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Monday 29 November 2010

All Change For Crewe – Political rivals united in historic move to back regeneration

Crewe 55

Cheshire East’s leading rival political parties have united behind an ambitious vision for the regeneration of Crewe.

The leaders of the local Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties joined the Mayor of Crewe to sign a historic ‘Concordat’, in a public show of joint support for moves to turn Crewe and the surrounding area into an ‘economic powerhouse’ by 2031.

The landmark signing, at Crewe’s newly revamped Lyceum Square, was witnessed by councillors and Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson.

Over the past year, consultants appointed to advise the Council, working with key stakeholders, have identified what they believe needs to be done to ‘unlock’ the huge potential of the town and surrounding area and turn it into a leading player in Britain’s 21st century economy.

This vision is called ‘All Change for Crewe’.

Now political rivals have joined forces in a landmark move to help make this ambitious vision a reality.

The Concordat was signed by Conservative Cheshire East Council Leader Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald, Labour Group Leader Cllr Dorothy Flude, Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr Ainsley Arnold (signed on his behalf by Deputy Leader Cllr Rod Fletcher) and Mayor of Crewe Cllr Jacquie Weatherill.

It says: “We, the undersigned, hereby commit our wholehearted support to the regeneration and development of Crewe, as set out in the ‘All Change for Crewe’ reports.

“We recognise the clear evidence of why regeneration is needed and the tangible opportunities on which to build a Crewe that will be more productive and positive for all its residents, businesses and visitors.

“We fully recognise Crewe as one of Cheshire East’s spatial priorities through a range of short, medium and long-term initiatives and strategies.”

Cllr Fitzgerald said: “The signing of this Concordat demonstrates the determination across the main political parties of the council to achieve an ambitious and lasting regeneration of Crewe.

“This unity of purpose is highly significant, highly unusual and truly historic – and shows the importance which all the major political parties place on this hugely-important project. “It also shows, beyond doubt, that the people and political leaders of Crewe mean business.”

Cllr Fletcher said: “As someone who has worked in Crewe for over 30 years I’m highly delighted that we are moving forward and I hope that we can progress this regeneration as quickly as possible.”

Cllr Flude said: “The ‘Vision for Crewe’ is a very important document. As we can see, it is important to the people of Crewe and it’s also important that the people of Crewe attend the public engagement roadshows to give their feedback and opinions.

“Crewe is Cheshire East’s most important town. It is the town with the youngest population, the town with excellent road and rail links and the town with much of Cheshire East’s industry and diverse business parks.

“It is important that we look to the future with the development of Basford and the revamping of the railway station, which will bring a much-needed vibrancy to businesses and the whole ethos of the town.”

Mayor Weatherill said: “This Concordat is highly significant and a cause for real optimism. It shows the strength and depth of commitment across the political spectrum and whole community to revitalising both Crewe’s economy and its attractiveness as a place to live. This is a landmark day.”

Consultants have identified how the Council and other partner agencies can unlock what they see as the unique potential of Crewe over the next 20 years.

The focus is on increasing economic productivity and performance, which is underpinned by five key strategic themes, which are to:

● Radically improve strategic transport links and create a state-of-the-art broadband internet network;

● Develop a more diversified ‘knowledge economy’ that attracts and keeps hi-tech firms and skilled workers;

● Enhance the attractiveness of Crewe as a place to live and work – including boosting schools and local transport and expanding the town’s population;

● Develop key underutilised sites – including the Basford East investment site, Crewe rail station and the town centre;

● Improve the town’s public image and leadership.

A revamped Crewe train station and town centre and the completion of the Crewe Green Link Road will be at the heart of several major projects planned to revitalise the town and the surrounding region.

Attracting more educated, skilled and ambitious workers to Crewe would boost the economy and be central to plans for the town to become a dynamic regional centre by 2031. The aim is to increase the economy by £850m per year by 2031.

Cheshire East has been holding a month of public engagement events and has an online questionnaire to seek your views on what the priorities for the regeneration of Crewe should be. And there is still time for you to play your part – before the closing date for feedback, on December 6.

The final round of public consultation events will be held at:

South Cheshire College, on Monday, November 29, from 11am to 1pm;

Crewe Railway Station, on Tuesday, November 30, from 8am to 11am;

South Cheshire College, on Wednesday, December 1, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm;

Crewe Library, on Thursday, December 2, from 2pm to 4pm.

For further information, visit the council’s website at and complete our online questionnaire by the deadline of December 6.

Care Quality Commission Report


A new report has found that Cheshire East Council’s adult social services are performing well.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the government’s health and social care regulator, published its annual finding this week.

They inspected adult services provided directly by the Council, or those services which the Council commissions from the private or voluntary sectors.

The Council was judged on seven areas:

  • improving health and wellbeing;
  • improving quality of life;
  • making a positive contribution;
  • increasing choice and control;
  • freedom from discrimination and harassment;
  • economic well-being; and
  • maintaining personal dignity and respect.

Noting 'clear and effective leadership that is driving forward the transformation agenda', the CQC summarised its view of the Council as follows:

Overall the council is performing well in achieving positive outcomes for people. During its first year the council has shown a commitment to transforming adult social care to improve outcomes for the citizens of Cheshire East. There are clear timelines for actions with clear risk assessments that are monitored regularly. These plans indicate changes in the use of resources from reaction to prevention and from managing conditions to active reablement.

Councillor Roland Domleo, Cabinet member with responsibility for adult services, said: “I am very pleased by the findings of this report.

“It recognises the hard work being done daily by this Council and our partners to improve the care we offer to our residents.

“We cannot afford to be complacent and the report has outlined areas for improvement, which we are already addressing.

“However, set alongside recent reports indicating that we have very high care standards in Cheshire East and that we are in the top three authorities for the delivery of personal budgets, this report is further evidence of our progress in Cheshire East in meeting the needs of older citizens and those with disabilities."

Teenage conceptions fall in Cheshire East


The number of teenage conceptions in Cheshire East has fallen for the third quarter in a row.

Figures released this month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show there were 42 conceptions in the third quarter of 2009 in Cheshire East amongst 15-17 year-olds.

It means the authority now has the second lowest average rate in the North West and is well below the national average.

It shows a fall from 47 conceptions in the second quarter and from 49 in the first and is a continuation of a sharp drop from the end of 2008 when 67 15-17 year-old conceptions were recorded.

Reducing teenage conceptions is seen as vital to improving the health and wellbeing of Cheshire East and the United Kingdom as a whole.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “Cheshire East Council works in partnership with schools, colleges, Central and Eastern Cheshire PCT, Connexions and the voluntary sector to reduce the number of Under 18 conceptions in the area and it is pleasing to see that this rate is decreasing.

“It is good to see that many of our young people are taking a longer-term view about their sexual health and wellbeing.”

The authority has a multi-agency teenage conception plan which focuses on:

  • Effective age-appropriate sex and relationships education in Cheshire East schools and colleges;
  • Information advice and guidance for young people, their parents and carers;
  • Delivering accessible young people-friendly sexual health services across Cheshire East.

This plan is faith and culturally sensitive and is based on the premise of giving children and young people the skills, knowledge and understanding to make safe and healthy choices about their lives.

It is universal and preventative but the plan also targets groups of young people who are most vulnerable to provide extra support.

Friday 26 November 2010

Martin & Co Launch New Student Homes Service in South Cheshire!

Martin & Co, Crewe and Nantwich, has launched a new service in rentals, “Student Homes”. The new Student Homes service has been created as part of the multi-award winning agent’s strategy to offer its professional services in every sector of the local lettings market.
Director, Shaun Cafferty said: “The South Cheshire student lettings market is big business with thousands of students requiring homes each year - unfortunately, there has been a shortage of student homes and the services offered by agents to landlords, students and their parents has often been very poor – until now!”

Commenting on the Student Homes service, Shaun said: “We aim to expand on our success as local market leader and provide our high-quality services in the student rental market without compromising on our traditional forms of business.” He added: “In the past, our strength has been that we focus exclusively on the professional lettings market and we have had a great record of letting and managing properties to the highest standard – and now, we have got the offer right for students, parents and student-landlords alike.”

According to Martin & Co, they are well-positioned within the area for student lettings as their properties and high-street offices are close to MMU Cheshire and within commuting distant from both the Keele and Staffordshire Universities. Martin & Co have also recently invested in a revamped and re-designed website which includes, Twitter, Facebook and a dedicated Student Homes section with a helpful handbook and unique features to allow students to search nearby properties close to their universities and campuses. With one of the most visited lettings websites and a national UK presence, Martin & Co can actively help student-landlords attract quality student tenants.

“We understand the needs of our clients and the demands of the local lettings market better than anyone. Having a team of experienced experts means we can we now offer students their dream-home whilst landlords can expect to see a great return on their investment - we really have done our homework on this one!”
Shaun concluded: “You don’t need to have a degree in rocket science to know that our Student Homes service is in a class of its own!” For a free no obligation appraisal, advice or information on the Student Homes service, contact either the Crewe Office on 01270 500905, e-mail or the Nantwich Office on 01270 611333, e-mail for more information.

Crime News

I have been contacted by a couple of coordinators today who have received or know people who have recently received calls from people purporting to be from Microsoft.  These callers may use a number of scripts but in general appear to suggest that there is some kind of fault with your computer - possibly that it is running slow or that they have had a report that there is a virus in your computer.  In essence they will try and get you to provide them with money in return for providing a fix for your computer.  Unfortunately, some of these callers may be very proficient at convincing people that there is a major issue by slipping in computer jargon and confusing people with technical details and fixes that the average computer user might be unfamiliar with.  The callers telephone number is usually withheld in these calls should you try '1471' after terminating the call.
As this appears to be a current issue I have been onto the fraud pages of the Microsoft website and found a statement that the company have posted there about unsolicited calls.  This statement is copied below for your interest:
Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer

In this scam cybercriminals call you and claim to be from Microsoft Tech Support. They offer to help solve your computer problems. Once the crooks have gained your trust, they attempt to steal from you and damage your computer with malware including viruses and spyware.

Although law enforcement can trace phone numbers, perpetrators often use pay phones, disposable cellular phones, or stolen cellular phone numbers. It's better to avoid being conned rather than try to repair damage afterwards.

Treat all unsolicited phone calls with scepticism. Do not provide any personal information.

If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang up. We do not make these kinds of calls.
As confirmed in this statement, Microsoft do not make unsolicited calls  and would never contact you in this manner.  As such if you receive any calls of this nature please hang up and never provide any credit / debit card or personal details to anyone purporting to be from Microsoft.


A home watch coordinator has recently emailed me in relation to the email that was sent earlier in the week with regards to unsolicited calls from people claiming to be linked to microsoft.
He has kindly forwarded me some information from a recent article that he has read that suggests that people have also been receiving unsolicited call from people pretending to be from NTL or Dyson.  As with the microsoft scams the callers are trying to convince people that there is some sort of problem with their service / Dyson product and are trying to persuade the home-owner to part with their cash or bank details.  As with many such calls, it is unlikely that the caller actually knows that someone is an NTL or Dyson customer but similar to the phishing bank emails - due to a saturation of calls it is likely they will eventually reach someone who does have NTL or a Dyson at home.
At this time, I have not had any reports of anyone in this area being targeted by people purporting to be from Dyson or NTL.  However, having checked online there have been a number of reports of this elsewhere in the country, as nearby as Staffordshire.  In the articles that I have read they make reference to statements that have been made by Dyson where they confirm that they never cold call their customers in this manner and would not turn up at a customers home unless a customer has arranged the visit with them beforehand.
Is anyone does receive any telephone calls that they believe to be suspicious from these or any other company please report this directly to Cheshire Trading Standards Consumer Direct via 08454 04 05 06



Assault on Man in Crewe

Date of Incident: Wednesday 17 November 2010
Location of incident:
Davenport Avenue area of Crewe

Police are appealing for witnesses after a Liverpool man was assaulted as he made his way through Crewe on Wednesday 17th November 2010.

The victim, who is 25 years of age, had travelled from his home in Liverpool by train to Crewe, to visit a friend who lives in the area. He got off the train at around 10.30am at Crewe railway station, and began walking to his friend's house.

At 11:54am he was found in a confused, but conscious, state by a passer by who alerted the emergency services. He had suffered a blow to the head.

He was taken by ambulance to Leighton hospital, and transferred later the same evening to North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary where he underwent surgery for a depressed fracture to the skull. He remains detained in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Police are keen to piece together how the victim came by his injury. It is thought at this stage, that the victim was struck on the head with a hammer, or similar instrument, by a white man wearing a black hooded top as he walked in the Davenport Avenue area of Crewe. However, the exact time at which the attack occurred, and the exact location, have yet to be firmly established, and police are appealing for information from the public who may have witnessed the attack itself, or be able to assist in piecing together the chronology around it. The victim had property missing following the attack, consisting of a Samsung mobile phone, cash, and a packet of cigarettes, and police are considering robbery as a possible motive.

Can you help?

Police are appealing to anyone who may have any information to contact:

  • Detective Sergeant Claire Jesson on 0845 458 0000.
  • Alternatively, information can be left anonymously on the Crimestoppers hotline 0800 555 111

MP’s news

Welcome ...

Welcome to this my 69th electronic news bulletin.

This week saw even greater strides towards transparency and accountability.  All government departments are publishing spending from the last six months.  This new information will provide an unparalleled insight into how government spends taxpayers’ money and gives people the information they need to be able to hold them to account.

Locally I have continued to receive many complaints about the severe deterioration of the postal service in the constituency since the closure of Crewe Sorting Office.  I have been pushing hard for a clear and meaningful response from Royal Mail top management to this rather predictable fallout from that decision, to ensure local residents and businesses get the reliability of service they need.  I will keep all informed of how matters progress.

Remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me.

You can forward the bulletin on to your friends and family, who can sign up themselves by clicking here for my website.

Best wishes,

Edward Timpson
Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich

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I have recently ...

  • Attended the official opening of Manchester Metropolitan University Crewe new Exercise & Sports Science Centre, with special guest Sir Bobby Charlton OBE 
  • Officially opened the Secret Garden at Underwood West Primary School, in Crewe
  • Attended South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Awards, at Crewe Hall 
  • Visited Peugeot showroom in Crewe, to support NSPCC Christmas Appeal
  • Cycled with Nantwich Air Training Cadets (100 Squadron), in their charity fundraising cycling challenge
  • Carried out a number of house visits to constituents to help them with issues they have raised with me as their MP
  • Co-chaired with Lisa Nandy, Labour MP for Wigan, the third in a series of oral evidence sessions of our cross-party inquiry into the educational attainment of Looked After Children

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Photos & Video ...

Main Content Inline Small

You can view all my photos and video at

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Royal Mail apologises for 'bedding in' snags in delivery of post

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

SOUTH Cheshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Dunning says the Chamber had campaigned with MP Edward Timpson to stop the sorting office closing and ‘our worst fears are now being confirmed’.

“We sympathise with the local employees and are not criticising them. This is a management failure and we support Edward in his actions and are also pressing Royal Mail.”

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “We apologise to any customers who have experienced mail delays while essential changes to our delivery operation in Crewe bed in.

“We continue to work hard with our staff in delivery and processing to get our services back on track and to ensure all our customers receive the quality of service they rightly expect.

“We would urge anyone with a concern to contact Royal Mail customer services on 08457 740 740 so that their complaint can be properly investigated and appropriate action taken to resolve it. We are aware of Mrs Hockenhull’s complaint and have put measures in place to address the issue.”

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Crewe insurance firm moves to new premises

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has officially opened County Insurance’s new office, which houses 40 staff.

The local insurance broker which provides both personal and business insurance is now based at Electra Way, Crewe.

A company spokesman said: “The office relocation is in large part due to the impressive growth of the company.

“When County Insurance was founded in 2003, the staff headcount was seven.

“The company now employs over 40 staff in Crewe, with a further 15 staff at their Southport branch, and with continued growth are planning to expand this to over 100 staff within the next two years.”

Mr Timpson was given a tour of the new office and learned more about the business and the services it provides both to the local community and the wider UK population.

This year, County Insurance is on track to provide £18m in insurance premiums and has 10,000 customers nationally.

Mr Timpson said: “County Insurance’s success story is great news for Crewe.

“This clearly shows that by using the local talent pool and providing great customer service that companies can prosper, even when up against the national insurers with huge advertising budgets.

“The training and staff development at County Insurance is particularly pleasing. This gives local people a great career path and ensures the needs of the customer are best served too.”

The company can be contacted through, or at

Alternatively phone the new officeŠon 01270 506 990.

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Army recruit's last weekend at home ruined by postal chaos in Crewe

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

A SOLDIER who has signed up to serve his country missed his last weekend out with his mates because of the postal chaos in Crewe.

His complaint comes in the week South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce attacked the appalling level of service from Royal Mail.

Jamie Hockenhull, 20, begins his training with the Royal Military Police on Monday and should have spent his last Sunday in Civvy Street with pals at the Classic Car Show at Birminghams NEC.

But his ticket was posted in Leeds on Tuesday last week still hadnt arrived yesterday.

Jamie said: It was my last day out with my mates. Of course Im disappointed.

His mum Mary phoned Royal Mail to try to trace the post but no-one answered.

I spent Sunday at the gym and going for a run. Its not what I had in mind, said Jamie.

Another letter sent special delivery for his mum supposedly for next day delivery costing s3.77 took four days to arrive.

On Monday Mary went to the Royal Mail office on Weston Road and picked up more than a dozen letters after demanding her mail.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce has attacked the management failure for the appalling level of service.

John Dunning said: We endorse the views of many local businesses about the appalling service being received and its effects on their performance.

We've received many complaints via our members and have suffered first-hand ourselves.

Mr Dunning says the Chamber had campaigned with MP Edward Timpson to stop the sorting office closing and our worst fears are now being confirmed.

We sympathise with the local employees and are not criticising them. This is a management failure and we support Edward in his actions and are also pressing Royal Mail.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: We apologise to any customers who have experienced mail delays while essential changes to our delivery operation in Crewe bed in.

We continue to work hard with our staff in delivery and processing to get our services back on track and to ensure all our customers receive the quality of service they rightly expect.

We would urge anyone with a concern to contact Royal Mail customer services on 08457 740 740 so that their complaint can be properly investigated and appropriate action taken to resolve it. We are aware of Mrs Hockenhulls complaint and have put measures in place to address the issue.

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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Hundreds pay tribute at Nantwich Remembrance service

Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle

Hundreds pay tribute at Nantwich Remembrance service

HUNDREDS of people – young and old – lined Nantwich’s streets on Sunday to pay homage to the town’s fallen war heroes.

The day began at 1pm with a short service at ‘Airman’s Grave’ on Shrewsbury Road to pay respects to Lieutenant Arthur Brown of the USA Air Force.

The 23-year-old died during the Second World War while diverting his plane away from houses in Nantwich as it came crashing down.

A congregation of more than 200 people including Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson, deputy town mayor Arthur Moran and Cheshire East deputy mayor Roger West, air cadets, Rotary Club members, Cubs and Brownies, then formed at Nantwich Civic Hall and paraded along the town’s streets to St Mary’s Church.

The parade, which was organised by the Nantwich Royal British Legion, was led by the Cheshire Police Corps of Drums Band followed by the United Co-op 2000 Brass Band.

A poignant service, led by the Rev Peter Chantry, began at 3pm, when the 60 names on the war memorial were read out by cadets from the 100 Squadron Air Training Corps.

The service concluded with the wreath-laying.

Nantwich Royal British Legion chairman Philip Reade said: “The church was absolutely full at the service and it seemed like more people then ever had turned up to pay their respects, which shows the ongoing support for troops.

“It was great to see many people of all ages turning up.

“We’re yet to count up the money raised from selling poppies in Nantwich town centre, but we can already tell that we were given a lot of support this year.”

© 2010 Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales Ltd

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

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Car-boot Sale Comes Home


Shoppers in Crewe will be able to hunt for bargains in the newly-refurbished Lyceum Square, when the car-boot sale makes its return on Wednesday, December 8.

The event has been held in Oak Street every Wednesday since January, while building work on the £1.7m project was being carried out.

Cheshire East Council and the Northwest Regional Development Agency have jointly funded the scheme.

The outdoor market made its return to Lyceum Square on Monday, November 15, with the indoor-market traders already reporting an increase in footfall.

The square’s revamp included remodelling and repaving as well as the installation of a brand new café area and public toilets, plus revision of the parking area and new disabled parking spaces. New seating areas have also been added.

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “The return of the car-boot sale to Lyceum Square is excellent news and one that will benefit both shoppers and market traders.

“Crewe now has a state-of-the-art public space that enhances the Cheshire East environment. I hope people will support local businesses in the run up to Christmas.”

Cllr Peggy Martin, ward member for Crewe East, said: “Lyceum Square is now open for business and the return of the car-boot sale will only help boost local trade.

“The people of Crewe love a bargain and I have no doubt these events will prove very popular.”

STATEMENT RE: Removal of Cllr Frank Keegan from Cabinet


Cheshire East Council Leader Cllr Wesley Fitzgerald said: “I am aware that there has been much speculation around the recent removal of Cllr Frank Keegan from the Cabinet position that held responsibility for finance.

“Much of what has been reported in the local press alludes to the fact that there was disagreement between myself and Cllr Keegan about the difficult financial decisions that this Council has to make in order to deliver a balanced budget.

“I would like to make it clear that the reason Cllr Keegan was removed from Cabinet was as a result of his conduct and behaviour when relating to Senior Officers and Council members when discussing issues relating to the day-to-day operation of this Council.

“In response to speculation that Cheshire East is now without financial leadership, I must make it clear that the challenges faced have been explored in depth and a strategy has been developed to tackle them through the good work of the Efficiency Group. This was set up in August this year, specifically to deal with these issues and consisted of Councillors Keegan and Menlove and Senior Officers.

“The group has met on a weekly basis since August, and has scrutinised in detail the budget and the financial challenges for this Council. As a result of the excellent work of this group, recommendations are now being finally assessed by myself and a group of Cabinet members and Senior Officers.

“As Leader of this Council I would like to reassure everyone that, whilst Cheshire East, like all other authorities, is facing the effects of the comprehensive spending review, I am confident that the difficult decisions we have to make will bring long-term financial stability to the excellent services we deliver as we move forward.”

All Change for Crewe: Still time to have your say on shaping regeneration of the town


There are just a few days left for YOU to give YOUR views on an ambitious vision for the regeneration of Crewe.

Over the past year, consultants appointed to advise the Council, working with key stakeholders, have identified what they believe needs to be done to ‘unlock’ the huge potential of the town and surrounding area to become an economic powerhouse by 2031. This vision is called ‘All Change for Crewe’.

Cheshire East has been holding a month of public engagement events and has an online questionnaire to seek your views on what the priorities for the regeneration of Crewe should be.

And there is still time for you to play your part – before the closing date for feedback, on December 6.

The final round of public consultation events will be held at:

South Cheshire College, on Monday, November 29, from 11am to 1pm;

Crewe Railway Station, on Tuesday, November 30, from 8am to 11am;

South Cheshire College, on Wednesday, December 1, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm;

Crewe Library, on Thursday, December 2, from 2pm to 4pm.

We want you to tell us, for example:

● How important are improvements to the railway station for the revitalisation of Crewe?

● Do you think the current range of shops, leisure and other facilities in Crewe town centre can be improved?

● What is the biggest barrier to raising the aspirations of young people in Crewe?

● How can public transport provision in Crewe be improved?

● What is the best way of engaging business and residents in delivering regeneration through different projects and activities?

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “We’ve already had an excellent response so far, with a lot of interest in how we should take these proposals forward but we are still keen to get the views of more people who live or work in Crewe or who visit the town.

“This is a tremendously important opportunity for local people to have their say and take ownership of ambitious moves to regenerate and revitalise their town and the surrounding area – building on the hard work of the Council and its partners over the past year.

“Our ambition is to unlock Crewe’s tremendous potential for future growth and prosperity – but we all need to get behind this project to make it happen.”

The Council is working with key stakeholders and partners to help turn the town and surrounding area into a leading player in Britain’s 21st century economy.

Consultants have identified how the Council and other partner agencies can unlock what they see as the unique potential of Crewe over the next 20 years.

A revamped Crewe train station and town centre and the completion of the Crewe Green Link Road will be at the heart of several major projects planned to revitalise Crewe and the surrounding region.

Attracting more educated, skilled and ambitious workers to Crewe would boost the economy and be central to plans for the town to become a dynamic regional centre by 2031. The aim is to increase the economy by £850m per year by 2031.

For further information, visit the council’s website at

Leighton Brook Park

1.) LBP 20-11

Months of hard work came to fruition on Saturday (November 20) as the new £50,000 ‘natural’ play area at Crewe’s Leighton Brook Park was officially opened.

A short ceremony was held at 2pm where the Mayor of Crewe, Councillor Jacquie Weatherill, planted a tree.

Children who attend the weekly Play Ranger sessions also took part in tree planting.

Everyone then headed to Webby’s Community Centre, on Frank Webb Avenue, for crumpets and hot chocolate.

The innovative facility has been developed after the Council secured funding from the landfill communities funds of Waste Recycling Group, administered by the not-for-profit firm, Waste Recycling Environmental.

The play area is based around the idea of ‘natural play’. This is where children are encouraged to be creative in the way they interact with natural features, such as fallen logs and climbing boulders.

The playground at Leighton Brook Park includes an earthwork wrapping along the back of the multi-use games area and grass-bank seating.

At the base of the embankment are a group of totem poles, carved green oak trees and multiple tyre swings.

As part of the celebrations there was a wider tree-planting event at the park, organised by the Crewe West Community Group.

The trees were donated by the Woodland Trust. The group is now looking for further funding to develop a wildflower meadow at the park.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “This play area is an exciting project that will improve community life in this part of Crewe, and will be enjoyed by children for years to come.”

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “There is no doubt that this project enhances the Cheshire East environment and my congratulations go to all those involved in the project.”

Councillor Roy Cartlidge, ward member for Crewe West, said: “It was a great day and really pleasing to see so many people from the local community come out to celebrate the park’s opening.”

Next Saturday, November 27, there’s a willow-weaving event and a gardening tidy up at Webby’s Community Centre. The event starts at 10am and everyone is welcome.

Letterbox Club


A six-month scheme that has boosted reading and writing amongst cared-for children in Cheshire East has proved so successful that it will run again next year.

The Letterbox Club is a national project that involves monthly parcels of books, games and stationery being sent to school pupils’ homes.

A celebration event was held at Monks Coppenhall Primary School in Crewe, on November 11, to mark the end of this innovative project. Crewe MP, Edward Timpson, was the special guest.

The event highlighted the way in which foster carers, schools and other professionals work together in supporting cared-for children both inside and outside of school.

In total eight Year 6 students in Cheshire East were part of the scheme. It helped smooth the transition from Year 5, and also provided them with things to do during the summer holidays.

Funding for next year has already been secured, and the scheme will expand to include cared-for pupils in Year 3 across Cheshire East.

The Letterbox Club was started by Leicester University and is managed by the Booktrust. It aims to raise educational standards among cared-for children and focuses on English and Mathematics.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and families, said: “We are always looking at different ways of encouraging children to read more and this scheme has been a big success.

“Cared-for children need all the support and help we can give them, and I am pleased that an expanded scheme will be running again next year.”

Councillor Steve Conquest, ward member for Crewe East, said: "This is an important initiative which helps to raise educational standards for this group of children and I’m delighted that funding has been secured to continue this successful project"

Edward Timpson, Crewe and Nantwich MP, said: “It’s great to see the Letterbox Club  going strong here in Crewe and Nantwich.

“The children here at Monks Coppenhall Primary School told me how much they enjoyed taking part, and their carers saw a significant improvement in the children’s interest and ability in reading.”

New Business Opens

New Business - Crewe

A new training business in Crewe was opened by the Mayor of Cheshire East on Saturday (November 20).

Councillor Gordon Baxendale and the Mayoress of Cheshire East, Mrs Felicity Baxendale, cut the ribbon at The Cheshire Training Company on Kents Lane in Coppenhall.

Initially the company will specialise in courses on tiling and plastering and will cover all levels from DIY to professional qualifications.

The firm is aiming to offer courses for plumbing and rendering as it becomes established.

Mayor of Crewe, Cllr Jacquie Weatherill, and Councillor John Jones also attended the opening along with local business people.

Mayor Baxendale said: “Things are very tough economically but it is good to see that local businesses are still starting up. What’s exciting about this company is that it offers training and help to get people into work.

Councillor Steve Conquest, ward member for Crewe East, said: “It is terrific to see this new company providing training opportunities in a variety of trades.

“Such skills training represents an investment in our future workforce and will ensure that they are well placed to take advantage of new opportunities when the economic outlook improves."

For more information on The Cheshire Training Company, ring Dominic Culleton on 01270 585419 or 07805 858528.

Council Tax Discount Crackdown Recoups £500,000


Almost 2,000 people have been found to be wrongly claiming a discount on their Council Tax - recouping Cheshire East Council £500,000 per year.

The authority contacted residents who claim a single person discount of 25 percent after information collated during an audit suggested at least one other adult was living at the address.

Those found to have been wrongly claiming the discount were issued with a bill for the outstanding amount backdated to April 1 2010 – an average of £250 per person.

The audit, which cost the Council £80,000, will result in £500,000 extra income every year.

It was carried out by specialist company Northgate which worked with credit information group Experian to check personal details against a national database.

Claimants were asked to confirm whether they still lived alone, and if not, to give the details of the additional people living at their address. Those who failed to respond were issued with a backdated bill.

Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “The single person discount system is designed for those who genuinely need extra help. Sadly, there are a few people who are prepared to abuse it.

“Withdrawing the discount from 2,000 fraudulent claimants will generate an additional £500,000 every year which can be invested in essential services.

“This is an extremely just outcome which reflects our commitment to be a well-managed council and work with others to deliver for Cheshire East.

“Significantly, it is a victory for the vast majority of our residents who are honest, hardworking taxpayers.”

Family Fun Day Celebrates Market's Return


A family fun day takes place in Crewe this Saturday to celebrate the return of the outdoor market to the newly refurbished Lyceum Square.

Live music, fairground rides, face painting, competitions and cup cake decorating will be among the entertainment and activities at the event, which runs from 11am-2pm.

A gazebo situated next to the café will feature performances from a brass band, Michael Buble-style keyboard performer Tom Seal and Crewe Community Arts & Theatre Zone.

The new café will host a community arts workshop and a Crewe Vision display where people can find out more about the proposals and register their views.

Visitors can take part in a treasure hunt through the market with the chance to win family tickets to the pantomime Aladdin at the Lyceum Theatre.

The outdoor market was temporarily relocated to Market Square earlier this year to allow for a £1.7m facelift of Lyceum Square.

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “The Lyceum Square refurbishment is a significant investment in the future of Crewe, reflecting our commitment to grow and develop a sustainable Cheshire East.

“The fun day is a marvellous way to celebrate the reunification of the indoor and outdoor markets while announcing to everyone in Cheshire East that it’s back to business as usual for Crewe Market.”

Councillor Chris Thorley, ward member for Crewe East, said: “We are joining with the market traders to pull out all the stops to make this a great day out for all the family.

“I urge residents to drop in on Saturday to join in the fun and experience this superb modern, comfortable shopping environment for themselves.”

Christmas lights switch-ons in Audlem, Alsager, Crewe, Middlewich and Nantwich


Audlem – Thursday, November 25 (Village square, 6pm)

More than 3,000 lights on seven trees, one of which is a 35ft Christmas tree in the village square. Another 45 small trees are due to be decorated along the village streets.

Jointly organised by Audlem District Amenities Society (ADAS) and village pubs and traders, the event will include a fancy dress procession from St James Primary School.

This begins at 6pm before the switch-on at 6.30pm.

Alsager – Sunday, November 28 (Lawton Road, 5.30pm)

Alsager Partnership’s ‘The Big Turn On’ takes place on Lawton Road at 5.30pm, hosted by Silk FM, with fireworks.

There will be a Christmas market from 4pm-8pm including food and festive gifts. A Christmas Tree Festival will be held in Wesley Place Methodist Church and there will be fairground rides, choirs, musicians and dancers.

A lantern procession led by Santa will also take place.

Middlewich – Friday, December 3 (Bull Ring, 5pm)

A ‘TASTE’ promotion will be taking place in participating venues from 9am before Santa’s reindeer arrive at the Bull Ring at 2pm.

The reindeer will parade through the town centre at 4.30pm and at 5pm, the Christmas tree lights will be switched on in association with Cheshire FM.

A schools carol concert then takes place in St Michael’s Parish Church in Hightown.

Nantwich – Saturday, December 4 (town square, 3pm-6pm)

Cheshire East and Nantwich Town councils are sponsoring the Nantwich lights switch-on, which will be part of a three-hour Signal Radio roadshow.

It will feature competitions, giveaways, a DJ and a funfair before the switch-on at 5.30pm.

The Co-op Band will play carols in the town centre square from 10am to 2pm in the lead up to the switch-on.

Stallholders in Nantwich Market Hall will be in fancy dress for their lights switch-on with free Christmas cake and sherry for all visitors.

Crewe – Thursday, December 9 (Market Square, 4pm-7pm)

A three-hour Signal Radio roadshow, sponsored by Cheshire East Council and Crewe Charter Trustees, will be held.

It will feature competitions, giveaways and a DJ, as well as an appearance from Santa and a funfair.

Switch-on is 6.30pm plus late night shopping.

  • More information on all these events can be obtained by picking up a copy of the free Cheshire East News magazine or visit or

Teachers get a lesson in food waste from Cheshire East

Love Food Hate Waste at the Cookery in Schools Conference at Crewe Alexandra FC  - Back l-r Aideen Smith and Lyn Cowley of Underwood West Primary school, Crewe  with Ralph Kemp Waste Strategy Manager with CEC

Teachers went back to the classroom to learn about the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign at an event at Crewe Alexandra Football Club.

Hosted by Let’s Get Cooking – a national network of cooking clubs for children, families and their communities – teachers and cooking-club supervisors got to grips with Cheshire East Council’s award-winning campaign in the form of a lesson on food waste and also a fun activity which involved making a smoothie.

The event was designed to help teachers to encourage children to get more involved with cooking and educate them on food waste.

Cheshire East hopes to take the Love Food, Hate Waste message into classrooms and educate children on the best ways to store food, make it last longer and to show what can be done with fruit that has gone a little squishy.

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “The Love Food, Hate Waste campaign has traditionally been aimed at adults but we think it is important that children get a good grounding in learning how to prevent food being unnecessarily thrown in the bin.

“We hope that children will now be taught about the best ways to store food to make it last longer and to show them how they can make meals out of fruit which is slightly past its best, for example.

“We will provide teachers with a resource pack filled with re-useable cards that can be used to educate children.”

Deborah Robb, Let’s Get Cooking regional training officer for the West Midlands, added: “This event was possible thanks to BIG Lottery funding and representatives from more than 60 schools attended who were keen to top up their skills and look at new resources to help them run cooking clubs.

“The Love Food, Hate Waste campaign is an excellent campaign and we were very keen to work with Cheshire East for this event.”

The activities were opened by Rob Rees MBE, known as The Cotswold Chef, who is also the chairman of the School Food Trust.

A number of other seminars took place throughout the day including ‘safe food cutting techniques for children’, ‘food hygiene’ and ‘setting up a garden in school’ which was run by the Food for Life partnership.

Sainsbury’s in Nantwich kindly donat

Thursday 25 November 2010

Make your pledge to end domestic violence

Crew and Nantwich RUFC supporting the White Ribbon campaign l-r Killian Roche, Tim Cowap, Captain Kevin Naughton, Jo Gammage, Karen Kenny, Senior Family Support Worker at Crewe Women's Aid and Ray Doyle

Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Partnership has announced its support for this year’s White Ribbon Day.

The campaign, which is marked on Thursday, November 25, urges people to wear a white ribbon as a pledge against violence against women.

There are 5,000 domestic incidents reported to police each year in Cheshire East, with many more incidents unreported. Nationally, 2 women per week die as a result of domestic violence and it affects one in four women and one in six men during their lives.

Cheshire East Council, along with their partners at the Primary Care Trust, Cheshire Police, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Probation Service, are hoping to raise awareness by stocking the white ribbons in their buildings. They are available, for a small donation, from East Council offices at Westfields, Sandbach, Macclesfield Town Hall and Delamere House, Crewe.

Cheshire East Domestic Partnership is working with Macclesfield and Crewe Rugby Clubs to raise awareness about White Ribbon Day. These clubs have welcomed the opportunity to send a strong message that abuse is never acceptable.

Cheshire East Councillor Roland Domleo, Cabinet member with responsibility for adult services, said:

“It is important we work with our partners to do all we can to reduce incidents of domestic violence across Cheshire East. Wearing a white ribbon shows that we will not ‘commit, condone or stay silent’ about violence against women. It is this kind of strong community rejection of abuse which will really keep adults and children safe.

“Just one death – woman, man or child - as a result of domestic violence is one too many.”

Cheshire East Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing is on the committee of the Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Partnership:

“Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home. I would urge anyone, man or woman, who is experiencing domestic violence or knows someone who is, to contact the Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Family Safety Unit local Family Safety Unit, in confidence, on 01244 613532 or contact the national domestic violence free 24 hour helpline on 0808 2000247.”

Saturday 20 November 2010

Let there be Crewe Library.


There are some steps up from the car park to the library in Crewe. These steps were not lit and there was a danger that people might fall. I  was led to understand that there were light fittings but the bulbs were not working. I am pleased to report that the lights have now been fixed by the Cheshire East Council and the steps from the car park to the library can be used safely.

I would like to thank the library user who brought it to my attention.

Tree of Light festival returns to Crewe


Cheshire East Council is pleased to announce the return to Crewe of the ‘Tree of Light’ festival of remembrance.

It all started seven years ago when Crewe Cemetery staff invited people to remember those they had lost by dedicating a silver star to them, which is then placed on a tree within the grounds. The designated tree is then lit up with thousands of lights during a special ceremony.

This year’s service will be held at Crewe Cemetery on Friday, December 3 at approximately 4.30pm.Once the service has taken place, the tree will remain lit until the Twelfth Night.

The silver stars needed to make a dedication are free and are available by contacting Crewe Cemetery on 01270 212643. The stars can also be obtained from Cheshire East Council offices.

Cheshire East Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “Christmas can be a difficult and painful time for many people and so the importance of such ceremonies for those who have lost loved ones cannot be underestimated. The silver stars are a symbol of remembrance and I am sure are a great source of comfort to many. The Tree of Light festival helps us to remember those who are no longer with us and share cherished memories.”

Crewe Mayor, Councillor Jacquie Weatherill, added: “Christmas is a time for remembering people who have touched our hearts, a time for sharing memories, and this Festival provides the opportunity to show how much our loved ones meant to us. The tree will remain lit until Twelfth Night and it is hoped that all those who see it will look on it as a source of joy and peace throughout the festive season.”   

Multi-million pound boost for Cheshire East


Cheshire East Council has agreed to join a new partnership which will provide a huge boost to economic growth in the North West.

Cabinet members unanimously voted to become a limited partner in the North West Evergreen Fund, which is now the Urban Development Fund (UDF) for the Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria sub-regions.

The move will provide Cheshire East with much-needed access to a scheme which has the potential to generate a funding capacity of more than £350m in the North West.

It is in response to the establishment of a European funding group called JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas), which promotes investment in urban development projects.

The priority areas of investment for the fund will include:

  • Projects which enable businesses to grow and attract inward investment;
  • Science research and innovation;
  • Building on the region’s strengths in culture and media;
  • Maintain and enhance existing town centres, ensuring they remain key assets to the region with the potential for high density sustainable development;
  • Promoting a stronger and more sustainable industrial base;
  • Ensuring sustainable sites are ready for development.

Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald, Leader of Cheshire East Council and Cabinet member with responsibility for resources, said: “The Regional Development Agency (RDA) will be gone by April 2012 and we need a replacement arrangement to access, albeit, reduced support funding.

“This is a great opportunity and it is a good investment for Cheshire East. We would get a good return on it over the next five years.”

The fund will initially be £60m when it is established in December, which is spread across the four sub-regions and would make a contribution towards future regeneration projects.

This money must be invested to produce a return and Cheshire East will be required to make small annual contributions to the fund during the next five years.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “This is further great news for Cheshire East off the back of our Local Enterprise Partnership with Cheshire West and Chester and Warrington being confirmed by the Government.

“These opportunities will help to deliver future economic growth for Cheshire and, in Cheshire East we will be lobbying for funding to support our key priorities for Crewe and Macclesfield and revitalising our town centres.”

Cheshire East business award goes to Crewe nursery school


A Crewe nursery school has been heralded as the most successful and innovative new business in South Cheshire.

Cheshire East Council presented the Best Business Start Up of the Year award to Rope Green Farm Day Nursery, as part of the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce’s business awards.

The accolade was sponsored by the Council, which regularly supports the annual awards, held at Crewe Hall Hotel on Friday, November 19.

The business, based in Rope Lane, Shavington, is owned and run by Vicky Dodd and provides full day care for children aged five years and under within a working dairy farm environment.

Children get a unique experience in that they can learn how to grow their own produce, collect eggs and feed the pigs and calves. The business has doubled its workforce and increased its turnover by 24 per cent in the past six months and was recently judged to be ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, who judged the nominees, said: “Commendations go to all the nominees who, without exception, demonstrated a great spirit of entrepreneurship and have worked extremely hard to create a successful business in the shadow of the economic downturn.

“This business was judged to be the Best Business Start Up of the Year by the judges due to its innovative concept and the business owner’s passion and determination to realise her vision.”

The award was presented at a glittering award ceremony on Friday by Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member with responsibility for performance and capacity.

He said: “Promoting and supporting local businesses are top priorities for Cheshire East. The contribution of new and pioneering businesses to the wealth and diversity of trade across Cheshire is invaluable. It is these success stories that attract and encourage existing businesses to keep striving to succeed and indeed are doing so.”

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Celebrating Christmas across Cheshire East


Christmas has come early in Cheshire East this year!

In the coming weeks, Christmas lights switch-on events will be staged throughout the area with funfair rides, competitions, giveaways and visits from celebrities.

Footballers Edwin Van der Sar and Phil Jagielka and X Factor star Lloyd Daniels are the big-name festive guests for three of the 12 events scheduled for Cheshire East.

Manchester United and Holland goalkeeper Van der Sar switches on the lights in Alderley Edge on Thursday (November 18) and Jagielka, who plays for Everton and England, will be at the Knutsford launch on Thursday, December 2.

Daniels, who was a 2009 X Factor finalist, will be on hand to turn on the lights in Wilmslow on Friday, November 26.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “Christmas is a magical time and here in Cheshire East, we have some superb local organisations and groups who want to ensure it is celebrated in style and work with us to improve community life.

“All of our switch-on events are set to be highly enjoyable and I encourage residents throughout Cheshire East to make the trip to their nearest town to celebrate.”

Cheshire East hopes the events will help to encourage people to shop locally. Each of its towns is unique in having a large number of independent businesses on the high streets. The authority will be working to ensure they are supported over the festive period and into the New Year.

2010 Christmas Lights switch-on events

  • Alderley Edge (The Parade, 6pm-7.30pm), on Thursday, November 18;
  • Sandbach (4pm-7pm), on Saturday, November 20;
  • Audlem (village square, 6.30pm), on Thursday, November 25;
  • Wilmslow (Grove Street, 3pm-8pm), on Friday, November 26;
  • Congleton (town centre, 4.30pm-7.30pm), on Friday, November 26;
  • Macclesfield (town centre, 4.30pm), on Saturday, November 27;
  • Alsager (Lawton Road, 5.30pm), on Sunday, November 28;
  • Bollington (Pool Bank, 5.30pm-7pm), on Wednesday, December 1;
  • Knutsford (6.30pm), on Thursday, December 2;
  • Middlewich (Bull Ring, 5pm), on Friday, December 3;
  • Nantwich (town square, 3pm-6pm), on Saturday, December 4;
  • Crewe (Market Square, 4pm-7pm), on Thursday, December 9.

More information on these events can be obtained by picking up a copy of the free Cheshire East News magazine or visit or

Prospective Foster Carers Invited to Open Evening


Have you ever considered fostering, but are unsure whether you have the right skills? Or perhaps you’d like to find out more about what is involved?

Cheshire East Council is holding an open evening for people who would like to learn more about the role of a foster carer.

The event takes place at the authority’s Westfields headquarters in Middlewich Road, Sandbach, on Thursday, November 25, at 6pm. It will last approximately two hours.

It aims to promote the fact that anyone over the age of 21 can foster, regardless of whether they are single, married or living with a partner, and whether or not they have children of their own.

People will be able to find out about the different types of foster care, including emergency overnight stays, short breaks for children with disabilities and long-term support until the young person reaches adulthood.

They can also learn about the support foster carers receive, which includes training, full ongoing support, an allowance to cover the daily costs of looking after each child and a skills-based fee.

The open evening is part of the Council’s drive to recruit an extra 40 foster carer households to look after an increasing number of cared-for children.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and families, said: “Currently there is a shortage of more than 10,000 foster carers in the UK.

“Sadly, the situation is no different in Cheshire East. We urgently need more people who can offer a secure and caring home for a child who cannot live with their own family.

“We hope this open evening will help us reach out to people who may have considered fostering but are unsure about what is involved, or whether they would be right for the role.

“There is no such thing as a typical foster carer. We need a diverse range of people with different skills and qualities so more children can be placed in the right home, reflecting the Council’s commitment to improving life opportunities for everyone in Cheshire East.

“Fostering involves much more than just providing a home for a child. Carers support youngsters, assist them to develop and grow and act on their behalf, alongside a team of social care professionals.

“I urge anyone who thinks they may have the skills to foster to come along to the open evening to find out more about this hugely rewarding role.”

Currently there are 180 foster carer households looking after more than 300 children in Cheshire East.

Anyone who is unable to attend the open evening can find out more information at or by contacting the fostering and adoption team on 0300 123 3223.

Information is also available through the You Can Foster campaign – a regional fostering recruitment drive comprising 23 local authorities, including Cheshire East Council. Details can be found on the website at or by telephone on 0800 634 7052.

Official Opening – Leighton Brook Park


It is hoped that children will create their own adventures in a new ‘natural’ playground at Crewe’s Leighton Brook Park.

The play area is being officially opened on Saturday, November 20, and everyone is invited to attend.

The short ceremony will start at 2pm, with the Mayor of Crewe, Councillor Jacquie Weatherill, donning her wellies to plant a tree. Children who attend the weekly Play Ranger sessions at the park will also take part in the planting

Hot chocolate and crumpets will then be on offer at Webby’s Community Centre, on Frank Webb Avenue, to warm everyone up.

The innovative facility has been developed after the Council secured £50,000 of funding from the landfill communities funds of Waste Recycling Group, administered by the not-for-profit firm Waste Recycling Environmental.

The play area is based around the idea of ‘natural play’. This is where children are encouraged to be creative in the way they interact with natural features, such as fallen logs and climbing boulders.

The playground at Leighton Brook Park includes an earthwork wrapping along the back of the multi-use games area and grass-bank seating.

At the base of the embankment are a group of totem poles, carved green oak trees and multiple tyre swings.

The same weekend (November 20 and 21), Crewe West Community Group is asking for volunteers to help them plant 104 trees on the Frank Webb Open Space Eastside area.

The trees have been donated by the Woodland Trust as part of their programme to plant more native trees and inspire people to enjoy woodland.

Anyone interested in taking part is asked meet at Webby’s Community Centre at 10am with the planting aiming to be finished by 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Tools will be provided.

Councillor Roy Cartlidge, ward member for Crewe West, said: “Leighton Brook Park is the only significant recreation facility in the area and the new development will really benefit local children.

“This project is an excellent example of Cheshire East Council working with other groups to improve community life.

“The wider tree-planting event is an opportunity to help plant a copse with trees and really enhance the Cheshire East environment and I would encourage anyone interested to come along.”

Fore more information on the event please contact Cllr Roy Cartlidge on 01

Seasonal Flu Vaccination


Don’t underestimate seasonal flu – that’s the message from Cheshire East Council as winter approaches.

There are concerns that older people may be putting themselves at risk by not getting themselves vaccinated against the highly-infectious disease.

The warning comes as figures from Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust show the number of over 65s choosing to have the flu vaccine is down 10 per cent on what would be expected at this stage of the programme.

One explanation for the reduced uptake rate may be the ‘swine flu effect’ from last year, where, unfortunately, older people received mixed messages about the swine flu virus. Some media coverage may have indicated that the flu virus only affected young people and was not severe.

There have also been unfounded concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. The vaccine, which does not contain live viruses, IS safe and proven to protect against flu.

This year’s flu vaccine will protect against the H1N1 virus strain (swine flu) as it is predicted to be one of the most likely flu strains in circulation this winter.

It is important older people are protected from flu as they are particularly vulnerable and are more at risk of developing complications. This not only affects the person’s wellbeing and independence, but also can lead to additional pressures on health and social care services.

Over the last few years the number of people receiving the vaccine has been high. This has meant that confirmed outbreaks in the community have not spread to older people.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “It is important that people don’t become complacent about the very serious risk to public health that flu poses.

“I hope people will heed this warning and get themselves vaccinated.”

Councillor Jim Crockatt, ward member for Wilmslow North, said: “I have had the vaccine to keep myself healthy over the winter period for a number of years and I would urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible for the flu vaccination to speak to their GP or primary care nurse.

“It is a very simple procedure which will benefit your health and the wider health of everybody in Cheshire East.”

For further information about the flu vaccination please contact Dr Guy Hayhurst, consultant in public health, Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust, on 01606 275319 or email

Saturday 13 November 2010


It has been confirmed by Royal Mail. The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam:
A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a premium rate number).
DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize.
If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £15 for the phone call.
If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on [number removed] or ICSTIS (the premium rate service regulator) at
Please circulate this to avoid anyone else being ripped off.

No Cold Callers.
EnergySure code of practice now officially includes rules that state energy company sales staff should not knock on any door that displays a ‘no cold callers' sign.
If the energy companies' sales staff break this rule you can complain to the Energy Ombudsman.
If you display a sign and the energy companies disobey your wishes note down the employee name and number and report this to their company and Consumer Direct on: 08454 04 05 06
If you would like a free ‘no cold callers' display sign for your door you can print one from

Website is a breath of fresh air


A new website has been launched to help people monitor – and take steps to improve – air quality in Cheshire East.

The website has been developed in collaboration with Cheshire West and Chester Council with the support of their shared services ICT team.

Cheshire East Council is committed to improving air quality via its local air quality management programme to improve life opportunities and health for everyone in Cheshire East.

You can discover all sorts of facts about air pollution on the new web pages on the Council’s website at: and_ planning/environmental_health/ local_air_quality.aspx

Links on the home web page can provide in-depth information on:

● What is air pollution?

● What does air pollution mean for my health?

● What are air pollution levels like near me?

● What can I do about it? – including tips on more fuel-efficient driving, car sharing and using cycle routes.

Interactive maps show real-time data and past monitoring information in your local area. Another map shows all the industrial installations in Cheshire East regulated by Environmental Health.

There is also a new ‘Doing your bit?’ fuel consumption calculator to help work out how much pollution you personally are producing, health tips and access to past and present official reports on air quality and information about building development and air pollution restrictions.

The Council is developing an overall air quality strategy, which will aim to integrate the air quality management work with other areas of the Council at a strategic level, in particular the Local Transport Plan.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “This is an excellent and exciting online development, which allows people to get the most up-to-date information about their air quality.

“With the help of this website everyone can find out about simple steps they can take to help enhance the Cheshire East environment and improve the health and life opportunities for everybody.”

The Council monitors air pollution at over 130 sites across the borough.

Air pollution is any chemical, or other material in the air, which detracts from its quality. This could be smoke (which caused the smogs of the 1950s) soot particles, odours (from agriculture or takeaways), or chemicals such as sulphur dioxide (linked to acid rain) and nitrogen dioxide (linked to human health effects).

Many activities cause air pollution. Some natural events, such as volcanoes (such as the recent eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, in Iceland) or dust storms from deserts, cause air pollution.

However, there are a number of human activities which cause air pollution, including industry and agriculture, transport, domestic heating and garden bonfires.

By far the largest contributor to ground-based levels of air pollution is the combustion of fossil fuels. The biggest contributor to air pollution within Cheshire East is from road transport.

For more information visit the website:


Friday 12 November 2010

Joint charity appeal fetches £11,000 for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

Former Mayor of Cheshire East Council and Judi Jenning President of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue W.I who joined forces to raise £11,000 which allowed two dogs including Annie to be trained for the charity Hearing Dog for Deaf People

The former Mayor of Cheshire East Council and Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service have presented a whopping £11,000 to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Councillor Margaret Simon spent 2009/2010 raising money for the cause as well as Action Duchenne, a charity in aid of a little known form of muscular dystrophy.

The money was raised in partnership with Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service, which added £4,000 to Cllr Simon’s £7,000 fundraising total. The fire service’s fundraising was spearheaded by staff member Judi Jennings.

The grand total was presented to the charity after numerous activities, collections, a coffee morning in the Mayor’s Parlour and a Cheshire East ball. A fire cadet unit from Crewe fire station also joined in by holding a bag packing day in a local supermarket.

Cllr Simon’s theme for the Mayoral year was ‘working together to help to give people a better quality of life, especially those less fortunate than ourselves’.

Cllr Simon, who is a fire authority member, said: “Having a dog is a wonderful way of giving somebody with hearing problems the confidence to live a fairly normal life. The bond between a dog and its owner is very precious

“If an alarm clock goes off, the dog can tell them it is time to get up and they alert them if a smoke alarm goes off or a doorbell rings. These are simple things in life that many of us would take for granted but hearing dogs can help their owners to get through daily life.”

The money raised has helped for two dogs, Pabby and Annie, to be trained to take care of their new owners.

Mark Cashin, deputy chief fire officer at Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We are really pleased to be able to help this charity. The two hearing dogs we have bought, together with Cllr Simon, will make a big difference to the lives of their handlers.

“There was a core section of staff who worked tirelessly to raise this money after a talk to our work placed Women’s Institute (WI). A handler spoke of an incident when her hearing dog alerted her to a smoke alarm sounding in her home and then led her to safety and the seed was sown for us to help.

“I believe the two dogs are settled in their new homes and working brilliantly for their handlers, which makes us extremely proud.”

Pantomime Secured

l-r In the Box Office  Philippa Unett, Marketing Manager at the Lyceum Theatre Crewe  with l-r Mayor and Cheshire East Cllr. Jacquie Weatherill,  Cllr. Brian Silvester and Cllr. John Jones.

Glad to see Brian getting his money out for once

Cheshire East Council is pleased to announce that an agreement has been signed for next year’s pantomime at the Lyceum Theatre in Crewe.

The Council has held productive talks with Imagine Theatre about a production of Snow White for 2011-2012. Full details of next year’s pantomime will be available at in December 2010.

The Lyceum Theatre will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.

Mayor of Crewe, Councillor Jacquie Weatherill, said: “This is good news for the Lyceum Theatre, the people of Crewe and the wider Cheshire East community.

Councillor Brian Silvester, ward member for Rope, said: “This is a vote of confidence in the Lyceum Theatre. Bookings for the panto this year are very good and the panto next year has already been booked.

“This is excellent news for the Lyceum’s future and shows that Cheshire East Council is working hard to improve community life.”

Councillor John Jones, ward member for Crewe North, said: “Hopefully this means a new lease of life for the Lyceum and I am sure the news will be welcomed by the local community.”

Tickets are still available for this year’s performance of Aladdin, which starts on December 1. People can book their seats at the Lyceum’s website (above) or by ringing 01270 537333.

£1.7 million facelift for Lyceum Square now complete –


Market Reunited

Crewe outdoor market will return to the newly refurbished Lyceum Square, Cheshire East Council has announced today.

The move back, on Monday, November 15, will be well in time for the Christmas rush and will be celebrated with a host of events and activities around the town in the following weeks. (See the Crewe Chronicle next week for full details)

The return honours the undertaking made to the traders by the former Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council. A recent survey shows that clear support remains for Lyceum Square as the Market’s permanent home.

The announcement comes after hundreds of shoppers and market traders in Crewe took part in a survey to establish if the return to Lyceum Square should be reconsidered.

Outdoor market traders were moved temporarily to Market Square earlier this year to allow for a complete revitalisation and refurbishment of Lyceum Square.

Cheshire East Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “The original plan for this huge investment was designed prior to the creation of Cheshire East Council and made a firm commitment that the outdoor market would move back to Lyceum Square.

“However, following successful trading in Market Square, we felt the need to take wider soundings – asking traders and shoppers their opinions on whether the outdoor market should return to Lyceum Square. We have to establish what is best for the economic viability of Crewe and the views of its traders and customers are an essential ingredient in this recipe for success.”

An independent market research team conducted surveys from October 20-22 and again on October 30. A total of 377 people have been surveyed, including all the outdoor and indoor market stall holders. The survey also involved retailers on Market Square. Of the shoppers surveyed at the outdoor market, 80% were from Crewe.

Councillor Menlove added: Overall, there is a clear indication from everyone, shoppers, nearby retailers and the market traders themselves that this is the right decision. Overall 59% of people either wanted the return or had no preference.

“We felt it essential that the move back happened well before Christmas to allow all the market traders every opportunity to have a prosperous trading period in the run up to the festivities.

“I would like to thank everyone who took part in these surveys. This was about approaching the issue of Crewe market in an open and honest manner – listening to the people of Crewe as a whole. We must find the best solution to help Crewe grow, develop and be sustainable.

“I obviously recognise that not everyone will be happy with the result, but I am confident that the result correctly reflects the wishes of Crewe as a whole -shoppers, retailers and most importantly both indoor and outdoor traders. Indeed the Market Traders Committee is 100 per cent behind the return and back to business as usual.”

Wednesday 10 November 2010

New Wedding Opportunities


Couples planning their wedding or civil partnership can now enjoy the ceremony in some of the stunning gardens of Cheshire East’s licensed hotels or stately homes.

Cheshire East Council has granted permission for the proceedings to be held outside in response to the many requests the registration service receives every year.

After the ceremony the couples will be required to retire to a room inside the venue to exchange legal vows. This is because legislation requires that the legally-binding words of a ceremony are spoken within a room approved for marriage or civil partnerships.

It is hoped that this new option will help hoteliers and other licence holders attract more couples to Cheshire East venues.

Initially the ceremonies will be offered between the months of April and October.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “This decision will give people greater choice of where they hold their marriage or civil partnership ceremony and I am certain that this will be a popular move.

“Initial feedback from licence holders has been very positive and businesses are excited about offering this new facility.

“Many of our stately homes and hotels have beautiful gardens and I am sure they will provide a spectacular setting for weddings and civil partnerships.”

For further information about ceremonies in Cheshire East, please telephone 01270 375140 or visit our ceremony website

Crowds Salute Mercian Heroes

 Tony Smith cheers on the soldiers

The people of Cheshire East turned out in their hundreds to salute the bravery of the battle-hardened ‘Cheshires’ on their return from Afghanistan.

A total of 550 soldiers of 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) proudly paraded through Macclesfield and Crewe with fixed bayonets, colours flying and band playing.

Crewe Mercians 69

Crowds of people waving Union Flags clapped and cheered the troops as they marched through the towns on Monday (November 8).

The soldiers gave salutes in each town before being presented with the Freedom of the Borough by Cheshire East Council.

1 Mercian has just returned from active service on the frontline in war-torn Helmand Province. The regiment – whose motto is ‘Stand firm, strike hard’ – suffered 12 fatalities during its six-month tour of duty.

Cheshire East Mayor Gordon Baxendale had put forward a motion before the Council to honour ‘The Cheshires’ and the three other Mercian battalions – and it was unanimously backed by councillors last month.

The Freedom of the Borough is the first granted by Cheshire East Council, which came into being on April 1, 2009.

A Freedom of the Borough scroll was presented by Mayor Baxendale to Brigadier John Donnelly and his troops during the official homecoming parades. The troops and their families were then treated to civic receptions in each town.

Cllr Fitzgerald said before the ceremonies: “The bravery and dedication of the troops of 1 Mercian in Afghanistan has been inspirational and the Council is deeply proud of its links with, and support for, the regiment.”

Mayor Baxendale said: “It was fantastic to see so many people brave the dreadful weather and show their appreciation and gratitude to the servicemen and women of 1 Mercian.

“The soldiers have been magnificent – and the Council is deeply proud of its links with The Mercians. We are thrilled and honoured to cement Cheshire East’s friendship with our locally-recruited regiment by giving them the very first Freedom of the Borough.”

The servicemen and women of 1 Mercian are recruited from Congleton, Crewe, Holmes Chapel, Middlewich, Macclesfield, Sandbach and across Cheshire West.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield, Commanding Officer 1 Mercian, has previously praised the work done by Cheshire East and its residents to raise the morale of troops during their tour of duty in a war zone.

He particularly praised those responsible for organising and helping the ‘Jiffy bag’ scheme, which collected thousands of parcels of treats to send to 1 Mercian troops in Helmand.

Cheshire East Council collections led to more than 750 parcels being donated, with average contents costing £10 per bag. Further collections of DVDs and video games have also boosted troops in hospital recovering from injuries.

Lt Col Hadfield said: “It really has meant a great deal to our troops to know they have had the full support of the people of East Cheshire – they really appreciated it. Being granted the Freedom of the Borough is a great honour.”

Major Eddie Pickering MBE, the Assistant Regimental Secretary, said: “I have been astonished at the generosity of people from every corner of the county, who have supported our troops these last six months – and there have been none as generous as the people of Cheshire East, from fundraising and sending out packages of comforts, to visiting our injured soldiers in hospital.”

The Cheshire’s main role in Helmand is to mentor local security forces and provide security on the ground as part of the development of creating normal, everyday life in Afghanistan.

Cllr Baxendale has named ABF The Soldiers’ Charity as one of the organisations he is fundraising for during his tenure as mayor.

Old Crewe War Memorial plaques now at Christ Church

War Memorial plaques 2

Relatives of our fallen heroes in Crewe can now view newly-erected plinths carrying the original plaques from the town’s war memorial.

With Armistice Day on Thursday and Remembrance Sunday this coming weekend, it is the perfect opportunity for those wishing to pay their respects to visit the plaques, which carry the names of fallen soldiers from World War One and Two.

The plaques are now in the grounds of Christ Church, just around the corner from the Municipal Square where the Royal British Legion (RBL) will be hosting its Armistice and Remembrance events this week.

A special dedication service for the plaques will take place in the near future.

Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member with responsibility for performance and capacity, said: “This topic has been very emotive to some families, who saw the old plaques as representative of their dead relative. They would touch the name of their relative to remember them.

“The plinths are very attractive and the bronze plaques have been re-patinated (cleaned) and fixed securely. They look fantastic.

“A dedication will take place soon but with this week’s Armistice and Remembrance events taking place, it is a great opportunity for Crewe residents to pay their respects.”

The plaques were removed from the Britannia war memorial when it was moved from Market Square to Municipal Square in 2006.

The memorial had a new base plinth and plaques made which included 85 names that had been missing from the original plaques on the old site.

But now the old plaques have been brought back to their former glory and have taken pride of place at Christ Church.

Get the ‘Real Deal’ at a Cheshire East market

Real Deal campaign launched

Cheshire East’s Council have joined a campaign to cut out counterfeiting in local markets ahead of the busy Christmas shopping period.

The authority has signed the ‘Real Deal’ charter, announcing their refusal to allow fake goods to be bought and sold at Cheshire East markets.

The ‘Real Deal’ charter is the brainchild of the Industry Trust for Intellectual Property (IP) Awareness which helps, local authorities, tackle the sale of counterfeit goods on markets and car boot sales.

The campaign will offer support and advice to local traders and urge both retailers and shoppers to report any concerns they may have regarding the sale of fake products.

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

“The sale of counterfeit goods takes away vital trade from our many, legitimate traders here in Cheshire East as well as having a wider impact on those who own the trade mark for such products.

“The aim of this campaign is to ensure we can all do our Christmas shopping with peace of mind – safe in the knowledge that we are buying a genuine gift. This is about protecting our traders and consumers. I would urge anyone who has concerns about illegal trading to contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.”

Liz Bales, Director General of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, added:

"Well-run local markets provide real benefits to shoppers and businesses alike and are an important asset for local communities.  Unfortunately, unscrupulous traders can be attracted to markets and car boot sales as an easy opportunity to trade illegally, particularly in counterfeit and pirated goods.

“It is a major problem across the UK and is often linked to organised criminal groups. By signing up to the Real Deal charter, Cheshire East Council is sending a clear 'keep-out' message to counterfeit conmen. The Consumer Protection and Investigations team and its market managers have embraced the principle of fake-free trading and we hope that other councils across the country will follow their lead."

Saturday 6 November 2010

Cheshire Councils in talks to find solution to waste disposal problem


Two Cheshire Councils are talking to Viridor in an attempt to find a solution to the problem of future household waste disposal in the county.

The Waste Management giant had been selected by both Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East Councils as their provisional preferred bidder to handle the £850m, 25-year contract.

But just as the two authorities were about to finalise a lengthy procurement process, Defra announced that it had decided to withdraw its provisional allocation of over £100m worth of support for the scheme.

Cheshire East Councillor Peter Mason, Cabinet Member with responsibility for procurement, assets and shared services, added:  “This set back is very disappointing, especially as we have just chosen our preferred bidder for this contract.

“The project would have solved the problem of the disposal of Cheshire’s household waste through this 25 year contract in an environmentally friendly way – avoiding the need for landfill.”

Cheshire West and Chester Councillor Lynn Riley, Community and Environment Executive Member: “This legacy project took five years and around £4m of public money to reach this stage. In the light of the current situation, we need to examine all the options open to us.

“It is only commonsense that we should talk to the company that had been chosen after such a careful selection process, to see whether there is the facility within the current procurement to help overcome the funding shortfall.”

In the meantime officers representing both authorities have met with Defra officials in London to discuss The Government’s reasons for selecting The Cheshire scheme as one of seven to have financial support withdrawn.

Councillor Riley added:  “I understand that the methodology employed by Government to arrive at that decision will not be published for two or three weeks.

“Our project team will review the information from the meeting with Defra and we will consider a report from officers before making recommendations on any further possible action.

“We cannot at this stage rule out a formal challenge against the decision to withdraw

support for this crucial important scheme.”

Councillor Riley continued:  “At this stage only one thing appears to be certain and that is that PFI credits are a thing of the past. Those schemes that have been successful will be supported by a system of grants.” 

Viridor had proposed a mechanical and biological treatment plant at the former INEOS chemical works at Griffiths Road, Northwich, which would recover the limited recyclable materials from household waste and use the remainder to produce a solid recoverable fuel.

This fuel could then be transported by rail from the MTB facility to a purpose built power station to be constructed at Runcorn which in turn will generate energy for use in the INEOS works.