Archive for May, 2018

Audit and Accounts Published

ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2018


Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 26 and 27

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)

  1. Date of announcement 31/05/2018
  2. Each year the smaller authority’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd. The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.

Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2018, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:

Adam Keppel-Green, Town Clerk, Council Offices, Toft Road, Knutsford, WA16 6TA

commencing on (c) Monday 4 June 2018

and ending on (d) Friday 13 July 2018

  1. Local government electors and their representatives also have
  2. a) The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and
  3. b) The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.

The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only.

  1. The smaller authority’s AGAR is subject to review by the appointed auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice 2015. The appointed auditor is:

PKF Littlejohn LLP (Ref: SBA Team), 1 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London E14 4HD,
(sba@pkf-littlejohn.com)

5. This announcement is made by the Town Clerk 

VIEW THE ANNUAL RETURN

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Neighbourhood Plan Reaches key Milestone

 

Cllr Peter Coan studying the draft plan

Knutsford’s journey to a Neighbourhood Plan has made a leap forward as the first full draft plan has been published by the Town Council for public consultation.

The draft plan is the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by councillors and volunteers from the community who have been working on the plan since 2014. The plan deals with a range of land use issues in Knutsford across core themes spanning everything from traffic and education to housing and sports.

Monday (21st May) saw the start of the formal regulation 14 consultation on the draft plan and residents, local businesses and other stakeholders are invited to review the plan and provide feedback. The plan, and a suite of supporting documents and evidence, can be found online at www.knutsfordnp.org.uk.

To support the consultation the Town Council has produced an eight-page summary document which is being delivered to every home in Knutsford by a team of volunteers as well as a series of supporting events.

The Town Council is hosting three themed events which will examine different areas of the plan in detail. The events, at Knutsford Methodist Church from 7pm to 9pm over the next three weeks, offer an opportunity to hear about aspects of the plan and discuss issues with the council’s planning advisers, Urban Imprint.

 

Weds 30th May Supporting Infrastructure Focus on Transport, Sports and Leisure, Health, Community and Education

 

Weds 6th June Creating Places Focus on Design, Heritage, Environment, Open Spaces and the Town Centre

 

Thurs 14th June Meeting Local Needs Focus on Housing and Employment

 

Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee, Cllr Stewart Gardiner, is encouraging all residents to engage in the consultation process as he said “It is your chance to help preserve the character of our historic Town, whilst ensuring that any new developments seek to compliment all that Knutsford offers the residents of today, whilst helping to meet the aspirations of the current younger generation and those to come”

Hard copies of the Draft Neighbourhood Plan can be accessed at the Library, Council Offices, Market Hall and Welcome Café. The consultation runs until Monday 2nd July.

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Cllr Peter Coan elected Town Mayor

At the annual ‘Mayor Making’ ceremony on Monday 14th May 2018 the Town Council elected Cllr Peter Coan as Mayor of Knutsford for the ensuing year with Cllr Andrew Malloy being elected as Deputy Mayor.

Cllr Peter Coan has been a member of the Town Council for the last 12 years and served as Mayor in 2010.  In addition to chairing Full Council meetings, the Mayor represents the Town at a variety of events both in Knutsford and the surrounding areas.  Peter is a retired Firefighter from Cheshire Fire Service and served as Deputy to outgoing Mayor Cllr Neil Forbes.

The Mayor has nominated four local charities/good causes to support with his fundraising events which will run throughout the year:  Knutsford Heritage Centre, The Welcome Café, Friends of the Moor and Knutsford Community First Responder Trust.  His first event will be a BBQ on Thursday 5th July at the Council Offices.

Cllr Coan said “I’m looking forward to seeing all our council’s latest initiatives come to fruition including the Centennial war memorial, the new market hall and the refurbishment of our cemetery chapel. I look forward to the new and improved community use of our council office building, the improved support to local businesses that our specialist Town Centre Manager will provide, and, of course, our fabulous music festival next month.”

The Mayor will be supported by his wife Ann as Mayoress.  Cllr Coan has chosen Air Cadet Max Risley as his Mayor’s Cadet for his term.  The Cadet will represent the Mayor and the Town at Civic Functions including Civic Sunday on Sunday 8 July and Remembrance Sunday. 

Revd Rob Cotton was appointed as Mayor’s Chaplain and will lead the Civic Service at Knutsford Methodist Church on 8 July. 

For more information or to invite the Mayor to one of your events or functions please contact the Mayor’s PA Annabel Irvine on 01565 653 929 or email Annabel.irvine@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Last year the Mayor or Deputy Mayor attended over 100 events in the local area for a variety of community organisations, charities, businesses etc.

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Love Your Local Market

Knutsford Market Hall will be celebrating Love your Local Market Week which starts this Thursday 17th May and runs for two weeks.

Knutsford Market Hall will launch the fortnight with ‘Taste Thursday’ on 17th May.  Visitors to Knutsford, residents and businesses will be able to enjoy samples from many of the traders: Alan’s Fruit and Veg, Edwards & Emmess Butchers, Morgan Edwards Fine Wines, The Market Café and Mike’s Poultry and Provisions.  Style Loft Boutique and Dave’s Balloons and Greeting cards will also be offering discounts for shoppers.

There will be a surprise or two over the Royal Wedding weekend with maybe even a “Royal visitor” or two.

The following week there will be envelopes hidden around Knutsford containing a voucher from the market hall.  This voucher can then be redeemed for a variety of goods; a punnet of strawberries, a greeting card, cappuccino or even a chicken! Shoppers are asked to keep their eyes peeled at all times!  A children’s face painter will be in residence on Saturday 26th May.  So, if you are shopping in the market that day with children, you know they will be kept amused.  Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager, said “Knutsford Market Hall is looking forward to Love your Local Market Week.  Whether you are a regular market shopper or not visited before, please come and say hello.  The Market Hall is a hidden gem within Knutsford brimming with local produce and a customer service ethos that is second to none.”

Knutsford Market Hall is open every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8am to 4pm. Shoppers at Knutsford Market can find everything for dinner from, fruit and veg and a great range of meat, poultry and fish.

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Record Amount Raised for Mayor’s Charities

At the end of his 12 months of fundraising, Knutsford Mayor, Cllr Neil Forbes, this week announced a record-breaking amount of £12,365 for his chosen charities: Mid Cheshire Riding for the Disabled, Knutsford Youth Orchestra and Knutsford Friendship Café.

Cllr Forbes has hosted three successful “Eat, drink and be merry” dinners at Pastiche, Brasserie Blanc and Giovanni’s.

Paula Lambe & Eve James from Knutsford Friendship Cafe with Cllr Neil Forbes

In August guests enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea and tour of Tabley House. 

Despite the rain at Knutsford Christmas Market, it didn’t dampen the spirits for those wanting to Win Christmas and one lucky winner walked away with over 120 prizes from the stalls on the market.

Now a firm favourite in the Mayor’s fundraising calendar, the Mayor’s Annual Fun Pub Quiz was held at The Angel Hotel where over 150 quizzers in 20 teams battled it out to take the crown from last year’s winners.  The quiz was eventually won after a surprise “Pointless” finale by a team from Mid Cheshire Riding for the Disabled.

The highlight of every Mayor’s year is the Mayor’s Charity Ball which, this year, was a glittering affair at The Courthouse.  With entertainment kindly sponsored by Fisher German, guests were treated to a caricaturist and close-up magic from Carl Royle during a sparkling reception then treated to a delicious 3-course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Steven Tuke, after which guests hit the dancefloor. 

Hannah Sheldon, Abi Taylor, Kath Small, Anna Taylor, Tom Small, Harry Small from Knutsford Youth Orchestra with Cllr Neil Forbes,

With over 100 prizes on offer, all generously donated by local businesses, the evening started with a bang as guests popped helium balloons, inside which were vouchers for amazing nights out at restaurants, theatres and the cinema.  The first prize winner of the raffle was treated to Dinner Bed & Breakfast at Cottons, whilst the silent auction included a bespoke three-piece suit from Lloyd Hall and a golf day at Carden Park.  There was also a tombola with an array of prizes which proved popular with guests.

Added to that, there was also the generosity of the numerous table sponsors from a variety of local businesses which culminated in an amazing £7,400 being raised on the evening.

Cllr Neil Forbes said: “I am so pleased to have raised so much for our three local good causes.  All of this would of course have been impossible without the generosity of our local businesses matched only by that of the people who turned up in good numbers to support the events.  Thank-you all.”

Pamela Rigby & Jeanette Dixon from Mid Cheshire Riding for the Disabled with Cllr Neil Forbes

The Mayor’s final event was “Mayor’s Speakeasy Big Band Night” with the Fish Lip Soup Big Band featuring guest vocalist Jenn Clempner.  The audience had a great night of popular music in the delightful setting of St John’s Church.

Jeanette Dixon from Mid Cheshire Riding for the Disabled said: “Mid Cheshire Riding for the Disabled have been extremely grateful to be chosen as one of the Mayor’s charities for the past year.  It costs us nearly £20,000 a year to provide riding activities and so support our riders.  The funds raised will be used towards the keep of our two ponies, Ted & Pip, without them we could not continue our work.  We provide riding for 94 disabled people each week.  We take part in a Therapy Tracker that helps record the changes and shows us that riders benefit in several areas, not only physically, but also in social relationships and in confidence.”

Sponsors and Supporters: Steve Crowther from Fish Lip Soup Big Band, Anne Dobie from Laytons, Jacqueline Forbes, Hugh Platt from Fisher German, Cllr Neil Forbes

Kath Small from Knutsford Youth Orchestra said: “This donation will help us to arrange for professional musicians from various orchestras to provide workshops to our children and help promote their knowledge.  It will give every child from KYO the chance to go and hear a professional orchestra/group.  We will be able to purchase 3 trombones and provide lessons to children who may not otherwise have learnt an instrument (we hope to be able to offer this on more instruments too).   We will also use it to offer free places in KYO to children who show musical potential. “

Paula Lambe and Eve James from Knutsford Friendship Café said: “We are extremely grateful to have been one of Mayor Neil Forbes’ three chosen charities over the last year and would like to thank everyone who has participated in whatever way towards the fundraising.  The money will go towards trips out for those who come to the café, increasing the number of café sessions held each month and continuing the music therapy which is so much enjoyed.  We will also invest in musical instruments as well as new games and activities.”

Notes to Editors: The total fundraising amount raised includes a matched funding amount of £1,250 from Barclays which has been given to the charities.  The amount shown on the cheques pictured excludes this amount.

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Shop Saturday

This Saturday 12th May will see shoppers visiting Knutsford able to enjoy free parking at Silk Mill Street, Princess Street and King Street car parks from 10 a.m.

Sandra Curties, Knutsford Town Centre Manager, said, “Free parking for the day will encourage shoppers to ‘stay and spend’ and enjoy everything Knutsford has to offer – boutiques, restaurants, cafes as well as our lovely green spaces such as The Moor and The Heath.  Shoppers are reminded to park in designated bays.”.

The four free parking days for 2018 is a Cheshire East imitative across all towns within the borough.   The three other free parking days for Knutsford have been allocated to December in accordance with retailers’ wishes.

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Statement on Management of 60 King Street

The following statement was issued to the Knutsford Guardian in response to a statement sent by the council’s tenant, La Belle Epoque Limited.

Knutsford Town Council takes seriously its multiple responsibilities as a landlord, custodian of one of the Town’s most treasured buildings and, as a council, its responsibilities to the tax payers of Knutsford.

The Town Council has considerable obligations under the lease to maintain the exterior of 60 King Street and has spent over £200,000 in the past six years with another £50,000 of works planned for 2018. At the same time, the rental income from the tenant has meant we have been able to keep the precept down by £21,500 each year.

The tenant has been in arrears of rent since 2015 through which time the council had sought to be extremely patient. The tenant missed numerous informal agreements on when debts would be settled and it was with regret that the council has had to progress no fewer than four legal proceedings to recover the debts which have included claims via the County Court and most recently a wind-up petition.

This has, naturally, put a great strain on the relationship between the Town Council as landlord and its tenant, La Belle Epoque Limited and this is deeply regrettable. However not receiving the income we were due would begin to affect our ability to maintain this iconic Grade II* Listed Building and our ability to minimise the council tax paid by our residents; this was a situation considered unacceptable by the council.

The Town Council disputes it has responsibility to clean the exterior of the building of pigeon mess but has put in place plans to minimise pigeon roosting on the building; this requires Listed Building Consent and the Council’s agent has been in discussions with the Conservation Officer regarding this.

The Town Council had planned to undertake a programme of high-level works which would require the erection of scaffolding for an extended period; we have had difficulty in arranging these works due to the disruption it would have on the tenant’s business but we are proactively seeking to arrange these when we are able to agree with the tenant a suitable period.

There are further ancillary issues, including the unauthorised installation of decking and the repair of the staircase in the tower which is a tenant responsibility. Throughout all discussions the Town Council has made it clear that the payment of the rent is of paramount importance.

The Town Council has agreed to mediation in an effort to seek to resolve issues and repair relations between us as Landlord and La Belle Epoque Limited and throughout the Council has never refused mediation.

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