Knutsford Town Council News

Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe joins Knutsford Music Festival

Broadcaster Mark Radcliffe has teamed up with Knutsford Town Council to host a series of gigs in the first wave of announcements for Knutsford Music Festival.

The BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music DJ, who lives in the town, will transform Knutsford Little Theatre into a folk club for three nights from Friday, June 22, to Sunday, June 24.

The event will be called ‘Mark Radcliffe Presents Folk at the Theatre’ and will form part of Knutsford Town Council’s wider celebration of music throughout the town centre.

It will draw on Mark’s experiences and contacts running the Radio 2 Folk Show.

Friday’s headliner is Pilgrim’s Way who tell stories of highwaymen, robbers and brigands through traditional English folk song…and 1980s disco.

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees from Stockport feature the talents of multi-instrumentalist Jon Loomes who remarkably played 22 instruments on the band’s 2016 album, Red Diesel.

Mark also wanted to book the act as a nod to Knutsford’s Highwayman Higgins connections.

On Saturday Mike McGoldrick and friends will take to the stage.

Mike has mastered numerous instruments including Irish flutetin whistlelow whistleuillean pipes, tenor guitar and bodhrán and he was in his first band, Toss the Feathers, when he was still at school.

He also performs regularly with the BBC Four Transatlantic Sessions and with Dire Straits frontman, Mark Knopfler.

Then on Sunday acclaimed folk duo Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar will close the show.

Greg and Ciaran met by chance through a mutual friend but have now been playing together for nearly seven years.

They have won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards including the Young Folk Award and Horizon Award and yet are still in their early 20s.

Mark said: ‘I’m thrilled to be part of Knutsford Music Festival as it’s the town I live in and wanted to make a contribution.

“I can promise people three evenings of truly exceptional music in a folk and roots style and look forward to counting on their support at our cherished Little Theatre.”

Each performer will also have a support act.

Lucas Marks, a singer-songwriter from Knutsford, will share the stage with Pilgrim’s Way and Amelia Coburn, who was nominated for a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award last year, will support Mike McGoldrick.

Mark himself will be stepping onto the stage on the Sunday.

The former BBC Radio 1 breakfast show presenter will join his former Family Mahone bandmates Dave Russell and Chris Lee for a stripped back folk show.

Sarah Morgan, Deputy Town Clerk, added: “Given his excellent reputation as a broadcaster, extensive knowledge of music and enthusiasm for our event, we are delighted to have Mark involved with Knutsford Music Festival.

“We’re determined to make this year’s festival even bigger and better than the launch event in 2017 and so look out for many more announcements in the weeks to come.”

Details on how to buy tickets and further acts for the second annual Knutsford Music Festival will be revealed in the coming weeks.

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Neighbourhood Planning FAQs

Following the consultation events associated with the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan in November and December 2017, there were a number of questions raised by the local community. Many of the questions were based on a misunderstanding of the role, scope or even responsibility. As a result, the steering group have asked their consultants to prepare the following answers to 10 of the most frequently asked questions.

Questions about the Emerging Policies Consultation

1. What is this consultation all about?

This consultation was all about the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan. This is a land use planning document which is being prepared specifically for Knutsford and must be led by the local community. Once finished, the Neighbourhood Plan will be used to assess, where relevant, the acceptability of any planning application in Knutsford. The plan is being prepared by the Knutsford Town Council who, following feedback from the community, have taken this opportunity to seize more control and involvement in local planning matters. This latest consultation asked the people of Knutsford if they felt all the important topics and issues had been considered.

2. There isn’t much detail available, so how can we comment?

This consultation isn’t asking for detailed responses on the plan; it is simply asking whether the framework that is set up is correct and reflects the communities wishes. This specific consultation happens approximately mid-way through the process of making the Neighbourhood Plan. It is the first time the topics and the matters that will be covered by the plan are introduced to the community. There will be further rounds of consultation on this plan as it progresses – each time with more detail based on the feedback received. Developing plans is time-consuming and expensive, and the group responsible for this plan did not wish to undertake abortive work against the communities wishes.
Relationship with the Local Plan and Planning Decisions

3. Is this a replacement for the Cheshire East Plan?

No, it’s not. This plan works alongside the Cheshire East Local Plan. The Local Plan is necessarily strategic and based on broad principles but does set the general location and number of new homes and employment sites throughout Cheshire East. The Local Plan also sets out Knutsford’s role as a Key Service Centre, meaning it provides retail, employment, leisure, and other services for a much wider rural area. The Neighbourhood Plan has to work alongside this but is able to provide specific detail at much more localised level. Many of the topics covered by the emerging Neighbourhood Plan are barely touched upon in the Local Plan (heritage, trees and hedgerows, local character) so it’s important that the Neighbourhood Plan provides this detail.

4. How much weight will the Neighbourhood Plan have – is it worth the effort?

At this point the emerging Neighbourhood Plan has some weight in the determination of planning applications. As it progresses towards the formal adoption it will continue to gain in weight. Once adopted (or ‘made’) the Neighbourhood Plan will have the same weight as the Cheshire East Local Plan. Any planning application would be required, in accordance with planning law, to demonstrate how it had complied with the plan or why there were strong reasons against following the plan.


The Neighbourhood Plan’s Relationship with Proposed Housing

5. Why have many houses been allocated in Knutsford?

As mentioned, the Neighbourhood Plan has not been responsible for the number of houses coming forward in Knutsford. This is set by the Local Plan which is required to deliver 36,000 homes throughout Cheshire East over the next 14 years. The number of houses for Knutsford was agreed following an examination in public by an independent inspector in autumn 2016. As a Key Service Centre (as befitting its market town status) Knutsford was considered as a location that should accommodate growth of housing and employment. The housing growth is roughly based around ensuring a proportionate growth across the Borough with Macclesfield and Crewe, as the largest settlements, taking the majority of the growth.

6. Where are the houses going?

The Cheshire East Local Plan has allocated sites for 925 new homes on allocated sites between now and 2031 (approximately 65 per annum). These are split across five sites around the town, including sites for 200 homes at Parkgate and 225 homes south of Longridge, both to the east of the town. A collection of sites to the north and west of Knutsford totalling 500 new dwellings along Northwich and Manchester Roads. The total number of houses and these locations have been set by the Cheshire East Local Plan which was adopted in summer 2017 and cannot be changed. Additional dwellings have been approved or may come forward on previously developed sites or as a result of plot subdivision elsewhere in the town. There are no current plans to release further greenfield land.

7. Why are there no plans for the housing sites around the town as part of this consultation?

The housing sites around the town are being brought forward by private owners or development organisations and will not form any part of the Neighbourhood Plan. It would be wrong for the Neighbourhood Plan to support (or otherwise) the work by these private interests bring forward as they may change or be modified over the course of the plan. The schemes that each organisation / owner bring forward will be subject to separate planning applications and as a result – government guidance dictates that they should have separate consultation and engagement exercises.
Neighbourhood planning and Infrastructure

8. What can the Neighbourhood Plan do about the traffic in the Town?

The Neighbourhood Plan authors are very well aware that traffic, congestion and queues within Knutsford are a key issue for the community. Whilst the planning system has some role to play in reducing traffic congestion, it is only part of the solution. Traffic and congestion issues are controlled by the local highways authority, who will implement highways improvements to ease congestion (often funded through new developments). The Neighbourhood Plan has a much wider role to play, insofar as it must ensure that planning prioritises walking, cycling and public transport to reduce overall car use. The plan includes a number of proposed policies to tackle this issue.

9. It’s all very well, building more houses, but what about schools and healthcare?

It is acknowledged by service providers and the Local Authority that further healthcare and education provision will need to be made before 2031. There will be a requirement for increased provision of schools places but, at this time they have no confirmed projects that we can include and support. Likewise, the Clinical Care Commission Group (who are responsible for local healthcare) are investigating projects in the town but have no firm plans. Therefore, the Neighbourhood Plan has taken forward policies to ensure that when community infrastructure is proposed, it is well connected to the new and existing communities it will serve. Should any decisions be made on these proposals prior to finalising the plan this will be reflected in the plan.

10. So, what’s the next step to producing the plan?

The immediate next step is to collect and collate all the feedback obtained from the consultation. Work on this will begin in January 2018. Following that, the local community champions involved in each of the topic areas and the consultant team will begin to prepare the first full draft of the Neighbourhood Plan. This will include policies and explanatories for all the outlines that obtained support during the consultation. It is anticipated that a first draft will be subject to the next round of consultation in spring 2018. This consultation will be a formal process and will be the final opportunity to share your thoughts with the group preparing the plan – after that all engagement will be through an examination by an independent qualified examiner in late 2018.

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Cllr Charlotte Greenstein steps down from Council

Electors in Norbury Booths have the opportunity to request a by-election, following the resignation of Cllr Charlotte Greenstein. Charlotte has reluctantly stepped down from the council owing to a change in working commitments.

A notice of the vacancy has been posted today and electors in the ward have until  Friday 2nd February to request a by-election from Cheshire East Council. If an election is not requested the Town Council will advertise for and co-opt a new councillor.

Cllr Peter Coan, Deputy Mayor of Knutsford said “I would like to thank Charlotte for the contributions made during her time in office and wish her well in her present and future ventures.”

A request for an election should be submitted to:

The Returning Officer
Cheshire East Council
Middlewich Road
CW11 1HZ

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Community Governance Review Petition

Knutsford Town Council is calling on Cheshire East Council to undertake a Community Governance Review (CGR). This is a formal process which defines the boundaries and electoral arrangements of Knutsford  Town Council. The Town Council has identified three anomalies it wishes to see fixed:

Northwich Road Development

The housing development planned on Northwich Road straddles the boundary of Knutsford and Tabley. The new residents who eventually live here will use Knutsford services, have a Knutsford address and consider themselves part of Knutsford but technically will live in Tabley. This means they won’t pay the Knutsford precept (making it comparably more expensive for existing residents)  and means they won’t be represented by the Town Council.

Longridge Development

The housing development planned opposite Longrdridge is wholly within Knutsford but it is split between two Town Council wards – Over and Norbury Booths. This will present confusion at elections and for representation as different houses within the area will be represented by different councillors.

Populations within Wards

Nether Ward and Over Ward are set to increase through development whilst Norbury Booths and Bexton remain the same. This results in a disproportionate ratio of electors to councillors across the wards.

To trigger a review we need around 800 electors of Knutsford to request a review from Cheshire East. We have created a petition to make this process simple – all you need to do is click here: create an account with the Cheshire East website and sign the petition. We’ve already collected around 300 physical signatures, so its just another 500 we need to get!


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Free Social Media Seminar for Local Businesses

Do you know your hashtags from your Twitter handles, or your Snapchat from your Instagram?

Whatever your level of expertise, no business nowadays can afford to ignore the importance of social media in today’s marketing mix.

Knutsford Town Council has  week launched a new initiative to help local business owners kick start their social media campaigns and better promote their products and services via these digital platforms.  A free social media workshop will take place at the Knutsford Council offices in Toft Road on Wednesday 31st January (6pm – 7.30pm) and will be run in partnership with local creative agency, Bella Design & Marketing. The course will be suitable for complete novices with little prior knowledge, as well as more established social media users who wish to hone their skills.

Town Centre Manager, Sandra Curties, said “Social Media is here to stay and can be a cost-effective way of engaging with both existing customers and reaching new markets. This workshop will provide a relaxed environment for participants to increase their knowledge and learn from the experts.”

Bella Design & Marketing is an established, integrated agency based at Booths Park, Knutsford and with offices in Manchester. The team has extensive experience in managing social media campaigns across a diverse range of sectors for both B2B and consumer-facing clients, including the Royal Cheshire County Show.

Topics covered in the workshop will include an introduction to the main social media platforms, generating exciting content, reaching your target audience, increasing engagement and monitoring your results. Places are limited, and the workshop is open to Knutsford based business and retailers only.  For more information or to book your place, please contact as soon as possible. Priority goes to town centre businesses.

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Knutsford Christmas Weekend 2017

Christmas comes to Town this weekend as the Knutsford Christmas Market and Light Switch on takes place!

This year the market, which runs from 12 noon to 7pm on Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sunday, features 135 stalls with artisan food and drink, Christmas wreaths, decorations and unique and handmade gifts making it the perfect place to purchase Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

The Market also coincides with Small Business Saturday, making it the perfect time to support the wide range independent shops, bars and restaurants of Knutsford whilst enjoying the market too! Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager said “No small market town does Christmas in quite the same way as Knutsford.  It is lovely to see so many people – residents and tourists alike – enjoying everything this weekend has to offer.  By that we don’t mean just the markets but enjoying the whole town – our shops, little cafes, bars and restaurants included”.

Festive family fun is the order of the day, with a fairground on Princess St Car park, the ever-popular Snow globe on Princess St and New for 2017 – Santa’s Grotto on Silk Mill Street. The Grotto which is raising funds for the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust will be kindly decorated by Fryers Garden Centre and is sure to be a must visit attraction for little ones. The main event of the day is the Reindeer Parade with Santa at 5pm along King St, Minshull Street and into Canute Place, where the Christmas Lights will be switched on at 6pm which always draws the crowds.

Canute Place will be transformed into an entertainment and food hub, meaning that visitors can take a break from the shopping and enjoy some hot food washed down with Tatton Beer, Prosecco, Mulled Wine, Cocktails or a warming hot coffee whilst listening to the festive entertainment emanating from the stage from 1pm to 7pm. The superb array of entertainment includes Tatton Singers, White Hot Chilli Peppers, SMB Dance, local star Abigail Chetham as well as Music Festival favourite Kye Jones.

To enable the Christmas Weekend events to take place safely, road closures will be in place across the weekend. On Saturday 3rd December there will be a rolling road closure along King St from 5pm to 5.30pm to enable Santa and his reindeer to parade through the town. Don’t miss the chance for your child to ride with Santa on his sleigh during the parade by entering the exclusive Knutsford Guardian competition (details below).

Canute Place will be closed from 7am to 8pm on Saturday to enable the stage to be set up for the Light Switch On and Princess Street will close from 7am to 8pm on Saturday 3rd and from 6am to 7pm on Sunday 4th for the Christmas Market. For more information on the Christmas events or road closures please call Knutsford Town Council on 01565 653929.

Unfortunately, it has been necessary to cancel the Advent Live event that had been due to take place from 1st to 24th December at 6pm each evening across the Town Centre. The event will be back for 2018!



 In the popular book by Julia Donaldson, which stuck man does Stick Man help release from the Chimney?

Email your answer, by Friday 1st December at 12 noon to Ned Bristow along with your Childs name, age and your contact phone number. The lucky winner will be contacted on Friday afternoon and needs to be available between 4.45pm and 5.30pm on Saturday 2nd December to take part in the Parade.



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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 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:

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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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