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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Children’s mental health initiative ‘highly commended’

An initiative to improve the emotional wellbeing of children and young people in schools across Cheshire East has been highly commended, at a Liverpool event.

The scheme encourages young people to talk to trained school staff about their troubles and anxieties, so they can be addressed before they impact on the child’s health and wellbeing.

The project is an innovative response to address the mental health needs of children and young people across the borough and this has been recognised by the shortlisting judges at Positive Practice Mental Health Collaborative – a national organisation geared to highlight best practice in mental health and wellbeing.

A multi-agency group, called the Emotionally Healthy Schools’ project, was set up to tackle the issue back in 2016 and aims to develop teaching staff to ensure they meet the mental health and wellbeing needs of their students.

In Cheshire East, almost 12,500 children and young people are estimated to have a mental health disorder – this equates to 13 per cent of the population aged up to 24 years.

The partnership comprises: Cheshire East Council, local schools, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP), NHS Eastern Cheshire and South Cheshire CCGs and the charities Visyon and Just Drop In.

Their work is helping more children and young people to ‘feel good and function well’. The ethos of the group is to ensure children focus on improving their resilience and focuses on making it acceptable to ask for support.

There are almost 50 teaching staff based at schools across Cheshire East and they have received specialised training to:

● Identify signs that might suggest someone is depressed or feeling extremely low;

● Recognise risk and identify key risk factors of unhappiness/low morale;

● Have increased confidence to ask direct questions about personal issues; and

● List key support services available for young people who feel depressed;

The success recognised the success of health and social care bodies that adopt a strategic approach to meeting the needs of children and young people who need help and protection, including early intervention. 

Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “We are delighted to have been highly commended for this prestigious national award. It’s also re-assuring to see we are ahead of the game and trail blazing best practice. The mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people is vitally important to a good experience of childhood and determining long-term health into adulthood.

“The scale of our aspirations in this area knows no bounds and I am so proud of the strength of our relationship with schools, the health service and other key agencies. We have ambitious plans for a new ‘Emotionally Healthy Children and Young People Programme’ extending the offer to early year’s education and parenting support that will offer a single point of access to services.”

Robert Lupton, team co-ordinator for emotionally healthy schools links team Cheshire East, from CWP, said: “Emotionally Healthy Schools is playing an important role in equipping role in equipping teachers with the skills to respond to the social, emotional and mental health needs of the children and young people they work with.

“The project is something that is very close to my heart and to see it recognised in such a way just reinforces that we are making a positive difference.”

Jane Henry, project manager for the Tools for Schools element of the project said: “As part of the project, Visyon has trained more than 2,000 staff members in schools. We have also been working directly with more than 500 children to help build their resilience and promote health and well-being. In addition, we have delivered approximately 150 workshops to staff, governors and parents and all the feedback received has been excellent.”

The positive news came the day after the announcement of the appointment of Jackie Doyle-Price, the first ever ‘Minister for Suicide Prevention’ in the UK as well as World Mental Health Day on 10 October.

For details on better health and well-being please go to:

Free family events to mark centenary of the Armistice through memories, performance and sound

A four-year programme of activity to commemorate the First World War will come to a spectacular end next month, with two closing events taking visitors on a poignant journey back in time.

Cheshire East Council’s ‘When the Light Goes Out’ events – part of the Cheshire East Reflects programme – will take place over the weekend of 10 and 11 November and will mark the centenary of the Armistice through memories, performance and sound.

Put together with the help of hundreds of residents, they will take place in Crewe town centre and at Tatton Park, in Knutsford, and reflect on the hardships, losses and untold stories of the First World War in Cheshire East.

The events’ creative producer Amber Knipe, of Dark Olive CIC, said: The When the Light Goes Out events have been more than a year in the making and are completely unique to Cheshire East.

“They will be both moving and visually captivating, telling the stories of those who lived and served during the conflict in a way that has never been done before.”

Led by professional theatre makers Yet Another Carnival, both events have been created by school children, groups and individuals from across Cheshire East.

The first event, on Saturday 10 November, will take place in Crewe and feature a parade inspired by the town’s 1918 Tank Week – part of a fund-raising campaign led by the government, which saw tanks touring England’s towns and cities. It will lead off from the Lifestyle Centre and continue around the town centre.

Amber said: “The parade explores the unknowns and hardships of war while celebrating the lesser-known stories of communities supporting each other and finding strength in adversity.

“It will have several ‘pause moments’ along the route where bands will play, stories will be shared and war bonds can be purchased.”

The parade will finish in Memorial Square where there will be a street concert featuring a performance by The Peace Choir of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Crewe, and music from silver and brass bands including TCTC Group Band and Foden’s Band.

The second event will take place at Tatton Park on Remembrance Sunday and will be a self-guiding promenade.

Amber said: “Visitors will be able to see mini performances taking place, hear choirs singing and watch tanks being dismantled and games being played.

“They’ll also be able to listen to monologues about refugee and commonwealth participation in the war and pause for a moment to hear stories of heartbreak and broken families.”

During the event, a large scale projection artwork will transform the front of Tatton Park Mansion into a ticking timepiece. Created by digital artists Illuminos, it will feature hundreds of letters written by local school children.

The extinguishing of the commemorative flame, which has burned since 2014, will bring the event to a close.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “The people of Cheshire made a significant contribution to the war and Cheshire East Reflects has used arts and culture as a way of paying tribute to all those who never returned home.

“These final two family events are sure to be especially moving and I encourage as many people as possible to go along as a means of paying their respect.”

Both events are free to attend and will take place between 4pm and 6pm. They will take place in the outdoors and go ahead in any weather, so suitable clothing is advised. Visitors are asked to be aware that they contain poignant and moving material that some may find upsetting.

The council would like to thank all its partners for their support during the Cheshire East Reflects programme, including Imperial War Museum North, Royal British Legion, Big Lottery, Heritage Lottery Fund, Tatton Park, Crewe Town Council, Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Service, Cheshire Rural Touring Arts and Clonter Opera Theatre.

More information can be found by visiting:

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Council to consider impact of HS2

Cheshire East Council is to consider the impact HS2 will have across the borough by taking part in HS2 Ltd’s latest consultation. 

On 11 October 2018, HS2 Ltd announced that it is now seeking responses for its draft environmental statement and equality impact assessment as part of phase 2b (Crewe to Manchester).

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “HS2 Ltd published its consultation on Thursday and these documents contain a lot of detailed information.

“Whilst HS2 is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Crewe and brings with it many benefits, we need to take some time to really consider the impacts, implications and consequences that it has for each area along the line.

“We have until 21 December 2018 to submit our response to this phase 2b consultation and will work with local ward members, community groups and key local stakeholders to do this.

“If you are concerned about any of the impacts, please contact your local ward member so they can voice your concerns. Also, if you would like to know more about HS2’s plans, you could attend its community information events.” 

HS2 Ltd is holding two community information events about the proposals for each phase, including the planning and delivery:

• Phase 2a (West Midlands and Crewe) will be held on Monday 22 October 2018, 2-8pm at Crewe Alexandra football club

• Phase 2b (Crewe to Manchester) will be held on Thursday 6 December, 2-8pm at Crewe Alexandra football club

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS)

Reporter Jonathan White

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS) staged their annual 'Autumn Frolics' variety show on the evening of Saturday 13th October 2018 at St Andrew's Church Hall, Bedford Street, in Crewe.

The show was performed in front of a sell-out audience and featured people from the local community in a variety of acts including dance, acting, singing and music. There was also a guest performance from three Crewe South police officers who sportingly joined in on stage to the popular dance song, Cha Cha Slide! There was a prize raffle and refreshments were served during the interval. Proceeds will go to local charities and to provide some funding for the forthcoming TAPPS panto, A Christmas Carol.

Show Co-ordinator Fred Allman said, “I am so proud of everyone who took part in the show - they are a great bunch of people who always give of their best. It was especially good to see more youngsters taking part, as a group like TAPPS needs the younger element to keep it going into the future. The event made a profit of £565.62 which will be split between local charities and some funding for our pantomime.”

TAPPS was formed in November 2014 to stage a panto for the local community in the St Andrews church area. Since then the society has grown and includes many people from the local community and further afield, working together with church members. Since the formation the society has staged four pantos, four variety shows and hosted play reading evenings throughout the last four summers. Some members have been involved in dramatic presentations in St Andrews Church. The society enjoys a social life with theatre trips, country walks and other events throughout the year. TAPPS is non-profit making so any money goes to charities and the church - so far TAPPS have given away over £2,000.

For further information relating to TAPPS please phone Fred on 07968829999 or visit their stall at the St Andrew’s Church ‘Christmas Fair’ on Saturday 1st December.

TAPPS performs ‘A Christmas Carol’ (comedy version) at St Andrew's Church Hall, Bedford Street, Crewe on Friday 11th & Saturday 12th January 2019 - 7pm each day with a matinee on Saturday at 2pm. Tickets prices (unchanged since 2015!): Adults = £5, Children =£2.50. Family ticket (2 adults/2 children) = £12.

Crewe South police officers assist in performing Cha Cha SlideGeoff Allen – Alan Hurst and Fred Allman perform a skit called The Box

Weekofaction - The Itunes Scam

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Cheshire Constabulary

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Weekofaction - The Itunes Scam

Today as part of its rogue trader initiative Cheshire police are warning residents about the iTunes scam.
This is a technique used by fraudsters to extract iTunes voucher codes from vulnerable people.
Between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2018, 11,329 incidents involving iTunes vouchers have been reported nationally, resulting in £6,561,380 being lost to fraudsters.
On each occasion the victim receives a call claiming that they have an outstanding balance which needs to be settled urgently or they will be arrested.
They are then informed that the only way to pay the debt is using iTunes vouchers.
The victims are advised to visit a high street store to purchase the vouchers and must then call back the hoax caller and provide them with the codes from the vouchers to settle their debt.
Detective Chief Inspector Karen Jaundrill said: “The iTunes scam is particularly disturbing and can be extremely worrying for the victims.
“On each occasion the victims have been told that they must purchase thousands of pounds worth of vouchers or face the prospect of being arrested; which has caused anxiety and concern.
“While the majority of victims did not fall for the scam, sadly we are aware of a number of victims who have lost thousands of pounds.
“As part of our ongoing work to prevent this type of fraud we’re working closely with supermarkets and convenience stores to prevent vulnerable residents from purchasing large quantities of vouchers.
“I’d also urge residents to talk to any vulnerable friends or family about the scam to help ensure that nobody else falls victim.
“The message is clear - no reputable company, nor any government organisations, would ever call you and ask you to settle a balance over the phone using vouchers, nor would they threaten to arrest you.”
“I’d urge anyone who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or have been a victim of fraud to contact us on 101 or alternatively contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”

David Keane Joins Forces With Other Police And Crime Commissioners In Show Of Solidarity Against Hate Crime

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC), David Keane, today issued a rallying call to the residents in Cheshire to “stand up and be counted” as part of a powerful anti-hate campaign.
The commissioner is joining fellow PCCs, chief constables, justice partners and the general public to publicly condemn the scourge that is hate crime by taking part in a nationwide social media campaign called ‘The Big Link-up'.
The Big Link-up marks National Hate Crime Awareness Week and sees public figures, organisations and individuals demonstrating their support against hate crime by posting ‘selfies’ or group shots of themselves’ holding a copy of the #NO2HATE sign.
Cheshire’s commissioner joined commissioners from across the country in a photo of defiance, shared across social media with the hashtag #NO2HATE.
David said: “The whole idea behind this campaign is to show our solidarity and unity in fighting hatred.
With the nation’s PCCs coming together as one, we are sending out a powerful message to our communities that those who breed hatred and contempt are the minority and will find no place in our society.
“Every year, National Hate Crime Awareness Week gets bigger and better and reaches a wider audience. It is a fantastic opportunity to show victims of this awful crime how serious we treat their experiences and encourages more people to come forward and get help if they haven’t already done so.
“Equally, it highlights how repugnant society views this crime and leaves perpetrators in no doubt that their actions will be condemned and punished using the full arm of the law.
“I’m pleased to see ‘The Big Link-up’ receiving strong support and appeal to anyone who works with the public - including our youth leaders, volunteers and criminal justice partners as well as residents themselves – to join us throughout the week in this symbolic rejection of hate crime.”
Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place between October 13 and 20.

Council to give free workshops to good local businesses

Cheshire East Council is to hold further ‘free’ procurement training workshops to help business people with public sector contracts.

The procurement training sessions will be provided by the council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company and are for local businesses in Cheshire East. The workshops are designed to support small to medium-sized enterprises and create an opportunity to secure a portion of the £200 billion spent each year by the UK public sector on private sector contracts.

The training is provided by Onto The Page, who will share their expertise in bidding best practice and create opportunities for Cheshire East businesses.

In total, 18 businesses from across Cheshire East attended a recent event held at Macclesfield College. They represented a wide range of local sectors, including creative and digital, education, construction, food and drink, manufacturing and engineering. 

Dave Turner, from Knutsford, managing director of Topspeed Couriers, was a guest speaker, who shared his success stories, relating to securing work in the public sector.

Topspeed Couriers are a specialist courier service delivering items including crime scene evidence and food samples across the UK. Mr Turner took attendees through the process of becoming a supplier for government agencies including Defra, the police and the Home Office.

The workshops are organised by the Skills and Growth Company, in conjunction with the procurement team at Cheshire East Council. Abi Owers, of Macclesfield, another attendee, from the marketing agency Big Brand Ideas, found it very beneficial. 

Ms Owers, engagement director, said: “The event was the first I had been to run by the Skills and Growth Company. The course structure and trainers were fantastic, delivering a jam-packed day filled with guidance and advice, including the opportunity to meet council procurement leads.”

Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, said: “We are pleased to help support local businesses to maximise opportunities to supply goods and services to the public sector. It can be a complicated procurement process and this can put off many businesses.

“This training is designed to equip businesses with the skills to succeed and win contracts with the public sector.”

The next workshops will be held on Wednesday 5 December and Wednesday 20 March 2019. To register an interest visit:

Monday, 15 October 2018

Man from Crewe climbs tallest mountain in Africa for charity

Reporter J White

Roy Price, from Crewe, has successfully scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of the Macmillan Chemotherapy Suite at Leighton Hospital in Crewe. Roy made the self-funded trip to Tanzania to climb the highest mountain in Africa in September this year.

Before the start of his 6-day adventure there was little doubt that the fit 51-year-old would saunter through the walking aspect of tackling the 5,895m high icon – but altitude sickness is another matter entirely and not something everyone can avoid, regardless of fitness level.

Kilimanjaro was a succession of climate zones with rainforest giving way to heath, boulder fields and high desert before the final pumice-covered stage of the climb.

Roy raised money in memory of his wife - Ruth Price - who passed away in February this year from secondary breast cancer. Ruth was treated at the Macmillan Cancer Unit at Leighton Hospital and received exemplary care.

Roy and his friend Ian Jones, 46 also from Crewe, have raised £4,128 thus far this year. Along with the Kilimanjaro climb, the money was raised via Roy pushing a 100kg wheelbarrow and Ian wearing a bear costume on a walk from Crewe to Nantwich and back, a garden party at The Woodside in Wistaston, a charity night at the Bombay Restaurant in Crewe, a tombola & raffle stall at The Co-operative Food in Shavington and by Roy hauling a wheelbarrow and Ian wearing a bear costume to walk up Snowdon mountain.

Roy has also generously made a personal donation of £4,500 to the local charity ‘Shine Bright Foundation’ - - to help fund trials for triple negative breast cancer and support anybody receiving breast cancer treatment.

Roy Price said, “Well after only 17 weeks of training I did it. My friends were calling me crazy when I booked the trip to Tanzania at the end of April - you must be mad most of them said!

I decided at the end of May to start putting some serious effort in to training. Not only did I shed one and a half stone in weight I put myself in the best position possible to take on Kilimanjaro. What an adventure, I’m telling everyone Kilimanjaro was easy and I guess it was compared to how I expected to be, but in honesty it was hard work. I had no idea what effects the altitude would have on my body, my first trip up a mountain was the 27th of May this year and believe me Kilimanjaro is nothing like Snowdon!

I was extremely lucky as I suffered no altitude sickness whatsoever, although I did suffer with a stomach bug 24 hours prior to summit day meaning I’d had little or no sleep and couldn’t really eat much. Despite this when we headed for the summit I knew nothing would stop me, I was pretty tired and hungry so all I could do was to focus on my goal. My goal of touching the stars on what would have been my 27th wedding anniversary. I achieved my goal and I stood on the highest mountain in Africa. I’d taken a pink flashing bow headband with me which I wore on the summit for a photo, some will understand this and some won’t. The pink bow was something I wore as I left Ruth behind at the Crematorium on the 22nd of February this year, the bow signifies the craziness and the happiness that Ruth spread throughout her life, this journey was about the memory of Ruth and supporting all those that helped her during her cancer journey.

It’s absolutely amazing the support I’ve had and the number of people following my story. I really would like to say a big thank you to everyone for your support and your generosity, without your support I don’t think I would have achieved this. I still can’t believe that we raised £4,128.01 for the Macmillan Chemotherapy unit, it’s a fantastic result.

Additionally, I said I’d match everyone’s donations and make a personal donation to “Shine Bright Foundation”, well I decided to donate just a little more as a special thanks for the encouragement and support of the Shine Bright team. I was honoured to present them with a cheque for £4,500.00.

A massive grand total of £8,628.01 has gone to charity because of this challenge.

Very special thanks to Ian ‘The Bear’ Jones and the Crazy Crew, Clare Everall, Sarah Jones & Ellie Foster. I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart you really did keep me focused and help me raise so much for charity. Another thanks to some people that haven’t had a mention, my new friends that I climbed Kilimanjaro with. You all knew why I was there and I’d like to say thank you, it was an emotional challenge for me and difficult because I went on my own, your words of encouragement really did help.

Moving on from Kilimanjaro I know I need to do things for me, that will include mountains and it will include some crazy fundraisers. It’s likely that you will see me around training very soon. I’ll be on a tandem bicycle so I guess easy to spot. I’ll be helping to support and promote our local Triple Negative Breast Cancer Charity “Shine Bright Foundation”. I think I’ve talked my friend Ian The Bear to join me too. My aim is going to be to make people smile, smiles are the good times, the happy memories that help us get through the tough days. So keep your eyes peeled for Roy’s crazy adventures in support of Shine Bright Foundation will be continuing soon…”

Carole Salmon, Community Fundraiser - Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity, said, “A massive well done and thank you to Roy for completing this challenge of a lifetime. It has been a pleasure to support him with his fundraising. The local community have really got behind him in lots of different ways. Thank you also to Ian Jones who also joined Roy with many of his crazy fundraising stunts dressed as a Bear.  The money raised will benefit the Macmillan unit at Leighton Hospital and a powerful way to thank the staff who cared for his wife, Ruth and supported his family earlier this year.”

Jacky Atkinson from Shine Bright Foundation said, “What Roy achieved in such a short period of time this year is phenomenal. All his training and hard work and his continuous efforts to raise awareness of Shine Bright Foundation and Triple Negative Breast Cancer have boosted our charity no end. When we had the cheque presentation at The Woodside we thought we knew the amount Roy was giving to us.  He then uncovered the amount he was donating to us and it was £4,500! To say it was emotional is an understatement and I definitely had a few tears.  My one regret, Roy found a Shine Bright contact card in Ruth’s possessions, I just wish we had been able to meet her and help her.

Setting up a charity to raise awareness and funds for Triple Negative Breast Cancer was the vision of our Sarah Bennett.  The charity has continued to grow in strength and as a result of people like Roy choosing to fundraise for us we have been able to donate a massive £47,000 to Triple Negative Breast Cancer trials and also still be able to help people locally going through breast cancer by providing holistic therapies at the Navitas Centre in Crewe.  Triple Negative Breast Cancer is such an aggressive breast cancer and Shine Bright Foundation are doing everything we can to raise awareness and fund new trials.”

Roy Price at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro wearing a bow in memory of his wife RuthA view up towards the top of a snow-capped Mount KilimanjaroRoy Price begins his walk up Mount Kilimanjaro

Cheshire East Council gears up for National Adoption Week

Cheshire East Council is urging people to step forward and help change young lives – by getting involved in adoption.

“Adoption isn’t a label, it’s a story. It is as unique as we are. Nobody shares the same story as us and this is why we talk about it every day. Like all great literature, it has defining chapters. Some were written for us but since the minute we met, we’ve been writing our own.”

These are the words of a mother, Lucia, to her adopted daughter, who is now eight-years old.

National Adoption Week runs from 15-21 October. Across the North West, there are more children in need of a loving adoptive home than there are adopters to offer this.

National Adoption Week aims to raise awareness in order to find homes for those children, who so desperately need them. But this year, adopters will be the focus.

Our regional adoption agency, Adoption Counts, understands that adoption is life-changing. That’s why it’s here for the adopter – every step of the way. From the first phone call, our dedicated team will be there to support and guide new adopters through the adoption process with compassion, honesty and respect.

Each adoption is as unique as the people being brought together. This is why we are proud to encourage inquiries from a diverse section of the community, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, disability, race or faith.

We are currently looking for adopters for children of all ages and have a high number of children, aged two and under, who need families. Additionally we are always very keen to hear from people who will consider children aged four and above, sibling groups, children of a black, minority background and children with additional health needs.

Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “We’re proud to be supporting this campaign and continuing to spread the word on how amazing and life-changing adoption can be.

“Through our regional adoption agency, Adoption Counts, we’re seeing some great results creating forever-families and helping to offer a loving home for children and young people when they need it most.”

Adoption Counts is the second regional adoption agency to be established in the UK. This incorporates local authority adoption services for Cheshire East, Manchester, Salford, Stockport and Trafford as an integrated service.

Anyone interested in finding out more about becoming adopters in and around Cheshire East, Manchester, Salford, Stockport, and Trafford, should contact Adoption Counts on 0300 123 2676 or visit:

Roadworks update: Nantwich – Autumn 2018 (Oct/Nov)

Nantwich highway improvement scheme – The Peacock roundabout

We will be working to deliver highway improvements in Nantwich throughout October and November. The works will improve approaches to the Roundabout and will include resurfacing and relining works.

· Plan of the Nantwich Peacock roundabout (PDF, 514KB)

We understand that there is no right time to undertake this work in such a key through route in Nantwich. We have carefully planned these works to minimise disruption to local residents, businesses and members of the travelling public. Delays are to be expected. 

What will be happening

The improvements will happen in four stages as follows:

Stage 1

· A51, Peacock roundabout to Cheerbrook roundabout (southbound) will be closed all day on 14 October 2018 to allow for the removal of kerb lines and footway.

· 15 – 22 October 2018, there will be a single lane approach to the Peacock roundabout from Cheerbrook roundabout to allow for the extension of the two lane approach (Northbound). During the works, the A51 will change from national speed limit to 30mph to provide a safe working zone.

Stage 2

· A51, Alvaston roundabout to Peacock roundabout (southbound) will be closed all day on 21 Oct 2018 to allow for the removal of kerb lines and footway.

· 22 – 27 October 2018, there will be a single lane approach to the Peacock roundabout from Alvaston roundabout to allow for the extension of the two lane approach (northbound). During the works, the A51 will change from national speed limit to 30mph to provide a safe working zone.

Stage 3

From Sunday 28 October for three weeks, works will commence to create a two lane approach from Crewe Road to the Peacock roundabout in preparation for a new development on Crewe Road.

Stage 4

Peacock roundabout will be closed on Friday 19 November 2018 for seven nights from 20:00 until 06:00 the following day. These night closures are to allow for the resurfacing and relining of the Peacock roundabout and areas of the A51.

Information for road users

· Road closures are necessary to protect the safety of both members of the public and our workforce.

· Where road closures are in place, diversion routes will be signed to assist in the movement of traffic while works progress.

· Local businesses remain open as usual.

· Emergency vehicle access will be maintained at all times during the closure (blue lights only)

· Delays are expected and motorists should plan journeys accordingly, view diversions online:

Tobacco fraudster behind bars for £55,000 corruption

A tobacco fraudster has been jailed following a successful operation by Cheshire East Council’s trading standards team, a Chester court heard.

Michael Wallace, aged 58, of Tyldesley Old Road, Atherton, in Greater Manchester, was imprisoned for 20 months at Chester Crown Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to seven offences under the Fraud Act, the Trade Marks Act and the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations Act.

The court heard how Wallace had made a ‘very successful’ living from selling counterfeit and non-duty paid tobacco at a huge profit, often operating in Cheshire East. The business operated from Wallace’s home.

Police and trading standards officers from the council, raided his Atherton home and discovered illegal tobacco products valued at more than £33,000 - they also discovered more than £22,000 in cash which was hidden in a wardrobe, chest of drawers and under a bed.

Sentencing Wallace, on Monday 8 October, Judge Simon Berkson QC described Wallace’s activities: “As a commercial operation of products that should never have been sold in the UK at all.”

Cheshire East Council will now seek to recover the financial benefit of Wallace’s crimes through the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member in charge of community safety, said: “People who deal in illegal tobacco products are likely to encourage others, including children and young adults, to smoke and to buy them.

“More people are attempting to give up smoking, but the easy availability of cheap cigarettes, can make their habit more difficult to break.

“I would like to thank our trading standards officers and Cheshire police, for their excellent work undertaken to end this illegal operation and sending another fraudster to prison. We are determined to identify more of these types of criminals and haul them in front of the courts so they are exposed and punished.”

The seizure included non-duty tobacco and counterfeit tobacco which cannot be legally sold in the UK.

Anyone with information about similar criminal activity should telephone the Tackling Tobacco hotline on 0300 999 0000, or report it online at:

Cheshire East ‘on track to deliver balanced budget’

Cheshire East Council is on track to deliver a balanced budget – despite in-year pressures on finances.

A report to the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, 9 October outlines how the authority is managing resources to provide value-for-money services during 2018/19 and making good progress towards achieving the priorities of its corporate plan.

Alex Thompson, head of finance and performance said: “Local government is dealing with significant, ongoing financial challenges. Increasing demand, rising costs and reduced government grant is creating significant pressures on resources.

“The council’s response focuses on increasing efficiency and productivity to enable us to deliver an appropriate level of sustainable services.

“Demand for services is high. This is particularly linked to an increase in population but also changes in demographics, with increasing numbers of people who are living with more complex needs.”

This demand has resulted in revenue pressures of a £5.3m projected end-of-year overspend (two per cent) against a budget of £269.5m.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “Robust action is being taken across the authority to mitigate this position and return the budget to a balanced position – while still protecting general financial reserves – as we have successfully done in previous years.

“This council has maintained sound finances, while protecting its quality key services despite a tough financial climate for councils.

“Children and families services, like other services across the council, are working in a very challenging environment.  We will be looking for savings that are realistic and achievable.

“However, we have already shown that we can achieve a lot in a challenging financial environment, with the third lowest level of NEETs in the country, fantastic results in our schools from key stage two to A-levels and securing funding for key childcare and education projects.

“The challenges facing adult social care are well-documented.  This report shows that we are working effectively with health partners to improve outcomes for those who need our support, despite the financial challenge.

“For example, we have worked hard and been successful in reducing delayed transfers of care, but there are now new expectations around this that we must work even harder and even smarter to meet.

“Against this challenging financial backdrop, it is pleasing to note that the council has continued to perform strongly, delivering positive outcomes in each of the six priority areas identified by the corporate plan.”

At mid year 2018/19, examples of good performance include:

● The visitor economy hit a record high of £921m a year;

● High pass rates for Key Stage tests, GCSE and A-level exams;

● Around 95 per cent of major planning applications and 90 per cent of non-major applications were achieved within timescales;

● The council has achieved Green Flag awards for eight of its outstanding parks;

● 209 new affordable homes were delivered in the first quarter year;

● 17 community venues have celebrated becoming council supported ‘connected communities’ centres;

● A four per cent increase in attendances at the council’s leisure facilities.

Cheshire East Council is the third-largest unitary authority in the North West and is responsible for around 500 services, supporting more than 370,000 local residents and more than 18,500 businesses. Gross annual spending by the council is c£700m.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Autumnal Colour In Queens Park

Filmed over time to show  how it changes over time and light

Paul McCartney Tribute Act

Reporter Jonathan White

A ‘Paul McCartney Tribute Act - Neil Tudor in concert’ takes place at St Mary’s Church Hall (Church Lane, Wistaston) on Friday 16th November 2018 (doors open 7pm). Licensed bar available. Tickets = £8. All proceeds will go to church funds.

St Mary’s Wistaston Rector Revd Mike Turnbull said, “Please come along and join us for what promises to be a fun evening of live music in Wistaston.”

For further information please contact the Church Office via email: or phone: 01270 567119.

Paul McCartney Tribute Act - Neil Tudor in concert - Wistaston - Fri 16-11-18

Harvest Hoe-down & Supper’

Reporter Jonathan White

Harvest Hoe-down and Supper - group photo

A fund-raising ‘Harvest Hoe-down & Supper’ took place on the evening of Friday 5th October 2018 at St Andrew's Church on Bedford Street in Crewe.

The event included country dances with tuition provided by church warden Marta Jones and her husband Martin and line dancing tuition from Andrea Ollerhead.

Several people attended in Wild Western clothing with check shirts, denim jeans & skirts and cowboy hats.

The barn-themed stage area contained horse shoes, a horse saddle, lasso rope and hay bales. Harvest flower arrangements throughout the church were prepared by parishioners Sheila Woodvine and Pam Manning.

Pick & Mix (Fred Allman and Chris White, accompanied by Fred’s daughter Victoria Allman) provided live musical entertainment with a country & western flavour.

Supper was served during an interval - jacket potatoes with various fillings and puddings/desserts, along with a free glass of wine for each adult.

All profits will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to help support their aid effort following the recent devastating tsunami in Indonesia.

Organiser Fred Allman said, “We felt we should have a change from our usual harvest supper and hold an event more family and community orientated and a hoe-down was suggested. It has been a great success - bringing together old and young for a most enjoyable event. All those involved in the organisation have worked very hard to produce a great evening for everyone."

The event was part of the Church’s annual harvest festival celebrations which also included the Harvest Sunday service.

Priest-in-Charge of St Andrew’s Church, Reverend Lynne Cullens said, “I am delighted that the evening drew people from across the age range and community. This is our first major event since launching as a Connected Communities Centre and it feels appropriate that we’re coming together in thanks for the many blessings we have as a community in Crewe South. We very much look forward to a future developing our programme of activity and engagement here alongside residents, CEC’s Communities team and partners.”

Weekly services at St Andrew's Church are: Sundays (Said Communion, 8am; Worship and Communion - coffee is served after this service - 9:30am; Evensong or Sung Eucharist, 4pm), Tuesdays (Open informal worship with coffee and cakes, 6:30pm), and Thursdays (Said Communion - coffee and cakes afterwards, 10am).

Saturday Café takes place every week 12noon to 1:30pmwith soup, sandwiches & cakes in a relaxed atmosphere.

If you would like to learn more about the work of St Andrew's Church, join the choir or volunteer for any of their community projects please contact Revd. Lynne Cullens on 01270 569000 or

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Cheshire Pcc Calls For Improvements To Custody Conditions For Female Detainees

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Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire

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Cheshire Pcc Calls For Improvements To Custody Conditions For Female Detainees

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner has joined other commissioners across the country to call on the government to update legislation around the treatment of female detainees held within police custody.
David Keane is welcoming the Home Office consultation on revisions to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE), which will put in place a number of measures to ensure female detainees are treated with dignity and respect and are guaranteed the provision of sanitary products whilst in police custody.
At present, there is no statutory requirement to provide female detainees with access to a female police officer or for police officers to check if female detainees need any menstrual products whilst in police custody or to make them aware that these will be provided free of charge.
David said: “Women in police custody deserve to be treated with respect and to be given access to the appropriate products to protect their dignity.
“In Cheshire, we have been able to put in place a number of measures to improve police custody conditions for female detainees. This includes ensuring they have access to a female detention officer, police officer or nurse whilst they are detained and ensuring sanitary products are well stocked and made available to women in police custody.
“Although we are already striving to improve conditions for female detainees in Cheshire, I am proud to unite with other police and crime commissioners in welcoming the drive by government to put in place changes to legislation so standards are high across the country.”
Police and crime commissioners have a statutory duty to make arrangements for detainees to be visited by independent custody visitors (ICVs) from local communities. In Cheshire, ICVs are required to check adequate sanitary products are stocked within custody suites. In addition, ICVs have been asked to ensure female detainees are aware that sanitary products are available if required – a question that is currently provided in 37 different languages via a translation booklet for non-English speaking detainees.
It is through such arrangements that commissioners, strongly supported by the Independent Custody Visiting Association, have been able to monitor detainee well-being and come together to help drive moves to improve conditions for individuals in police custody, including female detainees.


An award winning mum of three from Northwich, Cheshire has raised £3,000 to say thank you for the care her children receive at Crewe based Leighton Hospital.

Rachael King, who’s three children all have epilepsy, organised a 14 mile group walk from Northwich to Leighton Hospital to raise funds for MCH Charity, West Midlands Ambulance Service and Epilepsy Action.

Since her children were born Rachael and her husband have done lots of fundraising for MCH Charity and with this latest donation have raised a total of almost £10,000 as well as donating a television for children’s out-patients, an IPad and a ‘bubble machine’. Alongside her tireless fundraising Rachael won an Epilepsy Action ‘Speaking Out’ award earlier this year for using her Facebook page ‘3 little epilepsy warriors’ to share advice with other parents of children with the condition. She has also featured in a BBC Three clip called ‘5 things to know if you love someone with epilepsy’.

Emma Robertson, MCH Charity Manager, said: ‘I first met Rachael and her family at the end of last year and was blown away by her determination and enthusiasm for fundraising. Her positivity shines through and it’s easy to see why so many people wanted to support her by getting involved and helping to raise this fantastic amount. This latest donation will go a long way to help build our new outside play area for children cared for at Leighton Hospital, we can’t thank Rachael, her husband Ben and all her family and friends enough for their ongoing support.’

If you would like to fundraise for a ward, department or service at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that is close to your heart please contact Carole Salmon, MCH Charity Community Fundraiser, on 01270 273248 /

The King Family