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Wednesday, 31 March 2010
CHESHIRE EAST GIVEN NEARLY A MILLION POUNDS TO REPAIR POTHOLES
The cash has been given to the Authority from the Government following last week’s Budget announcement. It stated that a total of £100 million pounds would be made available to tackle the nation’s potholes.
Cheshire East Council saw a 100% increase in pothole reports following the heavy snow and freezing temperatures experienced across the area earlier this year.
The additional money is to be spent repairing potholes and improving local roads as a whole.
Cheshire East Councillor, Rod Menlove, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Environmental Services said:
“There is no doubt the winter weather experienced across Cheshire East in December and January had a big impact on local roads. We have seen a big increase in potholes which meant we had to look at our budgets carefully.
“Cheshire East Council has already allocated an additional £700,000 out of this year’s budget to put towards repairing highways. This extra £900,000 will go a long way to ensuring we have a realistic chance of repairing potholes and improving carriageways to ensure we do not experience this level of damage in the future.”
COUNCIL WELCOMES COUNTERFEIT CONVICTION
Following a number of test purchase operations, carried out by Trading Standards, the trio were found to have sold counterfeit music and films worth in excess of £11,000 between July 2008 and June 2009.
They were charged with a combined total of 11 offences, contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994.
Yesterday (Monday, March 29) Macclesfield Magistrates Court saw the sentencing of John Power of Wythenshawe, Manchester and Christopher Loftus and Patricia Flint of Burnage, Manchester to a 12 months Community Order, a 12 month Community Order plus supervision and 120 hours of unpaid community work respectively along with £750 in costs, each.
Deputy Leader of the Cheshire East Council, Cllr. Brian Silvester, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Safer and Stronger Communities said;
“Counterfeiting is a matter that we take seriously. It is detrimental to consumers because they are unknowingly purchasing poor quality goods and it also impacts upon the economy because legitimate businesses struggle to compete against the rogue-traders. These prosecutions send a clear message to rogue traders everywhere that they need to keep out of Cheshire East because they will not get away with their illegal sales. ”
Following the arrests in June last year, over 500 discs were seized from the stall at Chelford car-boot; these discs along with previous test purchases were valued at a genuine retail cost of over £11,000.
Kay Roberts Consumer Protection and Investigations Manager at Cheshire East Council added;
“This serves as a stark warning to those involved in the sale or possession of counterfeit goods, our Trading Standards Department takes a proactive stance in visiting our car-boots and markets and will not hesitate to take action to protect the local community."
Anyone with information relating to counterfeit goods or requiring advice should contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
CONNECT 2 CREWE
Connect 2 Crewe is aimed at developing cycling and pedestrian routes between Crewe and Nantwich.
Cheshire East Council has now committed to two phases of the initiative. They are:
· The creation of a 4km cycleway and pedestrian route from Queens Park to Rising Sun Public House including the route sections through King George V Playing Fields. Works are currently being tendered and are expected to start on site in the summer of 2010; and
· The construction of two bridges in King George V Playing Fields to cross streams. Works are expected to start onsite in the summer of 2010.
Funding has been secured from a variety of sources, including SusTrans, Waste Recycling Environmental Network (WREN), as well as Cheshire East Council’s Capital Programme.
Cheshire East Councillor, Jamie Macrae, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Prosperity said:
“Its pleasing to see this project is now underway. Connect 2 Crewe is a vital scheme which looks to improve transport links and boost the local economy.
“Cheshire East Council is hoping to secure external funding in order to continue with further developments within the Connect 2 Crewe project in the near future.”
Cheshire East Councillor, Andrew Knowles, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Health and Wellbeing said:
“As we all know, time spent doing leisurely activities can be limited because of busy working and family lives. I hope the cycleway will encourage local families to get out and about as well as attracting more visitors to the area.
“This scheme will guarantee space is made available for cyclists and walkers for decades to come.”
Cheshire East Councillor, Rod Menlove, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Environmental Services added:
“From an environmental point-of-view, this is an exciting project; Connect 2 Crewe is about encouraging everyone to leave the car at home and to walk or bike-ride around the town.
“Cycleways are an important part of ensuring more people can access and experience their local environment at first-hand.”
All Change At Crewe
A major revamp of Crewe train station is at the heart of ambitious plans to transform Crewe into one of the UK’s leading economic powerhouses by 2030.
And the move has even got the vote of TV’s Eurovision pop guru Pete Waterman.
A major redevelopment of the rail station – which is staying put – and the town centre are central to a new scheme to rejuvenate the town and wider region – and catapult them to the forefront of the 21st century economy.
Music mogul and trains enthusiast Pete Waterman, Virgin Trains, Network Rail and rail engineering giant Bombardier are among the ‘movers and shakers’ who have backed the station announcement.
Crewe’s MP Edward Timpson has also called for the whole community and all political parties to get behind the proposals.
Record producer and Eurovision: Your Country Needs You star Pete Waterman said: “Now the decision has been made so far as the station is concerned, we can all get on with the job of making this work.
“The uncertainty of the last two years has been most unhelpful, but now we can all pull in one direction and get behind getting the best out of this classic station.”
The redevelopment of Crewe station will be one of a number of high-profile ambitious projects planned for the town over the next 20 years.
The proposals, due to be completed shortly, are the result of six months of work led by Cheshire East Council and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) involving leading agencies, organisations and employers in the area, in partnership with top consultants SQW.
This new vision for Crewe builds on the tremendous competitive advantage of the town’s central location and fantastic road and rail links.
Cheshire East Council Leader Wesley Fitzgerald said: “We are now at the critical point of setting out not just our vision for Crewe, but how we are going to get there.
“Crewe rail station was at the centre of the town’s identity, growth and prosperity in the 19th century. Now it is at the heart of plans to transform Crewe to help its growth to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
“We need to get the key agencies firmly behind this project to ensure it has the resources, focus and energy to bring about real change. It’s vital that we come together to identify what needs to be done over the next 20 years – but starting NOW.”
Cheshire East received an additional boost last week, with a government funding announcement that saw Crewe move a step closer to benefiting from a £36m link road that would cut congestion and boost economic regeneration in the area.
Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis announced that £21.99m has been provisionally agreed for Crewe Green Link Road South.
Cheshire East Council, which has worked hard to secure funding, and other supporters of the scheme said the move was vital to opening up the regeneration potential of the Basford east investment site and the wider Crewe region.
NWDA chief executive Steven Broomhead said of today’s announcement: “The decision over Crewe train station is a big step forward – plans for future development can begin to move forward and Crewe can maximise the opportunities of its excellent infrastructure.
“Partners must now work together on a single vision for Crewe which will deliver real change.”
Cheshire East Council has called on the Government, the rail industry, regional agencies and top ‘movers and shakers’ to pledge their support for these major projects – especially to ensure that the station becomes a gateway to both the north and south.
The station proposal follows a recent announcement by Lord Adonis that £50m would be made available to invest in 10 stations in real need of some serious TLC – one of which was identified as Crewe, which has unrivalled rail connections and excellent north-south links.
Crewe received another massive boost with the recent government announcement (March 17) that it is to create a £3m National Skills Academy for Rail Engineering. It is hoped this will be based in Crewe, following high-level lobbying by the Cheshire and Warrington Economic Alliance.
Cheshire East councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said of the ambitious new proposals for Crewe: “This work is vital. We must capture any opportunity to make it happen. We must continue to work together to ensure Crewe has an integral role in the future of the region.
“We’ve done more in the past six months to help achieve this than has been done by previous authorities in the past six years.
“We will now be lobbying nationally to attract additional funding and interest in the redevelopment of Crewe railway station, which after extensive consultation, we now believe should remain at its current location.”
Chris Gibb, chief operating officer at Virgin Trains: “Crewe is a key part of the Virgin Trains network and we have been delighted with the growth in customer numbers using the service in Cheshire in recent years.
"Now we also need to move to another level of customer service at the station and today's announcement is a clear sign of the vision that is required to attract more customers to rail.”
It is hoped the recent HS2 announcement of plans to build a new High Speed Rail link from London to Birmingham from 2017, and then on to Manchester, will benefit Crewe and the Cheshire East region. Supporters say it would free up train and freight capacity and raise the possibility of increased rail engineering and maintenance work for Crewe.
Councillor Fitzgerald added: "We want to build Crewe’s economy to be fit for purpose for the 21st century. To do this we need support from the Government to develop a new station which is fit for modern world and the future – a station that can take advantage of future opportunities provided through developments, such as high speed rail beyond Birmingham.”
Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has appealed for cross-party support to help make the redevelopment scheme a success.
He said: “Following last year's announcements that Crewe station was receiving no redevelopment funding from central government until at least 2014, and that the developers of Crewe town centre had fallen victim to the recession, it was essential that the new Cheshire East authority moved quickly to come up with a credible plan for the town's economic future.
"The station is a key part of that. It is now time for all of us who care passionately about Crewe to drive forward these ambitious plans together. I will do all that I can to make that happen."
Attracting more educated, skilled and ambitious workers to Crewe would boost the economy and see the town as a nationally recognised centre of dynamic economic growth and vitality by 2030.
Substantial investment will be required to create the 21st century transport hub that is necessary to underpin Crewe’s aspirations for growth.
Cheshire East is seeking both public and private sector partners to fund and deliver the project.
Network Rail and Global rail engineering firm Bombardier Transportation, which has a major plant in Crewe, have thrown their weight behind the ‘exciting’ proposals for the station.
Bombardier Transportation UK chairman Colin S Walton said: “As a major employer in Crewe, Bombardier is pleased to be able to offer its expertise and support to this exciting plan to transform the town.
“Crewe's current image is that of a historic railway town, which is important. However, we now need to be able to demonstrate that Crewe is much more than that.
“Crewe is modern, hi-tech and innovative and ready for all the challenges of the 21st century. Key to this plan is the development of the railway station, providing a modern and attractive gateway to the town"
Network Rail route director Jo Kaye said: “We are fully committed to the principle of the regeneration of the station.
“In recent years Network Rail has invested over £7m in improvements, which have included a new roof canopy, platform resurfacing and refurbished office accommodation on platform 12, new and improved lighting on all platforms, repairs and repainting of sections of the roof structure and the complete renewal of the station’s water mains and fire alarm system.”
Current funding available to Crewe, following the announcement by Lord Adonis of £50m for 10 stations, will enable limited refurbishment work but is only a small part of the investment required. However, a new transport hub could be delivered for something in the region of only 10-15 per cent of the recently announced £530m Northern Rail Hub proposals.
An independent report called Better Rail Stations, by the Station Champions Chris Green and Sir Peter Hall, advised the Government on ways to improve stations, focussing on getting their basic facilities right as well as considering the broader role they could play in the future.
The report said the “passenger’s first priority is clearly the journey itself” – but a smart, modern station is an important element which can “make or break” the public transport experience.
The study found that only two thirds of customers are satisfied with Britain’s stations. This is a mediocre result, and the authors said “a demanding service industry should be seeking to lift this to at least an overall satisfaction level of 80 per cent”.
Cheshire East Celebrates Record Breaking Brass Band
Sandbach’s world famous Foden’s Brass Band has received a chorus of Cheshire East congratulations after becoming North West record breakers.
The band won its fifth consecutive championship after fighting off competition from 11 rivals in the North West Area Contest held at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
The band – currently ranked second in the world - has now surpassed the record held by the legendary CWS (Manchester) band of the 1960s.
Cheshire East Deputy Mayor Gordon Baxendale said: “My warmest congratulations go to Foden’s Band for yet another incredible achievement.
“This latest triumph follows on the heels of Foden’s rise to second in the world in the international brass band rankings last year.
“The whole of Cheshire East is extremely proud of their achievements and we wish them the best of luck in the national finals.”
Band members were guests of honour at a reception to celebrate their achievement at the Sandbach headquarters of flooring company Flowcrete, which has provided the band with rehearsal rooms.
Mark Greaves, Managing Director of Flowcrete and Vice President of Foden’s Band, said: “We are delighted with Foden’s success and proud to be associated with this world class band.”
Foden’s will now go head to head with seven other regional winners in the national finals to be held at the Royal Albert Hall in October.
Mark Wilkinson from Foden’s Band said: “We have been runner-up at the nationals for the last three years. We hope to go one better in 2010.”
The band - named because of its links to the former Foden Truck company - has now won 17 North West titles including an incredible eight out of the last 10 competitions.
Monday, 29 March 2010
Cheshire East Registration Service To Be Highlighted Nationally As A ‘Model Of Successful Innovation’
A government watchdog has highly praised Cheshire East Registration Service – and is to highlight it nationally as a model of successful innovation.
Whitehall’s General Register Office (GRO) – part of the Home Office’s Identity and Passport Service – gave a glowing report on the high quality of Cheshire East civil registration services following the reorganisation of local government last April.
The Registration Service deals with the registration of births, marriages and deaths.
The GRO report said: “During the period of local government reorganisation, all staff have worked hard to maintain a professional and customer-focused service and the delivery of service has been seamless throughout.”
The study praised the council’s contact centre and said customer access to the registration service was “excellent” with convenient access points and opening hours.
The report also praised Cheshire East Registration Service for:
● Excellent electronic accounting system for fees
● Very good customer choice
● Good innovative practices: hospital bereavement officers and local funeral directors are permitted access to an online E-diary for making customer appointments. This service will be highlighted by the Home Office as an example of good practice and creative solutions to other services nationwide
● Good model of partnership working by sharing accommodation
● Good emergency out-of-hours service
● Good use of technology accounting for controlling certificate stock
● Good automated contact system and effective call monitoring system
● Special arrangements at Leighton and Macclesfield hospital for registering still births and neo-natal deaths
● Meeting or exceeding key service performance indicators on registrations, appointment availability, in-office waiting times and certificate applications
● Multi-skilled staff, who add flexibility and resilience to the service
● Achieving 100% on waiting times within the national standard
● 100% of customers found the service able to provide a ceremony at a convenient date and 89% at a convenient time
● 98% of customers surveyed found the service “easy to contact”
● 86% of calls answered within 20 seconds. The national standard is 80%
● All-day Saturday appointments offered for notices of marriage
Councillor Brian Silvester, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council and Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “This is an outstanding report and all the staff in the Cheshire East Registration Service are to be congratulated on their sterling and dedicated work.
“The Registration Service is rightly being held up nationally as a model of successful innovation, and Cheshire East should take great pride in this.
“Staff have shown real commitment and dedication to delivering a top-class service to local people. That we should receive such a wonderful report in our first year of operation is quite remarkable and bodes well for the future of the Registration Service in Cheshire East.”
The GRO assessed Cheshire East Registration Service on four key areas: customer access; certificate stocks and register control; marriage and civil partnerships administration; performance monitoring against key indicators and good practice guidelines.
Cheshire East’s Superintendent Registrar Alan Clarke said: “I would like to thank all the staff involved as it is their commitment and enthusiasm that has made this service so successful.
The innovative online booking service for making appointments and registering deaths is being held up by the Registrar General as a model of good practice for other services across the country to adopt.
This success is largely thanks to the work of Leighton Hospital bereavement officer Liz Robinson as well as Molly Pearson and Pam Bostock at Macclesfield General Hospital. They have been particularly proactive in making this online service possible.
“Thanks must also go to Democratic Services at Cheshire East Council and Councillor Silvester, who have also been incredibly supportive of all that we are doing.”
LOCAL BUSINESSES BOOSTED BY ‘LET’S TALK SHOP’ SUCCESS – DRAGON’S DEN STYLE
Former Dragon’s Den ‘Dragon’, Rachel Elnaugh, gave local entrepreneurs a piece of her business mind earlier this month.
On Thursday, March 18 independent retailers gathered together for ‘Let’s Talk Shop’; an event organised by Cheshire East Council’s Recession Recovery Group.
The free event aimed to educate independent retailers on how identify better retail opportunities. This included:
· How to maximise the space available in a premises
· How to make customers aware of what is on offer.
The event was open to any local independent retailers. Those in attendance included pub landlords, hairdressers, café and restaurant owners and retailers in market towns and rural areas.
The evening, held at the Ramada Encore Hotel on the Crewe Business Park, featured a keynote speech by entrepreneur Rachel Elnaugh, one of the original ‘Dragons’ in the BBC television series Dragon’s Den.
Bill Smith, a retail business guru from the South Lakes Development Trust, hosted an interactive presentation giving an insight into how to make positive first impressions when a customer visits your business.
Bill and Rachel along with Cheshire East Council’s Head of Regeneration, Caroline Simpson, then hosted a question and answer session. This gave retailers an opportunity to share their experiences and ideas and get helpful information and advice.
Cheshire East Councillor, Jamie Macrae, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Prosperity said:
“This was a positive and motivating evening which I am sure was of great benefit to many local independent retailers. The current economic climate continues to make life difficult for our small business owners. I do hope that the Let’s Talk Shop event served to boost confidence by providing guidance and advice.
“My thanks go to all those who attended. Cheshire East Council’s Recession Recovery Group will continue to do all it can to help local retailers through the recession. “
Friday, 26 March 2010
Crime News and Advice
Please consider these simple pieces of advice and pass on :
* Ensuring that your vehicle is locked increases the time that it takes an opportunist thief in gaining entry to your vehicle and in doing so increases the likelihood of them being spotted and caught. Take the extra time to check your doors and windows before leaving the vehicle, it'll be worth it in the end.
* If you have a car alarm please use it. The noise alone should be sufficient in scaring a burglar away.
* Wherever possible don't leave items on show in your car. Try and maintain a tidy vehicle and remove anything from clear sight that might catch the eye of an opportunist thief who is passing by. Be mindful that not only seemingly expensive items such as sat navs, cd-players and tools are taken. People stealing from vehicles may break into a car for seemingly random or inexpensive items such as old coats, clothing, handfuls of change, sunglasses, rucksacks.
* Remember that just because you know something left on show is of no value or interest doesn't meant a thief does. A dirty sports kit in a rucksack left on the seat, your used lunch box wrapped in a carrier bag in the foot well etc will no doubt prove of little use to a thief when they find out the contents but if they don't know what is in the bag they may take the chance to break in and see and the subsequent effect on the victim in terms of emotional impact and cost of repair can be great.
Purse Dip Warning at Crewe
Shoppers in Crewe town centre are being warned to protect themselves from purse-dippers.
Police say people need to be sure they are following basic crime-prevention guidelines. If in doubt, they should stop any Police Community Support Officer who is patrolling the area and get advice.
The warning follows more than ten incidents of purse thefts in the past month. Four were reported on one day.
P.C.S.O Paula Davies said, “Purse dippers can be beaten if people take a few simple precautions. In general terms, shoppers need to keep their purses in a zipped bag and carry the bag in a position where they can see it at all times. Never carry it slung behind you or leave it in a shopping trolley!
“Purse alarms are a good deterrent to thieves, and are cheap. Alternatively you can tie a couple of small bells to your purse.
“If you carry money in a wallet. keep it in an inside pocket. You can also help yourself by not carrying large amounts of cash.
“You also need to be sensible about your cards. Despite loads of warnings, some people still carry a note of their PIN numbers in the same purse as the cards. In one of the recent incidents the thief had taken several hundred pounds from a cash point before the owner noticed the purse was missing.
“Purse dippers will often target people who look vulnerable or harassed. So try to keep alert and look in control of things. I and my colleagues spend most of our time on foot patrol, so if you need any advice about staying safe feel free to stop us and ask.
“We believe several different thieves, or teams of thieves, were responsible for these thefts over the past few weeks. Police Officers will do all they can to identify and arrest them but prevention is a much better answer to this sort of issue. Staying aware and taking a few simple precautions will keep them at bay.”
Ten Points to Beat the Purse Dipper:
v Carry your purse inside a closed bag.
v Carry the bag where you can see it.
v Never leave your bag in a supermarket trolley or shopping trolley.
v Get a purse alarm and use it.
v Carry your wallet in an inside pocket in your jacket or coat.
v Do not carry large amounts of cash
v Never carry notes of your PIN numbers.
v Walk with confidence. Avoid looking distracted or confused.
v Be careful in crowded areas. Thieves often jostle victims as a distraction.
v Take care at cash machines. Purse dippers may be lining up potential targets.
‘FREE’ HOME SECURITY MAY NOT BE SO SECURE
Cheshire East Trading Standards are warning local residents to be on their guard.
The announcement follows a series of reports to Trading Standards about home security companies cold-calling across the area.
In some cases, companies have offered to fit alarms for unusually low prices or even for free. Trading Standards are concerned this could then lead to additional costs surrounding the installation and the on-going maintenance of the system.
Cheshire East Council Trading Standards and local police have been contacted by a number of local residents seeking reassurance and advice.
Cheshire East Council Deputy Leader, Brian Silvester, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Safer and Stronger Communities said:
“In these situations, a common-sense approach is called for; if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
“Cheshire East Trading Standards encourages local residents to say ‘no’ to all cold-callers. If you are genuinely interested in purchasing an alarm system then always obtain at least three quotes and seek recommendations from friends and family.
“Should you agree to buy an alarm system at home you should be given notice of the right to cancel: this is known as a seven-day ‘cooling off’ period. If you are not given this information you cannot be held to the contract.
“I would ask householders to remain extra vigilant at this time and report any concerns to Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.”
Regeneration Plans Boost
Cheshire East is a step closer to benefiting from a £36m link road that would cut congestion and boost the economic regeneration of Crewe and its surrounding area.
Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis has announced that £21.99m has been provisionally agreed for Crewe Green Link Road South.
The 0.68 mile route would be built between the A500 Hough-Shavington Bypass and the A5020 Weston Gate roundabout.
Cheshire East Council, which has worked hard to secure funding, and other supporters of the scheme say the move is vital to opening up the regeneration potential of the Basford east investment site and the wider Crewe region.
Lord Adonis said in his announcement: “The Crewe Green Link Road South will provide a link between areas of deprivation to the north of Crewe and employment opportunities to the south east of the town.
“This will support sustainable economic growth and help ensure the town has the infrastructure needed as a key regional transport gateway.
“The Government is committed to investing in key transport links, particularly those which help boost economic growth.”
The scheme – which has received initial Government approval – will improve journey times to the town centre and support major economic growth in Basford, as well as improving access to other development sites in the south east of Crewe.
Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cheshire East Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “This announcement is excellent news for Crewe and the whole of Cheshire East.
“This funding is crucial in helping make a reality the plans to unlock development of Basford and Crewe as a whole. This scheme is something the council, Northwest Regional Development Agency and other partners have been working hard towards.”
The Crewe Green Link Road South is the final phase of the Crewe Green Link Road, connecting the A534 at Crewe Green and the A500 Basford-Hough-Shavington Bypass.
Today’s announcement grants the Crewe Green Link Road South major scheme ‘Programme Entry’ status in line with the Department for Transport’s (DfT) local major scheme guidance approval process. This means the DfT expects to fund the scheme subject to availability of funds, costs remaining the same and the relevant planning permission being obtained.
The next stages of the approval process are normally ‘Conditional Approval’, once the necessary legal powers are in place and ‘Full Approval’, once final supplier prices have been secured.
Cheshire East Council will work with developers and the NWDA to secure the remaining £14.47m funding needed to carry out the scheme.
Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA, said: “This announcement is a huge step forward in the delivery of Basford east, which will transform the economic base of Crewe.
“By providing the necessary infrastructure private investors and ultimately a significant number of jobs can be generated. The NWDA will continue to work hard with partners to towards full delivery of the link road and a flagship scheme at Basford.”
Today's decision means that Cheshire East Council can move forward with detailed planning for the scheme.
The link road will also have a segregated footway and cycleway on both sides along its length and segregated pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities at three locations.
The Crewe Green Link Road South will also help tackle the environmental impacts of traffic currently affecting local communities in Crewe and some of its surrounding areas.
Cheshire East Scoops More Than £125,000 To Boost Flood Defences
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) grants will be used to boost flooding defences for 20 homes in Vicarage Lane, Sandbach, and a farm and a terrace of four cottages in Wildboarclough.
Cheshire East Council successfully bid for grants totalling £128,500 from DEFRA, under its property level flood protection and resilience scheme.
The grants are part of £5.3m awarded to 49 local authorities to help them tackle surface water flooding – a problem when the ground, rivers and drains cannot absorb heavy rainfall.
Councillor Brian Silvester, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “These grants are great news for the communities living in Vicarage Lane and Wildboarclough.
“Protecting people from the threat of flooding is a paramount concern of Cheshire East Council. I congratulate the Cheshire East staff who successfully apllied for this grant. All public spending is being squeezed at the moment so it is even more important that we obtain the maxinum amount of external funding.”
The Vicarage Lane project has been awarded £100,000. The money will be used to enlarge the existing surface water drains to help prevent flooding during heavy rainfall, which has previously affected 20 properties.
The project will replace existing 125mm-diameter drains under the road with 425mm-diameter pipes. An extra manhole and water retention chamber will also be added to increase the system’s water capacity.
The work, which is due to start later in the year and will take several weeks to complete, will not affect the look of the lane.
Sandbach councillor Brian Moran said: “This is most welcome news and once the scheme is implemented will bring long awaited relief to a number of concerned residents.”
Gary Mallin, Cheshire East highway asset and traffic manager, said: “The current drainage system capacity is too small for the rainfall and surface run-off we get in the area.”
A grant totalling £28,500 will provide anti-flooding measures for Dingers Hollow Farm and the four properties at Edinboro Cottages, Wildboarclough. The work could include flood-resistant doors for the properties.
Surveys will be commissioned as soon as possible, with the work due to start later this year. The scheme will be completed by March 2011.
Macclesfield Forest councillor Hilda Gaddum said: “I particularly welcome the support given by this grant for the low-lying dwellings in Wildboarclough, which have suffered flooding in the past.
“It is very important to ensure that sensible and effective flood defences are in place. I greatly appreciate the support of the officers in submitting the bid.”
Martin Grime, lead emergency planning officer for Cheshire East, said: “I believe the successful grant bids will go a long way to alleviating the suffering and anxiety of residents of Edinboro Cottages and Dingers Hollow Farm as a result of flooding they have experienced over the years.”
One person died when flash floods hit Wildboarclough valley on May 24, 1989, and the farm and terrace of cottages suffered extensive flooding. The homes have experienced several flooding incidents since.
Mr Grime added: “While the 1989 flood was an extreme event, it does set the scene for the several other floods that have affected these premises since then and provided a strong background case for the successful grant bid.”
The DEFRA grants were announced by the Environment Minister Huw Irranca-Davies.
Last year, local authorities were invited to submit bids – from £20,000 up to £100,000 – to carry out immediate engineering works and to produce management plans to help them tackle known local flooding problems.
Monday, 22 March 2010
Abbey National (Santander) Warning
As the account had thousands in it and never had less than 3K in they were shocked as they were no were near being overdrawn. On contacting Abbey they said they had hundreds of people coming in with the same problem.
So check your statement carefully. Just think if they have 2 million customers they have done this too and only 50% notice they will make 25 million pounds which is frightening.
I know they want a new F1 Car but not from customers
Friday, 19 March 2010
Mayor unveils school library
The Mayor and Consort were guests of honour at the official opening of the Key Stage One library at Haslington Primary, which features brightly painted murals showing plants and garden creatures.
The Mayor also judged an art competition after pupils at the school in Crewe Road, Haslington, were asked to create pictures of their pets or creatures from their imagination.
After enjoying a school lunch with pupils, the Mayor and Consort met the 18 members of the school's Council back at the Municipal Buildings in Crewe, for a tour and refreshments.
Councillor Simon said: “The library looks lovely and is a really excellent resource for the youngsters. Thanks must go to the talented school staff involved in creating and painting the mural and in making the library a colourful place, where the pupils will love to spend some time.
“Members of the School Council enjoyed their visit to the Municipal Buildings, especially when they held their own meeting in the council chamber. It is good to be able to show children a part of their local heritage.”
The 280-pupil school held a non-uniform day during the VIP visit, which helped raise hundreds of pounds for the Mayor’s Charity – Action Duchenne, which helps sufferers of muscular dystrophy, and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Grab Up To £50,000 To Boost Your Good Cause
The People’s Millions 2010 competition is open to projects in the ITV Granada region to put in bids to receive up to £50,000 each from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG).
It is the sixth year of The People’s Millions competition, which helps communities improve facilities or get more enjoyment from their local area.
Five bumper Big Lottery Fund grants are on offer to community projects in the ITV Granada region, with a total of £250,000 to be awarded.
The People’s Millions, a partnership between BIG and ITV, gives the public the chance to vote on which local projects should receive lottery good-cause funding.
Shortlisted groups will get the chance to make a short film to showcase their cause on local ITV evening news – to persuade the public why they should get the cash. It will then be up to the public to vote to decide which groups win funding.
To date the contest has awarded more than £1.2m in the ITV Granada region, funding a wide range of community projects from sports activities for young people in the school holidays to schemes to breathe new life into outdoor spaces or restore much-loved community venues.
Councillor Brian Silvester, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council and Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “The Big Lottery Fund and ITV are calling on individuals and groups to come forward with their brilliant ideas to improve their local communities.
“The availability of funding, in general, is getting tighter and that is all the more reason why we in Cheshire East should try to grasp every chance of external funding that arises.”
This year a new streamlined online entry form means that applying to the contest will be even simpler. Entry forms are available online at www.peoplesmillions.org.uk
Entries need to be returned to the Big Lottery Fund by noon on Friday, May 14, 2010. The shortlist will be drawn up in October, with the People’s Millions competition being televised on ITV in November.
Keri Eldridge, Granada's People's Millions Presenter, said: “It’s wonderful to see how local communities from all walks of life have been enhanced with much-needed money from the programme in previous years and I’m excited that we’re set to do it all again.”
People can apply for between £20,000 and £50,000. You can enter if you are part of a community or voluntary group or if you are a school or local authority.
To find out more about whether your organisation qualifies to enter, ring 08450 101112 or visit www.peoplesmillions.org.uk
Textphone for those with a hearing impairment is 0845 602 1659.
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
There is a footpath from davenport ave., crewe to gresty that runs along gresty brook. Behind 43 charlcote crescent there is a very sharp, deep and slippery fall to the brook. There used to be fence there some years ago but that has now gone. Someone could easily slip off the footpath and then there is nothing to stop them ending up in the brook. I reported it to the Cheshire East Council after a resident raised the concern. I am very pleased that a fence has been speedily erected by the Cheshire East Council.
The reason for the sheer drop from the fence to the brook is that the brook is eroding away the earth at that bend in the brook. At my request Cheshire East Council is to contact the rivers authority to see if they can take action to prevent further erosion because if it carries on then the new fence could become unstable in years to come.
With best wishes,
Cllr Brian Silvester
School Chef’s Tasty Dessert Wins Judges’ Praise
Photo Caption: Debbie Worsley and her award-winning dessert.
The culinary talents of a Cheshire East catering supervisor have won her acclaim in the North West heat of the School Chef of the Year Awards.
Debbie Worsley’s dessert of chocolate surprise muffin with soft cheese frosting was highly commended by judges.
She competed alongside seven other school chefs from across the region to cook a low-cost, healthy two-course meal for 11-year-olds under timed conditions.
Her main course was chicken and hidden vegetable lasagne with salad and garlic, lemon and chive bread.
The contest, held at Knowsley College, was judged by a chef, a dietician, a local authority catering expert and two 11-year-old pupils from a local school. Lancashire’s Glen Moody was named overall winner.
Debbie, a catering supervisor at Warmingham Primary School, progressed to the regional heat after she was crowned Cheshire East School Chef of the Year last October.
“I was thrilled that the judges chose my dessert for the highly commended award, particularly given the high standard of all the entries,” she said.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience in the School Chef of the Year contest and I wish Glen the best of luck in the national final.”
The annual School Chef of the Year competition is organised by the Local Authorities Catering Association (LACA).
The contest is open to all kitchen-based staff employed by organisations that are full members of LACA and are involved with the daily preparation of school meals.
Judging is based on eight strict criteria that range from flavour and presentation to the ability to replicate the dishes en masse in school.
Councillor Paul Findlow,
“She is a wonderful ambassador for the School Meals Service in Cheshire East and its many staff who work extremely hard creating appetising and nutritious meals for our thousands of pupils.”
Monday, 15 March 2010
Three-Star Accolade for Cheshire East Council Website
The Society of Information Technology Managers (SOCITM) ranked www.cheshireeast.gov.uk just one star below the top score.
Only 11 of Britain’s 433 councils got four stars – and none were unitary authorities.
Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member with responsibility for performance and capacity, said: “Cheshire East is committed to making it easier for people find out about and access council services in a way that is quick, convenient and hassle-free.
“I am delighted that our website scored so well. Our web team is to be congratulated.”
Cheshire East’s website was awarded a three-star rating based on how useful, usable and well used by the public the online service was. The topics it was assessed on included jobs, library services, schools, family history, planning and waste collection.
Of the 433 councils assessed in the first Better Connected annual survey of local authority websites, 117 (27%) were awarded three or four stars.
Of the nine new unitary authorities, only Cheshire East and Shropshire achieved three stars. Four were awarded two stars and three got one star.
Some of the most popular Cheshire East Council website services used by the public revealed:
● 78% of applications for school places were done online
● 24,357 library items were renewed in January 2010
● 1,265 online forms were submitted to report problems with potholes/gritting/street lighting in January 2010.
Nikki Hughes, Cheshire East Council’s online services manager, said: “We are delighted our website has won this recognition and has been viewed so positively.
“One of the reasons we got such a good rating was for online school admissions. This year, 78% of school admission applications were made online.
“Many parents have reported that this has made the application process easier and quicker. We want to make more of our services available online.”
New services to be added to the Cheshire East Council website in coming months include live traffic information and online forms for direct debits and customers’ change of address.
A Trip Down Downing Street – Cheshire East Council
(From left to right) Judith Gibson, Cheshire Domestic Abuse Partnership strategic coordinator; Police Chief Superintendent Craig Guildford, chair of Cheshire West and Chester Domestic Abuse Partnership strategic management group; Mickey Hemming, acting manager of Crewe Women’s Aid.
Popping in to the Prime Minister’s next door neighbours proved a hit with Cheshire East Council staff.
Number 11 Downing Street beckoned after the council was short-listed for a local government award.
Cheshire Domestic Abuse Partnership was nominated for a Local Innovation Award for all the good work it has achieved in protecting and supporting families suffering domestic abuse.
Judith Gibson, Cheshire Domestic Abuse Partnership strategic co-ordinator, said even though the council didn’t win the top prize, the experience was unforgettable.
She said: “An invitation to Number 11 is quite an honour and we certainly enjoyed the moment when we climbed into a taxi at Euston and said ‘Downing Street’ please.
“However, our overwhelming emotion was one of feeling privileged at representing thousands of women, men and children for whom domestic abuse is a daily experience.
“As staff we support their determination to get a better life for their families – the really hard work in surviving abuse is all theirs.”
The council was short-listed for the ‘Achieving More through Partnership’ category, which Northumberland Council took home.
The judges of the Local Innovation Awards, hosted by the Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP, were particularly impressed by the cost-effectiveness of the Domestic Abuse Family Safety Unit’s work. For every £1 spent on its services, the public purse is saved £14. The judges also commended the range and quality of children’s support.
Councillor Paul Findlow, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, said: “When people experience domestic abuse their whole lives can be shattered. As well as protection from the abuser, they often need help with health, housing, parenting and a range of other issues.
“Getting this package right is essential for recovery and we’re very proud of our local services, which enable people to get back control of their lives.”
The Cheshire Domestic Abuse Partnership is a shared service between Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester until the end of March.
Last year police attended 5,000 incidents in Cheshire East, West and Chester and 500 adults were identified as at risk of serious harm or murder and offered a range of support. Only a quarter of serious incidents were actually reported to the police.
An anonymous domestic abuse victim, who has relied on the partnership, said: “It made such a difference to me knowing that in times of great stress, when everything got too much, there was someone at the other end of the telephone who understood your problems and who could give you practical advice and support.”
Councillor Roland Domleo, Cabinet member with responsibility for adult services, said: “Being short-listed for this award recognises the importance we place on working in partnership to support those who face domestic abuse. One single service cannot effectively provide such services and co-ordination of response and support is essential.”
If anyone has concerns about domestic abuse they can phone a 24-hour free national helpline on 0808 2000 247 or, during the day, the Family Safety Unit on 01606 351375.
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
The Burma Star Bridge
The Burma Star Bridge – the second largest landmark bridge in Crewe’s Queens Park – was hoisted into place on Wednesday (March 17)
From 11am onwards, A 300 tonne crane lifted the 22.5 tonne bridge into place.
The Burma Star Bridge – named so after the Second World War Campaign in the Burma jungles – will arch over the Burma Star Island and Memorial, which is also undergoing renovation.
It’s all part of a £6.5m restoration of the park, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Eventually, the 45-acre park will house five impressive bridges.
Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for parks, said the special occasion was close to his heart.
His uncle, James Knowles, who served as a Chindit during the Burma campaign, died in 1944 aged just 20 years-old. To this day, Andrew has kept a medal he won as a keepsake.
He added: “This will be an important part of Crewe’s history when this bridge finally settles into place.
“This incredible Victorian park is slowly being brought back to its former glory thanks to Cheshire East Council and its funding partners, as well as all the help and support from members of the public who have been extremely patient during renovations.”
The Burma Star Bridge is a tribute to the Burma Star Association who refer to themselves as the “Forgotten Regiment”.
The Burma Star Association was officially founded on the 26 February 1951, with 2000 founder members who exist to promote the comradeship experienced during the bitter fighting in the jungles of Burma, as well as help members and their families in times of ill-health and poverty.
The Association has representatives from the Royal Navy, Army Royal Air Force and Royal British Legion on the National Council.
Full report on the Queens park website
Make A Big Difference To The Life Of A Disabled Child
Short break carer Claire Jupp is urging people in Cheshire East to join her to ‘Be The Big Difference’ in the life of a disabled child and their family.
With support from Cheshire East Council, Claire, a 36-year-old single mother, provides regular short breaks for four children with autism and other health needs.
As Share The Care Week gets underway she is backing a national campaign by the charity Shared Care Network to raise awareness of the service.
The campaign encourages people to ‘Be The Big Difference’ by volunteering as a short break carer.
Short breaks is the service most commonly requested by the families of disabled children.
It offers families the opportunity to take a regular break from the demands of caring while playing a vital role in the child’s personal and social development.
Claire, who lives in Congleton with her 15-year-old daughter Bethany, began providing short breaks for a boy with autism last summer.
She enjoyed the experience so much that she is now taking on the role full-time and will soon be caring regularly for six children with differing health needs.
“Without question, becoming a short break carer is the best thing I have ever done. It is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling,” said Claire.
“It gives the best of both worlds - the children and I get to have fun together while their families enjoy a well-deserved break.
“I care for each child at different times to suit their families, for example for a few consecutive nights or on a regular day each week.”
“Each day is different and I love the variety the role brings.”
Claire was introduced to short break caring by Cheshire East Council after making enquiries into becoming a foster carer.
“I had never heard of short break caring and once I found out what it involved it really appealed to me,” she said.
“I would strongly encourage anyone who thinks they may be able to spare the time to provide short breaks to find out more.
“Even just a few hours a month could make an enormous difference to the life of a disabled child and their family.”
Research by the Shared Care Network suggests that while 10,000 disabled children nationally are currently receiving short breaks, another 10,000 could benefit if enough carers could be recruited.
In Cheshire East it is estimated that another 12 part-time short break carers and three full time specialist short break foster carers are needed to support the eight children currently waiting for a short break.
Councillor Paul Findlow, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and families, said: “Short break carers come from all walks of life and may or may not have children of their own.
“They may choose to look after a disabled child for a few hours or a few days at a time, depending on how much time they have to offer.
“Prospective carers attend a training course to prepare them for looking after a disabled child and we provide ongoing training, support and an allowance.
“I would urge more people to take on this rewarding opportunity to make a big difference to the lives of disabled children and their families.”
A recent national survey identified that only three in 10 people know about the opportunity to become a short break carer.
Despite this low awareness, a relatively high percentage - one in five - said they would consider providing a short break when told how the service works.
Anyone who would like to find out more can call Cheshire East Council’s fostering hotline on 0300 123 3223. Further information about short break caring can be found at www.thebigdifference.org.uk
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
STATEMENT FROM CHESHIRE EAST COUNCIL
Pioneering Social Network for People Affected by Dementia
A pioneering social network supporting people affected by dementia is to be launched in Cheshire East as a national pilot project.
A partnership led by Cheshire East Council was selected from 32 nationwide to receive a £136,000 Government grant to pilot the web-based resource, which will operate in a similar way to Facebook, Twitter and Bebo.
Users will be able to come together online to discuss the ways in which dementia affects their lives, share experiences and compare the resources, support and services available.
The authority is working with Alzheimer’s Society, Age Concern Cheshire, Central & Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust and Opportunity Links to develop the resource, which will go live in the autumn.
It is aimed at people whose lives are affected by dementia in a variety of ways embracing those with a diagnosis, their family, friends and carers, as well as health professionals.
With almost 5,000 people across Cheshire East diagnosed with dementia – a figure that is predicted to rise significantly - the partners identified a pressing need for a comprehensive information and support service.
“I am delighted that we can harness technology often associated with the young to provide a much needed support resource.
“This is especially significant given that older people have been proven to spend more time online than any other social group.”
Jill Walter, Chief Executive of Age Concern Cheshire, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to develop a new way of helping all those affected by dementia.
“It will also provide our local service providers with new ways of gaining crucial customer insight and feedback so as to make our services more effective and even better value for money.
“Social media has so much potential to make a positive impact on peoples’ lives.”
Roger March, Service Manager for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are delighted to be working with the partnership on this innovative project which will make a huge difference to the lives of people living with dementia and their carers in across Cheshire East.
“Alzheimer’s Society welcomes the use of new technology in supporting people with dementia.
“This project should help avoid isolation and encourage the exchange of ideas amongst those affected by dementia, which could have a positive impact on their ability to live well with dementia.”
Mike O’Regan, Associate Director of Joint Commissioning for Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust, said: “We are pleased to have been involved in this project from the start and are fully in support of it.
“It will provide intergenerational support to those living with dementia and their carers who will benefit greatly from effective peer support and shared expertise.”
LOVE FOOD HATE WASTE ROADSHOW HITS CREWE!
Monday, 8 March 2010
Damage Results in R.J Four young men carried out a litter pick during a busy evening in the centre of Nantwich as part of a Restorative Justice solution to a disorder incident. They also wrote apologies to the owners of cars and a fence which they damaged after a night’s drinking and each of them paid £60 compensation. Sergeant David Jones said, “The men genuinely regretted what they had done and the litter pick seemed a good way to publicly acknowledge the fact. The victims agreed. In the right cases RJ can be a very effective conclusion.”
Safe Future for Free Runners A Police Community Support Officer in Nantwich initiated steps to prevent “Free- Running” becoming a problem in the town. PCSO Stuart Mortimer said, “We had a few complaints about damage being caused by young people as they leap on to and over fences, benches and buildings while they are free-running in the town centre. They need to be able to carry out the sport where it will not trouble anyone”. Stuart linked up with local councillors, the young people involved and their parents. As the Nantwich Free Runners, they have launched a bid for money to build a free-running course in Barony Park.