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Friday 30 November 2012

SAS Hero set free

An SAS hero jailed for keeping an Iraqi pistol as a war trophy thanked the Press yesterday for helping secure his freedom.

Danny Nightingale’s 18-month prison sentence was quashed by senior judges following a three-week newspaper campaign.

He will now be able to spend Christmas with his young family.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Cheshire East Council’s A-Team is best in the UK!


Cheshire East Council’s A-Team has firmly cemented its position as the best apprenticeship scheme in the country at the Training Journal (TJ) Awards.

Host and broadcaster Daisy McAndrew told onlookers at the seventh annual awards at the Brewery in London last night that the A-Team had raised the bar and set a new standard in apprenticeships.

Having already won a clutch of awards over the past two years, it triumphed in the face of tough opposition from the likes of Thomas Cook Group PLC, BAM Nuttall Ltd (judged in second) and Manchester marketing agency McCann (judged third).

The awards are designed to inspire excellence and celebrate best practice in learning and development and there were more than 450 industry professionals in attendance.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “My sincere congratulations go to the A-Team – what an achievement.

“We always believed we had one of the best apprenticeship schemes in the country, but this has now proved that it is, in fact, the best.

“I am incredibly proud of all our apprentices. They get real ‘hands-on’ experiences here at Cheshire East Council and are trusted to contribute to major projects, where they are picking up key skills to help their careers.”

Councillor Barry Moran, Cabinet member in charge of performance, added: “This is a well deserved result and recognises the excellence of Cheshire East Council’s apprenticeship scheme and all the young local people involved.

“My warm congratulations go to all the human resources team. It was a great night and, along with Councillor David Topping, it was a privilege to represent Cheshire East Council at these awards.”

The A-Team philosophy is built on Attitude, Teamwork, Energy, Action and Motivation and it currently offers best practice apprenticeship advice to other councils in England, as well as organisations within the private, wider public sector and Cheshire Chamber of Commerce members.

The A-Team will feature alongside all the winners in a special supplement that will be part of the January edition of TJ and there will be more in-depth exploration of the winning entries in TJ throughout 2013.

There were a number of winners at the TJ Awards, sponsored by Development Processes Group, across 14 categories such as leadership, coaching and technology in learning. The likes of Brighton and Hove Albion, BSkyB and Specsavers picked up accolades.

Road reopens following serious collision in Whitchurch


The A49 has now reopened following a serious collision in Whitchurch.

At 7.45am this morning police were called to Bradley Green in Whitchurch following reports of a collision between two cars.

Police, fire and the air ambulance attended the scene. A man and a woman have been taken to North Staffordshire Hospital with serious injuries.

The A49 was closed whilst the vehicles were removed from the scene.  The road has now fully reopened.

Anyone with any information in relation to this incident is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 121 of 29 November.



I had been contacted by several concerned residents who live in Colleys Lane, Willaston (which is part of the Ward I represent - Wistaston Ward) regarding the switching off of six street lighting columns near to their homes.  I also attended Willaston Parish Council and took on board their views regarding the switch off.

I took up these concerns with the Council Leader Michael Jones, the Portfolio Holder Rod Menlove and Head of Highways and Transport Kevin Melling.  I passed on local knowledge of the area to them, they have reconsidered and I am very grateful to them for arranging for these street lights to be switched back on today.

Best regards

Margaret Simon

Cheshire East Councillor for Wistaston Ward

Telephone: 01270 663110

Mobile: 07894 478768


Mp’s Bulletin 130

Edward Timpson MP

Thursday 29, November 2012

Welcome ...

Welcome to this my 130th news bulletin.

Many of you will have heard of the case of Sgt Danny Nightingale. If you are sympathetic to his plight and want to make sure your support counts you can sign up to Danny's petition at It already has over 72,000 signatures, but we need to keep them coming in, so you'll be in good company!

Danny has now been freed

As a Member of Parliament for a railway constituency, I am delighted that the government has embarked on the biggest rail modernisation programme since the Victorian era.

This will mean faster journeys, more seats, improved access to stations like Crewe, better freight links for companies based here, and a world class rail network.

In fact, improvement work at Crewe station is beginning again shortly.

The Government is delivering its vision for a railway which is more financially and environmentally sustainable, supports growth, and delivers not only for passengers, but also the freight customers that are so important to our local economy.

£16 billion is currently being spent, including £9.4 billion for infrastructure.

New projects include:

• Increased rail capacity for commuters and over £400 million for projects including the Northern Hub linking key Northern cities. This will provide for 20,000 additional commuting trips per day into our major cities outside London in the morning peak.

• The creation of a new electric spine from Yorkshire and the Midlands to South Coast ports, with more reliable electric trains cutting journey times and boosting capacity.

All of this means better rail connections to Crewe, more potential business for our local economy, and more jobs.

I can't wait for all the work to be completed. It's long overdue.

Please 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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Locally I have...

  • Laid wreaths at the Remembrance Services in Crewe and in Nantwich in memory of our fallen soldiers
  • Held a number of surgeries around the constituency
  • Met with Sally Nightingale, wife of Sgt Danny Nightingale, to discuss their ongoing efforts to bring him back to his family and update her on my correspondance with the Prime Minister on the issue. Sign up to Danny's petition at
  • Received Cllr Bebbington's Green Gap petition which I have presented to Cheshire East
  • Lit the Nantwich Fireworks alongside Michelle Keegan as part of the Halloween Spooktacular a joint fundraising effort between Blitz fireworks and Nantwich Agricultural Society
  • Lit the Crewe Bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night
  • Supported Helen Spencer, a fitness instructor whose husband is serving with the RAF in Afgahnistan, as she raised money for Help for Heroes. Helen held a one hour Kettlercise class at Shavington Leisure Centre near Crewe
  • Opened Cheshire Academy's new garden at Broad Street School created by the Princes Trust Crewe 37 Team
  • Dropped one of my children's old bikes off at Recycle Cycles at 1 Coronation Crescent, Maw Green, Crewe, CW1 4EJ which I recently opened. I encourage anyone with an old bike to do the same, contact Dave Sudden on 01270 583019 if you have any queries
  • Participated in a classroom session at Wistaston Primary provided by NSPCC ChildLine Schools Service
  • Assisted at a LATH Group stall on Crewe Market Square to raise awareness of the organisation and to recruit Volunteers and Friends of LATH
  • Joined local charity Crewe & Nantwich Open Minds at the Gresty Road YMCA (Foyer 169) to discuss mental health issues and what the Government is doing to help those with mental health needs
  • Attended a Youth Work Week event at Beech Drive Family Centre to meet with young people, hear about their involvement in the National Citizens Scheme, what they are doing, and in return talk a little about what I do in my role as an MP
  • Visited Adelaide School at the request of some of the pupils to participate in their project on government
  • Supported the Home Heat Helpline campaign to increase awareness of the service. The helpline advises people worried about paying their fuel bills and keeping warm during the winter. It also gives advice to low-income households in urgent need of heating help and advice

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Westminster Report

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Read my most recent Crewe & Nantwich Talk

Click here or on the image

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Photos & Video ...

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Edward opening Cheshire Academy's Garden at Broad Street School created by the Princes Trust Crewe 37 Team

You can view all my photos and video at

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Community News

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Home Heat Helpline

The helpline advises people worried about paying their fuel bills and keeping warm during the winter. It also gives advice to low-income households in urgent need of heating help and advice. It is free to call and is open 9am-6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-2pm on Saturdays.

Calls to the helpline are answered by friendly expert advisors at the  Home Heat Helpline call centre. They can give you quick, clear information on the grants, benefits and payment schemes that you may be entitled to as well as basic steps that you can take to save money on heating bills by making your home more energy efficient.

For information visit the Home Heat Helpline website or call them on 0800 33 66 99.

Do you have community news to share? Email me and it could be here too!

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MP Timpson backs Crewe and Nantwich “Green Gap” 4,000-name petition

Nantwich News

A 4,000-name petition calling for the Green Gap around Nantwich and Crewe to be protected, has been backed by local MP Edward Timpson.

Campaigners launched the "Save the Green Gap" effort in Willaston two years ago to safeguard the area from excessive urban development.

Mr Timpson, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, has thrown his support behind the campaign and presented a petition with over 4,000 signatures to Cheshire East Council and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The petition is made up of over 250 children's signatures and 4,000 signatures from Crewe and Nantwich residents, collected by Cllr Derek Bebbington and his team.

Mr Timpson said: "I stand behind the residents of Crewe and Nantwich, who are understandably worried about the plans that Cheshire East Council have for our green fields.

"The council needs to understand that people care deeply about their local environment and want it protected."

The Green Gap around villages such as Shavington, Willaston, Wybunbury, Weston, Haslington, Leighton and Maw Green was originally protected from development by the former Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council in 1993.

But Cheshire East Council has been reviewing its plans for the development of the borough, and current draft plans do not mention the Green Gap.

In November 2010, a campaign was started by the Willaston Green Gap Action Team.

They handed in a petition of 1,221 signatures to Cheshire East Council in December 2010 asking for the retention of the Green Gap to be included in the Cheshire East Core Strategy development document.

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Free wifi launches on Crewe housing estate

Crewe Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson pushed the button to officially switch on a new service offering free WiFi access in South Cheshire.

The free internet access is being offered by Wulvern Housing, local community group the Beech Drive Project and Internet Central. It will be available to Sherborne Estate residents in Crewe with plans to expand the service across South Cheshire soon.

The project is the first in the North West.

Wulvern director and All Change for Crewe board member Rob Allen said: "All Change for Crewe recognises that there is a need for wider access to the internet in our priority neighbourhoods, particularly for vulnerable people.

"Access improves the quality of life for residents. It impacts on a whole range of issues from education, to finding the latest money saving offers.

"Our aim is to make the internet accessible to communities across South Cheshire giving them opportunities and support to get connected.

"After registering with Wulvern WiFi, users can access the internet via any enabled device as well as a whole host of services, local businesses, schools and community facilities."

Wulvern is also encouraging residents to get on-line by offering a free computer loan scheme, free repairs to IT equipment and software, free computer classes and a free digital helpline via telephone and email.

Beech Drive project manager John Bottomley said: "Of the 8.7m UK adults who have never used the internet, over 4m are among the most vulnerable in society.

"We are delighted to be able to offer this fantastic service.

"Our aim is to make the internet accessible to communities across in South Cheshire giving them opportunities and support to get connected."

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MP Timpson welcomes rise in apprenticeships in Crewe and Nantwich

Nantwich News

Crewe & Nantwich MP Edward Timpson has welcomed the rise in apprenticeship positions across the borough.

Latest figures show half a million people started an apprenticeship last year in the UK, and 1,490 of those were in Crewe and Nantwich.

Mr Timpson says that's an increase of 810 apprentices compared to the year of the last General Election 2009/2010.

"It is fantastic that 1,490 people in Crewe & Nantwich started an apprenticeship last year," he added.

"We are getting behind people who work hard and want to get on in life. Apprenticeships are a great way to help people get the skills they need to make a better future for themselves.

"I want many more people in Crewe and Nantwich to have the chance to earn and learn at the same time.

"I would urge everyone to think about whether they can benefit from the many apprenticeship opportunities that are now available."

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Street Pastors scheme is launched in Nantwich

Crewe Chronicle

A SCHEME to curb anti-social behaviour at night has been launched in Nantwich.

The ‘street pastors’ initiative was launched on Saturday in a joint project between Nantwich’s churches and the local police.

Twenty volunteers undertook the first of a dozen training sessions at Nantwich Methodist Church and enjoyed lunch with guests of honour, MP Edward Timpson and Nantwich deputy mayor John Lewis.

The mini army will be out on the streets during the busiest nights to assist visitors to pubs and clubs and help them get home safely.

Joint co-ordinator David Maidment explained: “The four-person teams will operate independently, but in close liaison with the police, and offer a friendly presence and help to those that need it.

“That might include the provision of advice to those with transport problems getting home, water or help for those feeling unwell, the clearing of dangerous litter and provision of flip-flops to those too unsteady in their high-heels, and the calming of situations where problems seem to be developing.

“Where the scheme has been running in other towns, a significant reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour due to drunkenness has been reported.

“Guests at the launch spoke of their support for the scheme and the value they believed it would bring to Nantwich’s nightlife.”

Nationally, 300 street pastor schemes are in operation – with successful local schemes in Middlewich, Chester and Wrexham.

The volunteers have embarked on a training course in street safety, listening skills and conflict management, as well as national street pastor procedures.

They will be fully trained and out in force by Christmas.

Sergeant Richard Tomlinson of the Nantwich Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “A lot of what they do will help take pressure off our officers and it’ll be good to see them out there.

“It’s had success in other towns so I’m sure it will be a success here too.

“We’re all working to the same ends to make sure people can come out to Nantwich and have a safe and enjoyable night.”

Sgt Tomlinson added he hoped Cheshire Constabulary’s ArcAngel scheme – the quality standards initiative for licensed premises – will be introduced soon.

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

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Thursday 29 November 2012

Residents left in dark over street light switch off.


Willaston and Rope Ward Councillor Brian Silvester is backing the call by Willaston Parish Council to have the street lights turned back on that were switched off in the village and  for proper consultation about the proposal  to take place.

He said, " It is simply unacceptable for the Council to switch off street lights on a major route into the village, like Newcastle Road, without any consultation whatsoever with the residents of Willaston and the Parish Council. Before some street lights were switched off in Wilmslow proper consultaion took place but Willaston residents are not given the same consideration and are being treated as second class citizens. The Council are continually consulting on new and updated strategies that nobody is interested in but when it comes to important decisions, like switching street lights off, they steamroller ahead and the first residents in Willaston know about it is when they have to walk back to the village at night in the pitched dark. Blacked out streets are less safe and more vulnerable to crime and residents have a right to express their views about this before the decision is implemented.

In their press release (below) the Council stated that, ' The Authority has written to all town and parish councils to inform them on how the changes could affect their area.' This is just not correct. I had to dig to find out how the new policy would effect the village and then I informed the Parish Council."

Cllr Brian Silvester
Willaston and Rope Ward Councillor

Tel/fax 01270 567757

Council tells empty home owners – ‘Put your house in order’


Cheshire East Council is getting tough with the owners of unsightly empty homes.

The crackdown is the latest round of an ongoing campaign to help bring more houses back into use.

The Council has served notices on two more dilapidated empty properties – both in residential areas in the centre of Crewe.

The authority’s ‘empty homes team’ has used powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to require two derelict houses to be upgraded and brought into a better state of repair in Nantwich Road and Gainsborough Road, Crewe.

The aim is to not only improve the appearance of the area – but also ensure homes are lived in once again.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cheshire East Cabinet member in charge of prosperity and economic performance, said: “Empty homes are a wasted resource and a frequent cause of nuisance to neighbours and other residents.

“As an enforcing Council, we are determined to tackle the problem of unsightly vacant properties. Owners of empty homes are urged to contact our private sector housing team, who can offer assistance and advice in bringing homes back into use.”

In a related development, notices served earlier this year on a litter-strewn empty property in Station Road, in Handforth, have now resulted in improvement works being carried out by the owner.

Consequently the local environment and outlook has been dramatically transformed for neighbouring householders.

Cllr Macrae added: “This case demonstrates that by tackling nuisance properties real benefits can be gained for local people. The people of Cheshire East can be reassured that we will continue to be vigilant and serve notices on problem empty homes as they arise.”

You can report a problem empty home via the online form on the Cheshire East Council website via the weblink at: (or this hyperlink: Empty Homes)



The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, visited two key support functions at Cheshire Constabulary headquarters in Winsford.

The Commissioner, who took up his new post last week, spent several hours at the Tactical Training Centre and the Vehicle Maintenance Unit.

He said, "We have to optimise effectiveness and efficiency. So, I am keen to see everything the Constabulary is doing and how it is doing it. I was very impressed with what both of these facilities have achieved.

"I was pleased to discover that they generate income. Staff in the Vehicle Maintenance Unit carry out regular servicing on about fifty vehicles from other forces and other agencies.

"Other forces and organisations can hire facilities in the Tactical Training Centre. When I called in, officers from another Constabulary were on the firing range and a company specialising in pre-hospital emergency care were using one of the classrooms.

"This is particularly valuable at the present time when we are faced with finding ways to meet Government spending reductions. The Constabulary is thinking about ways of creating income that are beneficial to the people of Cheshire. I want to assist with that whenever possible.

"I have nine weeks to draw up the outline budget for 2013/14 and that needs to be a springboard for the years to come."

The purpose-built Vehicle Maintenance Unit opened in 2003 and it has developed the service it provides to the front line since then. Twenty four staff now look after a fleet of nearly 650 vehicles, which cover 11.4 million miles every year. As a comparison, twelve years ago 31 people maintained a fleet of 468 vehicles.

John Dwyer said, "The staff have also put a lot of effort into finding the most cost-effective ways of keeping the fleet on the road."

The Tactical Training Centre was opened in 2010 and provides a 100 metre indoor firing range, an indoor ‘street′ with buildings including a ‘pub′ and a ‘house′ which is used to practice entry techniques. There is also a ‘football terrace′ with seating and a suite of fully equipped classrooms.

Every year 700 officers are trained in crowd-control skills and 350 in public order techniques. Five hundred officers renew their personal safety skills and 78 specialist firearms officers spend ten days at the TTC as part of their 28 days annual training.

In addition, there is command training for senior officers in charge of major operations, plus courses on search and crime scene investigation, enhanced first aid, evidence gathering and ways to deal with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear emergencies.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Fire Brigade to the Rescue

You may remember the blocked fire escape in Oxford St we featured here were a builder had illegally fenced off land that doesnt belong to him and had blocked a fire exit to a new gym. This issue has been going on a long time and the council have not progressed it in over a year. the councils reply last week was
Dear all,
Unfortunately, the matter has not progressed further because improper maintenance of land is a low priority especially when there is unlikely to be a planning solution due to the land ownership issues.
I will, when workload allows, attempt to find out why the company have enclosed the area concerned and what their intentions are? We can only serve a notice on an owner or occupier – we would have to proved that the company are occupying the land.
Please note, from a planning perspective, I am not concerned about the security fence I am only interested in the domestic waste which has been dumped (more than likely by locals) on the area of land which formed part of the alleyway.
Craig Wilshaw
Senior Planning Officer (Enforcement)
Cheshire East Borough Council
Tel: 01270 686746
(Non-working day Monday)
I read that as the council puts human life as a very low priority as a blocked fire exit can get people killed is this an official council policy that human life is worthless or just one mans opinion ?

The Fire brigade on the other hand responded very quickly and took immediate  action 
Helen Crick
Communications Officer
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Sadler Road
01606 868821
Was contacted on this matter and two days later the fence was moved back so the fir exit wasnt blocked any long. There is still an issue that they still have the fence on property they dont own and its full of rubbish which is both a Health and Fire risk. It does show that action can be swift and all that is needed is a simple phone call so why isnt the council picking up the phone and getting it sorted?

Rape – a distressing act where offenders offer appalling excuses say Cheshire Police


As we enter December everyone′s thoughts will be turning to Christmas with many of us thinking about going out, meeting new people and having a good time.

However, Cheshire Police say this time of year brings real challenges for police officers as they deal with an increase in the number of rape and sexual assaults taking place.

Over the last few years in the run up to Christmas, the number of rapes reported from October to December has increased from 42 in 2010 to

85 in 2011. This increase in reported rapes would suggest there is a greater public confidence in reporting serious sexual offences to Cheshire Police.

As the launch for ‘rape shatters lives - there is no excuse’ campaign starts this week, Cheshire Police are appealing to people to think about their motives for committing sexual offences as they deal with offenders who use a variety of excuses to explain their reasoning when they are arrested for rape.

ACC Ruth Purdie said: "Our message is clear - anyone who uses force to have sex with another person is committing a criminal offence. Everyone has the right to say no to sex - without consent, sex with another person is rape.

We are warning potential offenders this Christmas that there is no excuse for rape and we want to reassure victims of rape that we are committed to getting justice for them. Rape shatters lives, it is a distressing act and officers, when they are investigating allegations of rape will not accept appalling excuses from offenders for their actions. The law is clear − "No means No!".

Most people find the subject of rape difficult to discuss as the mental images it conjures up are distressing. The ′shattered lives′ approach is aimed at driving home the message by spelling out to potential offenders the impact that rape has on the lives of victims.

ACC Purdie commented, "We need to remove the taboos and myths that surround rape and sexual violence and start to discuss it in the open. We need to make it socially unacceptable for people to think that they can offer an excuse as a means of mitigating their actions when they are charged with an offence of rape or sexual assault.

There are no excuses for rape or sexual violence and those who normalise, deny or blame the victim for their own actions must understand that making excuses for themselves or their friends who have used force to get ‘what they wanted’ will not be tolerated."

Five-a-side football tournament raises money for charity

Football Tournament 1

A charity five-a-side football tournament hosted by Crewe Neighbourhood Policing Team has raised £500 for Cancer Research UK.

The tournament was held in aid of International Men′s Day on Saturday 17 November at Manchester Metropolitan University′s campus in Crewe.

Eight teams took part, representing the local community, Cheshire Constabulary, North West Ambulance Service, Manchester Metropolitan University and Wulvern Housing.

The overall winners were KFC, a team from the local Polish community, who defeated the Manchester Metropolitan University team in the final.

PC Warren Davidson of Crewe Neighbourhood Policing Unit was responsible for organising the event.

He said: "We would like to say a big thank you to Gareth Smith from the Manchester Metropolitan University for providing all the facilities and Rob Allen, Director of Partnerships at Wulvern Housing, who have kindly offered to match all the money raised, pound-for-pound.

"Due to the success of this event and for the assistance provided by the Manchester Metropolitan University, I am hopeful that another tournament can be arranged for next year which will hopefully raise even more money for local charities."



Police & Crime Commissioner John Dwyer has welcomed the news from the Home Office yesterday that victims will have extra protection as stalking becomes a specific criminal offence for the first time.

Two new laws came into force yesterday on the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. They are part of a package of new government support to prevent domestic and sexual violence.

John Dwyer said, "I am delighted to see that these new laws have been introduced, and will be available in the police officers′ tool kit in the fight against crime in Cheshire, policing should always have the welfare of the victim at its′ heart and this is an often hidden crime which can seriously impact upon the quality of life of the victim"

Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne said: ′Stalking is an appalling crime that destroys lives. The impact on victims can be devastating and we are doing all we can to make sure they have the protection they need and do not have to live in fear.

′These new offences send a clear message to offenders that stalking is a serious crime and they will be brought to justice for making others′ lives a misery.′

The new laws - that carry a maximum prison sentence of five years - will provide extra protection for victims and help bring more stalkers to justice.

Tourism boost for Cheshire East


Cheshire East is continuing to attract more visitors, with the visitor economy now worth £608m to the local area.

The latest data, which relates to 2011, shows that visitor numbers increased to nearly 12 million, and that tourists are spending five per cent more than the year before.

Cheshire East is following the UK trend of more people making day trips, with overnight trips not performing as strongly.

It is also important to note that employment within the tourism sector has risen by three per cent. (Total UK employment increased by 1.8 per cent compared to a year ago).

The data was compiled using the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM). This is a nationally-recognised benchmark that uses a range of sources including hotel occupancy rates, room rates, surveys and footfall figures for tourist attractions and visitor information centres.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity and economic regeneration, said: “These figures are excellent news and they show that the importance the Council has placed on the visitor economy is starting to pay dividends.

“These are tough times for the industry, which is under pressure from the recession, bank lending and poor weather – issues that have been particularly acute during 2012.

“This is where Cheshire East’s Visitor Economy Strategy shows its worth, as we work in partnership with Marketing Cheshire and tourism businesses to encourage more people to visit the Borough.

“With beautiful countryside, charming market towns and a rich heritage, Cheshire East has a lot to offer tourists and we will continue in our efforts to market the Borough as a visitor destination.”

Cheshire East also had several winners at the recent Marketing Cheshire Annual Awards 2012.

The winning businesses are below:

  • Self catering holiday of the year – Combermere Abbey Cottages;
  • Visitor attraction of the year – Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre;
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation of the year – The Bear’s Paw, Sandbach;
  • Tourism pub of the year – The Yew Tree Inn, Bunbury;
  • Team of the year – the volunteers at Anson Engine Museum, Poynton;
  • Marketing initiative of the year – The Mere Golf Resort and Spa; and
  • Hotel of the year – Peckforton Castle.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Olympian Beth supports crime-fighting charity

Crimebeat 2

Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle MBE was among a host of high-profile guests who gathered at Cheshire Constabulary Headquarters on Monday 19 November to celebrate the 14th year of the High Sheriff′s charity Crimebeat, which works with young people′s organisations across the county to improve the environment and reduce crime.

Beth was greeted by a drum fanfare from the Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets to honour her achievement, which High Sheriff William Lees-Jones says is "just the sort of inspiration that helps Crimebeat to achieve its aim of providing examples and opportunities that will help youngsters to lead successful, productive lives."

The High Sheriff′s other guests included Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire David Briggs, newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer, Deputy Chief Constable Helen King and the founder of Cheshire Crimebeat, former High Sheriff Michael Trevor-Barnston.

Frank Harding, Crimebeat coordinator, said: "Since its formation in 1998, Crimebeat has raised more than £150,000 in private donations. The funding is used for a wide range of crime prevention, personal safety and good citizenship initiatives involving more than a quarter of a million young people from all over Cheshire."

The celebration featured presentations from organisations and youngsters who have benefited directly from Crimebeat′s work, including the recipient of its landmark 500th project grant, the county′s Stay Safe Coordinator, Jim Brookes, who described how his ten-year association with successive High Sheriffs had enabled him to provide an increasingly effective and valuable mentoring service for excluded and marginalised youngsters.

Other presentations included:

TWISTA (Together We Inspire Striving To Achieve), a national award-winning project designed to help youngsters with behavioural difficulties to turn their lives around. The guests heard from Police Constable Rebecca Francis, schoolteacher Britta Wright and former students of Rudheath High School, about how this pioneering course has enabled young people to overcome their problems so effectively that it is now being taken up by schools around the country.

PC Rebecca Francis, of Northwich Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "I would like to send a big thank you to Cheshire Crimebeat, who helped make an idea become a reality. I have been amazed by the way TWISTA has supported young women in our community by creating opportunities."

CROSSROADS. Prison Officers Martin Randall and Dave McAlley assisted by two ex-prisoners spoke about this successful programme of school visits to H.M.P. Altcourse which provided an opportunity for students to understand the consequences of crime by seeing first-hand the reality of prison life and meeting young people who had fallen foul of the law.

INTERNET SAFETY. Lieutenant Commander Cioma Commanding Officer of Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets explained the work that his young members had been doing to raise awareness about the dangers that can be encountered online and how to reduce the risks.

The evening concluded with a surprise presentation of a special award certificate by High Sheriff William Lees-Jones and Mrs Ariel Lees-Jones to Crimebeat Coordinator Frank Harding, who has held the post since the charity′s launch in 1998, making him the longest serving coordinator in the country.

Spread the warmth – buy with confidence


The older and more vulnerable people of Cheshire East can be safe in the knowledge that a number of businesses have signed up to a Council code of practice which seeks to ensure fair trading.

A ‘Buy with Confidence’ scheme was launched last year by the consumer protection and investigations team. It is designed to provide residents with a choice of businesses that have made a commitment to trading fairly.

A total of 19 businesses have now signed up, each of which were vetted before being accepted. This included a review of their complaints history, good references and a visit from local trading standards officers.

Although membership doesn’t guarantee things won’t go wrong, it does mean that the business will deal with customers fairly if things do. 

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cabinet member with responsibility for communities and regulatory services, said: “If residents have any doubts as to who reputable traders are in Cheshire East, they should contact us and we will direct them to members of Buy with Confidence.

“Cheshire East Council is committed to both promoting local businesses and protecting local consumers, particularly at times when they may feel more vulnerable, such as the winter period.

“I am confident that the majority of businesses in Cheshire East deal with consumers fairly but I would still urge as many as possible to sign up to Buy with Confidence.”

Sean Reynolds, Chair of the Local Adult Safeguarding Board, added: “If people need to find a local, reliable plumber, electrician, builder or gardener, for example, this scheme is a very good source of information.

“In working together on trading standards, consumer protection, community safety and adult protection, Cheshire East Council and partner agencies are demonstrating their commitment to joined-up initiatives to support and assist all residents.

“In particular, they are supporting those who are most at risk, not just through this winter campaign, but all year round.”

Businesses have their company name featured on the Buy with Confidence website and will display the scheme’s logo on their vehicles and paperwork.

Further details about joining the scheme can be found through  and residents can find local traders at

Buy with Confidence is supported by Age UK and is available to all local residents.

For further winter-related advice, please visit

Be vigilant of bogus callers, warn police


Cheshire Police are warning the public to be vigilant of bogus callers as part of a national burglary awareness campaign.
ACPO′s burglary awareness campaign, running to December, features three themed weeks. From the 26th- 30th November, the focus is on distraction burglary. Police forces will be undertaking positive action to target thieves and sharing crime prevention advice with the public.
Distraction burglary is any crime where a falsehood, trick or distraction is used on an occupant of a dwelling to gain, or try to gain, access to the premises to commit burglary.
Investigations have shown that distraction burglars are usually members of highly organised crime groups who deliberately travel extensively throughout the UK in order to commit crime.
In September 2012, a 34-year-old woman was jailed for two years following a distraction burglary in Cheshire.
The offender knocked on the door of a property and asked the householder, an elderly lady, for a glass of water. While the victim was in the kitchen, the offender stole her purse.
ACPO lead on burglary, Nottinghamshire Police′s Assistant Chief Constable Paul Broadbent said: "We have chosen to focus on distraction burglaries this week because this crime can have a profoundly negative effect on victim′s lives. Research has found that 40 per cent of victims reported a change in their quality of life.
"We also know that this is an under-reported crime: research suggests that less than 10% of these types of crimes are reported to the police. Although there is potential for anyone to be a victim, the most typical victim is 77 years old, female and lives alone. They often feel embarrassed, intimidated and are scared of losing their independence. I want to reassure people that the police will do all that they can to support and protect victims who do come forward.
"Police are working hard to tackle distraction burglary and will continue to do so but we want to use this week to alert people to this crime. If you remember anything about distraction burglary, let it be: if you′re not sure, don′t open the door. Please pass this message on to anyone that you think could be vulnerable to distraction burglary."
Although a real threat, the police have seen a big reduction in distraction burglary while detecting more offenders. In 2006/07, nearly 13,000 offences were recorded with a detection rate of 11%. In 2011/12, just under 5,000 were recorded with a detection rate of 21%.
ACC Paul Broadbent urges: "Take these simple steps to protect yourself and share them with family, friends or neighbours- anyone you think could be at risk. Let′s work together to make it harder for criminals to get away with distraction burglary."

· Check the identity of callers by calling the company they claim to be from. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory, online or provided independently by your service provider. Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller − they may be bogus.

· Telephone a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the caller before you open the door to them.

· The "Waterboard" has not existed for 28 years; turn away anyone purporting to be from it.

· Keep cash in the bank where it is secure.

· Consider storing valuable jewellery in bank deposit box - contact your bank for details.

· Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times.

· Ensure that if you do let somebody in to your home, that you close the door behind them − distraction burglars often work in teams, while you′re distracted another person may sneak in through an open door.

· If somebody asks for your help, needs to make a telephone call, needs a drink or wants directions, don′t feel pressurised into letting them in. Help through a closed door, refer them to a younger neighbour or call to ask someone to assist.

· Not sure? Don′t open the door.
For more information and advice about how to protect your home from burglary, visit the Cheshire Police website:


Kyle Procter's visit 005

Fourteen years old Kyle Proctor learned about the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner first-hand on ‘Takeover Day′.

Kyle, from Winsford, was introduced to John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, as part of his day looking at Cheshire Constabulary in the company of Assistant Chief Constable Janette McCormick.

Kyle asked the Commissioner how young people could be more involved in decisions about policing their local areas.

Mr. Dwyer, who was on his second day in post, said the views of young people were a vital factor in deciding policing priorities.

He outlined his plans to introduce a ‘youth ambassador′ who would get to know children and young people, gain a clear picture of their views on local issues and make sure those views were considered by police officers and by other agencies when decisions were made.

Mr Dwyer said, "Kyle and I had a good discussion. He told me he had been surprised and impressed with the daily workload which the Constabulary takes on. It was encouraging to see someone of his age with a keen interest in policing."

Weather update


Heavy rain over the weekend has led to a small number of roads being closed in Cheshire East.

The following roads are currently closed:

  • Wrinehill Road and Back Lane, Wybunbury;
  • Mow Lane and Watery Lane, Astbury; and
  • Clay Lane, Moston.

There is some localised flooding at the following locations. However, the roads are passable with care:

· Back Lane, Congleton;

· Fol Hollow, Astbury; and

· Peover Lane, Chelford.

Officers from Cheshire East’s highways team will be working hard throughout the day to tackle flooding in these locations, as well as any other issues that arise.

For further updates please go to:


Monday 26 November 2012

Celebrations for Community Radio


At midnight on Sunday 2nd December, RedShift Radio will turn off the transmitter that allows them to broadcast on 87.7FM across South Cheshire.

The not-for-profit Community Radio station has enjoyed a successful third stint for 28-days and have gained many more listeners.

To mark the end of the FM broadcast, two events are planned and everyone is welcome to attend.

On Thursday 29th November, the RedShift Hub Networking Day takes place at Nantwich Town FC. This event encourages organisations such as businesses, schools, community groups and charities to get together, share best practice, build stronger relationships and celebrate successes. 

The event is free if booked in advance and £10 on the door but if you bring this article along you will get a fee entry on the door also. Alternatively, book here:

Liz Southall, Co-founder of RedShift Radio said "The feedback during this FM broadcast has been immense. We can't thank our sponsors and strategic partners enough for chipping in and supporting our dreams to bring Crewe and Nantwich its very own Community Radio station. We hope to be awarded a full-time licence in 2013 so please keep supporting us and we will do our very best to support you in return"

On Saturday, the RedShift team will be letting their hair down in Nantwich as they enjoy the Christmas Lights switch on hosted by Blitz Fireworks. Following the Christmas Lights events, RedShift presenters, sponsors and listeners are invited for an End of FM night out visiting The Boot and Shoe, The Residence and The Cheshire Cat. All are welcome to join.

Listen to the last few days of RedShift Radio on 87.7FM and you could win an Internet Radio.  

To find out more about RedShift Radio call Crewe 262 262.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Witnesses to Crewe aggravated burglary sought


Crewe Police are appealing for witnesses following an aggravated burglary in Crewe.

At 9.45pm on 11 November 2012, three men gained access to a house in Lawton Street.

They burst into the bedroom and threatened a woman with a knife demanding cash. The offenders then searched the house and left through the front door with jewellery and cash.

The woman was not harmed but was shaken by the incident.

The first offender is described as in his mid 20s, 5ft 6 to 7ins tall with a thin build and light brown skin. He was wearing a dark hoodie with fitted jeans and dark ankle boots. He spoke English and Bengali.

The second offender is described as in his late 20s to early 30s, with a light skin tone. He had a trimmed beard with a small tuft. He wore dark clothing and had a distinctive black woollen hat. He wore a waist length jacket with a collar but no hood.

The third offender is described as in his mid 20s, 5ft 6ins tall with dark, short spiked styled hair. He was clean shaven and dressed all in black with black trainers which were possibly Nike. He also spoke Bengali and English.

Anyone with information should contact DC Kev Lloyd on 101 quoting incident number 956 of 11 November 2012. Alternatively information can be given anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


More than 50 people enjoyed the annual Ladies Night event at Blue Bell MINI Crewe

Blue Bell MINI Crewe hosted the perfect Ladies’ Night Out on Wednesday 21 November. More than 50 Cheshire ladies enjoyed an array of tempting treats including complimentary manicures, sparkling wine, canapés and fine art on offer throughout the evening at the MINI showroom.

Guests at the Blue Bell MINI dealership at Gateway, Crewe, also received an array of free advice and motoring support, including completely free Health Checks for all MINIs and Winter Checks on all other vehicles, as well as vital Road Safety Awareness advice from Cheshire Police.

Prestigious local organisations such as Escape Spa and De Vere Hotel Wychwood Park were represented at the event, while The Attic Gallery showcased its fine art and sculpture and provided the ladies with Christmas gift inspiration.

For those looking for a spot of pampering, Seraphim Beauty, of Middlewich, was also on hand to provide a complimentary nail file and polish service.

To close the evening an impromptu charity auction of MINI London 2012 memorabilia was held, with Corporate Sales Manager Bernard Rooney reprising his former role as an auctioneer.  £50 was raised, which Barry Holt, Dealer Principal kindly doubled and donated to local children’s charity, Visyon.

Paul Legerton, Brand Manager at Blue Bell MINI Crewe, explains: “We were delighted with the success of the event which is fast becoming of staple of Cheshire’s motoring calendar.

“We wanted to host a special evening to recognise all the ladies who live, work and play in our community and I’m very pleased our female customers enjoyed themselves in what was a fantastic atmosphere.

“With forecasters predicting that winter weather conditions are due to set in over the next few weeks, we were very keen to incorporate the complimentary health checks, as well as important advice from the Cheshire Police. This way we can help to make sure our customers remain safe throughout the winter months.”

To find out more about Blue Bell MINI Crewe you can visit the dealership at Gateway, Crewe, CW1 6YY, or call the team for more information on 01270 214 800.

Brussels’ green-light boost for faster broadband for all


Moves to roll-out superfast broadband to homes and businesses across Cheshire have been given another major boost following a green light this week (Nov, 20) from the EU.

European state-aid approval paves the way for the UK’s £530m rural broadband scheme to start in earnest, meaning that work can begin laying the cables for local authority broadband projects all around the UK. 

The go-ahead follows a direct intervention from the Culture Secretary in Brussels last week, after several months of delay in Europe.

This decision lifts a significant blockage on progress to move forward with our ambitious plans to deliver more than 90 per cent superfast broadband coverage for Cheshire, Halton and Warrington, under the Connecting Cheshire partnership of four local authorities.

In Cheshire, Council funding will be used to match Government funding of £3.24m already received to date, combined with an anticipated £15m grant from the European Union to deploy new superfast broadband networks, from 2013, in areas where commercial providers have not yet upgraded the existing broadband infrastructure.

Connecting Cheshire expects to appoint either BT Openreach or Fujitsu as its partner next spring, in line with a national procurement exercise overseen by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

The appointed telecom company will also provide matched funds and this combined investment is expected to ensure that the project will exceed the Government’s target of 90 per cent of homes and businesses being able to connect to superfast broadband by 2015.

It is estimated that faster broadband will boost the whole of Cheshire’s economy by £1.3 billion over the next 15 years and create around 11,000 jobs.

Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council and Cabinet member in charge of strategic communities, said: “This is excellent news and a really significant step forward. We are now that much closer in our drive to ensure Cheshire can benefit fully, both socially and economically, from faster broadband speeds. We can now crack on with delivering broadband plans – boosting growth and jobs.

“As the Connecting Cheshire project moves into closer dialogue with telecom providers, it will be crucial to demonstrate a high level of demand. So I urge everyone to join our campaign for Better Broadband in Cheshire.

“Over 4,500 residents and 650 businesses have registered so far. This takes just a matter of minutes and will help ensure your community or businesses can be prioritised for investment in faster broadband. Simply register at

Christine Gaskell, Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is great news for Cheshire and Warrington and a major step forward following long delays.

“Faster broadband has the potential to boost Cheshire’s economy by £1.3 billion over the next 15 years and create more than 11,000 jobs.  It is essential that the LEP and all its partners continue work tirelessly to make sure that we deliver broadband to Cheshire and Warrington and secure much needed business growth.”

Friday 23 November 2012

Xmas Lights switch on

Reporter Jonathan White

Rockets launched from the roof of the Crewe Town Clock

The Crewe Christmas lights switch-on took place on Thursday 22nd November on the main square. The cast of Cinderella from this year's Lyceum Theatre ( pantomime started the countdown and switched on the lights with Mayor of Crewe Peggy Martin at 6.30pm. The switch-on was immediately followed by a spectacular ten minute firework display by local company Blitz Fireworks (, with rockets launched from the roof of the Crewe Town Clock. There was also musical entertainment from Elvis Tribute Paul Larcombe ( and Tom Seals & his band (, along with a small funfair. Father Christmas also made an appearance. Despite the rain hundreds of local adults and children attended the event. The event also marked the start of late-night shopping in Crewe over the festive period.

Small funfair and stage area

Father Christmas hits the road for festive tour aboard St Luke’s bus

St Luke's deputy matron Gloria Mundie and director Andrea Fragata Ladiara with Bentley Motors' Mike Hawes outside the Santa's Grotto aboard Luke the Bus

Father Christmas will be touring Cheshire in style this festive season thanks to St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice.

The big man in red has exchanged his traditional reindeer and sleigh for the comfort of Luke the Bus, a former London Routemaster bus luxuriously restored by long-term St Luke’s supporter Bentley Motors, which has been transformed into a glittering Santa’s grotto for the festive season by a kind-hearted team of 13 Barclays Bank staff.

Youngsters are being invited to hop aboard and visit Father Christmas as the bus makes its way across South and Mid Cheshire over the festive period.

Diane Eeley, St Luke’s Head of Community Development, said: “We’re delighted Father Christmas has taken time out of his busy schedule to meet as many of Cheshire’s children as he can. Make sure you and your family don’t miss the chance to meet Father Christmas aboard the amazing Luke the Bus.

“The Grotto looks fantastic and will be coming to a location near you, so it’s a perfect event for the whole family.”

For full dates and times of the St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice Luke the Bus Santa’s Grotto tour see table below.

The Luke the Bus Santa’s Grotto visits:



Winsford Christmas St Festival,

High Street, Winsford



Sandbach Late Night Christmas Market, Market Square, High Street, CW11 1AP



Middlewich Christmas Fayre, Wheelock Street, CW10 9AG (opposite the White Bear Pub)



Nantwich Health Centre

Beam Street, CW5 5NX



St Luke’s Interiors store, 70 Delamere Street, Winsford, CW7 2LU



St Luke’s Santa Dash

Oulton Park, Little Budworth, Tarporley, Cheshire CW6 9BW


All Day

St Luke’s Hartford Shop

285 Chester Road,
Northwich CW8 1QL



The Long Retirement Village Christmas Market

Brookhouse Drive, Crewe,




The bus will be touring around

the Delamere/Norley Area



Street Lighting


As part of efforts to slash carbon emissions, cut down on light pollution, save money and make Cheshire East a cleaner and greener place to live – the Council is moving forward with changes to street lighting.

The Authority has written to all town and parish councils to inform them on how the changes could affect their area.

A new three-pronged approach is being introduced. All households will find themselves in one of the following categories:

  • Switching off – lights will be permanently switched off, with a view to removal in the future. This will only be implemented on routes between towns with a small number of homes.
  • Dimming – lights will operate at 60 per cent of their normal strength to achieve savings whilst still providing lighting. This will be used where routes pass through local communities or where safety issues mean it isn’t suitable to switch lighting off.
  • Part-night lighting – a process where lights automatically turn off at midnight and come back on between 5.30am-6.30am. This will mainly be used in housing estates.

The changes will be introduced over the next few weeks. The lights that will be turned off will mainly be on A or B roads between towns and villages.

Where there are a significant number of homes on a route then lights will remain switched on and may form part of the dimming or part-night exercises.

On stretches of road where the lights will be switched off, there will be clear signs warning people that the lights are not in use.

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member in charge of environmental services, said: “These changes are just part of our ongoing drive to reduce our energy consumption across the Borough.

“I want to reassure residents that we will choose the most suitable approach for where they live.

“We have successfully trialled changes to street lighting in Wilmslow where 80 per cent of the local community was behind the scheme.

“There is absolutely no evidence that switching off street lights on stretches of roads has a detrimental effect on road safety and, in fact, has improved road safety in many areas. “

Cheshire East Highways has consulted with Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service regarding the proposals. Both organisations have made no adverse comments regarding the scheme.

To find out how street lighting changes affect you, go to: and look under the Latest News heading.

Romany’s vardo saved


Cheshire East Council has secured the future of a historical Gypsy caravan after its successful relocation to Bradford Industrial Museum.

The vardo (as the horse-drawn caravan is known) had deteriorated considerably after being subjected to the elements for 70 years in Wilmslow Memorial Gardens.

It was only during a recent restoration by the UK Vardo Project that the full extent of the damage became apparent – with as little as 75 per cent of the original vardo remaining.

In order to protect the vardo for future generations, it was clear that a safe indoor location was needed to protect the structure from both the weather and the threat of vandalism and theft.

Bradford Industrial Museum expressed an interest in using the vardo as part of an exhibition on Romany culture, which has strong roots in Yorkshire.

The museum has annual visitor numbers of 50,000 to 70,000 people.

After receiving the support of the Romany Society, the UK Vardo Project and the former owner’s family – along with the absence of suitable locations in Cheshire East – it was decided that this was the best course of action.

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member in charge of the environment, said: “This decision will provide the nationally-important vardo with the security and protection it deserves, meaning future generations can enjoy this piece of cultural heritage.  

“As soon as we were contacted by the museum in Bradford and heard of their plans it became clear that this was the best way forward.

“I also understand that the vardo was originally built in Yorkshire, so in a way it is nice to see it making a return journey to its spiritual home.”

Speaking personally, Chairman of the Romany Society, Les Horton said: “The main issue here is that we assure the survival of this priceless and unique vehicle and we feel that this is best achieved by its relocation to Yorkshire.

“After just undergoing a full restoration, at considerable cost to the Romany Society, it would be a shame to see the hard work undone as soon as the effects of the weather take their toll once again.”

The vardo originally belonged to the Reverend George Bramwell Evens. George only moved to Wilmslow four years before his death, having been a minister in Carlisle and then Huddersfield and Halifax. 

Upon his death, his wife Eunice gave the vardo to Wilmslow Urban District Council in 1944.

It has since passed to Cheshire East Council after various restructures in local government.

The Reverend’s grandson, Reverend Roly Bain, said: “We are fully supportive of the Council’s decision to move the caravan to Bradford.

“The vardo is something that was very important to my grandfather and I am confident he would support any move that ensures its future and lets as many people as possible enjoy it.”


John Dwyer head and shoulders

Last night, John Dwyer formally took his Oath of Office at a ceremony held at Constabulary Headquarters and this morning became the first Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, at the same time the Police Authority ceased to exist.

John Dwyer said, "I am honoured to be the first Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire and was proud to take my oath at the Chief Constable’s Awards Ceremony amongst family, friends, 31 new police officer recruits and police officers receiving awards of recognition.

The job I am taking on is an exciting challenge brought home with clarity in the words and sentiments of the oath. I am looking forward to beginning to deliver my manifesto commitments and to act as a conduit for the people of Cheshire to have their voice heard in the police service."

The Oath taken by Cheshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner is as follows:

"In making this declaration, I solemnly and sincerely promise that during my term of office:

· I will serve all the people of Cheshire in the office of Police and Crime Commissioner.

· I will act with integrity and diligence in my role and, to the best of my ability, will execute the duties of my office to ensure that the police are able to cut crime and protect the public.

· I will give a voice to the public, especially victims of crime, and work with other services to ensure the safety of the community and effective criminal justice.

· I will take all steps within my power to ensure transparency of my decisions, so that I may be properly held to account by the public.

· I will not interfere with the operational independence of police officers".

Letter to Editors from Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire

Dear Sir

Can I through your column express my gratitude to those readers who placed

their trust in me at the election for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire.

Being Cheshire′s first Police & Crime Commissioner is an important role and

I am honoured, privileged and humbled by all the support and generosity I have received.

Having earned the trust of the electorate my task is now to earn their respect by making Cheshire an even safer place to live, and this is something I am determined to do.

Over the coming weeks and months I am confident that the people of this Police area will start to see what a difference the role of PCC is making.

John Dwyer

Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire

Health and Wellbeing Board is launched in Cheshire East

HWB launch

A new board in Cheshire East, which will focus on people’s health and wellbeing needs, has been officially launched.

The launch of the Health and Wellbeing Board at the Alexandra Stadium, in Crewe, brought together a range of people from the Council, the NHS and other key partners such as the voluntary community and faith sector to discuss ways in which they can work better as a partnership to improve people’s health.

Coming into being in April 2013, it will plan services that meet the needs of local people and help them to stay healthy and independent by taking into account the bigger picture such as transport, housing, jobs and leisure.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet member in charge of health and adult social care, said: “The emphasis of the day was working together better under the new system to improve health outcomes for our communities.

“This event was extremely well received by the near-200 people who attended and they all learned how their organisation could fit in and contribute to our aims of improving people’s health and wellbeing in Cheshire East.

“The day started with a service user highlighting their experiences under the old system sharing their view on what could be improved and colleagues also took part in a market place which increased awareness of some of the services that are generally available.

“Attendees felt the event was a great example of partnership working. We need to work in a way that supports people in Cheshire East throughout their lifetime; to ensure they have the best start in life, to live well and to age well.”

Cheshire East set up its Shadow Health and Wellbeing Board in September 2011. It meets every two months, with the permanent board being established by April 2013.

In order to take on board what the community says, an initiative called Healthwatch is being established. This will be the new consumer champion for health and social care and will be operational by April 2013.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Cheshire Police show their support for White Ribbon

White ribbon

Cheshire Police have been tying white ribbons outside their police stations in a show of support for national violence against women day.

The White Ribbon has been adopted as the symbol of preventing violence against women with a national awareness day for the White Ribbon Campaign this Sunday 25th November.

The White Ribbon Campaign wants to ensure that men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women.

Domestic violence is very common. Research shows that it affects one in four women in their lifetime. Two women a week are killed by their partners or former partners. Assistant Chief Constable, Ruth Purdie who placed a ribbon outside the police headquarters commented that "Cheshire Police regularly encounter incidents of domestic violence, which can often be life threatening and destroy the lives of women. We urge all women who are experiencing domestic abuse to report it to Cheshire Police in the first instance. Don’t suffer in silence!

Cheshire Police have supported this national campaign for several years because it is an issue which the police deal with all year round − any case of domestic violence is one too many. Cheshire Police are committed to domestic violence by putting an end to abuse in the home. From staff donating money to wearing white ribbon badges, we are now encouraging the general public to please give your support by buying and wearing a White Ribbon around November 25th. This is a personal pledge to never commit, condone or be silent about violence against women."

The White Ribbon Campaign appeared in 1991 and has spread to over 57 countries around the world. Its basic principle is the importance of men and boys to speak out against all forms of violence against women. The UK supports the campaign from November 25 until December 10 but campaigns can occur at any time of the year.

This weekend, officers will be tweeting their pledges of support to further highlight their understanding of domestic violence and its life threatening consequences. To read our officers pledges, please visit to sign up to your own local twitter police sites.

A lot of the abuse is often mental and the abuser will make your friends or family feel uncomfortable when visiting so that they cease to come and the purpose is to isolate you so they have control over you. In extreme cases they may find excuses to give you tablets to help you with your problems. These are often illegal steroids to make you fat so no one else will look at you  but these can cause heart attacks and feeling suicidal .

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Tango and Salsa Charity - Dancers Needed for Dancing Challenge!


St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice is searching for Cheshire’s budding ballroom and Latin stars to shimmy into the spotlight for the ‘Strictly Learn to Dance 2013’ fundraising event.

St Lukes Hospice Strictly Pic by Helen Cotton Photography©379

If you’ve always dreamed of being a dance diva or you’re keen to lead your partner round the dance floor with grace, now is your chance to get involved as the hugely-popular St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice’s ‘Strictly Learn to Dance’ extravaganza returns!

Whether you’re a couple who would love to learn to dance or an individual, who would be happy to be paired up with a partner who is learning to dance too, the event will see up to 20 dance couples transformed into confident dancers.

It doesn’t matter if you have two left feet, as from 8 January 2013, regular Salsa and Tango tuition, of 45 minutes per week, will be given all the participants in Tarporley every Tuesday evening. The event will culminate in a fun Grand Finale Show at Nantwich Civic Hall on Sunday, April 28, in which a panel of judges will watch the couples dance and pick an overall winner!

Participants will be asked to register and commit to raise sponsorship donations of at least £300. Tickets for the Grand Finale will be on sale from March to raise money for the St Luke’s Hospice, which cares for sufferers of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Liz Wells, Fundraising Events Co-Ordinator, said: “The first Strictly Learn to Dance event was a huge success and I think we can do even better in 2013.”

If you’re keen to get involved in ‘Strictly Learn to Dance’ contact Liz Wells at St Luke’s Hospice on 01606 555816 or email:

Posted by Jan Wright at 12:42 AM No comments: Links to this post

Spread the warmth – be a good winter neighbour

Cheshire East Council and its partners are urging residents to ‘be a good winter neighbour’ this season.

As part of the Spread the Warmth campaign, the Council would like people to check in on their friends and neighbours, especially if they are older or if they have heart or breathing problems, as they may need your help and our support.

The winter cold can be distressing to some and a phone call or a knock at the door can make all the difference and can brighten their day.

And with temperatures ready to drop, it is worth considering if someone’s home is warm enough. Living rooms should be heated to 21C and bedrooms to 18C. Information about heating repairs can be found at or by ringing 0300 123 5017.

Also, note if your neighbour has enough food and medicines to prevent them having to go out in very cold or icy weather.

The Council has listed some winter warning signs for residents to be on the lookout for that could indicate something might be wrong:

· Milk still out on the doorstep late in the day

· Newspapers and post stuck in the letterbox

· Curtains drawn during the day

· Lights on during the day

· A home in darkness when there should be someone at home

· A dog barking all day or the cat scratching to be let in

· Bins not put out on collection days

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet member in charge of health and adult social care services, said: “As temperatures fall, there will be many who are worried either about their own ability to cope, or about another adult, and maybe looking for social care support. Or there will be those who are looking for services to support families or children.

“Cheshire East Council and its partners are always here to help. The winter page on our website provides a wealth of advice and we urge residents to contact us either by email or phone if they have concerns.”

Sean Reynolds, chair of the Local Adult Safeguarding Board, said: “It is ordinary people with a strong sense of personal responsibility, whose vigilance and action will make it possible for their family members, friends and neighbours to feel well supported and safe this winter. And it is they who can make a difference to these people’s lives.”

For concerns about the welfare or safety of an adult, call 0300 123 5010 (8.30am-5pm) or 0300 123 5022 outside these hours.

The Family Information Service is available on 0300 123 5033.

For concerns about the welfare or safety of a child, call 0300 123 5012 (8.30am-5pm) or 0300 123 5022 outside these hours.

For domestic abuse assistance, call the Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Family Safety Unit on 01606 363532 or the national 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247.

For further winter-related advice, please visit

Residents can help friends and neighbours who do not have internet access by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.

Posted by Jan Wright at 12:40 AM No comments: Links to this post

Shoppers to get their money back in Nantwich car parks this Christmas

Shoppers in Nantwich will be able to redeem the cost of their car parking tickets this Christmas.

Cheshire East Council’s Nantwich Local Area Partnership (LAP), in association with traders’ forum Nantwich Flourish, is piloting a Two Part Ticketing pilot from December 1, for around three months.

It is hoped the idea will attract more shoppers into Nantwich and give traders a boost this Christmas. The scheme will support Nantwich Town Council, retailers and market traders with planned activities throughout the festive period.

Shoppers will be able to redeem the cost of their parking ticket at participating shops and businesses. Any traders who would like to get involved with the scheme are being urged to get in touch to discuss how the scheme can work for them.

Traders will have the freedom to opt in and out of scheme as they wish and can set their own conditions to redeem ticket cost.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cabinet member in charge of communities and regulatory services, said: “The idea was warmly received by traders when it was suggested during the summer.

“All 175 independent traders in the town have received letters inviting them to join the scheme, and the Nantwich LAP has had a number of responses from key outlets in support of it.

“Nantwich is a very attractive place for shoppers as it has an abundance of unique, smaller, independent shops and boutiques. We want to celebrate this and to promote the town’s beauty and originality.”

A total of 270,000 two-part tickets will be installed into the following car parks:

· Bowers Row

· Bowling Green

· Church Lane

· Civic Hall

· Dysart Buildings

· Love Lane

· Market Area

· Snow Hill

Advertising space on the ticket stub has been reserved, and will read: ‘You can redeem the value of this ticket at participating traders in Nantwich. Conditions apply.’

Participating shops and traders will be supplied with a poster or window sticker to display. There will not be any increases to the existing car park charges as a result of implementing this pilot scheme.

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Sunday 18 November 2012

Driver sustains minor injuries in collision with building in North Street, Crewe


At 18:48 hours this evening Cheshire Police received a call from Coppenhall Working Men′s Club, North Street, Crewe, stating a car had collided with the club and had gone through the window and inner wall of the club.

The driver of the car, a 45 year old local man, is believed to have sustained minor injuries and North West Ambulance are at the scene. Cheshire Fire and Rescue are also in attendance and it is believed at this time that no-one else has been injured in the incident

The building has been badly damaged and work is on-going to access the structural state of the building. Cheshire Police are appealing to members of the public to avoid the immediate vicinity whilst this work is being undertaken and the investigation is taking place to establish the circumstances surrounding the collision.

Anyone who has any information concerning the incident is asked to contact Cheshire Police on 101 the non-emergency number.



Please be mindful that there has been a number of sneak in burglaries over recent weeks in the area and this is of concern to the police.  There does not appear to be a single area that is being targeted.  

Many people associate sneak in burglary with summer weather when doors and windows are left unlocked during warm weather.  We are trying to get the message out that these types of burglaries can occur throughout the year.  Around 36% of all burglaries happen through unlocked doors and windows.  That is a massive percentage of burglaries that could be prevented by taking simple measures.  It is worth pointing out that in the main Crewe & Nantwich is a safe place to reside.  All areas can fall foul of these types of opportunist crimes but if we work together to spread the message to be vigilant we hope to be able to reduce the number of opportunities for would be burglars to engage in this type of behaviour in Crewe & Nantwich.

In many cases people simply forget to lock their doors and windows and may leave an opening insecure.  It is advisable to try and get into a habit of checking all doors and windows are secure prior to leaving the house and before going to bed.  If you begin to undertake a check regularly it will become part of a normal routine.  People who have teenage children/other family members living with them need to ensure that they drive home the importance of always ensuring that doors and windows are secure to these members of the household.  It serves little purpose for a couple of people in the house to follow these precautions if other members of the house fail to see the importance of taking these steps.

In several cases people choose to leave their doors and windows open for a variety of reasons and this is something that many of us are guilty of doing at times.  It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that it won't happen to us because we have left doors and windows open before whilst nipping out and nothing has happened.  This is by no means a fool proof system in terms of security as it relies purely on good luck and chance.  Although it can be a pain, it is essential that all windows and doors are secured whenever you leave your house unoccupied, even if just for a matter of minutes - remember a couple of minutes is all it takes for someone to walk in and steal from you.  Remember, it could affect a house insurance claim if they conclude that you have not taken reasonable steps to secure your property.

Contrary to popular belief a large proportion of sneak in burglaries and burglaries occur during daylight hours.  Although most people fear coming face to face with a burglar in their home at night, in reality, many burglars want the easiest option where they can get the maximum return with the least chance of being caught.  In many areas this tends to be during the day when the majority of residents in streets are at work, school, college etc and there is less natural surveillance from neighbours and passers by.

Even when present in your property it is advisable to lock access doors and close the windows in the rooms that you are not in, particularly on the ground floor.  It is easy to be concentrating on something elsewhere in your property and for someone to open a door/lean through a window and take an item quickly such as a handbag, purse, wallet, phone etc.

Please pay particular attention to this advice and pass on to scheme members, friends and family and ask them to circulate as widely as possible.  It is of particular note in the run up to Christmas as many households are busy buying and storing presents for friends and family (which may end up under Christmas trees in the upcoming weeks) so there are a high proportion of new and often expensive items in many homes that could provide easy pickings for a sneak in burglar with highly upsetting results for the householder.

As always if anyone witnesses any suspicious behaviour please contact Cheshire Constabulary via 999 if an emergency or 101 in all other instances.  If anyone has any anonymous information that they would like to provide this can be done via Cheshire Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Blue Bell BMW Crewe backs local pro golfer on prestigious European Tour

Blue Bell Crewe Dealer Principal Barry Holt, Pro golfer Simon Wakefield, Blue Bell Sales Executive Anthony Preston and Service Manager Phil Smith 2

Blue Bell BMW Crewe has wished Wychwood Park Golf Club based pro Simon Wakefield  good luck before he jets off to compete in the PGA European Tour’s South African Open Championship early next month.

Simon, who has been playing at tour level for nearly 10 years, regained his European Tour card for the 2013 season by bouncing back in style via the Challenge Tour 2012 Rankings after narrowly missing out on retaining his card last year.

And Simon who lives in Cotes Heath, Staffordshire, has being backed all the way for the past 4 years by the team at the Weston Road dealership which has provided him with a BMW to support his travel arrangements to UK and Europe-wide competitions.

Father-of-two Simon recently challenged South Cheshire golfers to ‘Beat-a-Pro’ at a charity golf day, organised by Blue Bell BMW, on his home course in Weston.

The competition raised over £300 towards the event’s grand total of almost £1000 for the Cheshire-based charity Visyon, which promotes and improves the mental health and emotional well-being of children and young people up to the age of 25 throughout the region.

Barry Holt, Dealer Principal of Blue Bell BMW Crewe said: “We’re delighted to see Simon competing at the top level again and wish him nothing but the best of luck on the prestigious tour.

“Simon is a great golfer and an excellent ambassador for his sponsors.”

Simon Wakefield added: “The support I receive from Blue Bell is amazing and I’m extremely proud to be associated with the dealership.

“I can’t wait to get back out on tour and am thoroughly looking forward to the new season.”

For more information on the Blue Bell Dealerships in Crewe, visit Blue Bell BMW, Fourth Avenue, Weston Road, Crewe. Tel: 01270 212525