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Saturday, 28 March 2020

Neighbourhood Watch Response To Covid-19



Dear Neighbourhood Watch supporters,
Neighbourhood Watch supporters across England and Wales have been responding rapidly to the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis making a positive impact within their local communities. This is a challenging time for all of us. We must highlight health, safety and wellbeing must be our top priorities and at the heart of every decision we make. Please see our full statement from Neighbourhood Watch Network on COVID-19 here:
https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/2020-03/NW%20COVID-19%20Message%2018.03.20.pdf.
We have built a dedicated area on our new website:
https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/news/NW_national-news/covid-19. Over the coming days, weeks and months we will be adding to this as the situation develops, sharing updated guidance, resources, partner links and encouraging communication between supporters through our social media channels, especially to share some of the positive ways communities are coming together to support one another through this.
We wish you all health and safety.

Cheshire East launches Covid-19 support network


Cheshire East Council has launched a new Covid-19 information hub – which includes essential information and updates on changes to council services as a result of the pandemic. 

The council is also launching ‘Cheshire East – People Helping People’ – a place for people to offer and request help.

Many people and organisations in the Cheshire East community are keen to offer their help and support to others in these difficult times.  Cheshire East has a relatively large proportion of people, who are advised to self-isolate and may not be able to get out and about as they did before the outbreak.

‘People Helping People’ is a service that connects the people offering help to the people who need help.

Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of the council, said:  “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff, members, volunteers and partners for the work they have done and will continue to do through this very challenging period.

“We are working closely with the NHS and social care services to provide support to those who need it most. The latest announcement that schools will close from today has raised fresh challenges and we are working tirelessly so that we provide clarity to parents, schools and our staff.

“We are advising residents to remain vigilant. While many of our communities are coming together to help, there are also people who may seek to take advantage of this present situation.

“Support is therefore best offered through trusted service providers like Cheshire East Council’s ‘People Helping People’ service or within small groups or through local charitable organisations where the participants already know each other.  Events are moving swiftly around the pandemic and advice on the council website cheshireeast.gov.uk  will be updated regularly.”

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of the council said:  “I would like to reassure our residents and local businesses that we are working daily with partner agencies to coordinate our efforts, particularly ensuring we are able to support those who may be struggling at this time.

“The situation has potential impacts on each and every council service including social services, education, waste collection and libraries, to name just a few.  This may result in us having to make changes to the way many of our services are delivered and we will continue to communicate any changes through our website and social media channels.

“Following the recent announcement of support from central government, we are in the process of putting in place measures to help those who may be struggling financially. Details of this and how to apply for temporary council tax or business rates relief can be found at: cheshireeast.gov.uk/covid19

The council will be continually providing updates and key information through the following channels:

Gutterscroft Park Haslington - Parents-Guardians We Need Your Help



Good afternoon
We hope that you are well!
This message is for those with children/young people who use the Gutterscroft Park in Haslington. If you do not, feel free to take a read, however the information may not be relevant to you. Thank you for your time in advance.
Gutterscroft Park, Haslington -
Unfortunately, we have experienced further anti-social behaviour/criminal damage at the Gutterscroft Park.
If you have children/young people, we need you to make sure that if they are going to use the local parks, they treat the equipment with respect and the local residents with kindness and respect.
It's very upsetting that we are having to send this message out, when the majority of children and young people that use the park are kind, polite, respectful and an asset to our community. However with equipment being damaged and at this point not knowing who has caused this, it's only fair to ensure that everybody receives the same email with the same advice on how to treat our local park.
Below is a check list for you to go through with your child/young person to ensure that they are safe and are behaving correctly at the park :-
- Agree a time that your child/young person will come home from the park. (Please enforce this!)
-Ensure that your child/young person understands what criminal damage is to the park equipment and please explain that even by being seen with the group that are damaging the equipment, they may be seen by members of the public as being part of this. (Examples of criminal damage can include purposely damaging the equipment and doing graffiti) (Examples of anti-social behaviour can include, shouting, swearing, litter and riding their bikes over residents flower beds.)
-Ensure that you are happy who your child is hanging around with. If you are not, explain to your child why not and how this can be monitored.
-Please tell your child/young person about 'SEE IT' 'HEARD IT' 'REPORT IT' - so that if anything happens in the park they know what to do. It can be useful to explain to young people that usually if something doesn't sit right with them, then it probably isn't right. They can contact us on 101 for non-emergencies and 999 always in an emergency. (This could be for many reasons, but some examples are, usage of drugs/anti-social behaviours listed above/criminal damage/assault)
We hope that most people reading this will know that this message does not apply to their child/young person, however it is important for us to share that Anti-Social Behaviour reports will be issued if anyone is caught causing anti-social behaviour or criminal damage.
Thank you for your time and support with this.
We are here to support anyone who is having troubles with this behaviour.
Kind regards,
PCSO Lizzie Jolley 22582
Haslington Police

Reliable Covid-19 information sources


Dr Matt Tyrer, acting director of public health at Cheshire East Council, said: “There is a lot of misinformation, rumour and myths going around about Covid-19 – particularly on social media.

“The following are reliable and trusted sources of accurate information from the NHS and Public Health England (PHE):

www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

“Please use these online resources to help keep you and your family fully informed and safe.”

Residents Urged To Be Vigilant Following National Trend of Coronavirus Scams



Residents across Cheshire are being urged to be vigilant following an emerging national trend of fraudsters taking advantage of the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Nationally, there have been reports of people visiting homes posing as police officers and health officials in a bid to gain entry to homes of the elderly and vulnerable. Some reports suggest scammers are even promising fake coronavirus tests or offering to deliver shopping and other essentials in exchange for money to assist those who are self-isolating. Whilst there have been no specific reports within the county residents are urged to remain vigilant and be on their guard.
Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “Over recent weeks there has been significant coverage of the spread of coronavirus and we have been made aware of fraudsters taking advantage of this to target the most vulnerable in our communities.Although there have been no incidents reported to us, it is likely that this will change over time and we may start to see these scams across Cheshire. That is why it is important that everyone listens to the advice and takes note to ensure we can protect the elderly and most vulnerable in our society from these senseless scammers.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, David Keane, said: “It is despicable that fraudsters are exploiting this public health emergency and targeting the most vulnerable people in our communities at a time when they are more vulnerable than ever. Police in Cheshire are continuing to work hard to keep us safe in these uncertain times and I would urge you to follow the key scam advice to help you stay safe in your homes.”
Key advice:

  • Police officers will never approach you to take a Coronavirus test.
  • If someone knocks at your door, always examine and check their identification. If you are unsure please call the organisation or company they are claiming to work for. If they are genuine they will not mind.
  • You do not have to let them in and they must leave if you tell them to.
  • Never let anyone in your house unless they are someone you know and trust.
  • If someone is trying to rush you into doing something, handing over money or taking a test it is likely that they are involved in a scam.
  • Never give money or your card and pin number to anyone.
  • Be aware that scammers can be clever, they will have done their homework and will often know a lot of information about people they target. Often they are very organised.
  • If you believe that you have been victim of fraud call us on 101 or report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Message Sent By
Clare Harrison (Cheshire Police / Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Engagement Officer, Corporate Communications)


Joint message from the leader and deputy leader of Cheshire East Council


The following is a joint message from leader of the council Councillor Sam Corcoran and deputy leader Councillor Craig Browne:

“These are unprecedented times. Covid-19 represents a significant risk to individuals and to our economy. Our country has not experienced anything like this before and, yesterday, the government outlined strict new measures to limit and slow the spread of this infection. 

“Cheshire East Council has a key role to play in the ongoing response to Covid-19. Our priorities are to protect vulnerable people and maintain critical and essential services.

We are working with colleagues from the NHS to support the most vulnerable individuals – those at greatest risk of infection and serious illness – through ‘community shielding’.

“We are bringing together the many people and organisations who want to offer help at this time, with people who need help, through our ‘People Helping People’ webpage. 

If you are able to offer help to people in your community, please let us know by clicking ‘I can help’ and providing your name, contact details and how you can help.

“Equally, if you need our help, or are aware of people within your neighbourhood who do, please let us know by clicking on ‘I need help’, so we can plan our resources accordingly.

“We are also working hard with partners to support businesses, helping them to access support and guidance, with regular updates on www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/covid19

“We are continuing to provide key services, such as waste and recycling collections. But we will have to keep these services under review as the situation changes and we may have to ask you to do things differently, as we adapt these services to changing circumstances.

“While many of our staff are now working from home, other members of staff are key workers, working in health and social care and other essential public services. They may have to travel to and from work and we would ask you to support them as they do this. 

“We can all contribute to overcoming this disease. By working together, everyone in Cheshire East can do their bit to beat this truly global challenge. The basic hygiene advice still applies:

● Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds;

● Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available;

● Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze;

● Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards; and

● Stay two metres (three steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside.

Cheshire East Council is providing updates, information and guidance on its website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/covid19

Follow us on social media at:

● Twitter @CheshireEast; and

● Facebook.com/CheshireEastCouncil

“Finally, we would like to thank every member of staff, every councillor, community group, partner and resident for their continued efforts to support each other at this time.

“We can beat this. Stay safe and support each other.”

Cheshire East Council closes play areas to protect people


Following the latest announcement from the Prime Minister (23 March 2020) to close all play areas, outdoor gyms and skate parks, all such areas in Cheshire East Council-owned parks will close from today (24 March).

The parks and green open spaces will remain open for daily exercise but the council urges residents to stick to the latest government instructions. Social distancing guidelines must be followed. These open areas can be used once daily by people on their own or with members of their household for a run, walk or a cycle. Groups of more than two people will be dispersed. People should keep at least two metres apart at all times.

Where we are unable to guarantee the safety of visitors, due to people not observing the strict social distancing requirements and play area equipment closures, we will have no other option but to report to the police, and ultimately close entire park sites.

Update from Chief Constable Darren Martland Regarding Coronavirus



The Prime Minister has announced strict new social measures in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
This is an unprecedented time for all of us and I appreciate that this will continue to cause concern amongst our communities in Cheshire.
I want to reassure all residents in Cheshire that we are here working as hard as we can, alongside our partners, to keep you safe and ensure the most vulnerable are protected.
But it is important to remember that everyone must comply with these measures, which are there to protect our fantastic NHS and save lives. The police are to be given the powers to enforce the powers, when it becomes necessary and proportionate to do so.
We are asking the public to listen to the advice, stay at home and help us to help the national effort.
British policing is founded on respect and engagement with the public - we resolve issues daily by talking to people and reasoning with them and that will continue.
Our officers will continue to provide a visible presence in your community and I am very grateful for the continued support that will be offered by the Special Constabulary and other volunteers.
If you do need our help then we are here.
In an emergency, where there is a threat to life or a crime is taking place, please call 999.
If it isn’t an emergency it is possible to report incidents via our website, which I would encourage you to use when possible, or call 101.
If you need information and advice following on from the coronavirus announcement by the Prime Minister please visit http://orlo.uk/wogej
We all need to continue to work together to protect and support each other during this challenging time.
Chief Constable
Darren Martland

Cheshire East Council asks residents to think before they call


Cheshire East Council is currently experiencing a high volume of calls and is struggling with demand from non urgent enquires.

The council is working to prioritise the safeguarding of the most vulnerable residents and protect frontline services.

Residents are asked to think before they call and only call the council if they really need to. A lot of queries can be answered on their website at cheshireeast.gov.uk  where online forms can be completed to submit questions or to report an issue.

For information, government guidance and the latest advice about COVID-19, residents can visit a new dedicated area of the website at cheshireeast.gov.uk/covid

If you have urgent concerns about a vulnerable adult or a child please call our safeguarding team. During office hours for adults call 0300 123 5010 or children call 0300 123 5012 (option 3). For out of hours support for adults or children call 0300 123 5022.

The council has launched a new community scheme called People Helping People. This is offering services such as gathering medical supplies, meal delivery, a friendly phone call, advice and guidance or another support service. If you need help or would like to volunteer yourself to help with this scheme please register online cheshireeast.gov.uk/peoplehelpingpeople or where you have no internet access call 0300 123 5034

Cheshire East Council closes household waste recycling centres


Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on Monday (23 March 2020), Cheshire East Council has taken the decision to close all its household waste recycling centres until further notice.

Residents are asked to retain any bulky or DIY waste – do not leave it kerbside, please do not fly tip and do not place it with household or recycling waste. The closures will be reviewed regularly.

Cheshire East markets to close to combat Covid-19


As part of further measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, all markets run by Cheshire East Council in Macclesfield, Congleton and Crewe – both indoor and outdoor – will close with immediate effect.

Since the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday (23 March 2020), the council allowed the markets to remain open for those stalls selling essential items, such as food. However, due to the need to protect members of the public, traders and staff and to encourage people to follow the government advice to stay at home, we will now be closing these markets until further notice.

Council and contractors warn children to stay away from construction sites


With the health service under huge pressure, Cheshire East Council is urging all parents – and their children – to stay safe and not put themselves at risk.

Contractor GRAHAM, who is building the Congleton link road, is appealing to families to make sure their children stay away from the site to prevent accidents.

As schools have closed down and with some construction sites across the borough quieter than normal, children should not be tempted to use them as play areas.

Councillor Craig Browne, Cheshire East Council deputy leader and cabinet member responsible for infrastructure, said: “In the present health emergency, we need to do all we can to avoid adding to the pressures placed on our doctors and nurses in our accident and emergency departments.

“We are appealing to parents to make sure their children are safe and not putting themselves at risk by straying on to construction sites.”

Alastair Lewis, contract manager for GRAHAM, said: “Some young people may be drawn to these sites as exciting places to play but they are not and we would urge them to stay away and stay safe.

“Construction sites, such as the Congleton Link Road, contain heavy machinery, uneven ground and many hazards – so please stay away.”

Cllr Browne added: “There are a number of construction sites – both council and private – across the borough and it is an offence for anyone to enter them without authorisation. We would not want to see children killed or seriously injured during what is already an extremely challenging period for us all, especially the emergency services.”

Accidents on construction sites can some times be fatal or result in serious life-changing injuries and children should not let their curiosity lead them into danger.

Covid19 Phishing Emails Reported To Action Fraud



Jan,
A number of #COVID19 related phishing emails have been reported to Action Fraud. These emails attempt to trick you into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing your personal information, logins, passwords, or banking details.
https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/coronavirus-related-fraud-reports
Scam Warning Phishing emails
(Click the image to see a larger version)

Protect yourself


1) Watch out for scam messages
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
2) Shopping online:
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.
For more information on how to shop online safely, please visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely
3) Protect your devices from the latest threats:
Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats.
For information on how to update your devices, please visit: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/securing-your-devices
For the latest health information and advice about COVID-19 please visit the NHS website.

Message Sent By
Mike Douglas (VISAV, Administrator, National)

Temporary suspension of car parking charges


Parking charges in Cheshire East-run car parks have been suspended as part of a number of service changes made in response to Covid-19.

While following government guidelines aimed at supporting keyworkers, including NHS staff, the council has decided to go further by suspending all car parking charges from midnight tonight (Thursday, 26 March).

The council is eager to take all possible steps in the fight against Coronavirus and has taken this decision to support keyworkers and to help prevent the risk of spreading the disease through contact.

People who use Ringo to pay parking charges by mobile phone need not pay either and should be alerted to this by the app on their phone. The council has contacted Ringo to inform them of this decision.

Please note that this only applies to car parks operated by Cheshire East Council.

All car park machines will be sealed and notices posted to inform the public of this action. However, it must be stressed that everyone should follow government advice by staying at home, minimising travel as much as possible and maintaining social distancing.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and waste, said: “It is important that we take all the necessary steps to protect our residents and the users of our car parks, while at the same time, supporting our key workers, especially our NHS staff, so that they can get on with the task of fighting this disease and preventing its spread.”

Government advice relating to Covid-19 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

Cheshire East Council – urges businesses to come direct for Covid-19 business grant funding


Cheshire East Council is urging businesses to come directly to them and submit their business bank details online – via an official form – to receive government Covid-19 business grants, rather than using agents.

Two new grant funding schemes have been announced by the government as part of the pandemic, which cover three scenarios:

  • A small business grant fund of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief; and
  • Grant funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property – where the rateable value is below £15,000; or
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property – where the rateable value is between £15,000 and less than £51,000.

Eligible businesses will be identified through the business rates system and will receive the grants once funds are available.

For businesses that do not pay business rates by direct debit or qualify for small business rate relief, the council does not hold any bank details and will be unable to make grant payments via cheque.

It is important that these businesses confirm their bank details – on a simple online form –directly with the council, in order to receive qualifying grant payments via bacs transfer.

The online form can be accessed at our business rates relief page.

Cheshire East launches business helping business scheme


Cheshire East Council has launched a scheme seeking to help businesses across the borough to support each other during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The scheme, which can be accessed via the council’s website seeks to match businesses that are in need of help, to those that are in a position to help across a number of areas, such as;

  • Staffing - to support another business;
  • Delivering services or goods;
  • Supportive mentor phone calls;
  • Business rates advice;
  • Business finance information; and
  • Advice and guidance

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council said: “I would like to reassure our residents and local businesses that we are working daily with partner agencies to coordinate our efforts, particularly with a focus on those who may be struggling at this time.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is seeing a major effect on our economy and Cheshire East Council is working with central government to support businesses through a range of measures.

“This scheme seeks to give support across our business community now – while we are in the midst of the pandemic – enabling all, from sole traders to large corporations to come together in collaborative partnerships.

“Following the recent announcement of support from central government, we are working hard to put in place measures from government to help those who may be struggling financially. Details of this can be found on the council’s website.”

If you are a business owner that can offer help, or a business in need of support, please visit our ‘business helping business’ web pages.

For more government advice on coronavirus financial support for businesses, visit the gov.uk website.

Help Play Your Part In Keeping the Nation Safe



The people of Cheshire are being urged to help play their part in keeping the nation safe by following new rules introduced to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
As the country continues to absorb the detail of the strict new social distancing measures, which have been introduced in a bid to slow the spread of the virus and protect the public and the NHS, residents are being urged to take on board the advice and stay at home where they can.
In Cheshire, neighbourhood policing is key and officers, PCSOs and members of the Special Constabulary will continue to provide a visible presence in the local community.
Chief Constable Darren Martland said: “British policing is founded on respect and engagement with the public - we resolve issues daily by talking to people and reasoning with them and that will continue.
“We will continue to police by consent – officers will be engaging with the local community, talking from a safe distance, explaining the new measures and what they mean and encouraging people to do the right thing and abide by them of their own accord.
“Officers will apply their discretion and will ask questions to establish individual circumstances and will instruct people to go home if they do not have a good reason to be outdoors. However, where necessary and appropriate, we will enforce the measures if people are not listening and putting others at risk, as the public would expect us to do.
“The pace of change in relation to the coronavirus outbreak remains extremely challenging for us all and we know that this is a really disruptive time. But in these tough moments we need to make sure we all pull together.”
The new public health regulations, which came into force on Thursday 26 March, have been introduced to ensure people stay at home and avoid non-essential travel – unless for one of the following reasons:
- Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
- One form of exercise a day - for example, a run, walk or cycle - alone or with members of their household
- Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- Travelling to and from work, but only where they cannot work from home
Participating in gatherings of more than two people in public spaces is also not permitted except in very limited circumstances, for example, where it is for essential work purposes.
Chief Constable Martland added: “As police officers, we are sensitive to the difficulties our communities are facing - after all we are part of those very communities.
“We’re all in this together and each and every one of us has a role to play by following government advice. Here, in Cheshire, where we have a great community spirit, I am confident that people will listen to the advice, take note of it and stay at home to protect our fantastic NHS and save lives.
“This is an unprecedented time for all of us and I understand that people are concerned about what this means for them. I want to reassure all residents in Cheshire that we are here to serve and protect and maintain the best service to the public. We will continue to work as hard as we can, alongside our partners, to keep you safe, protect our officers and staff, and support the nationwide response.”
Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane added: “The Chief Constable has my full support as he and his officers do their upmost to keep all of us safe at this challenging time.
“Police officers and staff in Cheshire are working flat out in extremely challenging circumstances while putting themselves and their families at risk. It is our duty to support them and not put them under unnecessary pressures.
“It is vital that we all follow the government’s advice to protect our NHS and, ultimately, save lives.
“If we stay at home under all circumstances, unless we are leaving our homes for one of the few reasons listed by government, Cheshire police will not have to use their new powers.
“The more we cooperate and work together as a community by acting responsibly the faster we will be able to beat this crisis.”
If you do need our help there are a number of ways that you can contact the force.
In an emergency, where there is a threat to life or a crime is taking place, please call 999.
If it isn’t an emergency it is possible to report incidents via our website (https://www.cheshire.police.uk/), which people are encouraged to use when possible, or call 101.
If you need information and advice following on from the coronavirus announcement by the Prime Minister please visit the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus