Knutsford Town Council News

Knutsford gets Gold

Knutsford has been awarded ‘gold’ in the RHS North West in Bloom competition for a second year running. Spearheaded by community group Knutsford in Bloom, this follows the Town achieving Silver Gilt from 2010-2015.

Knutsford also won the North West in Bloom “Best Commercial Effort” award for its incredible business displays as part of RHS Tatton. At the earlier It’s Your Neighbourhood awards Knutsford won two Outstanding awards for the Longridge & Shaw Heath in Bloom projects and resident Jean Vann’s allotments at Sparrow Lane!

Yvonne Bancroft, Knutsford in Bloom chairman, said: “The Gold award is not just about flower displays, but also the community doing things together. Knutsford has so many voluntary organisations and all these things do contribute.”

Deputy Chairman of Knutsford Town Council’s Environment Committee, Cllr James Power said “A massive thank you must go to all the dedicated volunteers; it is blooming marvellous that we have been awarded Gold by the judges”.

2018 sees Knutsford Town Council increasing its involvement in the In Bloom competitions as it takes on responsibility for the hanging baskets, barrier planters and competition entry.

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Millennium Bursary Open for Applications

The annual Millennium Bursary is now open for applications from students who are currently studying in their second year of Higher education. Applications are being accepted online at knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk with a deadline of Friday December 15th.  The main award is £515.

The bursary is the initiative of Knutsford Town Council supported by the Knutsford Lions Club and has been awarded every year since it was founded in 2000. It is aimed at students who will be going into their third year of higher education in September 2018.

As part of the application applicants must submit a short statement of no more than 200 words demonstrating how the award would benefit their chosen course of study, with particular reference to how it may help a project or dissertation.

To be eligible for the bursary applicants must normally reside in Knutsford or Toft. Informal interviews will take place in late December and the winner of the bursary will be announced shortly thereafter.

Town Mayor, Cllr Neil Forbes said “The Town Council is pleased to again be inviting students from the area to apply for the Millennium Bursary. I wish all the students applying the best of luck and look forward to working with the Knutsford Lions and Jennifer Holbrook in the difficult task of deciding this year’s successful applicant. “

Last year’s Bursary was awarded to Cameron Ormesher who was studying Government and Economics at the London School of Economics.

You can download the application form here: www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/services/millennium-bursary

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Remembrance Sunday Timings

Knutsfordians are invited to join the Town in remembrance of the fallen.

08:45 – Service at St Cross Church

09:20 – Wreath Laying at Cross Town War Memorial

10:00 – Parade assembles at Drury Lane

10:15 – Parade sets off from Drury Lane

10:25 – Presentation of wreath to Methodist Church

10:30 – Arrival at St John’s Church for the 10:45 service

12:00 – Parade reassembles on Church Walk and parades back to Drury Lane

12:30 – Remembrance Prayers and Wreath Laying at the War Memorial Cottage Hospital, Northwich Road

13:30 – Wreath Laying at the Parachute Regiment Memorial, Tatton Park

Followed by light refreshments at the Town Council Offices.

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Pumpkin Path just two weeks away!

Knutsford will be ready to welcome residents and visitors alike to its annual Pumpkin Path trail on 31st October from 4pm to 8pm.

This year sees Knutsford Town Council organising the event with sponsorship kindly provided by Mr Simms. As per previous years the event will see youngsters and their parents scouring King Street’s shops and restaurants to find the eleven carved pumpkins which spell out “PUMPKIN PATH” before submitting their entries to the Heritage Centre’s spooky post box. A huge number of local traders will join in the fun to make Knutsford a truly special and spooky place to visit.

The trail will finish at Wallwood at the Tatton Street end of King Street.  Wallwood will be decorated by Events2Scare in true Halloween style involving witches and wizards, lighting and music.  In addition, Booths supermarket’s Knutsford branch will be kindly donating their extra-large pumpkin. Visiting spooks can have their photo taken alongside it and send to Twitter with the #PumpkinPath. Store Manager, Ruth Wigglesworth said “We are delighted to donate our pumpkin to add some extra fun to this well-established community event.  We hope all the little visitors enjoy this Halloween festival!”

As well as the shops kindly hosting pumpkins (donated by Knutsford’s Little Waitrose) the whole of the community has got involved.  A huge variety of retailers will be decorating their windows, Pizza Express, Oxfam, Town & Country, Boots, Zo & Co to name but a few.  The window competition entries will be posted on Facebook and Twitter for the public to vote for their favourites and the winner will be announced the following week by the Mayor.

Local company Event Buddha are providing traffic management services and volunteer groups Knutsford and Districts Lions and Knutsford Hosts are assisting with marshalling duties. Gusto will be kindly providing hot drinks for all volunteers on the night. Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager said “We have been overwhelmed with the support from local organisations and retailers.  Both large and the smaller retailers are supporting this event.  It seems the whole community is coming together to ensure Knutsford’s Pumpkin Path becomes the go-to Halloween event in Cheshire”.

Road Closures

To enable the Pumpkin Path to take place safely, road closures will be in place as follows:

King Street at the junction with Church Hill to the junction with Drury Lane

Minshull Street

There will also be parking pay suspension from midnight Monday 30th October from King Street junction with Tatton Street to junction with Drury Lane to enable two-way traffic to enable residents access to be maintained.

All affected residents have been contacted directly

 

 

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Successful first Events Forum Meeting

Knutsford Town Council held a successful inaugural Events Forum Meeting on Wednesday 4 October at the Town Council offices.

The evening meeting brought together a diverse range of organisations – community event organisers, event venues and volunteer groups – over 30 people attended the meeting representing the likes of Knutsford Royal May Day, Knutsford Great Race, Knutsford Little Theatre as well as Tatton Park, Active Cheshire, Knutsford Lions and Knutsford Hosts to name a few.

The aim of the meeting is to have a co-ordinated approach to many of the events Knutsford proudly stages throughout the year which will involve diary management, resource sharing, facilitating ideas and venue hosting. One initiative will involve Sandra Curties, the Town’s new Town Centre Manager overseeing the production of an annual Events Guide which will showcase all Knutsford events for residents and tourists alike.

Cllr Andrew Malloy, Chairman of the Town Council’s Events Committee said “The turnout on what was a rather wet evening exceeded our expectations. It was great to see so many different communities represented – volunteer groups, venues as well as local businesses and more. This forum will enable us to pool our existing knowledge and expertise to ensure Knutsford’s reputation as one of the leading event towns in Cheshire goes from strength to strength”.

Although the next meeting will be held in the New Year at a venue yet to be decided, there will be a programme of behind the scenes activity in the run up.

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Waitrose donate Pumpkins for Pumpkin Path

Little Waitrose’s Knutsford branch has kindly donated the Pumpkins for this year’s Pumpkin Path event to be held in the town on Tuesday 31st October.

The Pumpkin Path, was originally conceived by a group of Knutsford retailers including Mr Simms, Knutsford in Bloom and Pulse of Perfumery and has become a firm family favourite on the Knutsford’s events calendar.  During the afternoon families will descend upon King Street and the surrounding areas to find hidden pumpkins in a variety of locations before visiting at Wallwood (on Tatton Street) which will be decorated in true Halloween style.

Sam Moyse, Customer Services Manager at Little Waitrose said, “We are delighted to be involved with this year’s Pumpkin Path and donate the required number of pumpkins. We will be personally delivering then to all this year’s pumpkin hosts.  However, please be assured that Waitrose will not be revealing the locations- we know these need to be kept top secret!”

Sandra Curties,  Town Centre Manager said, “We have been overwhelmed by the support from local retailers and community groups for this event and everything looks set for a Spooktacular event”.

Road Closures

To enable the Pumpkin Path to take place safely, road closures will be in place as follows:

King Street at the junction with Church Hill to the junction with Drury Lane

Minshull Street

There will also be parking pay suspension from midnight Monday 30th October from King Street junction with Tatton Street to junction with Drury Lane to enable two-way traffic to enable residents access to be maintained.

All affected residents have been contacted directly.

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Town Council Objects to Land Sale

Knutsford Town Council  is seeking to protect valued public open space at Longridge/ North Downs from a potential sale by Cheshire East Council. A portion of the land, which is public open space for the Downs estates, is proposed to be sold to provide a road to access the adjacent strategic development site.

Initially plans were for the full site to be sold, but interventions from the Town Council, Cheshire East Ward Councillors and KROW (Knutsford Residents of Over Ward)  mean the smaller area is now all that is being considered.

However, the Town Council remains opposed to the creation of a road on this important open space.The land, which is in Green Belt and soon to be designated as Local Green Space under the Neighbourhood Plan, has also been nominated to be registered as an Asset of Community Value. This would mean that any proposed sale would be halted to give the Town Council the opportunity to bid to purchase the land instead.

The Town Council has today written to Cllr Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council and to the members of her Cabinet setting out our objections to the disposal (which you can read here) and offering our support in helping to discharge the covenant on the adjacent ‘ransom strip’. The sale is proposed as a strip of land which fronts the development area is covenanted to prevent development, the beneficiaries of the covenant being the houses on Longridge estate.

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Pumpkin Path 2017

Knutsfordians and visitors can look forward to lots of spooky family fun as the annual Pumpkin Path returns to Knutsford on Tuesday 31st October 2017 between 4-8pm.

Since its launch in 2013 by the business community, the event has become a firm fixture on Knutsford’s event calendar growing in popularity each year. This year, Knutsford Town Council is leading on the event organisation in partnership with local businesses.

Owner of Mr Simms, Julia Chard, said “It’s been fantastic being involved in organising the Pumpkin Path over the last 4 years and watching it grow into one of Knutsford’s biggest community events.”

“Now is the time to hand over the organising the town council, allowing me to concentrate on being a sweetie lady! We will of course be a sponsor and taking part on the night and look forward to seeing all the scary little monsters, for what promises to be the biggest and spookiest Pumpkinpath yet.”

As per previous years the event will see youngsters and their parents scouring King Street’s shops and restaurants to find the eleven carved pumpkins which spell out “PUMPKIN PATH” before submitting their entries to the Heritage Centre’s spooky post box. Local traders will join in the fun to make Knutsford a truly special and spooky place to visit.

New this year will be the inclusion of Wallwood at the Tatton Street end of King Street.  Wallwood will be specially decorated with the help of events company Events2Scare in true Halloween style with witches and wizards, special lighting and music.  There will also be the chance to take a selfie with one of the characters to enter a #pumpkinpath Twitter competition.

Knutsford’s new Town Centre Manager, Sandra Curties, said “We are enjoying organising this year’s event with Mr Simms and Knutsford’s business community. It is lovely to see the town come together and enjoy this date on the calendar in such a family friendly way.”

Best dressed window competition

Like last year there will be a light-hearted competition to find Pumpkin Path 2017’s Best Dressed Window – Last year this was won by Dexter and Jones with Nicholas Austen as runner up. We’ll post up pictures of the windows on our Facebook page for the public to vote for their favourites! It is just a fun way to get involved in the event and ensure the whole of Knutsford is decked out in a spooky fashion.

Road Closures

To enable the Pumpkin Path to take place safely, road closures will be in place as follows:

  • King Street at the junction with Church Hill to the junction with Drury Lane
  • Minshull Street

There will also be parking pay suspension from midnight Monday 30th October from King Street junction with Tatton Street to junction with Drury Lane to enable two-way traffic to enable residents access to be maintained.

All affected residents will be contacted directly.

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New Events Forum Launched

Cllr James Power and Cllr Andrew Malloy - Knutsford TOB

Cllr James Power and Cllr Andrew Malloy – Knutsford TOB

Event organisers in Knutsford are being invited to attend a new forum hosted by the Town Council. The Knutsford Events Forum is being introduced as an opportunity for those organising public events in the town to share information, skills and experience.

The Town Council recognised that with the demise of the Promote Knutsford Forum in 2016 the town was lacking a regular avenue for event organisers to meet, discuss plans and deliver a more cohesive approach to the town’s events. Convened by the Chairman of the Town Council’s own Events Committee, Cllr Andrew Malloy, the forum is being trialled as an opportunity to provide this.

Andrew said, “Knutsford’s vibrant events calendar contributes greatly to making the town such a special place to live.”

“The aim of this forum is to make it easier for everyone organising events in the town through sharing of experience and knowledge and providing a networking opportunity for event planners”.

Whilst invitations have gone out to a number of community organisations involved in events in Knutsford, such as the Knutsford Promenades, Knutsford Heritage Centre and the Knutsford Lions, the forum is open to both existing event organisers and those with ideas for potential new events in the town.

“We hope that the forum will help take some of the headache out of organising events and signpost organisers to other organisations who can help make their events an even bigger success” Andrew added.

The forum will also help the Town Council as it begins to develop an annual events guide, launching in 2018.

The first meeting of the forum takes place on Wednesday 4th October at 6pm in the Town Council Offices.

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Knutsford long listed for ‘Council of the Year’ award

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”.

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