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Thursday 30 September 2010

Food Glorious Food


The new-look Nantwich Food and Drink Festival has been hailed a success as an estimated 30,000 people visited the town over the weekend (September 24 – 26).

It was the event’s 10th anniversary but there were two major differences this year. The festival was moved from Mill Island to the town centre and secondly, visitors could enjoy the attractions for free.

Cheshire East Council, the event’s main sponsor, ran the Love Food Hate Waste road show, which was located in a marquee behind the White Swan pub.

There was standing room only at the cookery demonstrations, given by both celebrity and local chefs, showing people how to save money on food bills by using up leftovers to create tasty meals.

Cheshire East Council, working with Visit Chester and Cheshire, has commissioned a thorough survey of the event. This will give an indication of attendance figures, economic impact and the viability of the event in the years to come.

Another of the major attractions was the Civic Hall where on the Saturday 6,000 people passed through the doors to walk around more than 40 stalls offering cheeses, honey, jams and pickles along with international delicacies.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing said: “I know that the organising committee and the Council have put in a lot of hard work to make this event happen so it is great to see that the festival was such a success.

“The local community indicated to us that they wanted to run the event and we were only too happy to give them the opportunity and support them both financially and organisationally.”

“Hopefully this close partnership working will mean that Nantwich is left with a food festival that can run for years to come.”

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “One of the Council’s main aims for the festival was for Nantwich and the surrounding areas to receive a real economic boost at a time of year when tourism business can suffer.

“The fact that thousands of people visited Nantwich town centre meant that a whole range of local businesses benefited, not just those associated with food and drink.

“Hopefully this event can grow and persuade people to visit Nantwich and Cheshire East.”

Breastfeeding Boost

Breast feeding poster

Mums in Cheshire East are being reminded that they are free to breastfeed in all council-run buildings.

A new poster campaign has been launched to tie in with the introduction of the Equality Act on October 1. The legislation contains a section stating “a woman can’t be treated unfairly for breastfeeding her child”.

The posters will be displayed at children’s centres, libraries and leisure centres. Any mums needing to breastfeed should ask at reception.

Staff have been trained to deal with such requests professionally and discreetly and mothers are being reassured that if anyone complains it will be them that has to move, not the mother.

Breastfeeding is regarded as playing an essential role in improving public health and reducing health inequalities.

There are benefits to both mother and baby. Breastfeeding protects the baby from ear infections, asthma, eczema, chest infections, obesity, gastrointestinal infections, childhood diabetes and urine infections.

The mother gains protection from breast cancer, from weak bones in later in life and from ovarian cancer. Also women who breastfeed get their figures back faster.

Levels of breastfeeding in Cheshire East are low but it is hoped this campaign can boost numbers.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “The benefits of breastfeeding are well documented and I am sure this campaign will help mothers in Cheshire East.

“Mums can use public buildings free of charge without feeling obliged to buy drinks or food as they would in a café. Libraries in particular are extremely suitable for this scheme as most of them are in the centre of a town.”

Councillor Sandy Bentley, ward member for Macclesfield West and who has played a key role in the project, said: “We need to make breastfeeding less of a taboo, it is after all, the most natural thing in the world.

“I have spoken to several new mums whilst working on this project and they all stated that being able to feed their child in a safe, warm environment would be a real help.”

If anyone is struggling to find breastfeeding facilities in their area they are asked to contact Cllr Sandy Bentley on 01270 842 393 or 07904 868 264.

Image – The new poster which will be displayed in council buildings.

Friday 24 September 2010

Is this the Chip shop with the dangerous sign?

We reported a dangerous sign after the council said they were taking action on these signs that clutter our pavements. After a week the council got the sign removed after a child was injured. But it now seems this chip shop in Minshull New rd has put it back up again and doesn't seem to care if children are hurt as long as they can promote their shop. We have had a lot of comments about this as the sign block the pavement were mother take their children to the park forcing prams onto the road.
You can contact the council about this matter and other clutter here he as been advised of the recurring problem and its hoped he will be down there in the morning taking action against these people who put lives at risk

Citizenship Ceremonies

Citizenship Ceremony _MG_7844

People from Brazil, Gambia and the Philippines all passed through Crewe Hall this month on their way to becoming British citizens.

The monthly ceremonies are the final stage for people wishing to become a British national. Prior to the ceremony they will have correctly answered a series of broad-ranging questions based on their knowledge of life in the UK.

The ceremony is led by the Superintendent Registrar for Cheshire East. There are speeches made by the Mayor of Cheshire East, a member of the Cheshire Lieutenancy - who represents HM The Queen - and other members of the Council, all welcoming the new citizens to Cheshire East and into membership of the British Nation.

The applicant swears an oath of allegiance to the Queen and pledges to be a loyal subject of the UK. They are then presented with their certificate of British Nationality and given a historic map of Cheshire.

Photographs of the new citizens together with the dignitaries are taken. This is followed by the new citizen signing the Citizenship Register. The ceremony is concluded with the playing of the national anthem.

Since April 2009, Cheshire East has seen 393 adults and 99 children become British citizens.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “The ceremonies help welcome people from all over the world to the Cheshire East community.

“It is important that people new to the country and Cheshire East feel a sense of belonging to their local community and these events help achieve this.”

Councillor Lesley Smetham, Cabinet support member for sustainable communities, said: “The new members of our communities may have made difficult decisions and left all that is familiar to them to learn a new language and new way of life. It is a privilege to be able to help those who may have suffered hardship.”

Thursday 23 September 2010

“Spare” a Thought for Security

Drivers of Ford Transit vans have been warned the vehicles’ spare wheels are being targeted by thieves.
In a two day period, the “spare” was stolen from three vehicles in East Cheshire.
Detective Sergeant Dan Ackerley, in charge of the Cheshire Police Eastern Area vehicle crime unit said, “One of the thefts was in Crewe, the other two were in Middlewich. They all happened while the vehicles were parked overnight.
“The facts that the thefts all involved the same model of van and that in each case the spare wheel was taken may be a coincidence, but it is possible that a criminal has found a market for these particular wheels and is stealing to order.
“We just want to warn Transit owners and drivers that this is happening. The best preventive measure is to park in a well lit area whenever possible. If it is covered by a security camera, that is even better.
Anyone who has any information about the thefts can contact me by calling the Cheshire Police Information Line 0845 458 0000, or you can leave information anonymously on the Crimestoppers line 0800 555 111.”

Homelessness Strategy


Cheshire East Council is setting out a three-year plan to tackle homelessness in the borough.

The Homelessness Strategy aims to reduce the number of people who find themselves without a home by tackling the causes such as unemployment and family break up. Improving services for homeless people also forms a central part of the plan.

Levels of homelessness in Cheshire East are below the national average but the Council has a responsibility to tackle the problem wherever possible.

The strategy has been drawn up after a review and consultation with statutory and voluntary sector organisations as well as individuals experiencing homelessness and the wider public.

The main aims of the strategy are:

  • Prevention – Tackling unemployment, family breakdown, ending rough sleeping, reducing repossessions, better drug and alcohol treatment.
  • Processes – Strong partnerships, especially with the probation service and mental health services to improve advice and assistance offered to people who are homeless.
  • Temporary Accommodation – Reduce the time that individuals and families spend in short-term accommodation such as bed and breakfasts.
  • Permanent Accommodation – Increase the amount of affordable housing and make better use of empty properties.
  • Tenancy Support – Increase the help on offer to tenants, this could include advice on money management, benefits and employment.

A Homelessness Strategy Steering Group will monitor and review the process on a quarterly basis.

The Homelessness Act 2002 requires local authorities to publish a review of homelessness in the area and a strategy for the future.

From April 2009 to April 2010 the Council accepted 55 applications as eligible for assistance under the Homelessness Act.

It is estimated that measures to prevent homelessness can be up to 37 times cheaper than receiving a homelessness application.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “Homelessness is not a major problem in Cheshire East, but one that could increase as we see the post-recession effects and recovery.

“A detailed review has indicated several areas where we need to focus our efforts and through close working with our partners, we are aiming to make significant progress in tackling homelessness by 2013.”

“People who find themselves without a home are often the most vulnerable in society and those that need our help the most.”

Welcome to the De Vere Academy of Hospitality

Academy of Hospitality

Cheshire East Council has joined forces with the De Vere Academy of Hospitality to offer local 16-24 year olds not in education, employment or training the chance to work in the hotel and catering industry.

Yesterday afternoon saw the official launch of a Hospitality Academy at the DeVere Hotel, Wychwood Park, near Crewe.

With support from Cheshire East Council’s Economic Recovery Task Group and the National Apprenticeships Service, 73 apprentices are now working towards careers as chefs, hotel managers etc. The apprentices were chosen, by De Vere Academy, on their potential and enthusiasm rather than educational qualifications or experience.

The Academy opened its doors to the first group of apprentices earlier this month. The second intake will begin their training on November 15 and the third on January 24, 2011.

The apprentices are paid the national rate of around £100 per week and all are provided with a uniform and their meals during the course. The target group of beneficiaries are those young people not in education, employment or training.

Cheshire East Council Mayor, Gordon Baxendale, attended the launch along with local MP, Edward Timpson.

Cheshire East Councillor, Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who has a passion for the hotel or catering industry. This course is about gaining a vocational qualification and learning essential life skills.

“I hope all the apprentices go on to enjoy successful and fulfilling careers in these industries. This is about recruiting local, talented people and helping them reach their potential. Adding to the skilled workforce here in Cheshire East can only benefit the local economy in the long-term.”

Photo – Apprentices Jess Joinson, 19, from Nantwich and James Buchannan, 18, from Crewe pictured with Mayor of Cheshire East, Councillor Gordon Baxendale at the launch of the new Academy of Hospitality.

Thursday 16 September 2010

Child Hurt while the Council do nothing

The Council issued a press release about street clutter and how they are clamping down on it which was published on the blog here  They were contacted 7 days ago about dangerous sign blocking the foot path and about a sign in West St advertising a Fish and chip shop opposite Minshull New Rd  As seen below


As you can see its a heavy sign chained to the lamp post and they have even climbed the lamppost and put an advert higher up. This footpath is mostly used by mothers taking children to the Queens Park and its impossible to get a large buggy past the sign forcing children and mother onto the busy West St. The Cheshire East Council have done nothing in over a week. Today tragedy struck when a mother with a young child got near to the sign the very strong win gusted and hit the child's leg hurting him and knocking him into the road luckily no car were coming.

I explained to the mother that it had been reported and that she may have a claim against Cheshire East under their Duty of Care. We hope the childs injuries are not to serious and we hope the council will pull its finger out so we dont have to report a death from this obstruction. West St is a death trap with these signs with them out side the Late shop the butty bar across from the late shop the paper shop near Ford Lane not to mention the tyre place in Derby street who stick one on West St as well.

Lets give the pavement back to pedestrians  and stop these signs

Friday 10 September 2010

Wind Turbine

The decision to refuse planning permission for a huge wind turbine in Shavington was a victory for people power. Once residents heard of the application they snapped into action. They contacted us and we made sure that the decision was made by the planning committee. This proved to be crucial because if the planning officers had made the decision it would have been approved by now because they recommended it for approval. Residents attended the Parish Council meeting and the Parish councillors resolved to fully support them. A number of residents meetings were called and a full scale campaign to stop the wind turbine  was established. Posters were produced, press releases issued by us and a petition was made available. When the Planning Committee made a visit to the application site the residents were out in numbers to peacefully show their opposition. Residents also turned out in force at the planning committee meeting  to show the Councillors, who were deciding the application, the depth of their feelings against the wind turbine. When the application was overwhelmingly rejected we, the residents and the Parish Council were delighted.

The campaign against the wind turbine in Shavington was a model campaign and a great success. We wish to congratulate all those who were involved and thank the members of the Planning Committee for taking the local views into account and rejecting the advice of the planning officers. This successful campaign was local democracy in action and a reassurance that residents' views are listened to.

Action on pot holes in Shavington welcomed.


Rope Ward Councillors Margaret Simon, Ray Westwood and Brian Silvester have welcomed the move by the  Cheshire East Council to fill some more of the pot holes in their Ward. Cllr Silvester said," Residents on the Greenfields Estate in Shavington have complained to us about the pot holes and we are pleased that action is being taken. The winter last year was the coldest for 30 years and that has caused a lot of damage to our roads. I am delighted that the Cheshire east Council has been able to devote extra resources to  do these repairs. If any of our constituents have pot holes that need repairing in their area they should get in touch with us."

Cllr Margaret Simons said;

"This is good news, it will make such a difference to some of the estate roads.   During last winter their condition deteriorated badly, hopefully residents will be pleased with the outcome."

Note. The details of which roads are going to be closed and when, to enable the repairs to go ahead, are below. Pot holes are also being repaired in Crewe Road, Gresty.

Car thefts

In the last month there have been a number of key and car theft incidents within the Eastern area of Cheshire Police, with the exception of Nantwich at present.
Due to advances in vehicle technology in the last decade it is extremely difficult for an offender to steal a car without having the key available.  As such, over recent years it has been more common/necessary for individuals involved in car theft to have to obtain the car keys for a vehicle prior to taking it. 
In general there are two common ways that would be offenders can obtain car keys from a property with minimal effort on their part. 
The first way is by gaining entry via insecure doors and windows, locating the car keys and taking the householders vehicle.  Over the last year (and in particular during the summer months) I have sent several emails highlighting the importance of ensuring that doors and windows are kept secure to prevent sneak in burglaries.  It is useful to highlight that insecure doors and windows can also provide easy access to your car keys, with an offender being able to enter a property and take them in a matter of minutes.
The second way is via a method known as 'hook and cane'.  This is a method whereby offenders place a rod through the letter box (either magnetic or with a lifting device on the end such as a hook) to hook car keys in order to steal a vehicle.
In general most of us are creatures of habit and tend to off load the items we have about ourselves shortly after entering the house.  Most of us will place our handbags, wallets, phones and car keys in the same convenient place and such places are often located near to the door such as on a cabinet, on a table or handbags (with car keys in) are often hung on a coat hook in the porch or placed over the stair bannister.  Unfortunately, this also proves to be 'convenient' for would be offenders.  In instances such as this, sneak in burglars can locate a handbag (including car keys) and car keys quite quickly with minimal effort and making minimal noise.  In terms of 'hook and cane' incidents, keys that are left on cabinets and tables next to the door (where they are in reach of the letter box) provide an easy target for offenders.
This type of crime is often quite organised and involves out of town groups targeting an area/county.  Cheshire is in general quite an affluent county, with good access links (including several motorways) and is neighboured by two large cities (Manchester & Liverpool) and these factors can appeal to car thieves.
In order to minimise the chances of becoming a victim of this type of crime please follow a few simple crime prevention methods wherever possible:
1.) Never leave car keys openly on display and refrain from leaving them on tables and cabinet that are located near to your letter box
2.) Try to consider where you leave your car keys and other valuable if it is a fairly generic location consider getting into the habit of leaving them in a different, more secure/out of sight place.  This way you will still have a standard place for your keys/valuables but they will not be so accessible.
3.) Consider installing a letter box visor guard.  These guards are a simple way to stop anyone being able to use the 'hook and cane' method at your property.  They are also useful as they stop would be thieves from reaching their hand through the letter box and unlocking your door from the inside and also restricts the view of anyone looking through the letter box so they are unable to evaluate your property from this point.
4.) Sensor activated security lighting is a good idea as it prevents a thief from being able to operate in darkness and increases the chances of their behaviour being observed by residents, neighbours or passers by.
5.)If you have a garage consider using it.

It’s time to trim


Cheshire East Council is asking local residents to keep their boundary hedges and trees trimmed.

The Authority is asking people with properties that border highways or pavements to check their foliage isn’t overflowing on to the road or footway.

Overgrown hedges and trees can cause a danger to walkers, the visually impaired and people with pushchairs. They can also impair the vision of drivers.

Ideally, hedges and trees should be cut back to a property boundary, with a head clearance of 2.5 metres on a footway and clear of street lights.

In extreme circumstances, where foliage is considered to be causing an immediate danger, Cheshire East Council can cut back the hedge or tree and recharge the property owner.

Cheshire East Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said:

“It is vital we all take responsibility for maintaining our hedges and trees. Once overgrown, they pose serious dangers to many road and footway users. This request is simple asking local residents to be mindful of those around them.”

Cheshire East Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said:

“I wholeheartedly support this request. It is excellent example of how residents can help make their community a safer place.”

Gary Mallin, Cheshire East Council's Highway Asset Manager, added:

"The cutting back of overgrown hedges is a very important part of maintaining safety for all road users and we would like to thank residents who make sure their hedges are properly trimmed. We are committed to ensuring our roads and footways are as safe as possible."

For more information on the Cheshire East Council Highways Service, please phone 0845 002 0666.

Polish Camp Remembered


People still have a chance to visit a popular exhibition at Nantwich Museum that recalls the time of the Polish camp at Doddington just after the Second World War.

It initially housed Polish soldiers returning from the battlefields of Europe who were later joined by their families.

‘Home’ for the residents was basic, consisting of barracks or huts made of wood or corrugated steel. The camp had a population of more than 1000 with four families to each hut. All services were communal, with each family growing their own food in a small garden.

During the last weekend of the exhibition, Saturday September 25 – 26, 10.30am to 4pm, a special event is being held to tie in with the Nantwich Food and Drink Festival. People will be able to sample traditional Polish food, including dishes such as bigos, a stew considered by some to be the national dish, and poppy seed cake.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing said: “This exhibition is really interesting and it shines a light on a period of our local history that a lot of people may not be aware of. I would encourage anyone interested to go along to Nantwich Museum.”

Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member with responsibility for policy and performance said: “Cheshire East and Crewe in particular has a large Polish community and this can be traced back to the camps at Doddington and Delamere.

“Our Changing Communities Team do a lot of work trying to integrate migrants and I hope that this exhibition will give people an insight into a different culture.”

The exhibition ends on Sunday September 26.

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Cheshire East Leads the Blitz on Street Clutter


Cheshire East Council is stepping up its war on street clutter.

A crackdown by the Authority’s highways teams has already seen hundreds of obsolete and unnecessary signs removed from the roadside.

The sweep has targeted illegal advertising, duplicated signs and directions to completed housing developments which can make streets look unsightly and, in some instances, compromise road safety.

The Council is now implementing a range of measures aimed at clamping down on all unnecessary street furniture, including signs, posts, bins and railings.

These include:

  • Urging developers, utility companies and highways maintenance teams to remove all redundant street clutter without delay once a scheme is completed
  • A full audit of applications for temporary or permanent signage to reduce commercial advertising and avoid duplication
  • Encouraging utility companies and highways maintenance teams to close openings in the road as quickly as possible
  • Asking business owners to remove A-boards/banners on the highway or removing them on their behalf
  • A review of need, number and location each time a mandatory directional or information sign requires replacing
  • Contacting estate agents to request they do not place boards within adopted highways

Cheshire East’s initiative, which has been underway for a year, has pre-empted a call from the government for a national ‘de-clutter’ to make streets tidier and safer.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced that he is writing to all local authorities to urge them to get rid of unnecessary signs, railings and advertising hoardings.

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “As a highways authority, we have a statutory responsibility to maintain a level of signage, bollards and other street furniture for public safety reasons.

“But over time ‘clutter’ can build up which impacts on the character of our towns and villages.

“A proliferation of signs, posts and A-boards can also pose a hazard to visually impaired pedestrians and affect motorists’ concentration.

“Over the past year we have worked hard to develop new ways of regulating signage and de-cluttering our streets, and the results are already clear to see.

“We are proud to be ahead of the Government’s campaign and we look forward to seeing other councils following our lead.”

Good Egg In-car Child Seat Safety Campaign

Good Egg Launch Crewe 6 Sept 2010

A nation-wide campaign to boost the safety of children in cars was launched in Cheshire East today.

Road safety experts from Cheshire East Council and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were at Asda in Crewe this morning talking to parents and carers about how to fit a child seat properly.

The event was part of The Good Egg Guide initiative being run by Road Safety GB, the organisation that represents over 200 Local Authorities. It aims to highlight the crucial need to fit child seats correctly and safely. Research shows that more than eight out of 10 child safety seats are fitted incorrectly.

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “Fitting a child safety seat is something which many parents may take for granted, however, the consequences of getting it wrong are potentially deadly.

“Hopefully this campaign and the events being run locally will show adults how to fit the seats correctly and result in fewer injured children.”

For more information on the campaign go to

Friday 3 September 2010

Crewe & Nantwich News – August 2010

Child Cruelty Pair Jailed  A man and a woman from Crewe were both sent to prison after a police investigation into a  catalogue of injuries inflicted on a one year old girl. Doctors found she had fractures to her right arm, left thigh, left leg, left upper arm and forearm; evidence of scalds to her foot; bruising to her face and head and bruising and haemorrhage around both eyes. The man, aged 26, was jailed for six years after being found guilty of assault and child neglect. The woman, who is 24, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and child neglect. She was sent to prison for three years. Detective Sergeant Julie Jackson said, “It is hard to understand how anyone could inflict such pain on a helpless, dependent child.” She said the convictions and sentences “Send a clear message to any bully who thinks they have the right to hurt those more vulnerable than themselves.”
Prisoner on the Roof A man who spent nine hours on a roof at Leighton Hospital in Crewe was later charged with several offences. The man, who was arrested on the M6 near Sandbach two days earlier, was taken to the hospital for treatment. He made his way on to the roof and began throwing tiles at cars. Police Officers cordoned off the area and called in a trained negotiator who spoke to the man until he came down at three o’clock in the morning. The man, aged 19, was charged with escaping from custody, assaulting a nurse, three offences of causing damage to vehicles and one of causing damage to the roof.
Wounding Charge A man from Nantwich was arrested and charged with wounding after another man was found with a serious head injury on grassland near the River Weaver. The accused man, who is 36 years old, appeared before South Cheshire Magistrates and was remanded in custody.
Contest Reels Them In The fifth East Cheshire Emergency Services Fishing Competition proved bigger and better then ever. Chief Superintendent Mick Garrihy, Commander of Cheshire Police Eastern Area said, “This event provides a point of focus for a lot of young people during the holidays. It is a real investment in the future. The youngsters meet people from the Police and the other emergency services on a one-to-one basis and see them as friends. This can shape their views in the years to come. They also take that home to their parents and other members of the family, who get a broader idea of how we fit into the local community. For the emergency services and Cheshire East Council it provides a great opportunity to work as partners to stage an event which really matters.” One young contestant described the finals of the event as “The best day of my life”.

Thursday 2 September 2010

New playground opens at Queen’s Park


A new playground has been unveiled at Queen’s Park – with youngsters queueing up in excitement to have a go on the new equipment.

A total of £165,400 has been invested in the Crewe project by Cheshire East Council and partners including the Heritage Lottery Fund, WREN and private fundraisers.

Nineteen new pieces of equipment were selected after consultation and market research driven by Sir William Stanier School in Coppenhall. Pupils wanted the equipment to be as inclusive as possible, exciting and stretch all abilities and youngsters confidence.

Boulders and tree logs have been incorporated into the design to integrate as many different ways to play as possible.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “This partnership has enabled us to provide an exciting facility for the users of Queen’s Park with new equipment to suit all ages and abilities.

“When the fencing came down there was a great deal of excitement among the young people visiting the park to play for the first time on the new equipment.”

And that’s not all, in the autumn there will be a further addition to the play area. A six metre tall ‘Buccaneer Tower’ – a metal climbing structure with multi-level platforms, ladders and ropes – will be the signature piece for the park. Then, to complete the project, the existing ornate shelter will be refurbished and repositioned to provide cover and a meeting point for families.

For more information about Queen’s Park, or details of the next stakeholders’ meeting scheduled for Septemeber 8, please contact the Queen’s Park manager on 01270 537896.

MMU Cheshire Scholars Receive Former Mayor's Bursary Award



Four local people have successfully won through to be awarded bursaries at MMU Cheshire worth between £5000 and £7200 toward their university tuition fees.

The bursaries were provided jointly by the former Crewe and Nantwich Mayor, Cllr Brian Silvester's Lifelong Learning fund together with partners Wulvern Housing and MMU.  The award winners are Katrina Morrell; Gareth Griffith; Christine Miller and Simon Swift who will each start their degree programmes in September.  The judging panel of Cllr Brian Silvester, Rob Allen (Wulvern Director) and Dennis Dunn MBE (Dean MMU) issued a joint statement.  “We were tremendously encouraged by a large number of applications for the bursaries and the four successful candidates were outstanding and very worthy of the award, which covers half of their tuition fees.  We are confident that the bursary will make a substantial difference to their time at MMU and that their success will inspire others"

Councillor Silvester went on to say “The theme of my Crewe and Nantwich Mayoral Year during 2008-9 was Lifelong Learning, a cause close to my heart. Education can change lives for the better and I chose to launch the Scholarship Fund because I wanted as many as possible to have that opportunity. This financial assistance offers people of all ages the opportunity to realise their ambitions and fulfill their learning potential – it really is the chance of a lifetime. The Bursary allows local people who have left full time education and started their working life to return to full time education and make their dreams come true. I am very pleased the three of the successful candidates are in this category.

I would like to thank all those who worked so hard to raise funds for this very worthwhile cause. With the match funding from partners over £60,000 was raised and that is a remarkable achievement. ”

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Street light covers continue to be stolen


Scores of small metal doors, used to gain access to street lights have been stolen in Crewe, Nantwich and Shavington.

The stainless steel doors cover the base of a street light, allowing an electrician to repair a light and providing protection for the public from the potentially lethal 240 volt electric cables contained within.

Last night, 30 doors were stolen from lights on Ashcroft Avenue and Lordsmill Road, in Shavington. A total of 195 have been stolen in the Crewe and Nantwich area since May.

Cheshire East Council has now taken urgent action, providing temporary doors until replacements are delivered at a cost to the taxpayer of more than £11,500.

Cheshire East Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental Services, said:

“This is a pointless crime; the doors have very little scrap value. Not only is removing the doors creating a massive danger to the public but the cost of replacing them is significant.

“I would urge anyone who spots a missing street light door to report it to Cheshire East Council. If you see anyone tampering with the doors please report it to the police.”

The number to contact Cheshire East Council is: 0845 002 0666

Grant for Junior Football Coaching in Shavington Welcomed.


Councillors Margaret Simon, Ray Westwood and Brian Silvester have welcomed a £500 grant from the Cheshire East Council for the

Alexandra Soccer Centre Lions Jnr F.C. The Soccer Centre is in their Ward in Shavington on the Crewe Road.

Cllr Silvester said,

"The project is for junior football coaching and pitch hire to enable the coaching sessions to go

ahead for juniors to develop their skills.  The total project cost is £648.

I am pleased that the  Cheshire East Council have been able to support  young footballers in this way.

It is important that young people have opportunities to use their energy in a productive way and be able to develop their sporting skills.

Hopefully some of our young  footballers will become the Crewe Alex stars of the future!"

Councillor Margaret Simon says;

"I'm really pleased that the Alexandra Soccer Centre Lions Jnr FC have been successful with their bid for Cheshire East funding.  It's great that we can give them financial help and support.  I encourage other local Community Groups and Clubs to apply to Cheshire East for grants towards things they need to keep them going."

Brian Silvester

Let’s Party! Council backs axing of street party red tape


Cheshire East Council has wholeheartedly backed a government decision to axe red tape that gets in the way of communities organising street parties and other celebrations.

It follows news that Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles has succeeded in his quest to ban the reams of forms, high costs and bureaucracy surrounding community-organised events.

From now on, instead of organisers being met with endless, confusing guidelines on food licences, road closures and insurance, councils can ask street party organisers to complete one simple form.

Previously, some small community groups were asked to apply for up to five separate licences and found it tricky to get upfront advice on what to do. They also found out about hidden costs right at the last minute, causing delays or cancellations to community events.

Cheshire East Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, praised the move saying: “This is great news for all communities across Cheshire East.

“Street parties, fetes and fairs should be about fun and everyone's energy should go into making them fun – not trawling through endless reams of guidance and complicated rules.

“These kinds of events are potentially powerful in developing a vital community ethos among people of all ages and backgrounds.

“There is still time for people to get together and celebrate with their neighbours this summer. The Council may be able to help you close a road for a proper street party. If not, you can hold still something in a garden or even a park.

“It's your community, so celebrate it.”

For most small organised street parties that don't affect the wider road network, there is no requirement in law for local authorities to advertise proposed closures or carry out consultations. Neither are specific signs or other traffic management equipment required. 

Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member with responsibility for performance and capacity, welcomed the government decision and said: “This is a victory for common sense. Traditional street parties are a terrific way for neighbours to have fun and get to know each other better.

“Local authorities should act proportionately, wisely, and in the public interest – and highways laws do not present any barriers to that.”

Some easy, good practice guidance has been agreed in a new leaflet which will be published by the government in September and be made available online and from town halls.

Mr Pickles will make it clear in the new leaflet that there are no dusty, central laws restricting councils from taking a common sense approach to administrating events. He will explode the myth that councils are required by law to advertise and charge massive fees for small road closures ­– potentially saving organisers thousands of pounds.

Chris Gittins, director of street party campaign group Streets Alive, said: “At last the red tape is being cut on road closures and the bunting can go up on building community spirit through street parties. After years of campaigning on this the government is listening to us.

“Though there is more to do, it is a great step for common sense and a chance to open up the country to the simple pleasure of meeting your neighbours in your traffic-free street.”

Book Your Wedding at the Click of a Mouse


Booking your dream wedding in Cheshire East just got even easier.

Prospective brides and grooms can now set a date as soon as they find their ideal venue, thanks to Cheshire East Council.

In a move believed to be a first for a UK local authority, the Registration Service is providing all premises licensed for civil marriage and civil partnership with internet access to its ceremony diaries.

It means that couples can see at a glance which dates registrars are available, enabling them to make a reservation at the same time as booking their venue.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “The majority of ‘show rounds’ to couples at approved premises – particularly hotels and stately homes – take place during evenings or at weekends.

“Understandably, couples who have often travelled many miles to find their ideal venue can find it frustrating to discover they are unable to fully confirm their reservation until the next working day.

“Linking venues with our Registration Service software is a small change but one which is sure to make the wedding booking process considerably faster and more straightforward.”

Andrew Foster, assistant conference and events manager at Crewe Hall, said: “For the venue to reserve the services of the Registration Service would give peace of mind to the couple to know that all aspects of their special day are reserved for them.

“This would alleviate any problems regarding unavailable dates and reduces the problem of any unexpected date changes.”

Training is now under way to ensure that staff at licensed venues are familiar with the software by autumn, traditionally the peak season for ceremony bookings.

Each year registrars conduct approximately 1,500 ceremonies in 69 approved venues within Cheshire East, ranging from exclusive boutique hotels and restaurants to castles and stately homes.

Motorcycle Rider Assessment Day


South Cheshire Advanced Motorcyclists will be holding the next Motorcycle Rider Assessment event on Saturday 4th September between 10:00 and 16:00.  These events are proving to be very popular for motorcyclists from the Northwest, North Wales and West Midlands. This event will once again be held at the Broxton Picnic area on the junction of the A41 and A534.

Members of the group will be on hand to discuss any riding or capability matters with the public and our accredited Observers will be undertaking free assessment rides. The observed rides will last approximately 45 minutes and will include pre and post ride briefings. There is no charge for the assessment rides, simply turn up and register. All motorcyclists are welcome, but they must have passed their full Motorcycle test before they are eligible for Advanced Motorcycling Guidance.

All Cheshire East residents will qualify for a 50% discount on the cost of The I.A.M.’s Skill for Life course provided by South Cheshire Advanced Motorcyclists. Other discounts may be available for Staffordshire and Cheshire West residents.

For further information, please contact Bob Morris at or call 01606 853502

Full details are available on the group website at