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Sunday 24 April 2016

Wine Investment Fraud

Subject: Wine Investment Fraud

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 directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

A new investment fraud trend is targeting members of the public who are seeking to sell their wine investment.  Fraudsters agree to purchase the victim’s wine, but instead transfer the stock into their own account without paying the victim.  The fraudulently obtained wine is then believed to be sold on to other, unsuspecting victims. 
How does it work?
Fraudsters set up fake companies and websites as well as exploit the names of legitimate, established companies to facilitate this fraud.  They cold-call the victims and offer to purchase their wine for significantly more than the actual market value. 
Fraudulent documents, such as purchase agreements, are used to facilitate the fraud and are sent to the victims via post and email.  Some fraudsters have gone as far as setting up fake escrow services in order to fool the potential sellers that the payments have been transferred.   
The fraudsters send the victims instructions to transfer their wine into storage accounts held within legitimate bonded warehouses.  The victims are informed that upon doing this they will be paid the agreed amount.  The use of storage accounts held within legitimate bonded warehouses adds an air of legitimacy to the process but in actual fact these storage accounts are controlled by the fraudsters.     
Once the wine is transferred into the new storage accounts the suspects break off all contact with the victims.  The wine is then moved again, normally within days and often abroad, and, needless to say, the victim never receives the money from the agreed sale.
Protect Yourself

  • Never respond to unsolicited phone calls – if in doubt, hang up
  • Always check that the details of the organisation or company contacting you (such as website, address and phone number) are correct – the fraudsters may be masquerading as a legitimate organisation
  • Never sign over your wine (or any other investment) to another party without first checking they are authentic
  • Don’t be fooled by a professional looking website, as the cost of creating a professional website is easily affordable
  • Escrow services are regulated by the FCA under the Payment Services Directive 2009.  Only deal with a registered Authorised Payment Institution.  You can check the FCA register online at
  • Consider seeking independent legal and/or financial advice before making a decision
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting

New digital growth fund launched for Cheshire East


A new partnership between Cheshire East Council and Creative England has been launched to provide an initial investment fund of £200,000 to support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses within Cheshire East.

The Cheshire East digital growth programme is part of the Council's wider efforts to support the digital sector to stimulate growth by providing them with funding, opportunities and specialist support.

The programme is targeted only at eligible companies operating in the digital sector – such as digital media, web design and software development  (including games and app development)  e-commerce and software solutions – and targeted at businesses looking to scale-up via the development of existing or new technology, products and services.

Prospective applications must be able to demonstrate a clear market opportunity and the ability to generate additional investment as well as growth in the form of job creation and/or safeguarding. Funding will be available as equity investments, loans and revenue-sharing arrangements.

The digital growth programme will be managed on behalf of the Council by the newly-established ‘arms-length’ Skills and Growth Company, via their business engagement team. For more information on the digital growth fund visit:

Councillor Paul Bates, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, said: “We are looking to support a small number of businesses with real growth potential and help them with a programme of intensive support and funding.

“The digital sector in Cheshire East is vibrant and growing and we are determined to help ensure this growth in sustained and that we have a thriving and world-class digital sector in Cheshire East.”

The launch of the fund was welcomed by Denise Proctor, chair of Weave – the taskforce set up to guide and support the Council's work to support the creative and digital sector.

She said: “The launch of this programme will bring a much-needed boost to the digital sector and support some of our brightest minds to expand their businesses and grasp opportunities in this expanding field.”

The programme was launched at the Business Rocks conference in Manchester, where Cheshire East and the Skills and Growth Company hosted a ‘Make the Cheshire Connection’ stand to help promote the creative and digital sector to investors and prospective clients.

Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service April 2016 E-Newsletter

Subject: Cheshire Fire And Rescue Service April 2016 E-Newsletter - Firelink

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

(Please do not reply directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

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

Arson prevention

Deliberate fires take up a large amount of our firefighters’ time. Our fire crews could be putting out these avoidable fires when they should be helping someone whose life may be in danger at a house fire or road traffic collision.

Many fires, including refuse fires, wheelie bin fires and grass fires are started deliberately. It’s important to report irresponsible behaviour so that fires can be prevented in your community.

If you see any suspicious activity in your area please contact Cheshire Police on their non emergency number 101 (or dial 999 if appropriate) or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Find out more - Arson prevention

Drowning prevention - be water aware

Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life changing, through near-drowning experiences.

Many people that drown just happen to be near water - such as runners, walkers and fisherman. 

Find out more - Drowning prevention - be water aware

Fire Station open days

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service fire stations will be holding free fire station open days over the next few months.

Find out more - Fire Station open days

Find out about your local fire station - where it is, what open days or special events they are holding and how to get in contact with them.

Find out more - Your local fire station

Biker Down courses

If you were the first on the scene of an accident involving a biker, would you know what to do? Would you know who is most at risk, how to protect the area or whether you should remove the helmet of a downed rider?

Actions taken in the first few moments after an accident can be crucial in minimising injuries and can make a real difference to the lives of those involved, but there can be some uncertainty about what to do in these situations.

We are holding a number of Biker Down training courses this year. For dates and details please visit our website.

Find out more - Biker Down

Charity car wash at Middlewich Fire Station

Firefighters in Middlewich are hoping to swap buckets of water for buckets of cash.  They are getting ready to roll up their sleeves to raise money for the Fire Fighters Charity 12th annual car wash.  

Local residents can get their cars washed by the Middlewich crew, as well as receiving vital road safety advice, at the fire station on Civic Way on Saturday 23rd April from 10am to 4pm.

Find out more - Charity car wash at Middlewich Fire Station

HMRC Tax Rebate Scam

Subject: HMRC Tax Rebate Scam

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 directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Fraudsters are texting members of the public offering a tax rebate. The text message contains a link to a website and requests to provide personal information, such as bank account information, to claim the nonexistent rebate.
Protect Yourself

  • Don’t click on web links contained in unsolicited texts or emails.
  • Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication.
  • Obtain the genuine number of the organisation being represented and verify the legitimacy of the communication.
  • HMRC will never use texts or emails or tell you about a potential rebate or ask for personal information.
  • If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider Cifas Protection Registration.

Thursday 21 April 2016

Crosville Club welcomes the Steampunks


4 - Professor Elemental

Crewe’s Crosville Club will stage an extravagant Welcome Party when the town’s inaugural Steampunk Convivial launches towards the end of May.

The Steampunk genre celebrates a bygone era of flamboyance and finery, as though Victorian culture had evolved into a sci-fi future using iron, brass, elegant silks and beautifully carved mahogany – and of course steam!

The Crosville night, scheduled for Friday 27 May, will showcase Victorian and Gothic splendour, and event coordinator David Smith has assembled a dazzling array of music, dance and entertainment.

David said: “There is something for everyone, and Steampunk acts really know how to entertain a crowd. The atmosphere will be truly convivial, with smiles and laughter sure to be shared by all who join us for a splendid evening of quirky and memorable fun.”

“Steampunks never take themselves too seriously. There is no right or wrong way to dress, dance, sing or enjoy the events. Embrace it for what it is – take an intriguing journey back to the future!”

Hosted by the amazing Diva Hollywood, a whip-cracking compere, the evening features the incomparable Ichabod Steam and his Animatronic Band. A dark but endearing story about a crazy inventor and his wife, Mary, the audience is sure to sing along with the catchy songs.

More conventional, although hardly mainstream music comes from Victor and the Bully, a hot-ticket London duo who surprise with violins, piano, ukulele and trumpets to generate a thunderously theatrical show of epic proportions.

Headliner Professor Elemental is a global star. With millions of YouTube views, the wonderfully mad-cap entertainer brings a lively combination of comedy, music, plenty of improvisation and some friendly audience banter.

Organiser David Smith expects at least one other performer to gate crash the party. He observed: “In Montague Jacques Fromage, from America, we have Steampunk royalty. Monty is a bit like a force of nature, and keeping him OFF the stage is unlikely. He is unique, and not to be missed!”

The evening promises to not only delight, but excite and thrill the audience. The Welcome Party tickets are just £10, and the curtain-opener will set the tone for a series of other lavish shows.

The Crosville Club will stage a daring but tasteful Burlesque Show on Saturday 28th May, a Grand Masquerade Ball on Sunday, and close with a Goodbye Bash on the Monday night. Also on the Bank Holiday Monday evening, the historic Lyceum Theatre will stage a Spectacular Steampunk Concert.

For further details about the ticketed entertainment on offer, visit

Cllr Gardner

  At 1pm on the 14th of April I issued a press release calling for Cllr Gardner to resign as a member of the Cheshire East Cabinet. By 4.30pm that day he had gone.

Cllr Gardner was a director of Fomfest Ltd that went into liquidation owing creditors £440,000. I revealed in my press release that he had been disqualified as a director for 4 years after the company raised over £4000 for charity in 2011 but not one penny went to charity. The money was used by the company instead.

I am pleased he has resigned and done it speedily,unlike Cllr Jones,but he had no choice.For the Council Leader to say she accepted his resignation with 'a heavy heart' is unbelievable.You can't have somebody in charge of the multi million pound Leisure Services who was a director of a company that took over £4000 for charity and did not hand over a penny to the charity. 

I fail to see how a person with this record was ever appointed to be in charge of  Leisure Services in the first place To raise money for charity and then use it for the purposes of a company of which he is a director is a very serious matter indeed. Also leaving unpaid debts of £440,000 will have had a serious impact on those who supplied goods and services to his company but ended up not being paid for them.

Cheshire East Council seems to stumble from one self inflicted crisis to another.

Cheshire East have changed their Leader but what has not changed is the virtual weekly catalogue of disaster after disaster.The good people of Cheshire East deserve better than this.

Cllr Brian Silvester

UKIP Councillor

Nantwich Cheshire

Tel 07760147609

Social Media Ticket Fraud

Subject: Social Media Ticket Fraud

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 directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has recently received an influx of reports that fraudsters are targeting the public, via social media, in relation to football tickets.
Fraudsters are posting pictures or statuses online telling members of the public to contact them via Direct Message for football tickets. This then leads to a mobile messaging conversation. During the conversation, bank details are provided by the suspect so that the tickets can be purchased.
After the victim has paid for the ticket the fraudster blocks them to stop further conversation, leaving victims without the tickets and out of pocket.
Protect yourself:

  • Check the security of the website and validity of the post
  • Avoid taking the conversation offline to private messages
  • When purchasing any products over the internet always try to make the payment via PayPal or a credit card where you have some sort of payment cover

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Cheshire East shows its commitment to delivering services for youngsters and families at children’s centres


Cheshire East Council has unveiled proposals that show the authority’s commitment to continue to provide services for families and young children at four children’s centres.

Knutsford, Broken Cross, Sandbach and Nantwich and Rural children’s centres are to be de-designated by the Council and used for a wider range of services. They are NOT being closed.

De-designating them means the Council plans to still deliver services from each building – but more as a satellite rather than as a designated centre and office based.

The level of service will continue to be tailored to the local community to meet local need. This reflects the Council’s commitment to providing ‘the right service in the right place at the right time’.

Under proposals, early-years services including new parent groups, baby massage, tiny tots play groups, midwifery and stay-and-play sessions will continue at the centres, which are proposed to be leased from the Council by Wirral Community NHS Trust (Knutsford and Broken Cross) and local school academy trusts (Sandbach and Nantwich).

Of the 74 services offered across all four sites, only seven are being affected.

A mobile service is in the process of being procured by the Council to deliver tailored services to reflect local demand in rural areas. There will be no loss of capacity.

Councillor Liz Durham, Cabinet member for children and families, said: “Cheshire East Council is committed to ensuring that those children and families who are in greatest need receive the support they require through a modernised children's service that delivers the right service in the right place and at the right time.
“Cheshire East has listened to people and their concerns throughout this consultation and has now briefed local elected members on the proposals.

“Rather than closing children’s centre services in four of the Borough’s locations – as inaccurately reported in the media – the Council is actually protecting services via a different deliver model and broadening their reach into our wider communities. No centres are closing.

“These proposals for revised service delivery will allow the Council to build further on its aspirations for a far more effective delivery of services, working with partners and addressing a far wider range of family needs and concerns.

“As a ‘Residents First’ authority, we believe in supporting our families and children and those in greatest need. We believe that the proposals for change in the Borough will support better outcomes for children across Cheshire East.”

De-designation and reorganisation of service deliver will save the Council around £500,000 a year. Several posts will be lost in the reorganisation, including management and back office roles. However, it is hoped staff affected will be redeployed within the authority, with no compulsory redundancies.

The full list of proposed services for each of the children’s centres can be viewed on the Council’s website at:

Highways community project provides vital walking route


Cheshire East Council’s highways service has delivered a community project to surface a path which will connect two estates - all at no cost to the taxpayer.

Residents had reported that the poor condition to the footpath between Clonners Field and Cronkinson Oak on the Stapeley estate was making public access difficult.

After a land registery search showed a lack of ownership for the path, Cheshire East’s highways team stepped in to surface the footpath.

Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “This is a very important route for people who live on these estates, particularly as it provides access to Nantwich town centre.

“My thanks go to the highways team for delivering this corporate social responsibility scheme.”

Cheshire East’s award-winning highways team continues to deliver many corporate social responsibility schemes across the Borough that support local communities and is committed to providing the highest standards of maintenance to public rights of way.

Cheshire East hosts BMX event in Crewe

bikers in action at Tipkinder Park

Cheshire East Council has hosted the first stage of the BMX summer series competition at Tipkinder Park, home of Cheshire Ghostriders BMX Club in Crewe.

The event attracted bike riders from across northern England and Wales with more than 300 competitors aged between six and 40 taking part.

After the success of this event, it is hoped that British Cycling – who organised the competition – will allow the club to host national competitions, which would run from a Friday to a Sunday and could attract large crowds.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cabinet member for communities and health, said: “This was a terrific event which was very well attended.

“In an Olympic year and with the Tour of Britain just around the corner, it’s a great time for all residents to get involved. Events like these can have tremendously positive health impacts and I would be thrilled if there is an opportunity for Crewe to show it’s passion for cycling to a larger audience with national recognition.”

With the Tour of Britain coming to Cheshire in September, the Council is hoping that events such as the BMX summer series competition can encourage more residents to lead more active lifestyles.

Monday 18 April 2016

Payment Diversion Alert

Subject: Payment Diversion Alert

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 directly to this email, please use the Reply button at the bottom of this message)

Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Fraudsters are targeting members of the public who are expecting to make a payment for property repairs. The fraudsters, via email, will purport to be a tradesman who has recently completed work at the property and use a similar email address to that of the genuine tradesman. They will ask for funds to be transferred via bank transfer and once payment is made the victims of the fraud soon realise they have been deceived when the genuine tradesman requests payment for their services.
Protect Yourself:

  • Always check the email address is exactly the same as previous correspondence with the genuine contact.
  • For any request of payment via email verify the validity of the request with a phone call to the person who carried out the work.
  • Check the email for spelling and grammar as these signs can indicate that the email is not genuine.
  • Payments via bank transfer offer no financial protection; consider using alternative methods such as a credit card or PayPal which offer some protection and avenue for recompense.
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online at: or by telephone on: 0300 123 2040.

Friday 15 April 2016

Full Steampunk ahead!


7 - Victor & The Bully

Crewe will be awash with Victorian elegance and eccentricity over the late May Bank Holiday when the inaugural Steampunk Convivial is staged around the town centre.

The Steampunk movement is centred on Victorian science fiction and fantasy. It encompasses elements of a by-gone era, Gothic excess, vampires and robotics, and imagines that steam power never gave way to electricity or petrol combustion engines.

Over the weekend there will be free street entertainment, music and buskers, a town crier, steam traction engines, a dancing bear, face-painting, an exotic Steampunk market at the new Lifestyle Centre, plus ticketed variety shows at the Lyceum Theatre and Crosville Club.

Festival organiser David Smith has successfully staged similar events around the country, including medieval festivals, vintage craft fairs, re-enactment markets and the National Living History Fayre, which is one of the largest in Europe.

David said: “Crewe has steam in its very DNA. The world-famous Crewe Works built over seven thousand steam locomotives, including many iconic designs, some of which are still running today, such as the Duchess of Sutherland no.46233. The Municipal Buildings, Market Hall and Heritage Centre should be celebrated. The town is perfect for Steampunk.”

Several prominent positions around Crewe town centre will be transformed as exhibition and entertainment spaces. Lavish town crier Count Alucard and escort Lady Jenny will direct visitors between attractions, including a Time Travelling tea tent, a Palace of Curiosities, plus lawn croquet and bowls staged on the raised area above Remembrance Square.

A number of Crewe businesses will also feature prominently, including Offbeat micro-brewery who have embraced the festival wholeheartedly and brewed a craft beer especially for the event.

Brewery owner Michelle Shipman said: “Offbeat is quirky and very different from the norm, so we’re a great fit with the festival. The Brewery on Thomas Street will throw its doors open and welcome visitors on the Saturday afternoon.”

“We love coming up with unusual flavours and names, so beer connoisseurs should love our SteamPunk’d Amarillo IPA that will be available in cask, keg and in bottles,” she added.

To complement the town centre activities there will be ticketed evening events at both the Crosville Club and Lyceum Theatre. An impressive line-up of renowned Steampunk performers has been assembled, and organisers expect fans of the genre to flock to the shows from all over the country.

Similar festivals are already a huge success in Lincoln, New Malden (Surrey) and at the historic Chatham Dockyard (Kent).

The Crewe Steampunk Convivial opens with an extravagant Welcome Party at the Crosville Club on Friday 27th May. A variety hall combination of light-hearted entertainments, hosted by Burlesque star Diva Hollywood, will include You Tube sensation Professor Elemental, music from lively London duo Victor and the Bully, plus the amazing Ichabod Steam and his Animatronic Band. Tickets for the event are just £10!

A sense of drama and mechanical scale comes courtesy of three vintage Steam Traction Engines - Dougal, Bonzo, and Michelle-Louise - that will be present in Crewe town centre on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday. They will be static but in “full steam” for the delight of passers-by.

Dress code for all Steampunk events is entirely optional. There is no right or wrong, from a simple Victorian cap to extravagant waistcoats, top hats and intricate jewellery. Organiser David Smith believes that all visitors will have fun and can enjoy the eccentricity on show.

David said: “No one in Steampunk says that something is not right, or that it’s not authentic. They will say that it’s splendid. Any effort is an effort worth making and very much appreciated. People should come along and celebrate the Victorian splendour of it all."

He added: “I hope this will be the start of a superb annual event that the whole of Cheshire will be proud of. We are lucky to have secured some of the biggest names in Steampunk, such as Montague Jacques Fromage from America, who is a truly global star of the genre. He always steals the show!”

The Crewe Steampunk Convivial will take place from Friday 27th through to Monday 30th May. For further information, visit the festival’s official website



Cllr Sam Gardner said: “I very much regret to announce that I have offered my resignation to the new Leader of Cheshire East Council Rachel Bailey and will step aside from my Cabinet portfolio for leisure and open spaces with immediate effect.

“In view of the publicity surrounding my role as a former director and chairman of an events company which went into liquidation in 2011, I do not wish to put at risk the reputation of Cheshire East Council, the Leader of the Council Rachel Bailey or my Cabinet and council colleagues.

“I reiterate what I have said previously that I was not obliged under Council rules to disclose the matter of my disqualification as a company director when interviewed for my Cabinet position and the disqualification is in no way incompatible with my duties as a portfolio holder.

“Cheshire East Council is a fantastic Council to serve and I remain fully committed to my role as a Tytherington Ward Councillor and will work as hard as always for the benefit of my ward and the residents of Cheshire East.”

The new Leader of Cheshire East, Rachel Bailey said: “Councillor Gardner has offered his resignation and I have accepted this with a heavy heart. 

“He has been a fully committed and dedicated member of my Cabinet and I am very sorry to lose him in these circumstances.

“Elected to Council last May, he was appointed to Cabinet by my predecessor and has brought with him a fresh and vibrant approach to local politics and the work of this Council.

“The Council and the residents of Cheshire East have lost the services of a highly talented, sensitive and dynamic young man who has chosen to step down.”

Council seeks Supreme Court ruling in bid to protect planning powers


Cheshire East is to seek a Supreme Court ruling in a bid to protect local planning powers and prevent developers ‘riding roughshod’ over councils’ development policies.

Cheshire East Council Cabinet is spearheading a landmark ‘leave to appeal’ to the highest court in the land to challenge a Court of Appeal ruling which undermines the scope and force of council planning policies to shape development.

The aim is to maintain the significance of Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans in determining applications for development even where a Council cannot show it has the required five-years’ deliverable housing land supply identified.

The Council’s decision follows a reversal in the Court of Appeal of Cheshire East’s earlier court success that had overturned a planning inspector’s decision to grant developer Richborough Estates permission to build 146 houses at Moorfields, in Willaston.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “We have thought about this long and hard and it is not something we do lightly. However, this court decision is too important to be allowed to go unchallenged.

“It is clear to us it would have deeply detrimental implications for councils across the country and their powers to protect local communities from unplanned and unsustainable development.

“We are a Council that puts its residents first and believe this action is necessary to protect local people, their communities and our beautiful Cheshire East countryside. Otherwise, developers will be able to ride roughshod over locally-decided development policies.”

Cheshire East’s Supreme Court legal challenge is a joint action with Suffolk Coastal District Council, which was also affected by the same High Court ruling regarding the weight, scope and force attached to council planning policies.

If the two authorities are granted leave to appeal, against the court’s interpretation of paragraph 49* of the government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the case will likely be heard by the Supreme Court in London later this summer.

Thursday 14 April 2016

Cheshire East launches strategy for Open Spaces


Cheshire East Council unveiled its Municipal Parks Strategy at a Cabinet meeting in Sandbach yesterday.

The strategy - which sets out plans for activities up to 2030 - focusses on the future management and development of the Borough’s municipal parks and explains how partnership working will be integral to this process.

The objectives of the strategy state clearly that Cheshire East is looking to increase the use of parks for all age groups. This stated aim will lead to greater social cohesion and the increased wellbeing of all residents.

The strategy sets out how the Council will work with key partners to build community involvement, use and pride in local parks and how this is particularly important moving forward with grant applications.

Councillor Sam Gardner, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for open spaces, said: “We will continue to prioritise putting residents first and deliver what matters most to our communities. We want our parks to provide a broad range of high quality facilities for all our residents to enjoy.

“We are very fortunate to enjoy excellent working relationships with Friends Groups in many of our parks and it is partnerships like these that will serve us well moving forward with parks remaining at the heart of our community activities.”

The new strategy will encourage Cheshire East residents to live active and healthy lifestyles and get involved in making our communities safe and sustainable places to live.

Residents and professionals can help shape Borough’s homes of the future


Would you like to influence the future design and appearance of housing developments in Cheshire East?

Cheshire East Council has prepared a residential design guide, which will enable residents, developers, architects and other professionals to have their input into how the Borough should look in the future.

The design guide will help to set a benchmark for quality and a ‘sense of place’ across Cheshire East with more imaginative developments that are pleasing to the eye and which meet the living standards and needs of residents and families in the 21stt century.

The purpose is to provide developers and design teams with a framework that can guide them in the development of designs that are likely to be acceptable to planners in the future. This framework will set out how to meet the requirements of the Design Council’s Building for Life 12*, which sets out the industry standard for the design of new housing developments.

Future applications would be expected to include detailed design-related information and offer reassurance to existing communities that development within their settlements and neighbourhoods will be delivered to a high standard.

Designs would be expected to complement existing places within Cheshire East.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “This design guide is part of a toolkit of measures aimed at ensuring developers understand the character of the Borough and that they need to design appropriately.

“We welcome new development that responds positively to and reinforces the existing character of a place.”

The Council is inviting feedback on the design guide through an online consultation, which runs until May 18.

This can be accessed via the Council’s web site planning portal or going directly to:

Don’t miss out! Council to help fund birthday street parties for the Queen


Communities across Cheshire East are encouraged to apply for grants to hold celebratory street parties to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The Council is providing grants of up to £100 to help residents to celebrate the occasion and join in the nationwide programme of festivities.

A budget of £18,000 has been set aside to support up to 180 community parties across the Borough whether held in the street or elsewhere.  

First priority is to apply for a road closure – some communities have already done this but there is still time for those communities that still wish to apply.

The deadline for this is April 29 and organisers can apply for a temporary traffic regulation order, which is free of charge, by clicking on the Cheshire East highways web page at

But not all street parties may require a road closure order.  Where a field or a village green can be used, an order will not be necessary. 

The weekend of June 10–12 is set aside for the whole nation and Commonwealth countries to join in the celebrations.

One huge street party is to take place in The Mall, and will recognise the hundreds of charities the Queen has supported during her reign.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cabinet member for communities, said: “The 90th birthday of the Queen is a momentous occasion for the country and the Borough.

“Cheshire East Council would like to see as many residents and communities as possible joining in the fun.

“This is a significant landmark for the monarch and we want to make sure that we play our part as a Borough in joining in those celebrations.”

May 6 is the deadline for applying for a Council grant and this can be done by filling in a simple form on the Cheshire East Council web site at:

Monday 11 April 2016

Microlight flight over Cheshire

Reporter . Jonathan White, Wistaston

On Friday 8th April 2016 (coincidentally, also my birthday) I went on a one hour flexwing microlight flight with Cheshire Microlight Centre - - from Arclid International Airport near Sandbach.

The flight took me over Wardle, Beeston Castle, Peckforton Castle, Cholmondeley Castle, Nantwich, Wistaston, Crewe, Haslington, Wheelock and Sandbach. During the flight I had views in different directions as far as Jodrell Bank Observatory, Wales and the River Mersey.

Landmarks I could see from the air in Crewe included the Cumberland Arena, Crewe railway station, Crewe Business Park, Alexandra Stadium, Delamere House, Queens Park, South Cheshire College, Bentley Motors

Landmarks I could see from the air in Nantwich included Nantwich Lake, Mill Island, the River Weaver, Nantwich Civic Hall, and St Mary's Church.

It was a fantastic experience and a birthday I will never forget.

I took the attached photos from 2,000ft and have uploaded all my photos to Flickr: .

Bentley Motors Ltd - CreweCrewe - South Cheshire College and surrounding schools and  houses

Council’s highways team saluted for collaborative working


Cheshire East Council’s highways team has won a national plaudit for its collaborative working.
The service has been awarded accreditation from the British Standards Institution (BSI) in recognition of its collaborative approach with key partners.
BS 11000 is a national standard for establishing and improving business relationships, which recognises best practice in how organisations work together within partnerships.
Cheshire East highways is a partnership between Cheshire East Council and Ringway Jacobs and has been delivering highways services in Cheshire East since October 2011.
The collaborative business relationship between the Council, Ringway Jacobs and partner organisations Eurovia Specialist Treatments and Jacobs was assessed by the BSI. Accreditation identifies the positive relationship between partners.
Council Deputy Leader David Brown, Cabinet member for highways, said: “BS 11000 is a relatively new standard and our highways service is setting an example for other highways authorities to follow.
“Successful collaboration is essential in delivering the best highway service for our residents and businesses and demonstrates the strength of the working relationships developed at Cheshire East.”
The BSI will continue to monitor the collaborative working relationship, which will be subject to auditing annually.

Monday 4 April 2016

Crewe Mums Step Back in Time with local History Exhibition


mums the word

An exhibition celebrating the lives, times and history of Mum’s in Crewe has been launched and now touring the area.

MotherWell CIC, working with local community groups, has produced the “Mum’s the Word” project which explores how the lives and roles of Mum’s living in Crewe has changed over time.

Funding from Cheshire Crime Commissioner, as voted by central Crewe residents, enabled the idea of the exhibition to transform into a reality. Almost 80 people, led by Kate Blakemore and MotherWell volunteer Natalie Simm, came together to work on the project over a six month period, as it developed across six different locations in central Crewe.

From the early stages of developing the exhibition, it grew beyond just the Mothers view of Crewe, as it extended to an overall celebration of the area. Now, visitors can expect to find out more about subjects such as the history of Crewe Alex Football Club and see ‘Then and Now’ photographs from well-known streets and shops in the area.

The exhibition focuses on Mums in Crewe but also features the history and changes that have taken place in the area during over time. Old newspaper clippings, photographs, toys, poems and case studies of famous people who were born or have visited Crewe are just some of the features that make up the extensive exhibition.

Supporters and sponsors including Wulvern Housing, Plus Dane Housing, West Street Christian Fellowship, West Street Baptist Church and the Children’s Centre will now host the exhibition as part of the tour in order to widen the access to the greater community.

Residents can see the exhibition from Tuesday 12th April at St Barnabas Church on West Street, where it is expect to remain for about a month.

MotherWell CIC, launched in March 2015, is “women supporting women on their mothering journey by inspiring them to sparkle and shine". This is offered by way of events, volunteering opportunities, support groups, wellbeing days and counselling. Initial ideas for the “Mum’s the Word” project began when one Mother within the group asked “I wonder what it was like being a Mum in the olden days??”

MotherWell CIC co-founder, Kate Blakemore, said: “This has been an incredibly popular exhibition. We have all been surprised at the wide variety of people who have been interested in helping to make the project.

“For example, one elderly gentleman took a real interest because his Mum had raised him as a single parent in Crewe. His contribution was really valued and was an opportunity for him to reminisce about the pride he showed in his upbringing in the area.

“The Polish community living in Crewe have also demonstrated their pride in Crewe since the launch, through their interest. It has been a great way of combining common interests and bridging gaps between the communities.”

Wulvern Housing’s Pickmere has been one of the six locations in which the exhibition was compiled.

Pat Sandland, Wulvern’s Extra Care Manager, said: “It has been fantastic developing the ‘MotherWell’ project at Pickmere, our Extra Care housing scheme in Crewe. Memory sharing is a proven way to help elderly people and those suffering with memory problems to remember events from their past, maintain their confidence and improve their self-esteem.

“Our residents have really benefitted from being involved with the project and have enjoyed sharing their experiences of growing up with the younger mums and each other.”

MotherWell are now looking for sponsorship from local businesses and projects to fund an extension to the popular exhibition. Development plans include exploring the history of Crewe Railway, Crewe Works, Bentley and women’s fashion.

If you are interested in sponsoring the extension of the project, please contact Kate Blakemore on 07734868325 or email

Councils join forces to boost building control services


Cheshire East Council has joined forces with a neighbouring authority to boost building regulations services and provide greater flexibility to meet demand.

Cheshire East has entered into an agreement with Staffordshire and Moorlands District Council (SMDC) to enable the two authorities to assist each other with building regulations applications.

Civicance, a wholly-owned company of Cheshire East Council, which provides building control, planning support and address management, will be the Cheshire East component of the partnership.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “This new agreement is great news for local taxpayers and signals a great opportunity for greater collaborative and effective working between the two councils and providing even better value for money.

“The ‘memorandum of understanding’ between the authorities provides a great opportunity for Civicance to carry out work for another authority on behalf of Cheshire East. This ability to share resources will enable both councils to be more responsive to fluctuations in workload, cutting through unnecessary delays.”

Since signing the agreement, Civicance has been dealing with SMDC building regulations applications for SMDC on behalf of Cheshire East Council.

The main areas of work carried out on behalf of SMDC are plan checking and site inspections, for which the CEC will receive a fee. The identified benefits include:

Improved competitiveness;                                                                                           

● Increased income associated with building regulations;

● Further marketing and promotional opportunities;

● A positive attitude to joint working; and

● Opportunities to further staff development.

Cllr Arnold added: “This represents a good beginning for Civicance working in partnership with other authorities.

“This new agreement is part of an overall package of resource and operational improvements to development management and building control services, which aims to ensure that all applications are dealt with in a timely manner.”

Council’s new skills and growth company to drive Borough’s economic prosperity


Cheshire East Council has launched a new ‘arms-length’ company to bring together various skills and growth services under one structure.

The new Skills and Growth company will ensure the Council can deliver more for less, achieving greater innovation and benefits for businesses and residents.

It will direct businesses towards funding and investment opportunities, increase the availability and take-up of apprenticeships, support people into work, help to create jobs, and stimulate growth and innovation.

The new Leader of Cheshire East Council, Rachel Bailey, said: “The Skills and Growth company will be at the heart of the Council’s ambitions to drive forward continued economic growth and skills development in order to create greater prosperity for our residents, businesses and employees.

“Unemployment in Cheshire East is at its lowest for many years and our economic performance continues to grow year on year.

“We wish to continue this exciting journey by ensuring every resident has the opportunity to succeed and every business the opportunity to thrive.”

Councillor Paul Bates, chairman of the new company, said: “By combining skills and growth services, the company can provide a range of joined-up resources that will allow a more focused approach to the various needs of working people and businesses in the Borough.

“We have agreed a delivery plan with the Council that will raise skills and create employment opportunities, unlock growth, promote innovation and ensure businesses have the support they need to grow and invest.

“Put simply, our ambition is to help others to fulfil theirs.”

The new company, launched by the Leader of the Council today, will provide the full spectrum of business and employment-related services, including innovation and growth, business support, inward investment and skills.

It will promote apprenticeships and career opportunities, including opportunities associated with HS2 and the Cheshire science corridor linked to Alderley Park.

More information about the new company can be obtained by visiting

Council announces new clean energy development partnership


Cheshire East Council is to create a new flagship company to promote eco-efficient district heating networks in the Borough.

The Council is to team up with ENGIE, a global player in the development of renewable energy generation including geothermal.

The new company will be called Cheshire Energy Networks Ltd.

When fully developed, district heating networks will help residents and businesses to benefit from cleaner, more affordable and secure energy and to realise the Council’s long-term energy framework to deliver a low-carbon economy.

District heating schemes deliver heat as hot water or steam to households through pipe networks. They are a low-carbon way of providing heat to households, replacing individual boilers.

They are particular successful in areas where there are large concentrations of people and buildings. Similar schemes have led to very positive results elsewhere in the UK and in Copenhagen, where 97 per cent of homes and businesses are heated via similar networks. 

Such networks will contribute to the UK government’s carbon reduction targets agreed at the recent global climate change conference in Paris.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, the new Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “The establishment of Cheshire Energy Networks Ltd, in partnership with ENGIE, ensures that Cheshire East Council is in a strong position to secure a low-carbon future for the Borough.

“I applaud the previous work completed to get the project to this stage, which ensures Cheshire East is in the vanguard of district heating in the UK.

“We have already embarked on a programme of energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy generation.

“More and more of our residents are signing up to Fairerpower, our low-cost energy scheme, which is saving customers nearly £300 on average. This demonstrates our determination to help residents to cut fuel bills wherever possible.

“Cheshire Energy Networks is a further addition to the Council’s portfolio of energy-saving initiatives and we look forward to working with ENGIE to develop a low-cost district heating infrastructure, exploiting carbon neutral or low-carbon sources.”

Councillor Rod Menlove, chairman of Cheshire East Energy Ltd, said: “I am delighted to endorse this partnership knowing that, in the long term, it will position Cheshire East as a contributor to the country’s aims and ambitions for increasing our use of low-carbon and cleaner energy fuels.

“We all have to play our part in reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and here the Council is demonstrating its commitment to a long-term strategy for exploring and developing alternative energy sources.”

Paul Rawson, divisional CEO, Energy Solutions at ENGIE, said: “ENGIE is delighted to be working alongside Cheshire East Council in the establishment of this new company to develop low carbon district heating networks. 

“Such networks, based around low and zero-carbon sources of heat, can deliver real benefits for UK towns and cities, through lower energy costs, reductions in carbon emissions and less reliance on fossil fuels.  This partnership utilises the breadth of expertise within ENGIE Group to help Cheshire East Council deliver strategic and transformational outcomes.”

The Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has just announced that Cheshire East Council is to be one of 24 local authorities to join in a share of a £1.5m fund to tackle carbon emissions and develop low-carbon energy projects.

District heating networks can draw on energy sources such as geothermal, biomass or solar and have the potential to supply heat to between 14 per cent and 43 per cent of UK buildings by 2050.

Cheshire East is one of six areas in the UK which has a deep geothermal belt stretching from Crewe into the Potteries, offering the potential for some 4.6 million gigawatt hours of zero-carbon and low-cost energy, more than six times the national heat demand for Britain.

The Council is working in collaboration with Keele University to research the potential for geothermal beneath the Cheshire basin, where the British Geological Society has identified a major source of geothermal energy generated by the heat of the earth’s core.

Cyclists saddle up for Alzheimer’s


The third “Alzheimer’s 100” charity cycling event will once again be staged in and around the historic market town of Nantwich this June.

Organisers of the annual fundraiser ride in support of the Alzheimer’s Society, the organisation that is leading the fight against dementia.

Darren Greatbanks, a British Transport Policeman from Crewe, lost his father to the illness in 2014. Since then he has worked tirelessly and cycled hundreds of miles raising money for dementia care and research.

The ALZ100 event was established in 2014, when Darren and close friend Andy Williams joined over sixty other riders to raise £21,000 through raffles and sponsorship. Numbers increased to 230 cyclists in 2015, and organisers hope to see all 250 sponsorship places taken for this year’s fundraiser.

“How the event has grown has been incredible. My dad would have loved seeing so many riders taking part, and that’s one of the driving forces that keep me motivated. He introduced me to bikes and he would have liked to tackle the course himself,” Darren said.

“We’re on track to top a fantastic total of £100,000 raised over three years, and that doesn’t include the Gift Aid donations. The money is essential to keep searching for a cure or a way of slowing the onset of the dementia illness,” he added.

Riders will set out from Nantwich War Memorial in the town centre. They will tackle distances of 25, 55 and 100 miles long, depending upon age and ability.

The 25-mile circuit suits casual riders, families and under-17s. It loops around Nantwich, taking in the villages of Audlem, Bridgemere, Wrinehill, Wybunbury, Shavington and Willaston.

More experienced riders choosing the 55-mile route will also cycle through Chorley, Malpas and Wrenbury.

The challenging 100-mile option is the 55 mile route to Hack Green before heading back out to complete the route in reverse.

Spectators and supporters are encouraged to wave to riders throughout the course, but organisers have emphasised the need to watch from a safe place.

“With 250 riders taking part it should be quite a spectacle this year,” said Darren. “It really encourages the riders seeing supporters along the route, and it helps to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s. But please keep a safe distance from the cycles and listen to advice from the marshals.”

The Alzheimer’s 100 cycle rides are backed by local partners Blue Bell Mini, Williams Cycles in Crewe, Delmar Print, and the White Horse pub in Nantwich.

On the Sunday evening the White Horse will host a post-cycle party that includes an auction and a live performance by Electro 80s, the UK’s premier electronica tribute band.

Further details about sponsorship and the evening celebration can be found on the ALZ100 website where people can sign up to cycle or donate via Just Giving.

Antony Spence (Delmar Press), Darren Greatbanks & Andy Williams (Williams Cycles) outside the White Horse pub in Nantwich

Fake Email Addresses

Subject: Fake Email Addresses

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Message sent by

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This alert is a reminder to be aware of emails that appear to have been sent from a legitimate organisation. Fraudsters often use fake email addresses designed to encourage recipients to open attachments or links. You are advised that if you are in any doubt as to the origin of an email, do not open it. Consider that emails can be spoofed and used to generate spam to recipients far and wide. If you receive a spam email, you MUST NOT open it. Instead, delete it from your email system to avoid infecting your device. If you have opened an attachment from a spam email, you should get your device checked over by a professional and change the passwords for all your bank, email and online shopping accounts.
Protect yourself:

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  • Have a pop-up blocker running in the background of your web browser.
  • If you have opened an attachment and ‘enabled macros’ it is very likely that all your personal data will have been breached. You MUST change all your passwords for personal accounts, including your bank accounts.
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If you think you have been a victim of this type of email you should report the email to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre: If you do make a report please provide as much detail as you can about the email and any effects it has had on your computer. Additionally if your Anti-Virus software detects any issues in relation to this email please provide us with the details.