Knutsford Town Council is in the running for a national excellence award as part of the Star Councils Awards with the long-list for the 2017 Council of the Year award is announced.
Introduced in 2015 as part of the Star Councils Awards, Council of the Year goes to a council which stands apart, raising the bar for the sector with outstanding work across service delivery and which demonstrates excellence in community engagement and communications.
The awards, which are organised by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), saw Oswestry Town Council crowned Council of the Year 2016 and Knutsford is one of twelve councils on the longlist for the award; which will be whittled down to a shortlist of just three in mid-September. The winners of the award will be announced at the NALC Annual Conference in Milton Keynes on 30th October.
Town Mayor, Cllr Neil Forbes commented on the news stating, “I am delighted that our combined efforts to be a Quality Gold standard council and ahead of the curve on best practice as the council has grown has been recognised – fingers crossed for the shortlist!”
Speaking on the announcement of the long-list, Chairman of NALC, Cllr Sue Baxter outlined how difficult it had been to decide on this year’s list “NALC had to make some very tough and difficult decisions for the long list, because the standard of entrees were so high.”
Knutsford is one of two Cheshire councils to be long-listed, with Winsford Town Council also making the long-list. Both Macclesfield Town Council and Winsford Town Council are also in the running for “Local Council Outstanding Project of the Year – Health and Well-being”.
The British Red Cross has announced McCarthy and Stone, “the UKs leading retirement home developer” as the purchaser of Knutsford War Memorial Cottage Hospital (Memorial House).
The British Red Cross reported that several offers to purchase the building were received and a panel of surveyors considered all the offers, taking into account a range of factors including local housing needs and the bidders’ willingness to honour the historical significance of the site, and fully consult with the local community on plans for its future.
The British Red Cross has confirmed that its share of the proceeds from the sale will fund its work helping people in crisis. The Crown Estate and NHS are also understood to be receiving a portion of the proceeds and the NHS has not responded to a request from the Town Council to commit to ring-fencing its portion of proceeds for future medical facilities in Knutsford.
McCarthy and Stone have confirmed they will be looking at various development options for the land and have committed to keep the community updated; priding themselves on their track record for consulting with communities.
Ian Wilkins, regional MD for McCarthy and Stone North West said: “McCarthy and Stone is delighted to have been named the purchaser for the Memorial House site in Knutsford and we will ensure that a thorough community engagement programme is undertaken and that local people can feed back into our plans when drawn up”
The Town Council has been in contact with McCarthy and Stone and a meeting is being coordinated with the council’s War Memorial Hospital working group to discuss the future of the building.
Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green commented “We will be emphasising the importance of the preservation of this building, the Town’s War Memorial, and providing McCarthy and Stone with the history of the building and its importance to the community.”
Know someone getting a little bored with the poor weather in the summer holidays? Perhaps there’s time to practice their act and get ready for Knutsford’s biggest and best talent competition. Entries for Knutsford’s got the Talent Factor on Saturday 14th October are open now http://www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/events/mayors-fundraising-events/knutsfords-got-the-talent-factor or from the Town Council offices. Don’t leave it too late to enter this fantastic charity event.
It’s nearly too late to get a tickets for Tue 22nd August’s ‘Culture and Cake’ Afternoon Tea and private guided tour of Tabley House and exclusive use of their Tea Rooms. £22.50 for this whole afternoon event bookable via http://www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/events/mayors-fundraising-events alternatively contact Clare at Knutsford Town Council on 01565-653929 and leave her a message to buy tickets. I hope to see you there.
On a completely different tack I’d encourage all readers to spend half an hour to get to grips with and understand what the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan is all about http://www.knutsfordneighbourhoodplan.org.uk In a ‘nutshell’ whilst Knutsford must have about 1,000 new homes, the resident driven Neighbourhood Plan will seek to put ‘planning rules’ along with a Design Guide in place to ensure Knutsford retains its identity and has the right infrastructure to support a 25% increase in our population. Expect to hear more about this after the summer and be prepared to have your say.