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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Cheshire East Council works to safely reopen play areas and outdoor gyms


Following recent Government guidance, Cheshire East Council is working to ensure the safe reopening of its play areas and outdoor gyms.

The guidance being followed is complex and involves risk assessments of all play areas so that visitors are protected as much as possible. The council has more than 150 play area facilities and each one brings slightly different challenges in ensuring they can reopen safely, it’s not a straight forward or quick thing to do.

Cheshire East Council is working with Ansa, its wholly-owned environment services company, and its parks team to do all they can to ensure users of the play areas and outdoor gym equipment will be as safe as possible against the risk of the coronavirus by adhering to all the necessary prevention and protection measures. 

Due to the scale of the task and the time needed to carry out thorough risk assessments, the council will reopen facilities on a phased basis. The aim is to reopen the larger facilities first, but this will be dependent on whether the appropriate measures can be put in place.

Play areas and outdoor gym equipment at the following places will re-open from Monday 6 July:

· Adlington Road, Bollington Recreation Ground, Bollington

· Alderley Park, Ryleys Lane, Alderley

· Barony Park, Barony Road, Nantwich

· Boddingtons play area, The Carrs, Chancel Road, Wilmslow

· Congleton Park, Park Road, Congleton

· Fountains Field, Middlewich

· Meriton Road Park, Meriton Road, Handforth

· Milton Park, Crewe Road, Alsager

· Queens Park, Victoria Avenue, Crewe

· Sandbach Park, The Commons, Sandbach

· South Park, Macclesfield

· The Moor, Moorside, Knutsford

· Victoria Park, York Street, Macclesfield

· West Park, Prestbury Road, Macclesfield

· Westminster Street, Crewe

Other facilities will re-open as soon as possible.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for green space, said: “I know that many children across the borough have greatly missed using our play areas, especially in the nice weather that we’ve had recently. These thoughts are echoed by the many residents who have been keen to further their fitness routine in our outdoor gym areas.

“I’d like to thank everyone for adhering to government advice and for respecting the closures that we had to put in place.    

“The news that we are able to start re-opening our facilities was very welcomed but I urge residents to be patient as we work hard to risk assess all the areas and to take the appropriate action that is required to make areas as safe as possible for all. It is not simply a case of reopening gates and taking down closed signs”

“Our parks teams are working through the many new measures needed, in light of the current Coronavirus pandemic. Users of the facilities will be reminded of the need to keep a distance from other users and parents should take responsibility for their children and ensure they play apart from others, are respectful of queues for play equipment and play considerately, by not hogging equipment that others are waiting for.

“Food will not be allowed in or around the play areas and all users, including children, will need to remember to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser after using the equipment. It is important that users follow our guidance and use the areas responsibly, so everyone can enjoy them.  

“The phased approached that we are taking means that the first date that some of our facilities will be ready is Monday 6 July. This date is slightly later than the provisional date given by the government.

“We understand that this may be frustrating to some residents, but I would urge everyone to have patience and only use our facilities when we have assessed them, and they are as safe as possible to do so.”

Information about the phased re-opening of the facilities on the council’s website https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/leisure,_culture_and_tourism/parks_and_gardens/parks_and_gardens.aspx on the Council’s website.

Information and reminders about the re-opening will feature on Cheshire East Council’s social media pages. Please follow @CheshireEastCouncil on Facebook and @CheshireEast on Twitter to keep up-to-date

Al-fresco dining prepares for green light as government regulations ease


Restrictions on bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs will be lifted tomorrow on 4 July, as these businesses prepare to reopen their doors to the public. The Government are bringing forward new legislation to make the process for pavement licences easier.

The council are reacting to this changing legislation and preparing to introduce new licensing and planning measures for those businesses, seeking to utilise outdoor pedestrian areas, for alfresco drinking and eating.

We are urging businesses across Cheshire East who are interested to make relevant preparations and readying information needed, providing assurance on social distancing as a result of Covid-19. This will have considerable impact on the number of customers and consequently on business viability.

Instead of having to apply for three different forms of consent, application for a single pavement license under a new streamlined, low cost process will be introduced in the coming weeks.

Businesses should start to consider if and how they are going to utilise eating and dining areas, developing proposals ready to submit to the council. This will include contacting the council for highways information and submitting clear furniture images and insurance documentation.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for highways and waste, said: “We are urging hospitality businesses to check if the area they want to utilise is part of the adopted highway, getting a scaled plan which shows the proposed space to apply for a license.

“Indication of type of furniture businesses want to use will also be needed, as well as public liability insurance cover to use part of the highway. We advise checking with your provider if your policy will need amending, making sure you have evidence of public liability insurance for the area you want to use.”

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “For these types of businesses, access to outdoor alfresco space will encourage a slow but steady start to the local economy.

“Many can only look to utilise adjacent public areas, whether on footpaths, pedestrianised streets, parking bays or other amenity areas. If this is the case, then businesses should make relevant preparations with the council to ensure a smooth transition to accommodate customers.”

Scam - the More You Know the Safer You Are

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Cheshire Constabulary

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Scam - the More You Know the Safer You Are


Good morning,
I hope that you are well and are enjoying the sunshine that we are having today!
Unfortunately, we have had a few scams in our local area.
Would you know a SCAM if you saw one? The truth is, is that scammers make it very difficult for us to tell what is legit and what isn't.
Thankfully 'The Little Book Of Big Scams' can give us an insight on some of the types of SCAMS going on around in the area and how we can protect ourselves from this happening.
https://www.met.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/central/advice/fraud/met/the-little-book-of-big-scams.pdf
If you haven't got the time to read any of this from the link that we provide today, please take away one thing from this email - If it doesn't feel right then it probably isn't, and whether someone is calling you or emailing you - you can always just STOP and report it. You do not have to stay in contact with them because you feel pressured.
Your safety and the safety of your personal details is our priority.
You can call 101 to report this or 999 in an emergency.
You should ALWAYS contact your bank if in any doubt that money has left your account through a SCAM.
Thank you for your time.
We're here for you because we care.

ERDF funding offered to help Cheshire East Council welcome all back to high streets


6 July 2020

Cheshire East Council has been offered up to £339,533 from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the safe reopening of its high streets. As shops, restaurants, cafes and bars begin to reopen the council is working to prepare the borough’s high streets for more visitors returning.

Temporary highways measures, including road closures and Covid19 social distancing signage has been in place across 16 high streets since Monday 15 June. Many have been adapted following more recent changes to national guidelines on social distancing. These measures will also now sit alongside friendly ‘Welcome Back – We’ve missed you’ campaign material consisting of rainbow banners, signage and bunting which will be displayed in 11 high streets over the coming week. The council’s preparations have had the much-appreciated support of Town and Parish Councils who are working collaboratively with the council to make their high streets more welcoming.

Cllr Laura Crane Cabinet Member for Highways and Waste said: “The council has installed a number of temporary highway measures around our high streets to enable people to adhere to social distancing requirements and return to our town centres safely.

“We would like to again reiterate our thanks to the town and parish councils who have informed the temporary measures that have been put in place to make our high streets safe.

“Following the weekend – which saw the government’s social distancing restrictions ease – we must remember that some members of our community are not as confident as others.

“Some people may be coming to the shops for the first time in over 100 days. These temporary measures in place are there to help build both their confidence and that of our businesses.”

Cllr Nick Mannion, Cabinet Member for Environment and Regeneration said: “We are continuing to listen to feedback about the temporary highway measures and are looking to find ways to support our high streets and businesses into recovery.

“The ‘Welcome back – We’ve missed you’ campaign is designed with our business and visitors at the heart of it and aims to make a more welcoming atmosphere in our towns.

“The pandemic has deeply affected our communities and local economy and we would encourage everyone who feels confident to do so, to shop locally and support your local high street at this difficult time.”

The latest temporary highway measures for each high street can be seen on the council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_information/coronavirus/high-street-social-distancing-measures.aspx

Notes to editors

European Regional Development Fund

Up to £339,533 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 is to be made available to the Council for projects aimed at reopening high streets safely. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

Cheshire East Council launches plan to manage potential local outbreaks of Covid-19


Cheshire East Council has published a document that outlines the plans it has made should there be a local outbreak of Covid-19. 

This plan, part of the government’s national Covid-19 test, trace, contain and enable recovery strategy, will ensure that an effective and coordinated approach is in place for the prevention, rapid detection and management of any coronavirus outbreaks within Cheshire East.

This plan will protect all residents, including the most vulnerable and sets out how the council will work together with local care homes, schools, healthcare settings, local businesses and others most at risk.

It is understood that the UK has passed the peak of transmission and case numbers have been decreasing overall. However, this is not a time to be complacent.

As national restrictions are relaxed it is even more important that Cheshire East residents support controls to help protect their families, friends and neighbours from the risk of a local outbreak – and everyone has a role to play. This is reflected in the situation in Leicester, which is subject to a local lockdown due to a local increase in cases.

Cheshire East Council’s Covid-19 outbreak prevention, management and support plan explains how the council will:

● Work to prevent Covid-19 transmission in community settings;

● Identify and notify a local outbreak;

● Manage a local outbreak;

● Declare the end of a local outbreak; and

● Support vulnerable residents who have tested positive and are self-isolating

Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “The UK is experiencing a pandemic that has shaken the country and sadly, at time of writing, resulted in more than 43,000 people losing their lives from Covid-19.  

“However, case numbers are decreasing and national restrictions have been relaxed as we saw the reopening of pubs and restaurants this weekend and our play areas and libraries reopened locally today. The virus is still out there, however, and we need to remain vigilant and take precautions.

“Each and every resident has a part to play in helping prevent a local outbreak by supporting our plans and following the test and trace protocol, to protect themselves, their family and friends. It’s through supporting each other and your local council that we will continue to win this fight against the coronavirus, to make sure we don’t have to put this outbreak plan into place.”

Dr Matt Tyrer, Cheshire East’s director of public health, said: “Covid-19 transmission and outbreaks can be prevented through good hygiene practice such as regular hand washing, where this isn’t possible using hand sanitiser and adhering to social distancing measures. This prevention advice remains the most effective and important course of action to take in preventing a local outbreak in Cheshire East.”

An outbreak is defined as two or more cases, who may have tested positive for Covid-19 within the same 14-day period, in people who either work together or have visited a place together. Contact tracing and subsequent testing will activate an outbreak notification process and our outbreak management plan will be put into action.”

A summary of Cheshire East Council’s plan is available on their website  https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/council_information/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid-19.aspx

Protect yourself and your family and friends by getting a coronavirus test if you have symptoms of a persistent cough, fever or loss of taste and smell by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. Protect your community by then self-isolating for 14 days if you have symptoms or if alerted to do so by a contact tracer.

Cheshire East cabinet approve the next step towards the Middlewich Eastern Bypass scheme


Cheshire East Council’s cabinet (7 July) have authorised the council to make a compulsory purchase order and side road order to enable the delivery of the project.

Initial construction work was scheduled to start in 2021, with an estimated 20-month period, subject to planning, land agreements and funding approvals.

However, due to the severe wet weather experienced this past winter and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ground investigation works have been delayed and won’t now be complete to later this year.

The impact of this delay has pushed the start of construction into winter 2021/22, with an estimated 22-month construction period. The bypass is anticipated to open in 2023.

The scheme designers (Jacobs) have managed to mitigate some of the delay by reducing the amount of imported material to construct the bypass. In effect this has shortened the construction period and overall programme, saving approximately £3.5 million in construction costs.

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This scheme will be a tremendous asset to Middlewich and the surrounding areas. The planned 2.6km, two-way single carriageway road will connect to Cledford Lane and the A533 to the south-east. 

“The plans will also support the delivery of housing and employment in the town and include a combined cycleway and footway, as a demonstration of our commitment to active travel.”

Residents who have concerns about this scheme can visit: https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/highways_and_roads/roadworks/major-projects/middlewich-eastern-bypass/middlewich-eastern-bypass.aspx for more information.

Dementia and Alzheimers - Herbert Protocol

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Cheshire Constabulary

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Dementia and Alzheimers - Herbert Protocol - Find Out More on How We Can Support You


Good afternoon,
We know that caring for people with Dementia or Alzheimer's can be challenging.
There's a risk they can at some point start to 'walk about'. This may only be into the garden or street for a short time, but some people can get lost and go missing. So planning ahead to keep them safe is really important.
We'd like to tell you about the Herbert Protocol - a free service that we provide.
The Herbert Protocol is a form that carers, family or friends of a vulnerable person can fill in.
It contains a list of information to help the police if the person goes missing, including:
•medication required
•mobile numbers
•places previously located
•a recent photograph
You'll find the form at the bottom of this page.
Keeping a completed form saves the worry of trying to recall the information during the stressful time of someone going missing. It also saves time for the police, allowing the search to start sooner.
The initiative is named after George Herbert, a war veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia. He died whilst 'missing', trying to find his childhood home.
The form can be accessed using the link provided :-
https://www.cheshire.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/central/advice/herbert-protocol/cheshire/herbert-protocol-form.pdf
We're happy to assist anyone who needs a form printing out and can send this in the post if this makes this easier for you or those affected who do not have access to a computer or a printer.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email lizzie.jolley@cheshire.pnn.police.uk and I will happily assist you where I can or find the answers for anything else.
We understand that discussing this topic is not always the easiest, but have seen the benefits of having a profile in place for family members/neighbours to ensure that we know what we need to know, should they need us to help to find them.
More information can be accessed using the link below.
https://www.cheshire.police.uk/herbertprotocol
I'd like to thank you for your time today and hope that you are having a wonderful day.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Active travel to play its role in Cheshire East’s Covid-19 recovery


Cheshire East Council is stepping up its focus on active travel as part of its plans to support the borough through the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the last few weeks town and parish councils and local ward members have submitted more than 500 local ideas as to what measures may work in their towns and villages. The council is now developing a series of projects, informed by these ideas, that will be delivered this summer, including:

● Pop-up cycle lanes, with protected spaces for cycling;

● Measures to reduce rat-running in streets;

● Improved walking and cycling routes to school;

● Safer junctions, with the potential for bus and cycle-only corridors;

● Implementing lower speed limits; and

● Wider pavements, which also enables social distancing.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways, said: “I would like to reiterate my thanks to everyone who has worked with us so quickly to submit ideas and proposals regarding active travel on behalf of our towns and villages.

“People’s travel behaviour has changed during the lockdown. We have seen an increase in more people walking and cycling in our borough and as more people turn to these active ways of travel, we need to work together to provide safe spaces for people to carry out these journeys.

“We will continue to work with the town and parish councils to develop, review and refine these measures.

“Due to the short timescales surrounding these schemes, any implementation will be done on an experimental basis. This means we can amend and improve the schemes as we go, before anything permanent is put into place.

“Our aim is to deliver schemes that are right for each town and developed in partnership with each local area.”

Councillor Suzie Akers Smith, Cheshire East Council’s walking and cycling champion, said: “There are long-term benefits to our health and environment by taking up daily active travel throughout our borough.

“There has never been a better time to walk or cycle – especially shorter journeys included as part of our daily activity or Footstep Friday and Cycle Saturday for weekly journeys. This type of activity helps to forge greener habits.

“Not only will the uptake of active travel reduce congestion and improve air quality across the borough, they will help us tackle our ambition to fight climate change.”

Detailed plans for active town measures are being developed now and will be published ahead of their implementation on the council website over the coming weeks.

Phase two of discretionary fund open for small eligible businesses


Cheshire East Council has launched the second phase of the local discretionary grant scheme, which will open for applications at 8am on Friday 26 June.

The council has already implemented a first phase of this grant scheme which closed on 15 June. We received over 450 applications from small business which are currently being assessed.

Having received feedback on this scheme a second phase will be open for a period of two weeks to allow businesses to apply for funding. This phase will close at 8am on the 10 July 2020.

This phase seeks to support a wider cohort of businesses, including some of those that were not eligible in the first phase and the government’s small business grant and retail, hospitality and leisure grant schemes. This phase will be open to: 

  • Local independent retail, hospitality and leisure businesses occupying premises with a rateable value in excess of £20,000;
  • Bed & breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates;
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable rate relief which would otherwise have been eligible for small business rate relief or rural rate relief;
  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces that do not pay business rates with annual rental costs of between £3,000 and £51,000;
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Any other business that has a rateable value of up to £20,000.

Grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 may be awarded. In line with government guidance, it is anticipated many grants will be below £10,000 to ensure the fund can benefit a larger number of businesses.

This revised policy, which was agreed on 22 June, has strict eligibility criteria including mandatory requirements set by government, which businesses will need to review before they apply. Some of the criteria are that businesses:

· Have fewer than 50 employees and meet the requirements of being a small business as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business. Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, and the Companies Act 2006;

· Can clearly evidence a drop-in income due to Covid-19 of in excess of £750 for the quarter March 1-31 May 2020;

· Are able to clearly evidence and identify ongoing fixed business property-related costs, for business premises in Cheshire East, in excess of £750 for the period 1 March - 31 May 2020.

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “The grant will offer a lifeline to smaller businesses which have high ongoing property costs, struggling as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Local enterprise is an integral component within local regeneration schemes across the borough.

“It is important to kickstart these businesses in order to escalate revenue and rebuild consumer confidence. Cheshire East is an attractive area for businesses – particularly because of the scheduled infrastructure projects and we want to maintain that philosophy in the aftermath of Covid-19 and continue to flourish.”

However, this funding is limited which means that - as much as the council would wish to - it may not be able to provide a grant to every eligible business and charity that applies. 

Councillor Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “This is a welcomed addition to support and bring the local communities together. Small business particularly, are the backbone of the community and rely on local commerce. They will also play a small part to lead safe social interaction within retail and hospitality sectors, in line with government guidance.”

More information, including a full list of criteria and evidence required before an application can be submitted, can be found by visiting: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/covidDGS.

The local authority discretionary grant fund phase two will be available on the link above at 8am on Friday 26 June for a period of two weeks until 8am 10 July.

All applications submitted within this phase with adequate supporting information will be considered in order of receipt, and grants awarded subject to funds remaining.

Rail needs can be met without HS2: CPRE Cheshire calls instead for major investment in local rail services


The Cheshire group of CPRE, the countryside charity, has called for major investment in the region's rail network whilst questioning the justification for HS2 Phase 2b, in a joint response [1] submitted by the charity's North West group to the call for evidence on rail investment priorities for the North and Midlands from the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC)[2].
HS2 Phase 2b is considered by many to be a vanity project; it has many flaws, and poses substantial and significant harms to the environment, to the extent that CPRE Cheshire cannot support it despite our longstanding campaigning for greater investment in rail and modal shift to rail.
Despite supporting more rail investment on the extant system, CPRE Cheshire has found it difficult to buy into the claimed social and economic benefits of HS2. In every country where high speed rail has been introduced, it has benefited the capital, not the regions. It is unclear how the power demands for HS2 can be met and the environmental consequences, including noise pollution, are unconscionable.
Specifically, as far as the North West is concerned, the strategic case for HS2 Phase 2b lacks robustness. The case made for Phase 2b should be revisited in light of the Climate Emergency, post-Covid19 challenges and against ‘The Heathrow Decision’. HS2 Phase 2b has a negative planning balance, when factoring in greenhouse gas emissions, harm to Green Belt and ancient woodland, and the lack of a credible business case (journey time savings no longer stand up to scrutiny and the passenger projections need re-evaluating in the light of expected major reductions in demand following the Covid-19 pandemic).
CPRE Cheshire supports the need to connect HS2 Phase 1/2a onto the West Coast Mainline (the proposed ‘Handsacre Junction’) in order to allow classic-compatible trains to reach Macclesfield and Manchester prior to Phase 2b. It would also allow HS2 services to reach Liverpool much earlier than envisaged.
Rather than investing such a significant amount of money into HS2, CPRE highlighted the following issues which should be tackled to improve local connectivity across the region:

  • The heavily congested section between Manchester Piccadilly and Deansgate is the biggest single issue, which affects the region's rail services as whole. Urgent action is needed to increase capacity;
  • Reopening the Middlewich line would improve access from Northwich and Knutsford to the West Coast Main Line at Crewe as well as giving Middlewich residents access to the rail network. Currently, Middlewich is the largest town in Cheshire without a railway station;
  • More freight on rail is vital, especially from Liverpool Ports, requiring further electrification and gauge enhancement on the important Trans-Pennine route and other measures across the region. 
Peter Raynes, Chair of CPRE Cheshire, said: "CPRE is an advocate of more rail usage in England.  We want improvements to the connectivity and capacity of the main towns and cities across Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria and to our rural places. 
"The Government needs to undertake a serious review of its transport policies in order to properly respond to the Climate Emergency.  Road building should be an option of last resort with adequate commitment to rail investment to optimise a modern rail system.  We trust that the National Infrastructure Commission will listen.” 

Supporting Use of Social Media

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Neighbourhood Watch

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Supporting Use of Social Media


Dear Jan
As you are aware Social media is a great communication and engagement tool for Neighbourhood Watch groups to use. It can be used to increase awareness of Neighbourhood Watch locally, reach a wider audience (including younger members), promote Neighbourhood Watch as a means to tackle crime and build community cohesion, engage current members with actions they can take, increase awareness on safety, signpost people to accurate information, share national Neighbourhood Watch campaigns and messages and those of partner organisations.
Because social media is instant, it can be a very useful crime prevention tool, warning residents in a timely manner and making them more vigilant. It can be used to alert residents to suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, spread the word about Neighbourhood Watch events and personnel changes, communicate on recent crimes in the area and successes in apprehending offenders, alert residents to personnel changes of local police/ community safety teams, provide warnings about new types of scams and reminders on how to report scams.
In terms of increasing community cohesion social media is a great tool in emergency response situations (e.g COVID-19, flooding), and arranging events in the area such as street clean ups, street parties, community lunches or book hides.
It is vital when representing Neighbourhood Watch on social media we aspire to achieve our vision and mission and all posts are aligned with our core values.
With this in mind we have put together guidelines to help you whilst using social media to promote your scheme, highlight crime and discussing issues affecting your community.
Please click on the link below:
Social Media guidelines
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your continuing hard work that you do in your communities.
Best wishes
Cheryl

June 2020 Enewsletter - Firelink

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Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

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June 2020 Enewsletter - Firelink



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


Firefighters warn smokers of the dangers of smoking indoors after three fatal fires


We are warning residents about the dangers of smoking at home following a third fatal fire in Cheshire East involving cigarettes since February this year.
The latest fire was on 31 May in the bedroom of a terraced house in Moorhouse Avenue in Alsager. Members of the public rescued an 83-year-old man, and firefighters rescued a 75-year-old woman. The couple were taken to hospital but sadly died days later.
This latest incident followed a living room fire in Congleton in April where a 73-year-old man sadly died, and a fire in a bedroom in Nantwich in February in which an 80-year-old woman and an 82-year-old man sadly died.
A joint investigation between Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Police indicates that, in all three cases, the fire was accidental and caused by a cigarette.
Find out more - Firefighters warn smokers of the dangers of smoking indoors after three fatal fires

Be Water Aware


Cooling off in rivers, canals, ponds, quarries and lakes can have deadly consequences.
We're urging people, particularly children and teenagers, not to swim anywhere other than in purpose-built and supervised swimming pools unless they are members of an organised swimming group.
If you spot someone in trouble in the water, please 999 to call us.
Find out more - Be Water Aware

Countryside fire safety advice


Grass fires can get out of hand very quickly, cause extensive damage and put lives at risk.
They can also last for several days once a fire takes hold using up valuable Fire Service resources which could be needed elsewhere.
Find out more - Countryside safety

Drive-in cinema craze comes to Knutsford


The Luna Drive In Cinema opens in Tatton Park on 5 August with two weeks of screenings now on sale. Expect state of the art sound and screens, food hamper options and some of the best films ever made that cater for all age groups – all from the comfort and safety of your car.

Buckle up for some of the best films ever made

Take your pick from over 20 film choices including matinee showings of old favourites such as Cool Runnings or Back to the Future; more recent titles for older audiences including Parasite and Joker, or you can join in singalong versions of The Greatest Showman and Rocketman.

Dust-off your diary and book a date for August

“We’re delighted to announce this fantastic new outdoor event for people to look forward to this summer” says Tatton Park’s Events Manager Rachel Howard. “We’re excited to be the North West venue for this fun Luna cinema experience and it’s just great that we have an event to look forward to again at Tatton Park.”

How the drive-in cinema experience works:

v When you arrive at Tatton Park, you’ll be directed to your pre-booked section of the drive-in arena, where you can park on a first come first serve basis

v You’ll be given a wireless speaker system which sits on your dashboard - this allows everyone in your car can to hear the film

v You also can order food and drink during the screening, via your phone

v Large walkways take you throughout the drive-in arena and all toilet facilities are fully compliant with social distancing restrictions

v There will be hand sanitiser on site and staff will wear appropriate PPE

v Sit back and enjoy a long-awaited night out from the safety of your car - there’s no need to get out at all if you don’t want to!

For full listings and to buy tickets go to www.lunadriveincinema.com/tatton-park

If you’re staying at home, you can visit us online

If you can’t visit us in person, here’s how you can stay in touch with happenings at Tatton Park:

v www.tattonpark.org.uk – we’re updating our website as much as possible with updates from all corners of the Estate

v e-news – sign up on our website and email receive updates from Tatton Park

v Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – find us @TattonPark

v Candide Gardening App - download onto your phone and search for Tatton Park

Council launches Covid-19 community response and recovery fund


Cheshire East Council has today (29 June) launched the Covid-19 community response and recovery fund.

The council and the newly launched Social Action Partnership have been helping local people to support one another by co-ordinating the fantastic work that is being done in communities across the borough in improving, developing and delivering services.

In recognition of the vital role played by the voluntary, community and faith sector in both the response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the recovery, this time limited fund has been developed by the council to support local organisations through this pandemic.

The aim of the Covid-19 community response and recovery fund is to support these organisations to adapt to new ways of offering support to communities, both during and following the coronavirus pandemic, as well as maintain and continue to offer services as government restrictions are lifted.

Not-for-profit organisations will be able to apply for a grant up to a maximum of £5,000 for projects and services for both response and recovery-type applications. The response-type applications include additional staffing, DBS checks, volunteer expenses, meal delivery services, foodbank services and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Recovery-type applications include supporting employment, mental health support, hardship funds, financial advice, supporting connectivity and building community resilience.

Other applications might include bereavement support, domestic abuse support and IT solutions for service delivery.

Councillor Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “The council is firmly committed and will continue to support the most vulnerable individuals and families affected by the outbreak of coronavirus, right across our borough.

“We recognised in the early stages of this pandemic, that the council doesn’t always need to lead on supporting people but can also rely on those well-placed organisations in the voluntary, community and faith sector which can provide the much-needed essential support and help to those people most affected in our communities.”

Funding will be allocated where organisations can demonstrate a required need and where clear outcomes can be achieved. The council aims to make funding decisions as quickly as possible on a rolling basis and will be providing this funding until the end of 2020.

For more details about this fund visit our community funds and grants website page   www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/connected-communities/community_funds_and_grants

The closing date for fund applications is Friday 4 December 2020.

Cheshire East cultural sector funding success


Cheshire East’s cultural sector has been boosted by more than £175,000 of new funding from the Arts Council.

It follows several successful grant applications by local bodies to Arts Council England’s emergency fund.

Cheshire East Council’s cultural economy team provided support for many of the borough’s cultural organisations in their successful applications to obtain a cash injection of more than £175,000 in total.

The council managed further funding of £155,000 through grants and rate relief, achieved through its business support programmes.

This funding provides a lifeline to arts organisations, museums, festivals and events who have been hit hard due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In many cases, programmes of activities have been made virtual, with digital online resources, to continue to engage with audiences. This will create new opportunities for residents to engage with arts, heritage and entertainment across the borough – either with distancing measures in place or through digital and online content.

Examples of organisations supported include:

Wild Rumpus – A range of cultural events and festivals within the borough and beyond, including the Just So Festival, in Congleton. The programme of talks, open to arts, heritage and tourism organisations and professionals across the borough, has moved to online broadcasts. This will enable everyone to share learning, develop practice and stay connected virtually. Visit: https://wildrumpus.org.uk/the-culture-sessions/;

Macclesfield Museums - These include the Silk Museum, Old Sunday School Heritage Centre, Paradise Mill and West Park Museum. The Old Sunday School is being sustained and will invest in opportunities for local creatives to connect with local communities through storytelling and digital engagement. Visit: https://macclesfieldmuseums.co.uk/;

Macclesfield Barnaby Festival – Under normal circumstances would have delivered its ten-year anniversary parade and a programme of commissions and collaborations with established artists and local communities to bring Macclesfield to life. Residents are now encouraged to engage in a new digital programme via online workshops and livestream broadcasts whilst the live activity is being rescheduled for when safety restrictions allow. Visit: https://barnabyfestival.org.uk/

Clonter Farm Music Trust – It has secured funding for digital outreach and keeping theatre facilities available which means they are able to host digital masterclasses, filmed performances and work with artists to create digital ‘musical teas’ from their homes for older audiences to enjoy. The trust is also developing mobile musical theatre shows and workshops for schools using theatre packs which complement KS2 maths and literacy. For more info visit: https://www.clonter.org/;

Spare Parts Festival at Traction Crewe - Offers street-arts-linked online activity and performance linked to a transport, science and a motion theme. Residents can look out for coding and creative fun available online on 4 July via: https://www.facebook.com/TrActionCrewe/ and on Spare Parts At Home at:  https://sparepartsfestival.co.uk/spareparts-at-home/

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for culture, said: “We are delighted at this much needed cash injection for the cultural and creative sector in Cheshire East. The sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and many events and performances that have been months, if not years in the planning, have sadly been unable to go ahead due to social distancing restrictions.  

“This funding has taken events and performances to a new era, allowing the production needed to take them online and for residents of Cheshire East to be able to enjoy them from the comfort of their own home in the virtual realm. 

“The online events are not just a wonderful way to escape everyday life, they are also helpful to the many children across the borough who are being home schooled.”

Information and reminders about the events will feature on Cheshire East Council’s social media pages. Please follow @CheshireEastCouncil on Facebook and @CheshireEast on Twitter to keep up-to-date.