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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Cheshire East Council works to safely reopen play areas and outdoor gyms


Following recent Government guidance, Cheshire East Council is working to ensure the safe reopening of its play areas and outdoor gyms.

The guidance being followed is complex and involves risk assessments of all play areas so that visitors are protected as much as possible. The council has more than 150 play area facilities and each one brings slightly different challenges in ensuring they can reopen safely, it’s not a straight forward or quick thing to do.

Cheshire East Council is working with Ansa, its wholly-owned environment services company, and its parks team to do all they can to ensure users of the play areas and outdoor gym equipment will be as safe as possible against the risk of the coronavirus by adhering to all the necessary prevention and protection measures. 

Due to the scale of the task and the time needed to carry out thorough risk assessments, the council will reopen facilities on a phased basis. The aim is to reopen the larger facilities first, but this will be dependent on whether the appropriate measures can be put in place.

Play areas and outdoor gym equipment at the following places will re-open from Monday 6 July:

· Adlington Road, Bollington Recreation Ground, Bollington

· Alderley Park, Ryleys Lane, Alderley

· Barony Park, Barony Road, Nantwich

· Boddingtons play area, The Carrs, Chancel Road, Wilmslow

· Congleton Park, Park Road, Congleton

· Fountains Field, Middlewich

· Meriton Road Park, Meriton Road, Handforth

· Milton Park, Crewe Road, Alsager

· Queens Park, Victoria Avenue, Crewe

· Sandbach Park, The Commons, Sandbach

· South Park, Macclesfield

· The Moor, Moorside, Knutsford

· Victoria Park, York Street, Macclesfield

· West Park, Prestbury Road, Macclesfield

· Westminster Street, Crewe

Other facilities will re-open as soon as possible.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for green space, said: “I know that many children across the borough have greatly missed using our play areas, especially in the nice weather that we’ve had recently. These thoughts are echoed by the many residents who have been keen to further their fitness routine in our outdoor gym areas.

“I’d like to thank everyone for adhering to government advice and for respecting the closures that we had to put in place.    

“The news that we are able to start re-opening our facilities was very welcomed but I urge residents to be patient as we work hard to risk assess all the areas and to take the appropriate action that is required to make areas as safe as possible for all. It is not simply a case of reopening gates and taking down closed signs”

“Our parks teams are working through the many new measures needed, in light of the current Coronavirus pandemic. Users of the facilities will be reminded of the need to keep a distance from other users and parents should take responsibility for their children and ensure they play apart from others, are respectful of queues for play equipment and play considerately, by not hogging equipment that others are waiting for.

“Food will not be allowed in or around the play areas and all users, including children, will need to remember to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser after using the equipment. It is important that users follow our guidance and use the areas responsibly, so everyone can enjoy them.  

“The phased approached that we are taking means that the first date that some of our facilities will be ready is Monday 6 July. This date is slightly later than the provisional date given by the government.

“We understand that this may be frustrating to some residents, but I would urge everyone to have patience and only use our facilities when we have assessed them, and they are as safe as possible to do so.”

Information about the phased re-opening of the facilities on the council’s website https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/leisure,_culture_and_tourism/parks_and_gardens/parks_and_gardens.aspx on the Council’s website.

Information and reminders about the re-opening will feature on Cheshire East Council’s social media pages. Please follow @CheshireEastCouncil on Facebook and @CheshireEast on Twitter to keep up-to-date

Al-fresco dining prepares for green light as government regulations ease


Restrictions on bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs will be lifted tomorrow on 4 July, as these businesses prepare to reopen their doors to the public. The Government are bringing forward new legislation to make the process for pavement licences easier.

The council are reacting to this changing legislation and preparing to introduce new licensing and planning measures for those businesses, seeking to utilise outdoor pedestrian areas, for alfresco drinking and eating.

We are urging businesses across Cheshire East who are interested to make relevant preparations and readying information needed, providing assurance on social distancing as a result of Covid-19. This will have considerable impact on the number of customers and consequently on business viability.

Instead of having to apply for three different forms of consent, application for a single pavement license under a new streamlined, low cost process will be introduced in the coming weeks.

Businesses should start to consider if and how they are going to utilise eating and dining areas, developing proposals ready to submit to the council. This will include contacting the council for highways information and submitting clear furniture images and insurance documentation.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for highways and waste, said: “We are urging hospitality businesses to check if the area they want to utilise is part of the adopted highway, getting a scaled plan which shows the proposed space to apply for a license.

“Indication of type of furniture businesses want to use will also be needed, as well as public liability insurance cover to use part of the highway. We advise checking with your provider if your policy will need amending, making sure you have evidence of public liability insurance for the area you want to use.”

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “For these types of businesses, access to outdoor alfresco space will encourage a slow but steady start to the local economy.

“Many can only look to utilise adjacent public areas, whether on footpaths, pedestrianised streets, parking bays or other amenity areas. If this is the case, then businesses should make relevant preparations with the council to ensure a smooth transition to accommodate customers.”

Scam - the More You Know the Safer You Are

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Cheshire Constabulary

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Scam - the More You Know the Safer You Are


Good morning,
I hope that you are well and are enjoying the sunshine that we are having today!
Unfortunately, we have had a few scams in our local area.
Would you know a SCAM if you saw one? The truth is, is that scammers make it very difficult for us to tell what is legit and what isn't.
Thankfully 'The Little Book Of Big Scams' can give us an insight on some of the types of SCAMS going on around in the area and how we can protect ourselves from this happening.
https://www.met.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/central/advice/fraud/met/the-little-book-of-big-scams.pdf
If you haven't got the time to read any of this from the link that we provide today, please take away one thing from this email - If it doesn't feel right then it probably isn't, and whether someone is calling you or emailing you - you can always just STOP and report it. You do not have to stay in contact with them because you feel pressured.
Your safety and the safety of your personal details is our priority.
You can call 101 to report this or 999 in an emergency.
You should ALWAYS contact your bank if in any doubt that money has left your account through a SCAM.
Thank you for your time.
We're here for you because we care.

ERDF funding offered to help Cheshire East Council welcome all back to high streets


6 July 2020

Cheshire East Council has been offered up to £339,533 from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the safe reopening of its high streets. As shops, restaurants, cafes and bars begin to reopen the council is working to prepare the borough’s high streets for more visitors returning.

Temporary highways measures, including road closures and Covid19 social distancing signage has been in place across 16 high streets since Monday 15 June. Many have been adapted following more recent changes to national guidelines on social distancing. These measures will also now sit alongside friendly ‘Welcome Back – We’ve missed you’ campaign material consisting of rainbow banners, signage and bunting which will be displayed in 11 high streets over the coming week. The council’s preparations have had the much-appreciated support of Town and Parish Councils who are working collaboratively with the council to make their high streets more welcoming.

Cllr Laura Crane Cabinet Member for Highways and Waste said: “The council has installed a number of temporary highway measures around our high streets to enable people to adhere to social distancing requirements and return to our town centres safely.

“We would like to again reiterate our thanks to the town and parish councils who have informed the temporary measures that have been put in place to make our high streets safe.

“Following the weekend – which saw the government’s social distancing restrictions ease – we must remember that some members of our community are not as confident as others.

“Some people may be coming to the shops for the first time in over 100 days. These temporary measures in place are there to help build both their confidence and that of our businesses.”

Cllr Nick Mannion, Cabinet Member for Environment and Regeneration said: “We are continuing to listen to feedback about the temporary highway measures and are looking to find ways to support our high streets and businesses into recovery.

“The ‘Welcome back – We’ve missed you’ campaign is designed with our business and visitors at the heart of it and aims to make a more welcoming atmosphere in our towns.

“The pandemic has deeply affected our communities and local economy and we would encourage everyone who feels confident to do so, to shop locally and support your local high street at this difficult time.”

The latest temporary highway measures for each high street can be seen on the council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_information/coronavirus/high-street-social-distancing-measures.aspx

Notes to editors

European Regional Development Fund

Up to £339,533 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 is to be made available to the Council for projects aimed at reopening high streets safely. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

Cheshire East Council launches plan to manage potential local outbreaks of Covid-19


Cheshire East Council has published a document that outlines the plans it has made should there be a local outbreak of Covid-19. 

This plan, part of the government’s national Covid-19 test, trace, contain and enable recovery strategy, will ensure that an effective and coordinated approach is in place for the prevention, rapid detection and management of any coronavirus outbreaks within Cheshire East.

This plan will protect all residents, including the most vulnerable and sets out how the council will work together with local care homes, schools, healthcare settings, local businesses and others most at risk.

It is understood that the UK has passed the peak of transmission and case numbers have been decreasing overall. However, this is not a time to be complacent.

As national restrictions are relaxed it is even more important that Cheshire East residents support controls to help protect their families, friends and neighbours from the risk of a local outbreak – and everyone has a role to play. This is reflected in the situation in Leicester, which is subject to a local lockdown due to a local increase in cases.

Cheshire East Council’s Covid-19 outbreak prevention, management and support plan explains how the council will:

● Work to prevent Covid-19 transmission in community settings;

● Identify and notify a local outbreak;

● Manage a local outbreak;

● Declare the end of a local outbreak; and

● Support vulnerable residents who have tested positive and are self-isolating

Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “The UK is experiencing a pandemic that has shaken the country and sadly, at time of writing, resulted in more than 43,000 people losing their lives from Covid-19.  

“However, case numbers are decreasing and national restrictions have been relaxed as we saw the reopening of pubs and restaurants this weekend and our play areas and libraries reopened locally today. The virus is still out there, however, and we need to remain vigilant and take precautions.

“Each and every resident has a part to play in helping prevent a local outbreak by supporting our plans and following the test and trace protocol, to protect themselves, their family and friends. It’s through supporting each other and your local council that we will continue to win this fight against the coronavirus, to make sure we don’t have to put this outbreak plan into place.”

Dr Matt Tyrer, Cheshire East’s director of public health, said: “Covid-19 transmission and outbreaks can be prevented through good hygiene practice such as regular hand washing, where this isn’t possible using hand sanitiser and adhering to social distancing measures. This prevention advice remains the most effective and important course of action to take in preventing a local outbreak in Cheshire East.”

An outbreak is defined as two or more cases, who may have tested positive for Covid-19 within the same 14-day period, in people who either work together or have visited a place together. Contact tracing and subsequent testing will activate an outbreak notification process and our outbreak management plan will be put into action.”

A summary of Cheshire East Council’s plan is available on their website  https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/council_information/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid-19.aspx

Protect yourself and your family and friends by getting a coronavirus test if you have symptoms of a persistent cough, fever or loss of taste and smell by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. Protect your community by then self-isolating for 14 days if you have symptoms or if alerted to do so by a contact tracer.

Cheshire East cabinet approve the next step towards the Middlewich Eastern Bypass scheme


Cheshire East Council’s cabinet (7 July) have authorised the council to make a compulsory purchase order and side road order to enable the delivery of the project.

Initial construction work was scheduled to start in 2021, with an estimated 20-month period, subject to planning, land agreements and funding approvals.

However, due to the severe wet weather experienced this past winter and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ground investigation works have been delayed and won’t now be complete to later this year.

The impact of this delay has pushed the start of construction into winter 2021/22, with an estimated 22-month construction period. The bypass is anticipated to open in 2023.

The scheme designers (Jacobs) have managed to mitigate some of the delay by reducing the amount of imported material to construct the bypass. In effect this has shortened the construction period and overall programme, saving approximately £3.5 million in construction costs.

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This scheme will be a tremendous asset to Middlewich and the surrounding areas. The planned 2.6km, two-way single carriageway road will connect to Cledford Lane and the A533 to the south-east. 

“The plans will also support the delivery of housing and employment in the town and include a combined cycleway and footway, as a demonstration of our commitment to active travel.”

Residents who have concerns about this scheme can visit: https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/highways_and_roads/roadworks/major-projects/middlewich-eastern-bypass/middlewich-eastern-bypass.aspx for more information.

Dementia and Alzheimers - Herbert Protocol

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Cheshire Constabulary

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Dementia and Alzheimers - Herbert Protocol - Find Out More on How We Can Support You


Good afternoon,
We know that caring for people with Dementia or Alzheimer's can be challenging.
There's a risk they can at some point start to 'walk about'. This may only be into the garden or street for a short time, but some people can get lost and go missing. So planning ahead to keep them safe is really important.
We'd like to tell you about the Herbert Protocol - a free service that we provide.
The Herbert Protocol is a form that carers, family or friends of a vulnerable person can fill in.
It contains a list of information to help the police if the person goes missing, including:
•medication required
•mobile numbers
•places previously located
•a recent photograph
You'll find the form at the bottom of this page.
Keeping a completed form saves the worry of trying to recall the information during the stressful time of someone going missing. It also saves time for the police, allowing the search to start sooner.
The initiative is named after George Herbert, a war veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia. He died whilst 'missing', trying to find his childhood home.
The form can be accessed using the link provided :-
https://www.cheshire.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/central/advice/herbert-protocol/cheshire/herbert-protocol-form.pdf
We're happy to assist anyone who needs a form printing out and can send this in the post if this makes this easier for you or those affected who do not have access to a computer or a printer.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email lizzie.jolley@cheshire.pnn.police.uk and I will happily assist you where I can or find the answers for anything else.
We understand that discussing this topic is not always the easiest, but have seen the benefits of having a profile in place for family members/neighbours to ensure that we know what we need to know, should they need us to help to find them.
More information can be accessed using the link below.
https://www.cheshire.police.uk/herbertprotocol
I'd like to thank you for your time today and hope that you are having a wonderful day.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Active travel to play its role in Cheshire East’s Covid-19 recovery


Cheshire East Council is stepping up its focus on active travel as part of its plans to support the borough through the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the last few weeks town and parish councils and local ward members have submitted more than 500 local ideas as to what measures may work in their towns and villages. The council is now developing a series of projects, informed by these ideas, that will be delivered this summer, including:

● Pop-up cycle lanes, with protected spaces for cycling;

● Measures to reduce rat-running in streets;

● Improved walking and cycling routes to school;

● Safer junctions, with the potential for bus and cycle-only corridors;

● Implementing lower speed limits; and

● Wider pavements, which also enables social distancing.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways, said: “I would like to reiterate my thanks to everyone who has worked with us so quickly to submit ideas and proposals regarding active travel on behalf of our towns and villages.

“People’s travel behaviour has changed during the lockdown. We have seen an increase in more people walking and cycling in our borough and as more people turn to these active ways of travel, we need to work together to provide safe spaces for people to carry out these journeys.

“We will continue to work with the town and parish councils to develop, review and refine these measures.

“Due to the short timescales surrounding these schemes, any implementation will be done on an experimental basis. This means we can amend and improve the schemes as we go, before anything permanent is put into place.

“Our aim is to deliver schemes that are right for each town and developed in partnership with each local area.”

Councillor Suzie Akers Smith, Cheshire East Council’s walking and cycling champion, said: “There are long-term benefits to our health and environment by taking up daily active travel throughout our borough.

“There has never been a better time to walk or cycle – especially shorter journeys included as part of our daily activity or Footstep Friday and Cycle Saturday for weekly journeys. This type of activity helps to forge greener habits.

“Not only will the uptake of active travel reduce congestion and improve air quality across the borough, they will help us tackle our ambition to fight climate change.”

Detailed plans for active town measures are being developed now and will be published ahead of their implementation on the council website over the coming weeks.

Phase two of discretionary fund open for small eligible businesses


Cheshire East Council has launched the second phase of the local discretionary grant scheme, which will open for applications at 8am on Friday 26 June.

The council has already implemented a first phase of this grant scheme which closed on 15 June. We received over 450 applications from small business which are currently being assessed.

Having received feedback on this scheme a second phase will be open for a period of two weeks to allow businesses to apply for funding. This phase will close at 8am on the 10 July 2020.

This phase seeks to support a wider cohort of businesses, including some of those that were not eligible in the first phase and the government’s small business grant and retail, hospitality and leisure grant schemes. This phase will be open to: 

  • Local independent retail, hospitality and leisure businesses occupying premises with a rateable value in excess of £20,000;
  • Bed & breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates;
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable rate relief which would otherwise have been eligible for small business rate relief or rural rate relief;
  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces that do not pay business rates with annual rental costs of between £3,000 and £51,000;
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Any other business that has a rateable value of up to £20,000.

Grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 may be awarded. In line with government guidance, it is anticipated many grants will be below £10,000 to ensure the fund can benefit a larger number of businesses.

This revised policy, which was agreed on 22 June, has strict eligibility criteria including mandatory requirements set by government, which businesses will need to review before they apply. Some of the criteria are that businesses:

· Have fewer than 50 employees and meet the requirements of being a small business as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business. Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, and the Companies Act 2006;

· Can clearly evidence a drop-in income due to Covid-19 of in excess of £750 for the quarter March 1-31 May 2020;

· Are able to clearly evidence and identify ongoing fixed business property-related costs, for business premises in Cheshire East, in excess of £750 for the period 1 March - 31 May 2020.

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “The grant will offer a lifeline to smaller businesses which have high ongoing property costs, struggling as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Local enterprise is an integral component within local regeneration schemes across the borough.

“It is important to kickstart these businesses in order to escalate revenue and rebuild consumer confidence. Cheshire East is an attractive area for businesses – particularly because of the scheduled infrastructure projects and we want to maintain that philosophy in the aftermath of Covid-19 and continue to flourish.”

However, this funding is limited which means that - as much as the council would wish to - it may not be able to provide a grant to every eligible business and charity that applies. 

Councillor Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “This is a welcomed addition to support and bring the local communities together. Small business particularly, are the backbone of the community and rely on local commerce. They will also play a small part to lead safe social interaction within retail and hospitality sectors, in line with government guidance.”

More information, including a full list of criteria and evidence required before an application can be submitted, can be found by visiting: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/covidDGS.

The local authority discretionary grant fund phase two will be available on the link above at 8am on Friday 26 June for a period of two weeks until 8am 10 July.

All applications submitted within this phase with adequate supporting information will be considered in order of receipt, and grants awarded subject to funds remaining.

Rail needs can be met without HS2: CPRE Cheshire calls instead for major investment in local rail services


The Cheshire group of CPRE, the countryside charity, has called for major investment in the region's rail network whilst questioning the justification for HS2 Phase 2b, in a joint response [1] submitted by the charity's North West group to the call for evidence on rail investment priorities for the North and Midlands from the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC)[2].
HS2 Phase 2b is considered by many to be a vanity project; it has many flaws, and poses substantial and significant harms to the environment, to the extent that CPRE Cheshire cannot support it despite our longstanding campaigning for greater investment in rail and modal shift to rail.
Despite supporting more rail investment on the extant system, CPRE Cheshire has found it difficult to buy into the claimed social and economic benefits of HS2. In every country where high speed rail has been introduced, it has benefited the capital, not the regions. It is unclear how the power demands for HS2 can be met and the environmental consequences, including noise pollution, are unconscionable.
Specifically, as far as the North West is concerned, the strategic case for HS2 Phase 2b lacks robustness. The case made for Phase 2b should be revisited in light of the Climate Emergency, post-Covid19 challenges and against ‘The Heathrow Decision’. HS2 Phase 2b has a negative planning balance, when factoring in greenhouse gas emissions, harm to Green Belt and ancient woodland, and the lack of a credible business case (journey time savings no longer stand up to scrutiny and the passenger projections need re-evaluating in the light of expected major reductions in demand following the Covid-19 pandemic).
CPRE Cheshire supports the need to connect HS2 Phase 1/2a onto the West Coast Mainline (the proposed ‘Handsacre Junction’) in order to allow classic-compatible trains to reach Macclesfield and Manchester prior to Phase 2b. It would also allow HS2 services to reach Liverpool much earlier than envisaged.
Rather than investing such a significant amount of money into HS2, CPRE highlighted the following issues which should be tackled to improve local connectivity across the region:

  • The heavily congested section between Manchester Piccadilly and Deansgate is the biggest single issue, which affects the region's rail services as whole. Urgent action is needed to increase capacity;
  • Reopening the Middlewich line would improve access from Northwich and Knutsford to the West Coast Main Line at Crewe as well as giving Middlewich residents access to the rail network. Currently, Middlewich is the largest town in Cheshire without a railway station;
  • More freight on rail is vital, especially from Liverpool Ports, requiring further electrification and gauge enhancement on the important Trans-Pennine route and other measures across the region. 
Peter Raynes, Chair of CPRE Cheshire, said: "CPRE is an advocate of more rail usage in England.  We want improvements to the connectivity and capacity of the main towns and cities across Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria and to our rural places. 
"The Government needs to undertake a serious review of its transport policies in order to properly respond to the Climate Emergency.  Road building should be an option of last resort with adequate commitment to rail investment to optimise a modern rail system.  We trust that the National Infrastructure Commission will listen.” 

Supporting Use of Social Media

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Neighbourhood Watch

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Supporting Use of Social Media


Dear Jan
As you are aware Social media is a great communication and engagement tool for Neighbourhood Watch groups to use. It can be used to increase awareness of Neighbourhood Watch locally, reach a wider audience (including younger members), promote Neighbourhood Watch as a means to tackle crime and build community cohesion, engage current members with actions they can take, increase awareness on safety, signpost people to accurate information, share national Neighbourhood Watch campaigns and messages and those of partner organisations.
Because social media is instant, it can be a very useful crime prevention tool, warning residents in a timely manner and making them more vigilant. It can be used to alert residents to suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, spread the word about Neighbourhood Watch events and personnel changes, communicate on recent crimes in the area and successes in apprehending offenders, alert residents to personnel changes of local police/ community safety teams, provide warnings about new types of scams and reminders on how to report scams.
In terms of increasing community cohesion social media is a great tool in emergency response situations (e.g COVID-19, flooding), and arranging events in the area such as street clean ups, street parties, community lunches or book hides.
It is vital when representing Neighbourhood Watch on social media we aspire to achieve our vision and mission and all posts are aligned with our core values.
With this in mind we have put together guidelines to help you whilst using social media to promote your scheme, highlight crime and discussing issues affecting your community.
Please click on the link below:
Social Media guidelines
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your continuing hard work that you do in your communities.
Best wishes
Cheryl

June 2020 Enewsletter - Firelink

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Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

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June 2020 Enewsletter - Firelink



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


Firefighters warn smokers of the dangers of smoking indoors after three fatal fires


We are warning residents about the dangers of smoking at home following a third fatal fire in Cheshire East involving cigarettes since February this year.
The latest fire was on 31 May in the bedroom of a terraced house in Moorhouse Avenue in Alsager. Members of the public rescued an 83-year-old man, and firefighters rescued a 75-year-old woman. The couple were taken to hospital but sadly died days later.
This latest incident followed a living room fire in Congleton in April where a 73-year-old man sadly died, and a fire in a bedroom in Nantwich in February in which an 80-year-old woman and an 82-year-old man sadly died.
A joint investigation between Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Police indicates that, in all three cases, the fire was accidental and caused by a cigarette.
Find out more - Firefighters warn smokers of the dangers of smoking indoors after three fatal fires

Be Water Aware


Cooling off in rivers, canals, ponds, quarries and lakes can have deadly consequences.
We're urging people, particularly children and teenagers, not to swim anywhere other than in purpose-built and supervised swimming pools unless they are members of an organised swimming group.
If you spot someone in trouble in the water, please 999 to call us.
Find out more - Be Water Aware

Countryside fire safety advice


Grass fires can get out of hand very quickly, cause extensive damage and put lives at risk.
They can also last for several days once a fire takes hold using up valuable Fire Service resources which could be needed elsewhere.
Find out more - Countryside safety

Drive-in cinema craze comes to Knutsford


The Luna Drive In Cinema opens in Tatton Park on 5 August with two weeks of screenings now on sale. Expect state of the art sound and screens, food hamper options and some of the best films ever made that cater for all age groups – all from the comfort and safety of your car.

Buckle up for some of the best films ever made

Take your pick from over 20 film choices including matinee showings of old favourites such as Cool Runnings or Back to the Future; more recent titles for older audiences including Parasite and Joker, or you can join in singalong versions of The Greatest Showman and Rocketman.

Dust-off your diary and book a date for August

“We’re delighted to announce this fantastic new outdoor event for people to look forward to this summer” says Tatton Park’s Events Manager Rachel Howard. “We’re excited to be the North West venue for this fun Luna cinema experience and it’s just great that we have an event to look forward to again at Tatton Park.”

How the drive-in cinema experience works:

v When you arrive at Tatton Park, you’ll be directed to your pre-booked section of the drive-in arena, where you can park on a first come first serve basis

v You’ll be given a wireless speaker system which sits on your dashboard - this allows everyone in your car can to hear the film

v You also can order food and drink during the screening, via your phone

v Large walkways take you throughout the drive-in arena and all toilet facilities are fully compliant with social distancing restrictions

v There will be hand sanitiser on site and staff will wear appropriate PPE

v Sit back and enjoy a long-awaited night out from the safety of your car - there’s no need to get out at all if you don’t want to!

For full listings and to buy tickets go to www.lunadriveincinema.com/tatton-park

If you’re staying at home, you can visit us online

If you can’t visit us in person, here’s how you can stay in touch with happenings at Tatton Park:

v www.tattonpark.org.uk – we’re updating our website as much as possible with updates from all corners of the Estate

v e-news – sign up on our website and email receive updates from Tatton Park

v Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – find us @TattonPark

v Candide Gardening App - download onto your phone and search for Tatton Park

Council launches Covid-19 community response and recovery fund


Cheshire East Council has today (29 June) launched the Covid-19 community response and recovery fund.

The council and the newly launched Social Action Partnership have been helping local people to support one another by co-ordinating the fantastic work that is being done in communities across the borough in improving, developing and delivering services.

In recognition of the vital role played by the voluntary, community and faith sector in both the response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the recovery, this time limited fund has been developed by the council to support local organisations through this pandemic.

The aim of the Covid-19 community response and recovery fund is to support these organisations to adapt to new ways of offering support to communities, both during and following the coronavirus pandemic, as well as maintain and continue to offer services as government restrictions are lifted.

Not-for-profit organisations will be able to apply for a grant up to a maximum of £5,000 for projects and services for both response and recovery-type applications. The response-type applications include additional staffing, DBS checks, volunteer expenses, meal delivery services, foodbank services and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Recovery-type applications include supporting employment, mental health support, hardship funds, financial advice, supporting connectivity and building community resilience.

Other applications might include bereavement support, domestic abuse support and IT solutions for service delivery.

Councillor Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “The council is firmly committed and will continue to support the most vulnerable individuals and families affected by the outbreak of coronavirus, right across our borough.

“We recognised in the early stages of this pandemic, that the council doesn’t always need to lead on supporting people but can also rely on those well-placed organisations in the voluntary, community and faith sector which can provide the much-needed essential support and help to those people most affected in our communities.”

Funding will be allocated where organisations can demonstrate a required need and where clear outcomes can be achieved. The council aims to make funding decisions as quickly as possible on a rolling basis and will be providing this funding until the end of 2020.

For more details about this fund visit our community funds and grants website page   www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/connected-communities/community_funds_and_grants

The closing date for fund applications is Friday 4 December 2020.

Cheshire East cultural sector funding success


Cheshire East’s cultural sector has been boosted by more than £175,000 of new funding from the Arts Council.

It follows several successful grant applications by local bodies to Arts Council England’s emergency fund.

Cheshire East Council’s cultural economy team provided support for many of the borough’s cultural organisations in their successful applications to obtain a cash injection of more than £175,000 in total.

The council managed further funding of £155,000 through grants and rate relief, achieved through its business support programmes.

This funding provides a lifeline to arts organisations, museums, festivals and events who have been hit hard due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In many cases, programmes of activities have been made virtual, with digital online resources, to continue to engage with audiences. This will create new opportunities for residents to engage with arts, heritage and entertainment across the borough – either with distancing measures in place or through digital and online content.

Examples of organisations supported include:

Wild Rumpus – A range of cultural events and festivals within the borough and beyond, including the Just So Festival, in Congleton. The programme of talks, open to arts, heritage and tourism organisations and professionals across the borough, has moved to online broadcasts. This will enable everyone to share learning, develop practice and stay connected virtually. Visit: https://wildrumpus.org.uk/the-culture-sessions/;

Macclesfield Museums - These include the Silk Museum, Old Sunday School Heritage Centre, Paradise Mill and West Park Museum. The Old Sunday School is being sustained and will invest in opportunities for local creatives to connect with local communities through storytelling and digital engagement. Visit: https://macclesfieldmuseums.co.uk/;

Macclesfield Barnaby Festival – Under normal circumstances would have delivered its ten-year anniversary parade and a programme of commissions and collaborations with established artists and local communities to bring Macclesfield to life. Residents are now encouraged to engage in a new digital programme via online workshops and livestream broadcasts whilst the live activity is being rescheduled for when safety restrictions allow. Visit: https://barnabyfestival.org.uk/

Clonter Farm Music Trust – It has secured funding for digital outreach and keeping theatre facilities available which means they are able to host digital masterclasses, filmed performances and work with artists to create digital ‘musical teas’ from their homes for older audiences to enjoy. The trust is also developing mobile musical theatre shows and workshops for schools using theatre packs which complement KS2 maths and literacy. For more info visit: https://www.clonter.org/;

Spare Parts Festival at Traction Crewe - Offers street-arts-linked online activity and performance linked to a transport, science and a motion theme. Residents can look out for coding and creative fun available online on 4 July via: https://www.facebook.com/TrActionCrewe/ and on Spare Parts At Home at:  https://sparepartsfestival.co.uk/spareparts-at-home/

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for culture, said: “We are delighted at this much needed cash injection for the cultural and creative sector in Cheshire East. The sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and many events and performances that have been months, if not years in the planning, have sadly been unable to go ahead due to social distancing restrictions.  

“This funding has taken events and performances to a new era, allowing the production needed to take them online and for residents of Cheshire East to be able to enjoy them from the comfort of their own home in the virtual realm. 

“The online events are not just a wonderful way to escape everyday life, they are also helpful to the many children across the borough who are being home schooled.”

Information and reminders about the events will feature on Cheshire East Council’s social media pages. Please follow @CheshireEastCouncil on Facebook and @CheshireEast on Twitter to keep up-to-date.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Cheshire East Council issues reminder on the importance of social distancing


Cheshire East Council has today (12 June) issued a reminder to everyone about the importance of social distancing as it works with partners to get high streets ready for the government’s planned easing of lockdown restrictions on Monday 15 June.

Government restrictions are in place to control the spread of the virus, which include social distancing measures with people being asked to stay a minimum two metres apart. The government’s guidance is being continually reviewed and the council will adapt and make changes as and when this is amended.

Sixteen towns and larger villages across Cheshire East will see temporary measures installed in and around our high streets. These plans can be seen on the council’s website. These have been informed by positive dialogue and feedback the council has had from town and parish councils, which will continue over the coming weeks.

Where roads are closed, access will remain for residents to get to their homes, businesses for delivery of goods, buses and the emergency services.

Blue badge parking places have been retained, wherever possible, with pedestrians and cyclists being able to access roads that are closed. However, all road users are asked to be mindful of the need for social distancing and to share these spaces with care.

In addition, the council is to reintroduce parking charges, where these apply in the borough, from Monday15 June and a number of car parks will be closed and some parking bays suspended, as part of social-distancing measures.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways, said: “We would like to thank all the local ward members, town and parish councillors who have worked with us so positively to develop and amend the temporary measure plans for high streets, ahead of their implementation on Monday.

“These measures will be constantly reviewed. If something isn’t working, tell us and where possible we will amend it or remove it completely.

“We are also reintroducing parking charges on Monday, as this will help to ensure that high streets benefit from a steady flow of people throughout the day, as businesses reopen. The money raised from car parking is one of many income streams for the council.

“The council is facing unprecedented financial pressure as a result of the pandemic, and the decision to reintroduce these charges has been taken in that context.

“We must also act to encourage people to use active transport over their cars, such as walking and cycling, as this reduces congestion in our town centres. Despite speculation, we would like to assure people that the ‘free after 3pm’ scheme will remain in place on designated car parks and the full review of parking charges across the borough, although it is currently delayed by the pandemic, will be rolled out when circumstances allow us to do so.”

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We are making a number of changes and it is important that we explain to people what we are doing and the reasons for those changes, so they are able to plan ahead as necessary.

“The safety of the public is our top priority as government restrictions are eased and information is being made available on the council’s website and through media channels to enable residents and businesses to do this.

“We also ask that people think about the changes they may need to make in order to stay safe. This could include planning ahead for a bus journey, ensuring you have a face covering, which is a mandatory requirement on all public transport, adjusting your route through a town centre or ensuring you have contactless payment methods for making payments for car parking and for shopping.

“We are committed to supporting businesses as restrictions are lifted. We will be providing additional information and guidance on our website over the coming days to help everyone feel safe when shops open their doors.

“The council plans surrounding the high street are part of a phased approach, with ongoing conversations with town and parish councils and businesses. Furthermore, the council will be commencing its consultation of proposals to review car parking right across the borough, when it is safe to do so”.

Coronavirus-Related Scams - How To Protect Yourself

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Action Fraud (NFIB)

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Dear subscriber,
Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.
How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:
There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:
1 - Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk
2 - Shopping online
If you're making a purchase from a company or person you don't know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.
3 - Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.
NHS Test and Trace scams:
The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.
What you need to know:
Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.
All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.
The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone 
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.​​​​​​​

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

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Lockdown lesson for government: over two thirds of people in the North West want to see their local green space enhanced


  • 75% of adults living in the North West think their local green space, or nearby countryside, could be enhanced;
  • Majority of these would like to see a greater variety of plant life (54%) and more wildlife (51%) in their local green space;
  • CPRE, the countryside charity and the HomeOwners Alliance are calling for the government to go further to protect and enhance local green spaces so that everyone has easy access from their doorsteps.
As lockdown in England eases and many venture out into their local green spaces, new research has found 75 % of people living in the North West think their local green spaces, including the countryside next door to where they live, could be enhanced. Commissioned by CPRE, the countryside charity and the HomeOwners Alliance, and carried out on-line by YouGov as the lockdown started, the research shows that the majority of people living in the North West believe the variety of plant life (51%) and increasing the amount of wildlife (51%) and are top ways in which their local green spaces can be improved.
During lockdown, we have seen a surge in appreciation for local green spaces and a heightened awareness of their role in boosting our physical and mental health and wellbeing[1]. For the one in eight households who do not have access to their own garden, accessible shared or public green spaces are all the more important[2].
CPRE, the countryside charity and the HomeOwners Alliance believe that everyone should have easy access to quality green spaces from their doorsteps and the government should go further to protect and enhance these spaces. Today’s results show that the public agree, and those who were in favour of enhancements in the North West would like to see:
  1. More and a greater variety of trees, shrubs, hedgerows, plants and flowers (54%)
  2. More wildlife including birds, butterflies and bees; (51%)
  3. Signposted walks in the countryside/ green space (43%)
  4. More facilities (e.g. café, toilets, seating, etc.) (36%) and;
  5. Better maintenance (e.g. paths maintained, trees pruned, lawns cut, etc.) (34%)

Crispin Truman, chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said:
‘Access to quality local green spaces has hurtled up the agenda as a political issue and for good reason. As lockdown eases, many people are turning to their local patch of green as a place to meet family and friends, subject of course to social distancing, as well as their daily dose of exercise and nature. We’ve been championing local countryside and green spaces for nearly a century, believing they are vital for our health and wellbeing – a natural health service as they’re now being called.
‘But not everyone has access to green spaces and too many have been lost as the countryside next door to our largest towns and cities faces mounting pressure for development. If the government is serious about learning the lessons of the pandemic, it must use upcoming planning reforms to protect these precious spaces and recognise their value as a natural health service, as we do. But we can’t stop there - by properly investing in our green spaces we can make these spaces easily accessible to more people and invite wildlife like birds, butterflies and bees back.’
Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of Homeowners Alliance, said:
‘Now that people are allowed to move, new build homes and those with nearby green space are becoming more popular. There is a real opportunity for developers and government to create quality green spaces; and this is much more than a patch of lawn. Planning reform should ensure that green spaces are not considered to be an afterthought or a nice extra given the positive role they can play in people’s lives.’
The full set of results can be found here: https://bit.ly/36Gm1Md

Cheshire East step closer to achieving hydrogen refuelling facilities


Cheshire East Council has secured planning permission to build a green hydrogen refuelling compound in Middlewich, bringing carbon and air quality benefits to Cheshire East.

Working with Storengy, funding for the £1m scheme was secured earlier this year and initially, will see a trial of two bin wagons converted to take home-produced hydrogen.

The scheme is funded by both public and private sector money – with a £345,000 grant from the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund. It will see the first green hydrogen fuelling facility in the North West of England.

Installed at the Cheshire East environmental hub in Middlewich, the facility will produce hydrogen in the greenest way possible – using an electrolyser connected to solar panels. This will provide safe, clean hydrogen fuel, which will be pumped into dual-fuel bin wagons.

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “We are committed to reducing our own emissions and becoming carbon neutral by 2025. The approval of planning permission for this scheme is an exciting step towards achieving that target.

“Initially, two bin wagons owned by the council and one vehicle owned by Storengy, will be converted to use the green hydrogen. This will reduce the council’s and Storengy’s diesel use by more than 10,000 litres per year.

“Through our environment strategy, we intend to lead the way in green initiatives like this, taking action to respond to the global challenge of climate change and enhance and protect the natural environment of our borough.

Councillor Quentin Abel, Cheshire East Council’s climate change champion, said: “This trial using hydrogen is important as hopefully it will prove suitable for our heavier and long-range vehicles, making it an alternative to diesel for our refuse vehicles as they deliver their services across our borough.

“The green hydrogen will be produced in an environmentally friendly way at the depot through renewable energy, also removing the need for fuel to be transported onto site.

“Moving to cleaner fuels, such as hydrogen, will help towards combatting the increasing climate change crisis. It will also bring benefits locally through improved air quality – another strategic goal of our environment strategy.”

Michael Gibson, managing director of Storengy, said: With planning permission now granted, we are one step further in demonstrating that hydrogen is viable green fuel for transport. We are really excited to be leading on this project to develop the first of its type in the UK, and to be supporting improvements for Cheshire East Council’s carbon footprint and air quality.

“As a business with many employees from Middlewich, it is also great to be investing in, and supporting, one of our local communities.”

Residents with questions about the scheme can contact their local councillors by visiting: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/councillors

Cheshire East Council to introduce temporary measures that protect businesses and high street users


Cheshire East Council is set to introduce a range of measures to protect people and support local businesses ready for the government’s high street lockdown restrictions being lifted.

The temporary measures will be in place by 15 June and have been informed by local ward members and town and parish councils.

The measures will be under constant review, once implemented, and may be further tailored to meet local circumstances. They are in response to the government’s approach to reopen the high streets, as part of the Covid-19 recovery phase. 

Sixteen towns and larger villages across Cheshire East will see temporary measures installed in and around our high streets, including:

● Social distancing awareness signs at bus and rail stations and at bus stops;

● Signs and pavement markings, to raise awareness of the need to social distance;

● Localised temporary road closures in town centres, where there is expected to be high footfall and extra space is needed for pedestrians and socially distanced queuing at shops;

● Increased pedestrian or cycle access in some town centres, through adjustments to traffic restrictions;

● Temporary closure of a small number of town centre car parks, where access to these compromises the space available for social distancing; and

● Temporary suspension of some parking spaces and laybys, where these can provide extra space for widening footpaths to help pedestrians respect social distancing rules.

While the council cannot guarantee that the public adheres to guidance on social distancing, it is keen to help both residents and business communities come out of lockdown safely, ensuring that public health is protected.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East cabinet member for highways, said: “As we begin to move beyond lockdown, we must consider how best to open up our high streets. Our priority here is to protect people and our local businesses.

“Alongside any measures, we will be supporting businesses with additional information and guidance, while encouraging high street users to adhere to the government’s social distancing restrictions  

“The government is providing funding to local authorities and has issued guidance on how we can help people maintain safe social distancing in busy public areas, which we are following.

“Some of our measures support walking and cycling in our town centres – which many people have enjoyed much more of during the lockdown – and this also is good for our environment and people’s health and wellbeing. Further temporary and experimental measures are being considered to support walking and cycling and will be implemented once we have put in the arrangements for our high streets.  

“Each of the 16 high streets identified in Cheshire East has been considered individually and measures tailored to local circumstances.  Local ward members and town and parish councils have been asked for input into the plans and, where this has been received, we have taken close account of these suggestions.

“While these temporary arrangements may disrupt the travel patterns of some residents and visitors, they are necessary to protect everyone, especially those who will be using the shops when the government allows them to open – which at this point is intended to be 15 June.

“We are being careful to implement the government’s measures alongside avoiding unnecessary disruption. The works completed by 15 June are an important first step and these measures will be closely monitored and adjusted as necessary.” 

Essential access for servicing businesses and residential properties will be maintained throughout the closures. 

The council will continue to work on additional measures to support active travel during the recovery stages after lockdown. In the next stage, it will seek to deliver measures outside of town centres, and to improve the network for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cheshire East Scam Awareness



Age UK Cheshire East and Cheshire East Council Trading Standards Team have created a newsletter which outlines some of the latest scams and we wanted to share it with our Alert users in the area.
We have uploaded the PDF document to our website at the link below:
Scams awareness update bulletin issue 2
In addition, with the launch of the NHS test and trace service we wanted to remind you that contract tracers: 

  • will NEVER ask you to make any form of payment
  • will NEVER ask any details about your bank account
  • will NEVER ask you for any passwords or PINs
  • will NEVER ask you to download anything

Army of unpaid carers hailed as ‘unsung heroes’ of coronavirus hardship


Cheshire East Council will be focusing on celebrating and raising awareness around the borough’s estimated 40,000 unpaid and hidden carers, as part of national Carers Week which starts this week running from 8-14 June.

The annual campaign highlights the challenges of having sole responsibility for looking after a vulnerable loved one. Whether this is a young child or teenager caring for a relative or vice versa, a son or daughter caring for an elderly parent or spouse caring for their partner with a terminal illness – it is important all carers have access to vital support. 

This year, the theme is ‘making carers visible’ as carers are continuing to face new obstacles as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. The council received seven new referrals of young people to the carers’ hub service in May, five of which are aged 12-17 and two 5-11.

Councillor Kathryn Flavell, cabinet member for children and families, said: “The council recognises the need to gain the trust of unpaid carers of all ages and reassure them that we can help – our carers’ hub does exactly that. Given the current circumstances of Covid-19, young carers may be feeling extremely isolated, and we want them to feel fully supported by our services.”

Councillor Laura Jeuda, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “Cheshire East carers’ hub works closely with Crossroads Together, a charity who offer respite care for up to three hours, with full PPE, while the carer has a break. Unpaid carers are the unsung heroes of this pandemic, providing unconditional care to a loved one is a hardship no one should have to face alone.”

The council commissions its carers’ hub from n-compass, who are experts in providing a high quality care service that makes a difference in people’s lives. Both providers want to ensure the unpaid carers of Cheshire East are given the recognition and respect they abundantly deserve, for the relentless work they do daily.

Teresa Jennings, CEO of n-compass, said: “The theme of Carers Week, ‘making carers visible’ has never been so relevant as it is today. The current national crisis has led to many unpaid carers having to provide even more care for their elderly, sick or disabled family or friends.

“Whilst the current crisis has rightly shone a light on the work of carers and the critical role they play, we need to ensure that the army of unpaid carers we work with every day at our Cheshire East carers’ hub are supported. Without them the health and social care system would simply not be able to manage.”

Carers can contact the hub by calling 0300 123 5034 or completing the ‘I need help’ section at cheshireeast.gov.uk/peoplehelpingpeople.

The council and Crossroads Together work collaboratively to support carers across the borough. Please contact cheshireeast@crossroadstogether.org.uk or call 0333 323 1990

for advice and support.

Call For Vigilance Following Spate of Catalytic Converter Thefts



Cheshire Constabulary is urging residents to be vigilant following an increase in catalytic converter thefts.
Since Wednesday 27 May officers have received six separate reports of thefts involving catalytic converters.
Honda and Toyota cars are particularly being targeted, and although thieves have stolen catalytic converters across Cheshire the most recent incidents occurred in Runcorn, Widnes and Northwich.
Inspector Anton Sullivan, of Cheshire Constabulary’s Roads and Crime Unit, said: “Investigations involving my unit and colleagues from neighbourhood policing teams are ongoing in relation to the thefts and we are following a number of lines of enquiry.
“While the investigations take place I encourage motorists to be vigilant and review any security measures they have in place.
“In recent times offenders have been predominantly targeting hybrid vehicles including Toyota, Honda and Nissan cars, but other vehicles may be at risk.
“Offenders use specialist tools to remove catalytic converters from vehicles and have been doing so in daylight at car parks and other areas where cars are left.
“If you see anyone using tools on cars in such places please let us know as soon as possible.
“I also ask scrap metal dealers to be mindful if they are ever offered catalytic converters or exhaust systems and to contact us if they suspect that they could have been stolen.”
There are a number of steps that motorists can take to reduce their chances of becoming a victim, including:
• If possible, park your car in a garage
• If your car is at high risk, consider marking the metal shell of the converter with a unique mark, so that if it is stolen it will be easier to trace back to your vehicle
• If your catalytic converter is bolted on, the bolts can be welded shut – this would not stop a determined thief but would slow them down
• Giving some consideration to the way your vehicle is parked could reduce the chances of your catalytic converter being stolen – high and low clearance vehicles being parked close together make it more difficult for a thief to gain access to converters
• Good quality lighting will improve natural surveillance and make a thief less likely to be able to remove a catalytic converter without being seen
• Leaving your car in an area covered by CCTV may also deter thieves – CCTV systems should be well signed.
If you have any information about the thefts, or if you see anyone removing catalytic converters or acting suspiciously in your community, please call Cheshire Constabulary on 101.
Alternatively, information can also be reported anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

Cheshire East set to reintroduce parking fees


Cheshire East Council is to reintroduce parking charges across the borough from 15 June.

Parking charges have been suspended in Cheshire East since 27 March following a council decision to support keyworkers – including NHS staff and social care workers – to assist in the response to control the virus. However, with the government plans to re-open highstreets on the 15 June, the council is preparing a number of measures, some of which are temporary, to ensure that the highstreets remain safe for the public and local businesses.

Money received from parking machines is used to ensure car parks are safe, secure and well maintained.  Charges encourage a good turnaround of spaces for shoppers to support economic recovery of our town centres.

Over the coming days several measures will be installed across highstreets in Cheshire East, leading to changes at the following carparks;

● Temporary closure of Silk Mill Street and Princess Street carparks in Knutsford; Lyceum Square, Crewe; and Church Lane, Nantwich as access to these carparks compromises the space available for social distancing;

● Temporary suspension of some parking spaces and laybys, where these can provide extra space for widening footpaths to help pedestrians respect social distancing rules.

● Signage will be displayed at carparks to encourage contactless payments as cash payments will not be accepted on the majority of car parks; and

Ringo, an online smartphone app will be available for people to pay for their parking, for people to avoid any contact with the parking machines.

Where Ringo cannot be used, the council recommends the public uses appropriate measures to reduce the risk of Covid19 by, for example, using a covered pen, or gloves to input a licence plate number into a machine and, using the contactless payment option.

After using a machine, the government continues to remind the public that regular hand-washing for 20-seconds helps to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

The council are also encouraging the public to purchase contract permits for those car parks where they are available – details of these are on the council’s website. If a permit is displayed in a car window there is no need to use the pay and display machines.

Councillor Laura Crane, portfolio holder for parking at Cheshire East Council, said: “I would like to thank all our keyworkers across Cheshire East for their continued work during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“As government restrictions ease, our main aim is to protect people and support our local businesses and the economy. Each measure we re-introduce is a balance between maintaining access and creating enough space for shoppers and visitors to observe ‘social distancing’ when in town.

“We are also mindful of the local environment and encourage, where possible, people to walk and cycle to their local high street – which is good for the environment and people’s health and wellbeing.

“Decisions like these are difficult and can be deeply emotive and unpopular but it is our responsibility to ensure that there is a good turnaround of spaces for visitors and shoppers and that our car parks are safe, secure and well maintained.

“Protecting our business economy and keeping people safe as lockdown restrictions are lifted by government, are priorities for us and these parking measures will be reviewed where necessary. We will also be supporting businesses with additional information and guidance as government moves to lift their restrictions.”

Parking meters will be un-bagged, and enforcement will begin on Cheshire East owned carparks from 15 June alongside on-street enforcement patrols.

To protect the public and council staff, the opening of Jordangate and Grosvenor Centre multi-storey carparks, in Macclesfield, will be delayed until mid-July.

Registering with RingGo
You can pre-register with RingGo online or by using the RingGo apps for iPhone and Android handsets (downloadable either through your handset or from the Apple store or Android marketplace).
If you pre-register for the service you will be asked to provide:

● the number plate, colour and make of your vehicle; and

● your payment card details.

Alternatively, you can register at the same time you want to park, either by using the RingGo apps or by calling RingGo via the number shown on the machine. The national RingGo number, which will work at any RingGo site, is 020 3046 0010.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Latest FACTS about Covid 19


The virus is transmitted from person to person over 90% of infections are by this transmission only less than 10% comes from touching objects.

Out of doors at 2 mtrs distance the chance of catching it are 0.

In doors can be worse depending on the time in contact and ventilation.

If you had the virus you cant catch it again now proven but you may have dead RNA which will show on tests your infected even though your arnt this can last 3 months this happened on the ships were they were still testing positive 3 month later

The virus doesn’t kill you the body responds with a cytokine storm which sends 1,000 of cells to attack it and they cause inflammation which reduces oxygen in the lungs and then you cant get oxygen to parts of the body and you can die. Thats why they put people on ventilators to try and force oxygen in.

What has now been found and international recognised is there are 2 pandemics the virus and lack of vitamin D. If you have correct level of vitamin D it sends out attack cells with anti inflammatory cells which stop the storm. The evidence is overwhelming that its the answer.

Vitamin D we make from the sun but modern life people work indoors and never get enough sun. People with dark skins cant make it as their skin blocks it which account for people with darker skin dyeing . Birmingham.

Vitamin D has other effects on mood and bones etc. People can go out in the sun and get 10,000 units of D but thats stored in fat cells for a rainy day only when all the fat cells are full does it put it in the bloods were its needed. So if your over weight you need a hell of a lot before it has an effect.

The other thing is people go out in the sun then come in and wash with soap this wipes out the vitamin D as its stored in the skin oil for a long time

Its now recommended you take vitamin D 3 as a supplement not vitamin d 2 even before the virus this was advice on the government website 86% of the population is low on the vitamin. Take the max recommended dose on the packet. You should take it in winter as there is little sun.

Scam Alert - Lime Tree Avenue - Crewe

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Cheshire Constabulary

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Scam Alert - Lime Tree Avenue - Crewe


SCAM ALERT!
We have been made aware of cold callers in the area of the Lime Tree Avenue Estate, Crewe, posing as Guinness Housing contractors saying there is a problem with your roof.
Please be vigilant when contractors just turn up at your door if you have nothing arranged.
Always ask for ID and if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
We like to encourage active citizenship and suggest that if you see your neighbour, while remaining social distancing please mention this to them. We believe that a connected community is a safer community.
Kind Regards, PCSO Tim Davey
(If you have received this and you do not live in the mentioned area, we still hope that you find this information useful. Thanks for your time, take care.)

Message Sent By
Tim Davey (Police, Community Support Officer, Crewe)

Cheshire East Council set to re-open its markets


Following recent government advice, Cheshire East Council is preparing to reopen it’s indoor and outdoor markets.

The reopening of the markets will be in a phased approach, following discussion with key stallholders, ensuring that all sites meet current Covid-19 secure guidelines.

For indoor markets, traders selling essential goods, such as food and plants, will reopen first. The trading of non-essential items, such as clothes, shoes and toys, will then follow later, resulting in a full market re-opening.

For clarity, the dates for all markets are set out as follows:

Town

Indoor market

Outdoor market

Essential items only

Full market opening

All types

Congleton

2 June

16 June

2 June

Crewe

NA

NA

5 June

Macclesfield

NA

15 June

8 June

Traders have been asked to adhere to a new way of working due to the social distancing guidelines and additional hygiene measures that the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak presents.

Residents are advised to be aware of the new systems and restrictions in place, these are:

Indoor markets

● Reduced opening hours will be in place. Markets will open from 9.30am to 2.30pm. This will be reviewed on a regular basis;

● There will be one entrance and one exit to the market, these will be clearly marked;

● Residents are reminded to wash their hands before their journey to the market and when they return home;

● A one-way system will be in place with floor markings indicating two-metre distances;

● Only one person per family will be permitted, unless a carer is required, or a parent is with a young child;

● Only one trader will be permitted on each stall. Therefore, please be patient if that person is busy serving another customer and do not handle goods you don’t wish to buy;

● Please use a debit card/contactless method of payment to pay for goods, where possible, to avoid traders handling cash; and

● Any cafés in the market will provide a take-away service only.

Outdoor markets

● Normal opening hours will be in place. Markets will open from 9am to 4. 30pm.This will be reviewed on a regular basis;

● Two-metre social distancing is to be adhered to and traders will advise customers who appear not to be following these restrictions when visiting their stall;

● Residents are reminded to wash their hands before their journey to the market and when they return home;

● Only one person per family will be permitted unless a carer is required, or a parent is with a young child;

● Only one trader will be permitted on each stall. Therefore, please be patient if that person is busy serving another customer and do not handle goods that you don’t wish to buy;

● Use a debit card/contactless method of payment to pay for goods, where possible, to avoid traders handling cash; and

● Any cafés in the market will provide a take-away service only.

Car boot sales will not be permitted to re-open at this time.

Outdoor artisan markets can reopen from 1 June for the sale of any goods and indoor artisan markets from 15 June.  Please note that artisan markets fall under the remit of town or parish councils and not Cheshire East Council.

Again, measures must be taken to ensure safe social distancing for the protection of stall holders and visitors.

Average speed cameras in Eaton address residents’ concerns


Cheshire East Council will be installing two new average speed cameras on the A536 in Eaton, Congleton as part of the wider package of mitigation measures for the Congleton Link Road. The scheme has been made possible after a successful bid by Cheshire East’s highways team to the Department for Transport for road safety measures along the route between Congleton and Macclesfield.

The work will start on 1 June and is scheduled to be completed by 10 June. Lane closures will be in place between from 9:30am - 3:30pm daily.

The move is part of the Department for Transport Safer Roads Fund initiative and additional average speed cameras on the A536 will be installed later this financial year. The existing cameras on the A537 “Cat and Fiddle” road will also be upgraded as part of the scheme. These new digital cameras reflect the council’s continued commitment to improving road safety across the borough.

The cameras, which are installed to enforce the speed limits, are operated in partnership with Cheshire Constabulary. Since their introduction in the 1990s, safety cameras have been an effective way of enforcing traffic speeds and reducing the number of people killed or injured on the roads.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and waste, said: “This scheme is expected to improve safety and reduce speeding on the A536, Eaton and help mitigate the impacts in the village of the Congleton Link Road. Working alongside the police, we are committed to making our roads as safe as they can be for those that use them.

“I’d also like to thank residents for their patience and support during the construction. These new cameras are part of a series of mitigation measures to address road safety concerns of local residents.”

Cheshire East work in partnership with other organisations to improve road safety. For more information visit: https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/highways_and_roads/road-safety/road-safety.aspx

Council’s library service opens digital Summer Reading Challenge


With the majority of the borough’s schoolchildren being asked to continue their education from home, the ‘Summer Reading Challenge’ is opening earlier than normal. And of course, the focus is completely digital.

The Summer Reading Challenge, which is organised nationally by The Reading Agency, is aimed at children aged 4-11. This year’s theme is ‘Silly Squad’. The all-new digital website will be launched officially on Friday 5 June with a whole host of fun activities, and runs right through the summer, to September.

Although the council’s library buildings will remain closed until further notice, we are encouraging primary and secondary schoolchildren to continue to access our services freely through our virtual services and e-lending platforms.

Families will be able to find a vast array of virtual ‘super silly’ curated events which will be hosted online, including games, quizzes and many different downloadable activities, all with the intention of entertaining and educating children, who may be feeling extremely self-isolated at this difficult time.

Councillor Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is something that I know children really engage with, so I am relieved that we are still able to do this virtually.

“Children’s reading levels can drop off a little during the long summer holiday, and of course there is an even greater risk of that being the case this year, with the unavoidably long lay-off there has been from schools.”

Children are being encouraged to read anything that makes them feel happy no matter what the format this year, whether it’s poetry, fiction or non-fiction, a comic or a joke book. This year’s challenge is all the more important, as it will also help to provide a source of vital relief to parents and carers trying to keep younger minds active, especially while they may be struggling themselves.

We are encouraging young people and their parents and carers to go to sillysquad.org.uk on June 5 to engage with the many activities available free to everyone.

Council launches consultation on its equality objectives


Cheshire East Council is asking residents, staff and communities for their views on its refreshed equality objectives as part of a duty to comply with the Equality Act 2010. 

The Equality Act 2010 ensures that all public bodies play their part in making communities and society fairer, by tackling discrimination and providing equality of opportunity for all.

The public consultation on the council’s draft equality objectives, runs from today until 31 July. Responses will shape and direct the equality, diversity and inclusion strategy and provide opportunities to build on the work that it has delivered so far.

The council recognises that promoting equality, diversity and inclusion will improve public services for everyone. Its aspiration is that Cheshire East is an area of equal opportunity where everyone has a fair chance, and people from all backgrounds take part in community life. 

The four draft strategy objectives are:

  • Include – listen and involve all voices;
  • Inspire – celebrate and promote diversity and the positive opportunities it brings;
  • Integrate – deliver and promote accessible services for all; and
  • Inform – empower people to respectfully challenge discriminatory and poor behaviour

Councillor Jill Rhodes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for public health and corporate services, said: “Our vision is to make Cheshire East a welcoming place, where equality, freedom, fairness and opportunity are open to all. We want everyone to feel valued, to celebrate diversity and to understand people’s different needs and aspirations, whether they are living, visiting or working here.

“This proposed equality objectives and supporting strategy builds upon the significant progress we have made and outlines our ambitions and plans to continue to promote opportunities for all throughout Cheshire East.

“Equality, diversity and inclusion really does matter as every single person that we all work with, whether a fellow councillor, member of staff, resident or one of our many customers deserves to be treated fairly and with respect.”

Councillor Marilyn Houston, Cheshire East Council’s new equality, diversity and inclusion member champion, said: “We know that Cheshire East is becoming an increasingly diverse area, as people recognise it as a great place to live and work with excellent schools and great transport links. 

“Towns across the borough are home to varied communities from Eastern Europe, East Timor, Syria, India, Bangladesh and the Caribbean to name but a few, and there are currently 108 languages spoken across the borough.

“The current coronavirus pandemic has exposed health inequalities in the population. Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and those experiencing poverty and social exclusion, are more at risk. This makes our work around equality, diversity and inclusion of even greater importance.

“That’s why talking to and listening to our residents and communities should be at the centre of everything we do.  I urge everyone to have their say and provide feedback before the deadline of 31 July.”

Residents can submit their views here or by visiting www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/consultations

If residents would like to receive the survey in a different language, an alternative format or enquire about taking part in a telephone survey, please contact EqualityandInclusion@cheshireeast.gov.uk or call 0300 123 5038.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

New film thanks foster carers for their dedication


It’s the second week of Foster Care Fortnight and Cheshire East Council is stepping up its celebration of the annual event and reminding people of the ongoing need to recruit foster carers.

The council would like to say a special thank you to the 124 foster carers it has. The dedication of these extraordinary people is something that is truly inspiring, especially in this time of national crisis. Cheshire East currently has 537 cared for children and we want as many of these children as possible to have the opportunity to live in loving homes.

As a way of saying thank you to our foster carers, the council has produced a film, which thanks each and every one of them. The film also features the talents of 13-year-old violinist Egan Stonier, who attends Sandbach School, playing a version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

The theme of this year’s Foster Care Fortnight campaign is ‘This is Fostering’ and the main focus is to highlight the real-life achievements of those involved in foster care. As part of Cheshire East’s contribution to that cause, using #FCF20, the council has been posting a personal story from our foster carers every day on social media over the fortnight to celebrate the exceptional work they do.

Councillor Kathryn Flavell, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “We are working really hard this year to get the message out there that the need to find loving homes for children is still great. Naturally, Foster Care Fortnight is the perfect time to be sending that message.

“We’re running a radio advertising campaign with one of our local commercial stations and I really love reading the comments that our foster carers have been sharing through our social media campaign – it’s definitely having a positive impact.”

“However, it is very important that we also stop to take a moment and thank our amazing existing foster carers for their incredible dedication to the profession, and of course to the wonderful children they are supporting. The council is so lucky to be working with you. Thank you.”

The process of becoming a foster carer is very thorough, so anyone interested in this very rewarding career should definitely talk to us today.

If you would like to know more about becoming a foster carer in Cheshire East, then please contact us by email at fostering@cheshireeast.gov.uk or by calling 01925 444100. You can also visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/fostering to get information about fostering.

Applications are welcome from anyone, providing that they have a loving, safe place for our children to live.

To watch the film, please visit our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZTNEiPo_wQ

Foster Care Fortnight is run by an organisation called The Fostering Network. To understand more about the work they do and to donate to the cause, please visit

https://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/fcf20

Local Youth Parliament Members champion mental health during Covid-19 crisis


Mental Health Awareness Week presents an ideal opportunity to highlight the importance of mental health amongst the younger demographic living in Cheshire East. The latest population figures estimate the borough is made up of 380,800 residents, 48,100 aged 5-15 and 15,300 aged 16-19.

Cheshire East have two members of UK Youth Parliament; who believe it is important to support access to local mental wellbeing benefits, for our younger generation. As the lockdown relaxes, there are key services that are available to help anxiety and depression.

Amelia Oldroyd, Cheshire East member of youth council, said: “Our generation know they face an uncertain future. I am keen to support them through their anxieties. A positive, healthy mind and encouragement will aid their success.

“A range of mental health support services dedicated to young people are available online via the council’s Covid-19 Mental Health Information Point. Many are also an active partner in the Emotionally Healthy Schools Programme.”

Ruben Barrow, Cheshire East member of youth council, said: “I want to signpost young people in Cheshire East to the best available resources. With access to counselling, guidance for young carers and bereavement services – providing a free, safe way for young people to receive the appropriate advice and support online.

“Coronavirus has restricted normal life and influenced our mental health – we are missing our friends, after school activities and general freedom. Education has been disrupted and dreams of university, apprenticeship schemes and work are static.”

Councillor James Barber, champion for young people, said: “Amelia and Ruben are doing a fantastic job of shining a light on young people’s mental health during this pandemic. Our ambition is for every child and young person in Cheshire East to have the best start in life, be safe, happy, healthy and to reach their potential.

“Cheshire East Children and Young People’s Trust (CYPT) is a fundamental partnership of local authority, education and health organisations that support this. Funding is allocated for the wellbeing of children as well as their parents during difficult circumstances.”

Q&A – Interview with Amelia Oldroyd and Ruben Barrow, Cheshire East Members of Youth Parliament

1. What has the lockdown taught you to appreciate and value?

Amelia: The lockdown has taught me to value the little things. Such as going outside, going for meals, enjoying school life. It has made me appreciate my whole life more because you never know when it can be stripped.

Ruben: I would say it has made me appreciate being around lots of people and having regular social contact with friends.

2. How have school closures impacted pupil’s mental health – what are your thoughts on delaying exams? 

Amelia: School closures have had an impact on pupil’s mental motivation, resilience and determination. Me personally, being a 2020 leaver, it feels as though I have gone to school for five years to achieve nothing as a result of exams being cancelled.

Ruben: I know it has been very hard on some people’s mental health and the exams are a worry especially for those who are sitting them next year like myself.

3. Is there any advice you can give to young carers during this time, who already have a lot of pressure at home?

Amelia: Keep talking to whoever you trust and/or feel comfortable talking to. Every new day is a step closer to this being all over and you’re doing amazing.

Ruben: To all the young carers I would say try your best and if you can access the  support made available on the council’s Covid-19 Mental Health Information Point, try and do so. Thank you and you are doing a great job!

4. What do you find constructive to help manage your own mental wellbeing?

Amelia: I try and exercise every day, keep in regular contact with family members and try and limit time on my mobile devices - learning something new each day.

Ruben: I think exercise is a good tool to maintain positive mental wellbeing.

5. If you are representing young people as member of UK Youth Parliament and a champion of mental health, what is your message?

Amelia: It’s ‘ok not to be ok’, and it’s ok to ask for help. There are so many people and services that can help you. You aren’t alone. Always spread positivity, always be kind. Mental health is something we can all tackle as a collective.

Ruben: Try and stay positive and know that we will beat this - life will return to some form of normal.