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Friday 29 December 2017

CEC refuse to make the Queens Park Safe

Despite all the evidence the council still refuses to make the park safe they claim they inspected the park in October If they did they must be blind as the dead branch's were reported to the park manager and ANSA  and was in the Chronicle and still today nothing has been done. They claim dead wood help biodiversity which is fine if its in a wood that no one visits but in a public park its deadly.  I was the head gardener at Bostock hall which is a bigger site than the park with woods and lake and even a small dead branch falling from 20ft can kill or maim.

The only conclusion one can come to is the Council doesn't care if the public gets killed or injured when presented with photographic evidence there can be no doubt there is a high risk  of injury or death it like the London fire were no one took any action until its to late. With this evidence if any one is hurt they can take the evidence to court when they sue and prove that CEC failed in its duty of care and their obligations under Health and Safety.


30ft dead tree next to the path were children walk to school


These photos taken this week all the dead branch's  are a danger


Friday 22 December 2017

Rural businesses to benefit from £5.4m funding boost

Rural businesses in Cheshire East are being encouraged to apply for a share of a £5.4m injection via three significant funding streams in 2018.

The funding boost – across Cheshire and Warrington – was announced at a rural business forum held today (Wednesday) at Reaseheath College, Nantwich.

The forum was hosted by a partnership group comprising Cheshire East Council, Cheshire East’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company, the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Rural Payments Agency – a government service set up to support the rural economy.

The rural development programme for England has launched a number of grant opportunities, which are now open for applications from businesses across Cheshire. 

Businesses including farmers, foresters, rural enterprise communities and land managers can apply for business growth and development grants from a £2.4m pot of money allocated to the ‘Leader’ programme, the Cheshire-wide scheme which distributes European funding in rural communities. 

A further £2.4m is available for business development, food processing and rural tourism through the Growth Programme which is administered by the Rural Payments Agency on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). This grant scheme is more generous and covers up to 40 per cent of the overall project costs for an eligible application.

Rural businesses can also source faster broadband connectivity through a £600,000 voucher scheme worth up to £4,000 per company, as part of the Connecting Cheshire Digital Plus Programme.

Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the council’s Skills and Growth Company said: “Cheshire East’s dedicated rural business support programme is working with many businesses to help create jobs and economic growth. Our ongoing investment in rural broadband and skills will also help to ensure Cheshire can retain its position as one of the best locations in the country for rural businesses.

“We are keen to see rural businesses enjoy an efficient broadband service and I would urge any companies that are considering expanding in the near future, to make contact and benefit from our support.”

Cheshire has a strong track record of nurturing rural growth and the Country Land and Business Association’s (CLA) most recent survey names Cheshire as the best county in England in which to run a rural business.

Philip Posnett, chair of the Cheshire branch of the CLA, said: “This funding is very welcome news to our members who are always grateful for any support to help them expand their businesses or set up new businesses. This support will help and encourage our members to employ people and create a diverse and prosperous rural economy.”

Cheshire East Council actively supports a strong and resilient rural economy with thriving, supportive rural places and communities. The council and its Skills and Growth Company help to attract and facilitate delivery of grant programmes such as ‘Leader’ and provide guidance to the local enterprise partnership through a rural strategy board.

The rural business support service delivered by the council’s Skills and Growth Company can assist with advice and guidance on funding opportunities, practical support with submitting applications, recruitment and skills and development.

The company can also assist with sourcing property in rural areas or advise on planning and regulatory services. Contact the service via email: or call: 0300 123 5001.

Cheshire East Council rises to the challenges of increasing social care needs

Cheshire East Council has published its ‘local account’ detailing its achievements in adult social care and the challenges it faces.

Cheshire East is a great place to raise a family – to live, learn and to work. But it is also a borough with an ageing population.  At 26.9 per cent, the borough has a far higher percentage of over-60s than the national average at 22.7 per cent.

More than half the council’s entire budget goes into supporting the vulnerable in the borough – both young and old.

Together with partner agencies, the council has engaged with people who need social care support, carers and the public, focusing on a number of topics, which has given the council rich information about the services the council provides to them and what they would like to see in the future.

While the council continues to deliver essential services to those most in need, it also delivers services that support a good quality of life.

Mark Palethorpe, acting executive director of people, said: “Our ‘local account’ for 2016/17 is a summary of the adult social care service’s activity, working with our partners from the health sector and especially the voluntary, community and faith sectors, to support vulnerable people who have adult social care needs.

“We are keen to ensure that our work supports the creation of resilient communities.” 

The ‘local account’ provides information on:

· The council’s achievements in adult social care and its performance;

· New and existing innovative services;

· Feedback from service users supported through social care services;

· Changes and challenges the council faces; and

· Plans for improvements

The ‘local account’ is a key part of the process of transparency and accountability to local residents and reflects the council’s aspirations for the way it provides adult social care, aiming to be person-centred, giving residents independence and choice, quality of care and a sense of safety and protection.

The ‘local account’ is intended to be a report written for residents as well as council officers and service providers and is seen as a benchmark for future development.

To view the ‘local account’ for adult social care visit:

The Wistaston Memorial Hall

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The Wistaston Memorial Hall and Community Centre on Church Lane in Wistaston now has a defibrillator at the front of the hall. The management committee hopes that it will never be used, but it is available in an emergency for people using the hall, members of the tennis club, members of the bowling club and the immediate local community. It has the potential to save a life.

The defibrillator was purchased with a £1,300 grant from Baker Wynne & Wilson estate agents under their 25th anniversary community pledge.

Nick Blair from the First Response team had led a meeting at the hall for local groups to be shown how the defibrillator worked. On Thursday 30th November 2017 Simon Morgan-Wynne, representing Baker Wynne & Wilson, officially opened the defibrillator for use. Two members of the First Response team (Gavin Palin and Max Kelly) were also present at the ceremony. The hall was represented by John Cooke (President), Diane Edge-Robinson who had arranged for the defibrillator to be purchased, and Bill Heath who had overseen its installation.

John White, Chairman of the Hall’s Management Committee, said: “We are so grateful to all those people who contributed to this important lifesaving equipment. We were able to show our gratitude by inviting the three guests to join us for festive mince pies and coffee after the unveiling”.

Defibrillator is officially opened  for use - see photo label

Sunday 17 December 2017

Fake Government Grants Fraud Alert

Message Type Icon

Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

Individuals and businesses are being warned to watch out for cold calls and online contact from fraudsters who are offering victims the opportunity to apply for Government grants for an advance fee.

To make the grants look legitimate fraudsters have set up bogus companies and convincing looking websites that claim to be operating on behalf of the UK Government.

Fraudsters cold call businesses and individuals offering the grant and if they’re interested direct them to fill out an online application form with their personal information.

Once the fraudsters have that information they’ll contact back victims and congratulate them on being accepted onto the grant programme.  

Pre-paid credit cards

Applicants are then asked to provide identification and are instructed to get a pre-paid credit card to deposit their own contribution to the fake Government grant scheme. Fraudsters will then contact victims on the phone or are emailed and asked for the details of their pre-paid credit card and copies of statements to in order for them to add the grant funds.

Of course the grant funds are never given by the fraudsters and the money that’s been loaded by the victim onto the card is stolen.

If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and report it to us. We’ve already taken down one website fraudsters have been using to commit this fraud and are working with Companies House to combat this issue.

How to protect yourself:

Be wary of unsolicited callers implying that you can apply for grants. You should never have to pay to receive a government grant, and they definitely won’t instruct you to obtain a pre-paid credit card. The government should have all the information they need if a genuine grant application was submitted, therefore any requests for personal or banking information either over the phone or online should be refused.

What to do if you’re a victim:

  • If you think your bank or personal details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately.
  • Stop all communication with the ‘agency’ but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040.

The information contained within this alert is based on information from gathered by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).  The purpose of this alert is to increase awareness of this type of fraud. The alert is aimed at members of the public, local police forces, businesses and governmental agencies.

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 trading standards’ ‘nominated neighbour’ scheme.

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

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

The vulnerable person is given a card they hold up to a window or door, which advises any unidentified or unexpected caller to go to the address of a nominated neighbour or speak to them over the phone. 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 Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration, which includes responsibility for safer communities, 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.

“When the nominated neighbour card is shown to the caller, it replaces any need for the occupant to speak with that person.

“A genuine caller will not mind following the instructions and we believe that no criminal, who preys on the elderly or vulnerable, would like this type of scrutiny.”

While it is older and vulnerable adults who are more at risk from becoming victims of doorstep crime, anyone can be targeted. That’s why all Cheshire East residents are urged to consider joining the scheme.

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. By calling that number, you can also report problems with doorstep callers or traders

For further winter wellbeing advice, visit: and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section.

Advice can also be found on the council’s Facebook page at: and on Twitter at: @CheshireEast

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 Council unveils strategy for managing flood risk across the borough

Residents and businesses can find out how Cheshire East Council and partner agencies will deal with any threat of flooding in the future – following publication of the authority’s flood risk management strategy.

As a lead local flood authority, the council’s responsibilities are outlined in the local flood risk management strategy, which identifies measures to be undertaken by all partners, including residents, to reduce the risk of flooding in Cheshire East, to protect homes, businesses and other infrastructure. 

The strategy increases awareness of flood risk in the borough, from surface water, groundwater and watercourses. It also aims to reduce the impact of flooding and increase resilience in the community.

The council has finalised its strategy using feedback from residents following a public consultation carried out in August and September. Responsibilities include the recording and investigating of incidents of ‘significant’ flooding and identifying structures and features which could have an effect on flood risk.

Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member for environment, said: “This strategy is our statement of intent as to how we will manage flood risk in Cheshire East.  We hope it will help our residents and businesses to become better informed about our responsibilities as a local flood authority and how we can all work together to mitigate flood risk and to manage any emergencies.”

To read the full strategy document visit:

Council approves new streamlined constitution

Cheshire East Council has approved a new constitution – the legal framework of the authority which sets out the rules and procedures it must follow.

It is the first update to the constitution since the council was formed in 2009 and comes into effect on 1 January 2018.  It seeks to make the operation of the council more cost effective and strips out a lot of processes that are considered cumbersome and which impede the efficient running of the authority.

Whittled down from 500 pages to less than 300, it is seen as uncomplicated and written in a language that is easy to understand.

Approved at full council on Thursday (14 December), it determines how decision-making committees are constituted, how decisions are made and how the work of the council is put under the microscope through scrutiny committees and the ‘call-in’ procedure.

Councillor Paul Findlow, cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services, said: “We have listened to all the views of members and officers of the council through a series of workshops and meetings and we have received the expert advice of consultants Bevan Brittan solicitors.

“We believe that the proposed new constitution, which will be flexible and subject to further change where necessary, is fit for purpose, follows best practice and is far easier for everyone to follow and understand.

“I would like to thank all those members and officers who have worked together to modernise and revise this important legal framework and I am pleased that full council has endorsed this important document today.”

A council’s constitution ensures that it complies with all relevant statutory requirements placed upon a local authority.

Tuesday 12 December 2017

STATEMENT RE: Monitoring officer

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council, said: “The council’s Director of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer, Bill Norman, has today tendered his resignation with immediate effect.  Mr Norman’s resignation has been accepted. Recruitment to the permanent position of Director of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer will be progressed as soon as is practicable.

The Chairman of the Investigation and Disciplinary Panel said: “The IDC met today and, as a result of this resignation, has concluded its business with regard to Mr Norman.

Cabinet connects with local communities

Cheshire East Council’s cabinet has toured the borough this autumn – meeting local community groups and visiting the newly-appointed Connected Communities centres.

The tour was designed to give cabinet the opportunity to see the results of various projects and initiatives and also get to hear first-hand some of the challenges that people and communities have in their areas.

This autumn cabinet has visited:

● Macclesfield’s Senior Citizens’ Hall;

● Queens Park, Crewe;

● The Georges Community Centre, Crewe and the over-50s club

● The Welcome Café, Knutsford (Connected Communities centre);

● Congleton Town Hall;

● St John’s Church, Weston Estate, Macclesfield (Connected Communities centre); and

● Audlem Village Hall (Connected Communities centre).

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of the council, said: “As the team taking decisions on behalf of local communities, it is absolutely vital that we keep in touch with what’s happening on the ground and see where things are working and where there needs to be improvements. 

“Sometimes the decisions are really tough ones – but knowing our communities well and working with them really does make a big difference when it comes to doing the best for everyone living and working in the borough.”

The council set out its Connected Communities Strategy in December 2016. This explains how the vision to make the borough a great place to live, work and visit is linked to how the council will work with communities to ensure that the right services are in the right places.

The council also pledged £150,000 to support the opening of 30 Connected Communities centres across the borough, encouraging local neighbourhood partnerships and community centres to increase the number of services available at their centres and provide a valuable local resource for everyone. Each centre also helps people to access the council’s new ‘Live Well’ community website, where there is information and contact details for a whole host of local groups, support services, leisure and health activities.

The Rev Tim Robinson, of St John’s Church, Weston Estate in Macclesfield, said: “Becoming a Connected Communities centre is already paying dividends.

“Having Cheshire East cabinet hold their meeting at St John’s, and find out what is going on at this local venue and how we are aiming to serve this community, is providing us with confidence to do even more.”

Wishing Well Project general manager Charles Maines said: “We were pleased to welcome Cheshire East cabinet members to The Georges Community Centre in Crewe. It is always good to meet with our councillors and showcase the great work our team do here at Wishing Well.”

Cllr Bailey added: “We would like to say thank you to all those people in our communities who work or volunteer to make local services ‘happen’ – to provide care, support, friendship, health and fun to so many people in our area. It is something which is inspiring to witness and be a part of.”

For more information on the council’s work in communities, including neighbourhood partnerships and the new connected communities centres, visit the council’s website at: or email: or phone 01270 685880.

Council leader salutes staff as icy blast grips borough

Almost 1,000 tonnes of salt were used to treat Cheshire East’s roads over the weekend after heavy snow and freezing temperatures hit the borough.

Snow began to fall in Cheshire East on Friday, with much of it seen in the south and west, as well as on high ground.

Since then, highways teams have been working round the clock to keep the network moving and have continually been monitoring the weather conditions.

On Saturday, highways teams carried out four full treatments of the network and hand gritted in town centres. Yesterday, treatments were carried out in the morning and afternoon, with four routes in the south receiving an additional treatment.

Highways teams also stepped in and ploughed along the A534, near the Bickerton Poacher, after a small number of vehicles became stuck in the snow.

Today, the network has already received one full treatment and all main routes are currently clear. Hand gritting is also being carried out in town centre and footpaths are being checked.

The council’s adverse weather desk has also been in action 24 hours a day over the weekend.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, “I’d like to thank staff for their hard work over the weekend in helping to tackle the effects of the heavy snow and freezing temperatures on our roads.

“While we’ve already used almost 1,000 tonnes of salt to treat the road network, we will be receiving fresh deliveries today and later this week and still have more than 4,000 tonnes in stock.

“Almost 750 miles of road are treated each time we grit but we cannot ensure that all roads will be clear of snow and ice. I therefore urge residents to take care in adverse driving conditions or when out walking.

“I’d also like to remind motorists that when we treat the road network, the salts are not fully effective until they are ‘activated’ by vehicles.”

The Met Office has advised that daylight temperatures across Cheshire East will be between 0C and -2C today, falling to between -4C and -10C overnight. Tuesday is expected to be another cold day.

Cllr Bailey added: “It was great to see so many families out enjoying the snow this weekend. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone copes well in cold weather, so keep in touch.

“Elderly friends, family members and neighbours may need extra help and support and I’d urge residents to check in on them where possible. A quick phone call could make all the difference to them.”

To keep up to date with gritting operations, or to view the gritting routes, follow Cheshire East highways on Twitter at: @CECHighways or visit:

The service can also be contacted on 0300 123 5020 for any enquiries or to report debris on roads and other hazards.

Businesses offered free advice to help solve their funding puzzles

Cheshire East Council is inviting businesses from across the borough to learn about the business support and funding available for growth projects.

The free-to-attend lunchtime event on 25 January, provided by the authority’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company, will have guest speakers discussing the funding available to help your business grow.

The event will cover the practical support available to improve your chances of securing finance, as well as the government-backed lending scheme Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), which has been set up to provide more than £400m of investment to businesses.

After the speakers there will be a networking lunch, where there will be an opportunity to meet with a range of funding and business support specialists.

Speakers at the Alderley Park Conference Centre event will include representatives of The British Business Bank, The Skills and Growth Company’s ‘access 2 finance service’ and successful grant applicants, who will share their experience of applying and receiving grant funding. This will include a panel discussion from the speakers, with a question and answer session.

Nantwich-based Frank Olsen Furniture will be one of the businesses taking part following their £25,000 funding from the NPIF, which is helping fuel their growth and create new jobs.

To book on the event, which will run from 11.30am to 2pm at Alderley Park, go online at:

Alternatively, call the Skills and Growth Company on 0300 1235001.

Cheshire East Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, said: “This event offers expert insight and advice into the range of support available to businesses looking to grow.

“Securing the right finance needed for growth can be difficult and we hope this event will help businesses to build upon their successes by showcasing the range of financial support available to them.”

Winter Wellbeing – accessing the right health services for your needs

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 make sure they access the right health services for their needs.

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

To help limit the impact, it’s important that you are aware of which service is right for you 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 prescribed 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 medication they need.

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 Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for 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 wellbeing advice, visit: and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section. Advice can also be found on the council’s Facebook page at: and on Twitter at: @CheshireEast

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.

FiRELiNK for December 2017 from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Servcie

Subject: FiRELiNK for December 2017 from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Servcie

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

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

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

Santa climbing into a fire engine

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

Santa offering road safety tips to a motorist in a car

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.

For more information - Don't drink and drive

Winter driving safety tips

Of all the seasons, winter requires the most care and preparation if you're to stay safe.  Please be prepared in case the bad weather strikes in your area of Cheshire.

In snow or icy conditions, it will take longer to stop - always drive at a speed appropriate for the conditions.

In winter it's even more important to check your vehicle is well maintained and serviced.

For more information - Winter driving safety tips

Winter warmth - keeping warm keeps you well

Safe and well visit

Being snug and cosy in your home will help protect your health.  Being too cold can cause serious problems for your breathing and lead to bad chests.  Sitting for long periods of time in a cold home puts pressure on your heart and blood circulation too.  This can lead to very serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Older people who may be frail or have existing health conditions are particularly at risk.

We are asking everyone to remember the needs of friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk.

For more information - Winter warmth - keeping warm keeps you well

Have your say on our draft plan for 2018/19

The consultation on our draft Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) for 2018/19 is underway and will last until Tuesday 2nd January 2018. During this time we will consult with the public, key partners and stakeholders and members of staff.

The draft plan follows on from the Service’s second Emergency Response Review, which was initially consulted upon last year and is underway at the moment. Work to examine several options as part of that review continues and are explained in further detail in the draft Plan and summary document, which can be found on our website.

Find out more - Have your say on our draft plan for 2018/19

Farmers Grant Fraud Alert

Subject: Farmers Grant Fraud 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 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)

Farmers Grant Fraud Alert

Payment Diversion Fraud

The purpose of this alert is to provide knowledge and prevention advice to farmers in order to protect themselves from falling victim to ‘Payment Diversion Fraud’. CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) payments are expected to be paid to farmers in December 2017. Information on last year’s payments are easily obtained via the government website allowing fraudsters to know when and how much potential targets will receive.

Fraudsters who purport to be a trusted senior colleague or established customer may request that you change their direct debit, standing order or amend a bank transfer so that the payment can be diverted to a bank account which is in control of the fraudster. Fraudsters will often make the request under the pretence of a highly sensitive or urgent transaction.

Contact is made via phone, letter but most commonly via email (personal or work address) used by the organisation or employee (which has either been spoofed or hacked). The fraudster then provides bank account details into which the monies should be paid.


  • Ensure all staff, not just finance teams are aware of this fraud.
  • Always verify email payment changes to financial agreements with the organisation directly using established contact details you have on file. If called ask the caller to give you a main switchboard number for you to be routed back to them. Alternatively, hang up and call them back using established contact details you have on file.
  • Have a system in place which allows staff to properly verify contact from their CEO or senior members of staff; for example having two points of contact so that the staff can check that the instruction which they have received from their CEO is legitimate.
  • Always review requests to change ‘one off’ payment requests. Check for inconsistencies or grammatical errors, such as a misspelt company name or a slightly different email address. Ensure computer systems are secure and that antivirus software is up to date.

Christmas Carol concert in Crewe

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

The Wistaston Singers performed at a Christmas Carol concert on the afternoon of Saturday 9th December 2017 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. Ann Farrington was the accompanist.

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’, ‘Silent Night’, ‘While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks’, ‘Torches’, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, ‘It Came Upon the Midnight Clear’, ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’, ‘Gabriel's Message’, ‘White Christmas’, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’, ‘Christmas Lullaby’, ‘Good King Wenceslas’, ‘Coventry Carol’, ‘O Holy Night’, and ‘O Come, All ye Faithful’. The finale was a rousing ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’.

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

Thursday 7 December 2017

Christmas Fair’

Reporter J White

An annual ‘Christmas Fair’ took place on Saturday 2nd December 2017 at St Andrew's Church on Bedford Street in Crewe.

The fair had a Victorian theme and there were numerous stalls including a tombola, games, jewellery, cheese, jams, cakes and a prize raffle. Children were able to visit Father Christmas and receive a present from him. There were also children’s activities. Sound Sensations and Pick & Mix provided live musical entertainment. Refreshments were also available. Money raised from the stalls will go to St Andrew's Church funds.

Revd Lynne said: “We've been delighted with the level of support the Fair has received from so many members of the wider community.  We decided this year to offer not only free entry but also free face-painting and visits to Father Christmas, so there have been lots of happy faces here. Huge thanks to all those who have come along and to Fred Allman and the fantastic team of volunteers who organised and made the event run so well."

Forthcoming Christmas events at St Andrew's Church are: Sunday 17th December 2017 (Carol Service, 4pm), Friday 22nd December (Community carol singalong in the church garden – refreshments afterwards, 6pm), Christmas Eve (Sung Parish Communion, 9:30am; Christingle and Crib Service, 4pm; Midnight Mass, 11:30pm); Christmas Day (all age Christmas Communion, 9:30am) and Friday 29th 4pm-Saturday 30th December 3pm 2017  Experience Christmas!   A live telling of the Christmas Story guided by a friendly innkeeper plus lantern making, Muppets, pizza and much more.  All events and activities free of charge.

Weekly services at St Andrew's Church are: Sundays (Said Communion, 8am; Worship and Communion - coffee is served after this service - 9:30am; Evensong or Sung Eucharist, 4pm), Tuesdays (Said Communion, 9am; Open informal worship with coffee and cakes, 6:30pm), and Thursdays (Said Communion - coffee and cakes afterwards, 10am). Saturday Café takes place every week 12noon to 1:30pm with soup, sandwiches & cakes in a relaxed atmosphere.

If you would like to learn more about the work of St Andrew's Church, join the choir or volunteer for any of their community projects please contact Revd. Lynne Cullens on 01270 569000 or

Human fruit machine stall

Council to consider new streamlined constitution

Cheshire East Council is to be asked to approve a new constitution – to update and streamline the legal framework of the authority and make it more user-friendly.

More than 60 of the 82 elected members of the council have directly engaged in the process, which sees the constitution comprehensively reviewed for the first time since the authority came into being in 2009.

A local authority’s constitution sets out the rules and processes which the council must follow. It determines how decision-making committees are constituted, how decisions are made and how the work of the council is put under the microscope through scrutiny committees and the ‘call-in’ procedure.

The new constitution, if approved at a meeting of full council on December 14, will be posted on the council’s website. 

Councillor Paul Findlow, cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services, said: “We have listened to all the views of members and officers of the council and we have received the expert advice of consultants Bevan Brittan solicitors.

“We believe that the proposed new constitution, which will be flexible and subject to further change where necessary, is fit for purpose, follows best practice and is set out in language that we can all understand.

“I would like to thank all those members and officers who have worked together to modernise and revise this important legal framework for the council.”

The new constitution has been whittled down from 500 pages to less than 300. A report to the council says that while the new constitution will not necessarily meet all of the aspirations of every elected member, it represents a major success and demonstrates how the political groups and officers of the council have worked together to make long-awaited improvements to the way the council operates.

Cabinet agrees steps to boost adult social care services

Cheshire East Council is set to make a number of changes to improve the way it delivers adult social care.

Cheshire East Council is significantly increasing spending on adult social care – investing £10.9m in 2018/19. However, the council faces a significant financial challenge – due to reductions in government grants, rising costs and increased demand for care services.

The council’s aim is to boost the quality, capacity, flexibility, choice, impact and value for money of these services – to deliver the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

The cabinet today backed proposals to recommission care at home, residential care and respite care. This is usual local authority practice.

It also voted to carry out a review of respite care provision, with wide stakeholder consultation, to identify ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness and reduce low occupancy of block-booked beds. 

There are more than 40,000 residents in Cheshire East who look after or give support to family members, friends or neighbours because of mental health issues, disability or problems due to old age.

The council currently spends £37.4m a year on accommodation with care services within the borough and a further £13m on highly-specialised provision in other local authority areas. Additionally, it spends about £13.5m a year on care at home services plus £13.7m on Supported Living services, where housing and support are provided separately.

Respite care

Councillor Janet Clowes, cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “Carers have told us that they want an alternative respite offer to the bed-based services that are currently available. The council is now carrying out a review and consulting with carers and other stakeholders about how the alternative respite provision should be delivered, in order to more effectively and efficiently provide the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

“So, as part of a review of respite provision, we will look at different models of respite support to ensure greater choice and flexibility for service users – such as short breaks and supported living, home-based services, Shared Lives support and respite in an extra-care housing setting.

“The current offer of respite care was intended to enable carers to access respite in a variety of geographical locations. However, there are issues with low occupancy and, as

the system operates on block provision (where providers get paid a block amount of money even if the beds are not occupied) it means that some beds are going unoccupied. There is, therefore, a need to review the current provision, to ensure it delivers real choice, value for money and the best outcomes for respite care users.

“Subject to consultation, some beds are proposed to be ‘block purchased’ to be available all year round to continue to provide geographical coverage across the borough – together with additional beds purchased as and when necessary to meet demand and in the appropriate location. The new provision would begin in October 2018.”

Care at home

The council is to change the way it commissions care at home (domiciliary care) for our local residents. This service will be for adults with less complex care and support needs residing in Cheshire East.

There is a need to transform the care and support offer to ensure Cheshire has greater capacity and flexibility – and an improved range of services that deliver value for money for our residents.  The council is working with local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to explore options to jointly commission care and support services delivered to residents in their home. 

Cllr Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for health, said: “In Cheshire East, we face an ageing population and the borough needs to increase the capacity and capability of care services that enable people to remain living at home longer, reduce the need for a move to a care home and provide timely and appropriate care.

“With our partners, we need to ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate high-quality care and that, together, we encourage care services to improve the care and support they deliver.”

Residential care

Cheshire East is also set to change the way it commissions residential care for people who receive financial support for their care from the authority. Under the new proposals, providers of residential homes will be asked to sign up to a ‘framework’, which will ensure they deliver the highest possible quality, care and support.

Residents who receive financial support for their care will be placed in care homes that meet the quality standards required by the authority. Residents who are already placed in care homes will not be expected to move.

The council is working with South Cheshire and Eastern Cheshire CCGs to ensure the seamless provision of care and support during the transition to new provision which will take place in 2018.

Cheshire East Council has a duty under the Care Act 2014 to promote the efficient and effective operation and sustainability of the care market for the borough.

● If you require further information about care at home contact the council’s Danielle Stuart 01625 374207. For accommodation with care, contact Jonathon Evans on 01270 686403. For information about the review of respite care, contact Jane Stanley-McCrave on 01270 375119.

Cheshire East Council secures three fly-tipping penalties

Cheshire East Council has been successful in securing three fines in a fortnight for fly-tipping.

The penalties come as a result of investigations from Cheshire East’s community enforcement officers in Crewe’s West Street, Mill Street and Swinnerton Street as the council continues its crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

The £400 fixed penalty notices were issued in a two-week period after the council and local communities worked closely together to identify problem areas and provide information.

In all three cases, accurate information from residents living in the immediate areas led to questioning of the offenders and, ultimately, the issuing of fines.

In one of the cases, CCTV footage was used to identify dumped gas bottles, which also led to two other people being given formal warnings.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for safer communities, said: “The council’s campaign to reduce fly-tipping is now truly beginning to see results. With our campaigns team we have worked hard to educate people on the anti-social nature of this offence and, as a result, we have seen a reduction in the amount of waste that is being disposed of inappropriately in the borough.

“Unfortunately, there will always be some people who don’t listen to the strong messages and fail to heed our warnings. There is no excuse for this disgusting behaviour and these three penalties show that we will not stop pursuing people who have ignored our clear and consistent advice.”

Monday 4 December 2017

Santa Claus has taken time off

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Santa Claus has taken time off from his busy schedule to meet and hand out presents to boys and girls.

He has setup a Nantwich branch of his Grotto upstairs in the attic of the Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge - - at 46 High Street in the centre of Nantwich.

Santa will be in Nantwich from 11am to 3pm every Saturday and Sunday in December, up to 17th December 2017.

Price = £3 per child, or £5 for two, and each child will receive a small gift from Santa.

It’s the ninth year that Santa has setup his Grotto in the premises.

The event is organised by the Rotary Club of Nantwich

Money raised will go to the Rotary Club of Nantwich’s allocated good cause.

Rotary Club of Nantwich – Santas Grotto 2017

Investigation and disciplinary committee decision

Cheshire East Council’s investigation and disciplinary committee reconvened today (4 December, 2017) to further consider concerns about officer conduct.

The committee reviewed its previous decisions regarding the chief operating officer and a decision has been taken to suspend him.

The chairman of the investigation and disciplinary committee, said:  “We would stress that suspension is a neutral act taken in the interests of both the council and the individual. It would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage.” 

Appropriate arrangements will be put in place to ensure that the responsibilities of this role are covered.

Friday 1 December 2017

Inner Wheel Club of Crewe

Reporter J White

l-r Anne Thompson Joint President  Inner Wheel Club of Crewe and Sue Protheroe Treasurer Inner Wheel Club of  Crewe

Inner Wheel Club of Crewe have been filling and collecting shoeboxes over the past several months as part of the ‘Rotary Shoebox Scheme’ .

Other local groups that have contributed to the Rotary Shoebox Scheme are Haslington Boys’ Brigade, The Dingle Primary School, Vine Tree Primary School, Rotary Club of Crewe and various individuals.

This year has been a bumper year with 247 boxes filled and sent. The shoeboxes will be distributed to children and teenagers in Eastern European countries.

Anne Thompson, Joint President, Inner Wheel Club of Crewe, commented: "Thinking of youngsters receiving no presents on their birthday or Christmas made us sure this was a project we would adopt this year."

Inner Wheel is a group of lively minded women who meet once a month for a meal and to decide on various charitable projects. For further information please visit:

Bentley Manor Care Home Grand Christmas Light Switch On!

Are you on Santa’s naughty or nice list this year?

This weekend, Saturday 2nd December, marks a very special weekend for residents and families at Bentley Manor Care Home, Crewe. Not only does the home welcome special guest Laura Smith MP to switch on their Christmas lights but Santa will be in his grotto, with a full complement of  elves, and everyone will have the opportunity to discuss their Christmas lists with him!

This magical Christmas event will be made even more special with the Co-Op brass band kindly attending and playing traditional Christmas music and carols in the garden, which has been especially lit for the Christmas season. Mulled wine and hot food will be served and all are welcome.

Both staff and residents have been working hard to ensure that the home, the gardens and all of the 5 Christmas trees have been beautifully decorated and also, staff and residents have entered into the true spirit of Christmas and been busy thinking of others as this Christmas time approaches. The home has been collecting food parcels for the Salvation Army and residents have been knitting blankets for the dog’s home!

All are welcome to attend this real community Christmas event between 5 – 7.30pm at Bentley Manor Care Home, Sherbourne Road, Crewe CW1 4LB

For further information please contact:

Lee Riley-Owns     01270 259630

Home Manager

Bentley Manor Care Home

Harbour Healthcare

Winter Wellbeing – the 12 scams of Christmas

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 are warning residents to beware of the ‘12 scams of Christmas’.

Fraudsters use the festive season as an opportunity to take advantage of others and each year millions of people in the UK fall prey to con tricks.

Scams come through the post, over the phone, by text message, online and face to face.

Anyone can fall victim, with older and vulnerable adults more at risk. That’s why Cheshire East Council’s trading standards officers are urging people to beware of the ‘12 scams of Christmas’:

1) Online shopping: Fraudsters place adverts on websites and send you emails with offers. Clicking on the links may embed viruses on to your electronic device and scammers can then collect your personal data. Always use reputable websites when buying things online. You should also use different passwords for online accounts and look out for the secure padlock in the website’s address bar when making payments.

2) Christmas e-cards: Cyber-criminals are creating their own e-cards, which you do not want to open as they may contain a virus. Be wary of emails from unknown accounts and report them as spam to your provider.

3) Loan sharks: If you do need to borrow some money this festive season, always use a reputable lender.

4) Social media offers: Fraudsters use popular social media sites to advertise offers in the hope people will click on the advert and be redirected to a bogus website, which often contain viruses.

5) Fake delivery notifications: Fraudsters send emails and postcards appearing to be from the Post Office, or other courier companies, saying you have a parcel to collect. They ask you to call them or click on a link and provide personal information to verify the delivery, which gives the scammer your details.

6) Fake goods: The festive period is a popular time for fraudsters to sell counterfeit goods. The items will more than likely be of poor quality and unsafe. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.

7) Ticketing fraud: Only buy tickets from reputable websites that are secure and show a padlock icon in the address bar.

8) ‘Free’ vouchers or gift cards: There are plenty of adverts on the internet, especially on social media. Many are scams and ask for personal details that scammers can use to access your bank accounts.

9) Service station ‘bargains’: Fraudsters commonly offer electrical items for sale, such as televisions, in car parks at service stations for a bargain price. They will show you a genuine item and when you agree to buy it, they give you a boxed television, which is broken. By the time you have checked it at home, it’s too late.

10) Fake charities: Some people may use the season of goodwill to trick you into giving money to a fake charity. Legitimate charities will have a charity number, which you can verify with the Charity Commission.

11) Banking scams: Scammers may call pretending to be from your bank, stating your card has been compromised and asking for your security or personal information. Never give out your full PIN number or security passcodes and check your bank account regularly for any unknown transactions.

12) Fake bank emails: You may receive an email appearing to be from your bank or insurance company, saying they have a gift for you. Check the URLs of emails to ensure they are genuine before clicking on any links and contact your bank direct. Scam emails are usually littered with spelling and grammatical errors.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration, which includes responsibility for safer communities, said: “We hope our ‘12 scams of Christmas’ advice will help residents to stay one step ahead of fraudsters.

“The effects of scams on victims can quite often be devastating, so it’s important that people are vigilant, especially at this time of the year when scams are more prevalent.”

For further winter-related advice, visit: and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section. Advice can also be found on the council’s Facebook page at: and on Twitter via: @CheshireEast

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.

Do you speak Patois, Bajan, Hausa, Igbo, or Yoruba?

Adoption Counts are appealing for the African and Caribbean Community to come forward to adopt

Manchester’s and East Cheshire’s regional adoption agency – Adoption Counts, are urging people from the black African and Caribbean communities in the area to come forward and consider adoption.

Children of a black African and Caribbean background often wait longer to be adopted, alongside sibling groups of two or more. While Adoption Counts, the regional adoption agency for Manchester, Cheshire East, Trafford, Salford and Trafford local authorities, has had over 300 enquiries since they launched in July 2017; they are finding it particularly challenging to find adopters who will consider black African and Caribbean children.

While these children may wait longer, black adopters often find a match with their child or children sooner. We welcome mixed couples as well as single people, and it doesn’t matter if you are co-habiting, divorced or widowed, regardless of your sexual orientation.

Sue Westwood, Regional Adoption Agency Manager says:

“Adoption Counts wants to hear from anyone who feels they could offer a child a warm and loving home. The black African and Caribbean community are well known for their family values, compassion and strong community networks”.

Valerie E Campell, Advisor, Children’s Advocate and Community Worker, says:

“It’s increasingly difficult to find adopters in the African and Caribbean community.  There continues to be a persistent lack of available adopters to provide loving homes for our children. Adoption Counts aims to raise awareness in the community with the view to providing a resolution.  It is seeking to secure potential adopters for our Black and Caribbean children.  Our children deserve to have a safe and secure home and the right to prosper in their own community.”

As well the life changing and amazing experience of being an adoptive parent, our adopters will receive vital support and training to help them understand the experiences their children may have faced. We also have support groups for adults and activities days for the children to meet others who have been adopted.

Anyone interested in finding out more about becoming adopters in and around Stockport, Manchester, Salford, Trafford and Cheshire East should contact Adoption Counts on 0300 123 2676 or visit