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Tuesday 23 September 2008

Bounce Castle but are your children safe?

Bounce Castle but are your children safe?

Watching the Castle being put up on a Saturday morning on Crewe Square a group of people watching wondered if the people looking after these young children had been CRB checked. Criminal Record Bureau check checks if people working with young children have a criminal record and more importantly if they are Paedophiles. The purpose of coarse is to ensure the safety of our children. We asked the council about checks and this is the reply.

From: Elaine Dodd
Sent: 18 September 2008 10:53
To: Cllr Brian Silvester
Subject: RE: bouncy castles
Hello Mr Mayor,
With regards to checks on Inflatable’s and other Rides hired in or provided…
We do ensure providers have adequate Public Liability Insurance up to the value of £1mill.
Also, Guidelines regarding Inflatable’s, including bouncy castles, as recommended by the Health and Safety Exec (Information Sheet No 7) are adhered to. In summary this provides guidance for those involved with design, manufacture, importation, supply, inspection and safe use of inflatable devices.
A CRB check is not required. Owners would in most cases differ from the actual Operator – who could be casual staffing. Staff are mainly concerned with the safety and use issues and not in direct dialog with a young person, as say an entertainer would be.
With regards to Entertainers in town these are all CRB check as are the staffs who supervise the Town Centre activities.
I hope this helps to clarify the situation for you.
Please let me know if any further information is required.

Elaine Dodd
Crewe & Nantwich Town Centres Manager
Tel. 01270 537559
Fax. 01270 537806

So they are not check and from the letter may be casual staff that no one has checked. This is an ideal target for Paedophiles as these people have direct contact with very young children in as much as they can touch them, talk to them and comfort them if they are hurt. Also for a Paedophiles its an ideal situation watching young children tumble down a Castle. It also suggests being casual that they will not be First Aid trained so in the event of an accident there is no first aid.
The company running this castle may be very respectable but have no knowledge of if there casual workers are Paedophiles. I fits a respectable company I feel sure they would welcome CRB checks on all there operators as this gives the company a new selling point that all personnel are CRB check and could increase there turnover. From parents point of view they would expect that these people looking after their children to have been checked by the council to ensure children’s safety.

Wednesday 17 September 2008

The Piano Men – The Music of Barry Manilow & Billy Joel

The Piano Men – The Music of Barry Manilow & Billy Joel

Vaughan Kennedy & Andy Mudd are The Piano Men, join them as they take you on a nostalgic
journey through the songbooks of two of the most recognisable names in music history.
Barry Manilow & Billy Joel combined have sold more than 200million records worldwide.

These Grammy Award winning artistes are inductees of the illustrious Songwriters Hall of Fame. With songs including the up tempo ‘My Life’ and ‘It’s a Miracle’ to the powerful serenity of ‘Mandy’ and ‘Just The Way You Are’. These standards and many more instantly recognisable hits feature in this fantastic two hour show. When the curtain rises the audience are greeted with the spectacle of two grand pianos and a host of fabulous musicians.

The vocal and musical talents of both Vaughan and Andy become evident as hit after hit are delivered in style. All these elements combined with special effects and a hint of Manilow and Joel magic will make this a night to remember.

SATURDAY 1st NOVEMBER 2008 - 7:45pm
TICKETS £12.50 (£11.50 Concessions)


Tuesday 16 September 2008

Crewe Photographic Society

Crewe Library was the venue for Crewe Photographic Society open day with displays of photos both digital and analogue. There was a competition to enter but the main point of interest was the Help Desk were people could come along and get help with anything to do with photos and cameras.

You can get more detials about the Crewe Photographic Society visit their website

Monday 15 September 2008

Skate Park Councils reply

Councils reply to my post It seem they dont know what their own sign says it clear says bladers and skaterboards as you can see in the picture

I have investigated with our Electrical department that we do have use of an audio system linked to the CCTV cameras at the facility. Like all CCTV systems a single facility is not constantly being monitored by a member of staff. Brett Hall the department head assures me that the facility is being used when required and on a number of occasions police have been directed to the area to deal with Anti Social behaviour issues by the CCTV operator.

Having also raised this issue with Margaret Howell, the Community Wardens will focus on the area; this will include a daily visit over the next few weeks. I will also ask the Wardens to watch over the area during the school holidays. Margaret pointed out that the Wardens would have difficulty enforcing any ruling as there are no bi-laws to control and support the operation.

Yesterday I spoke with 5 BMX riders who were using the Skate Park together with Skateboarders, I asked if there had been any incidents with the mix of bikes and boards and they clearly stated that the locals seemed to get on and new each other, however when youngsters from out of the area visit this may be the time when problems have arisen.

With an open site, supervision is difficult, additional signage will not carry any more enforcement. All our facilities within the Borough are purpose designed to accommodate both skate boarders and bmx bikes. As you are aware all the new facilities at Tipkinder are well used and we should encourage youngsters off the street to use these purposeful and safe facilities. I will continue to monitor the situation and encourage the Cheshire Ghost Riders BMX Club to watch over the facility during there weekly training sessions.

Thank you,

Andrew Latham

Outdoor Events Manager

Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council

Pyms Lane Depot



Tel: 01270 537846 MOB: 07834342979

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Skate Park Danger

I was sorry to hear in the Chronicle that someone had been injured on the BMX track and I hope they are getting better. There has been a lot of activity down at the park as a result of the Olympics and school holidays.

It does come back to my concerns over the Skate park we raised a few weeks ago in that all the BMX riders are taking over the skate park so skaters cant use it any more so we are now seeing them back around the town.

The injury is a wake up call and action must be taken. BMX is done a soil covered in gravel and as such not so hard a fall as concrete. BMX’s are using the skate park even though it states its for skate boards and roller blades only. The skate park is solid concrete with metal grind rails all around the park. While is can be dangerous for skaters they are restricted by there equipment to 15 mph.

On the other hand kids on a bmx can reach 40 miles per hour and jumping out of the ramp over 10 feet. If they fall from that height or hit any one with steal stunt pegs on the out come is going to be horrific. Falling on gravel is bad enough as was seen in the Olympics onto solid concrete with sharp metal edges is potentially fatal. We are talking about children as young 10 on these bikes with no experience or training or any safety gear.

I feel sure Shanaze Read would be the first to encourage children to do sport but would back a call for safety gear and training before doing these stunts.

The council has the technology at the park to talk to BMX ers and get them off the skate park. They must take action to ban bikes from the skate park with clear signs and enforce the rules. The bmx club should also advise their members to keep off the skate park. If they fail to do this I feel its only a matter of time before we have to read the sad news in the paper or serious injury at the park or worse.

On a lighter note the council should consider carefully naming the park Shanaze Read as its leads to comments like I am going to ride Shanaze Read and a few others I wont mention

Monday 8 September 2008

SLB Cars Ltd

S L B Cars Ltd

Camm Street
Crewe, Cheshire
CW2 7DN, United Kingdom

SLB Cars Ltd sold a death trap which is in such an unfit state its not safe to be on the road and could have killed someone!! This is the opinion of the MOT examiner after testing the car.

Update 28/8/08

Trading Standards have now got a court date of October 15th and are taking SLB Cars to court on criminal charges. In the mean time SLB tried to pull a fast one demanding the car back from us. Trading Standards hold the log book so we wouldn't let them have it. Trading Standards having heard that are worried that they may try to resell the car so are seeking a destruction order on the car to stop them doing anything with it

Trading Standards are now taking the car in to confirm the MOT examiners report by their own expert. If he agrees then its highly like SLB Cars will face criminal charges for selling a car in such a dangerous state. SLB made little comment today they tried to wriggle out of it by saying it wasnt taken back to them to fix the Locks as if it was they would have checked it over. Clearly this wont wash as they had already sold the car a month earlier in the dangerous state

The second MOT examiner said I have never seen a car in such a dangerous condition its a miracle no one has been killed this rot has not happened recently but it has been there for over a year. SLB Cars must have know they were selling a death trap.

A third MOT examiner said the rot was on critical part of the car and as such would effect the steering and the handling of the car which makes it a lethal car. The rear pin bearing was in a very bad state and the wheel could seize or worse at any moment. Even the lights were illegal both front and rear lights had the wrong bulbs or no reflectors on them. I have never seen a more dangerous car for a long time its like a shed on wheels and the danger is it could fail on the motorway and cause a massive multi car pile up.

The rust and other faults are long standing and have not appeared in a couple of months so the car was both illegal and a death trap when sold by SLB Cars Ltd. He was shocked to find so many dangerous and illegal part on the car and would expect any retailer to spot these faults before the sold it. Some are very clear like illegal lights and the CAT removed. You can click on the full MOT report below to see just how dangerous this car is. Do you really want to buy a car from this garage if so we recommend you get a AA report or a MOT to see if its safe to drive.

When Trading Standards got involved they found that over 40,000 mile had gone missing from the car as in 2005 the car was MOTed and showed a mileage of 117,000 but when bought it only had 82,000 on the clock so were have the rest of the miles gone?

I bought a Citroen Saxo vtr from SLB Cars Ltd Camm St Crewe CW2 7DN on 1/03/08 a cost of £1300 which was paid for by a trade in of £400 and credit card. The salesman agreed to give the car a service fix the Arial and fix the door locks as the central locking wasn’t working and the boot was locked and couldn’t be opened. He put this in writing on the sales receipt.

I picked the car up 5days later and none of the jobs had been done I expected it to all be fixed and ready to go. I took it in the next day and they had it all afternoon. They fixed the Arial and the radio but could not fix the central locking even after fitting a new unit to the drivers door. If you put the key in the near side door the car tried to lock but after fitting the part it was dead. They left the car with no inside lights and clock not working as they had blown the main F8 fuse.

I took it back on Wednesday and they had it all day Wednesday and Thursday when I got it back the radio didn’t work the alarm was left dangling so the passenger caught it with their feet. The central locking and the boot still hadn’t been fixed. This means the car isn’t fit for its purpose as I can not go shopping as I cant open the boot, in the event of a flat tyre I cant change it as the tools are in the boot. When they open the boot trying to fix it there was a very thick red exposed wire flapping about which I believe could be live and therefore a fire risk. The service still hasn’t been done

Wednesday the 19th and the car was once again taken in for 8 days every day I ring up and they say it will be done soon ring back later. When I ring back later they say they have just gone to the scrap yard to get some bits for it the implications being that the parts are from scrap cars and therefore not new parts. I don't expect my car to be repaired with old bits from a scrap yard which may break at any moment. I bought the car in good faith with a guarantee and would expect any part that are needed to be brand new car part bought from a scrap yard are form scrap cars and as such the parts may only last a few weeks or could go on for years. They said the problem has been that the first mechanic had blown all the door activators and also the main central locking unit. What is most frustrating is ringing up sometimes 4 time a day only to be told it will be done tomorrow, the idea of customer service is you ring the customer and keep them updated not for the customer to waste money ringing you.

They did lend us a 4*4 to use but as my son or wife found it to big to drive it was useless the fact that the tax disc was 12 months out of date and therefore breaking the law failing to display a road fund licence. The mechanic told us he hadn't been working on it all the time as he had been doing other jobs MORE IMPORTANT THAN OURS so over the days he may only have worked on it for an hour a day leaving us without a car. Having Arthritis this means I have been unable to get out and do things like shopping.

So the big day arrived after not seeing the car for 8 days it was finally fixed so I went to collect it. The first thing I noticed was a strange smell like polish, I thought they must of cleaned it for me but as there was muck everywhere that wasn't it. I then noticed the lights hanging down from the roof which had not been put back. A short drive and I noticed there was no sound from the rear speakers and the fancy break light strip wasn't working either. I reached home and got out to check the speakers in the boot before I got to open the boot the central locking slammed shut leaving me locked out with the engine still running and the keys in the car. We had to call out an expert to get us back in the car.

Having got the car open we then looked in the boot and was shocked to find it covered in blood, had it been used to carry a dead body? We soon realized the blood was pouring from my wife's hand as a result of cutting it badly on glass that was everywhere. Things now made sense as the expert pointed out the rear window had been replaced due to it being smashed and the smell was sealer used to put the window in. SLB Cars hadn't told us they had smashed the window and they hadn't bothered to clean up the broken glass which was everywhere. The rear brake lights wires were totally missing so we could see why it didn't work, it had worked fine when it went in. The speakers wires were floating about and had been disconnected for some reason. We closed the boot and locked it with the key only to find it didn't lock it took ten mins of locking and unlocking in order to get it to work. If you unlock the car boot the central locking doesn't unlock any other door. Having had it in the garage for so long we cant understand why the garage wouldn't check that every door operates the central locking correctly. The jack which was supposed to be in the boot is missing so if we get a flat tyre we are stuffed.

We rang SLB Cars and asked to speak to someone in charge and told them what had happened they said they would investigate and get back to us in an hour, needless to say we are still waiting. Since we have bough the car the garage have had it longer than we had they have had it for over 10 1/2 days during that time we have been paying insurance on the car and not being able to use it. When we did have the car it wasn't fit for its purpose as we couldn't go shopping in it as the boot didn't open. Our 1 month warranty is now nearly up and we have not had time to try the car properly yet. We have a car with what may be old dodgy parts in it from a scrap yard with a rear window which isn't properly sealed no rear brake light and a boot that locks sometimes the rear window wiper doesn't clean anything and is useless. As my son and myself use it for work to carry £10,00 of computer equipment about to customers sites locking of the boot is essential for the insurance.

What we would expect a reasonable deal to now do.

As every time it goes into their own garage they take weeks to fix it and break more things than they fix. We would expect them to pay for a main dealer to fix the car to Citroens standards and replace the parts from the scrap yard with new ones after all when we bought it the boot and passenger central locking worked and it WAS THEIR MECHANIC WHO BLEW THE PARTS so we shouldn't have to pay for their mistakes. We would expect the alarm to be ripped out and replaced with a new one that work 100%. We would expect a courtesy car similar to ours while this is done and to satisfy us that the car is now safe a full 12 months MOT and compensation for lose of the car while we have had it in their garage. The other alternative is to refund some of our money so we can take it to another garage to get it repaired.

We pass no comment on SLB cars we have presented our readers with the facts only and its up to the reader to decided if this is the sort of garage they want to buy a car from. We have reported SLB Cars to Trading Standards and various consumer help lines and are waiting for developments. Let us have your comments or tell us your experiences with this company.

We spoke to the company who say its their policy to replace car repairs with part from the scrap yard as they are replacing old part on a second hand car with OLD PARTS customers should be aware of this if they take their cars in under guarantee. A new part would be guaranteed but a part from a scrap yard wouldn't be guaranteed safe. SLB claim there is a 3 month guarantee on part from the scrap yard were as a OEM part may have 12 months, They offered to repair the car but as they have had it over 18 days and not managed to be able to repair it the credit card company said its reasonable to now insist on an independent garage to do the repairs. As the car was bought via credit card they are now taking out a dispute with them. SLB claim there isnt a fault with central locking and the alarm locking you out with the engine running its a anti hijack device and they say Audi and BMW have this same feature. We spoke to a Audi employ who had work for them for many years and they say this is rubbish no Audi will lock the doors if the engine is running and leave you locked out. They did have that fault on one car and the customer was given a brand new car and the faulty one was sent to Germany for testing. We spoke to alarm specialist who are VSIB registered and they both say the central locking is fault and the alarm wants ripping out and a new one fitting the possible cause is the unit may have been damage when they blew the CLU as its connected to the alarm. These people are specialist and Home Office approved installers they estimate the cost to be £300.

We have had problems with the fuse blowing which has been traced to SLB Cars leaving bare wires when they smashed the rear window and pulled out the working brake light. The result is when the bare wire from the break light touched earth and you put your foot on the brake it shorted straight to earth. We have found that the alarm doesn't work any more since they messed with the central locking which will effect our insurance.

SLB cars did offer to take the car in and fix it again but as every time it goes in it comes out with something else broke we declined Visa believe under the circumstances that and independent garage should carry out any repair work as SLB have had over 18 days to fix the problem and clearly shown they cant fix it. We are waiting for them to supply us with a new brake light for the one they smashed.


When we bought the car we specifically asked would it pass the MOT with the noisy exhaust on it SLB answered yes, we asked had it been modified and they said no. We now find the car has been decated so it wont pass its MOT and the insurance is invalid because its been modified. Decating gives an extra 10 BHP