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Sunday 25 February 2018

Leighton spine road plan would unlock sites for homes and jobs – have your say!

Cheshire East Council is to consider proposals for a package of road schemes, including a new spine road and junction improvements, which would unlock key sites for business, jobs and housing in north-west Crewe.

Plans for the ‘North West Crewe Package’ are about to go public and would also provide an important new route to Leighton Hospital.

Cheshire East Council’s strategic infrastructure team is about to unveil the plans in detail at a number of public engagement events to be held in March.* Residents, businesses and all other interested parties are invited to give their feedback to the council.

Improvements would be carried out to associated junctions to provide access to development land.

The highways project represents yet another significant step in the council’s strategy for the regeneration of Crewe in preparation for the arrival of HS2 in 2027. The package of road schemes would be subject to the statutory planning process later this year.

A new highway, almost two miles long, would be constructed between Smithy Lane and Minshull New Road, unlocking several sites for much-needed housing and employment development. It would also connect with the A530 Middlewich Road to the north.

Cheshire East Council’s Local Plan Strategy outlines the need to build 7,700 homes and provide 65 hectares of employment land in Crewe up to 2030. The North West Crewe Package identifies two development sites – Leighton West and Leighton. They offer potential development for 1,350 homes plus five hectares of employment land, as well as creating a new local neighbourhood hub, incorporating nursery, school and community facilities.

The highways package would include significant improvements to the local road network to meet the additional demands generated by the growth in housing and business. These would include building a series of roundabouts and new junctions.

A further key feature of the scheme is the delivery of improved access to Leighton Hospital for emergency vehicles, staff and visitors. Once completed, it would also offer close connections to HS2 at Crewe.

Frank Jordan, Cheshire East Council’s executive director for place, said: “This is an important public engagement process and we hope that as many people as possible will take part and give us their feedback.

“The scheme, if approved, would help to support the expansion of local businesses and commercial development opportunities, creating jobs. It would also open up strategic housing land, as well as create a new emergency route to and from Leighton Hospital.

“This scheme represents a further element of the whole Crewe regeneration package in preparation for the arrival of HS2 high-speed rail in 2027.”

Funding for the North West Crewe Package would come from the National Productivity Fund (£5m) and the Housing Infrastructure Fund (£10m) with the balance coming from developer contributions and Cheshire East Council.

*A four-week public engagement will include three public exhibitions:

· 13 March 2018 – Legends Health and Conference Centre, Bentley Motors, Sunnybank Road  2 – 8pm

· 17 March 2018 – Leighton Academy, Minshull Road 10am – 3pm

· 22 March 2018 – Legends Health and Conference Centre, Bentley Motors, 2 – 8pm

To provide feedback on the proposals, further information will be made available from 5 March at:

The public engagement begins 5 March and ends 3 April 2018 and any comments received after the 3 April will NOT be included in the engagement process.

Cheshire East passes balanced budget and injects more cash into borough’s roads

Cheshire East Council has passed a sound budget to protect frontline services and deliver value for local people.

A vote by full council today backed several key financial reports that put the authority on course to deliver balanced finances in 2018-19, while protecting key frontline services and delivering on its strategic outcomes for residents.

The council also voted to invest an additional £7m in highways in response to concerns over the condition of some of the borough’s roads.

The council also voted to protect its highways budget from further cuts adding an additional £2m to the capital budget to invest in the borough’s roads maintenance programme.

The final government grant settlement, announced recently, will allow the council to spend a further £907,000 in adult social care and £37,000 on its homeless strategy – aimed at preventing rough sleeping and keeping people in some form of accommodation.

Leisure centre users in Crewe and Nantwich will continue to receive a refund for car parking in two council car parks – Snow Hill, Nantwich and the library car park in Crewe.

Council Tax will increase by 5.99 per cent in 2018-19. This adds £1.39 per week to the average household Council Tax bill. A Band D property bill will rise from £1,324.92 to £1,404.28 – an increase of £1.53 per week.

Importantly, three per cent of the tax rise will boost services for the vulnerable and elderly.

The decisions follow a pre-Budget Consultation 2018-21, launched in November, which set out initial proposals for how the council could target resources more effectively and save money – while achieving balanced finances. 

A key proposal sees the council earmark £2m from the New Homes Bonus scheme to be used in our communities, via a method under consideration.

Following extensive consultation, the revenue budget will be balanced for 2018-19 with net revenue spending of £268.8m and total capital investment of £326.1m identified over the next three years. A total of £197m is estimated to be spent over the next three years on maintaining and improving our highways network.

Cheshire East invited feedback from residents, businesses, councillors, staff, town and parish councils and other stakeholders to inform its proposals and decisions. This consultation will be ongoing over the next three years.

As a listening authority, the council reflected on people’s comments and amended some of its proposed savings before today’s budget vote. These included:

· £7m added to capital highways improvement programme to address public concern about local roads;

· A decision to keep all libraries open – axing proposals to close those in Alderley Edge, Disley and Prestbury.

The budget-setting meeting of council took place against a challenging national context of an overall public sector deficit, which is being partly met by big reductions in government grants to councils, and rising demand for both adult social care and children in care.

For Cheshire East, this means expected reductions of central government grants, inflationary costs and rising demand totalling more than £70m over the next three years.

The council will meet this financial challenge via a mix of tax increases and changing its service offer. The aim is to make the council financially self-sufficient by reducing its reliance on central government revenue support grant from £40m in 2015/16 to nil in 2020.

Tough choices have to be made, once again, to ensure Cheshire East can target services to people who need them most. Locally funding services puts control back with local people but also comes with the responsibility to fund them in a sustainable way.

Jan Willis, Cheshire East Council’s interim executive director of corporate services, said: “These financial reports and budget outline how the council has continued to build on the solid achievements of recent years and continues to maintain robust financial health.

“The year ahead presents a number of challenges for all UK local authorities, as increasing demand in care services for children and adults, plus other pressures, are compounded by falls in government funding – a funding reduction totalling £14.8m this year for Cheshire East and set to fall by a further £11.9m in 2018/19.

“In Cheshire East, the number of residents receiving care and support from adult social care is increasing by four per cent a year and the number of children in social care placements has increased by 17 per cent in the last year, in line with other councils.

“The council’s net expenditure on adult social care services was almost £100m in 2016/17, which is three-times the spending on any other service area. This council will continue to prioritise services for vulnerable people, despite the financial challenges. However, this means other services will need to deliver savings.”

Council urges parents to look out for scarlet fever

Cheshire East Council is urging parents to know how to spot the signs of scarlet fever.

It follows a rise in cases being seen by doctors across the North West region.

The symptoms of scarlet fever are a fine pinkish or red rash that feels similar to sandpaper – in conjunction with a sore throat, headache and fever. If your child has these symptoms it is recommended that you see your GP or call NHS 111.

Scarlet fever is one of the diseases that usually spreads at this time of year – but a higher number of cases than expected have been seen so far in 2018. It mostly affects the under-10s and is less common in teenagers and adults.

Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness but it spreads from person to person very easily and, if untreated, can have some more severe complications. It is diagnosed by a GP and treated with antibiotics.

The spread from person to person can be slowed down or stopped by thorough hand washing and by keeping children off school for at least 24 hours after their GP has started them on antibiotics and until the child is well enough to go back.

It is best for antibiotics to be started early so that complications, such as pneumonia, can be avoided and to stop the illness from spreading.

Dr Matt Tyrer, health protection lead at Cheshire East Council, said: “Although scarlet fever is a mild illness it spreads very easily. With more cases than usual being seen this year it’s very important for parents to recognise the signs, so that their children can be treated early.

“Scarlet fever usually starts with a sore throat, fever and headaches. The rash usually starts on the chest or tummy before spreading over the body and is rough to the touch, like sandpaper. It used to be more common than it is today – however, GPs have been seeing more cases than usual this year.

“If parents think that their child has the symptoms of scarlet fever we urge them to contact their GP, so that they can be assessed and treated as soon as possible. It’s also important that the children are kept out of school at least 24 hours after starting taking the antibiotics.”

For more information about scarlet fever and its symptoms, visit the NHS webpage at:

School Fraud - Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Fraud – Schools Targeted

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has seen an increase in recent weeks in the volume of CEO Fraud reports whereby schools are the targeted victim. This has resulted in substantial financial losses for several schools that have fallen victim to this type of fraud.

A school is targeted by a fraudster who purports to be the Head Teacher / Principal. The fraudster contacts a member of staff with responsibility for authorising financial transfers and requests for a one off, often urgent, bank transfer to be made. The amounts requested have been between £8,000 and £10,000.
Contact is made by email and from a spoofed / similar email address to the one the Head Teacher / Principal would use.


  • Ensure that you have robust processes in place to verify and corroborate all requests to change any supplier or payment details. Get in touch with the supplier (or internal colleague) directly, using contact details you know to be correct, to confirm that a request you have received is legitimate.
  • All employees should be aware of these procedures and encouraged to challenge requests they think may be suspicious, particularly urgent sounding requests from senior employees.
  • Sensitive information you post publicly, or dispose of incorrectly, can be used by fraudsters to perpetrate fraud against you. The more information they have about you, the more convincingly they can purport to be one of your legitimate suppliers or employees. Always shred confidential documents before throwing them away.
  • Email addresses can be spoofed to appear as though an email is from someone you know. If an email is unexpected or unusual, then don’t click on the links or open the attachments. Staff should not be allowed to check emails or use the internet with administrator accounts.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Monday 19 February 2018

Pancake Party

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Parishioners and visitors enjoyed a ‘Pancake Party’ on the evening of Shrove Tuesday (13th February 2018) at St Andrew's Church Hall on Bedford Street in Crewe.

The pancakes were supplied and cooked by church members. The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS) provided a cabaret style entertainment to the audience after they’d eaten their pancakes.

Shrove Tuesday is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter.

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

Pancake Party - the audience await their pancakes

NFORMATION BULLETIN – By-election for Bunbury ward

A by-election for the Bunbury ward of Cheshire East Council is set to be held on 22 March.

The deadline for candidates who wish to stand in the election is 4pm on Friday 23 February 2018. Nomination papers must be hand delivered to:

The Returning Officer
Elections Office
Macclesfield Town Hall
Market Place
Cheshire, SK10 1EA.

Nominations may be delivered on any day (excluding weekends and bank holidays), between 10am and 4pm – but not later than 4pm on 23 February.

If the election is contested, the poll will take place on Thursday 22 March 2018 between 7am and 10pm.

Any changes to, or cancellations of, existing postal or proxy vote records and new applications to be treated as postal voters, must reach the Electoral Registration Officer, either by hand at the Elections Office at Macclesfield Town Hall or by post at the Elections Office, Macclesfield Town Hall, c/o Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 2BJ by no later than 5pm on Wednesday 7 March 2018 if they are to be effective for this election. You must allow sufficient time for posted applications to be received in the Elections Office by the deadline.

All new applications for proxy voting arrangements must reach the Electoral Registration Officer, either by hand at the Elections Office, Macclesfield Town Hall, Market Place, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 1EA, or by post at the Elections Office, Macclesfield Town Hall, c/o Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 2BJ by no later than 5.00pm on Wednesday 14 March 2018, if they are to be effective for this election.  You must allow sufficient time for posted applications to be received in the Elections Office by the deadline.

For further information, please visit the council’s website at and look under the council and democracy link.

Cheshire East Council calls on dog owners to ‘get a grip’

Cheshire East is calling on dog owners to ‘get a grip’ and ensure their pets don’t harm livestock and nesting birds.

Dogs worrying and attacking livestock is a serious problem, having a major emotional and financial impact on all involved.

Many attacks occur during the lambing season and during nesting time. It is vital that dogs are kept on leads – especially during these times.

Cheshire East Council animal health and welfare team, Cheshire police and the countryside rangers have launched a joint campaign to reduce incidents in the borough.

They have drawn up a checklist of dos and don’ts. For dog owners these include:

● Your dog should never be unaccompanied outside of your home. Many incidents of

worrying and attacks occur when owners are not present;

● You have a legal responsibility to ensure your dog is secure and cannot escape and

cause problems;

● Consider using alternative routes away from livestock, where possible;

● Keep your dog on a lead in enclosures containing livestock (walkers are advised to release their dogs however if threatened by cattle, so that they can get to safety separately); and

● Pick up after your dog and dispose of faeces responsibly – in a bin or take it home for disposal. Dog faeces contain parasites that are harmful to sheep and cattle. 

Farmers should:

● Display notices that advise dog walkers of livestock in fields and ask the public to keep

livestock safe by keeping their dogs on leads; 

● Ensure notices are up to date and removed if not required;

● Report all incidents of livestock worrying and attacks to the police by ringing 101.

Mark Palethorpe, Cheshire East Council executive director of people, said: “Dog owners have a duty to be responsible, considerate and obey the law regarding their pets. I would remind everyone that it is a criminal offence for an owner or person in charge of a dog to allow it to worry livestock. 

“The majority of pet owners are responsible – but all should be aware that, as a last resort, a landowner or someone acting on their behalf, has the legal right to shoot a dog to protect their property, under the Animals Act 1971.

“Please keep your dog on a lead, where livestock is grazing or there could be a threat to ground-nesting birds. Any dog, regardless of breed, has the potential to chase and worry livestock. Do not let it be your dog.”

If you allow a dog to worry livestock you may be prosecuted or fined and ordered to pay compensation.

For more information on this issue visit:

Council’s urgent warning of ‘unsafe’ motorbike helmets

Cheshire East Council has issued an urgent recall of some motorcycle helmets over safety fears including helmets likely to have been sold for use by children.

The council has issued urgent recall notices to the Cheshire-based importer, known as Quads Inn, which is a trading name of Hough Mill Development, Lea Forge, Wybunbury, Cheshire.

Two of the models have been found not to comply with safety standards* while the third model of helmet failed to comply with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) standard.

Some helmets failed rigidity and impact absorption testing.

It is believed that all of these helmets have been sold by Quads Inn on Amazon and eBay and a small number of helmets may have been sold through the company’s own website

Anyone who has one of these helmets is advised to stop using the helmet immediately!

Details of helmets which have failed safety tests:

· Qtech/Jix – Q7/FF007 Full-face motorcycle helmet twin/sun integrated sun visor  labelled on the chin strap E9-13.10312;

· Qtech/Jix – Q998 Motorcycle flip-up front helmet and double visor. Sold in various colours – marked on the chin strap with E9-05.1810. Serial numbers from 34.842.801 to 34.849.200;

· Qtech/Jix – FF601/JX-F601 Kids off-road/motocross/BMX crash helmet known as FF601/JX-F601. Sold in various colours – no batch or serial code but with descriptions such as Sporting, Black Knight and Ninja. 

Sean Hannaby, Cheshire East Council’s director responsible for regulatory services, said: “These helmets were batch tested in an accredited, independent laboratory and a number of them failed to meet the required safety standards.

“The council has, therefore, issued recall notices to the importer, and is urging anyone in possession of one of these helmets to make them unwearable, preferably by destroying them.

“Our trading standards officers have gone to enormous lengths to track down likely purchasers through eBay and Amazon and other outlets.  We would urge anyone who believes they may have bought one or are using one of these helmets, to check through Cheshire East Trading Standards or through Citizens Advice.

“We believe that these helmets could present a serious risk in the event of a road accident, while the helmets sold for use by children do not meet the safety standards to be permitted on UK roads.”

Cheshire East Council is also taking steps to alert other retailers and wholesalers across Europe through the Rapid Alert System (Rapex), which enables the quick exchange of information between European countries.

Since issued with the recall notice, Quads Inn has ceased trading meaning that the business will not be able to refund consumers in line with the recall measures.

Anyone requiring further information about the recall should contact Cheshire East Trading Standards on 0300 123 5500 or email

Further information about obtaining refunds from businesses no longer trading can be obtained from Citizens Advice on 03454 040506 or via their web site.

Wednesday 14 February 2018

'We love 90s House Live'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A 'We love 90s House Live' concert takes place at The Studio Nightclub & Entertainment Venue - - on Castle Street in Nantwich on Friday 2nd March 2018. Admission is free with donations to Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity

The event will feature live dance music band 'House Jammerz' , making a return to the venue, on stage at 9:30pm and performing the biggest and best House tracks ever.

The gig will be followed by an ‘I love the 90s’ club night from N-Trance original member ‘DJ Kuta’ until 3am.

Nigel Woodhouse, Director of Operations at The Studio said, "The House Jammerz are an incredible act that takes you right back to the biggest decade of dance music the UK has ever seen - I was lucky enough to be a Customer and a Club Manager through this iconic decade. We also have the pleasure of DJ Kuta doing our 90s only after-party - he was an N-Trance original. We are free entry with any donations going to Leighton’s Dementia appeal a worthy cause.”

House Jammerz will perform at The  Studio

British man Jim Matthews

British man Jim Matthews who fought AGAINST ISIS abroad is to be charged with terror offences by the Met Police. It is the first charge of its kind in the UK.

This is utter madness He was fighting AGAINST ISIS. ISIS is a death cult that wants to kill us. In the meantime Brits who fought WITH ISIS abroad are allowed back into the UK, where they are a potential threat to us and some are offered Social Housing The whole world has gone mad Stark raving mad

The Prime Minister has said use of drone strikes to kill UK citizens who fight FOR ISIS abroad was“necessary & proportionate”and that she would authorise such strikes in future.

So it's alright for the Government to kill UK jihadis abroad but if a Brit goes abroad and kills one he is thrown in the clink?

During the Second World War many Brits went to fight with French Resistance against the Nazis.

When they came back, if they did, they were treated like heroes They weren't thrown in prison This Tory Gov has totally left leave of its senses

UK is home to up to 35,000 fanatical Islamists. With 3,000 of them “worrying." And this stupid Tory Gov wants to lock up a man who went abroad to fight AGAINST ISIS Beyond belief Why isn't the Government locking up the jihadis in the UK? They really are a threat to us.

The 'For Britain Party' would not let ANY jihadis return to the UK. All the other parties would allow them to return. The other parties are putting the human rights of jihadis BEFORE the safety of us Brits.

Cheshire East awarded £20m housing infrastructure funding

Cheshire East Council has been awarded nearly £20m of government funding to unlock the infrastructure required to deliver new homes in Macclesfield and Crewe.

The council’s wholly-owned development company, Engine of the North, worked closely with the authority’s strategic infrastructure team to land the successful bid.

The government grant is a portion of the £2.3 billion of housing infrastructure funding (HIF) which has been made available nationally to local authorities via Homes England, to support the delivery of 100,000 new homes across the country.

Half of the funding awarded to Cheshire East will go towards a £19.5m new link road, as part of the South Macclesfield Development Area scheme that was granted planning permission last August. The route will open up the site and improve connectivity around Macclesfield for the community.

The remaining £10m will support the strategic infrastructure team to deliver a new link road as part of the Leighton Green scheme in Crewe. The site could deliver up to 850 new homes with around 400 of these on the southern part of the site, within Cheshire East Council’s ownership.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “We’re delighted with the news of HIF funding that will support the delivery of new homes, economic growth and employment opportunities for Cheshire East.

“The funding will bring certainty to the South Macclesfield Development Area project that, due to some constraints to the site, requires significant up-front infrastructure and remediation costs. The site has long been identified for growth by providing new housing alongside employment, retail, community, recreation and sporting facilities, as well as significant green infrastructure.”

Cheshire East was awarded the highest amount of HIF funding in the North West and the second highest nationally.

Homes England assessed all bids through a competition process. The allocation of funding to all successful bids will be subject to further financial checks and due diligence.

Council helps to secure three-year arts investment around popular transport heritage events

Sandbach Transport Festival and ‘TrAction’ Crewe will both benefit from a significant financial investment over the next three years, following successful 2017 pilot events to introduce more families to the arts.

Cheshire East Council, in conjunction with Crewe Town Council, Sandbach Transport Festival and Fleetwood Festival of Transport, has secured a £528,467 Arts Council grant to help stimulate enthusiasm for the arts through SpareParts:Accelerate, a three-year engagement programme targeting communities where the arts is considered to be under-represented.

SpareParts:Accelerate will be a prominent feature of the two colourful carnivals in Sandbach and Crewe, setting out to involve people who would not normally consider the arts as something for them.

This year, the two events will be even bigger and better and will include a wider programme of school and family workshops together with additional features aimed at raising the profile of both towns.

Themed around transport through the ages, SpareParts:Accelerate will feature the customary parade of imaginative and wacky creations, adding humour and entertainment to both carnivals which, by tradition, celebrate the rich heritage of the borough’s transport connections.

The Arts Council grant will help Cheshire East Council and the Fleetwood Festival to deliver a number of arts-based workshops in schools and communities, introducing adults and young people to new creative skills and encouraging future participation.

A principle objective of the whole project is to deliver economic benefits for both towns and contribute to the skills development of adults, young people and children through the arts. 

Festival director of SpareParts:Accelerate Adam McGuigan said: “The support of Arts Council England is invaluable to us. We can be more ambitious with the programme and participation opportunities. We have some incredible artists for 2018 and we look forward to announcing more detail in the near future.”

Organisers hope the input of SpareParts:Accelerate will attract more spectators, particularly from further afield, driving forward the local economy while introducing visitors to a variety of creative opportunities.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East cabinet member for cultural economy,, said: “These are truly fantastic, creative events not just celebrating the borough’s links with transport, but also raising the profile of the arts as a form of education and entertainment.

“The funding is particularly exciting as it will allow for additional activities in the run up to the festivals so that each community can be more involved, creating performances and mobile artworks that will sit alongside the professional street performers.

“It will also enable the appointment of a participation manager who will work with schools and community groups to build engagement and sustain the festivals in future years. 

“I would like to thank all our partners who have worked hard to secure this grant and I can announce that Cheshire East Council is also investing £30,000 over three years to support this entire arts programme.”

The Sandbach Transport Festival 2018 takes place over two days Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 April, while TrAction Crewe takes place on Saturday 7 July.

Elsie Alcock, from Sandbach Transport Festival, now in its 28th year said: “Sandbach is a transport town.  Its recent history is embedded in the road haulage industry with Foden and ERF once big employers in Sandbach.  This is excellent news and we would like to thank all those involved in helping to secure this funding.”

Crewe Town Council leader Simon Yates said: “We are thrilled. The funding will enable us to add more fun and excitement to Crewe’s ‘TrAction’ event and to work with schools and community groups to get added local involvement, especially in the parade, which should become a major feature of the day.”

To find out more about Sandbach Transport Festival see:

To find out more about TrAction Crewe see:

Cheshire East Council is to consult residents on ways to promote healthier and greener travel to schools

The authority agreed at a cabinet meeting last week to consult on its sustainable modes of travel to school (Smots) strategy for six weeks, starting on Thursday (15 February). 

This important document sets out how the council can support schools to promote healthier and more active travel and reduce congestion on local roads, improve air quality and road safety.

For many children, young people and their parents, travel to schools within Cheshire East is an essential aspect of daily life, with options including walking, scooting, cycling, public transport and car sharing. Walking and cycling are proven to be good for physical and mental health and the council wants to work with schools and parents to promote more physical activity to help create stronger, healthier and more vibrant communities.

Cheshire East is encouraging schools and colleges to have a travel plan – a document which sets out the measures and initiatives they will use to reduce car journeys and promote other ways of getting to school in safer, healthier and more environmentally-sustainable ways. 

The sustainable modes of travel to school strategy  was prepared following a review of school travel plans and found the following issues:

  • Cars parking on both sides of the road outside the school, limiting visibility for pedestrians;
  • Inappropriate vehicle speeds outside school and in the surrounding area;
  • Limited footpaths on non-designated available walking routes to school; and
  • Lack of suitable, secure cycle-parking spaces.

Frank Jordan, executive director of place at Cheshire East Council, said: “Our draft Smots strategy identifies current travel patterns and the barriers parents encounter when they want to travel in a more sustainable way.  It proposes a range of mechanisms and support from the Council to help schools address these barriers.

“Before adopting the strategy, we are asking for comments and feedback to find out if schools and residents and our partners agree with the document’s aims and content.”

The consultation opens on 15 February and closes on 29 March. For more details and to complete the online survey, visit: email: or ring 0300 123 5500.

Road repairs highest priority for council’s highways service

Cheshire East Council’s highways service is working flat out to deal with the increasing number of road defects caused by fluctuating winter temperatures. 

Each day, Cheshire East Highways teams are repairing an average of 150 road defects, including potholes, and re-surfacing up to 300 square metres of highway to make the borough’s roads safe for residents.

Defects are categorised according to a national standard of acceptable road surface quality.

The council recognises that residents are concerned about the number of potholes appearing on our roads and our highways service is working throughout the borough to address the problem on a priority basis.

The council is directing additional resources by increasing the number of teams tackling potholes from 12 to 19.  

Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said: “We are in a similar position to many other local authorities.

“Repeated fluctuations in weather conditions – from above to below freezing – coupled with heavy rainfall, create the worst possible conditions for road surfaces, and result in an increase in the number of potholes.

“I would like our residents to be aware that we are working each day to address this problem. However, cold and wet weather conditions are not conducive to carrying out effective and lasting repairs. This means that in order to ensure the roads remain safe, some of the works are of a temporary nature.

“It has always been our policy, and that of other authorities, to work this way. The bulk of our annual road repair budget is invested in the summer months when working conditions are better and we can deliver longer, lasting repairs.

“All reported potholes and road defects are inspected and we have directed additional resources towards tackling the problem. We have a code of practice which states that necessary repairs are completed within a specified timescale and we have a reporting tool on the Cheshire East highways website so that our residents can alert us to a new defect.

“Over the last four years, we have invested £35m to maintain our road network and we will continue to invest in our roads to make them safe.”

People can report any issues directly to us via our online reporting tool at: or by calling 0300 1235020.

The council’s code of practice can be accessed at:

Sunday 11 February 2018


AN exciting line-up of original art, new gadgets and thought-provoking talks from technology experts has been unveiled for a forthcoming free event bridging the digital and artistic worlds.

‘CONVERGENCE’ is a symposium developed by two Cheshire organisations SHIFT and WEAVE and will take place at Macclesfield Town Hall on Tuesday, February 13, from 12pm to 8.30pm.

The event is open to anyone to attend, from technology and arts professionals to those who simply have a curiosity. Throughout the day there will be an eclectic range of speakers, group discussion sessions and an opportunity for attendees to wander and experience an exhibition of installations for themselves.

Among the featured installations at CONVERGENCE are:

● A virtual reality film reflecting on the trial of famed computer scientist Alan Turing

● A digital sculpture by acclaimed Liverpool-based artist Laurence Payot, who created an interactive art installation at Crewe train station last year.

‘The Dreamer is still asleep’ sound installation, which has been a key feature at the National Trust’s Little Moreton Hall near Congleton.

One of the key aims of the event is to demonstrate how the digital and art worlds can be fused together to develop new technologies that captivate and inspire people. Amongst the speakers are representatives from Siemens, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) and the University of Salford.

SHIFT is a council-backed programme celebrating all things digital in Cheshire East, responsible for promoting the event.

Its programme manager Marieke Navin said: “Traditionally, people might have viewed the arts world and digital industries as being at polar opposites but today that couldn’t be further from the truth. In the modern world, technology firms are seeking artistic flair and creativity from their employees,” she said.

“Our Symposium event – a convergence of digital and art – is shaping up to be an exciting event to inspire, stimulate new ideas and possible surprise people.”

Julian Cobley, Weave member and managing director of the Skills and Growth Company, added: “The creative digital sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Borough, with around 2,000 businesses and strengths in gaming, software, marketing and new media locally. This event is a great opportunity to find out more about the exciting new part of our economy”

Following an afternoon where as well as listening, engaging and sharing ideas, people will have a chance to network with industry professionals; at 6:30pm a Weave organised ‘Town Talk’ will be held.

This will showcase the proactive, community driven cultural scene and how this can be supported to deliver benefits beyond the arts community, for place-making, regeneration and the wider economy.  

For more information about the Symposium event, and to book your place, visit:

'The Perfecto Allstars'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

'The Perfecto Allstars' fund-raising concert took place at 'The Studio Nightclub & Entertainment Venue' on Castle Street in Nantwich on Friday 2nd February 2018.

Perfecto Records roster DJ's who played sets based around trance and house music were Nat Monday, Danny Stubbs, Zed White, and Scott Callis, along with local DJ Alex Brown. Nearly £400 was raised and all proceeds will go to the Down's Syndrome Association: .

It was the second Perfecto Records fund-raising concert at The Studio after the first event in November 2016 - which also celebrated 25 years of Perfecto Records – to raise money for Oliver ‘Moo Bear’ Callis, to help fund a trip to Disneyland. Oliver has Down’s syndrome.

Nigel Woodhouse, Director of Operations at The Studio, said: “It was great to have the Perfecto DJs back at The Studio and great to see them signing and supporting local talent and all for a great cause. Down’s syndrome has an effect on many families and every penny raised will help with the support they may need.”

The main event was preceded by a 'Perfecto Records Pre Party' earlier in the evening at 'The Talbot' on Oatmarket in Nantwich. The Pre Party featured The Talbot’s in-house ‘Zoo’ DJ’s - Romes, Wills and Brero - who played a range of trance and house music. They put on this extra event for charity. They perform a ‘ZooFest’ event at The Talbot on the last Saturday every other month. Their next ‘ZooFest’ is during the Bank Holiday weekend on Sunday 1st April 2018 from midday until 1am.

The events were organised by Perfecto Records in association with SOS (Speed of Sound) to raise funds for the Downs Syndrome Association who support people with Down’s syndrome to live full and rewarding lives.

Scott Callis, Event organiser, said: “We had a fantastic show of support from all over the country. Many thanks to those whom supported/donated. We look forward to hosting future events to aid other worthwhile causes.”

Zoo DJ at The Talbot

Flight Ticket Fraud Alert

Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

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Flight Ticket Fraud Alert

Flight Ticket Fraud
Fraudsters are attempting to entice victims who are looking for cheap flights abroad.
Victims have reported booking tickets via websites or a “popular” ticket broker, only to discover that after payment via bank transfer or electronic wire transfer, the tickets/booking references received are counterfeit. In some cases, all communications between the company or broker and the victim have been severed.
Fraudsters are targeting individuals who are seeking to travel to African nations and the Middle East, particularly those wishing to travel in time for popular public and religious holidays.
Prevention Advice:

  • Pay safe: Be cautious if you're asked to pay directly into a private individual’s bank account. Paying by direct bank transfer is like paying by cash – the money is very difficult to trace and is not refundable. Wherever possible, pay by credit card or a debit card.
  • Conduct research on any company you’re considering purchasing tickets from; for example, are there any negative reviews or forum posts by previous customers online? Don’t just rely on one review - do a thorough online search to check the company’s credentials.
  • Check any company website thoroughly; does it look professional? Are there any spelling mistakes or irregularities? There should be a valid landline phone number and a full postal address so that the company can be contacted. Avoid using the site if there is only a PO Box address and mobile phone number, as it could be difficult to get in touch after you buy tickets. PO Box addresses and mobile phone numbers are easy to change and difficult to trace.
  • Be aware that purchasing tickets from a third party, particularly when initial contact has been made via a social media platform can be incredibly risky.
  • If tickets to your intended destination appear cheaper than any other vendor, always consider this; if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Look for the logo: Check whether the company is a member of a recognised trade body such as ABTA or ATOL. You can verify membership of ABTA online, at
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Council commits to delivering earlier interventions

Cheshire East Council has committed to set up an early intervention framework that will provide services to help people to stay healthy for longer and ensure more efficient service delivery for residents.

This cross-service approach will enable Cheshire East and its providers to work together to pool resources and simplify the process of applying for funding, based around shared goals of value and service quality.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “This early framework is important to ensure that people are able to access the right support at the right time. It will help to improve the health of people in Cheshire East and reduce pressure on social care and health services.

“The new framework will support the council achieve its stated ambition of allowing more people of all ages and abilities to live independently and for longer.”

Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “This is an excellent example of a holistic approach to intervention, which will only benefit our children and young people. It will be especially pertinent when they transition to adult care.

“There are many obvious benefits for adopting this framework and I am delighted that we have made that commitment today.”

The framework is planned for implementation in the autumn.

Cheshire East takes great strides to reduce bed blocking in hospitals

Cheshire East hospital patients are among the least likely to be delayed being allowed home – according to national figures.

Statistics for October 2017 put Cheshire East top out of 151 local authority areas in England for avoiding ‘bed blocking’ – the term used to describe delays to people being discharged from hospital due to a lack of suitable NHS services or social care to support patients in the community. Figures for November also ranked the authority 85th out of 151 for performing well.

Cheshire East is also bucking the regional and national trend, which saw 89 out of 151 councils missing their target for beds being ‘blocked’ due to delayed transfers of care.

The ‘top table’ performance shows Cheshire East Council and its health partners in the NHS are working well together to provide the care that people need.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “This is excellent news for patients and their families as no one wants to be in hospital longer than is absolutely necessary. These new figures highlight how health staff and our care teams are working effectively together to improve outcomes for inpatients and freeing up vital beds for those awaiting hospital care.

“This is especially important during winter – when there is increased pressure on our hospitals. However, there can be no room for complacency and we know there is still work to be done to ensure better joined-up working between hospitals and the council’s care teams to ensure hospital beds are used efficiently and effectively to be available for those most in need.

“This collaborative work with our NHS colleagues is part of our joint commitment to provide the right care in the right place at the right time. As with wider adult social care support, we know that most people want to be cared for and supported at home – where practicable – and we are working with our health partners to achieve this and give people greater choice.

“As winter continues to really pinch, we also need all members of the public to play their part in helping us achieve this, by using A&E services wisely and using alternatives, where appropriate for less serious health matters, so as not to unduly burden our under-pressure emergency teams.”

Cheshire East’s performance in the latest reports is the result of new arrangements between hospitals and other care providers for planning the discharge of patients who are likely to have ongoing care and support needs after a hospital stay.

John Wilbraham, chair of the Eastern Cheshire A&E Delivery Board and chief executive of East Cheshire NHS Trust, said: “This good national ranking is a reflection of the Cheshire East health and social care systems working together to provide improved services for people.

“For advice on warding off winter ailments and choosing the right care at the right time, visit and search for ‘stay well this winter’.”

Tracy Bullock, chief executive of Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and chair of the Central Cheshire A&E Delivery Board, said: “Teams at Leighton Hospital have been working incredibly hard alongside local partners to ensure our patients do not stay in hospital for longer than they need to. As a result, our delayed transfers of care (DToC) rate has recently been the lowest it has ever been and at one stage was the best in the country.

“It’s pleasing to see the success of this collaborative working and, more importantly, that it is benefitting patients.”

Targets for reducing DToCs were introduced this year by the Department of Health and Department for Communities and Local Government to encourage the NHS and local government to work better together to reduce the number of people remaining in hospital because of health-related or social-care related delays.

Each month, local authorities receive their ranking regarding health and social care partner working together to reduce DToCs. Cheshire East was ranked top in October and 35th in September.

More information about staying well this winter can be found on the council’s website under Winter Wellbeing at:

Cheshire East’s sound finances on track to deliver value for residents

Cheshire East Council’s sound financial management is protecting frontline services and easing the pressure to find additional savings.

Cabinet today backed several key pre-budget reports that reveal the authority is on course to deliver a balanced budget in 2018-19, while protecting key frontline services and delivering on its core outcomes for residents.

It follows a pre-Budget Consultation 2018-21, launched in November, which set out initial proposals for how the council could target resources more effectively and save money – while achieving balanced finances. 

Key proposals include earmarking £2m from the New Homes Bonus scheme, to be used in our communities via a method under consideration.

Following extensive consultation, the proposed revenue budget is balanced for 2018-19 with net revenue spending of £267.9m and total capital investment of £326.1m identified over the next three years. A total of £197m is estimated to be spent over the next three years on maintaining and improving our highways network.

Cheshire East invited feedback from residents, businesses, councillors, staff, town and parish councils and other stakeholders to inform decisions. This consultation will be an ongoing process over the next three years.

As a listening authority, the council has reflected on people’s comments and amended some of its proposed savings. These include:

● Keeping all libraries open – axing proposals to close those in Alderley Edge, Disley and Prestbury;

● A reduction in the savings to be found from highways from £500,000 to £150,000; and

● Scaling back a reduction to bus route subsidies from £1.57m to £1.1m – ensuring 97 per cent of subsidised services are retained.

The latest financial reports take place against a challenging national background of an overall public sector deficit – which is being partly met by big reductions in government grants to councils – and rising demand for both adult social care and children in care.

For Cheshire East, this means expected reductions of central government grants, inflationary costs and rising demand totalling more than £70m over the next three years.

The council proposes to meet this financial challenge via a mix of tax increases and changing our service offer. The aim is to make the council financially self-sufficient by reducing its reliance on central government revenue support grant from £40m in 2015/16 to nil in 2020.

It is now proposed to increase Council Tax by 5.99 per cent to invest in essential frontline services. This would add up to £1.28 per week to the average household Council Tax bill. A Band D property bill would rise from £1,324.92 to £1,404.28 – an increase of £1.53 per week.

Importantly, three per cent of the proposed tax rise will boost services for the vulnerable elderly. It follows a similar 4.99 per cent increase in 2017 and a 3.75 per cent increase in 2016, after five years of Council Tax freeze.

Tough choices have to be made, once again, to ensure Cheshire East can target services to people who need them most. Locally funding services puts control back with local people but also comes with the responsibility to fund them in a sustainable way.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “These reports, backed by cabinet, outline how the council has continued to build on the achievements of recent years and maintains strong overall financial health, performance, resilience and value for money.

“This financial year presented a number of challenges for all UK local authorities, as issues such as inflation and increasing demand in care services for children and adults were compounded by falls in government funding – a funding reduction totalling £12.4m for Cheshire East. This is set to fall by a further £12.9m in 2018/19.

“In Cheshire East, the number of residents receiving care and support from adult social care is increasing by four per cent a year and the number of children in social care placements has increased by 17 per cent in the last year, in line with other councils.

“Adult social care services across the whole country experienced rising caseloads and increasing complexity of care needs, as well as rising costs from minimum wage requirements for care providers. However, these factors were particularly significant for Cheshire East, as the number of people aged over 65 is already above the national average – and is rising faster than average.

“The council’s net expenditure on adult social care services was almost £100m in 2016/17, which is equivalent to three-times the required spending on any other service area. This council will always prioritise services for vulnerable people, despite the financial challenges. But this means other services will have to deliver savings.

“Robust action is being taken across the authority to reduce budgetary pressures and ensure balanced finances – as we have successfully done in previous years. And we will be lobbying the government again to ensure future financial settlements will continue to allow us to achieve this, while protecting essential frontline services.

“We are aware, however, that local areas have differing priorities and, to support this, the budget contains a proposal to set aside £2m of revenue from the New Homes Bonus over the next two years.

“Against a backdrop of challenging circumstances, it is pleasing to note the council is set to deliver a financial outturn within 0.05 per cent of its net budget in 2017-18, in line with our forecast, with a projected overspend of just £100,000 out of a net budget of £264.8m. It is also delivering significant achievements against the council’s corporate plan and wider business plans that will help ensure Cheshire East remains a great place to live, work, visit and do business.”

Jan Willis, Cheshire East Council’s director of finance and procurement, said: “There is a fine balance between making efficiencies in services and still enabling services to meet residents’ needs. This council will continue to look for innovative ways to make every pound deliver the best outcome for local people.”

Cheshire East Council is the third-largest unitary authority in the North West, responsible for delivering more than 500 services, supporting more than 370,000 local residents.

● The budget and Council Tax for 2018-19 will be decided by a vote of elected members at the February 22 meeting of full council.

Cheshire East to retain evening bus services

Vital local evening bus services running in Crewe, Sandbach, Macclesfield, Middlewich and Congleton are being retained.

All subsidised evening services in Cheshire East were due to be withdrawn following proposals last year, but the 6E, 8, 37 and 38 bus routes will continue to operate. The changes follow a widespread consultation, which resulted in a raft of positive developments to the supported bus network.

Monday to Saturday evening bus times for the 8 service, which runs from Sydney, Crewe, Wistaston and the 37, from Winsford to Sandbach, will remain the same. The 6E service, which runs from Leighton Hospital to Shavington, will now finish after the hospital’s 8pm visiting time has ended.

The 38 Macclesfield-to-Crewe service via Congleton and Sandbach, which residents had thought would be finishing in the early evening, will continue with the same Monday to Saturday evening timetable. The evening 8 service and part of the 38 service will be operated commercially.

There is good news for residents using our more rural services, particularly in areas such as Bunbury, Bulkeley and Tiverton, with the new 70 service now going to run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through those villages.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to retain evening services on these key routes.

“Our bus network is the lifeblood for many of our residents, whether it’s travelling to work or college, visiting relatives in our local hospitals or simply keeping in touch with friends and family.

“As an authority that is actively encouraging residents to live independent and longer, healthier lives, I am very pleased to be able to share this news today.”

The changes to Cheshire East’s bus services will be effective from 1 April.

Archers story editor brings his touring play to Tarporley on 27 February

For one night only, one of the main writers behind Radio Four’s famed series about country life is bringing his new play to Tarporley Community Hall on 27th February 2018 at 7.30pm.
Graham Harvey, for twenty years the Agricultural Story Editor of The Archers and writer of more than 600 episodes, has brought to the stage the true tale of an unlikely Cotswold hero and an enduring romance.
‘No Finer Life’ is set in the Oxfordshire countryside at the end of World War Two, rich in tradition and full of vivid, memorable characters. The story follows a young Somerset land girl as she sets off in search of a best selling author in the darkest days of war.
The story moves between the 1940s and the current day, reflecting that the love of the countryside, the need to protect it and issues of national identity, are timeless.
Graham Harvey will be taking part in an after-show conversation – included in the ticket price -where he will discuss the issues in the play…and of course all things Ambridge!
The central character Elizabeth is played by Rebecca Bailey and the show is directed by James Le Lacheur, who has recently spent a year in London’s West End in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
The show features new live music composed and performed by Alastair Collingwood, who has written scores for numerous theatre shows, including Betty in London’s West End, directed by Kathy Burke, and Cora with Dana Gillespie, which also toured the USA.
The show is being brought to Tarporley with the support of the Cheshire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and tickets can be purchased online directly from the production's website ( or from the CPRE Cheshire office (at and will also include a glass of complimentary wine during the interval.
For any further details please see CPRE Cheshire's website or email

High Court dismisses Muller appeal

A High Court judge has backed Cheshire East’s Local Plan for shaping future development in the borough by throwing out an appeal from a developer.

The legal challenge to the Local Plan by Muller Strategic Projects was dismissed after the court considered that there was no arguable case.

The challenge followed the adoption of the Local Plan Strategy in July 2017 and claimed that irregularities in air quality data had affected the selection of sites and distribution of development in the plan.

This assertion was summarily dismissed by the High Court. The judgement concluded that shortcomings in air quality data did not affect the substance of the Local Plan. Accordingly, the claim was found to be ‘not arguable.’

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “I am delighted that the court has found in our favour and that the challenge to our local plan has been dismissed.

“We were convinced that acknowledged shortcomings in parts of our air quality data had no bearing on the Local Plan – and this view has now been confirmed by the court.

“We can now proceed with certainty to properly plan for the new homes, jobs and infrastructure this borough needs – whilst ensuring we have strong policies to protect the character and quality of our local environment.”

FiRELiNK eNewsletter - February 2018

Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

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FiRELiNK eNewsletter - February 2018

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

Fantastic 4th place in Stonewall's Top 100

CFRS staff celebrate fourth place in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers index 2018 The Service has rocketed into the top five of LGBT charity Stonewall's prestigious Top 100 Employers list for 2018.

We've jumped four places from our 2017 8th place to a fantastic 4th position. We are also, once again, the best performing emergency service in the UK due to our efforts to engage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff, volunteers and communities.

This is the sixth consecutive year that we have featured in the Top 100, which assesses organisations ranging from local authorities to international investment banks against criteria including engagement with staff and communities, training and leadership.

For more information - Fantastic 4th place in Stonewall's Top 100

Cooking safely in foodie February

Pan on fire

It’s all about food and cooking this February and we want to make sure that everyone enjoys the month safely.

Children across the region will be on half term this month and may be spending more time in the kitchen, families will be enjoying pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, February 13, and some couples will be enjoying romantic home-cooked meals for Valentine's Day on February 14.

In light of these events taking place in February we are urging everyone to think safety first when cooking to ensure your culinary delights don’t turn into a disaster.

For more information - Cooking safely in foodie February

Could you be an on-call firefighter?


Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is recruiting for on-call firefighters at the following fire stations: Alsager, Audlem, Bollington, Frodsham, Holmes Chapel, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Malpas, Middlewich, Penketh, Stockton Heath, Tarporley, Wilmslow and Winsford Fire Stations.

Could you be an on-call firefighter?

We're looking for enthusiastic individuals with common sense, the ability to work as part of a team and able to deal with physically and emotionally demanding situations. Qualifications aren't necessary, applicants just need to be at least 18 years old and physically and medically fit with good hearing and eyesight.

Potential recruits also need to be able to reach their local fire station within five minutes of home or work and have a real interest in the fire and rescue service and helping in the community. The role attracts an average income in the region of £5000 a year.

Find out more - On-call firefighter recruitment

Country roads - deadlier than you THINK!

Country roads Think campaign

We're supporting the THINK! country roads campaign. This campaign warns drivers of the dangers of country roads, using the strapline: 'brake before the bend, not on it’.

59% of fatal road accidents occur on country roads. In 2015, 10,307 people were killed or seriously injured on country roads in Great Britain.

The highest contributory factor to killed or seriously injured casualties on rural roads is loss of control, which is frequently associated with inappropriate speed at bends.

These roads often have sharp bends, blind bends and unexpected hazards. So brake before the bend to give yourself time to react and stay in control.

For more information - Country roads - deadlier than you THINK!

Chester businesses benefit from advice visits

Impact Day - Chester

Over 450 businesses in Chester city centre have benefited from personalised advice visits by officers from Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The Business Advice Impact Day was organised by the Council and officers also handed out copies of a new business advice booklet for city centre businesses.

For more information - Impact day in Chester

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An evening with Steve Leonard’

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Wistaston Scouts are holding ‘An evening with Steve Leonard’ event at St Mary’s Parish Hall, Wistaston on Friday 16th February 2018 (7:30pm for 8pm). Steve has travelled the globe, working as a vet and TV presenter alongside some of the world’s most iconic wildlife, from whales to flesh eating maggots. His talk will walk you through what it is like to deliver an elephant enema! Tickets = £5 for adults, £2.50 for under 16s. All proceeds to the new Wistaston Scout Centre. Tickets available from Leonard Brothers Veterinary Practice in Wistaston and Whitchurch, a member of Wistaston Scouts or via

An evening with Steve Leonard – Fri 16 Feb 2018 - poster

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society

Reporter J White

The Andrews Panto & Plays Society (TAPPS) performed the pantomime 'Aladdin' at St Andrew's Church Hall, Bedford Street, Crewe in mid-January this year.

Aladdin featured a wonderful mixture of song, dance, slapstick, silliness, and audience participation. There were also refreshments during the interval and a raffle. Aladdin played to 370 people over five performances.

Aladdin made a £927 profit which will be divided between local charities and St Andrew’s Church. St Andrew’s Church plans to buy a projector and a screen so they can hold regular film presentations in the Church Hall for the benefit of the local community.

TAPPS Panto Director Fred Allman said: "Many have said that Aladdin was our best panto yet and we do seem to get better each year. We have played to our largest audiences with Aladdin.  Over the last three years we have raised £1,600. The marvellous amount raised this year will take that total way over the £2,000 mark - a great effort by everyone involved.”

TAPPS was formed in 2014 and this was their fourth pantomime. Along with stage productions TAPPS also have a social side which includes theatre visits, country walks and dining out. If you are interested in joining TAPPS please contact Fred Allman on telephone number: 07949524798.

TAPPS Aladdin 2018 thank you  presentation to Panto Director Fred Allman

Saturday 3 February 2018

Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators - Spotting The Signs of Modern Day Slavery

Cheshire Constabulary

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Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators - Spotting The Signs of Modern Day Slavery

Dear Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator,
Many of your schemes were set up to raise awareness about crime in your area, to encourage neighbourliness and in particular to try to reduce incidents of burglary, theft and anti social behaviour.  These crimes still occur across the communities of Cheshire, however in recent years the police and other community safety partners have had to deal with new crimes, Modern Day Slavery is one of these.
The Cheshire Anti-Slavery Network CIC connects the various agencies involved in tackling modern day slavery in Cheshire and beyond.  Please take a few minutes to consider the points in this e mail and encourage your members and the wider community to be aware.  This is a crime happening in Cheshire now and we need your help in reporting suspicious incidents to us.

What Is Modern Slavery?  Spot the Signs

Here are some of the signs that could help you spot a potential victim of trafficking.

If you do suspect someone is a potential victim, please call Cheshire Police on 101 or if someone is in immediate danger, please call 999. There is also a 24 Referral Helpline hosted by the Salvation Army on 0300 3038151.

  • Be fearful of police/authorities
  • Be unaware they have been trafficked and believe they are simply in a bad job
  • Have no identity documents in their personal possession, and little or no finances of their own
  • Exhibit signs of psychological trauma
  • Have limited freedom of movement and are unable to leave their place of work
  • Have limited access to medical care
  • Seem to be in debt to someone
  • Be regularly moved to avoid detection
  • Have limited freedom of movement and are unable to leave their place of work
  • Be fearful of the trafficker or those they are working for
If you would like to gain a wider understanding about this crime in Cheshire please look at the Cheshire Anti-Slavery Network web site:

Really useful advice from Take Five To Stop Fraud Week

Neighbourhood Watch

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Really useful advice from Take Five To Stop Fraud Week


22-26 JANUARY 2018

Neighbourhood Watch is proud to be supporting Take Five To Stop Fraud Week.
Take Five To Stop Fraud Week is part of the national campaign from Financial Fraud Action UK and the Government, backed by the banking industry coming together to tackle fraud.
The advice being issued this week is really simple but it can stop you becoming a victim of fraud.

  1. A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by.
  2. Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
  3. Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

Please share the attached leaflet with friends and family and together we can help stop fraud.

To read more about the campaign and to access all the resources go to

Cheshire East flies the rainbow flag for LGBT history month

Cheshire East Council is supporting LGBT history month by flying the rainbow flag for the whole of February at its three main council buildings in Sandbach, Crewe and Macclesfield.

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality.

The focus of this year’s LGBT history month is ‘Geography: mapping the world’, which celebrates the fact that Australia and 16 other countries across Central and South America will start holding same sex weddings this year.

Mark Palethorpe, acting executive director of people and chair of the council’s equality and diversity group, said: We want to promote equality and diversity, valuing everyone and improving public services. We want Cheshire East to be a place where everyone has a fair chance, free from discrimination and be able to participate in their community.

“Raising the flag for a month is an important commitment to make but we realise that there is much more that needs to be achieved. Our aim is to make equality and diversity an integral part of the way the council works and promoting LGBT history month is just one way we are doing this.”

Councillor Stewart Gardiner, equality and diversity champion for Cheshire East, said: “The LGBT history month is a very important part of the LGBT calendar and I am delighted that we are supporting it.

“I was also pleased to see that our partners Cheshire Fire and Rescue and Cheshire police feature at number four and number 26 respectively in a recent list of the top 100 employers achieving acceptance without exception for LGBT people. It gives us even greater incentive to achieve more at Cheshire East.”

Manufacturers offered help to prepare for Brexit

Local manufacturers are invited to a free Cheshire East Council-backed event to help them plan and prepare for Brexit.

The workshop, entitled ‘Preparing your manufacturing business for Brexit’ will be held on Thursday 22 February, from 8am to11.30am, at Sandbach business Delta Balustrades, which makes and installs balustrades and handrail systems.

This event is organised by the council’s arm-length Skills and Growth Company, in partnership with Manufacturing Growth Fund initiative. It will offer an outline of what Brexit means for small and medium manufacturing firms, providing them with the tools and know-how to start preparing now.

Speakers will provide an outline of the implications of Brexit for British manufacturers, advice on import and export processes, negotiating the best currency deals and opening up new markets.

Attendees can also take part in workshops to help them grasp the practical implications of Brexit and put together a plan for their business.

There will also be a chance to seek further specialised advice from the event’s speakers, and explore how the Manufacturing Growth Fund could help with funding of up to 30 per cent for eligible projects, including those that lead to job creation, help to develop new products or services and drive up productivity.

Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, said: “While trade deals and timelines are to be negotiated, there are preparations that businesses need to start making now, to ensure they are best prepared. Developing a plan to prepare for Brexit now, no matter what the outcome of negotiations, will ensure that you are able to service your customers and continue with business as usual.

“I urge all businesses – in particular those manufacturing goods for export or who rely on imported components – to attend.”

To book a place on the event, visit

Jodrell Bank nominated for Unesco World Heritage status

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Jodrell Bank and for Cheshire East. It is so important that we protect its rich heritage and celebrate its work both now and in the future.

“Jodrell Bank observatory is a vital asset to this borough, the nation and the international scientific community and it is fantastic that its global impact and value have been recognised with nomination by the British government for Unesco World Heritage status.

“The Lovell radio telescope is an icon of science and engineering and a sight of it never fails to fire the imagination and generate a deep sense of wonder. The telescope, its visitor centre and the observatory’s scientists have inspired countless youngsters and generations of scientists with the limitless possibilities of the universe and science. It has also drawn large numbers of visitors to our borough over the years.

“Making Jodrell Bank observatory a World Heritage site would be a fitting recognition for this unique, inspirational and much-loved landmark. It also exemplifies what makes Cheshire East so special as a place to live, work and visit.”