Knutsford Town Council News

Market Improvements and Flowers

As reported in last week’s Knutsford Guardian, the Town Council has committed to refurbishment of the Market Hall. We will now be working with traders to develop the scheme and looking to make improvements as soon as practical. This is a great example of the benefit of the Town Council having taken on the asset from Cheshire East Council.

Talking of the market, have you visited our latest addition? The café has new owners and a new name – The Market Café. Oliver and Steph are the latest addition to the market and if you haven’t yet checked out the menu (eat in or take away) you should.

The Finance Committee met on Monday and awarded two grants; £400 to the Canute Lunch Club and £2,555 to the Abbeyfield Society. If you are part of a community organisation looking for funding, you can find out more about the Town Council’s grant schemes on our website.

Judges visit Knutsford in just two weeks for the North West in Bloom awards; supporting Knutsford in Bloom the Town Council has planted our new planter on Cotton Shop Yard and our Town Ranger is out tackling weeds and problem areas – if you spot a problem area do let us know!

Also, keep an eye out in the Town Centre during RHS – our local businesses are once again preparing some incredible floral displays to celebrate!

 The Town Clerk’s Column is a bi-weekly blog appearing in the Knutsford Guardian

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We’re recruiting..

Repairs have been undertaken to the setts around the Canute mosaic on heritage way; these have been jointly funded by the Town Council and Tatton Estate Management to help preserve the mosaic. We’ve also installed a new bin on the site, replacing one that disappeared a few years ago.

The line-up for the music festival is building and we have a plethora of musical talent visiting Knutsford for the final weekend of June. We’re putting the finishing touches to the full programme, but you can keep up to date with the festival online, on social media (@knutsfordmusic) and through the Guardian.

Our Town Ranger enjoyed the glorious weather last week as he went around town clearing weeds and overgrown signs, planting trees and clearing paths. Remember if you spot an area in town that needs some attention – let me know.

The Town Council is currently recruiting a Town Centre Manager, this expanded role will see the council improving its engagement with the business community and undertaking more initiatives to drive footfall to our town centre and Market Hall. Full details are on the town council website.

The Neighbourhood Plan committee met this week and has been planning the next round of community engagement to help shape the future of Knutsford. We’ve developed a series of ‘emerging policies’ which will be out for consultation in a few months’ time.

The Town Clerk’s column is a bi-weekly blog in the Knutsford Guardian.

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Elections, Music Festival and more

The plans for the town’s first music are progressing well with a great number of businesses signed up to take part and our main event having just been announced. Make sure you have the last weekend in June cleared in you diary to enjoy the events!

The Town Council will once again be participating in this year’s Knutsford Heritage Open Days, organised by the Knutsford Promenades team, we’ll be opening our cemetery chapel and council chamber with a small exhibition in each.

Our Town Ranger has been tackling weeds a lot recently, both in the town centre and in other areas such as Middle Walk. If you’ve spotted an area which needs tidying up please do let me know.

Next week the Environment Committee is meeting and items up for discussion include updating the town centre maps, planting displays at the entrance signs and receiving updates from both Friends of the Moor and Friends of the Heath. There’s always time set aside for members of the public to raise questions or submit comments.

Remember, the by-election for Over Ward takes place on Thursday 4th May. The newly elected councillor will join the council for their first meeting on Monday 8th May where we will be electing the Town Mayor for 2017!

Finally, I recently had the pleasure of giving a talk to the Knutsford U3A recently on my role and what the Town Council does and a bit of the history of the evolution of town councils. I hope those who attended enjoyed it – there were certainly some great questions afterward.

 

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Music, Graves and a casual vacancy

On Monday, we planted a tree on the Moor in memory of former Mayor and long-serving councillor Vivien Davies. It was great to see so many turn out for the short dedication ceremony.

Tuesday saw us welcoming a new trader to the Market Hall; Maison Rustique, a regular at the Knutsford Christmas Market, has joined us selling a beautiful range of ceramics – do visit and say hello next time you are passing Silk Mill Street.

The plans for our newest event, Knutsford Music Festival, are progressing well with our first announcement on the dates and format of the event coming next week. If you are a venue or performer interested in being part of this exciting new event – please drop my deputy, Lisa, an e-mail on lisa.benskin@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

The Assets Committee has agreed the next programme of works to gravestones in Knutsford cemetery. Continuing where we left off in 2015, we will be re-standing over 70 graves which have fallen down, greatly improving the amenity of the cemetery. We have also recently installed two new benches for those visiting the cemetery.

Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Yvonne Bancroft for her hard-work and dedicated commitment to the council over the past four years. Yvonne stepped down from the Town Council last week and electors of the ward now have until March 16th to request a by-election. If you are interested in becoming a Town Councillor, feel free to give me a call to find out what’s involved!

You can contact Adam on 01565 653 929 or e-mail townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

 

 

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Lantern Workshops and Neighbourhood Plan Progress

The working groups for the Neighbourhood Plan have been meeting over the last few weeks with our new Project Managers, Urban Imprint. The process is well and truly moving forward now and we hope to have the data from the first survey ready by the end of the year, this will help us set the overall vision for our Neighbourhood Plan. If you want to find out more, the committee meetings on Tuesday 29th at 7pm where the working groups will be giving an update.

The Assets Committee meets on Monday evening where it will be discussing everything from the public toilets to allotments and Wallwood. As always, there is a period of time at the start of the meeting for members of the public to raise comments or ask questions.

We are keen to put our assets to their best use and so have been looking at the empty space in our public toilet buildings; we are currently working on plans to create commercially lettable spaces to offset the costs of providing some of our services.

This Saturday (25th) the Town Council is hosting two free lantern making workshops to support our Lantern Parade which takes place on December 10th. There are still spaces so if you are looking for something creative to do this weekend with your children, e-mail lisa.benksin@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk to book a space.

Talking Christmas, it’s only two weeks until the Christmas Weekend; our two-day market, live entertainment, reindeer parade and Christmas Lights switch on takes place on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December. You should see poster and flyers around town with full details or visit our website for more information.

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Parliamentary Boundary Changes

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey for the Neighbourhood Plan, your comments will help shape the plan and the way that Knutsford develops. If you missed out on having a say, don’t worry, there will be plenty of ways to engage and have a say on different aspects of the plan as it develops.

The Town Council has set out its response to the proposed Parliamentary Boundary changes objecting to the proposals on three grounds that we will be publishing later this week. We want as many residents to respond to the consultation too – numbers will have an impact on the decisions that the commission will make.

At our meeting last Monday we also heard from the Mid Cheshire Rail Link Campaign; this would have notable benefits for Knutsford and we continue to support and lobby for this.

Our Environment Committee had a packed agenda recently and agreed a number of small projects including refurbishing the parish pump on Chelford Road, memorials to former councillors Vivien Davies and Clive Nicholson and installing bollards to deter parking on Cotton Shop Yard.

Plans for our Christmas Events are well underway and full information is appearing on our website later this week. The two-day Christmas Market has some fantastic traders, we’ve booked Handmade Parade to deliver lantern workshops in preparation for the Lantern Parade and the Mayor is currently choosing the carols for the crib service.

But before December, as the Autumn kicks in we know there will be more areas requiring tidy in across the Town. If you spot a grot spot let me know and our Town Ranger can check it out.

The Town Clerk’s Column is a bi-weekly blog appearing in the Knutsford Guardian.

 

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Neighbourhood Plan Survey

You should have now received your paper questionnaire for the Neighbourhood Plan. This is an important step in our Neighbourhood Plan and I implore everyone to take the time to share their thoughts and help shape the future of Knutsford. We want as many responses as possible so please encourage neighbours and children to complete their survey! It is available online at www.knutsfordnp.org.uk.

Excitement is continuing to build for the Tour of Britain, with recent confirmations that some of the UK’s top cyclists will be part of the race. The likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins will be passing through Knutsford TWICE on Tuesday and with the retail community’s bicycle trail and CycleFest on Knutsford Heath there are plenty of reasons to enjoy the day in Knutsford.

Next week the Town Council is taking part in the Knutsford Heritage Open Days by opening two spaces to the public. In the Council Offices our Council Chamber has been unused for many years due to inaccessibility – we’ll have it open for you to view with a small exhibition of council memorabilia. We are also opening the Chapel at Knutsford Cemetery – it’s seldom used and this is a great opportunity to visit. You can find out more at www.knutsfordpromenades.co.uk.

The Town Council is beginning to put together the 2017/18 official Town Guide – if you have any thoughts on how we can improve on the last edition, please do let me know. As usual I also encourage you to contact me with any ‘grot spots’ that we can tackle with our Town Ranger, if you’ve spotted a job that needs doing please let me know.

The Town Clerk’s Column is a bi-weekly blog appearing in the Knutsford Guardian.

 

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Town Ranger Anniversary

THIS SUNDAY is Civic Sunday for Knutsford with a parade through the Town Centre and special service at St John’s Church. You can view the short procession at 9:45 or join the Mayor and congregation at the service from 10:15.

Councillors and volunteers have been promoting Knutsford at the Royal Cheshire Show as part of our support for the Tour of Britain. We are encouraging visitors into Knutsford as the perfect place to enjoy the race. Our dedicated sub-committee has pledged its support for CycleFest – a one day extravaganza on Knutsford Heath.

New lighting has recently been installed in the Market Hall, dramatically improving lighting levels and reducing future maintenance costs. We’ll also soon be hearing Silk 106.9FM as background music for the market, helping add a little ambience at the quieter times in the hall.

We’ve submitted an application to be accredited under the Local Council Award Scheme and aim to be the first Town Council in Cheshire to receive the Quality Gold award.

This week our Town Ranger celebrates his first year in post – he has done a fantastic job and this service has proved to be effective with an array of tasks undertaken from refurbishing benches destined for removal by Cheshire East Council to clearing forgotten areas of weeds and graffiti.

As ever, if you’ve spotted a grot spot around town that our Town Ranger can help with please do let us know.

You can contact the Town Council on 01565 653 929 or e-mail townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

The Town Clerk’s Column is a bi-weekly blog appearing in the Knutsford Guardian.

 

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New Mayor, Good as New Bench

The Annual Town Council meeting was held last night. This meeting, known as the Mayor Making, is where the new Town Mayor is elected by their fellow councillors. The meeting also appoints a Deputy Town Mayor and the Town Mayor names their Consort (or Mayoress) for the ensuing year. You can find out who your new Mayor is on the Town Council website, and in next week’s Guardian.

The Town Council has responded to the Cheshire East Council consultation on the new Design Guide expressing concern about how Knutsford has been categorised and the lack of acknowledgement of the varied architectural styles in our town. You can view our full response on our website.

We will be taking part in the Heritage Open Weekend as part of the Knutsford Promenades this September. We plan to open up the Grade II listed cemetery chapel for visitors and arrange a small exhibition on the Town Council in our Council Chamber.

Residents living near the small green near Cranford Avenue will have noticed a refurbished bench recently. The bench, originally owned by Cheshire East, had been broken and slat-less for over eight years until our Town Ranger came along and repaired it – he did a fantastic job and it looks as good as new! If you’ve spotted an area that hasn’t received the care it needs let us know and it might just be that our Town Ranger can sort it out.

Contact Adam on 01565 653 929 or townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk Visit the Town Council website at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

The Town Clerk’s Column is a bi-weekly blog appearing in the Knutsford Guardian.

 

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War Memorials and Blue Plaques

Cllr Tony Dean chaired his last meeting as Town Mayor this week; ahead of our Mayor Making on May 31st which will see a new Mayor elected. At this week’s meeting, the council quizzed officers from Cheshire East on the future of the Children’s Centre, raising concerns about new arrangements.

The Town Council has submitted applications to list the War Memorial Cottage Hospital both as a building of special architectural interest (Listed Building) and as an asset of community value with the aim of adding additional protections to this important building. Separately, plans for a new war memorial through relocating the Haron Baronian statue are advancing with our aim being to have a new memorial dedicated for Remembrance Sunday.

Blue Plaques celebrated their 150th birthday recently which by coincidence will be celebrated in Knutsford as the Town Council prepares to install five new plaques this year recognising Edward Penny and Henry Royce amongst some important buildings including the Royal George.

Working in partnership with Knutsford Police, we responded swiftly to reports of dangerous parking around Norbury’s Yard/Church Walk; the Environment Committee will be discussing a better solution to this issue next week. If you know of other problem parking areas in Knutsford please do let us know.

Finally, as the weather (hopefully) gets better our Town Ranger will be out-and-about in Knutsford more undertaking a range of duties to make Knutsford cleaner and tidier – please do let us know if you spot a task for him!

The Town Clerk’s Column is a bi-weekly blog appearing in the Knutsford Guardian.

 

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