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Wednesday 31 July 2013

The Show Must Go On the Road for Fundraising Actors

L-R Tony Hoy, Charlie Gobbett, Gareth Roberts, cycle 345 miles from the London Eye to Notre Dame for St Luke's (Cheshire) Hospice

A trio of Nantwich thespians are gearing up for their toughest performance yet - a gruelling London to Paris cycle ride in aid of St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice.

On 10 August, Nantwich Players actors Charlie Gobbett, 47, Tony Hoy, 61, and Gareth Roberts, 58, will begin an exhausting 345-mile bike ride from the London Eye to Paris’ iconic Notre Dame, to raise money for St Luke’s.

Charlie, a tourism and marketing translator, Tony, a retired GP and bicycle instructor Gareth expect their endurance challenge to take an impressive three days. 

The trio of keen cyclists, who are no strangers to punishing journeys, will travel more than 100 miles per day in order to raise funds for St Luke’s, which provides invaluable care and support for people from Mid and South Cheshire with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

Charlie explains: “Over the last few years we have taken on similar challenges such as the Coast to Coast event which saw us bike 140 miles from Whitehaven to South Shields and also the gruelling Welsh 3000s, a punishing 15 peak walk for charity.

“This is definitely the hardest we have had to push ourselves but knowing that we are raising money for such a fantastic cause makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

St Luke’s Head of Corporate & Community Development Diane Eeley commented:

“We wish the team all the very best of luck and a safe journey to Paris.

“More than £6,500 a day is needed for St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice to open its doors and the majority of that money is found through its incredible network of supporters and fundraisers such as Charlie, Tony and Gareth.”

The trio are funding the bike ride themselves. You can sponsor them by visiting their JustGiving page

To find out more about St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice visit:

Green Flags galore for Cheshire East Council


Six of Cheshire East’s treasured green spaces have again been awarded Green Flag Awards.

The Council and hard-working volunteers have ensured that the awards, given by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and Green Flag, remain with Cheshire East’s parks and green areas, some for the third year running.

Awards have been given to:

· The Moor in Knutsford;

· Congleton Park;

· Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Macclesfield;

· Brereton Heath Local Nature Reserve;

· Sandbach Cemetery; and

· Bollington Recreation Ground.

Sandbach Cemetery was the first of its kind in the county to win a Green Flag Award and retains the status for a third consecutive year.

Councillor David Topping, Cabinet member in charge of the environment, said: “I am delighted that our parks, green spaces and even cemeteries continue to be recognised in such a positive way. We already know Cheshire East is a beautiful area and this is partly down to the people who look after these spaces.

“These beautiful areas are a direct result of the Council Tax which our residents pay and hopefully they will see that it is worth it and that they get all-year round benefits from them.

“I often walk around Brereton Heath and very much recommend it to anyone who simply wants to get out into the open and enjoy what Cheshire East has to offer.

“Management of these sites is by dedicated staff, such as our park gardeners and rangers, together with volunteers, such as Friends of Congleton Park and dedicated individuals.”

Police seek witnesses to a serious collision in Holmes Chapel


Cheshire Police are appealing for witnesses following a collision in Holmes Chapel.

At 6.20pm on 26 July 2013 a silver Subaru was travelling along on the A535 Macclesfield Road towards Chelford.

As it approached a bend between Twemlow Lane and Manor Lane, it passed a dark coloured pickup truck travelling towards Holmes Chapel.

The Subaru was then in collision with a grey Audi Estate which had been travelling behind the pickup truck.

The pickup truck then drove off towards Holmes Chapel. The driver of the Subaru, a 42-year-old man from Macclesfield, was airlifted to Hope Hospital and remains in a serious but stable condition.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or saw the pickup truck driving off should contact PC Nicola Rimmer on 101 quoting incident number 889 of 26 July 2013.

Crewe is ‘on the move’ says Council Leader


Crewe is now a town “on the move” says Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones, following last week’s landmark announcement that Bentley Motors is to invest £800M at its site in the town, creating 1,000 jobs at the plant and in the local supply chain.

Councillor Jones said: “Our ‘All Change for Crewe’ strategy sets ambitious goals for the town, turning it into one of the leading centres for advanced engineering and manufacturing. Last week’s announcement by Bentley shows we are getting there and Crewe is now a town on the move. 

“The university technical college we are currently developing will provide the skilled young engineers we need to develop our automotive sector and make Bentley’s commitment to the town a sustainable investment.

“The council is fully committed to making the changes and improvements needed to turn Crewe into a great place to live, work and invest and I am determined to work with all parties to make this happen – businesses, trade unions, the voluntary sector and political and civic leaders across the board.”

He added: “In particular, I would like to thank Councillor Kevin Hickson, Leader of Crewe Town Council, who respected the commercial confidentiality of the Bentley announcement.  It is co-operation like this that will see us regenerate Crewe in the months and years to come.”

Councillor Hickson said: “On behalf of Crewe Town Council, I welcome the much needed investment in the town at the Bentley factory which will create 1,000 jobs.  It shows that Crewe has the skilled local workforce and manufacturing expertise that makes it a great place to invest.  The Town Council has as its priority the economic development of Crewe and we will work cooperatively with all interested parties to make that vision a reality.”

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Police appeal for witnesses following assault in Crewe


Police are appealing for witnesses to a racially aggravated assault in Crewe.

At 5.50pm on 19 July 2013, an incident involving two motorists and a passenger occurred at Ruskin Road at its junction with Nantwich Road.

PC Kev Lloyd said: "There were plenty of people around at the time who would have witnessed the assault on the driver of one of the cars which had slowed down as it approached the junction.

"I would appeal to them if they have not yet spoken to police, or anyone that may have caught the incident on CCTV to contact us.

"Hate crime is taken extremely seriously by the Constabulary and anyone with any information is urged to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 945 of 19 July."

Alternatively information can be passed anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Two men aged 32 and 34 have been charged with racially aggravated assault and are due to appear at Crewe Magistrates on 6 August 2013.



John Dwyer, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire and Victims Commissioner Baroness Newlove, have met to discuss how the needs of victims of crime can be better addressed in Cheshire.

John Dwyer said, "I had an excellent meeting with Baroness Newlove, we are both seeking the same outcomes which is a greater focus on meeting the needs of victims across the whole criminal justice process and improved support and follow up care.

We are looking to introduce victim’s advocacy services and provide a single point of contact for victims to direct them to relevant support services. I am not aware of this happening elsewhere in the country. We are seeking to identify innovative solutions to improve the support provided to victims of crime as I pledged in my Police & Crime Plan".

Baroness Newlove said, "As part of my work as Victim’s Commissioner, I am advising Government ministers on aspects of the criminal justice system in England and Wales affecting victims and witnesses. I was impressed with the work already done by John to look at victims services in Cheshire and to map out the victims journey. It is a national problem that all too often victims do not know which organisations to turn to for the support that they need through a process which can be very traumatic. I was encouraged by his enthusiasm and passion for seeking to improve victims services and we will be working closely together to do just this."

From 2014, the Ministry of Justice will transfer the commissioning of some victims services to Police & Crime Commissioners.

Cheshire Police to deliver road safety messages at CarFest


Cheshire Police will be on hand for this year′s CarFest to speak to spectators about road safety.

The motoring event, which is held in aid of Children in Need, takes place from 2nd to 4th August at Oulton Park Race Circuit.

Cheshire Police will share a stand with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service as well as Road Safety teams from Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester councils.

The stand will include the ‘Think′ car, a badly damaged vehicle which was involved in a collision in which the driver was killed. The vehicle is used as a platform to illustrate the potential consequences of drink driving.

Road Safety Officer David Murray said: "CarFest provides an excellent opportunity for us to engage with motorists and promote safer, more responsible driving.

"We always receive positive feedback from the public when attending events such as this and encourage anyone attending the festival to come over and speak to us."

This year will be the first time that motorcycles will be on display at CarFest and police will be promoting safe riding and encouraging other motorists to "think bike".

Cheshire Police are currently running an enforcement operation in partnership with North Wales Police which focuses on motorcycle safety.

Operation Caesar II provides a high policing presence across the county in a bid to reduce the number of motorcycle casualties.

As part of the operation, officers will be stopping and engaging with motorcyclists who commit moving traffic offences such as speeding and dangerous riding as well as anti-social offences such as excessive noise.

They will also be dealing with other road users who endanger the lives of themselves and others.

For more information on road and motorbike safety, visit the advice and information section on the Cheshire Police website:

Sunday 28 July 2013

V Festival to host stunning line-up


Hundreds of South Cheshire revellers will make the short trip across the border to Staffordshire for this year’s massive V Festival.

Once again attracting a star-studded line-up, it looks certain to be the biggest festival of the summer.

Acts to suit all tastes are ready to make it the best V Festival yet on its 18th anniversary with Beyonce, Kings of Leon, Stereophonics, Jessie J and Calvin Harris just a handful of artists fans can expect to see.

On both Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18, more than 85,000 people are expected at Weston Park, near Stafford, which will play host to V for the 14th time, after it switched from Temple Newsam Park in Leeds in 1999.

V Festival is held over two days at two sites, with artists switching between Weston Park and Hylands Park in Chelmsford.

Even the smaller stages will boast some stellar line-ups this year with Beady Eye, Rudimental and The Courteeners playing the 4Music Stage and Basement Jaxx, Ellie Goulding and Everything Everything on the Arena Stage.

A host of comedians are also set to provide a bellyful of laughs on the Glee Club Comedy Stage with a line-up to be announced shortly.

And if that wasn’t enough, a range of films will be screened late into the night, and markets and a funfair will remain open until the early hours after the acts have finished.

For more information and details of remaining ticket options, visit


James –


Saturday 27 July 2013

‘Free after Three’ parking introduced by Cheshire East Council


Motorists will enjoy free car parking as part of a new initiative by Cheshire East Council.

From August 5, parking on seven car parks across the Borough will be free of charge from 3pm each day.

All-day parkers will also see their usual costs reduced as part of the scheme, known as Free after Three.

The Council has introduced the changes in a bid to support businesses and encourage more people to visit their local town or village centre.

Earlier this year, the Council announced that Free after Three would be trialled on the Whalley Hayes car park, in Macclesfield, and this has been in place since July 1.

Now, six more car parks at: Christchurch, in Crewe; Snow Hill, in Nantwich; South Street, in Alderley Edge; Back Park Street, in Congleton; Spring Street, in Wilmslow; and Princess Street in Knutsford will benefit from the scheme.

Councillor David Topping, Cabinet member in charge of the environment, said: “I am pleased to announce this initiative, which is designed to help our businesses during what I realise are difficult trading conditions on the high street.

“We also want residents to have the opportunity to spend time in their local town or village centres without having to pay for parking.

“The Whalley Hayes car park, in Macclesfield, has been very busy since we introduced this and I do hope that businesses will gradually be able to notice a difference.”

Free after Three will be reviewed after six months. Revised charges for the seven car parks will be displayed on the tariff boards and/or next to pay-and-display machines.

Commissioner highlights work of Constabulary after conclusion of murder trial


A man who brutally murdered and mutilated a Cheshire businesswoman was found guilty of her murder on Thursday 25 July 2013. Today, Friday 26 July, David Ryan, 48, was sentenced to 34 years for the murder of 54-year-old Diana Lee.

Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer said: "The hard work and dedication by Cheshire Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service have brought this case to a successful close. I hope that the verdict and sentence given to Mr Ryan, gives the family of Diana Lee the closure they deserve. My heartfelt condolences go out to Diana’s family."

Since the 9 August 2012, officers and staff across a variety of departments in Cheshire Constabulary have worked hard to; secure the scene, reassure local residents, find and secure evidence and appeal for help in newspapers and via television programmes.

Crimes like this one require significant investment in time and resource in the hidden side of policing that people don’t see on a day to day basis. For example, a great deal of energy, skill and expertise went into the forensic process, financial analysis and telecoms investigation to bring the offender to justice.

John added: "I want to praise all of the officers and staff for all of their commitment to make sure that no stone was left unturned so justice could be found for Ms Lee and her family. The way the departments worked together to form a case for the Crown Prosecution Service ensured that this abhorrent individual was taken off Cheshire’s streets.

Another key element of this case was the intelligence Cheshire Constabulary received from members of the public with regards to various appeals sent out in the search for the silver Corsa and Ryan’s bicycle.

John said: "Members of the public provided officers and staff with information and intelligence which helped them to piece together what happened between Diana and Ryan on the night of her death and the days that followed.

Results like this show the relationship between the police and the public and how working together can help to bring fantastic results and make Cheshire a safer place to live."

Friday 26 July 2013

Residents reminded to secure their homes in Congleton and Crewe


Police in East Cheshire are appealing for residents to keep their homes secure during the warm weather following a number of sneak in burglaries in Congleton and Crewe.

DS Andy McGillan said: "The temptation is to leave doors and windows open or unlocked.

"We would urge you to stay security conscious and keep your house secure − even when you′re at home."

Since 16 July 2013, Congleton has had four burglaries, all of which the offenders have entered the address through an open door and occurred overnight and in broad daylight.

In Crewe, since the second week in June Crewe has had nine offences of sneak in overnight burglaries. Most of these again were due to doors being unlocked.

DS McGillan said: "During the summer months, there tends to be an increase in opportunist ‘sneak in′ burglaries with criminals targeting residents who leave windows open, patios unlocked and doors ajar.

"Please be aware of your personal and home security so criminals don′t exploit the opportunity of an open door or window to enter your home and steal your belongings."

Residents are being urged take note of the following crime reduction advice:

• Make sure that all windows are closed and locked, even when you are at home or in the garden. Use the security measures on modern windows, which allow them to let some air in but still be locked.

• Keep all valuables out of the line of sight of prying eyes, never put car keys or purses on window-sills or in view of a window or door. Always avoid keeping large amounts of cash are in your house.

• Do not leave valuables or equipment on display in your car - take valuables with you or lock them away. Even a pair of sunglasses on show can be appealing to a would-be thief.

Residents are being reminded to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to police.

If you have any information in relation to burglaries or see anyone acting suspiciously, call Cheshire Police on 101



A man who brutally murdered and mutilated a Cheshire businesswoman has today been found guilty of her murder.

David Ryan, 48, previously of Cedar Road, Hale, was found guilty of the murder of 54 year old Diana Lee today, Thursday 25 July 2013. He will be sentenced at 10am on Friday 26 July 2013.

Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie of Cheshire Police said "David Ryan gave Diana attention and affection and preyed on her trusting and kind nature for his own ends. We now know that his intentions toward Diana were fuelled by greed and Ryan′s intention to exploit her financially to try and recover himself from the mountain of debt he faced.

"We have been left in little doubt that Ryan′s attack on Diana − a diminutive and gentle lady, was brutal and sadistic. He showed contempt and compounded his disregard for her when he did his utmost to remove DNA evidence and then destroy her body.

"The intricacies of this investigation cannot be underestimated − the scene of the crime took weeks to examine to ensure that no stone was left unturned in the hunt for Diana′s killer. Although Ryan refused to admit his guilt in this horrific murder, the Prosecution were able to prove that he concocted a web of lies and brutally murdered a woman who had done nothing more than fall for the charm of a con-man.

"We hope that with today′s verdict, Diana′s heartbroken family are allowed a degree of closure after the loss of their loved one in such a brutal attack. I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the Investigation Team and the Crown Prosecution Service in bringing this tragic case to a successful conclusion"

During the 7 week trial, the Jury heard that Ryan befriended his victim whilst out socialising at the Cinnamon Dance Club in nearby Bowden. Diana, described by many as a quiet, gentle, likeable woman, met Ryan in October 2010 following a violent and tumultuous relationship with her ex partner. The Jury heard that from 2011, Ryan began syphoning away Diana′s wealth and hard earned money she had accrued from her cattery business. Ryan kept the affair secret from Karen, his wife of six years, often slipping away to meet Diana. Ryan, struggling with significant mounting debts and even repossession of his home in 2010 after racking up thousands in missed mortgage payments, frittered away the cash he took from Diana on luxury items such as designer clothes, a puppy, extravagant purchases for his rented terraced home, and even used his victim′s money to fund his wife′s IVF treatment.

Diana Lee was last seen alive on the evening of 8 August, when she met a group of friends for dinner at a restaurant in nearby Knutsford. She left the restaurant and went to meet Ryan nearby.

The following morning, the victims brother, a local farmer, visited Diana at her home, known as ′Parklands′ in the affluent village of Cranage, approximately five miles from Knutsford. Diana ran her cattery business from Parklands and rented a room to a family friend who lodged with her. During the trial, the Jury heard that Ryan tried to ‘frame′ him for the murder by slashing the victim′s dressing gown, covering a knife in her blood and planting her underwear in his room.

The scene that her brother met with that morning was one of sheer panic. Having not been able to contact his sister on her mobile phone, he arrived at Parklands to find the detached garage beside the property blowing out plumes of smoke. Multiple attempts had also been made to set fire to Parklands itself.

It was only when police and fire officers examined the cluttered garage in the aftermath of the fire that the battered, delicate body of Diana Lee, who was just 4′11" and weighed less than 8 stones, was discovered. She had been positioned atop a wheelbarrow and her tiny body had been mutilated.

A full scale murder investigation was launched by Cheshire Police and enquiries began to piece together Diana′s lifestyle, her network of friends and personal relationships. Enquiries ultimately led the investigation team to the Cinnamon Dance Club where Ryan′s lies began to unravel after he was questioned by detectives and provided a sample of his DNA. At the time he denied being in a relationship with Diana Lee, but soon retracted his initial statement and admitted having sex with her in her car on the night of her disappearance.

The evidence soon began to stack up against Ryan who continued to protest his innocence. Phone records showed that he contacted Diana continually from his mobile phone until January 2012 when Diana had given him £30,000. Ryan then began to use a telephone box near to his home in Hale to make contact with Diana, and detectives soon pieced together a pattern that showed cash withdrawals and bank transfers made from Diana′s account shortly after she received a phonecall from Ryan.

Ryan′s behaviour became more desperate by summer 2012 and under the pressure of mounting debts, clear patterns of behaviour emerged that showed withdrawals from Diana′s bank account that correlated with extravagant spending patterns by Ryan.

The Jury heard evidence from associates of Ryan that over the course of many years he had borrowed from virtually every friend, family member or associate, and regularly failed to properly repay monies owed.

The Prosecution were able to prove that David Ryan slept at Parklands with Diana the night preceding her murder. Diana died of blunt force trauma to the head after a sustained and brutal assault in the bathroom of her own home. Ryan dragged her body and her bedding to the garage where it was his intention to destroy any evidence that connected him to this horrific crime. Ryan even sent hoax text messages from Diana′s mobile phone to clients due to drop off their pets that morning, to bide himself time at the scene of the crime.

Ryan fled the scene in Diana′s silver Corsa, before making attempts to set fire to it in Mobberley and continuing his escape on her pushbike.

Ryan was charged with Diana′s murder in September 2012 and was remanded in custody to await trial.

Speaking after the verdict, Chief Superintendent Guy Hindle, Commander for the Eastern Area that incorporates the villages of Cranage, Holmes Chapel and Knutsford, said "The death that befell Diana Lee was a vicious and callous one. With the assistance of key witnesses within our community, we brought the man responsible to justice. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my thanks to the communities affected by this tragic and cruel murder, for their help in this investigation, and to reassure them that crimes such as this are exceptionally rare in our area".

The Judge, Mr Justice Henriques described the case as "The most extensive and complex single defendant trial he has ever presided over′.

Blue Bell BMW and MINI Renews Crewe Alex FC Support

Crewe Alex player Abdul Osman, Blue Bell Dealer Principal Barry Holt, Alex manager Steve Davis, Crewe Alexandra’s Business Operations Manager Alison Bowler and Blue Bell Sales Director Phil Brown

With just weeks until the new football season kicks off, major player and club supporter, Blue Bell BMW and MINI has signed a one-year sponsorship renewal deal with Crewe Alexandra Football Club.

The Weston Road dealership’s sponsorship deal with the reigning Johnstone’s Paint Trophy champions includes perimeter board advertising around The Alexandra Stadium.

Barry Holt, Dealer Principal at Blue Bell BMW Crewe, commented: “We’re delighted to renew our sponsorship, ahead of what is set to be a thrilling 2013/2014 season, hot on the heels of last year’s sensational Wembley cup victory.

“We have always had an excellent relationship with the Club, which like ourselves, prides itself on offering impressive performance and celebrating the very best of local talent.

“Many of our employees and customers are firm supporters so we wish the playing staff and Manager Steve Davis all the very best for the new League One season.”

Alison Bowler, Crewe Alexandra’s Business Operations Manager, commented: “We are delighted that Blue Bell has continued with their sponsorship.

“Blue Bell BMW and MINI have supported us for more than 15 years, and during that time we have built up close links with the dealership, and look forward to working with all at Blue Bell during what will be an exciting season."

For more information about Blue Bell BMW Crewe visit the dealership on Fourth Avenue, Weston Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 6XH, or call 01270 212525.

Thursday 25 July 2013

'60 at 60' fundraising challenge

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

Ben Reinhardt and his bicycle - 60 at 60

Ben Reinhardt, from Crewe, successfully completed a '60 at 60' fundraising challenge to mark his 60th birthday. On the day of his birthday - Sunday 21st July 2013 - he swam 60 lengths at Nantwich outdoor swimming pool, cycled 60 km and ran for 60 minutes.

The retired former Bentley Motors employee set up the challenge to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research - - who are the only UK charity solely dedicated to research into blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Ben said, "Unbelievable - I did it . I started the first length of the pool at 10.10am, then started the cycle ride at 11.30am finishing at 2.30pm before doing  my run at 2.50pm finishing on the dot at 3.50pm. All told about 40 minutes changing time was taken so 5 hours in total - not bad for an estimated 45 miles. I would like to give a big thank you to all the helpers, spectators, and donators - all the training was worth it in the end as the charity will benefit by £400 and every penny will be used to help the fight to beat blood cancers."

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Call to stop pay day loan companies advertising on billboards

BS photo

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester has called on Cheshire East Council (CE)  to try and reach agreements with commercial partners in the Borough to stop pay day loan companies advertising on billboards and bus shelters throughout Cheshire East. He said," Plymouth City Council have achieved this and I see no reason why CE can't do the same. news/2013/jul/23/plymouth-council-bans-payday-loans?CMP=twt_gu Such a move would not cost the Council anything and would be another step towards encouraging our residents to approach responsible lenders, like Credit Unions. This move would help keep local people away from the clutches of the pay day loan companies, who charge astronomical rates of interest, which can wreck the lives of vulnerable people.

I wrote to the Cllr. Gilbert, the responsible member in the Cabinet, in May calling for action on banning  access to pay day loan companies on Council computers and I am pleased that this has now been done. I have now written to Cllr Gilbert again asking for this further action.

Does drink drive you…take the challenge!


Cheshire Police have launched a new interactive game whereby the public have to use their skills to escape a series of mazes. ‘Don’t let drink drive you’ is part of a long term approach to tackling alcohol related incidents across Cheshire and uses to raise awareness.

Drinking messages appear during the game to influence young people’s behaviour, such as ‘stay safe and don’t walk home alone’ as you make your escape but with obstacles along the way, just 60 seconds to make it safely out of the different mazes and avoiding the beer - which blurs your vision - time is against you.

By blurring your vision, this affects your judgement and ability to play, as in real life where alcohol can change your behaviour, and in some people, drinking excessively can make them aggressive and they become violent. Police officers are often called to deal with reported incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour where alcohol is involved and can all too often take violent and aggressive drunks off the streets who then spend their night in a cell.

‘Don’t let drink drive you’ seeks to provoke a reaction or at least make the player think about the potential consequences of excessive alcohol consumption.

‘Don’t let drink drive you’ is free to play by visiting or

Council to provide robust response to HS2 consultation


The official public consultation on the route for High Speed Two (HS2) has now begun and Cheshire East Council is urging residents to get involved.

The Government is seeking views on the proposed high-speed rail route from the West Midlands to Manchester, Leeds and beyond.

Cheshire East Council supports the economic impact of HS2 for the Borough, especially in Crewe, but also wants to keep all environmental and blight impacts to a minimum.

The Department for Transport’s initial preferred route follows the West Coast Main Line via Crewe before passing to the west of Middlewich and through the High Legh area before splitting, with a line going north over the M56 to Manchester Airport.

This affects various villages, homes, farms and business premises in Cheshire East.

While welcoming the economic benefits any scheme could bring to the Borough and also pushing for a dedicated HS2 rail hub station in Crewe, the Council understands that people have serious concerns over potential impacts on their quality of life, house prices and blight and the future viability of farms and other businesses.

Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This Council has been listening carefully to everybody’s concerns on HS2 since the preferred route was announced in January and now it is time to put your views directly to the Government.

“We will also be responding robustly to this consultation and will be representing our residents concerns in the strongest terms to HS2 Ltd.

“HS2 presents great benefits to this area such as increased connectivity with the rest of the country, faster travel times and more jobs but we do know our residents face uncertainty as result of this proposal and also from any disruption and environmental impacts from construction.

“So I would urge people to get involved in this consultation and to make their representations directly to HS2 Ltd.”

It will be towards the end of next year when the government announces a decision on the route, stations and depot options to be progressed to the next stage of project development. The consultation closes at 5pm on January 31, 2014.

People are also invited to provide views on how the existing rail system can be improved once HS2 is in place and on the opportunities to introduce, in the words of HS2, ‘other utilities’ along the route.

All the consultation documents and the response form can be found at, or ordered at or on 0300 123 1102. A reference copy has also been provided to libraries at Crewe, Knutsford, Handforth and Middlewich and Citizens Advice Bureaux in Crewe, Knutsford and Middlewich.

Information events will also be held in Crewe and Knutsford. These will provide an opportunity to pose questions to HS2 Ltd’s staff, to seek clarity on different aspects of the proposal before they submit their response.

The events will provide the consultation information in a range of formats, including local maps, interactive maps and sound demonstrations.

They will be held at:

Victoria Community Centre, Oakley Building, West Street, Crewe, CW1 2PZ – on Friday, November 8 (noon-8pm) and Saturday, November 9 (10am-5pm);

and at:

Tatton Park, Knutsford, WA16 6QN – on Friday, December 6 (noon-8pm) and Saturday, December 7 (10am-5pm).

An events programme is available on the HS2 website, and there is more information at

It would be advisable to continue checking the information in case of updates or alterations to the schedule.

You can respond to the consultation in one of the following ways:

· by completing the online response form at;

· by emailing your response to; or

· by freepost to:

FREEPOST RTEL-YAZX-HAZT, Phase Two Route Consultation, PO Box 1152, Harrow HA1 9LH

HS2 says that no consultation responses will be collected at the information events.

Council Leader hails Bentley’s investment as ‘real vote of confidence’ as PM tours site


Bentley Motors today confirms that it will proceed with the development of the Bentley SUV, which will be made in Crewe and go on sale in 2016 creating more than 1000 jobs.

Over the next three years Bentley will invest more than £800 million in its Crewe headquarters and in the development of new models. The announcement was made today as Prime Minister David Cameron visited the site, meeting with senior managers and workers.

Welcoming today’s announcement, Cheshire East Council Leader, Michael Jones, said: “This is fantastic news, a real vote of confidence for Crewe and Cheshire East, bringing in massive new investment and new high-skill, high-value jobs.

“I’m also delighted that the Prime Minister was able to see first-hand the tremendous work going on in growing and developing the workforce here at Bentley’s – one of the most exciting and respected companies in the country.

“This is further proof that our economy is now on the right track and that large companies like Bentley’s are optimistic about the future.”

Cllr Jones added:

“Skills lie at the heart of today’s announcement and the new University Technical College we are planning for 2015, which will focus on engineering, will play an important part in developing a skilled, ready-made workforce for employers like Bentley’s.

“Through our collaboration with the Local Enterprise Partnership, we are investing £50 million in new infrastructure for Crewe and £300 million across Cheshire and Warrington more broadly in order to create even stronger connections via rail, road and air.

“I am determined that Cheshire East will continue to be a great place to do business and become the most business-friendly council in the region, a real engine of the northern economy. My top three priorities will remain: jobs, jobs, jobs.

“Today is emphatic proof that we are getting there.”

Untapped geothermal energy could revolutionise Crewe as studies show we’re ‘sitting’ on vast supplies.


Cheshire East Council has approved to undertake a feasibility study into the potential of geothermal energy deep beneath the ground.

Independent studies show parts of the borough are sitting on more than enough natural energy supplies to heat every home in Cheshire East for centuries to come - and now Cheshire East Council is looking into its potential.

The natural energy source, used widely in parts of Europe, Japan, America and Thailand, is green, clean and cheap and has been found in abundance in Crewe following studies by consultants on behalf of the Renewable Energy Association.

Crewe is identified as one of just six sites across the whole country which can deliver truly renewable heat and power (Source: Geothermal Energy Potential in Great Britain and Northern Ireland - May 2012 Sinclair Knight Merz).

The rare discovery of this energy find provides the potential to drive down local energy prices, create a self-sufficient energy supply and cut down on Co2 emissions to help improve the environment.

At today’s Cabinet meeting (July 22) it was welcomed by members to begin work to investigate the potential for deep geothermal energy generation at a site at Leighton West in Crewe, a decision which will place Cheshire East at the forefront of the growth of geothermal energy in the UK.

The opportunity at Leighton was identified through extensive background research undertaken by the Council with support from consultants late last year.

The research looked at sites owned by the Council where massive opportunities for deep geothermal heat and power could be unlocked.

Leader of Cheshire East Council Councillor Michael Jones said: “Cheshire East Council is placing itself at the forefront of renewable energy options by exploring the potential for our borough to be its own energy provider.

“The potential to drive down local energy prices is a big step forward and will make us one of a handful of places in the whole country with this potential.

“Cheshire East Council is an innovative and ambitious authority and we would be ignoring an important step forward for energy in this country if we were to dismiss this potential for self sufficiency.

“This feasibility study will take the first major steps towards exploring how we can begin extracting this natural source of energy from the earth’s crust and used first by the Romans.

“It will place Cheshire East at the forefront of renewable energy innovations, simply because we have the natural resources to achieve a massive reduction in Co2 emissions.

“Throughout this process we will be working closely with local people to hear their views and we promise that no work will be undertaken without a full public consultation.

“Cheshire East is committed to driving innovation and ambitious projects for our communities and so we feel it is right to begin the process of how we can exploit this natural resource so that we can present the facts. This rare resource in the Cheshire Basin is of national importance.

“Looking into the future, if the supplies are what we think they are, it has the potential to kick-start a whole new industry in Cheshire East, creating more jobs and wealth than we could imagine. We as a Council are determined to tackle fuel poverty and this is a positive step in that direction.

An independent study will now be commissioned to report on both the suitability of the site and how the extraction could take place.

Following the findings of the study and confirmation of this potential the Council will then look to work with the public and private sector to bring forward a scheme which will include seeking planning permission and a public consultation as part of that process.

Cheshire’s finest The Charlatans headline Kendal Calling this weekend

the charlatans

Cheshire’s finest The Charlatans will star at one of Britain’s upcoming festivals this weekend.

Thousands will descend on the Lake District on Friday (July 26) until Sunday (July 28) for Kendal Calling – which is quickly becoming one of the most talked about festivals in the country.

Arguably the county’s most treasured band, The Charlatans will headline the main stage on Saturday night (July 27).

After the Northwich outfit’s first album Some Friendly was released in 1990, The Charlatans shot to fame and fortune, earning awards and critical acclaim.

Managed for much of their career by Sandbach man Steve Harrison, the band have notched up a massive 11 hit albums and numerous top 10 singles.

Their links with Cheshire are many. When not on tour, the band often decamp to their Big Mushroom studio in Middlewich and usually end their sets with the song Sproston Green – dedicated to the village near Holmes Chapel.

And the cover of their compilation album Melting Pot features a picture of The Weaverdale cafe in Witton Street, Northwich, which has since been renamed The Melting Pot.

Frontman Tim Burgess will also be performing a DJ set on the Houseparty Stage prior to the band’s headline appearance on Saturday.

Kendal Calling was born when a group of music lovers decided the fields of Cumbria should be put to better use during the summer months.

And in 2006 the festival was launched as a new two day music event in Abbot Hall Park in the centre of Kendal.

In 2009, it moved to its present site at Lowther Deerk Park and since then the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Calvin Harris, Mumford & Sons, James, Maximo Park, Feeder and Chase & Status have graced its stages.

This year The Charlatans are joined by fellow headliners Primal Scream and Basement Jaxx. The Lightning Seeds, The Twang and Ash are also on the bill, as are some up and coming talent such as The 1975, The D.O.T. and Kodaline.

For tickets, call Ticketline on 0844 888 9991 or visit

For more information, visit and

Commissioner Launches Crime Fighter App


Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer has launched a new App which will allow people to access useful information and contact Cheshire Constabulary in a modern way.

John Dwyer said, "I am proud to introduce my free iPhone App. Smart phones are becoming increasingly common in modern day society and most people carry the internet in their pocket. The uses for the applications people can download onto their phone knows no bounds, as more than 50 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple so far. I want to make it easier for people to find out what the police are doing and to get involved with policing at a local level. The app has a number of different functions which enable you to contact me and find out about my work."

People will be able to find information about their local policing teams, rate the priorities set by their neighbourhood policing team for the month and submit their own priorities for the upcoming month. They will be able to keep up to date with the latest police news and appeals and pass information onto the Constabulary.

Using GPS technology, people will be able to find their nearest police station, and location maps. The App also provides quick access to contact numbers and opening times.

Users will also be able to report drink drivers or incidents of domestic abuse straight to the Constabulary.

John Dwyer added, "This is the first stage in my drive to use new technology to provide people with alternatives to the 101 telephone number for people to report non-emergency matters to the police. The App will soon be available on other platforms and I am working on some further exciting developments."

The App is available to download free by typing Cheshire Police into the Apple App store.

Design Your Dream Crepe with Swirly Whirlys

Tracy Shande and Roger Hinde cook up a new recipe at Swirly Whirlys

The team at Swirly Whirlys coffee shop in Nantwich has launched an innovative children’s ‘Design a Crepe’ competition,  perfectly timed to co-incide with the start of the school holidays.

In their search to find the most mouth watering fillings and toppings, Swirly Whirlys is inviting under 16s in the area to send in a suggestion of an exciting flavour that they would most like to see as the finishing touch to the scrumptious fresh crepes, which are a speciality of the shop.

The winning entry will then appear on the Swirly Whirlys coffee shop menu from mid August, so the winner’s friends can try it for themselves as the long school break comes to an end.

Every coffee, crepe and ice cream sold at Swirly Whirlys is funding vital care for the local community. It is the only shop in Crewe & Nantwich where you can directly support St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice.

Since its fun-packed opening back in October, customers at the Pillory Street coffee shop have collectively raised thousands of pounds for South Cheshire’s local hospice, funding vital care and therapies for local people.

Swirly Whirlys manager Helen Giordano said: “We are ever so excited to the launch this latest initiative, and can’t wait to see what innovative flavour suggestions come in. And as the winning topping/filling suggestion will be featured on our menu for a period of time, it will be interesting to hear the feedback from our customers.”

The historic three-story Swirly Whirlys encompasses a coffee shop, a creperie, and a luxurious traditional sweet shop where children can indulge in a treat to eat, while parents can relax and also enjoy wonderful food.

There is a fabulous craft studio incorporating a party area, plus throughout the store you’ll find plenty of wonderful gift ideas.

Swirly Whirlys staff and volunteers are also excited about the newly opened Butterfly Garden at the rear of the shop, the perfect place to spend time on a summer’s day.

To enter either email your toppings or filling suggestion, with the entrants name, address and daytime contact number to or call into Swirly Whirlys with your entry on an A4 piece of paper to hand to the coffee shop team. The deadline for entries is 1 August 2013.

Specials come out in support of music event

Wton music festivalspecials

Cheshire’s Special Constabulary played a vital part in ensuring the success of the Warrington music festival last weekend.

Over the course of the three day festival, which headlined the Happy Mondays, ten Special Constables were on duty to help police Warrington town centre and to ensure that the event ran trouble free.

The Special Constabulary is a force of trained volunteers, who devote some of their spare time to work alongside and support Cheshire Police.

Special Constable Charlie Mills said "Specials are heavily involved in policing events like this and it provides a great opportunity to talk to local residents"

Volunteering for a minimum of four and quarter hours per week, they play an integral role in community policing, and supporting policing activity across the county.

Special Constable Marc Jones who transferred up from Crewe for the event, said: "I really enjoy covering events like this; providing reassurance to the community that we are here in case of any trouble is really rewarding".

And the Constabulary is calling on others to do something ‘Special’ by getting involved in policing as a Special Constable.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer said: "Becoming a Special Constable is a great opportunity for people to give their time to make a difference".

For more information, you can visit For those interested in finding out more about joining the Special Constabulary, Cheshire Police are holding a recruitment seminar at the Padgate Campus in Warrington on Thursday 25th July, which starts at 7pm.

Monday 22 July 2013

Microlight pictures of Crewe

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston


On Saturday 20th July 2013 I went on a one hour flexwing microlight flight with Cheshire Microlight Centre from Arclid International Airport near Sandbach over Crewe, Wardle, Beeston Castle, Nantwich, Wistaston and Sandbach. It was an unforgettable experience. I took the attached photos of Crewe from 2,000ft and have uploaded all my photos to Flickr: .


Click any image to see it full sizeBentley Motors Ltd - CreweCrewe Alexandra FC - Railway Station - Crewe Business Park - MMU CheshireCrewe

Children's Day, Crewe - Saturday 20th July 2013.

All words and photo by Jonathan White, Wistaston

Audience members watch the St Michaels Festival Choir

A Children's Day, organised by the West Street Christian Fellowship and Cheshire East Council, took place on Saturday 20th July 2013 at the Municipal Square in Crewe. Activities included numerous fairground games, a bouncy castle, face painting, a balloon modeller, as well as a paddling pool and sand pit with buckets and spades. Hot and cold drinks and ice creams were also available. There were exhibitors from local groups and businesses including the West Street Christian Fellowship, Christian Concern and the Crewe Lyceum Theatre. Musical entertainment included the St Michaels Festival Choir from Middlewich and the West Club 7 puppets. The event took place in glorious sunshine and was enjoyed by hundreds of people. Two further Summer events taking place at the Municipal Square are Celtic Day (August 10th, 11am-2pm) and Tom Seals in Concert (September 21st, 11am-2pm):,_culture_and_tourism/town_centre_management/crewe_summer_events_programme.aspx

Childrens Day at the Municipal Square in Crewe 1

Saturday 20 July 2013

Romance Scams

Romance scams are on the increase many start online and after a short time they ask for money for what seems to be a good reason. These are often short term scams. A more serious one is long term scams were you know the person and they claim to love you but will never actual commit to a relationship.


This may go on for a long time building up you dependence on them, they may be very controlling and stop you talking to anyone who may expose the scam. The control can take many forms from checking your phone, emails and following you. They will promise the earth and want to marry you but come up with excuse after excuse why they cant commit. Often they make you feel it s all your fault which makes you more vulnerable.


You may feel you are being treated badly and often rowing over the romance you may be frightened of upsetting them you cant trust them as you never know what they will do next. If you identify this then its time to cut and run before you get in deeper.

  They may obtain small amounts of money from you but its all a build up to a big sting were they will scam you out of thousands of pounds with some get rich quick scheme or starting a company.

It is not unknown for these people to control the victim by slipping drugs into there food and drink like steroid's to make the victim fat and moody so they loose their friends and get confused. 

If you think your boyfriend might be a con artist, or your friends are telling you the man you are dating and thinking of marrying is trying to scam you, these ten tips should help you find out if your boyfriend is a con artist.

1. Introduce Your Boyfriend to Your Family and Friends

Watch how your date interacts with your family and friends. If he is aloof and never wants to spend time with your friends or family, even on special occasions, that is a warning. If your boyfriend tries to prevent you from spending time with your family and friends, that is a red flag. A con artist will often try to separate his victim from her support group. If he does go to functions with you, but people end up missing billfolds, money and jewelry later, that is also a bad sign.

2. Listen to Your Family and Friends

I am not saying you should let your friends and family control your life and tell you what to do, but if the people who know you best and care about you the most are seeing red flags in your relationship, you need to step back and take a serious look at their concerns.

3. Meet His Family and Friends

Spend some time with your boyfriend's people - his family and friends. He HAS people. "No man is an island unto himself." Somewhere there is a family, high school and college friends, work associates, etc. If your boyfriend cannot produce people who know him well, that is a warning he may be trying to hide something in his past. If you are dating someone online, you need to take things slowly until you have plenty of opportunities to interact with his friends as well as yours.

4. Ask Yourself if His Claims Are Hard to Believe

If your dating partner drops names of famous clients or big businesses he has worked for or exciting jobs he has held, or if he talks about his wealth, ask for proof. You can ask discreetly. Does he have some interesting photos you might enjoy seeing, yearbooks you can look through, or articles he might share with his interested girlfriend? Google his name, with and without his middle name. See what you find. Everyone has their name on Google now for work, social, high school, college, etc. Better yet, run a computer background check on him or hire a private investigator. Famous people, important jobs, military service, and big salaries generate records online and in newspapers. (Watch out for Photoshop on photographs, though.)

5. Beware of Guilt Trips

If your love interest makes you feel bad or guilty for questioning him, that is usually a sign he is hiding something. If he tells you that you need to prove your love for him, that would be standard operating procedure for a con man or scam artist who wants your money or property. Love means never having to say, "I'm stupid."

6. Beware of Falsehoods and Inconsistencies

If he makes promises and breaks them, if his story changes and he can't keep his facts straight, if the endless attention and compliments he paid you in the beginning of your relationship have turned into control and anger the more serious your relationship becomes, that is a bad sign. If he frequently tells you that he never said something and that you misunderstood him, he is having problems keeping his story straight because part or all of his story IS NOT TRUE. If he gets angry with you when you catch him in a lie, that is a huge, flapping red flag. If his life is not an open book to you, then your checkbook should not be an open book to him.

7. Beware of Pushiness, Control Issues and Anger

If your boyfriend begins to act in a controlling fashion, tries to rush or push you into marriage, or tries to separate you from your loved ones, that is a clear warning that he has ulterior motives. Do NOT allow yourself to be pushed, rushed, or guilted into giving money or marrying someone if you are not 100% sure of your feelings, his feelings, and his background. If you are afraid you will make him angry if you say no, or feel like you are being manipulated, you ARE being manipulated and need to get out of that relationship.

8. Be Honest with Him

If you think your boyfriend is pushy or evasive, tell him so. Confront him with your concerns. If he is legitimate and sincere, he will try to meet your needs. A man who loves you will give you time with friends and family and will be open about his past and present. Speaking of honesty, if you are lying to your friends and family about him to "protect" him or make him look better, you are in deep trouble.

9. Watch Out for the Sob Story

So, you've seen some red flags, you've been honest with him, you've expressed your concerns, and in response to your request for the truth, he tells you a sob story. It turns out he's the victim. He could have been everything he told you he already is, but "SOMEONE" did him wrong - maybe several someones: his family never gave him a chance, no one ever believed in him, someone wrongfully accused him, everyone is always against him, he was fired for no good reason... the list of woes goes on. It is NEVER a con man's fault. The world owes him. YOU owe him... and he plans to collect.

10. Be Prepared to Be the Bad Guy

If you do not fall for the con man's scheme, then you are the "bad guy." YOU misrepresented, you misunderstood, you victimized, you took advantage, you let him down, and you never loved him. It was all your fault. This is what he will tell you... and that is what he will tell his next victim if he even mentions you at all when he moves on to the next target. Remember, it is NEVER a con man's fault. They always have an excuse for everything.



What should you do if you’ve been a victim of dating fraud?

  • Report it to Action Fraud.
  • Break off all contact immediately.
  • Report the fraudster to the website or chat room operator.
  • Do not send any more money.
  • You can report these crimes to the Police here

Call to end regime of secrecy at Cheshire East


Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester is calling on the Cheshire East Council to end their regime of secrecy. He said, " The Council set up, last year, six Policy Development Groups (PDGs) of Councillors and Officers that meet in secret.(See below) Councillors who are not members of these secret groups are not even allowed to attend the meetings to observe, let alone contribute to their discussions. No agendas or minutes are made public so residents and other Councilllors do not have a clue what is being discussed behind closed doors in secret. I have been a Councillor for 37 years and I have never experienced the exclusion of Councillors and secrecy like this.Obviously  a few subjects have to be discussed in private but there is no need to exclude other Councillors, prevent them speaking and refuse to issue minutes of the meting. This is just the latest example of Cheshire East's obsession with secrecy. They have refused to publish the independent report on the Lyme Green fiasco, which cost Council taxpayers £225,000, the Information Commissioner ordered them to release details of the Macclesfield  town centre and the Bewilderwood Tatton Park developments, that they tried to keep secret. Also the Ombudsman ordered the Council  to pay a fine and apologise after it was found that the Council had, 'knowingly and persistenly  misled the public'. I am calling on this obsession with secrecy and cover up to end immediately and for all the papers and minutes of all the PDGs to be made public unless there is a good reason to keep parts of them secret."

Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

UK Independence Party Councillor

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor

Cheshire East Council

Tel/fax 01270 567757

Twitter @CllrBSilvester

Youth Ambassador introduces himself electronically to young people in Cheshire


On 25 June 2013, John Dwyer Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, announced Dominic Rogers as his newly appointed Youth Ambassador.

John said: "23% of the population of Cheshire are under 18, and I don’t want young people to be excluded from influencing the development of the police service. I’ve appointed Dominic to work with young people and give them a voice so they can talk about their needs and experiences and help me to shape my decisions."

Dominic started his role on 15 July, and has already met with a variety of people including; schools liaison officers who work across the county, as well as people from agencies such as the Youth Offending Team.

Dominic has recorded a video introducing himself to the young people in Cheshire. Dom said: "I’m going to spend the next couple of months going around the county and introducing myself to people face-to-face, but I thought this was a quick way to let young people know that I’m here.

By introducing myself it allows me to ask the young people for their opinions, and give them the opportunity to ask me questions or tell me any issues they may have."

The introductory video can be found on the Police & Crime Commissioner’s website Alternatively advice and information aimed at young people can be found on If you want to keep up to date with what Dominic is doing, then follow him on Twitter @CheshYouthAmbdr or like his Facebook page

Attestation Ceremony for Cheshire Specials


A Landscape Gardener, Zoo Keeper and an Email Marketing Manager were among the latest recruits to join the ranks of Cheshire’s Special Constabulary.

Twenty six Special Constables were joined by family and friends at an official attestation ceremony held at Cheshire Constabulary′s Winsford Headquarters this week (15th July).

Before stepping out to patrol in their neighbourhoods, the Specials were all congratulated by Assistant Chief Constable Janette McCormick and Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer who both attended the event.

ACC McCormick said: "Special officers play a very valuable role in supporting the work of Cheshire Constabulary and the service we provide to local people."

"It was an honour to attend such an event and meet the new recruits who we are delighted to welcome on board."

Mr Dwyer added: "Being a Special is a very rewarding, fulfilling and interesting role where no two duties are the same".

"Cheshire Constabulary is always on the look out for committed individuals who are keen to experience the world of policing while supporting their local community."

In the presence of Magistrate Mike Cooper, the group all read the oath of allegiance and received their warrant cards.

The Specials have all taken part in an intensive training course which saw them studying various aspects of policing including public order training, statement taking, diversity and human rights issues.

The ceremony also saw the ‘Passing Out Parade’ of eleven Special Constables, who received certificates to mark the completion of their training. They will continue to work on operational duties within the community.

The Special Constabulary is a voluntary body to help the regular police force in meeting the policing needs of the community. Their roles include providing high visibility patrols and helping to police major incidents and events. They provide a vital link in the partnership between the police service and the public.

To find out more about becoming a Special Constable, including frequently asked questions and details of the recruitment process, please visit the Cheshire Police website jobs page or use the following link to get to the Special Constabulary pages,

Friday 19 July 2013

Staffing Shortage Leads to Customers 'trapped in a Kafkaesque loop'


Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester has called on the Cheshire East Council to take urgent action to improve customer service.

He said," I  received a complaint about  the service residents receive when they ring the Council. The resident said, ' I have tried on numerous occasions in the last week to pay my additional fee for refuse collection only to become trapped in a Kafkaesque loop. I have waited for anything up to 20 minutes three or four times while being repeatedly told I am the next call to be dealt with. I even had the same message when trying to telephone another department to complain about the telephone system.'

The response to me from CE was that they had had staff leave and it was taking time to replace them. I am calling for urgent action to be taken because the current level of customer service is not acceptable. I am concerned because this is a front line service and when it is not working efficiently and this reflects badly on the Council's reputation for customer care. Perhaps the standing message could be re-recorded in times of extreme difficulty. The public would surely prefer this to hanging on indefinitely."

See e-mails below.

Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

UK Independence Party Councillor

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor

Cheshire East Council

Tel/fax 01270 567757

Twitter @CllrBSilvester

From: BAYLEY, Paul
Sent: 10 July 2013 17:18
To: SILVESTER, Brian (Councillor)
Subject: RE: Cheshire East headquarters telephone system


We have unexpectedly lost three staff trained in the same services due to resignation.  We have two skill sets within the contact centre (with everybody trained to answer the Information Point line) and are operating with a very lean workforce at present, given the financial pressures we are all under.  The loss of three people across the Contact Centre has an impact on the customer experience, but the loss of three from the same skill set has a quite significant impact on those services.  We are bringing more staff in, but unfortunately it takes longer to recruit and train the new staff than the month’s notice the leavers are required to give us.  We therefore experience a performance dip for a few weeks while the new staff are trained and get up to speed.



From: SILVESTER, Brian (Councillor)
Sent: 10 July 2013 17:08
To: BAYLEY, Paul
Cc: ''
Subject: RE: Cheshire East headquarters telephone system


          Thanks for that. What is the resourcing problem? If it is staffing why are we not bringing more staff in?

Best wishes,

Brian Silvester
Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

UK Independence Party Councillor

Willaston and Rope Ward Councillor

Cheshire East Council

Tel/fax 01270 567757

Twitter @CllrBSilvester

From: BAYLEY, Paul
Sent: 10 July 2013 17:03
To: SILVESTER, Brian (Councillor)
Cc: LOWE, Lisa
Subject: FW: Cheshire East headquarters telephone system

Cllr Silvester,

We are currently experiencing extended telephone wait times in the contact centre due to some unexpected resourcing issues.  We aim to answer telephone calls on average within one minute, but during June this was extended to 90 seconds across all our services.  The wait time for some of our busier services was even longer, however, with customers calling about refuse collection waiting on average up to four minutes, and at peak times the wait could have been considerably longer, which has clearly been the experience of Mr Dooley.

We are working hard to resolve these resourcing issues and get wait times back to an acceptable level.  I have asked one of our team to call Mr Dooley to take his payment and see if there is anything else that we can do to help.  He is unavailable at present but she has left a voicemail and will attempt to call him again tomorrow morning.



Commissioner on track to achieve aims


Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire John Dwyer said: "I was delighted today to see that the figures released by the Office of National Statistics again show Cheshire is a safer place to live with a reduction of 4% in all recorded crime since last year. This means that there were over 2,500 fewer victims of crime, despite the recession and cuts in police funding.

It is also pleasing to see that there have been fewer victims of robbery, domestic burglary and criminal damage, crimes which have a real impact on people’s lives.

I have stated previously that I want the Constabulary to do more to detect crime and I have been working with criminal justice partners to ensure that more offenders are brought to justice".

A separate report also published today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s (HMIC) ‘Valuing the Police Thematic and Force Reports’ looks at how the police service has responded to the demands of this spending review.

John Dwyer added, "I welcome the report and am pleased that it finds that ‘ Cheshire Constabulary has made good progress in meeting its financial challenge’. I have instigated a root and branch review of the Force to support my plans about how these savings can be made. The report has found that I am well placed to meet the challenge set by the Government".

Crime continues to fall in Cheshire


Figures released today by the British Crime Survey again show Cheshire is a safer place to live with a reduction of 4% in all recorded crime.
The figures reflect the period from April 2012 to March 2013 compared with April 2011 to March 2012. They reveal there are over 2,547 fewer victims of crime compared to the same period the year before.
Burglary is again down, this time by 11%, showing that the Constabulary is continuing its commitment to tackling this type of crime as well as helping residents to keep their homes safe.

Robbery is also down by 12% highlighting the determination to bring to justice those who have targeted the county as well as its dedication to carrying out ongoing operations to prevent cross border crime.

While the Constabulary has seen a reduction across the board, it has seen a rise in the reporting of violence against the person without injury. The Constabulary is committed to encouraging victims of domestic violence and harassment to report issues to the police and this category reflects the work we are undertaking in this respect. It is also a reflection of these victims feeling confident in reporting this type of crime and the Constabulary taking action.

Criminal damage has also seen a fall in numbers by 11%.

Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie said: "Once again it is pleasing to see that the figures reflect our commitment to ensure crime continues to fall in Cheshire."
ACC Purdie continued: "We are encouraged that victims of domestic violence and race crime have faith in us and the confidence to come forward. We will continue to take this type of crime very seriously and will support the victims every step of the way.

"It is particularly pleasing to see that there has been a reduction in violence against the person with injury. This type of crime encompasses extreme violence so to see that this has been on the decline is reassuring both to us and the community.

"I am also pleased to see a fall in household burglary, which we know can have a profound impact on victims and can affect their quality of life.
"Our officers and staff work hard and remain committed to reducing crime and bringing to justice those prolific offenders who are responsible for committing a significant proportion of the burglaries reported."

ACC Purdie added: "The reduction in criminal damage, is partly due to the good work our PCSOs and beat managers do out in the areas and their involvement in the community along with our partners such as the council and schools.

"We also make ourselves accessible to the public in many ways including attending large events where we promote crime prevention and encourage people to report crime in their community to ensure that we are tackling the issues that matter to you.

"We will build on the successes and continue to explore effective ways of working to improve our service and prove our commitment to making you safe and feel safe."

Thursday 18 July 2013

Oliver Is Geared Up for Two Tyred Task

Oliver Rowe, 54, cycles Lands End to John O'Groats for St Luke's Hospice

On 3 August Oliver Rowe (54) from Warmingham will begin a grueling 1,070 mile bike ride from the most southerly point in Britain, Lands End, up to John O’Groats, to raise money for St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice.

Oliver an Associate Partner at Rowe Wealth Management, will reach his final destination on 17 August having faced 15 days of demanding riding, travelling an average of 75 miles per leg across challenging terrain, with an expected target sum of £20,000 for local adult hospice St Luke’s.

En route, he will be joined intermittently by 30 close friends and family members, who will provide much needed moral support for short legs of his punishing journey, with his wife Deb (49) driving the complete course.

Oliver’s tight training schedule consists of high intensity interval cycles in preperation for his onerous journey, all aboard his hand-built titanium bike, kindly donated for the trip by Chester-based store Sixty Nine Cycles.

Keen cyclist Oliver has previously taken part in other arduous endurance events, including biking coast to coast across Britain. On this new physical test he says “Remaining positive throughout the course of the ride is vitally important for me.

“Being joined by a fantastic support network, alongside having first-hand experience of the admirable work carried out by hospices such as St Luke’s, will be enough to spur me on towards that finish line.”

To get behind his challenge and show your support for Oliver, you can go to to donate. If you are interested in doing your own challenge for St Luke's then please call the corporate and community development team on 01606 555697 and ask for Diane Eeley.

To find out more about St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice visit:



Stop and Search Powers: Are the Police using them effectively?

Following a critical report on the police use of stop & search from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer is seeking public views on Stop & Search.

The HMIC inspection, which focussed on the Stop and Search experiences found that ‘some of the most intrusive and contentious powers are those of stop and search and that inappropriate use of these powers has tarnished the relationship between constables and the communities they serve. There is surprisingly little attention paid by either the police service or the public to how effective stop and search powers are in reducing or detecting crime.’

In excess of a million stop and search encounters have been recorded every year since 2006, but of these less than 10% led to an arrest in 2011/12.

The report found that Cheshire conducted the third lowest amount of stop and searches nationally at 3.5 per 1000 population compared to a national average for England and Wales of 20.9. However, of these searches, 11% resulted in an arrest. This is above the national average of a 9% arrest to search rate.

Of the searches conducted 14% were related to drugs, 9% were for offensive weapons and 28% were for stolen property, or for going equipped to commit burglary.

Findings of the HMIC commissioned YouGov survey found that Cheshire residents generally looked on stop and search more favourably than the national average.

The National picture suggests that few forces could demonstrate that use of stop and search powers was based on an understanding of what works best to cut crime; and rarely was it targeted at priority crimes in their areas.

John Dwyer said, "I am delighted that the figures for Cheshire show that officers are using intelligence to target their activity and fewer stops are leading to more arrests, but we cannot rest on our laurels. I have asked the Constabulary to review the way in which officers use their stop &search powers and they have developed an action plan which I will consider regularly. I know that the government supports the ability of police officers to stop and search suspects, but it must be applied fairly and in a way that builds community confidence in the police and that leads to real results. A consultation on how police use stop and search powers has been launched by Home Secretary Theresa May who has asked whether the power is over-used, or if people are targeted when they do not need to be. I want to make sure that my response to the Home secretary is based on public opinion. I represent the views of the people of Cheshire and I am asking them to take 5 minutes, whether they have been stopped by the police or not, to give me their views via an online survey."

The survey can be found at www.cheshire-pcc,

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Beach time fun comes to Crewe for Children’s Day


A summer of fun-packed events continues in Crewe town centre on Saturday 20 July with a sunshine fuelled Children’s Day.

This event will take place between 11am-3pm in Municipal Square, and will celebrate the summer months with a beach-theme.

The event; aimed at children and families, will deliver an array of exciting activities, including arts and crafts, fairground rides, puppets, and a bouncy castle. There will even be a taste of the seaside; with sandpits and some Peter Pan pirates!

Exhibitors on the day include:

West Street Christian Fellowship

The church group will be delivering a number of activities including arts and crafts, games and rides, and puppets. 

Cheshire Constabulary

Will be delivering an art workshop and providing information on ‘Stranger Danger’.

Crewe Lyceum Theatre

Linking into their 2013 pantomime, Peter Pan, the Lyceum Theatre pirates will be on hand to deliver badge-creating fun.

Other children’s entertainment on the day will include professional balloon-modelling, a magic show, a bouncy castle, and ice cream stall.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Regulatory Services said:

“Cheshire East Council is pleased to celebrate the summer months with an event that promises to bring the entire Crewe community together in the town centre.

“With the recent summer weather that we have all been experiencing, this weekend is a fantastic time to make the most of the sunshine and bring the seaside to Crewe!”

For more information on the West Street Christian Fellowship please visit

For further information on the Lyceum Theatre please visit

For more information on the Crewe Summer Events programme, please visit and search ‘summer events’

Creepy Theme Kicks off Summer Reading Challenge

reading challenge

The annual summer reading challenge for youngsters has begun with a spooky theme that is certain to get the kids interested in books over the summer holidays.

The national scheme, run by The Reading Agency, runs until September 7 and is designed for children aged four to 11 years of age.

There will be related activities, including a ‘Creepy House Zoolab’ event, in which children can handle creepy animals and learn all about ecology.

Last year’s challenge saw a promising rise in library membership among youngsters. Each child is challenged to visit the library four times and read at least six books over the summer.

Councillor David Brown, cabinet member in charge of libraries, said: “We are delighted to be once again supporting the national summer reading challenge within our libraries.

“Each year, it gets more and more popular with children and parents and helps keep children amused and makes reading fun.

“Last year, we had an extra 200 children join the library as a result of the challenge. It’s great getting feedback from the children at the awards ceremonies in September and I’m looking forward to seeing which books proved popular this time round.”

Research shows that taking part can contribute towards preventing a dip in reading motivation and attainment which can be common over the summer holidays.

Partnership with local schools, parents and carers is important to the success of the scheme and Cheshire East library staff visited 61 primary schools.

Library staff and volunteers then spend time talking to the children about their book choices and the children are given incentives to encourage them to carry on reading.

A medal and certificate is awarded to those who complete the challenge at a special ceremony in September, attended by councillors and local VIPs.

Last year 4,748 children in Cheshire East joined the reading challenge, with 2,774 completing it.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Laurie Twiss Awards for Journalism.

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston (photo by Jonathan White, words by Jonathan White and Eileen Bamber).

2012 Wistonian of the year Laurie Clough presents the prizes to Liam - Ella - Macy


The Laurie Twiss Awards for Journalism for 2013 were awarded, by 2012 Wistonian of the year Laurie Clough, to their talented recipients at the Wistaston Village Fete in mid-June. The winners were:

- First prize and trophy winner - Ella Banks

- Second prize - Macy Slater

- Third prize - Liam Prestwich

- Highly commended - Daniel Fowler

All prize winners received a book token, certificate and pen. The winning entries will be printed in a future edition of Wistaston Roundabout: .

Laurie Twiss was a popular and well-loved member of the Wistaston Community Council who for many years was editor of Wistaston Roundabout. When he died in 2002 it was decided to honour his memory by putting on a competition linked to journalism in his name. The Laurie Twiss Awards for Journalism are open to people aged 9 to 16 years old in our area and involves submitting a story or article of not more than 200 words. The writing can be real or imaginary, fact or fiction.

Please submit your entry by 31st May 2014 to one of the following:

- Barbara Brereton, 16 Prior Close, Wistaston, Tel. 569861

- Greg Brereton, 7 College Fields, Wistaston, Tel. 560194

- Eileen Bamber, 31 Broughton Lane, Wistaston, Tel. 569126.

Fundraising challenge this Sunday 21st July.

Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe

Ben Reinhardt and his bicycle - 60 at 60

Ben Reinhardt, from Crewe, is training hard for a forthcoming '60 at 60' fundraising challenge to mark his 60th birthday. On the day of his birthday - Sunday 21st July 2013 - he aims to swim 60 lengths at Nantwich outdoor swimming pool, cycle 60 km and run for 60 minutes. The retired former Bentley Motors employee is raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research - - who are the only UK charity solely dedicated to research into blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. His webpage for donations is and he would appreciate any money for this charity. Ben said, "I can think of easier ways to celebrate my 60th birthday, but on this special day for me I hope doing this will enable more people to continue living. Every penny I raise will contribute to helping the fight to beat blood cancers."

Commissioner Launches Crime Prevention Fund

John Dwyer with cheque for Crime Prevention Fund

Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer has launched a £100,000 fund for community groups and organisations to apply for funding of for community safety and crime prevention projects in the local community.

John Dwyer said, "I have spoken to many individuals, voluntary and community groups over the past six months who suggest ingenious ways of making a big difference with a little financial support. I am really excited about launching this fund which will make money available to projects in our communities and meet my aim to reduce crime."

I am also aiming to double the impact of my money by asking applicants to obtain match funding from local businesses and philanthropists who wish to demonstrate good corporate citizenship. This way, we can really begin to get lots of people involved in the local community.

Applications for funding to a maximum of £5,000 can be made via my website. Projects will need to support the objectives set out in my Police & Crime Plan including; the reduction of crime, anti-social behaviour, rural, heritage & business crime, improving road safety or reducing the affects of drug and alcohol misuse. Applications will also be considered favourably if they address the needs of victims or witnesses or which aim to tackle re-offending.

Local groups who would benefit from funding can find more details about how to apply on and assistance in developing an application will be made available, should people need it.

John Dwyer added, "I am trying to involve as many elements of the community as possible in this work in order that big differences can be made to make Cheshire an even safer place to live."

Saturday 13 July 2013

Welcome to the MP’s 138th news bulletin.


Edward Timpson MP

Friday 12, July 2013


Welcome to this, my 138th news bulletin.

The Government is doing all it can to help people in the current difficult economic climate.  One of the issues that it is committed to tackling is the rising cost of energy.  This is a cost that affects every household in Crewe and Nantwich – even in the summer we are now enjoying, when the weather is warm and the evenings light.

I was pleased to learn this month that in Crewe and Nantwich, 924 households are benefiting already from 'smart meters', rolled-out by one energy supplier.

Smart meters provide gas and electric customers with much more information about how much energy they are using, as they are using it.  And by sending meter-readings to utility companies automatically, they will put an end to estimated bills.  Energy companies will be required to supply smart meters to every household by 2020.

The Prime Minister made a personal commitment to help get energy bills down and the regulator Ofgem has recently announced that it is taking forward a package of measures to help reduce bills and make the energy market fairer, clearer and simpler - smart meters are just one example.

The Government’s goal is for consumers to get the best possible energy tariff and powers gained in the Energy Bill will be used to ensure this happens. Put simply, the reforms will make energy suppliers put customers on the lowest tariffs unless they choose otherwise.

This is real help for people worried about their energy bills and it is part of a wide range of measures the Government has introduced to address this issue. For example, the new ‘Green Deal’ will revolutionise energy efficiency in the UK by offering households up-front finance to make energy efficiency improvements, paid for by energy bill savings.  This scheme will provide extra financial help for the most vulnerable, through an Energy Company Obligation (ECO), worth £1.3 billion, which will assist around 230,000 low income households each year.

Alongside this, the Government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme will provide over 2 million households, including over 600,000 vulnerable pensioners, with a £120 discount on their electricity bills.  In addition, Ministers are maintaining the spending on Winter Fuel Payments, spending £2.1 billion this winter.  Cold weather payments have been permanently increased from £8.50 to £25, helping the most vulnerable later in the year, when extremely cold weather does return.

Best wishes,

Edward Timpson
Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich

Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me, or if there is anything I can do to assist you.
You can forward this bulletin on to your friends and family, who can sign up themselves by clicking here for my website.

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Locally I have...

  • Welcomed about 2,000 people to the second Crewe and Nantwich Jobs Fair, successfully matching local people who are looking for work with some of our area's biggest employers.
  • Held an advice surgery in Nantwich, to give help and support to local residents.  You can book an appointment to speak to me about any concern or problem that I might be able to help with, by contacting my office: details below.
  • Met with local HR consultant and Looking After The Homeless (LATH) volunteer, Ann Baker, to talk about her project to assist homeless people in Crewe and Nantwich into work.
  • Visited Weston Cricket Club, at the kind invitation of the Club's committee, as part of a national day co-ordinated by the League Cricket Conference, Club Cricket Conference and Midlands Club Cricket Conference.

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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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Photo News

At the Crewe and Nantwich Jobs Fair

I was delighted to welcome so many local people to the 2013 Crewe and Nantwich Jobs Fair. There were more employers and organisations attending this year, including Apprenticeships provider ESTC Group.

You can see all of my photos by visiting my website.

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Community News

Crewe woman calls on businesses to give homeless people jobs

Crewe Chronicle

HUMAN resources consultant Anne Baker was delighted by the support offered by local businesses for her initiative to get homeless people into work.

She said the response at the Crewe and Nantwich Jobs Fair at the end of last month was fantastic.

“I was fortunate to meet with Edward Timpson MP at the fair to discuss my ideas and he was very positive and supportive about the initiative,” she said. Anne was able to discuss details of her action plan with all local businesses at the fair.

“I wanted employers to have a radical re-think of how they see homeless people,” she said.

“Instead of seeing them as unsuitable employees with multiple problems they should see them as a uniquely valuable resource. Because of their experiences they are often much more keen to work hard and to show gratitude and loyalty for the chance to get back into employment.”

Anne volunteers for the YMCA and the Lath Group (Looking After the Homeless), a Crewe charity of which Edward Timpson is the patron, and which provides a twice-weekly drop-in centre at Christ Church. She provides support to homeless people to produce CVs and application letters as well as training in interview skills and networking.

Any company which might be able to help should contact Anne Baker on 07803 936 682.

Do you have community news to share? Are you involved in any projects that could be of help or interest to local people in Crewe and Nantwich? Email me and your news could be here too!

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2,000 jobseekers flock to recruitment fair organised by Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson

Crewe Chronicle

NEARLY 2,000 people of all ages flocked to the Crewe and Nantwich Jobs Fair organised by local MP Edward Timpson.

The event proved even more successful than last year with hundreds queuing outside waiting for the doors to open at Crewe Alexandra’s ground on Thursday.  Mr Timpson admitted he had been slightly apprehensive, worrying this year’s event would not be as successful as last year.  But he needn’t have been concerned – the fair was well attended by employers and job hunters.

“After the success of last year there’s always the nervousness of coming and giving it another go but this has exceeded all expectations,” said the delighted MP. “It’s great to see so many of the businesses who exhibited last year coming back and we have more jobs on offer than last year.

“Expert Logistics have got 150 jobs here today and they want to fill them today if they can.”

The Conservative MP said he had met people who had gained employment and experience from last year’s event and ‘this year we’re hoping it will be even better with more people getting work’.  He said the jobs fair gave people the all important advantage of being able to meet employers face-to-face rather than just sending in CVs.

During a speech at the opening of the event, the Crewe and Nantwich MP thanked the Chronicle and the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce for supporting the event.  He said he is pleased it has become a fixture in the calendar and will be holding it again next year.

One of the companies looking for enthusiastic workers at the jobs fair was Virgin Trains.  The company has ‘frontline’ vacancies, working on the station and on board trains as well as opportunities on Redtrack, a new scheme whereby students who want to get a degree at Crewe’s MMU can do so while working for Virgin.

“We pay all their university fees and pay them £12,000 a year,” said Beckie Forrester, of Virgin.  She said A levels were not a necessity but the candidates had to have an aptitude for learning because they would be taking a degree course at university.

Regarding frontline jobs on the station and trains, having people skills is the most important qualification. “We don’t look for qualifications, it’s all about having the right attitude,” she said.

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Edward Timpson MP welcomes savings on energy bills for Crewe & Nantwich

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The Crewe News

Edward Timpson, Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich, has welcomed news today that 924 households in his constituency are already benefiting from increased control over energy bills through British Gas smart meters, with average annual savings of £65 per household.

Smart meters mean for the first time that households can see how much gas and electricity they are using, as they use it, and how much that costs in pounds and pence. By gaining insight into what they are spending and where, consumers can take control over their energy use and consequently their bills. Smart meters also send meter readings to suppliers automatically, seeing an end to estimated bills.

All energy companies are required to deliver smart meters to every home and business in the country by 2020, with British Gas already installing one million smart meters – around 75% of the total currently installed in Britain today.

Edward Timpson said:
“At a time when many people are struggling to make ends meet, this is good news for the families in Crewe and Nantwich. Energy bills are a big worry for some households, and anything that can provide greater transparency and help people take control of their costs and reduce waste is welcome. Every home in Crewe and Nantwich will have a smart meter by 2020, and it’s good to see British Gas helping my constituents get the benefits of smart today.”

Stuart Rolland, Managing Director of Smart Metering at British Gas said:
“British Gas is working hard to make sure people are in control of their energy bills. That’s one of the reasons we chose to get smart meters to our customers earlier than everyone else. 924 of our customers in Crewe & Nantwich are already seeing the benefit of smart and we look forward to the rest joining them.”

Visit to find out more

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

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