at Nantwich Town Football Club. Doors open at 7pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets are strictly limited and only available to over 18s.

Carole continued, ‘The money raised from ticket sales and at the event will go towards our dementia appeal, which will fund a number of projects created to make hospital and the community, calmer, safer and more comfortable for people living with dementia.’

Bella Boutique Managing Director, Jonathan Jones said, ‘We’re very excited to be joining the MCH Charity team at their fundraising event. At Bella Boutique we very much like getting involved with raising money for amazing charities and it’s nice for us to be able to give back where we can. These nights are always so much fun as it lets women do what they love doing best; chatting, shopping and having fun, as well as raising money for charity! We will be showing lots of outfit inspirations and spring fashions at the event and lots of these will also be available to buy on the night. We very much look forward to seeing you there.’

Tickets are £20 and are available from Bella Boutique in Sandbach and Northwich and MCH Charity Office, Leighton Hospital, or call 01270 273248 or email

As well as their own events, the charity offers lots of opportunities for the community to get involved including runs, treks and once-in-a-lifetime challenges. For more details contact Carole Salmon, Community Fundraiser on 01270 273248.

Photo – Carole Salmon, Mid Cheshire Hospitals Community Fundraiser and Stuart Maxwell, Bella Boutique Assistant Manager outside the Northwich store.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Bingo at the book shop’

Reporter Jonathan White
A ‘Bingo at the book shop’ fundraising event takes place at Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge, 46 High Street in the centre of Nantwich on Tuesday 26th February 2019 (Doors open 6:30pm, eyes down at 7pm).
Tickets = £8, which includes 8 games of prize bingo and 2 games of cash bingo. Hot and cold drinks will be available for purchase. There will also be a prize raffle drawn on the night.
All money raised will go towards the running and maintaining of ‘Winsford Wolves VIFC’ partially sighted men’s 5-a-side football team, who play in the Partially Sighted Football League.
Craig Acton, Event organiser and the Manager of Winsford Wolves VIFC, said, “The bingo nights always are a fun and enjoyable night, where people can have a laugh and make new friends.”
For further information relating to Winsford Wolves VIFC, please visit:

Three-piece live party band 'Boomin’

Reporter Jonathan White
Three-piece live party band 'Boomin’ - - performed a fund-raising concert at the 'Studio Nantwich', Castle Street in Nantwich on Friday 1st February 2019.
During their inaugural visit to the town Boomin – consisting of Adam, Rory and Edd – played and sang a variety of floor-filling tracks from across the decades.
The awesome threesome - who have shared stages with Westlife, JLS, McFly, The Script, Scouting for Girls, N-Dubz, Ultrabeat, Basshunter, and Craig David - whipped the audience up into a frenzy with their enthusiastically performed set list.
Entry was by donation and the £290.80 raised will go to Douglas Macmillan Hospice - Dougie Mac, .
Nigel Woodhouse, Director of Operations at Studio Nantwich said, “It was a fantastic turnout for a fantastic band and it is always great to see people donating for a great cause. We have already invited Boomin back for round two - keep an eye out for the date on Studio Live. Our next charity event is on Friday 1st March, please do not miss it, they are another quality act coming to our town and again raising money for a great charity - Macmillan Cancer Support - who offer physical, financial and emotional support.”
The second 2019 fundraising concert, once again kindly hosted by Studio Nantwich, takes place when world, reggae and rock music band ‘Arcadia Roots’ perform on Friday 1st March. Arcadia Roots make a triumphant return to the town after dazzling the audience at The Bank Stage, adjacent to Studio Nantwich, during last year’s Nantwich Jazz, Blues & Music Festival.
For further information please search Studio Live Nantwich on Facebook.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Cheshire East to review governance of town and parish councils

Cheshire East Council plans to undertake a review of the governance arrangements for all town and parish councils in the borough.

Cheshire East is responsible for the governance and electoral arrangements for the 186 town and parish council wards in 135 town and parish councils, which cover the whole borough. The review will include:

● Town and parish boundaries;

● Numbers of town and parish councillors;

● Grouping of parishes; and

● Warding.

Nothing is changing immediately as a ‘community governance review’ (CGR) is a complex task and the main work will take place after the May 2019 local elections.

Any changes proposed under the CGR would follow extensive public consultation – including with town and parish councils. The aim is to complete the process well before the scheduled local elections in May 2023.

Government guidance advises that it is good practice to hold a review of town and parish governance every 10-15 years. The last was done before Cheshire East Council was created in 2009.

A multi-disciplinary team of officers has already started preparatory work and the council’s cross-party constitution committee has appointed a community governance review sub-committee to drive the process forward.

Councillor Paul Findlow, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services, said: “Holding a review of community governance arrangements for all our town and parish councils is normal good practice and Cheshire East is ‘well ahead of the game’ in its preparedness.

“The present arrangements predate the formation of Cheshire East and we are mindful that there has since been considerable change to the population, its distribution and to the borough’s settlements.

“This review offers the opportunity to ensure that the tier of parish governance is fit for purpose for the future. Any proposed changes will be fully and extensively consulted upon to take account of the views of residents, town and parish councils and other stakeholders – and there won’t be change for change’s sake.”

Cheshire East intends to undertake initial consultation during summer 2019 on the scope of the review and topics and proposals that should be included. The council will then further consult on the actual proposals.

This review does not include the electoral arrangements for borough council or parliamentary seats. These would be the responsibility of Whitehall (the Local Government Boundary Commission and the Boundary Commission for England, respectively) and are not currently proposed.

Crewe shoppers are being ripped off by the Cheshire East Council on car park charges.

Tory run Cheshire East Council made a PROFIT of £1.2 miilion from the car parks in Crewe and Nantwich last year.

This is an outrage.

Crewe residents pay the highest parking fees in Cheshire East but they are going UP again this year.

Amazingly in NINE other towns (Sandbach,Alsager,Middlewich,Handforth,Prestbury,Poynton,Bollington,Disley & Holmes Chapel) motorists pay NOTHING to park. This unfairness has gone on for NINE years and 'For Britain' says enough is enough.

'For Britain' is calling for the parking charges in Crewe and Nantwich to be HALVED and for every Council car park in towns across the Borough to charge the same.It is the only fair thing to do.

Crewe is the most deprived town in the whole of Cheshire East but it has the highest car parking charges.

How can that possibly be justified?

Crewe town centre is in a spiral of decline so increasing car parking charges yet again will just make matters worse.

Labour run Crewe Town Council should be leading the campaign to cut car parking charges in the town but as usual they do nothing.

Best wishes,

Cllr. Brian Silvester

'For Britain'

Crewe North Candidate

Local Government Spokesman

Chairman 'For Cheshire'

Cheshire East sets out sound finances to deliver value for residents

Cheshire East Council’s sound financial management is protecting frontline services and continuing to deliver value for money to residents.

Cabinet today backed several strategic financial reports that show the authority is on course to deliver a balanced budget in 2018-19 and invest in services to protect children, while also protecting its other key frontline services and delivering on its core outcomes for residents.

It follows a consultation period on initial proposals that showed how the council could target resources more effectively and save money to achieve a balanced budget – while also setting out a strategy that can achieve a sustainable financial position in the medium term. 

Key proposals include investing an estimated £270m over the next three years on maintaining and improving our highways.

Following extensive consultation, the proposed revenue budget is balanced for 2019-20 with net revenue spending of £281.2m with total capital investment of £450m identified over the next three years.

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

As a listening authority, the council has reflected on people’s comments and reflected this in its proposals. The provisional budget headlines include:

● An increase of £13.1m in overall net revenue spending on services;

● A reduction of £2.8m in government grants;

● An increase of £10.9m in council tax receipts (including from housing growth and previous year surplus); and

● An increase in business rate income of £5m.

The latest finance reports take place against a ‘challenging’ national picture of a continued overall public sector deficit – which is being partly met by ongoing reductions in government grants to councils – and rising demand for both adult social care and children and family services.

The council proposes to meet this financial challenge via a mix of tax increases, changing our service offer and finding innovative ways of working to deliver savings.

The aim is to make the council financially self-sufficient by reducing its reliance on central government revenue support grant from £40m in 2015/16 to nil in 2020.

It is now proposed to increase council tax by 2.99 per cent, to invest in essential frontline services. This would equate to an extra 78p per week to the average household bill. A Band D property bill would rise from £1,404.28 to £1,446.27.

Importantly, one per cent of the proposed tax rise will be ringfenced to help meet financial pressures  in children’s services.

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

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “These reports, backed by cabinet’s decision today, outline how the council will continue to build on the sound achievements of recent years and maintain robust and resilient overall financial health, performance and value for money.

“This financial year once again presented a number of challenges, in common with all local authorities, as issues such as inflationary pressure of £23.3m and rising demand in care services for children in Cheshire East were compounded by falls in government funding – including a £5.4m reduction in revenue support grant. Against this background, Cheshire East continues to effectively commission services through its ‘best fit’ model of service providers.

“Our local response to these pressures continues to focus on innovation and creativity with a clear emphasis on further improving efficiency, productivity and establishing more-effective local delivery of services.

“Our ability to create the best conditions for private sector investment, economic growth and prosperity will be critical to the continued success of the borough as the council’s reliance on locally-generated income increases.

“In the final year of the Corporate Plan 2017-20, the council is able to demonstrate the ongoing achievement of positive outcomes for local people. Education achievement rates for pupils in Cheshire East remain as one of the highest levels in the country and social care for children and adults are receiving higher levels of investment in the medium term.

“Infrastructure projects continue to unlock land and housebuilding numbers are exceeding targets. Employment is high and the number of businesses in the borough is higher than Manchester.

“Our recycling rates are in the top 10 per cent of all local authorities and our much-used libraries are in the top five in the country – while life expectancy for Cheshire East residents is also higher than both regional and national averages.

“Since local government reorganisation, the cumulative increase in council tax by Cheshire East Council is significantly lower than inflation and is among the lowest of any unitary authority in England. Cheshire East is simply a great place to be.”

Against a backdrop of challenging circumstances, the council is set to deliver a balanced financial outturn in 2018-19. At the third quarter stage, a projected overspend has reduced to £4.8m – or 1.8 per cent against a net revenue budget of £269.7m and a total gross annual spending of £740m.

Mitigating actions to return this to a balanced outturn by year end include further in-year efficiency savings (£0.8m) use of business rate receipts (£2.1m) and use of reserves (£1.9m).

Alex Thompson, head of finance and performance, said: “Against a challenging financial backdrop, it is pleasing to note that the council has continued to perform strongly, delivering positive outcomes in each of the six areas identified by the corporate plan. The costs related to increasing demand for services are being mitigated by the council’s success in supporting local development and manging the costs of providing services.”

Cllr Bates added: “The medium-term forecasts show the extent of the financial challenge ahead but we are helping to address this by setting a balanced budget – and I am confident and determined to deliver for local residents and do everything I can to maintain Cheshire East as one of the best places in the North West to live, work, visit and do business.”

Cheshire East Council is the third-largest unitary authority in the North West, responsible for delivering more than 500 services, supporting more than 370,000 local residents.

● The budget and council tax for 2019-20 will be decided by a vote of elected members at the 21 February meeting of full council.

New officers recruited to help tackle waste disposal issues

Two officers have been recruited as part of a partnership effort to tackle fly-tipping and waste disposal issues in Crewe.

The street scene improvement officers took up post on Monday and will be focused on areas of the town where there are frequent incidents of fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling.

They will identify and investigate waste disposal issues and co-ordinate partner agencies to address them and target resources. They will also engage with residents, businesses and landlords to give them information and advice about responsible waste disposal and recycling and support community clean-up activity.

The two new posts are being funded by Cheshire East Council and administered by Crewe Town Council, via income received in 2017/18 from fixed penalty fines for littering offences.

It follows a survey carried out by the council in 2017, which covered six ‘hot spot’ areas, and the council’s No Rubbish Excuses campaign – both of which identified the need for more direct engagement with residents and businesses.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration and a member of the monitoring group, said: “Our targeted No Rubbish Excuses campaign sent a firm message to those who commit environmental crimes that the council was stepping up its fight against them.

“Last summer we agreed to invest a further £100,000 to continue the crackdown on such crimes. This included maintaining the education elements of the campaign, investing in specialist bin identification equipment and agreeing a one-off payment to support Crewe Town Council’s dedicated ‘waste clean team’ – funded through income from fixed penalty fines. 

“A cross-party fly-tipping monitoring group has been meeting regularly with Cheshire East officers and Crewe Town Council to support the implementation of these plans. We were recently able to finalise the funding and implementation of the two new posts.

“These new roles will help us to take the campaign to people’s doors – addressing specific waste management issues and identifying where there might be communication barriers.

“All this work will be done while continuing to spread the campaign’s messages that fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling are disgusting and crimes.”

Both street scene improvement officers will be employed by Crewe Town Council. They will work in conjunction with the town council’s two ‘Crewe rangers’, who carry out street scene improvement works across the town centre.

The current education and waste prevention programme, run by Cheshire East Council’s environmental services company Ansa, will further support the officers’ work.

Councillor Benn Minshull, deputy leader of Crewe Town Council, said: “This latest initiative has the potential to have a real and significant impact over what is a real and significant problem to people’s lives.

“These new officers are a welcome enhancement to the Crewe Ranger scheme, and having seen how successful that has been, we very much look forward to seeing what can be achieved.”

Cllr Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment, said: “I welcome the creation of these two new posts, which will play an important role in addressing the waste issues that blight communities in Crewe.”

To report fly-tipping, littering or dog fouling to Cheshire East Council, visit:

Monday, 4 February 2019

Firelink Enewsletter - January 2019

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Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

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Firelink Enewsletter - January 2019

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

Cheshire Fire climbs the ladder to number three in Stonewall’s Top 100

CFRS staff celebrating third place in Stonewall Top 100 Employers' list

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is moving closer to the top of LGBT charity Stonewall's prestigious Top 100 Employers list for 2019.
The Service has jumped another place from their 2018 fourth place to number three on the list and is the highest performing public sector organisation in the UK. Cheshire Fire is also the best performing emergency service in the UK due to its efforts to engage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff, volunteers and communities.
This is the seventh consecutive year the Service has featured in the Top 100, which assesses organisations ranging from local authorities to international investment banks against criteria including engagement with staff and communities, training and leadership. CFRS entered the Top 100 in 2014 at number 25 and has increased its ranking year on year. It has also been the highest performing UK emergency service in 2016, 2017, 2018 and now 2019.
Find out more - Cheshire Fire climbs the ladder to number three in Stonewall’s Top 100

White Ribbon Award for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Fire engine with White Ribbon
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has been accredited with White Ribbon Status as part of its pledge to protect vulnerable people in Cheshire.
White Ribbon Status is an official White Ribbon accreditation that will provide the service with specialist training and guidance to use to help bring about genuine change.
This accreditation scheme recognises that public sector organisations, large and small, can achieve so much more than individuals can alone when it comes to tackling domestic violence.
Find out more - White Ribbon Award for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Review of 2018

Fire engine
2018 was a busy year for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, not only for incidents but for the wealth of work in our communities and businesses our crews, advocates and support staff carried out.  Watch the work we do with younger people in the county, along with awards the Service has won.
Watch our video review of 2018

Could you be an on-call firefighter?

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is recruiting for on-call firefighters at the following fire stations: Alsager, Audlem, Birchwood, Bollington, Frodsham, Holmes Chapel, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Malpas, Middlewich, Nantwich, Northwich, Penketh, Poynton, Runcorn, Sandbach, Stockton Heath, Tarporley, Wilmslow and Winsford Fire Stations.
Could you be an on-call firefighter?
We're looking for enthusiastic individuals with common sense, the ability to work as part of a team and able to deal with physically and emotionally demanding situations. Qualifications aren't necessary, applicants just need to be at least 18 years old and physically and medically fit with good hearing and eyesight.
Potential recruits also need to be able to reach their local fire station within five minutes of home or work and have a real interest in the fire and rescue service and helping in the community. The role attracts an average income in the region of £5000 a year.
Find out more - On-call firefighter recruitment

Cold weather - home fire safety tips

Firefighter offering home safety advice to a woman in her home
During the current cold weather, please keep yourself warm but stay safe by following our safety advice:
Are your elderly friends and relatives safe?
Spare a thought for elderly relatives, friends and neighbours too. Are they as safe from fire as they could be?
Visit the Age Concern website for more information on winter safety: Age Concern website

Refresh your biker skills in 2019

We are encouraging motorcyclists to refresh their riding skills and attend a Biker Down course in 2019.
Biker Down is a free training course for motorcyclists of all ages and experience - and is run by bikers for bikers.
It offers motorcyclists the chance to learn practical skills to help avoid being involved in a crash, as well as essential first-aid training and advice on what to do should they find themselves first on the scene of a crash where someone is injured.
For more information - Refresh your biker skills in 2019

Council supports Time to Talk Day

Cheshire East Council will be holding a series of Time to Talk sessions for staff as part of a nationwide push to get people talking more openly about mental health for one day.

Time to Talk Day is organised by Time to Change, the campaign to change how we all think and act around mental health problems, led by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

Time to Talk Day aims to get as many people as possible talking about mental health. People can struggle to talk about mental health, so this year Time to Change is highlighting that there are lots of different ways to have a conversation about the subject. And you don’t have to be an expert to talk.

Since its launch in 2014, Time to Talk Day has sparked millions of conversations in schools, homes, workplaces, in the media and online, and attracted support from celebrities such as Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, Stephen Fry and Frankie Bridge.

Staff at Cheshire East Council will join thousands of other groups, schools and members of the public, who will all be having conversations about mental health on Time to Talk Day. Activities planned for 7 February by the council will include recruiting more Time to Change ambassadors and holding staff sessions across Cheshire East in Sandbach, Crewe and Macclesfield.

One in four of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year but many of us are too afraid to talk about it. Starting a conversation about mental health might seem daunting but simply sending a text, checking in on a friend or sharing something on social media can break the ice.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “The council signed the Time to Change pledge back in October last year, to signal its commitment to change perceptions of mental health, as well as providing reassurance to staff facing difficulties about how they will be supported.

“We are pleased to be taking part in and supporting Time to Talk Day because mental health is a topic we should all feel able to talk about. Having these all important conversations can make a big difference to many people. The more we talk, the more lives we can affect with positive change.”

Cancer On The Rocks’

.Reporter Jonathan White

Unfortunately, the 2nd annual ‘Cancer On The Rocks’ rock and blues music festival – due to take place at The Railway Hotel, Pillory Street, Nantwich on the weekend of Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th February 2019 – has been postponed due to some unforeseen technical issues.

‘Cancer On The Rocks’ will now take place on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th July 2019 at the same venue. All profits from the weekend will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

‘Cancer On The Rocks’ organiser Rick Palin said, “I am sad to say that due to some unforeseen technical issues we have had to postpone Cancer On The Rocks 2019 and move it to July 6th and 7th. On the plus side it gives us time to implement some changes we wanted to put into this one that were not possible at the time to ensure it is a weekend that you will not forget. All purchased tickets will be valid for the new event or if you prefer a refund please let me know by email on We look forward to seeing you in July and rockin your world.”

For further information please visit:

A ‘Beginners' Spanish Taster Class’

.Reporter Jonathan White

A ‘Beginners' Spanish Taster Class’ takes place on Tuesday 19th February 2019 (7:30-8:30pm) in a private function room upstairs at Hop Pole on Wistaston Road in Crewe CW2 7RQ.

The taster session is free and limited to 30 people. By the end of the session participants will be able to say hello, introduce themselves, ask someone how they are and even order a drink from the bar.

Following the taster session there is a 6-week course that starts two weeks later on Tuesday 5th March 2019. The 6-week course costs £97, but there is a £10 discount if booked at the taster class.

However, if a full course isn't for you then just come along and join in the fun, everyone is very welcome.

Instructor Angela Wilkinson said, “I lived and worked in Spain for 15 years, learning the language from scratch. I enjoy speaking Spanish and wanted to run classes for beginners. My daughter grew up in Spain and is also fluent, we have decided to run quick 6 week courses full of fun and interaction. Taking Spanish Classes as part of a group is by far the most cost effective and fun way of learning a new language. We show you how to speak simple Spanish so you can communicate more effectively on holiday.”

For further details please phone: 07887961748 or email:

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The Wedding Show

28th January 2019

Make a date to visit Bride: The Wedding Show this weekend in the magnificent grounds of Tatton Park.

The daffodils are beginning to put on their dazzling show – and so is Tatton Park. Bride: The Wedding Show is the most glamorous of all our many events. Presented in association with Cheshire Life, we have a whole cornucopia of displays and activities, to entertain and inspire.

You may be aiming for pomp, circumstance, and all the extras. We have all that and more. Or maybe you’re more inclined to Billy Connolly’s point of view: “Marriage is a wonderful invention, but then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.” Your wedding is entirely your choice – swish or simple. Either way, you’ll find everything you need to make the big day perfect for you.

Our fabulous exhibitors will have everything you need for your super special day. There’ll be spectacular choreographed fashion shows, live music, and if you need to relax a while, try our glitzy champagne bar.

Rachel Howard, Tatton Park Events Manager, says:

“Bride: The Wedding Show is one of our favourite annual events. There is such a happy atmosphere, and as well as finding all the information they are looking for, our guests have a great day out.

Tatton Park is a wonderful venue for the Wedding Show, and of course for weddings themselves. We have a variety of settings available in our magnificent mansion, park and gardens. Staff will be on hand to chat about the possibilities, and the atmospheric Tenants’ Hall will be decorated by some of our favourite exhibitors.”

A number of tours of the Tenants’ Hall can be booked now, and other wedding venue options are Lord Egerton’s Apartment, or the opulent Entrance Hall to the Mansion. Come along and chat about the possibilities. We guarantee you’ll have a wonderful day.

For further information about this release contact:

Rachel Howard, Tatton Park Events Manager

Tel: 01625 374405 / Email:

Bride: The Wedding Show is on Saturday February 2 and Sunday February 3 from 10am – 5pm.

Tickets are £10 each or £36 for a group of four in advance (plus booking fee), and £15 each on the day. Take advantage of this year’s fabulous half-price ticket offer, and follow the link on the Tatton Park website events page at

A £7 Vehicle Park Entry charge applies for visitors who arrive by car, minibus or motorbike. Walkers, cyclists and pre-booked coaches can enter the Park free of charge.

Tatton Park is managed and financed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust.

This impressive historic estate receives in the region of 800,000 visitors every year who come to enjoy its neo-classical Mansion, medieval Old Hall, award-winning Gardens and working Farm. The 1,000-acre deer park is home to red and fallow deer and the estate also boasts speciality shops, adventure playground, restaurant, Gardener’s Cottage tea room and year-round events programme. Tatton Park is an exquisite historic wedding venue set in the heart of Cheshire and provides a fantastic backdrop for stunning wedding photos.

It’s scarecrow time again! February half-term marks the return of the best-dressed scarecrows in town at Tatton Park!

This year’s theme is inspired by Heroes and Villains. Tatton Park’s education and gardening teams have put together a fun-to-follow scarecrow trail – and some great activities too.

Head Gardener Simon Tetlow says, “It’s that time of year again, and we are busy recruiting new scarecrows. It’s a tough selection process for these ragged and scruffy characters – but we have to find out who is the best at the job!”

There are 30+ scarecrows in all, scattered throughout our 50 acres of beautiful Gardens. It’s a challenge to find them all, and especially to follow the trail and match up our famous pairs of Heroes and Villains. See if you can you spot them all and create your own special selfies!

Fancy making a scarecrow of your own? You’ll find all the materials you need in the Fig House, and our education team will be popping in from time to time to offer help and suggestions. Later on, if your scarecrow is man (or woman) enough to hold together, your creation will join the others on display.

Simon says that scarecrows are a valuable addition to any vegetable garden. “They are traditional aids to deterring garden invaders such as crows, pigeons, and even pesky squirrels. These can do a lot of damage to young plants especially.”

Scarecrows have a long history, and are used in many parts of the world. In Japan, they have become an art form all to themselves, and on the island of Shikoku there is a village with only 35 inhabitants – but more than 350 scarecrows.

Scarecrow Festivals are held in various places throughout Britain, often with specific themes. Not everyone sticks to the basic name of ‘scarecrow’. On the Isle of Skye they are knows as Tattie Bogals, in Berkshire, you’d be looking for a Hodmedod, in Somerset a Mommet, in Sussex a Mawkin, and in Scotland a Bodach-rocals (meaning ‘old man of the rocks’).

At Tatton we just stick to ‘scarecrow’. Come and meet them!

Open every day from Saturday, 16 February to Sunday, 24 February 2019,

10am to 4pm (last entry 3pm)

Walkers, cyclists and booked coaches can enter the Park free of charge. A £7 vehicle Park entry charge applies for all visitors who arrive by car, minibus or motorbike. There is a Garden entry fee of £7 per adult, £5 for a child 4-15 years, and £19 for a family of 2 adults and up to 3 children. National Trust and RHS members have free entry to the Gardens.

Tatton Park is managed and financed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust. This impressive historic estate receives in the region of 800,000 visitors every year who come to enjoy its neo-classical Mansion, medieval Old Hall, award-winning Gardens and working Farm. The 1,000-acre deer park is home to red and fallow deer and the estate also boasts speciality shops, adventure playground, restaurant, Gardener’s Cottage tea room, and year-round events programme.

For further information please contact:

Carole Hyde, Business Development Manager

T: 01625 374410 E:

2018 – Another bumper year for hospitality sector

Latest figures show 2018 was another bumper year for Cheshire East’s hospitality sector.

Hotel occupancy was up to 75.4 per cent – a 1.3 per cent rise on the previous year – and matching the same rate of occupancy for 2015, the highest rate since records began to be compiled in 2012.

The average room rate has also increased showing that visitors are prepared to pay more for their accommodation in the borough. It has risen 21.5 per cent since 2012.

At more than £920m, the borough’s overall visitor economy is on target to hit the £1billion mark by 2020 – that’s the total amount spent in the borough in business and leisure tourism. In 2012 it was £578m.

Cheshire East Council Leader Rachel Bailey, said: “This is an excellent start to 2019 and demonstrates just how successful the borough’s hospitality industry has become.

“There is evidence that tourism has shown a real increase and this may well be linked to the expectation for HS2 and an overall buoyant Cheshire East economy.

“Visitors are choosing to stay longer, helping to increase spending in the borough.

“We are well poised to make our target of a £1bn visitor economy sector by 2020 and I congratulate all those involved in the industry for this wonderful achievement.”

In addition to the many events, wedding venues and visitor attractions, the borough has to offer, Cheshire East is well-positioned geographically for easy access to the region’s two airports, large conference centres and tourism cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Chester.

Since 2012, the borough’s overall hotel occupancy performance has increased by 14 per cent while its overall economic performance is one of the best in the UK with 4.4 per cent growth in gross value added (GVA) per head of population between 2016 and 2017, compared with a UK average of 1.3 per cent.

Total GVA for the borough has grown by 4.8 per cent over the last year for which figures are available (2016 to 2017) to £13.7 bn, compared with a 1.9 per cent growth rate across the UK as a whole.