Archive for April, 2020

A further update regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and our Events Programme

A further update regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and our Events Programme

A further statement regarding our Events programme and the status of our events during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Knutsford Town Council is continually monitoring the latest government advice concerning the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the latest social distancing advice to limit the spread of the virus.

We are closely monitoring government advice day-by-day and will continue to follow guidelines, including postponing and cancelling events where this becomes necessary. We will always prioritise public health and make responsible decisions when planning events to protect the public, our volunteers and staff.

We have made the decision not to postpone our VE Day Street Party event planned originally for 8th May to later in the summer, due to concerns that the event would not be able to be held due to restrictions still being in place. The event has now been cancelled and will not take place this year. Instead, the Town Council is holding a live VE Day 75th Anniversary commemorative service on our Facebook page at 2.45pm on Friday 8th May – just head to www.facebook.com/knutsfordtowncouncil to watch.

On Monday, the council’s Events and Town Centre Management Committee agreed to postpone the Knutsford Music Festival which had been scheduled to take place from 12th – 14th June. A suitable weekend in September has been identified which the festival could potentially be postponed to, although no final decision has been made on this yet. The committee will meet again on 26th May to review the latest government advice and determine whether the event can be safely postponed to September or whether the 2020 event will be cancelled.

If the festival is postponed, tickets will be automatically transferred to the new dates. If ticket holders cannot attend on the new dates, refunds will be offered. If the festival is cancelled, all ticket holders will be entitled to a full refund less the transaction fees and will be contacted to arrange refunds.

The council is working hard to ensure that events are postponed where possible, but the Town Council will continue to prioritise public health and will cancel events if it is felt it would be unsafe to hold them, or where government mandates that mass gatherings must be banned.

The council will continue to closely monitor the situation as it develops over the coming months and make decisions regarding events scheduled to take place later in the year closer to the time.

Currently there have been no changes made to the Pumpkin Path event scheduled for 31st October or the Knutsford Christmas Markets scheduled for 28th & 29th November. The committee will review advice closer to these events and make decisions as to whether these events can be safely held in the coming months.

We would like to thank everyone for their patience as we work hard to minimise disruption during this tough time and we will continue to keep the public updated with our plans as we proceed.

If you would like more information, you can contact the council’s Events Officer at alex.brown@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

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75th Anniversary of VE Day

Knutsford Town Council would like your help to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May.

The Town Council is creating a commemorative video to mark the anniversary and is inviting Knutsford residents to send content for the video.

Toasts to the fallen heroes of the war can be recorded, with clips of ideally no longer than 10 seconds being filmed in landscape mode on a phone or camera and sent to the council for inclusion in the video.

The Town Council is also inviting any veteran related content, be that in the form of videos of veterans sharing their experience of the war, any photos of veterans during war time and them now or other content that residents feel would be relevant to the video.

All content should be emailed to alex.brown@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk by 30th April for the video to be produced and broadcast on 8th May.

The video project is in partnership with Rachel Bishop Consulting, who are kindly compiling the celebratory video.

The video can be viewed at the end of a special online VE Day service which will be broadcast live to Facebook on Friday 8th May. The short service will commence at around 2.45pm and will pay tribute to fallen heroes and mark the anniversary of the day of victory in Europe. The service will conclude with the first broadcast of the special anniversary video.

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green said “We didn’t want this important anniversary to pass without recognition in the community and we encourage you to send us your toast to the fallen and then tune into our Facebook page on 8th May.”

This replaces the council’s previously planned VE Day Street Party which due to social distancing restrictions has had to be cancelled. This online service will replace the commemorative service that was due to take place by the town’s Centennial War Memorial on the day.

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Public Participation at Virtual Council Meetings

The Town Council is taking advantage of new regulations permitting councils to meet virtually during the coronavirus restrictions.

Access to our meetings has never been easier as they will now be broadcast live via Facebook. This will be for those who wish to watch a meeting but not participate and the council will not be following any comments made during the meeting live; we will, however, review any comments after the meeting and respond as appropriate.

All meetings will continue to have a period set aside for public participation, this is where you can address the meeting to make comments or submit questions relevant to the items being discussed at the meeting or the council’s work in general.  To participate you must:

  • Access the meeting via the link published on the meeting agenda, joining with your email address and full name.
  • Raise your “hand” when invited to do so (at the bottom of your zoom screen):

When you are invited to speak, the Town Clerk will allow you to address the meeting – this will be audio only and be heard by the council and any viewers.

If you have any queries about our virtual meetings, please email townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

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Cllr Katherine Fletcher Steps Down

Katherine Fletcher MP
Official Photograph

Nether ward councillor Katherine Fletcher has stepped down from the Town Council after being elected as MP for South Ribble in the December 2019 general election. Katherine, who was elected unopposed in the May 2019 council election, resigned with “heavy heart” to the Town Mayor on 15th April.  

In her resignation letter Katherine said “I had hoped to serve Knutsford through this COVID crisis as well as perform my duties as a newly elected MP. It has now become apparent that the sheer volume of work within Parliament and constituency, leaves no room to also do my duties as a Councillor, and it’s with a heavy heart that I find I must resign.”

Katherine served on the council’s Environment, Assets and Finance Committees and was the council’s representative on the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership.

Mayor of Knutsford Cllr Andrew Malloy said “Katherine’s enthusiasm and knowledge on areas in particular relating to the environment have been a real bonus to the council, especially as we have been considering the impacts of everyday life on the environment, flora and fauna. I would like to thank Katherine for her time on the council and wish her all the best in her career as a MP.”

The process of electing a new councillor for the ward is affected by coronavirus with regulations made by the government postponing any by-election to May 2021. Guidance is currently awaited from Cheshire East Council as to whether the preliminary process, giving the residents of Nether Ward the right to demand an election before allowing the council to co-opt a new councillor, can still go ahead.

An announcement will be made in due course formally declaring the casual vacancy and giving electors the right to demand an election for the seat.

Any by-election will only be for the single Nether Ward seat, not the whole council and the elected or co-opted councillor will serve the remainder of Katherine’s term, retiring with the rest of the council in May 2023.

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