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Saturday 24 December 2016

The South Cheshire 'George Formby' Ukulele Society's 'Christmas Concert'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The South Cheshire 'George Formby' Ukulele Society's 'Christmas Concert' took place on the evening of Friday 23rd December 2016 at Wistaston Memorial Hall, Church Lane, Wistaston.

The Concert contained group, duet and solo ukulele performances and featured George Formby songs including 'With My Little Ukelele In My Hand' and 'The Lancashire Toreador', along with Christmas songs such as 'Blue Christmas' and 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus'.

There were moving tributes throughout the evening to Society Founder Brian Edge who passed away earlier in the month.

Musicians travelled from Wistaston, other parts of Cheshire and counties beyond. The final song involved all the performers in a thrash to 'Leaning on a Lamp-post'.

Richard Batty was Master of Ceremonies and introduced each act with his usual quick fire repartee. Chris White was the Concert Producer.

Hot and cold drinks and mince pies were served during the interval. There was also a prize raffle.

The main hall, which had been decorated with festive bunting and a large decorated fibre-optic Christmas tree, was filled to capacity with over 150 attendees.

The Society was founded by Brian Edge in 1994 and performs a Concert at Wistaston Memorial Hall on the fourth Friday of every month throughout the year. There are no membership fees to pay to attend a Concert and the entrance fee is just £1 to cover the cost of hall rent and light refreshments. The curtain goes up at 7:30pm prompt.

The 2017 Friday Concert dates are: 27th January, 24th February, 24th March, 28th April, 26th May, 23rd June, 28th July, 25th August, 22nd September, 27th October, 24th November, and 22nd December. The Society are also playing on Easter Sunday 16th April 2017 at the annual Nantwich Jazz Festival .

There are also rehearsal sessions, to which new ukulele players are always welcome, at Wistaston Memorial Hall on the third Tuesday (7:30pm) of every month throughout the year. The 2017 rehearsal dates are: 17th January, 21st February, 21st March, 18th April, 16th May, 20th June, 18th July, 15th August, 19th September, 17th October, 21st November, and 19th December.

For further details please contact Secretary D. Dodd via telephone: 01270 581920 or email:


Musicians perform at the  concertMusicians perform Leaning on a  Lamp-post

Police Commissioner Deputy

I was shocked to learn the Labour Police Commissioner for Cheshire is to more than DOUBLE the salary of his deputy.It is bad enough that the Police Council Tax goes up each year but it is outrageous that we are expected to pay his deputy nearly £1000 a WEEK.The Commissioner never told us that when he was elected a few months ago.

Most of us, who pay the Council Tax increases every year, have not seen a real increase in our wages for 10 years. Despite that, those who increase Council Tax each year expect us to pull in our belts a bit further and cough up.

I think we should make it clear to the Police Commissioner that doubling of salaries is not acceptable. We should start a campaign to stop the appointment being made. Enough is enough.

The Commissioner already has several staff to serve him.He should be making reductions in his budget, just like we have to, to pay the ever increasing Council Tax.

yours faithfully,

Cllr Brian Silvester

UKIP Councillor

It’s a real ‘nappy’ Christmas and New Year for Cheshire East parents


Real nappies are making a remarkable comeback in Cheshire East with a record number of parents taking advantage of the council’s real nappy incentive scheme this year.

In 2016, more than 120 parents requested real nappy kits or a £25 shopping voucher. During Real Nappy Week, 57 real nappies were given out.

Switching to real nappies can provide several financial benefits for your family. ‘Go Real’ - a real nappy information service – predicts that swapping from disposables could save parents anywhere from £100-£1000 during their child’s early life.

With disposable nappies costing an average of 16 pence each, UK parents are spending about half a billion pounds on them every year. The benefits of real nappies are not purely financial either. Switching to them is also great for the environment.

The majority of babies born in England and Wales will be in disposable nappies, which equates to three billion every year. This translates to 355,000 tonnes and a staggering cost of £32 million to local authorities and the taxpayer for their disposal.

As well as potentially saving parents up to £1000, changing to real nappies also represents a 40% carbon saving.

The Real Nappy Incentive Scheme is a year round campaign which offers the choice of either a £25 shopping voucher or a real nappy sample kit, which comprises two real nappies, nappy liners, and a start-up guide.

Lucinda Hodges, waste education officer for Cheshire East’s arms length company Ansa said: “We will always encourage parents in Cheshire East to use real nappies, and our incentive scheme gives them even more of a reason to do so. It is incredible to see how much the scheme has progressed over the years, so I hope that the take-up increases even more in 2017!

“This has been a great success for Ansa and the council this year. Cheshire East is committed to meeting waste and recycling targets. Encouraging parents and guardians to use real nappies is a great way of helping to achieve that goal.”

Those wishing to apply for either a shopping voucher or sample kit can download an application form from the Cheshire East Council website: by searching for ‘real nappies’.

Friday 23 December 2016

Welcome to this, my 172nd news bulletin...

Welcome to this, my 172nd news bulletin...
As you're reading this, no doubt you're getting your last minute preparations done for your own busy Christmas with family and friends.
I've been doing the same, and have also been witnessing first hand the amazingly generous spirit of some of our local people.

(Photo: Nantwich 'Santa Dash' 2016 -  courtesy of Jonathan White)
Take Gateway Peugeot, in Crewe, for instance, where Alex, Keith and the team have been collecting toys for the needy children of Project Crewe. Or community champion, Graham Witter, who staged the annual Christmas lights show and raffle in Weston to support The Donna Louise Children's Hospice. Or, indeed, local groups and organisations such as YMCA Crewe, the Lighthouse Centre, Nantwich Foodbank, and All Together Churches, that have been active in reaching out to those in need.

(Photo: Edward Timpson MP meets Alex, Keith and the team at Gateway Peugeot, Crewe)
Our schools and community groups have also joined in the spirit of things, with Nantwich Primary Academy and Monks Coppenhall pupils, for example, singing carols and hosting Christmas fairs; Crewe Alexandra Ladies FC offering a gift wrapping service to shoppers at The Market; and dozens of local parents and children signing-up and taking part in the annual 'Santa Dash', in Nantwich - with the proceeds from all events going to charity.

(Photo: Edward Timpson MP sings carols with Nantwich Primary Academy pupils in Nantwich town square)
I have been fortunate enough to meet, thank some of the organisers, and join in with many of these great events. However, it is important to note they represent just a small selection of what will have been the many examples of local people, businesses, charities, churches, schools and others reaching out to help those in need.
The lasting thought I have from them all is: if we all took it upon ourselves this Christmas to perform one small act of kindness to another less fortunate than ourselves, we can show that we are all part of a very proud, strong, and compassionate community, at a time of year that should be about caring more than anything else.
So, if you have any inspirational stories, or want to highlight the good work of a local group or person over this festive period —or, at any other time— do drop me a line. I'd be delighted to hear all about them and let others know too.
Wishing you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

Edward Timpson MP
Member of Parliament for Crewe and Nantwich
Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions, or if there is anything I can do to assist you.

Cheshire East's 'Winter Neighbours' iniative

Winter weather can be fun for some, but sadly more people are at risk of illness and death during winter than at any other time of the year and may need extra help from us all. As the weather turns colder, please do spare a thought for your neighbours - they may not be willing to ask, but some may need your help, especially if they are elderly, disabled or have a chronic illness. 

Cheshire East's 'Stay Warm', 'Stay Well' and 'Stay Safe' pages offer valuable information and advice this winter, and here are a few tips from their 'Winter Neighbour' initiative:

  • Check on elderly neighbours or relatives to make sure they are safe and well. A phone call or a knock at the door can make all the difference and can brighten their day - some people find being housebound very lonely.
  • Make sure they have enough food and medicines to prevent them having to go out in very cold or icy weather.
  • Give your telephone number to elderly neighbours so they can contact you for help if they are unwell or had a fall.
  • Is their house warm enough? Living rooms should be heated to 21°C and bedrooms to 18°C. Contact the Care & Repair team for information about emergency heating and repairs.
  • Keep drives and footpaths clear of snow and ice for your neighbours. Advice is available from Cheshire East Highways about clearing snow and ice.
  • Concerned about someone you think is sleeping rough in your community? Let the Housing Options team know on 0300 123 5017.

Be on the lookout, too, for signs that something might be wrong, such as:

  • Milk still out on the doorstep late in the day
  • Newspapers and post stuck in the letterbox
  • Curtains drawn during the day
  • Lights on during the day
  • A home in darkness when there should be someone at home
  • A dog barking all day or the cat scratching to be let in
  • Bins not put out on collection days
You can find more information about CE's initiative here.

Recently, I...

  • Marked #SmallBusinessSaturday with Etsy South Cheshire traders at Reaseheath College's 'Christmas Market'.
  • Visited Royal Mail's Crewe Delivery Office to speak with postmen and women and thank them for their hard work.
  • Sang carols with Nantwich Primary Academy pupils in Nantwich town square.
  • Joined food bank volunteers at their 'Neighbourhood Food Collection' event at Tesco, Crewe.
  • Was quized by Pear Tree Primary School pupils on their visit to the Houses of Parliament.
  • Presented certificates to my Christmas card competition winners,  Westminster Nursery School.
  • Attended and supported Gateway Peugeot Crewe's annual NSPCC toy appeal.
  • Received a tour of the Crewe based, family-run haulage business, Chamberlain Transport.
  • Celebrated the achievements of St Thomas More Catholic High School pupils at their annual awards evening.
  • Met with Cheshire East care leavers to discuss the 'cost of being care-free'.
  • Held my regular advice surgeries in Crewe and in Nantwich.

Christmas card competition 2016

Very many thanks to all who entered my Christmas card competition this year, and special congratulations to the winners: Westminster Nursery School!

Cheshire Without Abuse

Grants available for businesses in Crewe and Nantwich

Travel Cheshire have asked me to spread the word about a number of grants available for local businesses to promote walking, cycling and public transport use.
These grants, which come from the Department of Transport’s Sustainable Travel Transition Year (STTY) initiative, aim to help businesses in Crewe and Nantwich ease pressure on workplace car parks and cut congestion, and could be used on a range of facilities or initiatives - such as installing secure bike shelters, lockers or showers, or subsidising bus travel for employees.

For more information, and for details of how to apply, visit the Travel Cheshire website at or e-mail

The closing date for applications is 19 January 2017.

HS2 Information Event - Crewe, 5 January 2017

As part of the Government's consultations, High Speed Two Limited (HS2 Ltd) will be holding an information event at Crewe Alexandra Football Club's Carlsberg Lounge on Thursday 5th January, between 12pm-8pm.
To find out more details on the proposed route changes, property compensation, and assistance schemes, see

Crewe Community Network - January 2017 meet dates
Crewe Life:
Crewe Community Network is a new social group for active organisations and businesses in the local area that want to develop activities and services, connect to new partners, and stay ahead of the funding game - and, collectively, work towards creating a stronger Crewe.

Meeting dates, at Crewe Lifestyle Centre, are: 11 January and  25 January, between 10am-12pm & 5pm-7pm.

Vulnerable young people deserve more support - Edward Timpson MP for The Times 'Red Box'
The Times:
For most children, their family, friends and communities provide the network they need to grow up safe, happy and supported. However, I know from growing up in a family who fostered that for our most vulnerable children who are entrusted to the state’s care extra support and guidance is needed so they can benefit from what others take for granted 

Volunteers help spruce up historic Monks Lane in Nantwich

Nantwich News:
Big-hearted volunteers from Nantwich Civic Society and Rotary Club recently joined forces to spruce up one of the town's most historic routes, Monks Lane.

Their efforts were in celebration of the relaying of the surface and drainage to Monks Lane by Cheshire East Council, and included the cleaning and repainting of bollards and lamp posts on the route.

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Copyright © 2016 Edward Timpson. Promoted by D Potter on behalf of E Timpson both at Churchyardside, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5DE
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Christmas Campaign

Subject: Christmas Campaign

This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Jess Street (Police, PCSO, Crewe LPU East PCSO)

Dear Residents,
As part of the Force’s festive drink/drug driving campaign, 23 people were arrested for drink driving and 17 for drug driving in Cheshire over the first weekend.

Last year, 238 motorists were arrested for drink or drug driving in Cheshire during the Christmas campaign , 40 being across the Crewe policing area (includes Alsager, Sandbach, Nantwich, Middlewich and Holmes Chapel). Sadly, drivers with a Crewe postcode have the highest number of convicted drink or drug drivers in the UK.
Stay safe this Christmas and don’t drink and drive.
Merry Christmas to all,
Crewe LPU

North West in Bloom 2016

I was delighted that Willaston has won the Gold Award in the North West in Bloom 2016,after four years where they came in the runner up spot.This latest award comes on top of winning the Best Kept Village Award and the Most Improved Village Award in the 2016 Cheshire Community Pride Competition.

These quite remarkable achievements are fully justified.For the 16 years I was the Borough Councillor for Willaston I was highly impressed with the wonderful community spirit in the village.So many residents go out of their way to make Willaston more beautiful and a better place to live.They are a brilliant example to all the many other communities in Cheshire East.

I would like to congratulate Councillors Wayne Lewis and John Flackett, the Parish Council, Willaston in Bloom and everybody else who played their part in this momentous success.Keep up the good work.

Yours faithfully,

Cllr Brian Silvester

UKIP Councillor.

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Cheshire East’s CCTV helps secure convictions


Cheshire East Council CCTV operators played a key role in securing convictions of four men who were jailed last month for a robbery at a Nantwich jewellers.

The four men received sentences totalling 30 years for the robbery of Moodys, on Pillory Street, in July this year.

Immediately after the robbery, staff at Moodys were able to call Cheshire East’s Scoot, (Stamp Crime Out of Town), radio link operators. This enabled the operators to work with the police to ensure that the criminals were followed as they attempted to make their getaway.

David Alabaster, manager of Moodys, said: “I cannot emphasise enough my feeling that the protection given by – and accessibility to – the camera control team is of huge benefit to all users of the system and would wish that more retailers and businesses made use of this invaluable facility.”

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities and health, said: “I am greatly relieved that our operators were able to support Moodys and help put these dangerous men behind bars.

“This was a success for partnership working in our borough, as this result could not have been achieved without the support of the police and, of course, residents, who provided video and photographic footage which led to the identification of the offenders.”

For more information about Scoot radio link and how it can support your business, please contact Scoot’s commercial crime manager Ralph Lewis on 07960 937693 or e-mail

Winter Wellbeing – stay well this winter


Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we advise people on what to do if they catch norovirus and how to prevent the spread of germs.

Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK and is highly contagious.

It's also called the ‘winter vomiting bug’, because it's more common at this time of the year. It is transmitted by contact with contaminated surfaces, an infected person or consumption of contaminated food or water.

While norovirus can be very unpleasant, it normally clears up by itself in a few days and you don’t usually need to get medical advice. However, you should get advice if there's a risk of a more serious problem, such as your symptoms haven't started to improve after a few days or you have a serious underlying condition, such as kidney disease.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities and health, said: “As norovirus can spread to others very easily and there's no specific treatment for it, the advice to residents is to try and avoid going to your GP if you have the bug. Instead, if you are concerned or need any advice, call your surgery or NHS 111.

“There are also some simple precautions you can take to help prevent the virus from spreading, including washing your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food, disinfecting any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated and not sharing towels or flannels.

You should also stay off work, and keep any affected children away from school or nursery, until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared.”

There is a wealth of information and advice about norovirus available online at:

Councillor Bates said: “If you do fall ill with norovirus this winter, the best thing to do is to stay at home until you're feeling better. As it’s a virus, antibiotics won’t help your symptoms but there are a few things you can do to lessen the effects.

“Advice available on the NHS Choices website includes drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, taking paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains, getting plenty of rest and, if you feel up to it, eating plain foods, such as soup, rice, pasta and bread.”

For further winter-related advice, visit: and

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

Council welcomes move to bolster neighbourhood plans


Cheshire East Council has welcomed the government’s move to bolster the status of neighbourhood plans in the planning process.

The recent announcement by housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell closes a loophole which had previously weakened the influence of neighbourhood plans and the ability of local planning authorities and communities to resist unsustainable development.

In future, planning authorities and inspectors at appeal will not be able to favour planning applications simply on the basis of a modest shortfall in a borough-wide housing land supply, where a neighbourhood plan is in place.

Where a neighbourhood plan allocates sites for development, and the local authority can demonstrate it has a three-year supply of housing land, the policies in the neighbourhood plan will outweigh any shortage of housing sites in the wider area. Councils should have a five-year supply of housing in place but policies can be deemed ‘out of date’ if they do not.

Across Cheshire East there are currently five neighbourhood plans in place but there are as many as 40 in the pipeline.

Neighbourhood plans that are already passed can be reviewed but the minister’s announcement, to be followed next year by the Neighbourhood Planning Bill, allows parishes currently drawing up their proposals to review their site allocations.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council,said: “I welcome this statement from the government. This is good news for this council and for the many hard-working volunteers who, for the benefit of the communities in which they live, have spent many thousands of hours preparing their own neighbourhood plans.

“This council believes in supporting grass-roots planning policies and the minister’s announcement means that where the council can demonstrate a three-year supply of deliverable sites – instead of the current five years, a local neighbourhood plan must be given every consideration in the planning process.”

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for planning and housing, said: “This really is a game-changer for the whole principle of neighbourhood planning.  It ensures that parishes with strong plans in place will not be susceptible to temporary blips in borough-wide housing land supply.

“This council will now work with those parishes with plans in the pipeline, to ensure a site is allocated, and also work with those with existing plans to make any revisions they wish to include.”

Cheshire East Council has just secured the backing of government planning inspector Stephen Pratt for its local plan, a blueprint for all future housing and infrastructure development across the borough until 2030.

Once adopted, this is expected to deliver a five-year housing land supply, a principal argument used by developments seeking to overturn planning refusals at appeal.

Mum and son win panto tickets in council giveaway


A Crewe family have won four tickets to see a panto performance at the Lyceum Theatre after completing a Cheshire East Council childcare survey.

Gemma Harris won tickets to see Aladdin, after entering a prize draw, where parents were invited to provide their opinions on childcare in Cheshire East.

Gemma, 34, said: “It was such a lovely treat when we found out we were competition winners. My son, Finn is very excited about it.”

Councillor Liz Durham, cabinet member for children and families, said: “I was pleased that we were able to team up with the Lyceum Theatre to offer these tickets. More importantly, I am glad that we are now able to use the information gleaned from the survey to improve childcare in the borough.”

The findings of the survey will be published next year, as part of the council’s childcare sufficiency assessment.

Rio heroes awarded Freedom of the borough



Cheshire East’s Olympic heroes have been honoured with freedom of the borough status at a special meeting of Cheshire East Council.

Also honoured was Sir Philip Craven, now living in Cheshire East, who is president of the International Olympic Committee and who has played a major role in the huge success story of Team GB’s Paralympians.

Track cyclists Laura and Jason Kenny were two of the seven athletes and Paralympians honoured.  Jason is now joint holder of the highest number of Olympic gold medals for a British athlete.

Libby Clegg, Megan Giglia, Bryony Page, Andy Small and Sophie Thornhill were all honoured by the mayor of the borough at a special ceremony at Crewe Lifestyle Centre.

The mayor, Councillor Olivia Hunter, said: “I am absolutely delighted that my term in office has coincided with the Olympic and Paralympic Games and equally delighted that athletes with a link to Cheshire East did so remarkably well in those games, mirroring the tremendous achievements of Team GB.

“The members, officers and citizens of the borough are truly proud of the achievements of those being honoured.”

Libby Clegg, Laura and Jason Kelly were unable to attend the ceremony, which saw certificates and medals presented to the Rio champions. 

Deputy leader Cllr David Brown praised Sir Philip’s dedication to sport and his own personal achievements as a wheelchair basketball player, winning gold medals in various top-level events, including the Commonwealth Games.

Deputy sought by Police Commissioner

Subject: Deputy sought by Police Commissioner

This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire

(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Peter Caldwell (Police, New Media Manager, Chesh Engagement Unit)

David Keane, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, has started his search for a Deputy to support him to implement Cheshire’s Police & Crime Plan.
David said "The first step was getting a Plan in place and now my focus is to ensure that I have the support I need to ensure that it is delivered and the performance of the Constabulary is monitored on behalf of the public."
In seeking a Deputy, the Commissioner has outlined that he is looking for candidates dedicated to serving the public and working collaboratively to deliver positive outcomes, a person who can work to build public confidence and support victims and someone who is able to translate strategic objectives into operational change.
"I want an enthusiastic, innovative and focused Deputy. The role will support me to ensure an effective and efficient police service and play a leading role in crime prevention and community safety across Cheshire. If you think you’ve got the skills and expertise to take on this challenging and rewarding role then get in touch and find out how to apply"
Applications for the role are now open with further details of the job description and person specification available at the Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner website or by calling 01606 36 4000.

Friday 16 December 2016

Christmas house of the year

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

I enjoy the Christmas lights in the Crewe and Nantwich town centres, but I also really enjoy the over-the-top Christmas lights and decorations (including the occasional inflatable decoration) that some local homeowners setup each year. Their electricity bills must be sky high, but they never fail to bring a smile to my face!

My favourites this year in Crewe are located on Alton Street, Broad Street, Carlisle Street, Claughton Avenue, Davenport Avenue, Jesmond Crescent, Salisbury Avenue, Ravenscroft Road, Vincent Street and Timbrell Avenue.

My favourites this year in Nantwich are on Weaver Road, Barony Road, Blagg Avenue, Cope Avenue, and Hawksey Drive.

I’ve uploaded a selection of my Christmas house 2016 photos from Crewe, Wistaston, Nantwich & beyond to Flickr:

Crewe - Davenport AvenueCrewe - Timbrell AvenueNantwich - Blagg AvenueNantwich - Hawksey Drive

Inspector backs council’s revised Local Plan to shape development


A Planning Inspector has backed Cheshire East’s Local Plan for shaping future development.

It follows nearly three years of public comments and submissions on the council’s proposed strategic blueprint for the borough’s development to 2030. Most recently the Local Plan underwent a further six-week public consultation, which ended on October 20.

Now Planning Inspector Stephen Pratt has written to the council in a report saying the locations and extent of development proposed in the plan seem ‘appropriate, justified, effective, deliverable and soundly based’. He also said that issues relating to other strategic policies in the plan ‘seem to be capable of resolution by modifications’.

Mr Pratt added that the council’s further proposed changes to the Local Plan seem to address the changes ‘necessary to ensure that the revised plan is sound and legally compliant’.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said today: “This is really good news for the people of Cheshire East and I am pleased that the inspector has recognised the thoroughness of our evidence gathering and public engagement.

“We are confident that our Local Plan, which is comprehensive and robust, will give the people of Cheshire East its best protection against unplanned and unsustainable development.

“I am really pleased that the incredible hard work of our officers and members has paid off and the revised plan has been supported by the inspector, subject to some necessary modifications.”

The focus of the recent round of public consultation was on the changes the council proposed to the plan it originally submitted to the Secretary of State in May 2014, in light of interim views by the planning inspector during examination. This included additional and amended strategic site allocations to accommodate the larger scale of growth now expected and planned for in the borough.

The Council received a total of 19,572 representations from 4,679 members of the public or groups during the most recent consultation. The Council had already previously received more than 40,000 responses to the original draft Local Plan during nine previous rounds of public consultation.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “The Local Plan is the council’s most important tool for shaping development in Cheshire East up to 2030 and we now look forward to moving forward to its formal adoption in the spring.

“There has been a tremendous response from our residents and other stakeholders during the extensive 10 rounds of public consultations on our proposals and I’m sure it has allowed everyone to feel they had the opportunity to have their say.

“All told, we received a total of more than 60,000 responses in the various consultations to arrive at our draft Local Plan. This represents an unprecedented level of interest in a council consultation process.

“The council is very grateful for the careful handling of the public hearings by Inspector Stephen Pratt, who acknowledged in his closing remarks that ‘this has been the most complex and challenging Local Plan I have ever examined’ – having completed 20 or so examinations to date.”

As is normal practice, the council will now be required to consult on the inspector’s draft recommended main modifications to the plan before its final amendment and adoption by the council. This formal six-week consultation is expected to begin in January and will be carried out under the direction of the inspector. 

For more information about the Local Plan visit the webpage:

Thursday 15 December 2016

Council scoops award for safety improvements to ‘Cat & Fiddle’ road


Cheshire East Council has scooped a top award for its safety improvements to the once-notorious ‘Cat and Fiddle’ road.

The authority has been awarded a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award (PMIRSA) for its improvements to the A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton.

Praising the complex safety project, the judges said the programme showed ‘long-term commitment to improve the safety of a particularly dangerous road by working collaboratively with multiple agencies’.

Last autumn, the Cat and Fiddle route dropped out of the list of persistently higher-risk roads in the UK and became among the top 10 improved roads in Britain, according to the Road Safety Foundation EuroRAP results for 2015.

Investment from Cheshire East Council and partners has resulted in a number of road safety improvements to promote safe use of the previously dangerous, six-mile stretch of road to deliver a reduction in the number and severity of road traffic incidents.

The investment saw the upgrade of safety barrier systems, a 50mph speed limit and installation of average speed cameras, all supported by regular routine maintenance activities, including resurfacing and road marking renewals.

The Road Safety Foundation listed the A537 as the fifth most improved road in Britain, based on comparison of collision data between the 2008-10 and 2011-13.

Improved roads are ‘those where there has been a statistically significant reduction in the number of fatal and serious crashes over time’, with the Cat and Fiddle Road seeing a 77 per cent decrease in fatal and serious collisions. 

Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Council deputy leader, said: “This award is a testament to the commitment of this council to work closely with our partners to improve safety for users of this once-notorious road.

“Promotion of the safe use of our roads by all road users continues to be an absolute priority. We will continue to encourage responsible use of the A537 to ensure this significant drop in collisions is maintained for the benefit of all.”

Stakeholders in the scheme include Cheshire East Council, Cheshire Road Safety Group, Derbyshire County Council and Cheshire Constabulary.

The A537 has featured in all previous EuroRAP survey results in the list of persistently higher risk roads. The road entered the most-improved table last year after seeing a significant reduction in the number of serious crashes from 31 to 7 between 2008-10 and 2011-13.

The award was presented yesterday (December 13) by Prince Michael of Kent to representatives of Cheshire East Council at a national awards ceremony in London.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service December 2016 E-Newsletter - FiRELiNK

Subject: Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service December 2016 E-Newsletter - FiRELiNK

This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

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Message sent by

Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

Welcome to the December edition of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service e-Newsletter.

Christmas safety

Give Santa a helping hand this Christmas by following his Christmas safety tips. Many of the things we enjoy during this festive period, such as the fairy lights, candles, paper hats and decorations, can all be fire hazards when proper care is not taken.

Find out more - 12 days of Christmas - fire safety tips

Don't drink and drive

The annual Christmas Drink Drive crackdown in Cheshire has been launched with a warning to motorists for the festive period.

The key message to drivers is: If you are driving don't drink! If you plan to have a drink this Christmas, please leave your car at home.

To support this campaign we recently joined forces with Cheshire Constabulary, North West Ambulance Service and the RSPCA to undertake popular social media trend, the Mannequin challenge.

Watch our Mannequin challenge and find out more information about the don't drink and drive campaign

Have your say on our draft plans for 2017/18

The consultation on the draft Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) for 2017/18 is now underway and will last until Tuesday 3rd January 2017. During this time the Service will consult with the public, key partners and stakeholders and members of staff.

The draft 2017/18 Plan outlines a second review of our emergency response functions to reflect risk and demand up to 2020. This follows on from the first programme of change that the Service began in 2013 and has seen the building of four new fire stations at Alsager, Penketh and Powey Lane near Chester, as well the fire station and safety centre at Lymm. There have also been several changes to the way in which the Service staffs its stations.

To read the draft plans and to have your say please visit our website

Win a free gift - get creative with Christmas safety tips

In the run up to Christmas, we are encouraging residents to test smoke alarms and to clean ovens/grills - and we would really like your help.

Prizes are on offer for Cheshire residents who can suggest creative ways of testing smoke alarms or cleaning ovens/grills - we'd love to see photos or video of you testing your smoke alarm in an unusual way, and we'd love to hear your top tips on how to clean ovens/grills.

All you need to do is tweet @CheshireFire with your suggestions or post them on our Facebook page using #DirtyGrillsKill

For more information - Get creative with Christmas safety tips and win a free gift

Grants help businesses ease car park pressure and cut congestion


Grants are available to businesses in Crewe and Nantwich to help staff to walk and cycle to work or use the bus or train.

Local firms can use the grants to ease pressure on workplace car parks and cut congestion.

Cheshire East Council has secured funding from the Department of Transport to pay for the grants programme and is inviting businesses to apply.

Grants could be used to build secure bike shelters, lockers or showers to encourage staff to cycle to work. Improvements to signs, footpaths and lighting on business premises could also be funded. Employers could also apply for funding to set up a car sharing scheme or to subsidise bus travel.

Funding has come from the Department of Transport’s Sustainable Travel Transition Year (STTY) initiative. The fund aims to promote walking, cycling and public transport use – with a focus on helping people access skills, training and employment opportunities.

It’s also hoped that reducing car use will improve quality of life and the environment across Cheshire East – and improve residents’ health and wellbeing. A new website – – is also helping to promote healthier and greener forms of transport across the county.

The grants programme follows an earlier scheme, launched in October, which was set up to help town and parish councils, charities and voluntary organisations.

Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and Infrastructure, said: “These grants will be welcome news to our local businesses, which are looking to cut the number of journeys their employees make by car. Reducing congestion around business premises and easing pressure on car parking spaces is a ‘win-win’ for companies.

“It can help improve staff health and wellbeing, resulting in reduced sickness absence, have a positive impact on recruitment and retention rates and boost productivity. Reducing car use will also help our firms to create a more welcoming environment for visitors and customers.”

Crewe and Nantwich businesses can also benefit from travel planning advice sessions run by the Travel Cheshire team. Staff can get personal journey plans to find the best option for getting to and from work and employers can access advice on how to promote other forms of transport in the workplace.  Visit for details.

Applications are welcome from any business in Crewe or Nantwich. Applicants must demonstrate how they will address transport issues faced by their business. Measures need to show how they will encourage staff to walk, cycle, use public transport or car share when accessing employment, skills or training. They must also be in line with the assessment criteria as set out in the Policy for the Allocation of Transport & Accessibility Grants.

The closing date for applications is January 19, 2017.

For more information on how to apply, email: or call 01270 686348.

More information about Cheshire East Council’s bid for STTY funding can be found at:

Fake Bank Letters

Subject: Fake Bank Letters

This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters.
The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative. 
The letter tells recipients that there have been some “unusual transactions” on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine.
When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth.Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.
The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake.
The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks.
If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card.
To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visit

Leader fund helping rural businesses to diversify


A remote farm near Macclesfield where the owners are diversifying into tourism, is among five projects to benefit from a rural funding programme in Cheshire East.

Both Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester councils have worked in partnership to issue ‘Leader’ grants of almost £274,000 to aid nine rural businesses under the government’s Rural Development Programme for England.

The money has helped to create more than 39 full-time jobs, since it was introduced in Cheshire a year ago.

A grant to Whitelee Farm, in Wincle, will enable the owners to set up ‘off-grid’ tourist accommodation with the purchase of two luxury ‘shepherds huts’.

The huts will enable tourists to enjoy a total escape from the pace and distractions of everyday life, including general noise and light pollution. 

There are no telephones or wi-fi in the huts and so the farm hopes to attract visitors who simply want to get away from it all. 

But they will contain some luxuries such as a log-burning stove and a wet room.

Emma Heald, who submitted the grant application on behalf of the farm, said: “When looking to the future of the farm, a big challenge we faced was how to fund the initiatives needed to create a sustainable family business for future generations.

“We found that working with the Cheshire East Leader team an extremely positive experience.

“They guided us through what has been an intensive and, in our case, an ultimately rewarding process.”

The shepherds huts will create a manager’s position, while in Marbury two full-time posts have been generated through the creation of a new equestrian centre at Townley Farm. A disused farm building was converted to include stables, indoor and outdoor manages, washrooms, tack rooms and a solarium.

Among the nine projects approved for funding across Cheshire, Warrington and Dunham Massey, are the expansion of an existing caravan park, help to set up an equestrian centre and support for a business to produce specialised farming equipment designed to improve animal welfare.

Councillor Janet Clowes, cabinet member for rural affairs, said: “The Leader programme is uniquely positioned to help a wide range of rural businesses and organisation in Cheshire East, owing to its locally-delivered nature.

“It is extremely encouraging to see the diverse range of projects that have been approved for funding in the programme’s first year.

“Following the Chancellor’s statement guaranteeing European funding until the point of withdrawal from the European Union, the LEADER team are keen to hear from anyone seeking capital grand funding for projects that will benefit the rural economy.”

The Leadeer programme, which spans Cheshire East, Warrington and Cheshire West and Chester, aims to help create jobs and stimulate economic growth in the rural economy and is delivered at local level rather than at national level.

A local action group of key representatives from various organisations meets to determine grant applications.

Details on the programme’s requirements as well as the sort of costs it can contribute towards can be found on the Cheshire Leader website, which gives details for Leader programmes in both Cheshire East and CWAC:, or contact Sean Bell, the Cheshire Leader Support Officer, on or 01244 973824 for more information.

Council to declare new air quality management areas


Cheshire East Council is taking further steps to ensure air quality in the borough is at its best.

Building on its commitment to promoting clean air, the council undertakes regular air quality monitoring of nitrogen dioxide at more than 100 sites across the borough to identify any area that is likely to exceed the national limit.

With the borough recently voted as one of the best places to live in the UK, the council is  keen to ensure that residents enjoy quality of life and quality of clean air.

Road traffic is known to be the main contributor of nitrogen dioxide and, as a result of our monitoring, we have identified the need to declare six new air quality management areas in the towns of Sandbach, Middlewich and Macclesfield.

As part of this declaration process, the council would like to invite residents to get involved by letting us know their views on air quality in Cheshire East, along with the opportunity to get involved in developing action plans for improving air quality in their local towns.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) continues to place Cheshire East in the lowest band for air pollution, below cities such as Manchester and London.

By declaring these new air quality management areas, our residents can be assured that the council will give focussed attention to reduce air pollution and that they can continue to enjoy all the great outdoor activities Cheshire East has to offer.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health, said: “Clean air is a priority for this council and, as chair of the air quality steering group, we will be overseeing the development of a replacement air quality action plan and monitoring its subsequent implementation.

“There is a legal requirement on the council to declare these air quality management areas, but as a further step, the council wishes to take on board the views of our residents and businesses and engage them in the process of developing the new action plan in their area.”

The consultation and further information can be found on the following website:

Further information on air quality can be found on the council’s website and on the government’s website

You can contact the air quality team by calling 0300 123 5015 or via

Monday 12 December 2016

Soccer hero Wayne makes it evening to remember for young authors


Young bookworms at Cheshire East Council’s Wilmslow Library were left open-mouthed when the climax to a story writing competition turned into a tale of the very unexpected.

As the children sat patiently, waiting for the announcement of the winner, the tension suddenly turned to a moment of uncontrollable excitement as England and Manchester United star Wayne Rooney appeared from behind the shelves of books to announce the winner and runners-up.

Seventy children, aged eight to 11, took part in the competition and were unaware that the soccer hero was to turn up in person to reveal the winning entry, before spending more than 30 minutes chatting with the children and being photographed with them.

Librarian Marg Charlesworth said: “Having Wayne take time out to attend this evening is far more than we could have wished for.

“The children have been absolutely thrilled to see him here.  He has shown a great interest in their hard work.”

Ajmain Alam, nine, from Gorsey Bank Primary School, produced the 800-word winning story called ‘John’s Magic Gloves’.

His father John said: “He loves football and plays in goal for the under-nine’s team at school and with the Wilmslow Academy.  He is a bit overwhelmed by it all. 

“Meeting Wayne Rooney has been the highlight of his year. We are very proud of him.”

The Sarafina restaurant company sponsored the event and paid to have Ajmain’s story turned into a bound book with illustrations. 

Copies of the book went on sale last night, autographed by the soccer star and with proceeds going to the ambulance service charity CardiacSmart, to raise funds for a defibrillator. 

Erik Garner, from Wilmslow Football Academy, set up the competition in which young writers had to pen a simple story with a football theme.

He said: “I spoke to Wayne about this and he didn’t hesitate to offer his support and agreed to come along to hand out the prizes. “The stories have been fantastic and the children have shown great imagination.”

Wilmslow Football Academy has more than 1,000 registered young players from as young as 18 months, who are known as the little strikers. 

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities and health, said: “I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Wayne for showing his personal support for this project and for making this evening’s event so special.

“To have one of the world’s most famous footballers support our library and the work that we do with children in terms of literature, reading and writing, is simply fantastic and I am grateful to Eric Garner for his hard work in arranging this.”

6.12.16 Rooney, P Bates and story winner

Theft Alert!

Subject: Theft Alert!

This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Jess Street (Police, PCSO, Crewe LPU East PCSO)

Dear Residents,
There have been two separate incidents of theft of wooden scaffolding in the Stoneley Road area of Crewe.
The first of these incidents is believed to have occurred around 14th November 2016, and the second around 3/4th December 2016, where a total of approximately 30 wooden planks have now been taken.
If you have seen anything suspicious in the area or have any information regarding this incident, please call us on 101. Alternatively, if you wish to remain anonymous please call our CrimeStoppers line on 0800 555 111.
Kind regards,
PCSO 21618 Jess Street
Crewe LPU

The Wistaston Singers performed at a Christmas Carol concert

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The Wistaston Singers performed at a Christmas Carol concert on the afternoon of Saturday 10th December 2016 at St Stephen’s Methodist Church on Gainsborough Road in Crewe.

Phil Houghton was the Musical Director and organist and also introduced each carol and soloist. Jane Hale was the accompanist.

Soloists included Rev’d Jennifer Matthews, members of The Wistaston Singers and thirteen year old Ezri Petts who travelled especially from Bakewell in Derbyshire to participate in the concert. Ezri is the granddaughter of Musical Director Phil Houghton.

Carols sang by the choir and congregation included ‘Once in Royal David's City’, ‘What Sweeter Music’, ‘See Amid the Winter's Snow’, ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘I waited for the Lord’, ‘While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks’, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, ‘It Came Upon the Midnight Clear’, ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’, ‘Three Kings’, ‘White Christmas’, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’, ‘Good King Wenceslas’, ‘Coventry Carol’, ‘Nativity Carol’. The finale was a rousing ‘O Come, All ye Faithful’.

Refreshments were served during the interval.

Proceeds from the concert will go to St Stephen’s Methodist Church and choir funds.

The Wistaston Singers were originally formed by members of the choir at St Mary's Parish Church, Wistaston in May 2000 and now number over forty members singing four-part harmony music. The choir perform a variety and eclectic choice of music ranging from choral church music and anthems, Gilbert and Sullivan items, music from the shows, music from modern composers such as John Rutter encompassing from the 15th century to the 21st century. They perform up to five concerts a year at various venues in south Cheshire, plus one concert out of area. The choir is also available to perform at weddings in the area. The choir rehearse weekly in the parish rooms of St Mary's Church, Nantwich on a Wednesday evening from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. New members are always welcome and further details may be obtained from Choir Secretary Jill Oakes, Tel: 01270 662940 and email:

Musical Director Phil Houghton  conducts The Wistaston Singers (1)Musical Director Phil Houghton  conducts The Wistaston Singers (2)

Friday 9 December 2016

Appeal withdrawal recognises Jodrell Bank protection zone


Cheshire East Council has welcomed the withdrawal of a planning appeal, which threatened the protective zone around the Jodrell Bank observatory.

Developers Aus-Bore Estates proposed the construction of 65 new homes on land off Manor Lane in Holmes Chapel, but have now withdrawn their plans owing to previous decisions protecting the world-renowned Lovell Telescope.

A scheme for 119 homes, at Main Road in Goostrey, was recently turned down by the council and the decision backed by the secretary of state, on the grounds that the development would impact on the protective zone around Jodrell Bank.

The minister recognised that the ‘reasonable protection’ of the observatory was a matter of global significance.

In the light of that decision, Aus-Bore Estates have decided not to pursue their intended appeal against the council’s refusal of planning at Manor Lane in Holmes Chapel.

Manchester University has opposed a number of planning applications for housing schemes in the vicinity of Jodrell owing to the high level of electrical interference generated by modern homes, including computers, mobile phones and other electronic appliances.

The decision to withdraw means that a planning appeal inquiry, due to commence on December 14 for four days, will not now go ahead.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for planning and housing, said: “We welcome the withdrawal of this appeal which could have threatened the efficient operation of Jodrell Bank”.

“However, we are disappointed that it has arisen at this late stage as it was always very clear that the protection of Jodrell Bank was a significant issue in this case.

“We will continue to work closely with Manchester University and the observatory staff at Jodrell Bank to ensure we safeguard the efficiency of the telescope wherever we can.”

He stated that Cheshire East Council would continue to resist proposed housing schemes that posed a serious threat to the award-winning research centre, which is to play a key role in the Square Kilometre Array, a ground breaking project involving the creation of hundreds of telescopes in Australia and South Africa.

The SKA will open up a new dimension in astrophysics and research.

Illegal tobacco and alcohol seized in crackdown


Trading standards officers from Cheshire East Council have seized cigarettes, vodka and tobacco worth more than £17,000 during a swoop on illegal sellers.

More than 25,000 illegal cigarettes, about 800 bottles of vodka and 5.5kg of hand-rolling tobacco were uncovered during raids on properties in Crewe yesterday (Wednesday, December 7).

Officers and sniffer dogs discovered concealed stashes of tobacco at nine premises with products hidden in various places, including under floorboards and in storage units in shops.

Operation ‘Ignite’ follows on from the intelligence-led ‘Operation Henry 2’, which seized illegal tobacco products valued at more than £9,000 in March this year.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health, said: “People who deal in illegal tobacco are more likely to encourage others, especially children and young adults, to smoke.

“All tobacco is harmful but the illegal black market in tobacco, and in particular the availability of cheap cigarettes, makes it harder for smokers to quit and remain smoke free.

“We are an enforcing council and our trading standards officers are working hard to keep these illegal products off the streets and are cracking down on the businesses and individuals that flout the law.

“Detection dogs can find tobacco and cigarettes in the most unlikely places and in addition to having their stock confiscated, offenders could face unlimited fines and up to 10 years in prison.”

Anyone with information about illegal tobacco can call the ‘tackling illegal tobacco’ hotline on 0300 999 0000 or report online at:

Winter Wellbeing – accessing health services appropriately


Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we urge residents to ensure they are accessing health services appropriately.

During the winter months, health services can become overwhelmed through excess demand.

To help limit the impact, it’s important that residents are aware which service is right for them at a given time. The advice is to:

· Call NHS 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it is not a life-threatening situation. You can also call NHS 111 if you're not sure which NHS service you need;

· Call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk;

· Visit a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit if you have a minor illness or injury (cuts, sprains or rashes) and it can't wait until your GP surgery is open;

· Ask your local pharmacist for advice – your pharmacist can give you advice for many common minor illnesses, such as diarrhoea, minor infections, headache, travel advice or sore throats; and

· Make an appointment with your GP if you are feeling unwell and it is not an emergency.

If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious – get help from your pharmacist. The sooner you get advice the better.

If you’ve been described antibiotics or other medication, don’t forget to pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start as many GP surgeries and pharmacies will be closed during that time.

Make sure you also speak to your pharmacist about medicines you should have in stock to help get you and your family through the winter season. Also check to see if older neighbours, relatives and friends have the necessary medication.

If you do need help over the holiday period, when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 or visit, where you can be directed to a local service that is open.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health at Cheshire East Council, said: “Residents have a range of services they can access if they feel unwell or need advice during winter. But it’s important that the services they do access are appropriate to their needs.

“You can do your part in helping to take the strain off health services by stocking up on medication before the Christmas holidays, keeping an eye on vulnerable members of the community and ensuring you get help and advice as soon as you start to feel unwell.”

For further winter-related advice, visit:


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

Fairerpower saves Cheshire residents £2m on energy bills


A partnership business set up by Cheshire East Council to help local residents reduce their energy bills has saved households £2m.

More than 7,000 people have now signed up to buy their gas and electricity through Fairerpower, a partnership between the Council and award-winning Ovo Energy, since its launch in March 2015.

Cheshire East residents who have switched to Fairerpower are saving an average of £246 on their annual fixed-tariff bills

Fairerpower was formed based upon the belief that people were spending too much on their energy bills by not switching providers for years. The not-for-profit organisation aims to offer a competitive energy plan that gives more back to the people of Cheshire. 

Now Fairerpower is advising residents to consider a switch to a fixed tariff deal to avoid getting caught out by the fluctuating cost of energy.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Fairerpower is building trust through award-winning customer service while securing cheaper and fairer prices for local residents across Cheshire. This was our promise when we started and we are delivering and giving many people a cheaper alternative.

“I would urge residents to consider fixing their energy bills before Christmas, as energy costs look set to rise. Visit our website at or call 0800 4086701 to get quote.”

By joining the more than 7,000 people already with Fairerpower you can benefit from:

● Low rates for both electricity and gas;

● Potential average savings of £200 to £300; (1)

● Simple, straightforward billing;

● Fixed 12-month term with our fixed tariff – no increases over that period;

● No exit fees – you’re always free to leave! (2)

● Award-winning customer service;

● Hassle-free switching – Fairerpower will do it all for you;

● Three per cent interest reward on all credit balances; (3) and

● One of the cheapest energy tariffs available for pre-pay customers.

Cheshire East Council became the first local authority in the UK to sell power since the gas and electricity supply system was nationalised in 1948.

Switching to Fairerpower is easy and is an option for all 170,000 households in the borough. Since December 2015, the scheme has been extended to allow residents living in Chester West and Chester to become Fairerpower customers too.

So why not join?

Call 0800 4086701 or visit

Council backs new approach to connecting with communities


Cheshire East Council’s cabinet members have approved a new approach to engaging with communities across the borough and supporting their development.

The ‘Connected Communities’ approach has been developed as a two-way partnership between the council and Cheshire East’s communities to improve wellbeing and self-reliance, as well as reduce social isolation.

It has five key themes within it:

· Connected to people – helping people in communities to become more connected to others;

· Connected to services – delivering services differently, with more community outreach services;

· Connected to neighbourhoods – strengthening networks and partnerships across neighbourhoods, towns and villages;

· Connected to voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector organisations – developing the VCF sector infrastructure and our links to thematic communities; and

· Connected to decision making – local people influencing decision making, policy and the way we commission services.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Local people are rightly proud of Cheshire East. We know it is a fabulous place to live, work and visit and we want to work with our communities to make it even better and sustain that success into the future.

“If we work together we can make sure we have the right services, in the right places.

“We are committed to investing in community work and believe that, by developing our approach to engaging with and supporting its development, we can ensure we maximise potential and generate wealth, helping all our communities to become more enterprising and enabling more deprived areas to lift themselves out of dependence.”

The council is also making a ‘deal’ with communities and has committed to a series of pledges.

In exchange, the council wants residents and communities to make their own pledges, including that they will support volunteering, report any concerns, develop skills and connect with the people around them.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health at Cheshire East Council, said: “A genuinely sustainable future for our communities means ensuring that we live within the limits of the resources available to us. This is a huge challenge and requires new ways of working and a commitment from residents, businesses and services to work together and to be innovative and creative.

“Cheshire East has had, from its start, a strong commitment to developing strong communities, so this new approach focuses on how we can best lead our communities forward to future prosperity.”

Activity involved in Connected Communities includes a participatory budgeting pilot, which sees local residents and community groups discussing spending priorities, making spending proposals and voting on them.

It also includes support for town partnerships and the establishment of mentoring programmes and groups that tackle issues such as social isolation.

In Crewe there is a pilot ‘Neighbourhood Action’ initiative, which it’s anticipated will be extended to the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods across the borough. There are also volunteer ‘community connectors’, who listen to other residents and support them to address local issues.

Monday 5 December 2016

Weston Christmas Light Display’ 2016.

Reporter J White ‘Weston Christmas Light Display’ 2016. I’ve uploaded all my photos to a Flickr page: .

The ‘Weston Christmas Light Display’, supporting The Donna Louise Children's Hospice, takes place at Carters Green Farm, Jack Lane, Weston, near Crewe every day in December until Wednesday 28th December 2016 (6:15pm to 9:00pm). On a Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening and the last few days before Christmas, Santa Claus will take time off from his busy schedule to visit the farm and sit in his sleigh. Entry is by donation and there is plentiful parking.

Graham Witter, who is a final year Business Management student and Pride of Crewe Community Individual Award winner, has once again setup hundreds of lights at Carters Green Farm to raise money for charity. He started to install the lights in early-October and several hundred plugs are required to hook up all the displays to the electricity supply. The display covers farm buildings, the garden, an adjacent yard and a barn, and contains a combination of rope lights, LED lights, and animated 3D figures, together with background Christmas music. There is also a small wooden Santa’s grotto and a life-size Santa's sleigh. A special feature this year is a 1950s Whitby Morrison Mr Whippy ice cream van, which Graham has transformed into a bespoke vehicle for Santa containing festive decorations.

For the fourth year running Graham is raising money for The Donna Louise Children's Hospice . Over the past three years the event has raised an impressive £17,000 and last year the £10,280 raised for the charity was used to purchase new lighting equipment for their refurbished sensory room.

Graham chose to raise money for The Donna Louise Children's Hospice, as his sister – Jessica – went to the hospice for specialist care, and its staff were always there to offer support to the family. Jessica passed away on 31st December 2015, having enjoyed the event for many years. After some careful thought, Graham decided to continue with his display in her memory.

Graham said, "I would like to thank all the sponsors and supporters of the 2016 Weston Christmas Light Display. I invite everyone along to my winter wonderland to raise money for The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice. Please come and enjoy a fantastic light show, a free mince pie, festive music and enjoy a selfie with Santa. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

To visit the display if heading from Crewe turn right off Weston Road (just after Crewe Hall) into Main Road towards Weston, then left into Jack Lane. If heading from Weston go over the A500 bypass bridge on Main Road and turn right in Jack Lane. From all directions look out for the yellow reflective road signs, then follow the blue directional one-way arrows on Jack Lane.

For further information relating to the display please contact Graham Witter on 01270 586754 or visit

1950s Whitby Morrison Mr Whippy ice cream van in the  foregroundFarm building with Jessica in lit up lettersGraham Witter with Santa Claus in the life-size Santa  sleigh

Thursday 1 December 2016

Local male arrested for burglary offences in Crewe.

Subject: Local male arrested for burglary offences in Crewe.

This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch. This information has been sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Jess Street (Police, PCSO, Crewe LPU East PCSO)

Dear Residents,
Between 7th and 19th November 2016 a number of overnight burglaries were committed in Crewe. Police commenced an investigation which led to a local male from Nantwich being arrested on suspicion of burglary.
On Wednesday 30th November 2016 he was charged with 5 burglary dwelling offences. He remains in custody.
Police are continuing in their investigations and will be re-interviewing the male in connection with further offences.

Winter Wellbeing – nominated neighbour scheme


Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we urge residents to consider joining the council’s ‘nominated neighbour’ scheme.

The scheme has been developed to tackle bogus callers, rogue traders and other kinds of distraction thefts and burglaries.

The project means people can be protected by someone they know and trust, such as a neighbour or relative.

The vulnerable person is given a card that they hold up to a window or door which advises any unidentified or unexpected caller to go to the address of a nominated neighbour. This person will then check the caller’s identity.

If they are genuine, the nominated neighbour will return with them and supervise the visit to make sure that nothing untoward takes place and will remain there until the caller has left.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health at Cheshire East Council, said: “This scheme helps people within our communities feel safer in dealing with unwanted or unexpected people who call at their homes. In turn, it protects our residents and reduces incidents of doorstep crime.

“While it is the older and vulnerable adults who are more at risk from becoming victims, anyone can be targeted.

“That’s why I’d urge all Cheshire East residents to consider joining the scheme and support others to live safely in their own homes.”

When the festive season is at its height, the temptation to buy last-minute goods on the cheap is strong. But the council is urging residents to avoid people who are selling such goods, who may rip them off.

Cllr Bates said: “The nominated neighbour scheme makes the most of our extremely strong community relationships and will limit the opportunity for doorstep callers to con their way into homes.

“Once they fail to gain access and the community is alerted to their activities, it will act as a strong deterrent to stop them returning in the future.”

“A simple phone call to the Citizens Advice consumer service is all that is needed for an information pack about the scheme to be sent out.”

If you would like a nominated neighbour scheme pack sent to you, or to a vulnerable relative or resident of Cheshire East, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506. More information is available at:

For further winter-related advice, visit:


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

Cheshire East launches ‘One You’ service to boost residents’ health


Lifestyle and health advice services in the borough have been brought together under one support system – known as ‘One You’ Cheshire East.

The integrated system will work to improve residents’ health, tackle health inequalities and reduce the load on the council and NHS.

It will focus on early intervention to help residents avoid future ill-health by supporting them to drink less alcohol, eat well, lose weight, move more and be smoke free.

Help and advice will be provided in a range of ways, including a dedicated website and lifestyle support staff. The services offered will be flexible and tailored to each individual’s needs.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health at Cheshire East Council, said: “Our vision is to provide support to enable residents to live well for longer by helping them to address the factors that affect their health and wellbeing earlier and through preventative behaviour change.

“By bringing the help and support under one umbrella, it will make it easier and quicker for our residents to access information and improve their health, as well as increase cost-effectiveness.”

‘One You’ is one of the largest Public Health England campaigns and encourages adults to take control of their health to enjoy significant benefits now and in later life.

Everyday habits and behaviours – such as eating too much unhealthy food, drinking more alcohol than is recommended, continuing to smoke and not being active enough – are responsible for around 40 per cent of all deaths in England and cost the NHS more than £11 billion a year.

The stakeholder launch of ‘One You Cheshire East’, which Peaks and Plains has been commissioned to deliver, took place today and the public launch is scheduled for mid-January.

Residents will be able to access the services via self-referral and referrals from a health or social care professional.

Support to stop smoking will be delivered by a number of community providers – Well Pharmacies, Rowland Pharmacies, Healthbox and Wirral Community Trust – while specialist stop smoking services for clients in hospital settings, pregnant women and people with mental health issues will be provided by Kickstart.

Everybody Sport and Recreation, the trust that manages the council’s leisure centres, will deliver the programmes to help residents eat well, lose weight and move more.

Mark Palethorpe, strategic director of adult social care and health at Cheshire East Council, said: “This integrated support system will help people to make lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference to their health both now and in the future.

“By being able to tailor the support given to residents, it will ensure they get the right help and advice in a way that works best for them.”

While One You Cheshire East is a borough-wide service, the team will be focusing on improving the health of people in areas of the biggest health inequality

Services will have access criteria, but information will be available to help those not eligible to improve their health through the dedicated website and lifestyle support workers.

The One You Cheshire East website can be found at:

Cheshire East children’s challenges highlight rights campaign


Young people from Cheshire East are giving professionals a taste of ‘life in their shoes’ to mark children’s rights month.

Cheshire East Council and their partners have been taking part in challenges set by young members of Cheshire East Youth Council, a group coordinated by The Children’s Society.

The challenges have been chosen from a range of activities, which include sitting an exam, taking a ‘no car’ challenge and living on £21 a week.

They represent an innovative new approach on the ‘takeover’ activity, which forms part of the annual children’s rights month, organised by The Children’s Society. It is an initiative of the Cheshire East participation network – a partnership of agencies and services which work with children.

The month highlights the importance of the rights of children and young people, encouraging them to express their views and be actively involved in decisions that affect their lives.

The ‘Takeover Takeaway’ activities flip on its head the month’s usual concept of giving young people experience of jobs done by professionals in local organisations.

Nigel Moorhouse, Cheshire East Council’s Director of children’s social care, said: “It’s traditional to allow children to shadow adults in their daily working lives to give them a taste of what they might expect later in life and Cheshire East provides many opportunities for young people to do this.

“However, this year we’ve taken a different approach. By having a go at some of these challenges, we are hopefully making a real connection. The challenges are certainly not easy!

“I’m taking the £21 challenge, which is a unique way to show the difficulties that our young care leavers face. It’s really tough to manage on £3 a day.

I’ve been learning new recipes and embracing the task. I’m using the Easy Pleasy Cookbook to help me along the way which has been designed by our care leavers. It features recipes and top tips for eating healthily on a budget.”

“I have a lot of respect for all those young people in Cheshire East who do this every day.”

Among those taking part in challenges were Cheshire East children’s services colleagues Lesley Seal and Jacquie Sims who sat GCSE exam papers in English and maths respectively. Ian Donegani experienced what it is like to be bullied online.

Molly Humphries, 16, who is a member of the UK Youth Parliament, said: “It’s great to see some of the adults taking on these challenges. Our idea was to create a ‘Takeaway Menu’ full of experiences, that cost nothing but help adults to better understand and help young people in Cheshire East.”

Amanda Greenwood, participation service manager at The Children’s Society, said: “We help some really vulnerable children all over the country who have had a difficult upbringing and may not enjoy rights most people would expect to apply to all young people in the UK.

“We are passionate about ensuring all children and young people have a say in their lives and the services that affect and support them.

“We work with some fantastic young people in Cheshire East and it is great to see their engagement with our participation services. These have definitely come to fruition during November Children’s Rights Month and helped to raise awareness of this important issue.”

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